Text and photos by Clare Gemima
Once, Twice, Hanna Hansdotter and Ry David Bradley
Memories are Weapons, Kevin Christy
The Hole, 312 Bowery
The Hole, once again, presents a fresh, new and cutting-edge show. The three artists in the space work across multi-disciplinary arenas that include glass blowing, tapestry making and painting.
While the art world begins to go absolutely crazy for NFTs (non-fungible tokens) as the newest cryptocurrency darling in the blockchain, (a .jpg made by Beeple just sold for nearly $70 million at an auction), it is fascinating to understand that Ry David Bradley's tapestries in Once Twice will be available for purchase both in-person and online, in USD and in Ethereum.
This may all sound way too confusing, but the Hole is jumping on the bandwagon proudly here, along with some other galleries in the East Village who are preparing to embrace this super bizarre digital market. Smart.
Bradley's tapestries are created in rebuttal to the contemporary notion of visibility and surveillance, forming unique bio-morphic bodies and faces that are flat, and thus, unidentifiable through the use of woven thread.
The work is created digitally in grayscale but physically created in the color mode of RGB, this only became apparent when you are up close to the pieces. The interaction with the work and the methodology incorporated by that of the artist presents a body of work that is literally Once Twice, existing both as tokens and as real-life objects.
The tapestries are complemented by the show's collaborator Hanna Hansdotter and her incredibly sensual and erotic hand-blown sculptures. Screaming with highly saturated hues and reflective tones, the five works of hers test your eyes' ability to process color, as you look across fine threads on the wall, to curvaceous, mirror-plated glass glorified on pink-painted plinths. I haven't been able to stop looking at photos of new works Quilted, Tiffany, Baby Baroque, Incommodious and Kiss My Lips.
The solo-show in the back room of the Hole features 19 new oil paintings by one of my new favorite artists, Kevin Christy. His paintings are dark and haunting, grappling with ideas of memory and how details diminish over time in our ability to recall events and happenings as a symptom of the human experience.
The paintings echo isolated memories that the artist has visually recalled during the beginnings of the pandemic — dream-like and vague while being intricately and laboriously detailed. His tenacious survey in Memories are Weapons has produced recurring motifs, beautifully painted hands and a stunning technical take on surrealism.
Both Once Twice and Memories are Weapons will be on view until March 28.
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Clare Gemima is a visual artist from New Zealand. New-ish to the East Village, she spends her time as an artist assistant and gallery go-er, hungry to explore what's happening in her local art world. You can find her work here: claregemima.com