Who Gets On The Front Cover?

Study for “Mother/Son”, 1984, Ink on Artforum magazine cover. (March 1977), 10.5″ x 10.5″, photo courtesy of the artist

Enter Thompson Giroux Gallery in Chatham NY and come face to face with what we as artists, curators, critics, gallerists and historians consciously and subconsciously know; we are missing greats. Arthur González’s exhibition, Ego Diaries confronts the art world and those who control the keys to the kingdom and anoint who is recognized and who is not.

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Pauline Decarmo: Exit – the Path to New Beginnings at LABspace

Installation view of Pauline Decarmo: Exit at LABspace, 2022, photo courtesy LABspace

Some artists paint stunning abstractions, some artists deftly execute exquisite realistic images, while others ingeniously develop astute conceptual work, but the truly magical art is work that can intelligently create the aura of time, space, and experience. Fortunately Pauline Decarmo, by using any means necessary, does exactly that in her exhibition, Exit, on view at LABspace in Hillsdale NY through May 29.

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Guzman Revisits Kurt and Courtney

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Guzman, Kurt Cobain In Bed, Los Angeles, 1992, Archival Ink on Mulberry Paper, 32 x 22 inches

Portraits are collaborations between the sitter and the artist. Sometimes the artist can be overwhelming or patronizing but in most cases the sitter’s vision of how they would like to be seen now and in perpetuity wins out. This is particularly seen in cases of well known personalities. Prime examples are the portraits of Andy Warhol exposing his scars after being shot to both Alice Neel and Richard Avedon. In these vastly different images Warhol clearly wanted the world to know what had been perpetrated against him and how his suffering lingered. When the portraits are images of celebrities, particularly those in the last few decades, the public has a strange sense of possession, teetering on full-blown obsession. The success of the portrait hinges on several factors from the artist including generosity, intelligence, empathy, skill, and creative facility. Fortunately this is what is on exhibition at LABspace in Hillsdale NY, Kurt and Courtney, by collaborative photography duo Guzman. Guzman is made up of Constance Hansen and Russell Peacock. In their 30+ years of photography they have solidified a reputation across all genres from conceptual and documentary work to bringing cool, enlightened, humanizing aesthetics to the commercial worlds of fashion, advertising, and celebrity portraits. As summed up in a recent discussion about their work, Constance Hansen said the intent is not to make a mean photo, but a photo that embraces the person.

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