Kenny Scharf (kennyscharf) gave some love to his “main man,” Mr. Spock — RIP, Mr. Nimoy.
You probably remember Himanshu Suri, a.k.a. “Heems,” as half of Das Racist, the New York rap group who hit the Internet running with their single “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” in 2008. From there, they produced three albums’ worth of tracks that took on politics in step with alliterative lists of junk food — a career perhaps best summed up by the cheeky hypnotic loop of a chorus on 2010’s “hahahaha jk?”: “We’re not joking. Just joking, we are joking. Just joking, we’re not joking,” and so on. Now, however, Suri has jumped into the (marginally) more serious business of curating his own gallery show: “Eat Pray Thug,” the same moniker he’s given his forthcoming solo album, which runs through March 10 at Aicon Gallery on Great Jones Street. The multimedia group show of artists with ties to India and Pakistan, including Suri himself, also features a parallel series of live events, including an appearance from Muslim punk band The Kominas on March 7.
A propaganda video released by the Islamic State, or ISIS, purporting to show the systematic destruction of ancient statutes at Iraq’s Mosul Museum circulated widely yesterday, even drawing a statement of condemnation from Metropolitan Museum director Tom Campbell, but experts soon determined that “most, if not all” of the statuary on view at the museum were plaster fakes. Anticipating the possibility of looting or destruction, officials at the Mosul Museum had transported the originals to the Baghdad Museum, London’s Channel 4 reported.
Don’t let the name fool you — the Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) isn’t just about moving pictures. Or, well, not entirely anyway: Thanks to the festival’s ongoing Artists Awards Program, winners in each of its eight categories don’t just get a trophy, they get to take home a contemporary artwork. And now, we know which artists will be providing the 2015 awards: Longtime contributors Stephen Hannock and Clifford Ross return, joined by newcomers Daniel Arsham, Robert Bordo, Elizabeth Colomba, Prune Nourry, Jean Pagliuso, and Piers Secunda. See below for more images of the works — Arsham’s “Ash Eroded Film Reel” (below) feels especially topical — and/or see for yourself in person at the free public exhibition, held from April 13 to 22 and 24 to 25, 9 am to 5 pm, at the TFF’s 50 Varick Street headquarters.
Marianne Rosenberg — granddaughter of the legendary Modern art dealer Paul Rosenberg, whose family reclaimed more than 300 of their Nazi-looted artworks over three generations — will open a gallery on Manhattan’s Upper East Side next month. Occupying the ground floor of 19 East 66th Street, Rosenberg & Co. will carry on the family’s legacy, dealing Impressionist and Modern art. The gallery also reports that it will venture into contemporary work.
As part of In the Air’s intrepid art world coverage, we’re continuing with our exciting new feature that answers the age-old question, “Is it an Onion article, or just the art world?” Because sometimes these headlines just seem too good to be true, but then they are, and that’s even better. (Check out our last installment, regarding Sven Sachsalber’s quest to find a needle in a haystack, quite literally, at the Palais de Tokyo.) Today, we’d like to talk about Van Gogh — no, not the one-eared Dutch painter of classics like “Starry Night,” the one-eared shelter cat who paints with fruit juice. On Wednesday, the Telegraph reported that this three-year-old feline, who was rescued in January and rehabilitated at London’s Mayhew Animal Home, has begun to create unique abstract pieces, pictured above, which the hospital now sells as a fundraising measure.
As Art Basel Hong Kong’s March 15 start date draws nearer, more and more details of its program are coming to light — and today, it’s the program for the “Conversations” and “Salon” sections. Highlights include a talk between artist Cao Fei (pictured above) and Hans Ulrich Obrist, a preview of the combined India-Pakistan Venice Biennale presentation, and panels with topics like “Post Global: Art After Identity Politics” featuring Beijing-based artist Guan Xiao, Artist, Beijing, LA-based artist Wu Tsang, and Antwerp-based curator Nav Haq. Check out the full schedule, below.
No, you haven’t been transported to a warehouse party in 2006 — Hot Chip is indeed releasing a new album, titled “Why Make Sense?” (à la a slightly more Socratic Talking Heads), and to celebrate, in a rather sensical move given the flagging CD market, they’ve decided to make each edition of the album unique. With help from “a never-before-used bespoke printing technique,” each cover will feature a slight distinctive variation on Nick Relph’s optical-illusory design (above), backed by any one of 501 different colors. Check out a GIF that cycles through each shade below — plus, a video for their new single “Huarache Lights,” because it certainly helps to have some light electronica to accompany the trip-friendly visuals.
Hot off the heels of Bridget Donahue’s opening on the Bowery, Manhattan’s Lower East Side gains another new art gallery. Richard F. Taittinger, of the Taittinger Champagne family, will open an eponymous gallery in a 5,000-square-foot space at 154 Ludlow Street. The building, a former music hall, was redesigned by Markus Dochantschi of Studio MDA and boasts 20-foot ceilings, which can accommodate monumental-sized artworks. Taittinger will be devoted to mid-career artists who carry global clout; its inaugural show will feature work by artists like Ding Yi of China and Haluk Akakce of Turkey, among others. The official roster of artists, however, will be announced at the opening of the inaugural exhibition on March 3.
For those who imagine Avril Lavigne to have uttered the final word on the skater boy — sorry, “Sk8er Boi” — we recommend familiarizing yourself with Stacy Kranitz’s “From the Study on Post Pubescent Manhood,” a photo series and accompanying film on view at LA’s Little Big Man Gallery through March 14. Taken in Rutland, Ohio, home of the 88 (yes, eighty-eight) acre skate park-cum-general bacchanalia zone Skatopia, these images document the wanton, often brutal risk in which their subjects appear all too happy to engage — shirtless fire-starting and cheap beer, not just scraped knees but gushing ones. Kranitz states on her website that the project is a product of her “searching for displays of violence that become catharsis,” and the scene she presents is accordingly primal, edging on apocalyptic — “Lord of the Flies” plus half-pipes. (See below for a further sampling.)