Saturday, May 7, 2016


by Drew Martin
Following art can take you around the world: Basel, Berlin, Bilbao, etc. Thursday night it took me to Basketball City, Pier 36 on the Lower East Side for the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) art show. I think the battle of the booths approach to seeing art is an overwhelming, if not horrifying experience, but there were a few interesting pieces that caught my eye.

The first piece that pulled me in was an animated video encased in a quirky, stone-like monitor by Ashley Wick. In the same, smallest of the small booths, was an even more curious piece by Scott Kip; a dust clock. Tall and narrow, like a handsome wall clock, the piece is the closest thing I have ever seen to a living Švankmajer film. At the top of the dust clock is a small window to spy on a bead of metallic dust revolving on a path within the space. It moves like an old-school stop-action film. Open a small drawer at the bottom and it stops. Put your hand into a circular orifice in the center and it lights up.

One painter I liked there was Akira Ikezoe. When I mentioned to the lady at the booth that it is so much like Hieronymus Bosch, she sighed and said they get that a lot. He also had a video on display, but even more interesting than the animation were the individual sculpted cases for the flash drives of the movie file.

Two other works that caught my eye included a model of a jet engine, cutaway and made of foam, plastic, and wood. Colorful little globs of plastic demonstrate air density and flow. The other piece was a once drum-set stool sliced, reupholstered, and accented with what looked like blond horse hair. It's as if Méret Oppenheim were still around and had a couple classes at FIT under her belt. I especially like the surreal stool because I have a drum-set stool in my basement, which I have looked at sacrificing for an art project, but would never have been able to come up with something that is both fashionable and erotic at the same time.

Similarly, with all the amps lying around my house, I also liked a booth with a series of large, acoustic-softening wall hangings with one side perked up by an amplified wire. Pluck the wire to play a tune through the amp.

One of the more subtle surprises was a large, circular op-art spiral design. The unique effect of this piece was that there was a play of shadows across the surface, from the slightly raised pattern.

I also liked a booth with a dark wall and a series of measuring sticks leaning at an angle from the floor and holding pictures to the wall, which ranged from personal shots like this one below, to pictures of mountains.

And finally, the most controversial work in the show, and perhaps one of the less visible (I did not look up to see it when I fist walked by) was the Star of David made with bacon. A Piss Christ of sorts.