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‘Something Sacred in the Sexual:’ Bruce LaBruce at The Hole

Bruce LaBruce

Bruce LaBruce calls himself “the reluctant pornographer.” Since the early 80s, Mr. LaBruce, 50, has used art to explore tabooed fetishes from gerontophilia to zombie sex. His latest work is an exhibition of photography (and a short film) called “Obscenity,” currently showing at The Hole gallery until August 20. The photographs act as an ad campaign for a limited-edition perfume Mr. LaBruce just released, also called “Obscenity,” which is selling for $500.

Over the years, Mr. LaBruce has taken his art around the world, and several times his work has been seized by Canadian customs on his return home. The name “obscenity” references the letters Mr. LaBruce has received from customs informing him why his work was taken. The series of 20 photographs in “Obscenity” feature only two models–a man and a woman. Half of the pictures are an homage to Jack Nicholson and Ann-Margret in the 1971 film Carnal Knowledge. The rest consider the relationship between the religious and the sexual. A femme fatale wraps her limbs around a priest. A nun balances a holy wafer on her tongue. We met up with Mr. LaBruce at The Hole to talk about the show. Read More

artists

Warming Her Environment: Shihori Yamamoto on Her Latest Work

shiori_yamamoto_82

When Shihori Yamamoto was 10 years old, she picked up a can of red paint and began to cover the walls of her house in Yokohama, Japan, sparing only the tatami mats on the floor. Her mother, understandably, was furious, but once she cooled off, she took her impish daughter to a fabric store and bought her rolls of red cloth. Ever since, Ms. Yamamoto, 26, has used fabric and paint to transform spaces into cocoons of reds, yellows and oranges. The colors give her comfort in a world that she finds invasive. “I feel like I’m losing my identity all the time,” Ms. Yamamoto told me. “So I have to make sure I have a shelter or a place where I can sustain myself.” Read More

artists

Kool Thing: Raymond Pettibon and Kim Gordon at the Strand

(Courtesy: Strand)

Raymond Pettibon’s hands trembled during the half-hour he spoke at the Strand on Wednesday night. Kim Gordon was more relaxed. (Holding a microphone isn’t so foreign to her.) One strained to hear Mr. Pettibon as he spoke into his mic as he talked with Ms. Gordon about To Wit, a catalogue of his drawings from the eponymous show he had at David Zwirner last fall. The fact that the rare-books room was packed—latecomers spilled well into the back—likely didn’t ease his stage fright.

“Do you worry, when you put your own persona in your work…do you wonder how people are going to take that?” Ms. Gordon asked. She wore a tight black dress with a silver zipper at the bust. Read More

artists

Mickalene Thomas Delves Deeper Into Cubism, Collage

Thomas. (Illustration by Paul Kisselev)

Over the past decade, Brooklyn-based artist Mickalene Thomas, 43, has earned acclaim for her wide-ranging practice, which slices and dices early Modernism, African sculpture, textiles and, perhaps most famously, rhinestones, to make exuberant, ingenious paintings, particularly portraits of black women in lush, electric, richly patterned interiors. Her latest show, “Tête de Femme,” opens at Chelsea’s Lehmann Maupin gallery on June 26. Read More

artists

‘Brutal Constraints, Infinite Variety’: Chris Wiley on ‘Dingbats’ at Nicelle Beauchene

Chris Wiley 2

One very humid afternoon last week, the New York-based artist Chris Wiley was inside the Nicelle Beauchene gallery on the Lower East Side discussing Los Angeles, where he’s spent a fair amount of time recently. “L.A. is a city that is never meant to be seen on foot and never meant to be looked at very closely,” Mr. Wiley told me. For his second show at the gallery, though, he did just that, roaming the City of Angels far and wide, away from well-trafficked, recognizable landmarks, with his camera.

His exhibition, “Dingbats,” includes 15 of the photographs he ended up snapping. They’re all about four feet tall, and depict close-up details of L.A. architecture, from lush murals in Venice Beach to rotting buildings with cracks the size of bowling balls. The works radiate colors that abound in the City of Angels—Schiaparelli pinks, ocean greens and the reds found on the lips of femme fatales. Read More

artists

Putting the Overlooked on View: Andres Serrano’s Portraits of the Homeless Make a West Fourth Stop

5 Photos

Andres Serrano, Residents of New York (Meow Wolfman), 2014

As of May 19, those used to seeing ads lining the corridors of the West Fourth Street subway station are in for a surprise. For a month, those corridors will instead be home to large-scale portraits of homeless people by the artist Andres Serrano.

The project, “Residents of New York,” sponsored by the nonprofit More Art, came out of another one Mr. Serrano, who is best known for his controversial 1987 photograph, Piss Christ, embarked on in the fall. Last October, he said, he began to notice more homeless than ever on the street. He had noticed this before, 20 years ago, and had made studio portraits of the homeless, but he wanted to take a different approach to the subject this time and began paying attention to the handmade signs people held, asking for money or food. He spent October walking the streets of Manhattan for six hours a day, offering to pay $20 for signs that interested him. He ended up collecting more than 200 of them and made them into a video, funded by the nonprofit Creative Time. Read More

artists

Five Artists to Watch

(Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

This week, the annual international art fair Frieze New York returns for a third edition on Randall’s Island. Thousands of dealers, collectors and curators will be on hand. At Frieze and concurrent fairs elsewhere in New York, as well as in the city’s museums and galleries, thousands of artists will be vying for viewers’ attention. In the pages that follow below, we’ve picked five up-and-comers, all based in New York, whose work is worth a look. Read More

artists

Across the Universe: Camille Henrot Brings Creation Stories, Ikebana Sculptures to the New Museum

Henrot. (Photo by Joakim Bouaziz)

While the New Museum’s associate director, Massimiliano Gioni, was planning his 2013 Venice Biennale exhibition, “The Encyclopedic Palace,” he met up with the artist Camille Henrot, who at the time was doing a residency at Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian. “She told me about this project she was doing, about the myths of origins and the desire to try and describe the world and the universe,” he said. “That completely collided with what I was doing. It was a funny moment, because I felt there was somebody else who was as crazy, who had embarked on a similar project as what I was embarking on with Venice.” Read More