Claudi of Pinc Louds
On the Art of Gathering
September 15, 2021

Claudi of Pinc Louds photographed by Andrés Sáez
by correspondent Clara Joy
I am starting this new series where artists interview artists, as artist organized art. The goal is to help get art back on its feet and bring light to the meaningful work that is still happening in our world in the midst of this neoliberal hellscape we live under. Artist Organized Art helped many artists over the years and I plan to use their site once again as an aid to art and culture, but I offer to be part of this project to all of you too, message me on instagram @clrajoy. I chose Pinc Louds as my first official feature because of how meaningful their art has been to the culture of New York City over the past several years, but especially during the middle of the pandemic. I played a show with Pinc Louds during the early days in covid out in Tompkins Square Park, and have been impacted by the work of Pinc Louds ever since. The ability to gather all types of New Yorkers to watch these performances is very cultural and powerful as a practice. Mothers with their babies, crust punks, old ladies, goth teenagers, the list goes on. With the pressure we feel from industries and platforms to make our art palpable to only one kind of demographic, a Pinc Louds show feels like a true release. The act of street performing itself is an intervention of the forces of power that oppress us as artists in venues, museums, galleries etc. Making art out in the street is very human and real, and proves that people will gather for creative force, and don’t need the big stage to do it, which is truly creative. When Pinc Louds plays on the street, we are all on the same level. It was amazing to play for a sold out show with Pinc Louds for their latest album release, La Atómica in July. Thank you to Claudi of Pinc Louds for sharing your thoughts on street performing in New York City. -Clara Joy
Clara Joy (CJ): Why do you choose to perform on the street?
Claudi (PL): So many reasons…I like looking up and seeing huge buildings surrounding me while I play. They seem so kind and protecting. They make me feel like I’m truly a part of this city, which is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to be. Trees can do this too. As can pigeons, flying garbage, humans, sirens, ice cream trucks…I like being another one of these things that makes New York New York.  I also like playing at the same places over and over and getting to know the people I see there on a regular basis. Most times in life, if you’re just another person walking by or sitting on a park bench, you don’t get to talk to the people you see every day. But if you play music for them, that opens a door to a conversation. I’m not a particularly extroverted person, but busking on the street gives me access to a whole world of people and stories I would not know otherwise.

CJ: How is street performing in New York City versus Puerto Rico?

PL: Cops in Puerto Rico are pretty strict about amplified sound, unfortunately, so I’ve never played music on the street there. But I did do street theater with a group called Jóvenes del 98 from when I was 13 till about 19 years old. It’s probably what got me into street performance in the first place, or at least made it not seem like such a crazy thing to do.  The theater we did in Puerto Rico was mostly of a socio-political nature and we truly wanted to make a difference or at the very least inform people about various issues that we felt were important (abortion laws, corruption, consumerism, Puerto Rico’s toxic relationship with the US…). We didn’t want to only perform for left-leaning intellectuals and artists who would probably agree with our views anyway. We wanted to perform for people who might have a different mindset, who we might be able to have a discussion with, or show them these issues in a different light. Because of this, I have always been averse to preaching to the choir, or similarly, to playing only for people who already listen to the kind of music I make (which is what usually happens in venues). I thrive on bringing something new to people who might not have heard or seen it before.

CJ: As a street performer, do you relate to space in a particular way?

PL: One of my favorite parts of the day is when I set up my space for busking. I look at my surroundings, look at where I’ll be performing, and slowly, methodically, I push the garbage and leaves out of the way, I decorate my space with plastic flowers, lights, signs…I set up my instruments, the equipment, the merch, the tip bucket…I take a step back to see my space the way the audience will see it…I change things if necessary. And then I start.  Somebody told me once that this behavior is very much like that of a bower bird. They’re the ones who make these beautiful structures to attract a mate and decorate them with colorful objects such as flowers, berries, feathers or even bright pieces of plastic or garbage. Whatever it takes to make the space as beautiful as possible.

CJ: What is the value in a free public performance versus performing at a venue? Or vice versa

PL: Some artists find it intimidating or even degrading to perform on the street for free or for tips. To me, it just makes sense. I get to practice, promote my project, try out new material, reach a new audience and (hopefully) make a living… all at the same time! On top of that, I feel that if you have something to say and you want other humans to hear it, why not bring your art to them instead of hoping they’ll find out about it and come to you? It can be uphill sometimes (especially at the beginning) and there is a lot of trial and error. Some days it’ll seem like you’re banging your head against the wall, senselessly. No money, no attention, no applause. But what I’ve found is that if you bang your head against that wall enough, eventually things start to work out. You get into a zone and everything starts clicking. It’s a beautiful feeling. You have to lose your ego completely. Accept that you are just another plastic cup on the floor, one more rat on the tracks. You’re not better than the people around you just because you make art. You’re not above other people. You’re not above the city. You are a part of the city. And once you accept that you are a part of the city… then the city has no choice but to accept you.

Venues have some good things too. Let’s see… Indoor heating in the winter. Cops don’t kick you out (though the venue might, as soon as you’re done with your set). The sound might be better. The lights…More things are in your control, possibly. Generally everyone there is paying attention to you since many, if not all, are there to see you. This definitely changes the vibe of the show and can be a fun thing to play with. But honestly, I’ll take busking on a warm summer day at Tompkins Square Park over playing at any venue, any day. Cold beer, hot sun, wonderful people… you get to play as long as you want. You can look people in the eye and truly connect and feel how your sounds affect their movements. It’s very human and very everything I want in life.

CJ: Who are the artists that inspire Pinc Louds?

PL: Violent Femmes for their hooky scrappiness.

Pixies for disguising beautiful songs as noise.

Stooges for showing me that spirituality can be raw and explosive.

Bola de Nieve for his waterfall-like honesty.

Daniel Johnston for creating perfection out of not thinking twice.

Ismael Rivera for murdering angels and reinventing flight.

Billie Holiday for turning pain into honey.

Brian Wilson’s “Smile” and Paul McCartney’s “Ram” for daring to be silly while making magic.

Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” for showing me one can make people see with their ears.

Mills Brothers and the Ink Spots for proving that instruments are overrated.

White Stripes for proving that using too many instruments is overrated.

Tom Waits for proving that theatrics don’t undermine music.

My father for playing the kalimba while telling stories when I was a kid.

Café Tacvuba and The Beatles for showing me the beauty of musical shapeshifting.

David Bowie for showing me the beauty of physical shapeshifting and also for making the most beautiful song about the end of the world.

Many others, of course but let’s keep this short ;)

CJ: Where did the name “Pinc Louds” come from?

PL: It came from being 15 years old and thinking “everybody likes pink clouds… I want to be liked… one day I’m going to have a band called Pinc Louds and everybody’s gonna like it.” And then keeping notebooks with funny thoughts and finding them years later and saying “Ahh… the time has come” with a grave voice and freaky white eyes.

CJ: How much do you practice for shows & how much coordination goes into the full band shows with puppets?

PL: We don’t practice too much with the puppeteers actually. Usually we get together to do some brainstorming. Then I turn those storms into a very loose script (dialogues are usually not written, only actions with intentions to drive the plot forward). Then we might get together once or twice to plan some of the movements, dynamics and such. But we don’t really have a space where we can rehearse with the puppets (which tend to be pretty big) so it’s really more talking than anything… and then we perform it.   But it’s a process that works for us because it keeps things fresh and fun. We also hardly ever repeat the same plot in two shows so it’s not like in a play where you really have to iron out every detail to achieve consistency.   With the band we practice more. But lately we do most of it on the street, since rehearsal spaces are so expensive. We’ll use studios to work on new songs and then we get them to where they need to be by performing the songs outside. It’s a pretty heavenly way to do it too. As long as it’s summer.

PL: I hate winter.

