Generic Art Solutions at SCOPE Basel… And Videos!

We are thrilled to be exhibiting three great works by Generic Art Solutions (GAS) at SCOPE Basel, Switzerland, June 12th-17th:  Marat, The Raft, and Liberty.  See them all on the GAS page of our website here // Generic Art Solutions work at Mindy Solomon Gallery

Generic Art Solutions is the collaborative effort of Matt Vis and Tony Campbell. This New Orleans-based art duo utilizes nearly every art medium to examine recurring themes of human drama and functions of contemporary society. Always rooted in the performative, the pair play every character in each of their works. The resultant effect of their elaborate two-man stagings is as impressive as the subject matter itself.  By combining classical, romantic, and baroque compositional elements with contemporary pictorial techniques, GAS seek to illuminate common threads that connect past histories with current events: that the history of art is political; that human behavior repeats itself; that the cycle of repetition must be broken in order for progress to be made.  More absurd than comical, the work is a humorous and irreverent commentary on the function of art and contemporary life.

GAS’s video portraits and public performances are just as poignant as their photographs.  Please enjoy a few of their enactments here:

SPILL

MOLOTOV (Passing the Torch)

RIOT COPS ON THE BEAT

NEST

TIN SOLDIERS

“Candor and Provocation: Photography at the Mindy Solomon Gallery”

by Julie Chae

Many commercial gallery owners shy away from presenting ‘controversial’ art, especially those located outside of New York and LA. In St. Petersburg, Florida, Owner/Director Mindy Solomon of the Mindy Solomon Gallery regularly organizes exhibitions that challenge cultural norms and institutions, often with candor and humor. Such exhibitions as “Undressing the Feminine” (July 3 – August 14, 2010), “Hero Worship” (August 6 – September 17, 2011) and “Contradictions” (September 24 – November 5, 2011) questioned social definitions of femininity and masculinity, and treated topics like sex, politics and race with irreverence and irony. And recently on April 14, 2012, Solomon opened “Explicit Content” (on view until May 19, 2012), an exhibition that challenges the notions of what is permissible behavior related to sexuality.

Most of the gallery’s photography artists exhibited work in at least one of these ‘controversial’ exhibitions. These artists—Muir Vidler, Generic Art Solutions, Becky Flanders, Aiden Simon, Sean Fader, Jeremy Chandler, David Hilliard, Barbara DeGenevieve and Scot Sothern—question societal values through their art and show us how we can explore or define our own identities.

Muir Vidler’s body of work involves capturing the spirit of individuals who refuse to be confined by social expectations. While traveling to different countries throughout the world—often on assignment for clients like The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Time and Sunday Times Magazine, London-based Vidler finds time to seek out vibrant lives with character for his personal work. Vidler’s images inspire me to ask questions such as:

  • Who says you can’t wear pristine white and flip off a guy with a camera?
Muir Vidler, Qatar, 2006, C-Print, edition of 6, 20”x30”

Muir Vidler, Qatar, 2006, C-Print, edition of 6, 20”x30”

  • Must someone who feels like a woman be a man? What does being a prostitute mean in a country with strict codes of sexual and gender behavior?
Muir Vidler, Tarlabaşi Prostitute, 2008, C-Print, edition of 6, 20”x30”

Muir Vidler, Tarlabaşi Prostitute, 2008, C-Print, edition of 6, 20”x30”

  • How do we define beauty?
Muir Vidler, Kelly Knox, 2009, C-Print, edition of 6, 20”x24”

Muir Vidler, Kelly Knox, 2009, C-Print, edition of 6, 20”x24”

  • Who decided tattooing “Bacardi” across your lower back is a bad idea? Who cares?!
Muir Vidler, Bacardi, 2007, C-print, edition of 6, 20”x24”

Muir Vidler, Bacardi, 2007, C-print, edition of 6, 20”x24”

Generic Art Solutions (“G.A.S.”), a team of the multimedia artists Matt Vis and Tony Campbell, create sculpture, video, photography and performance art pieces using visual vocabulary from advertising, marketing and art history. G.A.S. reinterprets some of the well-known masterpieces of Western art history with present-day scenarios, questioning the cultural values represented in canonized works of art. For instance, the Church with its wealthy and powerful past has supported art throughout history that glorified God. In works by G.A.S., biblical characters praised for unwavering religious faith appear as if they could be those “crazy” folks from reality TV shows, settling family disputes with whatever happens to be within reaching distance, or buddies on a hunting trip gone bad due to a little too much alcohol.

