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Arts / Museums

NY Armory Arts Week with David Shelton

Day 4

BY David Shelton // 03.09.15

“In 2011, the Los Angeles City Cultural Affairs Department cancelled an exhibition by L.A.-based artist Alex Donis at the Watts Tower Arts Center. The show was to be comprised of Doris’ series titled “War,” which depicts fictionalized pairings of LAPD officers and gang members in same-gender dancing poses.

“Four days before the opening, the Watts Tower Community Action Council threatened the exhibition with protest, vandalism and violence, prompting the general manager of the L.A. Cultural Affairs Department to cancel the show. Donis responded: ‘I’m in disbelief that this exhibition … is being shut down, and that this message of actual peace and tolerance is getting lost in reactionary attitudes towards the paintings.’ Despite Donis’ long association with the Watts Towers, he said he was told by city cultural affairs officials that members of the community ‘didn’t want a gay Latino artist exhibiting artwork.”

“Here are highlights from the inaugural Art on Paper fair which is produced by Max Fishko and Jeffrey Wainhause of The Texas Contemporary.”

Juliana Huxtable, who is from the Houston area, is a photographer, painter, poet, DJ and all around sensation in NY, where she has been since receiving her degree at Bard. She is also the resounding standout at the 2015 Triennial that recently opened at the New Musuem, co-curated by Lauren Cornell and Ryan Trecartin. Many of the works, including those by Huxtable, were commissioned specifically for the exhibition.

Huxtable presents a stunning and captivating suite of 4 inkjet prints of 2 poems and 2 self-portraits titled “Universal Crop Tops For All The Self Canonized Saints of Becoming”.  With varied references to contemporary culture, they are almost mythological in their narrative and beauty, and feel authentically reflective of life experiences. Adding a beautiful dimension to the presentation, in front of them is a reclining, life-size sculpture of Huxtable, titled “Juliana”, by Frank Benson (who was a 2011 resident at Artpace in San Antonio). As Vogue magazine stated a couple of weeks ago in an article about the opening of the exhibition, Huxtable is the “Star of the New Museum Triennial”. I completely agree.”

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