Pinc Louds (21) ( Pinc Louds’ lead singer, Claudi (all pronouns accepted), moved from Puerto Rico to NYC in 2015 to fulfill her dream of playing in the subway. Through the “litteral” underground, Claudi met the musicians (drummer Rai Mundo and bassist Marc Mosteirin) and puppeteers that would turn Pinc Louds into the full-blown spectacle they are today. The subway also opened many doors for the band, who would soon end up playing in such NYC venues as (le) Poisson Rouge, Joe’s Pub and Lincoln Center, as well as tours throughout the US, Puerto Rico, Europe and Chile.   Musically, Pinc Louds draws influences from such diverse artists as Pixies, Billie Holiday, Daniel Johnston and Ismael Rivera. Is it tropical punk? Garage doowop? Crooner pop? It’s all of the above and more! Your best course of action is to let go of all preconceptions and enjoy their unique sound and explosive performances, described as “absolutely epic” by Paul Banks of the band Interpol.  Self-proclaimed as an “imaginary band”, Pinc Louds adds to the live music experience by making their shows a participatory adventure. Whether it be by having the audience dance and sing along to actually getting inside giant subway puppets, reviving atomic mutants, chanting spells to a Watermelon God, Roach-Queen-dance-competitions, and more…  The puppets, created in the most part by Jamie McGann, Madison Berg and Jamie Emerson, can best be described as “magical garbage”. Exquisitely made out of found and recycled materials, mattress foam, cardboard, pvc pipes, and other rejected wonders of the modern world.  With venues closed during the Coronavirus pandemic, Pinc Louds returned to the streets where they played free shows twice a week at NYC parks and street corners. These physically-distanced shows gained popularity and brought together a community starved of music, joy and human (even if not actually physical) contact. Pinc Louds outdoor concerts have continued into 2021, for the most part in the East Village, where the band is having the time of their lives sharing, learning and constantly being inspired by the wonderful city creatures around them. A Pinc Louds show is something everyone must experience at least 47 times in their lifetime. Still at number zero? What are you waiting for? More at

Clara Joy (21) ( based in NYC is a known downtown recording artist. Between ages 12 & 13, from an art-studio in a converted mill building, she launched a wildly successful online performance-photo project, SoftOceans, for which she also designed & fabricated hand made clothing-art — selling hundreds of pieces to an audience of over 21,000 people. At age 13, as a working photographer, she professionally documented the artist Alison Knowles for curator Hans Ulrich Obrist. By age 15, she was engaged as a correspondent to cover the Frieze Art Fair recreation of George Maciunus: Flux Labyrinth (1970/2015). She began recording songs as Clara Joy in 2015, with 7 albums and 2 singles released to date, which have earned critical acclaim. Intervening band culture, she appears alone on stages, yet has incited multi-artist concerts in the streets. In 2019 Clara Joy was featured in Humans of New York. During 2020, Part of Something (2021), the first film about Clara Joy was made by Sophia Johnson and debuted in 2021. Most recently, Clara Joy is documented performing with artist Alison Knowles in her feature length video reading of The House of Dust presented in Wiesbaden, Germany in 2021 at the construction site of the artist’s corresponding 3D printed building. Clara Joy was a 2021 invited performer for the Brooklyn Rail’s event dedicated to Nam June Paik and inaugurated the sold out reopening concert of Elsewhere in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. More at


#permalink posted by Clara Joy: 9/15/21 12:00:21 AM

We are in our small to big ways,
undoing bombs.
An insider’s portrait of the Global Culture Summit 2017 in Abu Dhabi
Mina Cheon, Participant of the Culture Summit
Global Culture Summit Abu Dhabi 2017 main stage discussion forum at the Manarat Al Saadiyat. Hosted by David Rothkopf, Editor and CEO of THE FP GROUP. The last panel on April 12 was on “The Future of Culture” and included Princess Alia Al-Senussi, Chair, Tate Young Patrons Board; Advisor, Art Basel; Adrian Ellis, Director and Co-Founder, Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN); HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority; Deborah Rutter, President, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
If you have power, you can distribute movies like Die Hard. If you don’t have power, you have to blow yourself up. If you are holding summits, you don’t need to drop bombs. The very first Global Culture Summit 2017 in Abu Dhabi (April 9 – 13) promises change without bombs through cultural diplomacy while inviting the artists, activists, and advocates to the big table. (1) “Culture… is perhaps the most powerful force on the planet … … and Diplomats have found art and culture to be invaluable tools,” writes David Rothkopf, Editor and CEO of THE FP GROUP on April 10 in an article “The Urgency of Art in a Dangerous, Rapidly Changing World.” (2)
Through an invite-only cast of 300 cultural leaders, thinkers, activists, and advocates from around the world, representing more than 80 countries, the five-day event was a highly programmed super event (full program can be found here), that began its summit days with a “State of the Arts Plenary” with keynote speakers such as Madeleine Albright (Former US Secretary of State), Darren Walker (President of Ford Foundation), and HE Noura Al Kaabi (Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs); followed by panels on specifically tied themes such as the refugees crisis, gaps of funding arts, climate change, and gender equality; and an afternoon with breakout workshops that included all participants to consider the role of culture in the world to come.
Change was the driving force; it was a hyper buzz term that was used to inspire us to gather. Say it over one too many times, the vast array to which change can apply, and how change is all around us, confuses and lessens the urgency of change agents and their roles. Nevertheless, we were all there, curious and eager to participate in what was yet to come.
The summit was held in Abu Dhabi’s most renowned cultural center Manarat Al Saadiyat. For all the cultural policy makers, funders, innovators, and artists who got to stay at The Ritz Carlton or The Park Hyatt in Abu Dhabi, certainly this was a retreat like none-other. Artists were on their best behavior; treated with luxury stay, fine dining, and cultural performances at the highest level. Although jetlagged and sleep deprived, our eyes were wide open to actively partake in the scene of the invite. The summit unfolded with urgency towards the task at hand of redefining culture as a means of addressing the global wreckage led by violence and fundamental extremism. At the same time, we couldn’t help wonder at times if we ourselves were becoming performers and audiences in a high-tech reality show spectacle that was our main discussion forum.
Sponsored by Foreign Policy Magazine and The FP Group, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, TCP Ventures LLC, and Etihad Airways; and hosted by Rothkopf with Carla Dirlikov Canales, with visiting artists of Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun, Macarthur Award-winning choreographer Liz Lerman and internationally acclaimed visual artist Idris Khan, the star-lit elite cultural fest left us with cultural euphoria and escapism from the world where mother of all bombs was being dropped.
Photos of visiting artists of Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun, Macarthur Award-winning choreographer Liz Lerman, and internationally acclaimed visual artist Idris Khan.
The topical themes of the summit — connectivity and technology, globalization and the other, funding mechanisms and institutions, sustainability and historic preservation, and the future of culture — were unquestionably timely, relevant and vital. Sometimes it takes global money to create a global village capable of bringing so many diverse producers and creators together in order to talk about the arts placed on the frontline of the conflict zone, highlighting artists assuming the role of cultural activists on the frontline.
Afternoon workshop Group 7 led by Faculty Panos A. Panay, April 10 Day 1, “identifying the major questions that participants feel we need to be asking about the future of global arts and culture with a specific focus on how culture can be used to produce positive social change.” Day 2 and Day 3 included workshops on finding the “Answers” and seeking “Actions.”
We were left with several major questions. For one, how to distinguish and prioritize which global conflicts to attend to in our increasingly chaotic geopolitical world. When we speak of the future of culture, whose future are were we talking about? And, although the summit was held in Abu Dhabi, regional United Arab Emirates (UAE) geopolitics was not brought up; the cultural success of neighboring cities was not shared. The awkwardness lingered, as the Sharjah Biennale, which is at the forefront of contemporary art discussion, was only two hours away, yet was somehow never brought up.
Lastly, the apparent lack of local contemporary artist participants was a missed opportunity, as we read Mohammed Fairouz stinging article in The Daily Beast, “Did the UAE Exclude Artists from Its Abu Dhabi ‘Culture Summit?’” (3) published April 10, same day as the Rothkopf article. It was evident, we (the globalists) were missing out, since when else are we able to meet with local artists and have a real intercultural exchange? Shouldn’t we hear and learn of the narratives and storytelling of their frontlines? This is not to say that there was no local representation at the summit, however it was not an equal representation and there lacked diversity of other kinds.
Coffee breaks included small talks pointing out the desire for participants to have had a greater say in the programming of the summit. Another concern was that too many people from so many different fields kept the conversation at a basic level. Where was Lerman’s famous critical response process and the critical discourse? Moreover, while performance arts has always made ways in the sector of cultural diplomacy, what about placing exhibition arts on an equal footing with curating? Bar talks concluded with maybe this should all be a part of the agenda for the next summit round?
Mina Cheon with Liz Lerman and visual artist Adejoke Tugbiyele (left).
Certainly, the upside was that there were tremendous benefits with the summit as well. The afternoon workshops pushed ideas of change, community and collaboration into specific action, glocal (global local) outreach and mentorship, partnership (at least in the case of Workshop Group 7 led by Faculty Panos A. Panay). We explored bridging the gap between funders and fundees, including the use of innovative platforms of exchange, as a result of smaller group brainstorming break out sessions. Finally, there was The Culture Summit Underground, founded by a curator Nadim Samman, an underground forum for similar minds that allowed rebel artists to be a bit more themselves, and off the grid at times. This safe space to blow off a little steam gave way to honest discussions and possible life long global friendships, igniting a beginning of many possibilities of figuring future solutions based on friendship. After all, change starts at the micro-relational level of considering the other.
As an artist who participated in the summit and joined the summit’s underground, I am certain, I have benefited the most by this summit, and I am grateful to have been invited. I have a new hit list of future projects birthed by the summit experience. The one that speaks directly to the summit is recognizing the need for a guide on The Pedagogy Teaching Future Advocates. I too, like many others educated as an artist, became a rogue activist going along and making it up by trial and error. The need was apparent for an overhaul of the entire educational system to support the pedagogy of becoming cultural advocates in order to raise the global cultural awareness as a priority.
Certainly, taking away what you can is an individual action, the impact of what you do with it is beyond the self. I believe that the summit gave all of us something more to work with and as we disperse back into our own realities and lives, know that there are at least 299 others in the global cultural ecosystem of cultural leadership at all levels from diplomacy, performance, exhibition and activism, contributing further to the anti-violence and human rights, and by that we are in our small to big ways, undoing bombs. Yes, let’s make art not bombs.
A sincere thank you to the Steering Committee and sponsoring organizations for giving me and the many artists an opportunity to gather, to travel, and come together on this unique once in a lifetime adventure of the Global Culture Summit 2017 in Abu Dhabi.
Mina Cheon is a new media artist and Full-time Professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Works Cited
1. “The arts and culture are the glue that bind together civilizations and the drivers of social change and yet, more often than not, they are forced to sit at the children’s table when it comes to big public policy discussions,” David Rothkopf, in “The Urgency of Art.”
2. David Rothkopf, “The Urgency of Art in a Dangerous, Rapidly Changing World,” April 10, 2017.


