Tuesday, April 7, 2015

NEW YORK: Kalup Linzy

Kalup Linzy, still from Art Jobs and Lullabies (Covered and Remixed), Video Suite 2, 2015, Video, 37 minutes, Edition of 5 + 1 AP. Image via garisandhahn.com.

April 2 – May 2, 2015

263 Bowery
New York, NY

From Garis & Hahn press release:

Garis & Hahn is pleased to present Art.Jobs.Lullabies, a presentation of new and recent music, video and mixed media works by Kalup Linzy. This event marks the gallery’s first solo exhibition with the artist.

New York based performance artist Kalup Linzy writes, directs, produces, and stars in several complexly interwoven soap opera serials that make up the artist’s best known video series’, including As da Art World Might Turn and Melody Set Me Free. A dedicated performer with a background in choir and theater, Linzy has meticulously developed a cast of 22 characters he portrays since beginning the series in 2002. Riffing on a screenwriter’s tactic to ‘test’ roles in different scenarios, Linzy runs many of his characters through real world scenes, appearing as them for important performances, including his 2010 cameo on the veteran soap opera, General Hospital. His tragic, talented and naive alter egos are often confronted with the harsh reality of the channels that control their art world success. Paradoxically, Linzy also plays the role of opportunistic and powerful vixens, who use and take what they want to get to the top. In drawing on semi­autobiographical material filtered through the gaudy, melodramatic treatment of a daytime soap, Linzy is able to simultaneously live out his fantasies and aesthetic pursuits, while also satirizing the art world establishment and realities he faces in his own practice and personal life.

For Linzy’s new and most recent works featured in Art.Jobs.Lullabies, new music videos and remixes add to the mythology of several of his characters, many of whom have achieved their own fame and fandom, such as performance artist, “Pisces” and video artist/singer, “Kaye.” The photo collage and gouache on paper pieces directly represent these parts as well. Jimmy and Lisa (A Selfie) (2015), a collage featuring the eponymous roles (and Kaye’s fictional parents), is made by Linzy playing the artist, “Katonya” of As da Art World Might Turn–and signed by both Linzy and Katonya. Photographs also reaffirm several character identities, such as “Taiwan,” a torch singer presumed dead, and Kalup Linzy, himself, for Sweet Liberty (2015), produced in collaboration with Dan Colen. The image, of nude Linzy and Colen on the verge of kissing, is both provocative (it was banned from a planned exhibition on London street billboards) as it is vacant, an artist intended vacuum for viewer’s projections. Linzy is further revealed in the videos in his Art Job Lullabies, Video Suite 1 & 2 (2015) series, and d├ębuting for the exhibition. Comprised of original, covered, and remixed songs performed by Linzy, including Curtis Mayfield's We People Who Are Darker Than Blue (2015), as well as DJ collaborations based on sampling of classic R&B tunes, both video suites offer the most current look at the evolution of Linzy’s practice.

This duality of personas and the ‘real’ Kalup Linzy, presented together in Art.Jobs.Lullabies, hints at the overarching theme for Linzy’s overall body of work–that is, how much role playing is inherent in self-actualization. As Linzy has stated, “I’m still learning where I fit in with all these personas...Sometimes these roles are embarrassing, but...the more embarrassed I feel, the better it is for the audience, a relative once said to me. That creates a space of real freedom.”

About the Artist
Kalup Linzy was born 1977 in Florida. He received his MFA from University of South Florida in 2003, also attending the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His work has been featured in exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; Prospect1, New Orleans, LA; Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL; and in solo exhibitions at LAXART, Los Angeles, CA and MoMA P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island, NY; among others. Works by Kalup Linzy are held in the collections of The Studio Museum in Harlem, Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Linzy has lectured at universities and colleges across the country, including Harvard University and New York University. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

About Garis & Hahn
Garis & Hahn is a gallery­cum­Kunsthalle that mounts exhibitions focused on conceptual narratives and relevant conversations in contemporary art. By displaying an array of carefully curated artists, the gallery endeavors to provide accessibility, education, awareness, and a market to the art while engaging both the arts community and a broader general audience.

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