An interview with Jason Bryant.

The 22 Magazine: So first the basics, where are you from, how did you end up in NY?

Jason Bryant: Well, I was born in Wilson, North Carolina. I was introduced to painting and drawing roughly when I was five and my love for art was immediate and without question. I was lucky enough to have people around me support this passion, to give me hope that the dream to be an artist can be a reality. Art was always a bright light that helped me get through a turbulent childhood. After getting my Masters from The Maryland Institute College of Art, my girlfriend at the time got a job in NY. Very reluctant and intimidated to move so quickly, the path was set for me to end up in NY.

The 22: Your bio says you are “heavily influenced by classic film,” tell me a little about that. Where did this love arise from? Who’s are some of your favorites?

JB: Film, to me, has always been an escape. Like painting, it sends us on a journey where we take what we bring into it, but always come out of the viewing process a little more informed and with a different perspective. There is something so elegant and clean about how black and white film translates to the viewer. It is very baseline and straight forward in its approach. Brando, Newman, and Grant are all some of my favorite actors. They were an actor’s actor, not afraid to take chances and capable of delivering powerful performances with effortless delivery.

The 22: Your upcoming show “Smoke and Mirrors,” from what I gathered, is meant to convey the trick of making something seem better than it is while simultaneously conveying its vulnerability? Why did you chose this topic? What relevance does it have for you or the  “stars” you portray?

JB: That’s exactly it. For “Smoke and Mirrors” I simply wanted to create a show with a double meaning. Every work in the exhibition is a painting based off a film still where the actor is either smoking or viewing their reflection in the mirror. I wanted to create a show where the paintings are beautiful and lavish, but once you read the title or look to see what is happening on the surface of these polished works, you start to see where there are “cracks in the faux finish.” I did not want to be overly dramatic in trying to convey the concept. I did not want to have paintings where the subjects were like pulling back their skin revealing all of their inner demons–nothing that dramatic and in your face.  I wanted the concept to come forward subtly while keeping with the conceptual “sleekness” of my paintings.

The 22: How does skateboarding culture fit into your artistic practice?

JB: I started skateboarding when I was 11. Skateboarding, like art, will be a lifelong love affair. It gave me an identity at a young age and it opened up my world to new ways of artistic expression. Most of all, it gave me lifelong friends who will always be like family. Since I can’t physically skate at the high level I once did, it’s fulfilling for me to bring skate graphics into my work and even paint directly on to skateboards like I’ve been doing the last couple of years. That is where the “Merging Icons” series was born. I wanted to merge iconic skate graphics with iconic film stills, basically combining the two most influential elements in my development as a person and as an artist. I love the effects and changes that my hand brings to the works, like I’m the instrument of combining two great passions. I’m actually working on a piece right now that will bring a third passion into the mix and I’m using a new medium. That’s all I can say at the moment!

The 22: Do you still skateboard?

JB: I still roll around, but at the age of 36, let’s just say I’m not going to go do a Tre-flip down eight stairs. Nowadays landing a kick-flip brings a smile to my face, but that is the point, it’s a joy that never goes away.

The 22: What is important to you about breaking the “frame” of a piece, painting directly on the wall?

JB: With the success of the “Merging Icons” I wanted to push the series forward to where the skate graphics would be breaking outside of the “frame” of the canvas and onto the wall. I got the opportunity to try it out at the Pulse Art Fair here in New York in May and this method will be a big part of “Smoke and Mirrors.” The graphics will be traveling all around the walls of the gallery creating a space in which the paintings and the graphics become the metaphorical “walls” of the environment in which the viewer has entered, bringing the viewer into the world of the paintings where each piece is connected to another through the graphics. The gallery agreed to shut down for a bit so I could do this, which is really great of them.

The 22: You talk about graffiti really brightening up the city in the winter. Are there are specific graffiti artists you admire? What about other painter’s?