#permalink posted by Artist Organized Art: 4/19/17 11:05:32 PM

Territories of Complexities
Guillaume Paturel
March 29th – April 5th
Curated by Lara Pan
By Mark Bloch
Territories of Complexities. Photos courtesy of the artist 2017
Territories of Complexities” was an appropriate name for this exhibition at WhiteBox. There was much more going on than met my eye that was not apparent from the start.
The nine large, seemingly squarish, seemingly abstract paintings unidentified by individual names that were exhibited on the walls of this large, squarish, indeed, white box-like space seemed earnest and straightforward. The show was a competent “suite” of works by a middle aged artist making fine art for just seven years after a couple of decades in the field of architecture.
But the more I looked, the more the works expanded within my field of vision. Then a chat with Guillaume Paturel, born in Marseille, France in 1970 and a graduate of L’École des Beaux Arts in Marseille with degrees in art and architecture enhanced my perception further. Finally, a tenth piece, a game changer, was added to the show between my initial visit and the opening, casting in concrete, well actually in plywood, the connection between art and architecture, the artist and his subject matter: surface and depth. It raised the stakes for me as a viewer as it raised the artist’s stratum in which to work from the second dimension into the third.
Though the artist Paturel and the curator Lara Pan, both alerted me that the new piece would be installed before the opening, I was not prepared for what I saw when I reentered the gallery. A striking “sculptural painting,” that Pan called “his first foray into the medium” now expertly occupied the center of the space, displayed close to, but not directly on, the floor, horizontally. This 4” thick solid wood slab had been ground, gouged and burrowed out by a robotic arm to create a topographical 3D object, fabricated directly from a painting now hanging behind it, behind the hand-painted peaks that seemed to be ascending ever so gently toward the ceiling like a hybrid between an accordion and an alien planetary landscape, and like the collaboration between man and machine that it really was. The texture was all machine-made. The inspiration and added color were by the artist.
That painting the sculpture “borrowed” from, and the other eight adjacent to it, were not square I now learned, merely by taking a second look and using my left brain, something not particularly engaged during my first visit. I could see that though similar to each other, these nine paintings, five or six feet across in either direction, were each unique in size, orientation and in the amount of power with which they projected energy into the space, toward the 3-D addition in the center of the room that, as a projection of one of the mostly “flat” works that surrounded it, seemed to bring them all into sharper focus.
Like the work seemingly hovering above the floor, each work on the walls contained silver, echoing the artist’s still thick head of hair, catching bits of light but not reflective. The nine pieces gently fought each other like extra terrestrial weather maps indicating chaotic, violent patterns traveling over coarse, scaly, abrasive, bumpy, scratchy planes aggressively, each supported by its own thick wooden structure and charting its own course. One was all silver. One was black with only silver wisps. Others were speckled and punctuated silver or shiny white or off white with a silvery sheen—with dotted tape textures and other colors emerging from below. Some had their supports painted dull black, others had other colors splattered on them and still others boasted only their raw wood grain as a foundation.
My first impression had not been correct when I first entered the space because their surfaces, seen from afar, appeared regular and monochromatic, polished, possibly smooth, ironed, slippery and fine—like so much of what one sees in galleries these days. But instead, these were what Paturel later described as his ideal: “dusty, ugly stuff.” They were, in fact, bumpy, sandpapery, scabby and cracked. When I asked the French man what he thought of American Ab Ex, he informed me that, to him, his art is not at all abstract. He sees his works as depictions of landscapes, geography, scenery, ground, and landforms. Any abstraction I detected was just the result of layers that courageously cover mysterious terrain underneath, which in turn cover thick skins of maps or guides, both of which alternatively familiar and confounding to the artist, I was assured.
Territories of Complexities. Photos courtesy of the artist 2017
Paturel still produces architectural renderings for some of the world’s top architects. Following the Beaux Arts, Paturel also attended Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris La Villette.
These paintings were, therefore, similar to topographical meanderings, but simultaneously important escape hatches from his work as an architect, needed imaginary extensions of the professional work he does for important sites like the new One World Trade Center tower and memorial or a sustainable city in Saudi Arabia. He is a gifted craftsman in both jobs, apparently. He recalls that before he was “tied to a computer” he had created, in a previous version of his profession, architectural renderings using handmade collage techniques with whatever materials were necessary to eek out his visions of practical structures not yet realized.
So perhaps missing that mode of handmade expression, he explains that these less practical works begin with the laying down of aluminum tape, building layouts of non-existant “cities.” His memory wanders through memories of previous projects for sites in The Bronx or Red Hook (where he now lives with his family) or in Dubai, where clients “asked for trees and grass and beautiful greenery” in the architectural renderings, but adds that once finished and he was on site, he witnessed “just landscapes of dirt and sand and policemen.”
And so he applies layers of paint. He scrapes to unearth underlying strata. On their exterior, these artworks show evidence of nicks and cuts and gouges, the surface forcefully indented creating external damage indented and intended and invented.
He told me that he does not favor the slick, cute, happy superficiality he sees in the work of many artist contemporaries. He prefers art like opera, showing passions or deep truths that elude us so I ask for his personal story, hitherto unavailable in my investigations. He looks at me long and hard and finally asks, “Do you really want to know?” I do. He tells me his work is not abstract, so I wonder, what is it? “My art fights death,” he tells me. “Creativity against decay, you know?” He finally volunteers that he is now an artist because he once told a lie then had to fight for his life to make it true.
His father called him to reveal he was fighting cancer one day out of the blue seven years ago in New York where he had moved after decades of them not speaking. From there they carefully rekindled their rocky relationship. Guillaume told him he was about to have a show, but it was a lie; there was no show. He was an architect, never an artist. But after he hung up the phone he went directly to the store and bought art supplies. He next arranged to have an exhibition and set to work.
Territories of Complexities. Photos courtesy of the artist 2017
As Guillaume watched his French father’s health drift in and out from afar, for the next seven months, he became an artist. He fought by creating his topographical worlds with memories of the bourgeois accents of his native Marseilles echoing in his head.
Guillaume reluctantly told me that at age seven physical abuse by his father was rationalized by telling him it was because of the “improper ” way he spoke for a boy from Marseilles. He thus descended from speech to stuttering and then to silence, as the whole topic of language became an enemy. Then at age 11 or 12, as suddenly as his speech had been beaten out of him, he fought his way back from 5 years of complete silence with sheer willpower, and learned to talk again, just as he became a self-taught fine artist only seven years ago.
