Friday, May 8, 2009

yeah... paint in NYC.

this afternoon i hung out with troy tecau of 210 gallery in brooklyn. we discussed hunting, motorcycles, violence and art. and then i had to make some art.

but last night was a big night... i remember holly solomon's space on houston street. it still stands, more of less. of course, now, it's a clothes store, or boutique, if you prefer. i remember the scene, not so much the art. bad art is not a new phenomena, much as we'd like to think... but, yeah, SoHo. we would make the scene and the streets would be empty until you neared whatever gallery was having the show. there, a crowd would be hanging out-- smoking, drinking, getting ready for the next show a block or 2 away. even in the early 90's SoHo was vacant and alluring, cobblestones and firescapes and uneven sidewalks and hot chicks puking in the trashcans and turning to you with a smile... what i remember is how silent and peopleless it was, as the sun went down and especially in the darkness. and then, suddenly, it seemed, we were enduring chelsea... yeah. anyways, last night at june kelly gallery, the artist james little unleashed his latest work. to say it was good to be in a SoHo gallery is an understatement. that it was a james little show-- well, fuck it.

i've know james since 2000. we've shown together and been represented together. in chicago, we tore it up-- booze, food, strippers... it was ours. our town, our time... last night, it was all james.

there are 2 artists that i think of when i think of color; james little and pat lipsky. there's an irony there that i won't go into here. both artists deal out tones and hues of understood "color" and then take it a bit farther than most are ready to deal with. in james little's case, he takes it to places where (for me, anyways) you just shake your head and try to understand what (and why and or how) it is that makes it work. little is a hard-edged, unabashed painting machine. he doesn't give a shit. fuck you. he will do his vectors and lay his tape down and nail the wax and oil and leave you guessing about how the hell he came up with this blue next to this grey or orange (if it is an "orange"), or green or red... and the paint lays think and heavy-- flesh on bone, with all the implicit perfections and/or imperfections... i remember, in a bar in chicago, james discussing my own work, saying to me--"...all that shit means something, the drips, the marks...". yeah, you're right...

it's good to know there are masters at work...

it's even better if you've been able to drink away an afternoon or 2 with them.

i raise this glass to you, james.

No comments: