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16

Sep

UPDATE: PRADA MARFA SAVED

Press Release

UPDATE: PRADA MARFA SAVED

After almost a year of negotiations between the Texas Department of Transportation, Art Production Fund and Ballroom Marfa, we are happy to announce that the iconic Prada Marfa has been saved. The official statement from TxDOT’s Veronica Beyer is below:

“As of February 1, 2014, the Ballroom Marfa Foundation, a domestic nonprofit corporation, has leased the property on which the building stands. The site is now an art museum site and the building is their single art exhibit. As such, associated signage on the building is now considered to be an “on-premise” sign under state rules and does not require a state permit under the Highway Beautification Act. The lease is currently being reviewed, but with the execution of the lease, the complaint file will be closed.”

Created in 2005 by Elmgreen & Dragset, and sponsored by Art Production Fund and Ballroom Marfa, the site-specific public sculpture is modeled after a Prada store, but will never function as a working place of commerce.  APF Co-Founders Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen state that “within our 13 years of producing and presenting important public art, few works have been as eagerly embraced than Prada Marfa by Elmgreen & Dragset. With full integrity, the artists refused for us to ask any corporation, especially Prada, for monetary donations to support the making of this project. It took us over a year of intense fundraising from local and international private patrons to realize this authentic and pure permanent artwork. The family of the late Walter Alton “Slim” Brown, even generously contributed to the project by lending their land. Great public art empowers people and gives them alternate ways to understand the times that we live in; Prada Marfa is a civic gift that has become one of the great worldwide pop icons.”

For more background on the TxDOT decision, see Juan Carlos Llorca’s story for the Associated Press.

Art Production Fund would like to thank everyone for their incredible support of Prada Marfa over the years.  We are thankful that we can continue fulfill our mission of maintaining important and ambitious public art projects.

10

Sep

Yearbook: Uncensored

Amongst the chaos and disorder that characterizes New York City’s Soho area (especially during fashion week), Team Gallery presents the colorfully nostalgic exhibition by Ryan McGinley appropriately entitled Yearbook. Known for his large-scale photography and nudes, the New York-based artist prepared a viewing experience much different from his previous shows. From September 7 to October 12, curious pedestrians, art and fashion enthusiasts are welcome to enter a space that has been completely transformed in order to create the overwhelming collage of nudes printed on which has been adhered to every available surface except the floor.

More than 200 different models were photographed with candy-colored backgrounds of bright yellow, green, blue, orange, purple, etcetera, which took away from the R-rated quality of the exhibition giving the piece an almost childish and naïve aspect. The beauty and uniqueness of Yearbook is that the spectator can walk through the room and view the subjects the same way they would someone they already know, admiring the aesthetic diversity of the human body without judgment.

http://www.teamgal.com/exhibitions/292/yearbook

By APF Intern Isabella Pinheiro

09

Sep

Meatpacking district is New York’s hub of everything innovative and stylish. This past Monday, Meatpacking just became a little bit chicer. Art Production Fund collaborated with the quirky duo, Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, of the LA-based artist collaboration FriendsWithYou.

Photo by Alyssa Ringler

Following in FriendsWithYou’s mission of  “spreading the positive message of Magic, Luck, and Friendship,” the entrance of the trendy Standard Hotel is transformed into a deeply tantalizing immersive environment. Through October 1st, guests, art aficionados, and all of those curious are welcomed to interact with the vibrant inflatable, which explodes with imagination and light; especially after dark. 

Photo by Alyssa Ringler

Each and everyone viewer of FriendsWithYou’s Light Cave will have an individual sensory experience to resonate within them. Come check out Light Cave at the Standard Hotel, 848 Washington Street, and discover your own personal connection to the magical piece.

Photo by Alyssa Ringler

By APF Intern Brittany Cutrone

02

Sep

Fashion Takes New York

As fashion week quickly approaches, the Art Production Fund office is in full swing.  From runway shows, collection previews, extravagant after parties; and in no time our calendars become jammed packed. But that does not mean we get to neglect the flourishing art world that is full of incredible openings this week. From fruitful design museums exhibiting the best of New York’s creativity in fashion and design to the out-of-this world high heel collection going on display at the Brooklyn Museum, New York City is completely about fashion this week.  Fashion takes over New York!

 As a design junkie, I am madly addicted to The Museum of Arts and Design. Recently I visited their Biennial that shines light upon the flourishing art community that New York City has to offer. There is no lack of innovation, precision, and originality in this show which illuminates why New York is one of the top creative hubs of the world. All forms of cultural expression are on display, from fashion to culinary, which perfectly manifests who New York City really is.  Keep an eye out for the fashion at “NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial” which runs through October 12th, so catch this show before it is too late.

By APF Intern Brittany Cutrone

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Paralleling the week’s Fashion Week motif, shoes, high heels in particular, are on display at the Brooklyn Museum. As they say, women have one love in life; handbags or shoes. “Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe” is one exhibition any shoe aficionado must see to get their high heel craving fulfilled. From the sky-soaring “Pritz” stilettos by Christian Louboutin to some of the oldest Renaissance examples of heels, the history of killer heels will surely be in tow at the Brooklyn Museum. Be sure to view this show-stopping exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum from September 10, 2014 through February 15, 2015. 

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28

Jul

The Still House Group

The bold primary colors of Ikea’s world-famous logo are visible from the corridor leading to the door marked “Still House” with simple lettering. After a few taps we were ushered in and met co-founder Isaac Brest, happily sitting at his desk in front of a magnet work by fellow Still House artist, Nick Darmstaedter.

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Isaac Brest sits at his desk in front of a piece by Nick Darmstaedter

Divided into unsegregated studio spaces, the Still House boys are open to critique and casual walk-ins by other members of their gang. Each artist’s area branches off a main walkway, making formal invitations into one another’s studios unnecessary and doors a waste of space. Augustus Thompson however - the current artist is residence - has erected floor to ceiling curtains in response to this very open artistic process. Not used to working with so many other creatives, Thompson has modified his workspace to make a more private area to produce his next series: a group of sculptural wooden beams pieced together, that are smoothly taking him from 2D to 3D work. Walking into his spot we immediately feel the need to amend the screen and contain his homemade privacy.

Artists wander down the main hallway, which is scattered with pieces by current and past group members. Some members are checking in on the artists’ progress, others relax in slouchy couches near a window that looks across the murky water, directly towards the Statue of Liberty. Jack Greer’s cacti rest by the large window; each plant has been scarred with lovers’ initials, dates of birth and other small, nostalgic markings. Greer likes that the owner really has to be involved in the final piece; when sold or given to a friend, the piece needs to be watered and cared for in order for it to survive. When well looked after, the cactus might grow new spikes or a new arm – Greer’s enthusiasm, animated hand gestures and facial expressions leave you begging for a your own giant, green succulent. 

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Co-founder, Alex Perweiler stands in front of Protein

Further along our tour we find Dylan Lynch, and our last stop is Alex Perweiler (who founded the group with Brest in 2007). Lynch and Perweiler are both incredibly well spoken and talk about their artwork in a stimulatingly intellectual yet accessible manner. There is a constant dialogue between material and balance in Lynch’s work and as he took us around his space, he kept returning to the awkward, distorted legs of a new sculpture, which is a replica of a mass-produced Ikea table that has been crushed into an impossible new form. In Lynch’s studio we see older works as well as pieces he is still working on. An experiment using surfboard parts juts out of one of the walls, alongside his more recent imploded barrels that play on how our conceptions of strength are related to certain industrial materials. Each artist’s studio employs this same mentality: older works are placed among current projects. We take an interest in Perweiler’s diptych entitled Protein, which consists of two identical advertisements that depict a pristine knife and fork gently nestling into a rare steak. Perweiler shows us a photograph of the aluminum panels as they were installed in a recent show in Athens. The two paintings are hung on concrete columns either side of a large window looking onto the city and the artist uses this image to explain the significance of setting and installation. 

They’re a community but they’re not a collective. Brest tells us that they like to show as a group abroad, but when exhibiting in the US, prefer not to be considered a team of artists. What an American gallery can do for them, they can do for themselves. They have an amazing space, a heap of young art enthusiasts interested in what they’re doing and impatiently anticipating their next move. 

We leave the studio and are again faced with Ikea’s vibrant yellow and blue, the iconic symbol reminding us of the use of found, industrial objects that recurs throughout much of the artists’ work. 

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View from the studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn

APF Intern Clara

21

Jul

More Material at Salon 94

Walking down the wide steps of Salon 94 into the double height exhibition space, you are transported into a kaleidoscopic candy store. A set of ornate capes hangs on the gallery’s back wall, creating a tapestry of colors and textures. These capes, designed and handcrafted by Duro Olowu, the London-based clothing designer who curated the show, are a refreshing first glance into this summer exhibition, More Material.

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One of a kind pieces of furniture sit lined up against a wallpapered partition crowded with fashion photographs, screen prints and black and white drawings. Italian ceramic vases are displayed atop Spartan Rick Owens tables and African jewelry lies on a blue and white Plexiglas table. Walking through the space, you get the sense that you are flipping through someone else’s diary. Clothing, tribal masks, photographs and decorative pieces come together to produce a luxurious feast for the eyes. Both the show and the pop-up shop on the ground floor leave behind any need for conformity and rationality and offer instead an extravagant dive into Olowu’s personal stash of memories and inspirations.   

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The female form is dominant throughout. Zoomed in glossy lips and coiffed hair showcase what the artist likes to think of as female rebellion presented in an elegant, sophisticated manner. More Material is an insight into the womanly themes and images that stimulate Olowu’s work. The artist invites us to walk through his personal scrapbook and it would be impossible for anyone not to find inspiration here. A mixture of materials and textures, colors and patterns makes the exhibition a dream world of endless ideas and desires that you shouldn’t miss this summer.

Check out More Material at Salon 94 before August 1st!

APF Intern Clara

We the People

Brooklyn Bridge Park is an amazing space to enjoy some quality outdoor activities—there are spaces for sports, picnics, and of course, great public art spaces.

Right on Pier 3 there is a platform on which Danh Vo’s exhibition We the People is placed. The park is quite big, and not knowing where to look for the sculptures initially, we spent quite some time walking around in the park trying to locate “the big sculptures.” But we finally managed to find it and it was really a wonderful public art exhibition.

As introduced on Brooklyn Bridge Park’s official website, the project is a major new dual-site exhibition inspired by the Statue of Liberty.” The artist created “a copper replica of the statue in 250 parts fabricated over the course of four years using the original techniques and materials. “

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The concept and the scale of the exhibition is really incredible for me—I was used to seeing the Statue from afar and of course not in parts. One of the surprising factors for me about this project was definitely the scale of the parts. Another interesting thing about the Brooklyn Bridge Park part of this exhibition was the parts selected for the Brooklyn site—the artist choose the drapery around the underarm of the original statue. The drapery in itself is detail oriented and realistically portrayed, and it took me a while to acknowledge the fact that I’m looking at the armpits of the Statue of Liberty, which adds some humor to the exhibition.

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I find it very interesting that the artist took this approach in deconstructing a very iconic symbol of New York and the US at large. Of course the concept behind this exhibition is up for everyone’s interpretation, and I would definitely recommend this exhibition, and Brooklyn Bridge park in general! It’s a great space and the view is amazing!

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The exhibition is made possible by Public Art Fund, and it goes through December 6th, 2014. Go to Pier 3 Greenway Terrace at Brooklyn Bridge Park and check it out!

APF Intern Christine 

09

Jul

The Summer of Jeff Koons in New York

Jeff Koons is one of the most prominent artists of our time. He is known for his bold paintings that include saturated colors, as well as sculptures that involve smooth and glossy surfaces.

The Artist is surfacing all over New York City this summer, and not just in the art world. Discover Koon’s in the fashion industry, home décor, the Whitney museum, and outdoor public art.