Determined as he is, he does not like the headstrong way the builders of New York City clear empty lots for their architectural sites for new buildings. When they cart away the rubble, sweep away the refuse, remove the layers of detritus and dust and the urban patina, it breaks his heart. So perhaps he uses paintings to savor the currents of necessarily unpleasant emotion, unleashing and then covering them up again.
Under the tortured surface of silvers and blues punctuated by tiny reds, yellows or light greens, flows of metallic tape and pigment emerge like flows of electricity in his work, like the movement of electrically charged particles traveling in feathery shapes or colliding like shiny geysers or in matte areas hiding in shiny black.
Where my perception was once of cleverly concealed dispassionate, phlegmatic gestures, now that I’ve heard his story, there are patterns suggestive of vulnerably turbulent water or air in motion. Not smooth or polished surfaces but pockmarked, irregular geomorphology. Uneven, chapped, rugged and wrinkled membranes of trapped language.
I ask him again what artists he likes. He finally mentions Gerhard Richter and Anselm Kiefer. While Kiefer’s works are characterized by an unrepentant willingness to face his culture’s dark past, Guillaume confronts his own past, more similar to the media-shy Richter, an artist who does not want to talk about his work. Paturel’s art is speech that says something that part of him does not seem to want explained.
“My pieces are cities, territories, urban landscapes either deserted or under construction,” he says. “My city of choice is geometry and chaos, order and disorder, verticality and stratification.”
So let us return to the 3 dimensional horizontal piece in the middle of the room. He fabricated it with the help of some architectural colleagues from one of the paintings in the show that they turned into a digital photo and then into software that extrapolates information into 3D to create “tool paths” which tell a machine how to carve in 3 directions, at 5 different pivot points, ultimately directing a “CNC router” to carve away designated areas of the 4” thick slab of wood that stretches out as wide as the paintings on the wall do—again, 5 or 6 feet rectangles. Form burrowed away in concentric irregular rings around elevated surfaces look like tiny islands in vast oceans. To these surfaces and large areas of wood where the color in the original painting was converted to raised land masses, the artist added new layers of color, different from its topographical doppelganger, hanging on the wall behind it.
While the technology and the technicians did a spectacular job of recreating in three dimensions, the original turbulent layers of paint and texture, subtle and not-so-subtle, complete with tape interruptions and handmade scrapes and scratches, the painting that it was derived from takes its orders from a kind of plan that robotic arms and digital code can imitate and simulate and even expand in untold new dimensions, but never understand. Despite continued clean, tidy attempts to the contrary by the contemporaries of Guillaume Paturel, art is capable of unearthing suppressed language that whispers, sometimes desperately, sometimes mysteriously, but if we listen, complex territory is revealed.
Guillaume Paturel was born in Marseille, France in 1970. he earned degrees in art and architecture from L’école des Beaux Arts in Marseille and Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris la Villette. He has produced architectural renderings for some of the world’s top architects, including Sou Fujimoto, Didier Faustino, Mos Architects, Maurizio Pezo, and Sofia von Ellrichshausen. Other highlights include renderings for the new One World Trade Center Tower and Memorial and K.A.Care’s sustainable city in Saudi Arabia. Paturel is also an accomplished filmmaker whose works have been shown in film festivals in france and switzerland. Paturel has had solo exhibitions of his paintings in New York City at Fragmental Museum (2012), One Art Space (2013), and A+E Gallery (2015).
Mark Bloch (American, born 1956, is recognized as being one of a handful of early converts from mail art to online communities.In 1989, Bloch began his experimental foray into the digital space when he founded Panscan, part of the Echo NYC text-based teleconferencing system, the first online art discussion group in New York City. Panscan lasted from 1990 to 1995. Following the death of Ray Johnson in 1995, Bloch left Echo and began a twenty-year research project on Communication art and Johnson, and wrote several texts on him that were among the earliest to appear online and elsewhere. Bloch and writer/editor Elizabeth Zuba brought together an exploration of Ray Johnson’s innovative interpretations of ‘the book’” at the Printed Matter New York Art Book Fair in 2014 at MoMA PS1. Bloch has since acted as a resourcefor a new generation of Johnson and Fluxus followers on fact-finding missions.
WhiteBox, located in NYC, is a non-profit art space that serves as a platform for contemporary artists to develop and showcase new site-specific work, and is a laboratory for unique commissions, exhibitions, special events, salon series, and arts education programs. WhiteBox was founded in 1998.


#permalink posted by Artist Organized Art: 4/17/17 08:54:31 AM

The NEA In The Age Of Obama
Who Will Benefit From The Value Of Creativity

  • 1987 – The Endowment’s budget is $165,281,000, for two years running, admission receipts for nonprofit performing arts events exceed those for spectator sports2.
  • 1989 – John Frohnmayer becomes Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts
  • 1990 – Chairman Frohnmayer says: “We must be prepared to use creativity not as an adjunct to our education, but as its central component, because creativity will be the currency of the 21st century.”
  • 1996 – The House of Representatives announces a plan to eliminate the Endowment

by artist Nayana Glazier

New work emerges publicly by way of a daunting task. It can overwhelm even the most outspoken of artists. Whether by way of a confusing relationship between pre-existing venue and artist, or, by way of artists organizing their own venues. The goal, to have their work experienced by others in a meaningful way, from the margins of their price oriented societies, increasingly supports the necessity of a mutually reinforcing and ever present backdrop. The commercial art gallery, this, along with the more subjective questions of artistic integrity etc.

Art making takes everything you’ve got. Your studio is full and you’re ready to show your work, but then you hit the insurmountable. The success of your art making seems measured rather by who is showing your work, not by what the work is itself. You’re sinking into a suspicion that for generations your own family-of-(wo)man has been buying into a perceived exclusivity. Perhaps this sense of the apartness is a driving factor in the evolution of the exhibition space from the more traditional gallery to what was formalized in the 1980’s, by what the late Senator Helms raged against, the Artists’ Space Movement in the age of the uncensored NEA. Yet, clearly it seems to many of us that for all time, the artist-gallery relationship, or rather the perceived relationship, has spurred artists to seek alternatives, if only for the sake of integrity in the artist to artist relationship.

Martha Colburn at James Cohan Gallery (announcement)

I don’t often make it down to the city, however my spies do. Apparently, in the art capital of the world, while the future of art cannot be determined, the present itself is becoming increasingly unpredictable as well. On exhibition from September 6, 2008 to October 4, 2008 at the James Cohan Gallery (Chelsea, 533 West 26th Street, NYC) was the combination of the Chinese conceptualist Xu Zhen, Dutch sculptor Folkert de Jong and NYC based artist Martha Colburn. The program was presented as three separate exhibitions flowing together to create a conversation of artistic expression.

