January 24, 2009

Odd but frequent bedfellows, beauty and horror, on Long Island

Artist and critic Stephen Maine sends news that he has curated a show at Alpan Gallery in Huntington, Long Island, "Beauty Marks and Body Parts," that kicks off the gallery's guest curatorial program. Alpan, founded by Nese Karakaplan in 1987, is a non-profit space whose stated mission is to support artistic experimentation, multinational discourse, and well, excellence in general. Maine has gathered work by four New York artists: Cynthia Lin, Ron Meisner, Kevin Regan, and Hector Romero. According to Maine, they each explore the metaphorical heft and frailty of the human figure. "These artists refer to the body in relation to broader themes of vulnerability and resilience, distortion, and the grotesque. Throwing open the doors of figuration, they confront those odd but frequent bedfellows, beauty and horror. Their work conflates glamour and the grotesque, blurs public and private, willfully confuses the Apollonian and the dystopian. While none of the artists in 'Beauty Marks and Body Parts' alludes specifically to the widely published photographs of youthful, limbless Iraq war vets, or to the notorious photos divulging the damage done to detainees in the interrogation facility at Abu Graib, the cultural condition those images document feeds into the exhibition's undercurrent of corporal violence. But a streak of mordant humor lies just beneath the surface, as well."

Also keep in mind that Kevin Regan is currently the artist-in-resident at Pocket Utopia in Brooklyn. Beginning tomorrow, on Sunday afternoons Regan will be serving coffee, and discussing relational aesthetics, collage, sculptural placards, sport figures, newspaper images and working in ink. Stop by and join the discussion.

"Beauty Marks and Body Parts," curated by Stephen Maine. Alpan Gallery, Huntington, NY. Through February 14.

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