art

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 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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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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Paul Gauguin: Desire and Immortality by Sam Abelow

Paul Gauguin, a painter of the 1890’s, achieved an immortality through his art. Much of his drive to create was a compulsion in which he sacrificed his well-being to achieve. Yet, the contents of his imagination and intellect live on in the cultural canon of Western art, and his aesthetics propagated a new vision of art, influencing the likes of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. The psychological power behind such a drive will be explored in this essay, along with much more.

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Still Life: Alchemy and Archetype by Sam Abelow

This style, known as Cloissonism or Synthetism, was developed in the late 1890s by famous artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. Other, lesser-known proponents were Maurice Denis, Cumo Amiet and Emile Bonnard, who have all influenced me greatly. The use of strong colors, visible paint strokes and thickened shapes, broadly outlined seems to come naturally to me.

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An Artist’s Case for the Moderation of Technology by Sam Abelow

The excessive technological stimulation causes many of us to ignore the Life which exists in slow and open moments when we are able to absorb each other and the world around us. Recognition of the downtempo pace of a pre-technological existence is a needed counterbalance.

Flashy screens, moving images, endless songs to stream and infinite news stories are all alluring. Widely accessible content, from comedy to calamity, becomes addictive to our minds which are designed for curiosity. Please, in the days after reading this pay attention to your own habits.

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Living Myths in Paint: Sandro Chia Exhibit by Sam Abelow

There are two painters I currently admire above all the rest, although there are many examples enduring works of art. The first is Paul Gauguin, who painted actively in the late 1890’s. The second is Sandro Chia. I attended Chia’s first exhibit in New York City after a decade, at the Marc Straus gallery this late winter, early spring 2017. On display were a couple dozen affecting and mature paintings.

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