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New York Cool - Arts

Thursday February 28, 2007
Various Broklyn Galleries

Written by Eve Hyman
Photographed by Katherin Wermke

(Opposite photo Phillip Simmons Wall)

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 to enjoy.

McCraig and Welles Gallery

Fountain 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 supportive environment.

Greg Habemy

Brian Leto

Diane Dwyer and Jon Stewart

Fountain included 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.

Philip Simmons

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.



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