This past Thursday night, at the invite of my friend & studio mate from Venice, Ted Holland, I went to the opening for “Study” at ZieherSmith in Chelsea. Luckily, before heading into the gallery, I was fortunate enough to catch Stux still open (even though after 6:00) and found myself viewing Don Porcella’s: Are We There Yet?. Don and I met via myspace. Yes, its true. Real people, including myself, actually exist on myspace. I went to his thesis exhibition at Hunter College, and a friendship was formed.

Don works in various media, but largely makes encaustic paintings and sculpture using pipe cleaners. The work is very colorful and I couldn’t help but smile at the scenarios that are formed within the rectangular confines of the canvas. One of my favorites is “Rock Garden” which appears as stonehenge gone awry. Rocks are strewn about shooting laser beams towards the sky. Yes! Two other images that captured my fancy were a blond Jesus shopping in a grocery store and a blobby couple having sex, seen through a window in a square structure. I also ejoyed a sculpture of a high top Nike sneaker fallen on its side, pipe cleaner blood oozing from a dismembered leg.

From the press release: Porcella’s seamless subconscious, rife with prophetic characters in amorphous landscapes is full of dry humor and manifests an imagined world wholly free of malice or judgment.

Awe.

“Study” on a completely different level, manifests the interpretation of a painting by Antonio da Messina. The painting, “St. Jerome’s desk”, 1475, depicts the solitary saint as he sits in his study and works diligently translating the bible. St. Jerome has a close place in my heart, and as many of you may or may not know, I made a small series of paintings on records (vinyl) telling the story of St. Jerome and the lion. Adam Winner (who is also a very good friend of Ted’s) has taken two-dimensional shapes and made them three dimensional. The result is eerie and enticing. I found myself (as always) wanting to interact with the work and find out what it would feel like to sit in this chair (now somewhat miniaturized), made thousands of years later, but intended for a saint. I was delighted to discover that Adam is a painter by trade and love, but has worked for several years with wood & carpentry. His artistic direction, and first sculptural attempt, gives rise to tactile exploration, both literally and metaphorically. I look forward to seeing him expand upon this modus operandi; paint becomes structure and maybe even site specific.

“Are We There Yet?” is on view until February 2nd, 2008
“Study” is on view until February 23rd, 2008

Ps: hi Ted! :)