JB: My approach is in some ways influenced by graffiti and how street art is used to engage the viewer with the mundane everyday structures we live around. I look at some street artists such as insa and r.o.a. Artists that influence my work are Damien Loeb, McDermott and McGough, Jeremy Fish, Kehinde Wiley, Marylyn Minter, Banks Violette. I do of course have my painting heroes such as Chuck Close and Barbara Kruger.

The 22: There’s one piece in your work that is really interesting, which looks like James Dean being arrested and has the tagline “What’s the matter  guys…didn’t you make your quota for the month?” How does this piece fit into your work? Is it a reflection on recent New York events?

JB: I had been developing three different bodies of work for the past four years that were shown in 2010 in a solo exhibition titled “Trilogy.” One piece which was the highlight of the show was a painting titled Paperwork and Quotas. It is a scene from The Wild One starring Marlon Brando. I simply recreated the film still, drawing and painting it in my normal style but then I added my own subtitles as a part of my “Text” series. I added subtitles that illustrated the film still but has a very contemporary meaning. The painting itself is the foundation trying to communicate struggles within any political system, not just law enforcement and how there is a “bottom line” in any profession that is at times unfair and unjust.

The 22: Another compelling piece is the “rainbows don’t mean shit” piece. What’s going on there?

JB: That piece is titled Happiness. The subject is a very elegant image of a woman staring off in sort of a daydream type of gaze. Her eyes are covered by a fun graphic of a rainbow bursting into the black and white picture plane. It seems to be a very fun and happy piece until you read the text “rainbows don’t mean shit” beneath the rainbow graphic. I simply wanted to have fun in sort of the sarcastic jaded way we view the world today. At the same time though it is commentating on one’s struggles in dealing with the “politics of a profession.” Maybe it is saying that a strong work ethic, talent, and integrity to how you approach your profession is not enough to fulfill a dream, especially not today. Maybe we have lost sight of those values.

The 22: Since so much of your work is based on counter-culture elements tell me how Porter Contemporary (as a Chelsea gallery) became the home for your work and what they offer to an artist like you.

JB: Although my work is based on counter-culture subjects balanced with elegant black and white cinematic imagery, at the core of my work is a foundation built upon a love for the history of painting. The works are highly technical and refined using a traditional approach to painting. This caught the eye of Porter Contemporary in 2006. They were a young gallery, having just opened, and I had lived in New York for just under a year. We have had a great working relationship because the gallery and my work have been able to grow together. The Gallery owner, Jessica Porter, has an incredible work ethic and integrity that is the backbone of the vision for her gallery. It is very inspirational to be around and it has been very exciting to watch the gallery grow along with my work. It is rare that a gallery and artist get to experience growing together with the same basic principles and a certain amount of integrity intact.

For more information about Jason Bryant and his upcoming show visit Porter Contemporary.
You can visit his Website at: http://jasonbryantpaintings.tumblr.com/

THE WEEKEND: Sept 2-5.

BRIAN M. VIVEROS: RETURNING ART TO THE UNCLEAN @ LAST RITES.
Opening Reception: Saturday, Sept 3rd, 7:00pm-11:00pm.  Show runs Sept 3rd thru 25th, 2011.

Known for his strong and sensuous depictions of women, Brian M. Viveros is a master of contemporary iconography paying homage to the femme fatale. While he almost exclusively paints portraits, within the expressions of his women is conveyed such deep emotion and overwhelming sexuality that his work is undeniably erotic. Often without even a hint of nudity, the viewer is seduced with a mere pout and gaze from his subject’s faces.

In what will be Brian’s second showing at the gallery, the opening will feature an all new collection of original paintings, as well as special rare prints from the artist’s own collection; poster giveaway and signing; live “Smoking Army” performance; screening of Brian’s films along with his new short, and much more.

Continue reading

THE (LONG) WEEKEND MAY 27-29.

