Loves Art! is in its fourth iteration and it seems to grow every time, capturing the classic NYC art scene in all it’s freaky, innovative glory. With thumping house music, wine on the open pour, and art dancing off the walls (in this case, literally), Loves Art! uses a time-tested yet addicting approach (blink and you’ll miss it!), this time hosted amid Armory Week at the Hotel Chelsea in NYC.
There will always be something exhilarating about an art opening done right. A bad art opening is usually characterized by one or more of the following: bad music, a boring crowd, and worst, critically shitty art. Sometimes one really strikes out and gets caught with a crowd that hates art. They won’t look at it past the title plate, eyeing the little dollar sign, which is the sole deciding factor in whether they praise or trash a work. Bad music; well, that one’s almost self explanatory. In order for a show to really take off, music can be the activator that triggers a new appreciation for the art. By controlling the environment by way of sound, art can be more present, more alive. And of course, a decent soundtrack make it all feel like a dream, a scene from a film; a moment away from earth. With beats provided by long-time collaborator Rob Sperte as well as Andrew Michael and Patrick Giambra, not a moment was out of lock-step with the art. Sounds were quite downtown if not thoroughly Berlin. Snacks provided by Silva Regal Spanish dragged us to the edge of Ibiza, and wine kept us happy. It was a truly NYC affair by virtue of its global approach. As for the crowd, guests included the top of NYC’s art scene, as well as a artists from the show, fashion designers, stylists, photographers, critics, and friends of the industry. A collective open mind allowed the room to breath a sigh of relief knowing here, you’re in good, committed company. A crowd interested not just seeing art, but talking about it, too.
The final piece to the perfect opening is the art itself, and here it is not disappointing. A good variety, from the brassy, bubbling, and slightly macabre sculptural works by Baltzerglass perched in a window of the Hotel Chelsea to the performance art piece in another, to Gearoid Dolan leading a pair of projectors on the floor, depicting whatever happened to be on view as he passed. Not to forget the very chic and highly popular Chin-Lung Chuang work, a self-contained, apparently infinite field of vision, a moment of solitude in the bustling room. It was an abstract landscape that satisfied the senses, and was enhanced by the sound of the room, the drips of digital ink apparently dropping to the beat. It was an addicting piece that I found myself revisiting. Zuzanne Kozlowska’s fabric organism unfolded itself along a wall in a bright orange nouveau Gucci print. In a moment of focus, amid the dazzling and the fascinating, were a quartet of petit collages by Pratt graduate Remy Gierke, a personal favorite of Loves Art! producer Matthew Messinger. The collages feel vintage and pasted together, but are actually the product of the very recently (and rapidly) developing queer internet culture. Gierke cites in our interview his desire to move the internet to the paper, the works came from his own deep-seated interests and obscure references. The scenes are in one regard two dimensional, but develop into a loose perspective, a room of sorts, with a mess of interests, colors restrained but anticipated, a Matisse-goes-to-Tumblr situation.
Loves Art! is consistently one of the most thrilling and satisfying arts and culture events happening now. Its revelatory as much as it is celebratory; all-consuming while being eye-opening and occasionally amusing. In fact, Loves Art! ultimately extended the show two more days after a smash hit opening evening. Needless to say its a bonafide success, yet again.
Feature photo by Keith Knight via Facebook