Martha Colburn at James Cohan Gallery, Chelsea

What follows includes quotes from Martha Colburn, Film artist and Elyse Goldberg, Director of the James Cohan Gallery. I’ll also include Stephen Cahill, multimedia artist, Turners Falls MA and Ric Sanchez, Painter and multimedia artist, Orlando Florida on the issue of the perceived relationships between artists, galleries and art making in the USA today.

Martha Colburn at James Cohan Gallery, Chelsea

Martha Colburn (NYC):
Art can’t be In a cave to be seen by others and I think the gallery is a great place for artists which do not, for instance, show in museums or caves…I show in cinemas, music venues, lots of squats in Europe and festivals, the web, and galleries, and now I remember, I have shown in a cave in France more than once, so I guess I have to re-call the cave comments.

Stephen Cahill (Turners Falls): I’ve never shown in a gallery, I’ve submitted to a couple places, either ‘we’re not showing that kind of work’ or ‘its too big.’

Martha Colburn at James Cohan Gallery, Chelsea

What is the future of the artist-gallery relationship and what is this relationship now? Emerging artists often talk about galleries as they might describe the pyramid rituals of the Pharos. Few actually even know the real process of creating a relationship. Perhaps the most admirable artist is one who produces art for arts sake alone and does not care if others see or interpret their work. But there are many more artists who crave blessings for turning the pedestrian into a rarity.

Stephen Cahill: It was one of those things where it seemed unattainable. If you think about the large amount of people producing work
and the small amount of venues, it’s a game of odds almost.

Martha Colburn: They saw my film at Art Basel Statements, which is a competitive show, next to the big hall of big shots…

Elyse Goldberg (NYC): We saw her work (Martha Colburn) at Art Unlimited in Basel Switzerland.

When discovered by James Cohan Gallery, however, Colburn had the benefit of inclusion in the Basel Art Fair. By contrast, Cahill does not have the benefit of being featured in a highly respected exhibition to bring attention to himself. Take this as a sample of the often complicated way in which artists reach larger audiences. They may need to be previously established at some level and, despite exceptions, rarely do commercial galleries put the time into an artist based purely on the quality of their work. This, creating a level of perceived difficulty.

Ric Sanchez (Orlando): I think galleries are too rigid and demanding. They want you to be established before they offer you space.

Obviously galleries can’t accept every artist who sends work. Though, with the growing percentage of artists taking exhibition space into their own hands, will the artist-gallery relationship, and in turn the gallery-collector relationship, change?

Martha Colburn at James Cohan Gallery, Chelsea

Many artists feel that “obscurity” may be the highest level of visibility their work ever achieves. Euro-centric art history apologizes for the “cultivation” process with myths of great masters wrestling with talent arriving later at a larger more visible stage that takes an entire lifetime to achieve. Or, more frequently, occurs after death. Such is the acceptance of an invisible hand chaining a series of seemingly random events to an inevitable accomplishment of having work presented before a wider audience. In today’s click driven post Warhol media minute it has become a miniscule accomplishment. In such a paradigm an artist’s primary goal is arranged around having their work seen by the maximum number of people. Those who excel at this often do not know what they have achieved and those who have not attribute the fact to the insurmountable.

Martha Colburn: I was just so happy to have the film show in NY … I don’t think I’ve ever felt obscure. When I really got rolling, I just made lots of records and books and films. I got my more professional “art-world…” I got the ball rolling in Europe for five years before coming to NY and made installations and shows all over the world.

What does showing in a gallery setting as opposed to an improvised exhibition space present for the artist? Each day artists become more resourceful about where and to whom they present their work. Counter to the gallery paradigm, this strategic approach brings more profound meaning to the work. Yet it is the prospect of a sale that draws artists back to the gallery experience and with it the perceived status they achieve through price.

Elyse Goldberg: We have beginning collectors, collectors who have known the gallery for many years and/or come here specifically for artists that they are interested in collecting. This is quite nice, because in the process we can introduce them to other artists whose work they may not be aware of. Of course, museum curators and directors as well as art consultants frequent the gallery.

Gallery exhibitions are one way emerging artists build a collector base. Alternative venues rarely provide a draw from more established artists’ work and collectors have difficulty learning about them. While finding venues is a necessity, equally necessary is finding new ways to attract the attention of collectors, curators and museum directors to them. Though emerging artists believe that their ultimate goal is to produce a living income from their work, artists who’s work stands on its own may feel the opposite. The ultimate goal being to improve their work; to reach to a higher level of artistic expression and human understanding. Accordingly art would simply exist to present ideas and feelings to a public audience.

Stephen Cahill: I’m not truly all that interested in showing in a gallery anymore, my works sell in the venues I’m putting them in now and I don’t need to sell the work. I do it for me.

Elyse Goldberg: The goal of exhibition is always to present the viewing public with works that illuminate the artists’ ideas. Hopefully these works will raise questions. A positive or negative response is always welcome.

Stephen Cahill, Turners Falls, MA

Galleries in more obscure locations like the Nashawannuck Gallery in Easthampton MA or The Gallery In The Woods in Brattleboro Vermont use space differently than galleries in more high profile locations. In order to remain viable they present artisans and craftsman made objects which provide financial stability while reserving space to show artists with more experimental ambitions. The ability to present works based solely on feeling or expression is a luxury mainly afforded by co-presenting other objects for sale in the setting. Though these venues present art of no less quality this further perpetuates questions about the artist-gallery relationship and the work’s relative appeal to viewers and potential collectors.

Stephen Cahill, Turners Falls, MA

Martha Colburn:
Taste does not matter, at the end of the day, I think the artists determine most everything. With original, motivated and innovative work taking the stage because it is just those things. For real. Not for fake.

Ultimately I think alternative venues serve as locations that hold honesty tightly in their hands. To quote Lowell Downey1. of Hatley Martin Cultural Forum, San Francisco, 1992, “Freedom of expression is probably the second most significant thing that art organizations have yet to achieve. Freedom of expression cannot be tied to financial support.” Or, Veronica Enrique1., artist organizer, San Diego, 1992, “But our greatest accomplishment has nothing to do with the material attributes of our spaces or what is done within them. Rendering a true reflection of artists in their society is how artists’ organizations have created an attitude.”

Yes, galleries like the James Cohan Gallery, Gallery In The Woods and Nashawannuck Gallery do important work and can be different, presenting challenging ideas to the public for their view, but generally commercial spaces coerce by default, because they perpetuate the accurate perception of an industrial pyramid.

Nayana Glazier: What do you think galleries’ expectations are for artists and their work?

Martha Colburn: That it be great and get better, or I guess they trade you in for someone else. I would do the same.

Ric Sanchez, Orlando, Florida

It is this that creates the fear in emerging artists. They fear the initial rejection and if they are accepted to present their work they fear possible rejection following on. I have always subscribed to the philosophy that the worst thing that can happen is the word “NO” and it is by that very word that the impression of the impossible goal of the gallery finds its vector.

Martha Colburn: I didn’t do the galleries for many years, but that’s because my scene was (that) underground, but it still is, I mean one should not exclude the other. It’s fine if people make that choice, but I don’t see why in such a big world excluding any venue makes any sense.

To quote Helen Glazer1. of The Rosenberg Gallery, Baltimore, 1992 “Here in Baltimore, 15 years ago, it seemed as if there were hardly any mid-career artists around. Unless they had teaching jobs, ambitious artists tended to flee to a larger metropolis – such as New York – at the first opportunity. I credit the artists’ spaces that came on the scene about 10 years ago with helping to change the climate for artists, encouraging them to stay and contribute to the cultural life of the community… artists in Baltimore and Washington by and large might as well have been 400 miles apart rather than 40, but as they began to exhibit together in the alternative galleries, the two communities became acquainted, to our mutual benefit.”