FRIDAY: MAY 27th

(TOP video, Song: The Surface of the Ocean
Matt Lavelle: composition and alto clarinet
Jason Kao Hwang: viola
Lola Danza: vocals
Francois Grillot: bass
Recorded,mixed,and mastered by Francois Grillot
http://www.myspace.com/mattlavelle

(BOTTOM video:The Local 269)

Friday May 27th, 8pm: François Grillot Contraband
Catherine Sikora – reeds
Roy Campbell – trumpet
Anders Nilsson – guitar
Daniel Levin – cello
François Grillot – bass and compositions
Jay Rosen – drums
Rhythm in the Kitchen Music Festival @
The Church of All Nations 410 West 57th Street, $10

PAINT IT NOW @FOWLER ARTS COLLECTIVE.
MAY 27 – JULY 6, 2011

OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY, MAY 27 FROM 7 TO 10PM

Paint it Now curated by participating artists Thomas Buildmore and Scott Chasse

The ever-changing arena of contemporary art presents endless challenges for those who find themselves caught in its currents. From white cube gallery exhibits to brick wall paste-ups and graffiti, the push and pull of what is important, relevant, or dismissible can be both distracting and empowering. (READ MORE.)

READ OR LISTEN TO AN INTERVIEW WITH THE 22. 

SUPERCODA PRESENTS:
Show 1 (Friday, 5/27. 9-midnight) : Mamie Minch, Eliza Rickman (LA), Anomylos @CAFE ORWELL.

http://www.myspace.com/mamieminch –
As devilishly funny, irrepressible and irreverent as the former Roulette Sisters frontwoman is live, a lot of this album is rivetingly dark. Minch’s solo debut is a sparse, terse collection of both original and classic acoustic blues songs, several of them imbued with Minch’s signature wit, but it also shows off an altogether different side of her writing. As any good blueswoman knows, the blues can pack a mighty emotional wallop, and Minch sings with an unflinching honesty, even anguish in places. Minch’s soulful, passionate alto voice resounds over old-school instrumentation.

http://www.myspace.com/elizarickman = Toy Pianist Extraordinaire

http://anomylos.com/

Annual End-of-the-Season Poets’ Potluck

FRIDAY MAY 27 / 10PM

Come celebrate the end of another season at the Poetry Project!  The Poets’ Potluck is an opportunity for New York City’s poetry community(ies) to come together for an evening of readings, performances, and delicious food.  An array of writers from the Poetry Project series as well as other local reading series will read/perform their work.  Any one interested in bringing a dish for the potluck will contribute to an amazing feast.  If you’re interested in bringing food, please email Brett Price at fridaynightseriesp@gmail.com.

VIDEOROVER: Season II
Curated by: Rachel Steinberg
May 27 – Dec 17, 2011
Opening Reception: Friday, May 27, 7-9 PM
Screening begins at 8 PM
910 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY

NURTUREart Non-Profit is pleased to present VIDEOROVER: Season II, the second installment of its semi-annual video series. VIDEOROVER: Season II is curated by Rachel Steinberg and features artists: Fatima Al Qadiri and Lyndsy Welgos, Cecilia Bonilla, Juan Pablo Echeverri, Derek Larson, Dana Levy, Pernille With Madsen, Colin Snapp, and JULIACKS.

VIDEOROVER seeks to present a wide range of works from artists locally and internationally who are all working to expand the perceptual limitations of video. This season’s selection aims to disorient viewers by removing an essential reality context, only to redeposit them into seemingly familiar settings.

Dana Levy, Fatima Al Qadiri and Lyndsy Welgos explore the pluralism of eastern and western conventions by looking at traditions through a contemporary perspective. Cecilia Bonilla examines our relationships to the seductive nature of commercial images of women through minimal manipulation, while Juan Pablo Echeverri shows us a self-projected fantasy of mass-produced femininity. Colin Snapp acts as a ‘journalist’ of sorts, documenting moments of real-time, but relieving the viewer of imposed intentions. Pernille With Madsen dizzies and disorients us with a vision of how to imagine architectural surroundings. Derek Larson’s playful experimentations extend through other worldly humor while JULIACKS’ narrative pulls back and forth between a character’s inner psyche and external world. (READ MORE.)