Generic Art Solutions, The Sacrifice of Isaac, 2008, Archival pigment print, edition of 6, 24” x 36”

Generic Art Solutions, The Sacrifice of Isaac, 2008, Archival pigment print,
edition of 6, 24” x 36”

For several artists in the program like Becky Flanders, Aiden Simon and Sean Fader, debunking what people consider appropriate behavior for men and women, or even how people expect men and women to appear, is a fundamental element of their artistic inquiry. The images created by these artists challenge the ways in which society defines male and female identities.

Flanders depicts iconic women like the Virgin Mary or Marie Antoinette doing something regarded as strictly male behavior—urinating while standing up.

Becky Flanders, Marie Antoinette, 2008, Archival inkjet print, edition of 5, 50" x 40"

Becky Flanders, Marie Antoinette, 2008, Archival inkjet print, edition of 5, 50″ x 40″

Like Flanders, Aiden Simon also questions whether society should define maleness strictly by the presence of male genitalia.

Aiden Simon, Anima / Animus, 2006, Digital c-print, 15” x 12.5”

Aiden Simon, Anima / Animus, 2006, Digital c-print, 15” x 12.5”

And in his “I Want To Put You On” series, Sean Fader digitally modifies his photographs of male and female friends to appear as if he is “trying on” their bodies, blurring identities and sometimes genders.

Sean Fader, I Want To Put You On, Brian, 2007, 60” x 40”

Sean Fader, I Want To Put You On, Brian, 2007, 60” x 40”

Other artists, such as Jeremy Chandler and David Hilliard, engage in more subtle questions about masculinity in current society. In a series of photographs on hunters wearing ghillie suits for camouflage in the woods or fields, Chandler examines men’s relationship with nature. And in exploring personal relationships such as his own son-father relationship, David Hilliard delves into the meanings of these male roles as they exist in our current society—as archetypes and as lived by real persons.

Jeremy Chandler, Ghillie Suit Pine Straw, 2011

Jeremy Chandler, Ghillie Suit Pine Straw, 2011

David Hilliard, Rock Bottom, 2008, 3 C-prints back- and front-mounted to plexi, total 40” x 90”

David Hilliard, Rock Bottom, 2008, 3 C-prints back- and front-mounted to plexi, total 40” x 90”

Barbara DeGenevieve and Scot Sothern—whose works appear in the gallery’s current exhibition, “Explicit Content”—explore the concept of sex and sexuality when money is involved. In addition to sexual trafficking, these artists deal with the complex issues involved in how society values people, especially those who have pretty much nothing else except their bodies. DeGenevieve pays homeless men to go to a hotel room with her, clean off and pose nude for her pictures. It is amazing to me that some criticize DeGenevieve for “exploiting” the homeless, when the men in her images look more humanized and happy than any homeless person I have seen. Scot Sothern’s photographs of prostitutes in LA recall the raw and penetrating portraits of the downtown “Piers” scene in New York during the 1970s and 80s by Alvin Baltrop, and constitute the opposite of Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s theatrical, stylized images of prostitutes and strippers in LA from the 1990s.

Barbara DeGenevieve, Leon #6, From the Panhandler Project, 2006, Digital print, 24” x 28”

Barbara DeGenevieve, Leon #6, From the Panhandler Project, 2006, Digital print,
24” x 28”

Scot Sothern, Missy, c. 1986-1990

Scot Sothern, Missy, c. 1986-1990

The artists in Solomon’s photography program produce provocative images and challenge deeply-entrenched values with honesty and frankness. Some use humor or narrative as well. In doing so, they continue a tradition in art of artists showing us images that make us rethink our society’s values and what is possible.

