Nothing screams counter culture more than the new show at the San Remo Café, curated by former graffiti writer Nemo Librizzi.
The showcased art by William Burroughs, Dash Snow and Bruce High Quality Foundation at first seems like it could have been made by anyone. Mostly consisting of basic elements like raw paper, tape, newspaper bylines, and ink, the pieces of art in fact take a particular talent to put together.
Don’t let the characteristic sense of spontaneity and impulsiveness fool you. These paintings/ collages are perfect personifications of the cultural sentiments of their time. Marked by complete and utter rejections of systemic conventions and generic sterility the works are unapologetically raw, virile, uncensored and poignant as they force themselves through the redundant balderdash that is the American stereotype.
Some of the words from Dash Snow’s collages jump out at you, like: “terror,” “daily crime,” “don’t trust,” and immediately you begin to imagine what chronicles they came from. Dash Snow turns these publications into a satirical examination of our modern epoch.
Musing through the selected pieces I was reminded that this life is riddled with art literally everywhere. This show turns the most mundane of circumstances and objects into powerful artistic statements through juxtaposition and irony.
The show is a celebration of a uniquely American practice of making the best out of the worst; turning the discarded, the overlooked, and the wasted into a work of art that speaks for itself. Who better else expose these artworks to the world than Nemo Librizzi, who is from a bygone era that was New York decades ago.
“The Old New York was different. Today it’s coupled with global interests. Rent was cheap back then and you didn’t have to have a lot to make your art. Today it’s a survivalist attitude.” Librizzi tells us as the pressure of society has largely constricted artistic generation. The optimist that Librizzi is, he reminds us: “Where there’s pressure, they’re release. Think of how a diamond is formed, under the weight of the Earth!”
Librizzi calls his show an “ambush” on an unsuspecting audience. You think you’re going into The San Remo Café in Lower Manhattan for a coffee or dinner? think again. It’s an all-inclusive experience that provokes societal introspection and analysis, unpretentiously and democratically.
The pieces of art are not for sale.