Thursday February 28, 2007
Various Broklyn Galleries
Written by Eve Hyman
Photographed by Katherin Wermke
(Opposite photo Phillip
Fountain was an art show alternative
to the NYC Armory – the Slamdance to the Armory’s
Sundance, if you will - and it was a visual feast.
With galleries like Brooklyn’s Front Room,
Glow Lab and Outrageous Look participating, there
was a wide variety of paintings and multi-media
McCraig and Welles Gallery
is in its second year in NYC and Miami and takes
its name from a Marcel Duchamp piece circa 1917.
In contrast to the Armory, Fountain 2007 was a guerrilla-style
art fair for young, Brooklyn-based galleries to
showcase without official booth spaces or selection
committee juries. Fountain reflected the spirit
of the avant-garde and of an art community where
artists influence one another and grow withing a
Diane Dwyer and Jon
photos, video, collage, sculpture, and paintings.
Some of the highlights were Greg Habemy’s
room of toys, scribbles, and sundry sculptures,
Brian Leto’s “canvas conglomorations”
ROBOT, and a series of school-themed works including
one of an army all in silver glitter on a manila
file folder, as well as one of a girl’s face
all in staples. We caught Jon Stewart admiring artist
Diane Dwyer's paintings. Diane and Jon were gracious
enough to pose for Katherin.
The work that
brought us to Fountain belongs to artist Philip
Simmons. Simmons creates brilliantly colored, metal
sculptures suspended from chains. His pieces are
lovely and lyrical – in a questioning, critical
and humorous way. Using satire to present an alternative
Americana, Simmons’s sculptures are silhouettes
of iconic imagery like cowboys, sunsets, and landscapes.
The art is a critique of the American dream and
celebrates Americana in an honest and off-color
way. Under the candy-colored coatings are irreverent
visions of American culture. The work is suffused
with nostalgia, sex, and a sense of lost innocence.
Simmon’s were welcome images at an art show
that included mostly cityscapes. Looking at Simmons’
wall of colorful signs, I was reminded of the macho
cowboy, of American environmental abuse and of a
national legacy of indigenous genocide. I was reminded
that art can speak volumes with a mere silhouette
and some slick color. And
though I didn't go to the Armory show, I am glad
that all the buzz created by the Armory show encouraged
the Brooklyn galleries to participate in Fountain.