Photo Courtesy of Paper Magazine

CLOSING PARTY! OLEK’s Knitting is for Pus****
Friday May 27 6-9pm

Christopher Henry Gallery

127 Elizabeth Street
New York, NY

See “Knitting is for Pus****” for the last time (in NYC) and like never before… with a **SPECIAL BLACK LIGHT PRESENTATION!**

On Friday May 27th, 2011 Christopher Henry Gallery NYC will host a Closing Party for Celebrity Artist OLEK. Olek’s acclaimed installation “Knitting is for Pus****” has created a total sensation since it 1st opened back in September 2010. It traveled to SCOPE MIAMI, and was extended repeatedly due to pop…ular demand and endless press requests… next it will be highlighted in a traveling museum show called “40 Under 40″ opening at The SMITHSONIAN Museum in 2012!

SHOW! 

Two terrific improvisers are on tour and will be performing one night in NYC , Joe Burgio and Andrew Eisenberg, two of Boston’s most creative and strongest performers.

Carol Liebowitz (pno)
Adam Caine (gtr)
Claire DeBrunner (bsn)
Ratzo Harris (bs)

Joe Burgio (movement/dance)
Andrew Eisenberg (percussion/found objects)
Chris Welcome (gtr)
Shayna Dulberger (b)

Elliot Levin (sx)
Tom Zlabinger (b)
John Wagner (dr)

Take the 61 bus to Ryerson from jay street the AC and F trains transfer at jay street. The 54 bus is also a good option. You would take it to the bus stop b/t ryerson and grand. the subways that transfer are the 2 and 3 at Hoyt St as Well as the BMQR at Dekalb ave. Also the L train takes you to the 61 bus at N 6 and Driggs. You Could also take the G Train to Classon.

We’ll have cheap beer! Shayna might make Baklava!

SATURDAY: MAY 28th


Return of the Mini Zine Fest @ PETE’S CANDY STORE

Join Marguerite Dabaie and tons of rad zinesters at Pete’s Candy Store for the upcoming Mini Zine Fest!
Saturday, May 28th
3PM – 7PM
More info

Pub(l)ic Identities: Reading Medical Representations of Sex

woman1

An illustrated lecture with medical artist Shelley Wall
Date: Saturday, May 28th
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $5
Presented by Morbid Anatomy

“It’s a girl!” “It’s a boy!”… The genitals, those body parts conventionally expected to remain most hidden, are also the first and most powerful shapers of our public identity. In this illustrated talk, medical artist Shelley Wall considers how sexual anatomy, gendered bodies, and dimorphic sex have been represented in the visual discourse of medicine. From early anatomical atlases through to present-day clinical illustrations and the Visible Human datasets, medical imagery has influenced ideas about sexual identity and what it means to be “normal”.

Ashley Bickerton
Through 25 June 2011

540 W. 26th Street, Chelsea
In Nocturnes, Bickerton’s third solo exhibition at Lehmann Maupin, the artist revisits mankind’s antithetical attraction and repulsion to the grotesque, exotic, and sexual. Whereas previous works depicted abundant worlds of health, happiness, family, and cohesion, Bickerton has become disillusioned with the brilliance and wholesomeness that colored these preceding works, now drawing inspiration from the phrase ‘twisting and flapping in the neon wilderness’. For more information and to view images from the the exhibition,Click here
Show 2 (Saturday, May 28th 9-midnight): Nick Lyons Trio, Yoni Kretzmer Double Bass Quartet (Yoni Kretzmer/Ruben Radding/Sean Conly/Mike Pride), Jessie Nelson Trio (Jessie Nelson/Todd Martino/Conner Martinez)

http://www.reverbnation.com/nicklyons
http://www.yonikretzmer.com/
http://jessiemnelson.com/

JIM GAYLORD: SPOILERS @JEFF BAILEY GALLERY.

May 25 – July 1, 2011
Opening Reception:
Thursday, May 26

THE FITTING ROOM
25 MAY – 25 JUNE, 2011

DAVID BRODYMERNET LARSENNICOLE WITTENBERG
CURATED BY DAVID COHEN

PRESS RELEASE download
PARTICIPANTS download

(READ MORE.)

