Spencer Sweeney's Liberated Masterworks at Gagosian by Sam Abelow

This December the Gagosian gallery, located on Park Ave. and 75th Street in New York City, presented about a half dozen of Spencer Sweeney’s latest works. The figurative painter, who is also a DJ and club owner, has been a legend of the Downtown scene for two decades. Sweeney’s latest works exemplify his approach to life and art, now as ever before, as free, spontaneous and full of vibrant energy.  

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The Lover Archetype in Modern Men: Dan Bilzerian, The Ultimate Playboy as Addicted Lover by Sam Abelow

Dan Bilzerian is a mega Instagram celebrity. He is known for a lavish life. Especially, audiences are drawn to his consistent presentation of voluptuous women, whom he flaunts, as a modern American playboy. His internet persona has made him famous, even infamous, for wild adventurousness, endless sexual exploits, large parties, as well as a macho-interests such as guns and weight-lifting. Many men admire him; they admit that, if they could, they would indulge  themselves — have sex with many enticing women without commitment, travel and adventure without restriction. Other men condemn him, labeling him superficial, or fake. They research and expose the fantastic tale of his success as false. The extreme wealth, detractors say, wasn’t achieved by high-stakes poker gambling alone; it was acquired through his financial criminal father. Either way, in open admiration or envious attacks, many men are mesmerized by his lifestyle. In many of his viewers, there is a part, either conscious or unconscious, that wishes they had what Bilzerian has. This is evident in looking through the comments on his Instagram, which boasts a massive 25 million followers.

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The Persephone Series of Paintings by Sam Abelow

n the original Greek myth, Persephone begins as the maiden of eternal springtime, the youthful and naive “mother’s daughter.” Then she is abducted, taken to the underworld by Hades. There, Persephone wallows, and her mother, Demeter longs after her. Demeter demands her daughter back, and Hades agrees, but slyly offers Persephone a seed of the pomegranate first.

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Vividly Painting the Inner World: Review of Haley Josephs by Sam Abelow

On a hot and humid, early September evening in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Haley Josephs displayed eight unusual paintings at the Gallery 315. The bubbly artist, dressed in a long, blue silk kimono and matching clogs, welcomed attendees.

As I took in the “Finger in the Hive” show, it became increasingly apparent that the artist had painted herself in various guises. The impressive oil paintings featured a diverse set of female characters, many of which were adolescent or children, often set amongst a cinematic sunset, the colors bursting with an internal fire.

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The Nude Body in Art: Sexuality, The Archetypal Feminine and Transformational Examination by Sam Abelow

Through examination and consciousness wounds and lacks of the individual and collective psyche can be healed. If in the process we painfully shed undeveloped attitudes and opinions, we will be the better for it. Additionally, any inauthentic artistic expression will be left behind, and the deepest expressions valued for their transformative power and edifying effects.

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SEED Exhibition: Feminine Psyche and Mysticism in Art by Sam Abelow

It has been very joyous for me to discover a community of artists and enthusiasts exploring the matters of the psyche through art. SEED, a group show curated by Yvonne Force Villareal, focuses on themes of the feminine as mystery and the importance of the mystical mind. It does so with expressive excellence, in the form of paintings, sculptures and mixed media works.

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Demoiselles d’Instagram: Exploration of the Feminine in Society and Art by Sam Abelow

The “D’Madsoille de Instagram” series, presented by Tibor de Nagy, offers an opportunity to delve into these matters and contemplate what it means to consume and therefore support the production of objectifying, sexualized images today.

Whether it has been men’s reductive treatment of women, the courtesans of history, or Instagram models using their sexualized bodies as a basis for a career, an inner relationship to the archetypal feminine that is limited and ruled by libido is at the core.

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Painting Process: Archetypal Ideas in a Personal Art by Sam Abelow

Paintings are essentially about communication — that is, of an idea, an emotion, either ambiguous or direct, purposeful. After completing the work in October 2017, the painting was rolled-up and set aside. It wasn’t until Johannes Böckmann, a German theological student contacted me wishing to collect several works. Among those he was drawn to was the “Pastoral Scene.” When I asked him what the painting meant to him, the way in which he understood the symbolic content, touching down to the archetypal core, was astounding. His reaction reconnected me with the painting.

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Sam Harris and David Benatar Debate Anti-Natalism: Breaking Through the Philosophical Quibble by Sam Abelow

David Benatar is a philosopher and writer who insists that a universe without human beings is better off than one with them. He believes, that because sentient beings can suffer, in varying degrees, it is better that they never lived. Additionally, once living, suicide is, in the majoirty of cases, a moral wrongdoing.This school of thought is known as “Anti-Natalism.” 

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New Age Ridiculousness at Columbia University Program by Sam Abelow

Among his seemingly random meanderings throughout the class, events that took place included, a girl crying to the class for 20 minutes about the very personal death of her grandfather, a loose discussion on the concept of time and how we don’t live in the moment, several aggressive table pounds by the professor, and a couple of phrases that made shallow sense, like “life doesn’t go fast, we go fast”.

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