Rachel Feinstein’s “Folly” at Its Finest

Cliff House

Rachel Feinstein, Cliff House, 2014

Supermodel, sculptor, set-designer artist, and a muse of many, Rachel Feinstein has conquered several aspects of the creative industry. Mrs. Feinstein (married to artist John Currin) has now become an even greater cultural international sensation, with her FIRST US public art installation, in New York City, Folly.

Feinstein’s latest creations can be found in Madison Square Park. These whimsical like set pieces, reminiscent in construction to the set designed for Marc Jacobs for his Fall/Winter 2012 show however, smaller, brings a fantastical sense to the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple.

What appear to be cardboard cut-outs with hand drawn accents, these site-specific sculptures are contoured aluminium panels concealed with vinyl decals with graphite like doodle accents. These hand-like touches, to me, can develop a more personal connection between the viewer and each sculpture. Look at these non-functioning architectural fairy tale esque works and imagine them as drawings in a book you read as a child. Think Anastasia, Cinderella, Snow White, maybe even Alice in Wonderland – and now put a Rococo and Baroque twist on them. While these are not her references – these are what I recall.

“Flying Ship,” “Rococo Hut,” and “Cliff House” are the titles of the three works that you can find staged in the park until September 7th.

We highly suggest you see these before they are taken down!

 

GO GO GO!

-CHC

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Canadian Kris Knight goes Botticielli-esque in His Series “Tragic Kingdom”

The romantic notion of art can be perfectly encapsulated in the Canadian based artist Kris Knight. His whimsical portraits not only portray elegantly painted human figures, but they are saturated with mysticism and romanticism. Yet, what is even more intriguing is how he is playing with sexual identities, voyeurism, psychotropic alterations, and the human gaze. Knight is unlike any other portraiture artist that I have come across so far – his paintings leave you with a sense of mystery and a desire to enter and discover the world that his figures are set in.

My first real interaction with this artist was when I was interning at Katharine Mulheim Contemporary Art Projects. Mr. Knight was to be our next upcoming artist for his exhibition – Tragic Kingdom, 2011. The curator had begun to describe the artist and his works. The show was to display Knight’s imaginary world where the shamed, bullied, and the tragic were to be the subjects of beauty. This secret society revolved around the so-called outcasts of society  – l’etranger (as Camus, ze French philosopher would put it) translated to “the others.” These subjects would live amongst this world in order to “transcend the tedium of small town life for the protection of the enchanted forest, banding together an exclusive and rustic regality.” However, this so called Utopia of misfits would take a tragic turn like the exhibition title expresses. Hierarchies ultimately arise and corruption soon follows. This exhibition not only displays the artist’s beautifully artistic hand, but paints us a fairy tale story rapidly turned sinister and corrupt.

Nothing could have prepared me for what I was to see the next day. Yes – Katharine Mulheim had explained the exhibition, but as the saying goes: a painting sometimes speaks louder than words. I was in AWE to open up the parcels of art. Most striking to me, and still haunts me to this day (in a good way) is his painting Fête (pictured above and to the left). The romanticism and mysticism is painted in the dark background as three young men walk quietly, lurkingthrough the dark mysterious woods. I had this unsettling feeling as if I was watching something I was not supposed to look at. I was voyeur preying on these young boys, but I could not look away. Fête had a very Bottecelli-esque feel- it was the contemporary painting of Bottecelli’s Primavera, 1482 (pictured below).  This unsettling feeling permeated my he(ART) and still haunts me to this day.


This artist is a must see, he does not solely paint portraits, but elaborates stories with his brush.

Peace Out, K