Jeff Koon’s created his Split-Rocker statue in 2000. The statue recently made its New York City debut at Rockefeller Center, to correspond with the opening of his retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art on June 27th. Weighing 150 tons and towering over 37 feet high, “Split-Rocker” is made of two halves: one based on a toy pony, the other based on a toy dinosaur forming the head of a giant child’s rocker toy. An inner hidden irrigation system waters over 70,000 flowers that surface all over project. Split-Rocker was funded by Gagosian Gallery and organized by Public Art Fund in collaboration with Tishman Speyer. It will be on view in Rockefeller Plaza through September 12, 2014. It is free and open to the public

A retrospective of Koon’s work is presently at the Whitney Museum, showing over 100 pieces by Jeff Koons dating from 1978 to present-day. This has been the first time the Whitney is showing no more than a single artist’s work throughout it’s museum. The amazing exhibition is the last show at the Whitney before it moves to its new location in the Meatpacking District.

To commemorate its 150th anniversary, porcelain dinnerware manufacturer Bernardaud of Limoges, France, asked twelve artists to design their own series of table settings. Of course, Jeff Koons was one of the chosen artists. Inspired by his controversial sculpture series “Banality,” which was shown in 1988, Jeff Koons created the Banality Series plate settings for Bernardaud. Now available for purchasing, Koon’s porcelain series features everything from Michael Jackson, to a naked woman bathing.

Lastly, On July 17th, H&M, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Jeff Koons teamed up to will celebrate the new H&M museum-inspired flagship NYC location. The artist will have his iconic Balloon Dog printed onto to two different limited edition leather handbags in collaboration with the retailer. Don’t miss out on the unforgettable action!

Koons has and will continue to create incredible art while remaining connected to many different industries. Keep your eyes open and stay tuned to see what his next move will be.

APF intern Sarah Betesh

07

Jul

Living the High Life

Meandering the High Line, elevated above the city streets, you begin to form a new relationship with New York.  Surrounded by fragile, blooming flowers as well as Chelsea’s industrial buildings, the High Line has been carefully incorporated into the cityscape to produce a space that is integrated yet removed from the metropolis.

Archeo, the newest group exhibition on the old railway track, contemplates the High Line’s relationship to the city and encourages the reflection of one’s own connection to the bustling streets.  For the project, 7 young, international artists articulate their sentiments about technology and human relationships with machinery.

Upright railway parts of Vitale’s “Common Crossings”

Josh Kline’s “Skittles”

Marianne Vitale’s Common Crossings transforms old railway parts into a repetition of vertical sculptures. By repurposing these steel rods that were once used to switch the train’s course, Vitale gives each singular, metal structure its own relevance. Josh Kline’s installation is a reused refrigerator containing a rainbow of plastic bottles, each of which holds a New York City concoction. Grainy sediment sits at the bottom of a translucent orange bottle whose label boasts: Williamsburg, credit card, American apparel, kale chips, kombucha, microbrew, quinoa and agave.

 

Detail of the colored panes of Finch’s installation

Spencer Finch’s The River That Flows Both Ways is another High Line must-see. Finch uses the windows of one of the High Line’s few shady underpasses to map a palette of Hudson River hues. On June 12, 2008, the artist took hundreds of photographs of the water; the color of each windowpane is derived from a single pixel extracted from one of those images. The New York light shines through each small rectangle and creates a spectrum of blues, pinks, oranges, reds and yellows. 

Take a stroll on the High Line this summer to see Archeo and other fantastic art installations!

APF Intern Clara

03

Jul

Tara Donovan at Pace

The first thought running through my head as I walked into the Tara Donovan exhibition was ‘What is that?!’ Tara Donovan’s manipulation of everyday objects tricks the eye and creates unbelievable formations which seem naturally made though the use of repetition, accumulation and layering. The first piece, Untitled (index cards), constitutes millions of 3x5” white index cards stacked on top of one another to create an incredible sculpture almost resembling an iceberg or other organic form.

The second piece is another sculpture made of thousands of clear acrylic rods of different lengths all joined together, once again tricking the mind of the actual materials used as well as creating imagination in the viewer. Walking through the exhibition and not touching anything was very difficult as the sculptures instill curiosity as well as an inviting feeling.

Movement also plays a big role in the visual effect of the sculptures. Different perspectives and the shift in colors and light add a lot to the originality and complexity of the works as well as the mystery of what the freestanding sculptures even are.

 

This exhibition is one of a kind and highly recommended!

You can see these sculptures at the Pace Gallery at 534 West 25th Street up until August 10, 2014.

APF Intern Ariadne