Zachary D. Milder Vincent Dion Margaret Roleke Adam Taye Shinji Murakami
On view: June 4 - July 4, 2021
56 Bogart Suite, Suite 109, Brooklyn, NY 11206
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Zachary D. Milder
"The colors and lines in the “Some Courts” series divide the work, simultaneously demarcating teams and crafting an appearance of balance and impartiality. Beneath or beside these veneers of equality, systems of rules dictate the proposed action. A number of rules are provided but some key rules are left unwritten, thereby encouraging the viewer to fill in the gaps. The inherent desire for fairness in sport drives the implicit expectation that the systems of action within these proposed spaces should be fairly designed and enforced for all competitors. This impartial rule-making process inspires a more critical examination of the systems that dictate the action within our lives. The implied sports in the “Some Courts” series are at varying levels of completion and are presented in the format of drafts, napkin sketches, and jotted thoughts. The work-in-progress aesthetic alludes to the reality that social systems are perpetually in flux and require ongoing reflection to improve. The work in this series inspires a more conscious and impartial engagement with the systems of action we enforce in our own lives." - Zach Milder
Artist’s Statement for Soft Gym
My new sculpture is made out of scavenged firehose, clothing and mixed media. The overall theme of the work poses the question, “What constitutes strength?” Abuse of power seems rampant. Who can or do we trust? Can we trust authority? What remedies do we have to protect and nurture our own existence? How do we stay strong, emotionally and physically? In the ancient book, The Art of War, Sun-tzu: writes “neutralize an adversary’s military power, but not through battles.”
Scavenged firehose has dramatic sculptural effect and personal metaphoric meaning related to my grandfather, a fireman who died young after saving a boy from a well. I’m using firehose to create a parody of gyms, titled Soft Gym.
Personalized training creates strength and is often a replacement for and contributes to the perceived lack of value in manual labor. Making art needs manual labor. Using firehose and hand-dyed underwear suggests a human connection to my oddly scaled sculptures.
"America faces large challenges; racism, gun violence, global warming, and an assault on the truth.
My work is an urgent response to these issues and a call for dialogue. Through assemblage of sculpture materials and paper collage, billboards, installations, and cyanotype, I create messages designed to appeal to basic human desires for decency and good health. Recently, I began making cyanotypes that explore Black Lives Matter protests and the effects of the pandemic. Living near Sandy Hook Elementary School, the site of a 2012 mass shooting, inspired sculptures made out of shotgun shells, and to this day, I donate a percentage of all work sold to organizations that work for gun control.
I move between these themes creating sculptures, installations and prints that urge action on injustice. My work isn’t didactic, but it is made with singular desire. It expresses unease and discontent with the status quo and connects with those who may share those feelings." - Margaret Roleke
Like many of us, Taye grew up playing Church basketball. The sculptures in "Quorum" are the artist's way of making connections between religion, contemporary worship of athletes, and riffs on art history. In these tableaux, Taye takes figurines of famous NBA ballplayers and places them in poses from Old Master paintings.
"Quorum": "I'm creating a visual language that analyzes the artifacts of self-determination, free agency, and self-fulfilling prophecy. Last year I was in three fantasy basketball leagues. I create objects to become part of the canon of apocrypha surrounding contemporary American religion."
"'Quorum', by Brooklyn artist Adam Taye explores parallels between religious asceticism and the demi-deification of the modern athlete. Through tradition, dedication, and the repetition of Sisyphus-like tasks, athletes and saints are able to transcend ordinary existence and enter a higher state of consciousness, granting them visceral harmony with space and time. The athletes are forever frozen in their various moments of reckoning within altars reminiscent of votive milagros, Cathedral niches, and depictions of religious rapture in art history."
Japanese artist SHINJI MURAKAMI’s work springboards from the philosophy of Gunpei Yokoi, the famous inventor of Nintendo’s Game Boy, Lateral Thinking with Withered Technology. Withered technology in this context refers to a mature technology that is cheap and well understood. Lateral thinking refers to finding radical new ways of using such technology. Yokoi held that toys and games do not necessarily require cutting edge technology; novel and fun gameplay are more important. This concept is something that has been practiced throughout recent art history. The silkscreen prints of Andy Warhol and the American comic-style expression of Roy Lichtenstein, are born from withered technology. Shinji does not believe that profound human understanding has necessarily caught up to the explosive evolution of modern computer technology (also according to Moore’s Law). The pixelated expressions of 8-bit video games, which are very much nostalgic for those born in 1980s, are also one withered part of this evolutionary process. This pixel that will probably be forgotten in a few years due to the appearance of the Retina Display. Shinji interrogates the lateral thinking of this pixel.