September 11, 2008

Christopher Ulivo: Armchair adventurer

Christopher Ulivo's show, recommended as Best in Painting by Time Out, opens this week at Susan Inglett. According to the gallery's press release, Ulivo's conceit is that he would like to be an Adventurer, but because of the the sheer daring and physical exertion involved, he has settled into the role of top notch Adventure Enthusiast. "In lieu of first hand experience, Ulivo draws his treatment of adventure and exploration from Hollywood, Penguin Classics, and a few dog-eared copies of National Geographic. As indebted to 'The Journals of Captain Cook' as to Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, the work takes on the mantle of modern day History painting, though on a somewhat smaller scale with much less drama and certainly no actual History."

Time Out's TJ Carlin visits Ulivo in his Bay Ridge studio.
"You have a live-work space," she ssays. "Tell me a little bit about your studio and what you like about working at home."
"The building where I live and work is in Bay Ridge. My great-grandmother bought two adjacent buildings here after emigrating from Naples. She placed most of her nine children and their spouses in the apartments. There were a lot of really colorful people growing up and raising children in these buildings. It was a living stereotype of old Brooklyn.My wife, Goska, and I have an apartment upstairs and I use the basement as my studio. The basement was, for decades, the meeting place for holidays, funerals and christenings. There is a lot of old dinnerware around and family photos bearing evidence of its use.I didn’t function nearly as well when I was working in one of those renovated studio facilities in Gowanus. Spending lots of time in a dusty basement is conducive to a certain strain of creative thought about the faraway world. That is why every year or so you hear about some guy in the Bronx trying to raise a tiger in his apartment. If he knew how to paint, he wouldn’t need the tiger." Read more.

Christopher Ulivo: Who Needs the Explorers Club Anyway" Susan Inglett Gallery, New York, NY. Through October 11.

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