Artist: John Kelsey
Venue: Galerie Buchholz, Berlin
Date: July 8 – August 27, 2016
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York
A new series of watercolors presents images of street fights. Mostly male figures are seen coming to blows or grappling in parking lots and other metropolitan settings. We never learn the identities of these antagonists or the specific content of their disputes but we do begin to experience the emergence of a specific genre, the street fight, which is more local to smart phone and online culture than any known fine art tradition. This is not the first time the artist has applied the medium of aquarelle to serial imagery: earlier instances depicted data server farms and production stills from the movie “The Canyons”.
Meanwhile a series of blank white canvases almost disappears on the gallery’s walls. Based on the floor plans of real estate listings in New York, these odd shaped blanks don’t do much more than send the white of the gallery back in another form. At one point there was a plan to paint the canvases but in the end it seemed better to make the flimsiness of the watercolors do the main work of supporting the exhibition, rather than demoting them in relation to real painting (an attempt to become a studio artist for two weeks in Berlin did not feel great). The shapes and titles of the canvases are taken from promotional real estate material gathered during the artist’s recent attempts to find a new home in New York.
Various handcrafted wooden fish/whales were collected via Ebay. Like the shaped canvases each whale has its unique silhouette. These may have previously functioned as shop signs, cutting boards or paddles. At one point the exhibition was going to be called Dolphinitely but in the end the image on the invite card replaced that title: some viewers may recognize the baby dolphin who died while people were taking selfies with it in Argentina.