OBSTACLE @INVISIBLE DOG ARTS CENTER

MAY 14 – JULY 10

Curated by Steven and William. This exhibition is part of PLUS ONE CURATION SERIES

Works by: Chris Astley, Carlton DeWoody, Ethan Long, Steven and William, Suzanne Sattler, Chris Dunbar, Antonia Wright, Ruben Millares, Wayne Adams, Paul Bloodgood, Sally French, Allyn Bromley, Stephen Freedman, Deborah Nehmad, Evan Ryer, Michael Joaquin Grey, Project Lab @ PS58, Aaron Padilla, John Silvis, Anne Pearce, Andrew Zuckerman, Jennifer Mills, Robin Kang, Ian Trask. Artists Bios here

OPENING PARTY SLIDESHOW HERE


Through The Warp @REGINA REX
5/28/2011 – 6/19/2011 

Through a variety of processes connected to the act of weaving, Through The Warp presents seven different approaches to the same overarching structure—material building upon material via linear repetition and overlap. From woven fibers and pigments to language and pixels, artistsJoell Baxter, Karl Erickson, John Houck, Beryl Korot, Jamisen Ogg, Mike Paré and Lawrence Weiner engage with this ancient framework in ways that warp prior perceptions of familiar structures, or even put forth a new language altogether. (READ MORE.)

SUNDAY: MAY 29th

Class: Mummification @OBSERVATORY
Date: Sunday, May 29th (sold out, but see newly added class info here)
Time: 1-4 PM
Admission: $60
*** Must RSVP to morbidanatomy [at] gmail.com in order to attend this class; Class size limited to 15 people
In today’s class, learn the mummification process as described in the “Egyptian Book of the Dead” (Book of Coming Forth By Day). Instructor Sorceress Cagliastro will guide students in the use of the traditional materials–such as natron salts, canopic jars, oils and herbs, dried flowers and linen or gauze wraps–and traditional ritual–such as ritual of the opening of the mouth–in the creation of an authentic and perfectly respected animal mummy. Each student will leave class with an animal mummy of their own making. (READ MORE.)

Super Coda Soundproofing Benefit Wonderful Show Time Vegetarian Potluck

Sunday, May 29th, from 6-1030, Papacookie Hosts a Special Super Coda Soundproofing Benefit Wonderful Show Time Vegetarian Potluck, Festively. Featuring:

The Red Light New Music Collective – http://www.redlightnewmusic.org/

Sxip Shirey – http://www.sxipshirey.com/

Dream Zoo (Valerie Kuehne/Lucio Menegon/Jeff Young/Sean Ali)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8W01gC1Mik

Jonathan Wood Vincent – http://www.reverbnation.com/jonathanwoodvincent

Papacookie is a private residence apartment fantasy world atop the Upper West Side. Here’s the address:
201 W. 86th st. The Belnord
Apt. 806 (tell the doorman you are here to see Jonathan Vincent)
Non-flesh potluck at 6
Exquisite Music to begin at 7.
We will be asking everyone for donations. This show is a fundraiser to soundproof Cafe Orwell so the Super Coda may continue.
Here’s the Kickstarter campaign we’ve been running so you know what I am talking about –http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/827158541/keep-the-super-coda-living-through-creative-soundp

Jim Sullivan at Nancy Hoffman Gallery
May 26-July 1, 2011
The next exhibition at Nancy Hoffman Gallery will be new graphite drawings of trees by Jim Sullivan, opening on May 26th and continuing through July 1st.  This is the artist’s
first solo show in six years, and reveals a new vista onto nature. His last show included a series of horizontal landscapes, wide cinematic views into invented
detailed oriented oils.  The artist delighted in painting myriad details.  These were obsessive paintings,
and as the artist says: “The new drawings, the work of the past five years, present the same viewing issues
as the long landscapes, in that they have normal viewing distance but offer a close scrutinizing experience
(of infinite detail) on closer examination.”