GREENPOINTERS ONLINE RAFFLE
Brooklyn Relief: A night of words, music, and comedy to Benefit Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts
THE KITCHEN: FUNDRAISER
Fuck. Off. Sandy. // Vintage Crawl // Dog Masquerade
New Amsterdam Headquarters Fundraiser
Defiance: A Literary Benefit to Rebuild Red Hook
ROB DELANEY Benefit
FASHION ACTION AT HOUSING WORKS
SPIRITUAL LEADERS AND ELDERS | PRAYER | LIVE MUSIC | FOOD | HEALING
SANCTUARY | ARTISAN MARKET
BROOKLYN LOVES BROOKLYN
QMA ROCKAWAY FUNDRAISER
“Anything But Politics” – A Pop Culture Trivia Benefit for Hurricane Sandy Relief
ED OSBORN: Albedo Prospect
Party + Auction + Community = TLC for an Ailing DUMBO
FOOD EVENTS FROM GRUB ST
Bushwick Star Auction
HURRICANE SANDY FUNDRAISER WITH…NASS GNAWA
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.
Photographing the Dead: The History of Postmortem Photography from The Burns Collection and Archive
FIRST BOOK BROOKLYN HOLIDAY PARTY & FUNDRAISER
LIVE from the NYPL: ROBERT WILSON with Rufus Wainwright, Lou Reed, Lucinda Childs, and others in conversation with Paul Holdengräber
Friday, September 30, 2011 7:00 p.m.
Robert Wilson will talk to Rufus Wainwright, Lou Reed, Lucinda Childs and others about his artistic collaboration with them over the years. The conversation will be instigated by Paul Holdengräber.
Robert Wilson is among the most distinguished theater directors of our time. Creator of such works as The King of Spain and The Life and Times of Sigmund Freud, Wilson also collaborated with Philip Glass on the hugely successful opera Einstein on the Beach. Today, Wilson’s accomplishments are recognized not only in the spheres of theatre and opera, but also in the visual arts. Retrospectives of his work have been held throughout the world, and his installations have appeared in several Guggenheim museums, among other venues worldwide.
This event marks the US publication date of The Watermill Center – A Laboratory for Performance – Robert Wilson’s Legacy, a new book about the first 20 years of The Watermill Center. It will also feature the new book Robert Wilson From Within edited by Margery Arent Safir.
Organs in The Snow
Opening Reception: Sep 30, 8-11pm
A Group Show and Story by Rachel Mason
Dan Asher / John Baldessari / Michael G. Bauer / Michael Bilsborough / Nancy deHoll / Jen Denike / Tim Dowse / Ellie Ga / Laleh Khorramian / Jason Lazarus / Mamiko Otsubo / Samuel White
Opening Night Performances: Thank You Rosekind, Doom Trumpet, No Sky God, Mark Golamco
She was a lion sitting on her dad’s shoulders. They formed a totem of two heads, one large, one small as they walked down the street. Powerful with her lion-painted face, she stuck her tongue out at a man passing by. He tripped on the side of his foot and then fell to the ground.
The girl’s father didn’t realize that his daughter scared the man, causing him to fall. The man already had a fear of children. The girl’s father also didn’t realize that had he reached his hand out to help, the man wouldn’t now have two permanent rods conjoined in his hip bone, and wouldn’t have lapsed into a permanent hallucinatory state from which he’d never recover.
I had always thought that the djembe was an instrument solely relegated to the living room of a stoned and nude Matthew McConaughey. To the sandal clad college kid; or perhaps set in the corner of some ecologically sound mansion as a decorative gesture of cultural awareness. It’s refreshing to have one’s stereotypes shattered. The Mast’s new album Wild Poppies -and their djembe- did just that.
The ethereal vocals of Haale, whose riffs conjure scenes of panoramic deserts, compliment the unfolding complexity of Matt Kilmer’s poly-rhythmic drumming (using not only the djembe, but also a frame drum a bass drum, a floor tom, and cymbals) and invoke a sort of blooming, colorful landscape of layers, organically grown. I think of a toned down Kills, a hyperactive (or perhaps simply active) Mazzy Star, a straightforward Blonde Redhead. In spite of these comparisons, and in a music world saturated with tuned glossy duos, The Mast has carved out a niche all their own, weaving together a sound both simulated and organic.
Song titles like “The Lake” and “Hummingbird,” and lyrics such as “gold dust of the sun has settled, brightens my mind,” or “rolling over the reeds, rolling over mounds of earth, from my head to feet, oh land, the grand masseuse,” reinforce the earthiness of the sound. Despite the fact that the cover art, a fractal image of poppies grown in the band’s backyard, invites the psychedelic, to label their music as simply psychedelic, electronic or rock/pop would be off the mark. Much like their self-proclaimed symbol, The Mast’s strength lies in its ability to merge the best of all three in symbiotic sound.
The Mast will play THURS, JULY 7, 2011 @ Le Poisson Rouge for the release of their album “Wild Poppies.”
ABOUT MATT MOWATT: Matthew Mowatt is currently working as a freelance editor and English teacher in Paris, France. He’s searching for publishers to accept his first finished novella and in the meantime, he seeks out musicians and writers for entertainment of the inspirational kind. He occasionally contributes to his own fanless blog (fairweather chronicles) when he’s licked by life.