Mail Order Monsters

This Tuesday Andreas Melas Presents opens its doors in Athens GREECE with
a show i have curated called Mail Order Monsters.

This is the third instantiation of the theme, which started in Berlin at
Peres Projects, traveled to Deitch in New York, and continues here in

this version features:


JUNE 10 – AUGUST 15, 2008
Epikourou 26 & Korinis 4

Andreas Melas Presents announces a group exhibition curated by Kathy
Grayson exploring new trends in fucked-up figuration. Every generation
has its unique take on the figure and the freshest figurative art seems to
portray the figure as broken, decaying, uncanny, and monstrous! While the
Fractured Figure exhibition recently at the DESTE Museum explores a
prestigious array of established artists practicing in this mode, this
exhibition focuses on the younger generation of monsters bred out of our
strange and unique NOW. Each artist in this exhibition forges their
monster in a unique way:

Francine Spiegel’s soupy, sloppy women protrude from and are engulfed by
pop slime piles. Rapper’s girlfriends, socialites, and pin-up girls are
all thrown into the stew of mylar, goo, glitter, and chewing gum. Their
glammy/gory juxtaposition, coupled with the analog and digital moments of
her distortions, presents an interesting visual conundrum of seduction and
repulsion to these primordial females. In this exhibition she includes a
melancholy fetish figure slumping in a landscape of post-apocalyptic goop.

Ben Jones, a member of east-coast art collective Paper Rad, takes neon and
comic to new oddities of meaning. With the hand style of the best graffiti
artist and the conceptual, absurd rigour of a dada-ist, his paintings,
sculptures, videos and comics take a fresh look at figuration with their
subtleties of form and make you think about a face in new ways. His piece
in this exhibition, “Facemaker”, is a Mr. Potato Head scrolling spree of
morphing faces.

Tomoo Gokita favours creepily still portraits of women and wrestlers
executed exclusively in black and white. These faces occasionally escape
his brush unscathed, but more often are tangled into knots, unearthed by
abstract machine-like forms, or obliterated in one big gesture. With the
existential angst of a Bacon sous-rature but the pop-comic chicanery of a
gifted graphic artist, his portraits are more than silly; less than
tortured. His abstract work recalls Yves Tanguy in its intestinal tangle
and odd polygons.

Eddie Martinez loves men in hats, potted plants, parrots, and patterns.
Drawing with paint, and often hastily, he configures ambiguous scenes of
interaction played out equally between barely-held together figures and
the inanimate objects that decorate their interiors. In this show he
exhibits a new painting of a terrifying clown.

Taylor McKimens’ monsters are not terribly other-worldly or fantastical
but are rather the folks next door, down the street, or on the wrong side
of the tracks. Deadbeats and derelicts roam sparse, harshly lit worlds of
soggy bread and Band-Aids, bologna and knotted garden hose. The palette is
a dulled Fixin’s Bar of mustardy yellows, graying tomatoes, and limpid
greens. Taylor has a predilection for the entropic—splatters, drips,
tangles, messes and decay, rust and ruin—all the corners where disorder
begins to reclaim our fabricated environment and our bodies. No one is
smiling and everyone is somehow sweaty. In this exhibition, his two saggy
lumps come from a series he made called ‘The Drips’ who seem to trade in
poo and live where everything has many, many crotches.

Dan McCarthy focuses on form and color, texture and layer, only
incidentally, sometimes, focused on his menagerie of blue babes and
red-eyed gymnast guys. His figures are softly grounded in minimal
settings with gentle gouache-like layers, their limbs sculpturally
suffused and comically cylindrical affecting poses from classical Greece.
But then! Everyone’s pubes show through their underwear, their foreheads
are all too large, and somewhere a slosh of paint has mutated a limb or
two. Everyone has liver disease and at least a few kinds of skin
pigmentation problems. Without the breakdowns though, how could we call
the rest perfection? In this exhibition two monstrous women tantalize us
from behind the painted veil.

Takeshi Murata’s videos are seething masses of data distortion and
fractured figuration. Humans, monkeys, and monsters slog through and come
apart in a beautiful complex pattern of disrupted video. By hacking the
way a computer reads a DVD, Takeshi is able to painstakingly create frame
by frame an image of both painterly abstraction and technological
fragmentation. He has recently exhibited at Barbara Gladstone, Ratio 3,
The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and The Hirschorn Museum in DC. In
this exhibition, Takeshi exhibits his longest and most painstakingly
wrought work, Silver, and one of his new video paintings.

Aurel Schmidt builds terrifying Archimboldo babes out of the punkest junk
around. With exquisitely rendered colored pencil and graphite, her
drawings have ranged from forests of maggots and busts of tangled snakes,
to faces and figures made of spiders, cockroaches, cum and discarded
hamburger. Her spectral junk masks are sometimes haunting in a few too
many ways at once. In this exhibition are drawings from the series called
Party Monsters who seem to have caught their monstrous ugliness from a few
different types of very long nights.

Evan Gruzis is not from LA but looks like he just returned on the red-eye:
a malaise straight out of the Hollywood hills seeps into his portraits and
landscapes channeled through Ed Ruscha. With the sardonic wit of
Wayfarer-toting Brett Easton Ellis, and a unique technique of manipulating
inks to keep you guessing, Gruzis’ works stick with you like a
half-remembered name or intangible word. What you see is often only half
there, or mockingly not there at all. Three new works are included in this
exhibition, including his spectral portraits of anonymous monsters.

Mat Brinkman is a legendary underground artist with a graphic and comic
focus who is at the center of a very influential force in new artmaking
coming from Providence, RI. Though seldom exhibiting in galleries, his
works are known and loved by a generation of young people who circulate
his zines, posters and books with fervent admiration. He was a member of
epic art collective Forcefield, who was included in the 2002 Whitney
Biennial but broke up shortly after. These new ink paintings were bred
somewhere in Texas and come to us via Gallery Loyal in Stockholm. In this
rare show Mat’s molting monsters skulk about in deeply-furrowed burn suits
of gore, rage from behind fused flesh mask faces, and curl up in the
corner to stroke their horns.

Picture Boxinc

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