Saturday, January 10, 2009

James Jean Show Opening

It was expected (read: hoped for) that the snowfall would discourage at least some from working their way through the streets of New York to the LeVine Gallery. Everyone was hoping that they could gobble up all the eye candy alone and enjoy the presence of James Jean originals undisturbed. Still, the corridors surrounding the exhibition hall were lined with young people on both sides, and it was disturbing to think that they were only the early birds (like myself). But being early paid off: after the doors opened, I had a marvelous 20 minutes examining the surreal cartoon-tainted realism of a mind unashamed in front of beauty.

Beauty in innocence, beauty in brutality, beauty in the sensual, beauty in the lush; a visceral sense of beauty, an absurd and haunting beauty that contradicts itself with its candy-colors. It was quite surprising to find that the sketches were tiny compared to the often "modest mural" sized completed works. The precision with which the small drawings were transferred onto large surfaces, growing richer in detail, is astonishing.

But alas, the brief moment o
f intimacy was over and the hall filled up in the blink of an eye. After 30 minutes I could have sworn there was no physical space left, but this apparently didn't concern the scores of people arriving - and arriving - and arriving... Some with the lovestruck and slightly dumb smile of the aficionado, others with the inspiration-seeking eye of a fellow artists. No one seemed to be too intent on leaving, and a brief trip to the lobby (of course only the stairs were operating - 9 floors) confirmed that the real flood of arrival had only just begun. Upon re-entering the hall the suffocating air of a sauna welcomed me back. Approaching the pictures had become a physically shared experience, so I briefly took another tour, snapped another dozen shots of the unbelievable (but well-behaved) crowd, and called it quits.
It will definitely be worth going back in a calmer moment of contemplation and enjoyment.

In keeping with the odd eye cropping up in James Jean pictures, my right eye was also bloody today. I felt an instant connection with this rabbit.

{More images on Flickr as soon as I've actually remembered my password.}

No comments:

Post a Comment