Jeremy Chandler’s in Camouflage

Jeremy Chandler is preparing for his exhibition, “Camouflage,” at the Hagedorn Foundation Gallery with a newly announced artist reception on Thursday, January 12 from 6 to 8:30PM. (Please note the revised schedule change).

Jeremy’s exhibition in Atlanta, Georgia features contemporary photography that addresses the feminization of masculinity with photographic antidotes that feature the male’s mythological role in society.

“Camouflage” features Jeremy Chandler and Kristine Potter at the Hagedorn Foundation Gallery located at 425 Peachtree Hills Avenue and features artist reception on Thursday, January 12 from 6—8:30PM and an artist lecture on Saturday, January 14 from 1—2PM. Connect with their website and see the new article in the Atlantan. (Read article one here).

Rock-Paper-Scissors : Happy New Year :

Happy New Year! Celebrate with us, as the Mindy Solomon Gallery is showcasing a new body of work, “Rock-Paper-Scissors” featuring the artists of balzerARTprojects from Basel, Switzerland January 7 through February 18, 2012.

Please join us on January 7 from 6—8PM for an evening of contemporary art showcase featuring inspired work and spirited talk by curator, Isabel Balzer traveling in from Switzerland. (Lecture begins at 6:30PM, see you there).

(e)merge Art Fair in Washington D.C. 9/22—25

Mindy Solomon Gallery travels to Washington D.C. for the (e)merge Art Fair at the Capitol Skyline Hotel to present leading contemporary photographers Muir Vidler, Jeremy Chandler and Becky Flanders. You and your good friends are invited.

(e)merge Art Fair September 22—25
Friday, September 23: 12pm – 7pm
Saturday, September 24: 12pm – 7pm
Sunday, September 25: 12pm – 5pm

The (e)merge art fair celebrates galleries, artists, and the creative process with an an energetic environment of collaboration and discovery.

Muir Vidler
London based contemporary photographer Muir Vidler is sought out for his careful eye and colorful compositions by international magazines (GQ, Vanity Fair, Vogue) and select companies (Lotus, ROVE, Penguin). Muir Vidler consistently creates personal projects that deliver exuberantly detailed images, complete with an international cast of real life heroes. Muir Vidler captures the pageantry of life in themed works including: “Istanbul,” “Israeli Death Metal,” “Libyan Beauty Pageant” and “Rebels Without a Pause.” Muir Vidler is an important contemporary who lives by the old maxim, “never complain, never explain…”

Jeremy Chandler
Florida based contemporary photographer, Jeremy Chandler explores a myriad of issues that center on masculinity, utopian ideals and nature. Inspired by cinema, Jeremy Chandler’s visuals create dreamlike narratives that contradict traditional notions of masculinity. Jeremy juxtaposes the beauty found in nature with feelings of anxiety, as experienced by the viewer for the central protagonist. As Jeremy Chandler describes, “I create fictional narratives, but I also make environmental portraits.”

Becky Flanders
Becky Flanders consistently creates thought provoking, electrically charged photographs that reveal contradictory feminine archetypes while releasing urine while standing. Becky’s work, as she often describes, “And yet this image of woman ‘project[ing] beyond the boundaries of self’ in this way remains absent from collective consciousness. It seems that the concept of femininity dictates the possibility of female bodies, rather than the other way around.”

Please visit the Mindy Solomon Gallery Capitol Skyline Hotel, Washington D.C. If you wish to learn more about the presented artists or collecting contemporary photography, please contact the gallery or join the facebook guest list here.

Hero Worship Review

 

Hero Worship has gained plenty of attention over the past several weeks. We have been fortunate, as many great community leaders, press officials and art aficionados have shared insightful consideration about the artists and the exhibition including a great review by Luis of Art Taco. Read more here. (Jeremy Chandler, featured above).