nycARTscene Interview: Noah Becker
Noah Becker is a NYC-based oil painter, a jazz saxophonist, the founding editor of Whitehot Magazine and a contributing writer for numerous publications (Art in America, Interview Magazine, Canadian Art, the Huffington Post).
Becker’s recent paintings are currently on view at The Lodge Gallery, a solo exhibition of his portraiture and collage-like reconsiderations of art history.
nycARTscene contributor Gabriel Sands leads us in conversation with the artist:
GS: How have you been influenced by other prominent New York City artists who came before you? Whom specifically?
NB: I was influenced by Warhol, Basquiat, Jackson Pollock and many others.
GS: How has your relationship to and perception of portraiture changed as a result of your own work?
NB: Making unknown people or making famous people becomes an issue. I try and do as few famous people as possible… I’m painting mostly unknowns but that might change.
GS: You are also a musician. What is the interplay between your music and your visual art, if any?
NB: I’m a saxophonist. There are shapes and feelings in music and shapes and vibrations in painting. It’s coming from a source that transcends the human world. I’m not sure that they have an interaction except for the fact that I do it and it comes from my consciousness. The world is mysterious and we really don’t know everything yet.
GS: Can you tell us about the idea of mass production in culture and art? What does that mean to you?
NB: Mass production is something Warhol was doing with his Factory and now people like Jeff Koons and Kehinde Wiley are doing it. Supply and demand is the issue here. I’m not sure how much work an artist needs to make… Vermeer made only about 35 paintings I think… How many do you need to be a famous artist?
GS: On Twitter, you recently tweeted an offer to paint people’s portraits. Tell us why you did this.
NB: Twitter is an interesting thing because you can test the social and creative dynamic. I Tweeted that because I’m interested in the challenge of painting someone I don’t know. It’s also a way of dealing with the current situation with the online world in an experimental way. For example I offer people Skype studio visits where I link to them and they give me a one hour tour of their studio. I’ve been invited to studios all over the world via Skype.
Noah Becker: http://noahbeckerart.com/
The Lodge Gallery: www.thelodgegallery.com 131 Chrystie St., NYC
nycARTscene Interview: Noah Becker
opens Thurs, Oct 17, 6-8p:
Johannes Vogt Gallery, 526 W26th St., NYC
iron sculptures, a suite of oil paintings, and a video work featuring theatrical performance. Brazilian artist Tatiana Blass’s first exhibition in New York The work. As part of the artist’s practice, Blass composes figurative sculptures out of microcrystalline wax that become fluid over the duration of their exhibition. Antagonized by spotlights and heating elements, the sculptures slowly deform and are overtaken by entropy. In the recent works on display, Blass takes up the theme of the interview, composing paintings and sculptures in which subject, audience, and medium break down into one another. - thru Nov 16
opens Tonight Tues, Sept 10, 6-8p:
The Lodge Gallery, 131 Chrystie St., NYC (bt Delancey & Broome)
This two week ensemble set will consist of paintings, sculpture, photography, and interactive old media analog assemblage, all of which provide a deep view into a more intimate body of work by Riederer, best known for his critically acclaimed international performance project, “Never Records.” An interactive bricolage of guitar and bicycle parts allows visitors to produce looped melodies from a fixed set of notes and percussive elements. An array of flaming guitars line the gallery, oil paintings made with old master mediums and leaded glass powder. Also filling the space is the warm sound of Bing Crosby’s voice, a looped vinyl record repeating “Only Forever” on a vintage turntable. - thru Sept 21
opens Sept 8, 6-8p:
Marc Straus, 299 Grand St., NYC
There are two connected themes in this new body of paintings: women in lavish settings and highly stylized Eastern rugs. These paintings evolve from striking pictorial motifs. Up close, Santin’s surfaces are a stunning highly sculptured layering of oil and acrylic paint. Unfolding in his works are pertinent issues about beauty and domesticity, about empathy and distancing. In his rugs, Santin weaves together marvelous Oriental designs, hinting at early Muslim and Mozarab arabesques found in medieval southern Spain. - thru Sept 29
Joachim ‘Yoyo’ Friedrich & Sam McKinniss
organized by Jamie Sterns
envoy enterprises, 87 Rivington St., NYC (bt Orchard & Ludlow)
“There are shared interests, considerations, and aesthetics that brought me to select these [two] artists and their works. This can be seen in their connections of color and poetics of form. The works on view capture moods and tell short tales of a moment, a day, or a fantasy imagined. On view will be a selection of works on paper, newspaper and sculpture by Friedrich that range from the 1970s to 2013 and oil and canvas paintings by McKinniss from 2012 to 2013.” - Jamie Sterns
- thru Aug 24
Opens Thurs, June 20, 6-8p:
James Cohan Gallery, 533 W26th St., NYC
Shi Zhiying’s first exhibition in the United States, well known in her native China for stark monochromatic paintings of uniform vistas — open water, Zen sand gardens, carpets of grass — that flood the viewer’s field of vision. Her fluent observational painting embodies, and promotes, intense reflections on individuality and the passage of time. “Some things haven’t changed, from the distant past all the way to the present and the future,” the artist states. “They are things which everyone possesses.” The Relics debuts large-scale oil paintings of decorative and religious relief carvings and intimate portraits of antique vessels.
Accola Griefen Gallery, 547 W27th St., NYC (634)
Black and white film stills are the pictorial basis of the majority of Susan Bee’s new oil paintings… solitary individuals, couples and familial groups depicted in these works are nearly overwhelmed by tumultuous passages of paint that threaten to separate and engulf the figures. Her works are full of tension as well as tenderness. - thru June 29