The New Yorkers

Pretty wild and EVIL:::::
Jenny Holzer, KAWS, Francine Spiegel, Rammellzee, Dash Snow, Barbara Kruger, Joe Bradley, Jose Parla, Katherine Bernhardt, Futura, John Copeland, Ryan McGinness, Stephen Powers, Erik Foss, Doug James, Brian DeGraw, Agathe Snow, Peter Saul, Kostas Seremetis, Ryan Wallace, Takeshi Murata, Peter Sutherland, Daze, Erik Parker Timothy Walkiewicz, Bill McMullen, Sue Kwon, Andy Dolan, Noah McDonough, Greg Lamarche, Devin Flynn, Aurel Schmidt, Peter Beste, Richard Kern, Sarah Braman, Todd James, Brian Montuori

Opening reception: Friday May 1 2009. From 17.00-22.00
Exhibition period: May 1 2009 – June 22. 2009.

New York is difficult to fence in. It’s offensively arrogant and perplexingly tolerant. Erotically alluring and nauseating repulsive. An oxygen tank for thoughts, and quicksand for illusions. Sentimental Samaritan and merciless lyncher. Empty talk at predictable receptions, and genuine interest in unlikely situations. Voluptuous muse, and flat canvas. Cool business card, target oriented CV, brief acquaintance, entertaining fuck, miserable marriage, harmonic partnership and lifelong friendship.

The exhibition The New Yorkers at V1 Gallery is equally difficult to map out. Quirky installations mixed with classical painting. Sprouts shoot up next to legends. Aesthetes hang out with rebels. The refined photograph with the crude posca pen. And surreal systems runs along coordinated chaos.

Veterans Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger brand the city with sharp words while young kid KAWS with his tongue in cheek and pen in hand creates fluffy havoc and death. The remarkably talented John Copeland’s paintings, that at a glance resembles works from the 50s, reveal a world in which cynical competition, sexual frustrations, strategic warfare and suppressed feelings lurk under the decorative surface. Shooting star Francine Spiegel lets her feverish nightmares run amok over the canvas with a death, rot and destruction trailing rights behind. Peter Sutherland’s poetic lens highlights sensitive nuances and tender colours in stark contrast to both Peter Beste’s razor sharp portraits of musical identities and Dash Snow’s slippery polaroids that clasp onto self-serving decadence and intriguing irony.

Sarah Braman’s strange sculptures balance on the ground and at the knife’s edge between genius and vexing, while they’re throwing pebbles in Joe Bradley’s minimal and provocative shoe, which in return kicks prejudiced hipsters in their hypocritical behinds. Hyped Agathe Snow from the 2000s empties a dustpan of art, shit and filth over traditions and superstition, while 80s cult hero Rammelzee unleashes his army of complex and gruff superheroes in a hierarchical world of catastrophes and doubtful redemption.

A common denominator for the city, the artists and the works is defiance against generalizations and predictability. And they are tangled together by connections that in some instances are straight as Broadway and in others are twisted as the alleys of Brooklyn. It races through time and dwells in the moment. Skips generation gaps and swoops under genre definitions. Pisses on narrow minds and gallantly opens the door for curiosity.

The New Yorkers is an ode to the thoughts that dare stand alone in both shade and sun, and at the same time also has the courage to open up and let inspiration flow freely. The exhibition is also a unique chance to experience a rare and sublime piece of New York in Copenhagen. The New Yorkers is curated by Mikkel Grønnebæk and Todd James.


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  1. Jose Parla: Reading through Seeing, New Works

    Ooi Botos Gallery is pleased to announce Reading through Seeing, an exhibition by contemporary artist Jose Parla, on view 14 May through 11 July 2009. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong and will showcase new paintings, works on paper, photographs and ceramic works. The exhibition will take place during Art HK 09 and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by scholars Alexandra Chang of New York University — Asia Pacific Center and critical theorist and art historian Michael Betancourt.

    Jose Parla’s new works are inspired by his recent travels in France, Japan and the United Kingdom. Parla’s unique and playful inscriptions and diary-like gestures with his trademark hand–writing recall his personal observations of how the idiosyncratic behavior of anonymous individuals on those distant streets distinctly impact each geographical environment.

    The complexity of Jose Parla’s mixed media paintings is based on the layering of images and paraphernalia collected from his daily encounters at home and his adventures abroad, interpreted through his dynamic gestural process. Interleaved through each work is Parla’s calligraphic script, which infuses each piece with vibrancy, energy and meaning.

    Memories, thoughts, ideas, quotes, phrases, conversations and observations scrawled in Parla’s instantly recognizable, flowing script reflect his characteristic fusion of writing and painting, word and image. His brushwork depicts walls in the city, or in rural areas outside of urban centers, while his mélange of imagery and words hint at stories within stories, an evocation of the places that have deeply affected him.

    About Jose Parla

    Jose Parla is a New-York based artist whose paintings reflect the way in which cities function as palimpsests. Born in Miami, Parla traveled in the Caribbean, South America, Asia and Europe in the 1990s before settling permanently in New York. His work has been collected and exhibited by Agnes B. Galerie Du Jour in Paris and Takashi Murakami’s Kai Kai Ki Ki gallery in Tokyo. Major recent exhibitions include, The New Grand Tour showing in Hong Kong and Beijing (2007-08), Adaptation / Translation at Elms Lesters Painting Rooms in London (2008), and Layered Days with Cristina Grajales’ Soho gallery in New York City (2008).

    About Ooi Botos Gallery

    Ooi Botos is Hong Kong’s leading avant-garde gallery specializing in photography, digital media, video and installation. In fact, the Jose Parla exhibition marks a departure from Ooi Botos’ customary program, with Parla being the only painter represented by the gallery. Ooi Botos is dedicated to exposing the public to art forms rarely seen in Hong Kong to raise the level of discourse about art in Asia.

    Ooi Botos is located at 5 Gresson Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong.

    Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Friday 11.30 A.M. – 3 P.M. and 6 P.M. – 8 P.M., Saturday 11 A.M. – 6 P.M.

    Tel. +852 2527 9733 &

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