chelsea art exhibits

Checked out the exhibits at the Chelsea Art Museum. Its a cool little gallery on the West Side that features alternative contemporary artwork. The glass staircased industrial interior and the artsy slacker staff created an appropriate backdrop.

Frederico Uribe's Human Nature (as I advertised in a previous post) was very imaginative in its use of sneaker materials. I enjoyed how some of the animals literally emerged from the canvas. My only complaint is that the space was too large for his work. The jungle theme surrounding his animals wasn't quite as effective with so much empty white wallspace and wooden floorspace. A more condensed exhibit space would have enhanced the overall feeling of entering a different world.

Perpetual Art Machine (PAM) was showcased on the same floor and featured video art from around the world. Lots of intriguing and ambiguous imagery. One installation sets up a massage or acupuncture scene but ends up with a someone's fingers continually rubbing the same spot on another person's back until it gets painfully redder. Another video piece featured a couple laying in bed staring off into space interspersed with brief clips of sexual intercourse. My favorite work was on a small screen and featured a choppy video of a nondescript dude in a suit jumping another guy in a public bathroom. Maybe I have the attention span of a 4 year old, but most of the work was fairly slow moving. Not really sure what to make of the message behind each piece...but it was interesting nonetheless.

2 floors featured the work of Kyoto based photographer Miwa Yanagi. Her work is strikingly vivid and orchestrates a surreal commentary on mainly female subject matter. Elevator Girls (department store guides and greeters) offers a visual critique on the roles of women in contemporary Japanese society.

Grandmothers series was based on her discussions with young women about how they envisioned themselves as elderly women. The young women were then placed in makeup to age their faces (intentionally obvious to the point where their faces looked like masks) and costumes to play out their vision. It was a little too theatrical for my wife, who prefers spontaneous slice of life photography. But I could appreciate the thoughtful generational concept and the detailed nature of each setup.

The Fairytales section featured black and white photos which dramatically re-interpreted female roles in children's fairytales. Overall it was a very thoughtful and well-executed exhibit.


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