Relying heavily on a dose of influence from his Pop art predecessors but injecting it with sensibilities based in hip-hop hype, skater style and graffiti guerilla warfare, Ryan McGinness has pioneered a new territory in the realm of high art.
It was already dark and all I could see to match the aggressive growl were two headlights speeding towards me at a terrifying clip, now less than a block away. As I leaped onto the curb the 1968 red Cobra flew past, the driver’s blur of blond hair swishing in the wind.
It’s a Tuesday night in Lower Manhattan. Race night. I’m at Tom Sachs’s production facility on Hester Street, three blocks from his studio, two blocks from his home. Chinatown. This giant factory is on the third floor of an ancient building that once housed the New York City Police Department’s mounted division.
Alexis Rockman sauntered up to our meeting spot on Canal Street, the sanguine spring in his step belying the bizarre state of Broadway, deserted except for about twenty police officers wearing flak jackets and carrying machine guns. The natural history painter’s studio is located in an area of Manhattan that was closed off to all nonresidents in the aftermath of the tragedy of September 11, Black Tuesday, and he arrived exactly on time to escort me into the war zone.
Walking into Ryan Humphrey’s solo show at Caren Golden Fine Art was like walking into Valhalla; a place where the holy relics of my childhood heroes retired for eternity.
Richard Kern’s models pose before his lens in manners most people only ever experience with their most intimate partners.