Author Archives: svainberg

Best of 2013

I have written a few here and there in my sketch book (blog posts), but I was an idiot and never posted them. So instead of keeping everyone posted as to whats going on in the Art world, and other subcultures of existence out side of it that influence us. I figured I would compile the things I wrote about and mentions into a Top 10 Best of 2013 list. Ohh, it wont be in any particular order.


I have also linked  everything to a source.  Try to take a listen to the Raspberry Bulbs record, Even if you aren’t a fan of abrasive music, they have a little bit of something for everyone. If you hate it, sorry.



Raspberry Bulbs – Deformed Worship

Blackest Ever Black Records

Raspberry Bulbs Deformed Worship is the product of a one man production that recently formed into a full on band. With an arsenal of members from bands like Bone Awl, and Rorshach. The brand of synthesized and programmed drum beats under scratching guitars is gone, and has evolved into the sound of a garage post punk /Black Sabbath’s “Master of Reality”. It’s hooks are sharp and poppy, and its monotony is pounding. The sound transcends the Metal genre of the Blackened type and is driven more with pop sentiment.

Listen Here


Elijah Burgher

Friendship as a way of life b/w I’m seeking the Minotaur

Who says sincerity is corny? Well it can be, and Elijah borders the line of corny, but the execution of the work has an aura the would make you think other wise. Colored pencil drawings of sigils so complex and precisely drawn the magic and desire they project; hypnotizes and cast spells on your eyes.


The Program@ Gallery 400

Curated by: Michael Scott Hall

One of the more interesting shows I have seen in Chicago coming into my second year of residence here in Chicago. I also finally got to see some Heimo Zobernig’s work outside of the inter-nerds.


Vern Blosum @ Essex Street

Went home for a week to visit family at the beginning of the semester and took a ride up to NY from philadelphia on the NJ Transit from Trenton Station to Penn Station and took some other train  down to Soho/Chinatown for this show. A mystery artist that has resurfaced and is taking a shot at the throne of PopArt.

SW 12 Other Colors I Forget 72x72_675_450 (1)

Stanley Whitney, Other Colors I Forget

@ Team Gallery, NY

Stanley Whitney is a person I am very glad to have spent time with. He was faculty in the painting department at Tyler School of Art when I attended the institution for my undergraduate studies. He has since retired and been quite busy. Still sticking to his compositions rich in the field of color and space. The work is pure, a bit quirky and oddly serious.


Paul Demuro, Revelations @ Zurcher Gallery, NY

Paul Demuro is a recent graduate from Rutgers MFA program in New Brunswick, and seems to have made a nice transition to the New York state of mind. His paintings haunt like a computer screen does in a dark room. Back lit, impasto, clumsy compositions begin to sing like a choir when you equalize your brain to their frequency.


R.H. Quaytman,

Passing Through The Opposite of What It Approaches, Chapter 25

@The Renaissance Society

A thorough examination of an architectures history through the lens of painting with its own history and lexicon.


Peter Fagundo,

Model Questions for The Sun, The See, and Other Things…

@Devening Projects

The press release I think summed the work up very well in a single phrase “Interpersonal Gymnastics”. The paintings we real, they had surface, and depth which assert themselves with confidence and the ability to stand there with you to corroborate a story. It’s certainly a shame that this smaller gallery at Devening Projects over shadowed my good friend Sofia Leiby’s show.

sterling lawrence_13

Sterling Lawrence, If I Plucked You From The Sea

@Devening Projects

Sterling Lawrence takes the aesthetic sensibilities of Donald Judd, and Integrates it with what appear to be actual designed objects and then questions the objects purpose. The work is sleek and well crafted an interrogation of materials,  their meaning and use.


Varnish Fest @ Club Rectum, Chicago, IL

One of the best live events I attended this year, easily. This November what was supposed to be a small show featuring acts like Raspberry Bulbs, and Power Electronics veteran Alberich, who by the way put on an intense performance that got the most serious of Gestapo looking punks to bounce their head to the melody that lies underneath a wall of harsh metallic and electronic mesh. The show also featured stellar performances by Local Metal Heroes OOZING WOUND, and another up and coming Metal act Pazuzu. Showcasing some of these year best Local and National bands and performers. The also had a pretty fantastic distro of all the Harsh Noise, Power Electronics/Violence, Metal, and Hardcore you could gnash your teeth at.


Andrew Falkowski  and Karl Erickson. The Suburban

The space was consumed and pleasantly overwhelming. Saturated glowing colors intwewoven with barely legible text and information that was meant to invite and push the viewer away simultaneously.  The History of the pattern making, that is called “Razzle Dazzle”, was to create a vibration in the visual perceception of information to distort the object. In this case the vibration was an interior space with small “Knights” helmets formed from paper that also possessed the same pattern making as the walls. The shear scale of the work consuming the space made you dizzy, not allowing your eyes to really focus on anyone particular thing, almost like a carnival attraction. The sculptures became lost in the field that was the wall conflating object and space. If you didn’t puke you had a “fun” and visually stimulating experience

Paul Sietsema- Seeing as Media

The affect is potent and pure.

I am fooled, or am I a fool.  Images striking like the shutter of a camera. Visual culture today doesn’t question how or where the image is conceived. It is all presumed to exist in some capacity. The accessibility to information and the images that are dragged along with it are of no mystery, and if there is, no one quite cares. Art and culture is now reduced to .jpeg or .gifs, and is viewed on the same platform as “everything else” due to technology. To make paintings about capturing moments of “work” in relation to current and social issues and juxtapose them with “artifact” would just appear to be a repetition a copy of the already established algorithm in which images are delivered to us. Yet Paul Sietsema seems to bind “now” with artifact and facsimile simultaneously.

The paintings come of initially as something they are not. The read is quick and concise.  Literal and clear, the “paintings”  execution and representations beckon a closer look.  I use the word “paintings” here in quotations because at first they appear photographic or printed. It could be easy to brush them off, but their precision requires some scrutiny.  The materiality addresses this idea of progress and sustain a pregnant moment that is shattered the closer you get, but not as an unreadable mess, but a facsimile’s matrix that is so tight that the blur between perception and the actual object in front of you becomes an exercise of fossilizing time between the static paintings and potential energy of the subject matter being depicted.

That is one thing this show seems to push; Potential Energy. The paintings of all the objects whether moments of “still life” to “Screen Prints”, in paintings such “Light Fall, Cutting Daisies”, the halftone is directly painted and the revelation that they aren’t prints distills or fuses the work with the idea of aura. Images become hyper real but not like Marilyn Minter or Richard Phillips.  These paintings act like the common state of visual culture and deliver a type of information that must be decoded and reconstructed in the same state of consciousness as contemporary culture. The production of work, the non-production, and the quick understanding and read of a photograph or .jpeg. He fools you with one studio artifact (Stack Drawing), and the rest are recreations of artifacts, painted in enamel, on died substrates to match the color, or water colors of calendar photos of sail boats where the sail’s depict dates in chronological order with Ghost images of the dates peaking through the light that doesn’t exist, from a sun that is not hiding behind the surface.

He re-presents his studio as artifact via projections and a poetic dialogue by Jean Debuffet. These “kinetic” re-presentations of his studio and artifacts fading in and out of existence, like the Time Piece whose time changes yet remains static, or the Pre-Colonial broken vessels recreated for documentation. The reality is that of one that has existed, still exist and will continue to exist.

Steven Vainberg