THE UPPER EAST SIDE ART SCENE sure is getting wild. Long the preserve of the staid and genteel (old masters, modern masters and the like), the neighborhood has recently been seeing more adventurous fare. Three gallery shows that exemplify the trend—and a fourth farther uptown—are of work by artists who share elements of the same profile: the bad-boy avant-gardist with machismo to spare, rebelling against aesthetic conventions, social norms or both.
Barry Manilow and David Lee Roth—present in the form of grotesquely distorted photo collages—weren’t the only celebrities at the opening of artist Mark Flood’s career survey, “The Hateful Years,” at Upper East Side gallery Luxembourg & Dayan the other night. Cameron Diaz was on hand, and paused to pose for photographer Mary Barone (remember her people pics from the sadly now-defunct Artnet magazine?) along with Mr. Flood and the artist Dan Colen.
Examining two gum paintings by Dan Colen included in his Gagosian New York show in 2010, Times co-chief art critic Roberta Smith wrote that “you may even begin to wonder about the kind of painter Mr. Colen might become if he ever decides to grow up.” (It was a pretty scathing review and noted in passing that “juvenile nastiness… informs everything here.”)
“It’s sort of guerilla warfare,” said Vito Schnabel, the curator and art dealer.
If you haven’t already, you should head over to New York art critic Jerry Saltz’s Facebook page where the pundit has sounded off on the current Nate Lowman, Dash Snow and Dan Colen shows in Rome at the moment.
He has some concerns!