Bearded Romney, Wizard Obama, Voters Star in Art Shows
Norman Rockwell’s iconic 1943 Thanksgiving scene, “Freedom From Want,” vies for attention with a giant portrait of Mitt Romney by contemporary artist Richard Phillips in a new exhibition space in Chelsea.
Both are part of “We the People,” a group show organized by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in what used to be the late artist’s (1925-2008) garage.
The show includes Alex Katz, Keith Haring, Alice Neel, George Segal, John Currin, Shirin Neshat, among others. Curators Allison Gingeras and Jonathan Horowitz wanted to offer “an artistic view of the diverse demographics of our country, in contrast to the taglines and catchphrases of the 2012 election,” according to the press release.
Martha Rosler’s antiwar photomontage “Gladiators” (2004) depicts U.S. troops in an elegant living room. Neshat’s 2012 gelatin silver print, “Muhammed,” inspired by the Arab Spring, is a portrait of a young man, holding his right hand against his heart, with the artist’s signature spidery calligraphy covering his face.
Interested buyers must contact the artist’s gallery. The show runs through Nov. 9 at 455 W. 19th St.; +1-212-228-5283; http://www.rauschenbergfoundation.org/.
Brian Dailey spent about six months over the course of two years driving around the U.S. in a truck with a portable studio, organizing spontaneous photo shoots.
The subjects were asked to pose in front of a color background representing their political affiliation: red for Republicans, blue for Democrats, green for Green Party, gray for Independents and yellow for those who don’t care about voting or can’t for legal reasons.
The resulting catalog of the U.S. electorate today appears in “America in Color,” a solo show by the Washington D.C.- based Dailey at Stephan Stoyanov Gallery on the Lower East Side.
A tough looking elderly man, in a crisp cowboy hat and leather chaps, stands primly against red.
A black woman wearing what could be a Mardi Gras costume is captured in a dance-like pose, smiling broadly -- against blue.
On a gray background, a black man sporting a white apron and black bowtie gives the viewer thumbs up.
Displayed in three rows of 11 images each, the photographs form a vibrant, playful tapestry -- a portrait of diversity. The show also includes video footage of hundreds of photo shoots.
Prices range from $2,800 to $9,500. The video features 685 portraits and comes in an edition of 10, with prices ranging from $6,000 to $15,000. The show runs through Nov. 18 at 29 Orchard St.; +1-212-343-4240; http://www.stephanstoyanov.com/.
Nearby, Casey Jex Smith, a practicing Mormon who lives in Ohio, combines religion and politics in his meticulous ink drawings, theatrical installations and video.
Smith’s “Fiend in the Void” exhibition at Allegra LaViola Gallery features works on paper filled with Mormon imagery, sci- fi scenarios, dungeons and dragons. A syrupy-looking bowl of fake blood on a pedestal was used to scribble mysterious numeric sequences on wallpaper.
President Barack Obama wears a dragon crown, holding a wizard’s staff; Mitt Romney has a hermit’s thick, long beard. The two are no longer political rivals but heroic characters in a fantasy world.
Prices range from $600 to $6,500. The show runs through Nov. 10 at 179 East Broadway; +1-917-463-3901; http://www.allegralaviola.com/.
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