Jeremy Kost: Of An Instance
150 11th Avenue, at West 21st
New York until May 31st, 2012
Jeremy Kost: Of An Instance
@ Andy Warhol Museum (opening in December)
Not unlike the late and great Andy Warhol, artist Jeremy Kost also uses celebrity and the proposal of stardom in his photographic based collages and silk-screen paintings.This being said, it should come as no surprise that the artist was approached by The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on the occasion of creating an exhibition that would feature both Warhol and the work of Jeremy Kost. For this particular collaborative effort, titled Of An Instance, Kost proposed that the show also be held in the Chelsea gallery district of New York and the work has been installed in a space on 11th avenue at 21st street. Included in the large, three room exhibition are segments from four bodies of work installed alongside facsimiles of famous Polaroid prints taken by Andy Warhol (the originals are part of the private collection of The Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and cannot be displayed due to light and temperature sensitivity). The first series of images that one will encounter upon entering the gallery is The Fame Paintings, a body of medium sized silk-screened paintings on canvas. There is a uniform color scheme which remains the same in each, a dull yet brilliant silver ground, and an element of painted portraiture revealed in black. The images are made from the negative of a photograph taken by Kost who up until 2009 was photographing celebrities featuring the likes of Madonna, Beyoncè, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, amongst others. However here, transformed in silk-screen, each figure is almost unrecognizable due to the reversal of information. The effect is both eerie and inviting. The surface level quality of the work doesn’t lend itself to environment, time, or fashion, yet the resulting images are neither banal or abject, they just are. In the physical presence of being, each piece is referential to a time gone by and a culture that still exists, the public adoration of celebrity.
From Jeremy Kost on The Fame Paintings: “It [the series] continues a discussion of fame but with a bit more abstracted, layered connection, instead of simply making it direct. There is a magical process and I worked with an amazing group of guys who also make paintings for Jack Pierson and Kelly Walker. We worked trial and error, becoming aware of the nuances and texture on canvas because it’s one thing if you are putting four layers of gesso on top of it, but making silk-screen, the material can dictate the painting. So instead of freaking out about it [the texture] I left it and I think Andy did the same thing.”
The other series featured in the exhibition are Abstracted Realities, Anyone Other Than Me and The Male Form. These versus the previous mentioned work, focus on Kost’s own practice with Polaroid photography, collage and video. The collage work arrives by being intensely assembled by numerous individually shot Polaroid images that are assembled to make a complete portrait or environment. Here, the artist focuses on the nude male form and the performative gesture by Drag Queens. Some of these works, such as I Fucking Love You (Marriage Equality for All), 2011, is installed below the well-known 1986 Warhol Polaroid reinterpreting The Last Supper, an obvious translation of the spirited, now fading, work by Leonardo da Vinci, painted between 1495-1498. Kost takes chances with his viewer. His personal references can be oblique in a particular context but offer a sneak-peek into a world that many of us do not get to see or take part in. Contrary to the limited palette of The Fame Paintings, his photographic collages are teeming with color, energy and dynamism. The Warhol Museum has chosen well in selecting an artist who isn’t making the same work as Andy Warhol, but carries and lives amongst a similar group of individuals who may be self-defined as fabulous or carry the term as a burden associated with fame.
Sponsored by Hugo Boss and in partnership with The Warhol Museum, Of An Instance, will be on view at 150 11th Avenue, at West 21st, New York until May 31st, 2012 then opening at Andy Warhol Museum this December.
Katy Diamond Hamer is an art writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently contributing to Flash Art International, Sleek, NY Magazine, Whitehot Magazine and others. For more of her writing visit: http://www.eyes-towards-the-dove.com
Photograph by Takis Spyropoulos, 2012
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