Five artists share their response to the media barrage of the 21st century in David Schwarz Project 6: Infobabble, on view in the Richard and Dolly Maass Gallery at Purchase College January 22 to March 9. Featuring creators from the worlds of fine art, graffiti, photography, film and advertising, this exhibition explores how contemporary artists find a voice in the melee; be it through subversion, parody, political action or direct intervention.
The Maass Gallery is open Monday to Friday, 9 AM-5 PM, and is located in the Art+Design Building on the Purchase College campus. Admission is free. An opening reception will be held on January 30 from 5-7 PM.
Purchase College, State University of New York, is located at 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY.
The David Schwarz Projects bring cutting-edge visual art to the Westchester/Fairfield area and provide role models for the students in the School of Art+Design. Infobabble continues this mission.
The modern world is structured in such a way that our senses are almost constantly subjected to a barrage of stimulation from a variety of sources. Television, films, radio, newspapers, billboards, magazines and the internet come at us from all sides and hit us in all corners—each and every one trying desperately to sell us their “message.” What this situation creates is a general numbness within the culture. As this numbness takes hold, the “message-makers” try frantically to break through this anesthetized state, finding consistently more clever and subversive ways to get into our collective psyches.
If an artist’s primary job is to make sense of our culture and the times in which we live, then considering the current situation, how do they find a voice? How does an artist break through this wall of mass media noise and image? Once they do, what do they say? They most definitely have their hands full. This is the subject of Infobabble. The artists featured in this exhibition all work hard, against what are sometimes tremendous odds, to speak their truths.
Aaron Rose, co-curator of the international museum exhibition and book, Beautiful Losers, serves as the guest curator for David Schwarz Project 6. Infobabble includes a selection of artists from the Beautiful Losers exhibition: Cynthia Connolly, Brian Donnelly (KAWS), Shepard Fairey, Mike Mills and Stephen Powers (ESPO).
Mike Mills is a filmmaker, graphic designer and artist whose wide-ranging projects mix art and commerce, highlighting the cultural confusion of our times. Mills has made commercials for Levi’s, the Gap and Nike, as well as music videos and graphics for bands such as Moby, Yoko Ono and the Beastie Boys. He has exhibited work at the Venice Biennale and Andrea Rosen Gallery and his feature film debut, Thumbsucker, opened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005.
Stephen Powers (ESPO) has been making advertising-inspired art since the early nineties. His work has been shown at Deitch Projects, the Venice Biennale and Creative Time. Most recently, Powers collaborated on a project called The Dreamland Artist Club, a series of work based on the colorful hand-painted signage that was once ubiquitous at Coney Island.
Cynthia Connelly documented her involvement in the D.C. punk scene by publishing a book entitled Banned in D.C.: Photos and Anecdotes from the D.C. Punk Underground, 1979-1986. Her photographs and postcards are in the collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History as well as the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
Brian Donnelly (KAWS) is a Brooklyn-based artist who “enjoys tampering with the all-American icons of comic strips such as Mickey Mouse and the Simpsons.” He is well-known for his “alterations” of urban bus-shelter ads. KAWS has had numerous exhibitions in Tokyo, London and New York, and has recently opened OriginalFake, a collaborative store with Medicom Toy in the Aoyama district of Tokyo.
Shepard Fairey, a graphic designer/illustrator, created the “Obey” campaign which is now seen all over the world. In Fairey’s words, “The Obey campaign can be explained as an experiment in Phenomenology … [it] attempts to stimulate curiosity and bring people to question both the campaign and their relationship with their surroundings.”
For ten years (1992-2002) Aaron Rose was the director of the highly influential Alleged Gallery in New York. The gallery was responsible for breaking the careers of many visual artists who are now considered the leading edge of contemporary art, including Mark Gonzales, Ed Templeton, Chris Johanson, Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen, Thomas Campbell and Phil Frost. Rose also worked as a producer for MTV on-air promotions for two years and produced short films for artists and filmmakers such as Mark Gonzales, Rita Ackermann, Harmony Korine, Mike Mills and Spike Jonze. Now based on the West coast, he is the co-founder of Iconoclast Productions, a multi-media production company specializing in collaborations with visual artists that relate to both the art world and popular culture.
The David Schwarz Projects are made possible by the generous support of Jeanne and David Schwarz.
For more information, call 914-251-6750.