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Making Friends: a series of performa nces and events curated by Sam Roeck will take place every Wednesday at 6:3 0pm starting July 11th.


Josée Bienvenu Gallery is pleas ed to present Yeah we friends and shit\, featuring seventeen international artists. The title is from a work by Devin Troy Strother: “Titles come befo re the work is made. I have a book that I keep of funny shit I hear or comm ents I hear that are kind of interesting (…). The titles come from things I hear in rap songs or things I hear family members say\, things friends say ”. His three-dimensional paintings are populated by naked black women or gu uuurls made of cut paper.

Consumed and confused by the increas ing presence of social media in our lives\, do you ever get the feeling tha t you are not actually closer to any of your friends. In fact\, does your v irtual popularity affect your lonely reality? How many of your thousand fri ends on Facebook can you actually claim to be there for you in an emergency or even just to show up for your birthday party? The exhibition brings tog ether a group of artists separated by six degrees\, in one form another -ae sthetic affinities\, studio neighbors\, distant cousins- all making work th at expounds on the casual state of friendships in a digital world and the r esulting casualties. The works presented tickle the peculiar emotions that are triggered\, the understandings and misunderstandings\, the funny\, trag ic\, happy and awkward moments.

Mingering Mike is the soul sup erstar you’ve never heard of. Between 1968 and 1977\, he recorded over fift y albums\, managed thirty-five of his own record labels\, and produced\, di rected and starred in nine of his own motion pictures. How is it that such a prolific musician has gone under the radar for more than thirty years? Th e answer is that all took place in Mike's imagination\, and in the vast col lection of fake cardboard records and acapella home recordings that he made for himself as a teenager in Washington\, D.C. in the late 1960s. Mingerin g Mike is making a come back this year with three new records.

In "Head rest for Deana Carter" (Did I Shave My Legs for This?)\, Natalie Labriola’s expresses the short distance between nostalgia and humor\, arch eology and science fiction. Anton Ginzburg’s post-it notes and other everyd ay artifacts made of painted bronze also alludes to an archeology of the fu ture and belong to an ongoing cabinet of curiosities.

Marti C ormand documents inconvenient migrations and relationships. Clay cigarettes \, rubber bands and ripped cardboard are painted to look exactly like thems elves. Kirk Hayes's quirky compositions seem to be collages of torn paper\, yellowing masking tape\, or scraps of plywood\, but are in fact meticulous ly painted with just oil on canvas: the word is a lonely stage of manipulat ed information\, there is no subordination between reality and its represen tation.

In his own words\, Chris Johanson makes “art about loo king at and being a part of life. We need to be a part of each other. If we separate we are alone. That is a world of walking dead people.” Andrew Kuo turns moments of his life into paintings of graphs\, charts\, and lists su ch as "The 24 Minutes Waiting For you / Accordion Book" . Ken Solomon’s slo ws down and reverses our relationship to our on-line-eyes-on-screen persona s in paintings of Pandora record covers and stills from You Tube music vide os.

Matt Keegan’s works expands on the readymade -or ready sai d- using words\, phrases\, and images\, taken from his mother’s ESL vocabul ary flash cards. His text pieces are specifically vague as in the wall scul pture it’s not you\, its me. Sharka Hyland’s graphite drawings of passages from great novels suggest that there are instances of literary rendering in which the image is so flawlessly formed by language that it cannot be tran sposed into another medium. She presents a paragraph from Proust’s "Swann’s Way"\, in French and English. Based on a found collection of love letters and phone messages\, "Mocktalk" by Austrian conceptual artist Nin Bruderman n (a collaboration with Arfus Greenwood) is a perverse operatic duet of des perate intentions played on a cracked iphone.

Mathias Schmied alters magazine pages and comic strips. Impulsive gesture and calculated ob literation coexist. Ryan Schneider’s paintings are collages of situations a nd emotional states. Austin Eddy’s stylized portraits of corrugated cardboa rd and canvas reach utmost expression with great economy of means. Julianne Swartz uses low-tech mechanisms to articulate architectures of frailty. He r wire sculptures use attractive and repulsive magnetic powers to stage the vulnerability\, tension and weight of relationships.

DTEND:20120908 DTSTAMP:20141021T061947 DTSTART:20120628 GEO:40.7464825;-74.0069332 LOCATION:Josee Bienvenu Gallery\,529 West 20th St \nNew York\, NY 10011 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Yeah we friends and shit\, Nin Brudermann\, Marti Cormand\, Austin Eddy\, Anton Ginzburg\, Kirk Hayes\, Sharka Hyland\, Chris Johanson\, Matt Keegan\, Andrew Kuo\, Natalie Labriola\, Mingering Mike\, Sam Roeck\, Mathi as Schmied\, Ryan Schneider\, Ken Solomon\, Devin Troy Strother\, Julianne Swartz UID:225268 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR