I recently had an experience with a themed art show that turned out shockingly well. This was "Point of Origin," curated by Dina Brodsky and Trek Lexington, and exhibited at The Lodge Gallery, on the Lower East Side. I've written about all these entities before, except for the mysterious Mr. Lexington. They're all fixtures of the part of the New York art scene I'm involved in.
Brodsky and Lexington are phenomenal curators, and much appreciated for it - Lexington's Instagram (@treklexington) was up to 172k followers last time I checked. So their invitations for this show went out, and I was fortunate enough to make the cut. The theme for the show was artwork painted on palettes. This is a pretty clever idea, because painters have an intimate and tactile relationship with their palettes. All painters have a different take on the palette - on its ideal shape, color, and placement, on what it should be made of, on the arrangement and amount of paint on it, on where and how to mix the paint. I myself am lazy as hell, and don't like to clean palettes, so I use disposable wax paper palette pads. One upside of my arrangement is that if I like how a particular group of colors turned out, I can use a sharpie to label each color on the palette and save it. I have a library of such sheets.
For the show, though, I went out and bought a proper wood palette. In fact, it was an unusual enough format for a painting that virtually everybody was going to have to make a new painting for the show - they wouldn't just happen to have something relevant lying around the studio. I looked at the artist list. It included a good fraction of the most talented and creative representational painters I know. It's not a huge world. Although many of us haven't met in person, we all know and admire one another's work. These two features, that new work would be required, and that the field was full of excellent painters, resulted in the quality of the show. How? I think because we all got really competitive. Not to "win," but simply to earn our spot amongst such peers. I know I immediately began trying to think of ways to do something better than I'd done before. I suspect others did too, in a virtuous cycle that resulted in the 50+ pieces presented.
Jason Patrick Voegele and Keith Schweitzer, whose project The Lodge Gallery is, hung it beautifully, and if you're in town, you should go see the show; it's up until November 13th. I'm proud to be included in it. A selection of pieces is included in the slideshow below. They all look better in person. They look like jewels. Go, go, go. Thank you to Brodsky and Lexington for honoring me with inclusion, to Voegele and Schweitzer for showing the work, and to the other painters for inspiring me to do better. I think this is how it should work.
Point of Origin
curated by Dina Brodsky & Trek Lexington
until November 13th, 2016
The Lodge Gallery
131 Chrystie Street, New York, NY 10002
In this slideshow, artworks are identified by the names of the artists only.