That really is the hit of it all. If artists are making the work, why do we in fact care what type of venue it is presented in, who sees it and if it ever sells? Should it always be at its core about the creation (of the art) above all else? Can satisfaction come from presenting ones art to an audience, or come from the recognition that others feel the same way, or have had the same experiences? Ultimately human experience is universal to humanity, art being a large carrier for the sharing of those experiences. The ‘movement’ of artists working for themselves and providing their artist run venues for presentation is hardly a new one.

Martha Colburn at James Cohan Gallery, Chelsea

Martha Colburn: Creativity put to the purpose of art and not industry or the exploitation of other people or for the evils of the world can be nothing but a good thing, be it for sale or not. The ‘direction’ of art, the world’s too big to figure that out.

Martha Colburn at James Cohan Gallery, Chelsea

By contrast I quote Edmund Cardoni1., Hallwalls, Buffalo, 1992 “Despite all the efforts of artists’ organizations and the artists we serve, we failed to change society even enough to ensure our own continued survival, to preserve our little niche. We thought the alternative spaces we had created (both literally and in the larger sense) were a permanent feature of the American landscape, but we have found out they can be closed. Those of us not burnt out, with something still left to sacrifice, and with the resourcefulness of outlaws, will have to take to the hills and carry on the fight. Allow no quarter. Don’t try to appease them. Corporations and governments will not help us now. Even the Constitution will not protect us. It’s a whole new ballgame.”

Or, Linda Burnham1. of Highways, Santa Monica,1992, “…I’m sure it is considered politically incorrect to admit this, but there is not one artists’ organization I know of that is more than two steps from disaster at all times. It is no wonder that the smallest puff of wind from Jesse Helms has sent us reeling. Organizations
that were borderline last year are now way behind and exhausted from dealing with the censorship crisis, let alone the failing economy that has reduced subscriptions, memberships, donations, and ticket sales.”

Stephen Cahill, Turners Falls, MA

While the direction of art may be unpredictable all we, as a community, are left to do is to shape our own direction. Keeping our work as integral as possible, forming our own exhibition spaces or working with the few galleries who are on the same page.

Elyse Goldberg: I believe that all artists, like musicians, writers, filmmakers, any person who creates anything, would hope that you have produced something that has ’something’ to say, that can touch another person’s awareness. That can have an effect whether it engages, lifts one’s spirits or effects profound indignation. Basically it is to communicate. Selling the work is always amazing, no matter how many times I have witnessed it. People who acquire art are to be acknowledged. They keep the fires burning, and their belief in the power of art is inspirational. This may sound naïve, as everyone is obsessed about talking about the market and high prices, low prices or no prices. I believe In the basic presumption of art which is always to try to challenge the status quo and take us on a journey.

This is perhaps the most essential part of this whole question. What is art’s purpose in the context of the artist-gallery relationship and the artists who develop alternative venues and progressive galleries? Is it along Elyse Goldberg’s suggestion to fulfill the need to present work and affect others with expression?

One might wonder what those obsessed with the desire to achieve presentation at a perceived “high level” gallery are truly after. I too have always sustained that the goal in my own work is to express and evoke a feeling in a viewer, positive or negative; for me, this effect makes the work a success, regardless of the venue or number of viewers. But, is It essentially this idea and desire that at times sees artists organizing their own venues and in essence their own directions? How did artists fail to effect the direction of the gallery system as we know it today?

Stephen Cahill, Turners Falls, MA

I quote Joshua Selman of Artist Organized Art, 2007 “Dealers say to artists, ‘We want you to think creatively. Spend all your studio time thinking, feeling, practicing as creatively as possible. We are looking for only the most creatively minded artists. Meanwhile, we (the commercial dealers) will think strategically.’ After ten years, who do you think is going to come out on top?”

1. Organizing Artists : A Document and Directory of the National Association of Artists’ Organizations by Dc National Association of Artists’ Organizations, Washington, published 1992
2. National Endowment for the Arts (2000). The National Endowment for the Arts 1965-2000: A Brief Chronology of Federal Support for the Arts. Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts.
Elyse Goldberg, Director James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY
Martha Colburn, New York, NY, Multimedia Artist
Stephen Cahill, Turners Falls MA, Multi Media Artist doosel9 at yahoo dot com
Richard Sanchez, Orlando FL, Multi Media Artist and Painter
James Cohan Gallery
533 West 26th Street New York NY 10001 Tel 212.714.9500 Fax 212.714.9510 Hours Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Nashawannuck Gallery, 40 Cottage Street, Easthampton, MA 01027
Gallery in the Woods, 145 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301

Martha Colburn at James Cohan Gallery, Chelsea


#permalink posted by Nayana: 2/06/09 01:06:00 PM

Mina Cheon AKA Kim Il Soon
At Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, Chelsea
January 23rd, 2014, New York City

Seen on announcement: 007 Ms. Kim, acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 36” x 1.5 by Mina Cheon AKA
Kim Il Soon at Ethan Cohen Fine Arts. Exhibition: “CHOCO·PIE PROPAGANDA”
Opens: January 23rd, 2014, Chelsea, New York City
Mina Cheon Dictation Kim Il Soon
January 17, 2014
On my mother’s birthday.
As a Korean, the idea of having two artistic identities, South Korean Mina Cheon and North Korean Kim Il Soon, is an obvious reflection on the country’s state of being divided. It makes all the sense in the world that if a country is split so should the artist in practice. As a political pop artist, I’ve created artworks that responded to the global political climate, using pop imagery that circulates on the Internet, news, and entertainment as the source of my work. As a South Korean new media artist Mina Cheon, the political pop art (Polipop) includes the perspective of a South Korean-American who travels between the East and West, bringing out things that usually go unnoticed or said in media culture. As a North Korean social realist painter, Kim Il Soon lacks access to technology and adheres strictly to the propaganda painting style of North Korea.
While the Korean peninsula may be demarcated by a 38th Parallel, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the history and culture is nevertheless shared, the country is united by one country’s people and language. Moreover, Korea is ubiquitously tied by the never-ending heated debate on reunification and national identity, whether we are at war, armistice, trade, or peace. This is our business.
The world may find our country (countries) amusing, the radically divided, globally useful as separated communism and capitalism states, fanatically obsessing over sports or military or pop culture. Our history is made by other countries and cultures, the Western influence has been severe, whether through China, Japan or America, it makes sense that other worlds and countries deem to hold stake at what should remain – a country divided – and what shouldn’t happen – reunification. Who are those who dictate what should happen? Who are fit to lead the way towards unification, when cultural divides remain not only from South and North but also between East and West, and even between the left and right politics.

Sweet Revolution, graphic inspiration behind Let’s East Choco·Pie Together, a 10,000 piece Choco Pie Installation by
Mina Cheon AKA Kim Il Soon at Ethan Cohen Fine Arts for “CHOCO·PIE PROPAGANDA”, 1/23/2014, Chelsea, NYC
What does economy have to do with it? Probably everything. It benefits some for Korea to be separated; it benefits others for us to unite. Mostly, humanitarians would like to see Korean reunification for the purpose of global peace. We are those people, Kim Il Soon and Mina Cheon, and everyone else who support the cause of this political pop art campaign which include the slogans and ideas, “Eat Choco·Pie Together,” “Squirt Water Not Bullets,” and “Make Art Not Missiles.”
In 2004, I traveled to North Korea from South Korea, busing passed the DMZ with very large windows without curtains so that North Korean military soldiers can see us through the glass. The tour was to the glorious and mystical Mountain Kum Kang San, a place that is now forbidden ever since 2008, when a South Korean female tourist was shot twice by a North Korean officer for straying her path. With the same name as the number one Korean restaurant in New York City, the Kum Kang San Restaurant in K-town where you dine Korean BBQ over a massive faux mountain made out of Styrofoam and a mechanically pumped waterfall, the passing into North Korea was its own simulacra, a copy without an original since the sky seemed bluer, the mountains looking just like the images we are so familiar with through posters and calendars of hallmarking beauty of North Korea. Being at the actual site only reinforced the image of the place, it was all a reproductive moment. And the woman who got shot, could have been me, as I am told repeatedly.
While the tour was restrictive and highly programmed, my direct interactions with North Koreans were nothing like the axis of evil, uncle killing, actress raping, fan of Dennis Rodman, rogue enemy. Instead, they were warm. I felt akin, like being with my own family, they were like sisters, and like my mother, who after all was from the North and came down to the South at the brink of war.
Many of the North Korean female workers around the Kum Kang San’s Hyundai Resort, or even the security were friendly. They called me “unni” meaning older sister and even showed signs of affection by slightly holding my arm when speaking to me. I did not feel foreign in this country.

