Sayre Gomez "Slippery" and Matthew Stone "Love Focused Like a Laser" both open this Saturday, November 10th at the Hole

November 10th - December 31st, 2012

Sayre Gomez will present his first New York solo show of works at the Hole this November 10th. This L.A.-based conceptual artist will present a body of work consisting predominantly of paintings but including sculpture and installation elements, focusing around his concept of the slippery signification of art and space, where slight formal adjustments produce widely diverse associations and feelings. Gomez is a recent graduate of Cal Arts in Los Angeles who has had recent solo shows at Kavi Gupta in Chicago and Las Cienegas Projects in Los Angeles. His work has been included in recent group exhibitions at White Columns, Gavin Brown's Enterprise, The Torrence Art Museum and UC Irvine University Art Museum. He is from Chicago, IL and went to undergrad at The Art Institute of Chicago. 

If we look at weeping for example and say that this is the highest form of signification one can locate within an experience with an artwork:

(People mention ad nausuem being brought to tears when faced with the beauty of a Mark Rothko painting for example.)

Culture's supposed highest form of visual production: what does it mean when this sensation is found more commonly within culture's lowest forms of visual production?  Does the biological act of being brought to tears by a combination of external stimuli lose its value? Do the deceivingly calculated psychological exploits perfected by the advertising and Hollywood film industries explain this sensation? Does this prompt us to re-evaluate how we understand our experiences?  How do we as viewers locate meaning in our experiences with aesthetic production be it artwork or advertisement, and how is it that we can tell them apart?  

This might seem like a relatively basic question but if I were to say that the experience of looking at Richard Prince's rephotographed Marlboro ads made me weep, then what would be the difference when encountering
 the original as a magazine spread -- would there be some kind of meaning inherent in that experience if the ad brought me to tears as well as the Prince?  Surely people don't cry when looking at these works, but there is something to be said about the nature of how we experience our world considering the ubiquity of appropriation, not just in visual culture but in music, advertising and films -- all aspects of aesthetic production.  What now are the mechanisms employed by art that let you know that it is art?  And how are we qualifying these experiences? 

My work sits at the locus of the formal and the conceptual and playfully investigates how these two approaches to artmaking inform one another.  The strategies I employ are used to look at what it is that qualifies something as one designation of cultural production vs. another; how we understand these experiences and glean meaning from them.  SAYRE GOMEZ

Love Focused Like a Laser
November 10th - December 31st, 2012
Matthew Stone will be presenting his second solo exhibition at the gallery this November 10th in Gallery 3. Love Focused Like a Laser highlights a new series of wall-based works created using computer controlled engraving and a new form of photography that captures moving bodies lit only with lasers. During the long exposure shots, Stone moves in front of the camera and "draws" directly with nightclub lasers lights onto the bodies of the performing figures. The camera tracks the movement of the models, the artist and the lasers resulting in spectacular imagery that combines photography, performance and drawing.
These pieces are part of Stone's continuing explorations of the body and spirituality in our contemporary experience, promoting an optimistic reimagining of human potential. They push his explorations forward via his creation of luminous creatures and spectral bodies that emerge from a process that is defined by community-minded collaboration and embedded within the technological language of our times. Inspired in equal part by shamanism and avant-garde nightlife activity, Stone gives image to his philosophy that the nightclub might present a secular context for sublimated and intuitive religious experience, a statement that is reasserted in the works' installation. The blacked-out gallery is dimly lit like a church, but periodically it bursts into the same starry light that defines the images, showering the audience and artworks in red and green laser dots. Working with his community of club-kids, artists and dancers, would-be shamans arrive using art, performance, technology and dance music as the vehicle for ecstasy.  Stone's ecstasies return us to the body if only to temporarily escape it. In many of these works, the figures appear born of stars, magic. Interchangeable spirits temporarily take human form out of a void of possibility. Swirls of light that dance across skin become the artist’s gesture. Like a symphony conductor Stone directs elements and people that speak back to him to create poetic narratives and social sculptures.

“Optimism is the vital force that entangles itself with and then shapes the future, so we should embrace it. For if all artists reject optimism, then nobody will be here to create the future with sensitivity. The stories will be told, and with conviction, but only by those who seek power over beauty.
My doubting friend stood to leave; her body jerked upright, his head tilting back. I feel her vessels dilate. I hear a voice; “Networked-minds, oxygenated and alive because different thoughts pass through our muscular hearts.” It was then that I spoke without fear; “Everything is Possible & Love Changes Everything.”
Looking back now it had become clear to me that we are still able to credibly speak about love. A love that finds its feet in a kindness that is more powerful than violence. A love thats mystery lies in a type of beauty that is beyond the body & that dwarfs the things that you can buy.
Love focused like a laser.”
An excerpt from “EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE” a manifesto by Matthew Stone published in the September issue of i-D Magazine.
Matthew Stone is a young British artist who graduated from Camberwell College of Arts, London and has had solo and group exhibitions around the world. His laser photography was debuted this summer by V1 Gallery in Copenhagen and presented as part of the House of the Nobleman exhibition at Neo Bankside during the 2012 Frieze Art Fair. He has presented solo exhibitions at Union Gallery in London, Asia Song Society in New York City, and been included in the 2011 Marrakech Biennal, The Royal Academy, The Baltic Center, Tate Britain and ICA London.

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