Three Graces, acrylic on canvas, 60″ x 48” x 1.5 by Mina Cheon AKA Kim Il Soon at Ethan Cohen Fine Arts
Exhibition: “CHOCO·PIE PROPAGANDA” Opens: January 23rd, 2014, Chelsea, New York City
Soon after my trip, I started creating my first series of political pop art on North Korea with a series of 99 Miss Kim(s) doll installation of North Korean military femme bots that superseded American Barbie dolls in beauty and appearance, as well as an interactive media installation piece, Half Moon Eyes that archived all the videos from that trip, including footages that I had to retrieve back after confiscation. The term “half moon eyes” references the shape of North Korean female eyes that make them remarkably beautiful. The work I did then was dedicated to my mother whose maiden name is Kim, as well as all of the Kim names of North Korea. Miss Kim was also myself, as a Korean embodying North Korean history.
By 2012, it was no accident that meeting Ethan Cohen who also has a history with North Korea, encouraged me to elaborate further with Miss Kim, Ms. Kim Il Soon. Her name Kim Il Soon bequeath to her by the supposed Dear Leader, means “eternal purity” and sounds similar to Kim Il Sung, founder of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea whose name means “eternal sun.” Kim Il Soon is a nationally recognized painter, which means she has a bit more artistic freedom than some. She is also a two-starred Lieutenant Commander, scholar, devout citizen, hardworking farmer, a mother of two, and most importantly, a human being.
The artwork created in this persona is a deliberate political move, the art is activism that brings awareness about North Korea and it is Kim Il Soon’s intension to resume painting until Korean reunification. She is my artistic persona, alter ego, a new media avatar, and this is our performance. With the work ethics of a good North Korean, Kim Il Soon spends a hundred hours with each painting. Since she is recognized as a national painter, she has assistants, but nevertheless labors over the work.
Kim Il Soon appeared publicly in the United States for the first time during the Pulse Art Fair in New York 2013 with Ethan Cohen New York, and the painting Sons of Joseon: Squirt Water Not Bullets was exhibited alongside her performance, as she passed out political peace buttons. North Koreans call their nation “Joseon” but they do not directly relate themselves or acknowledge the history of the Korean Joseon Dynasty. The two boys in the painting is her son Kim Si-un, and the doubling of his appearance signifies the twin effect, a country split into two. This painting was soon thereafter acquired by the Smith College Museum of Art, and housed in the contemporary art section, a fitting place for housing their very first North Korean female artist’s work.

Let’s East Choco·Pie Together, 10,000 Choco Pie Installation, 153″ x 159″ by Mina Cheon AKA Kim Il Soon
Site specific, interactive, audience participation installation. Installed at Ethan Cohen Fine Arts,
Sponsored by Orion Co., Korea. Exhibit: “CHOCO·PIE PROPAGANDA” Opens: January 23rd, 2014, Chelsea, NYC
So, here we are. Kim Il Soon’s very first solo exhibition at Ethan Cohen New York gallery opens. In varying sizes, her paintings resemble North Korean propaganda posters. In Happy North Korean Girl, she proudly poses in front of the DPRK flag. She is happy because she can serve her nation with pride. In 2011, the North Korean Chosun Central Television announced the results of a new global happiness index reported by the national research team, and it states that North Korea is the second happiest nation aside big China which is supposedly the happiest due to the mere number of people; South Korea being in the 152nd place and “the American Empire” in place 203, which would not be a surprise if it was dead last place.
The paintings of Happy North Korean Little Boy and Happy North Korean Little Girl show Kim Il Soon’s children, Kim Si-un (son) and Kim Si-a (daughter) who sing their hearts out for their country on stage. While blessed with two children, Kim Il Soon is only married to the state, and by default married to the Dear Leader, in perpetuity.
Another painting In Honor of The Great Dear Leader Father includes Kim Il Soon raising the red flag under the blazing sun of Kim Il Sung, and other Dear Leaders appear in other paintings such as in Strength and Military, where Kim Il Soon holds a North Korean rifle while embracing a portrait of dictator Kim Jong-il in front of an industrial complex. In the painting Lil’ Kim, the February 2012 Times Magazine’s front cover of Kim Jong-un is framed while Kim Il Soon is taking notes and sketching in her little red book.
From other paintings such as the Three Graces that reference Western beauty amidst a North Korean flag to Kim Il Soon as a farmer in The Seven Years Plan, the doubling and tripling image of self signifies the multiplication process in reproductive culture, lacking individuality and promoting collectivity and succinctness in unity repeated in North Korean imagery. Whether lining up in painting Line Up or spiraling in 007, Kim Il Soon includes herself into North Korean military iconography that includes the “Juche” ideology that one is all and all is one.
And, whose Choco·Pie is it?
The installation of 10,000 Choco·Pie for the audience to eat was kindly donated by Orion Co. in support of the installation Eat Choco·Pie Together that promotes Korean reunification and global peace. Kim Il Soon unconsciously exposed to the outside world, had her Duchampian moment of making a good decision. Duchamp selects a toilet and she selects a relevant intercultural consumer object of our time, the Choco·Pie.
This South Korean moon pie-like confectionary has become an overnight sensation in North Korea as a smuggled favorite snack and is worth three bowls of rice, and favored especially by the elite class North Korean women. Comparable to the American Twinkie, Choco·Pie has been sought after in North Korea, ever since South Koreans gifted Choco·Pie to the North Korean laborers at the Kaesong Industrial Complex as a token of appreciation. Symbolically, the Choco·Pie has opened up North Korea and formed a loving exchange between the North and South, something that even the Korean governments have failed to do. Truly this is a postmodern co-national co-operation, one that is a viral and an addictive kind.
The Chinese character “Jung” on the packaging means love and friendship. Choco·Pie is ours to eat, for North and South Korea, and for America – Let’s Eat Choco·Pie Together – for “Han guk” means “one country,” not Republic of Korea, not Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This is a “Sweet Revolution.”
The exhibition “CHOCO·PIE PROPAGANDA: From North Korea with Love” by Mina Cheon aka Kim Il Soon is showing at Ethan Cohen New York (ECNY), opening January 23, 2014 at 6pm and up till February 28, 2014. ECNY is located on 251 W. 19th St, between 7 and 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011.
This article will receive periodic updates. Check back for additional images and downloadable content.


#permalink posted by Artist Organized Art: 1/23/14 12:36:03 PM

Meet Kunai NYC
New Meanings In Design
July 22, 2021

Kunai NYC

Kunai NYC by Kunai NYC

by correspondent Clara Joy

Andrew Hubert (21) has been a founder and organizer of New York City design communities since the age of 16. Beginning his introduction to design through New York City urban exploration, his relationship to space has had ground level and interventionist attitudes since he can remember. When he found his mothers old sewing machine at 15, he began creating garment-pieces that related to space and archetype. Immediately following his enrollment at FIT, his relationship to design became community driven, and culturally iconic in New York City. The creation of Kunai NYC in 2017, a design project based out of New York City, has received massive success, with a dedicated following of over 7,000 people. Kunai NYC has been engaging with the public for 5 years, creating works such as AF1 Sandals, in which he carved out the leather of the iconic Nike AF1 Sneaker, leaving the bones, now, a sandal. Intervening, adding and changing the culture surrounding the famous shoe, the AF1 Sandal became an iconic commentary on market culture, and design, receiving a virality of over 30,000 shares.

Andrew Hubert’s first design project, Kunai: Iterations focuses on a young man wearing film rolls as bondage pants, with fishnet string, tape, and a thread choker on his neck in an alleyway. The piece shows a modern day re-contextualization of old cultural signifiers, replaced with untouched archetypes. In 2018, USPS Forms and Masking Tape shows a young man displaying himself with postage stickers all over his body in an alleyway. Boiler Room Preview, a 2018 piece of a young man in grip gloves, a muscle tee and velcro pants, stands in a boiler room, ready to fight, displaying Kunai on his side waist, held by a mesh belt. The archetype’s displayed in these pieces are radically opposed to the conformist ideas of clothing’s traditional and historical symbolisms. They challenge fashion archetypes through a non-categorized and un-naturalized approach. The collection Winter 2019 shot in a vacant warehouse basement, shows young men displaying themselves in ballsy structured clothing. Jackets that open into 5 wings, pockets filled with money in laundry rooms, money in washing machines, silver ponchos, one man ironing white PVC jackets in corners of dark spaces. In Prism-Shell Jacket, a jacket is displayed in a room, with clear pockets of medicine, gas station snacks, action figures, and an asthma inhaler. In 2019, beginning his work as an organizer, Andrew Hubert founded and organized 310 Canal Street, an artist-run space. The space included design works by New York City’s design community, video artists, DJ’s, rappers, and archive clothing sellers, funded by Ryan Foss for On Canal. In 2019, Andrew Hubert released the infamous Tendril Shirt, a deconstructed corporate button down, made with tendrils falling off of each side of the shirt. The shirt worked with architecture to display its disruptive symbolism. Placing the Tendril Shirt on a pool table, a forest’s floor, on a floating piece of styrofoam floating in a river, in an alley beneath a fallen air conditioner, in a fabric store, on a teenage girl in a haunted storage space, on a bed of snow, on a destroyed cardboard box, thrown at a wall, in a college apartment. In 2020, Andrew Hubert began releasing studio works from a shared studio with Kevin Johnn in New York City.

During this time, Andrew Hubert documented young emerging designers and cultural icons wearing his pieces. To embody a rejection of the perfect background, he insisted on showing the behind the scenes of his studio by capturing the floor and outside borders of selected images, and breaking the rules of photography. Andrew Hubert released Chaos Leggings in 2020, a piece where he runs through the streets of the Garment District of Manhattan in knit-mesh threaded leggings, filming himself at ground level with an extruding tripod. In 2021, Andrew Hubert worked with OneGo NYC to exhibit a show-room of Kunai clothing, alongside Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood, as well as other canonized designers. Since April 2021, he has been based in the Silver Valley of Idaho, focusing on a site-specific series of works dealing with the vying powers of agrophillic commerce and the tourism-centric state, exploring how the local communities are affected by the growing schism of these forces. Bootleg Adidas documents the locals of the Silver Valley wearing Kunai clothing while feeding chickens, running through forests, Kunai tree choppers, a poncho in a snowy forest, Kunai hats burning in fire pits and hiding in mossy caves. Most recently, he was an invited participant and organizer by artist Alison Knowles for her feature length video reading of The House of Dust presented in Wiesbaden, Germany in 2021 at the construction site of the artist’s corresponding 3D printed building.


Andrew Hubert (21) ( began organizing New York City design events at the age of 16 and founded Kunai NYC in 2017. He enrolled in Fashion Institute of Technology in 2018 having already shifted his public design practice to a massively successful community driven model. In 2017 As Kunai NYC, he launched projects that changed culture surrounding the shoe. His iconic AF1 Sandal received over 30,000 shares due to its commentary on market culture. In 2018, he challenged fashion archetypes through un-categorized, interventionist attitudes with USPS Forms and Masking Tape and Boiler Room Preview. His collection, Winter 2019, shot in a vacant warehouse, shows young men displaying themselves in ballsy structured clothing — jackets that open into 5 wings — pockets filled with money. Or, an open hermeneutic from an installed jacket with clear pockets full of medicine, gas station snacks, action figures and an asthma inhaler. He redoubled his efforts as an organizer in 2019 when he founded 310 Canal Street, an artist-run space for a network of counter-cultural designers. That year Kunai NYC designed Tendril Shirt, a dismantled corporate button down shirt, remade with tendrils falling from each side. In 2020, he opened a shared studio with Kevin Johnn in NYC, realizing  over 100 works. He also released Chaos Leggings, documenting himself intervening the Manhattan Garment District in knit-mesh threaded leggings. By invitation from OneGo NYC, in 2021 he showed Kunai NYC clothing alongside Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood and other historic designers. Since April 2021, he’s been traveling to the Silver Valley of Idaho for site-specific work about agrophillic commerce and the tourism-centric state, exploring their impact on local communities. Bootleg Adidas documents Silver Valley locals feeding chickens and running through forests in Kunai NYC clothing. Most recently, he participated in an historic feature length video-reading of The House of Dust by founding Fluxus artist Alison Knowles. Filmed at Emily Harvey Foundation in NYC, it was shown in Wiesbaden, Germany in parallel to the construction of her 3D printed building. More at

Clara Joy (21) ( based in NYC is a known downtown recording artist. She is first documented performing at Harvestworks in Soho at the age of 5, at age 9 performing at Radcliffe College and at age 12 performing in The Highline inaugural arts festival. Between ages 12 & 13, from an art-studio in a converted mill building, she launched a wildly successful online performance-photo project, SoftOceans, for which she also designed & fabricated hand made clothing-art — selling hundreds of pieces to an audience of over 21,000 people. At age 13, as a working photographer, she professionally documented the artist Alison Knowles for curator Hans Ulrich Obrist. By age 15, she was engaged as a correspondent to cover the Frieze Art Fair recreation of George Maciunus: Flux Labyrinth (1970/2015) and shortly after became director of the official Instagram channel for Alison Knowles. She began recording songs as Clara Joy in 2015, with 7 albums and 2 singles released to date, which have earned critical acclaim. Intervening band culture, she appears alone on stages, yet has incited multi-artist concerts in the streets. In 2019 Clara Joy was featured in Humans of New York. During 2020, Part of Something (2021), the first film about Clara Joy was made by Sophia Johnson and debuted in 2021. Most recently, Clara Joy is documented performing with artist Alison Knowles in her feature length video reading of The House of Dust presented in Wiesbaden, Germany in 2021 at the construction site of the artist’s corresponding 3D printed building. Clara Joy was a 2021 invited performer for the Brooklyn Rail’s event dedicated to Nam June Paik and inaugurated the sold out reopening concert of Elsewhere in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. More at


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Proposition #2: Make a Salad by Alison Knowles
Aspen, Colorado
July 17 2018

Proposition #2: Make a Salad by Alison Knowles, 1962-2018 interpreted for electric guitar by collaborating artist Joshua Selman. Aspen Art Museum.
Joshua Selman is an artist, composer and graduate of Yale University with a Master of Music Composition whose intermedia practice combines public space intervention, large-scale installation, cultural-strategy and critical journalism. His sound work is included on Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Cologne, Germany. He’s also known for performance works and objects with unique virality. Some were included in a Whitney Museum Ray Johnson retrospective. Other collaborations are with Fluxus founders Alison Knowles and late intermedia theorist Dick Higgins. He first exhibited as An intermedia artist at New York Fluxus venue, the Emily Harvey Gallery. His participation in several artist organized Biennials known as Construction in Process led to a post as Executive Director of The International Artists Museum, New York Center. He’s also documented as a commercial innovator in social networks, by Wired Online in 2004, and referenced in a Facebook patent. In 2003, he launched the online space Artist Organized Art. In 2007, as President, he established Artist Organized Art, a new media based arts organization, as a tax-exempt 501(c)3. In late 2008 he guided Artist Organized Art to acquire New Observations LTD, publisher of New Observations Magazine, with a mandate to relaunch the seminal arts publication. He has gained long term support for the organization from Google Inc. His networked activities now include thousands of artists in the Americas, Europe, Asia and beyond. Residencies include South Korea, Germany, Australia, Canada, the USA and China. His works in Performa, on the High Line, other appearances and interviews are documented in print, on the we band on television.


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