This is an archive of the ArtCat Zine, 2007-2009. Please visit our new project, IDIOM.

Recently by Stephanie Korszen

Rancourt/Yatsuk, Production Still From Master Cleanse, 2009

Kate Werble Gallery hosts Master Cleanse – a "revolutionary" two-day life-cleansing program – this Tuesday, August 4th, and Wednesday, August 5th. For the duration of the exhibition, artists Rancourt and Yatsuk invite guests to meet with specialists one on one for a first hand exploration of various "extreme tools" concerning modern wellness. The program embraces controversial new age methods, as well as the accompanying ambiguities and commercial issues. The gallery invites visitors to schedule appointments for either day, from 4 to 8 PM by e-mailing mastercleansereservations[at] Walk-ins are also welcome.

The artists, Justin Rancourt and Chuck Yatsuk, focus their work on “American leisure pastimes.” Rancourt/Yatsuk live and work in New York City.

Juliane Zelwies, Hamburger Diagram

Saturday, August 8th, the Laundromat kicks off its 2009 season with The Burger Group Show – a one-day exhibition complete with selections from The Laundromat Flat File and a menu of 'conceptual burgers.' The show features work by returning Laundromat artists, as well as newcomers who will be exhibiting their work with the space this fall.

Each participating artist has crafted a 'conceptual hamburger' that references the study of art history, or art-related concepts. The artists will be writing descriptions of their respective burgers for the menu, and cooking their creations for patrons. Founder and director of the Laundromat, Kevin Andrew Curran, sees the menu as a "tongue-in-cheek" opportunity for the artists to make commentary and fuel artistic discourse.

Curran does not intend to teach visitors a formal lesson, but he does see the potential for artists and visitors alike to indulge in "some (serious) fun with the idea of creating and consuming hamburgers that are playfully engaging art history." The show also provides an opportunity for the Laundromat to display works from the space's rotating Flat File. Artists included in the File lend their work to the Laundromat for one year, after which the drawer may be offered to another artist. In this way, Curran hopes to increase the number of artists whose work may be viewed in the flat file, while simultaneously increasing the geographic diversity of the collection.

The Burger Group Show will be held at the Laundromat gallery on Saturday, August 8th, from 6-10 PM. Participating artists include Chris Deo, Sarah McDougald Kohn, Maria Walker, Jonathan Allmaier, Scott Wilson, Ben Godward, Joe Protheroe, Ianthe Jackson and Liz Atzberger. Conceptual burgers will be on sale for $5 to $20, and visitors are invited to take home a copy of the menu.

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Installation view of Tattoo at Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts. Via gallery.

Tattoo at Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts is a multimedia exploration of tattoo art and its ever-changing role in society. The exhibition includes paintings, photography, sculpture and film, as well as a few empty bottles of Jack Daniels littered about the gallery for an something like an authentic, tattoo parlor feel. We caught up with Cullen, the director of the gallery, and asked about her inspiration for the show and her take on tattoo art.-- S.K.

Stephanie Korszen for ArtCat: What was your inspiration for situating the work of tattoo artists within the context of a fine art gallery?

Kathleen Cullen: The inspiration is really the everyday. You need only sit down at a café or bar, or stand at a traffic light, to grant your eyes the opportunity to admire the body art on others' skin. Additionally, one of the artists I represent, Max Snow, served as the catalyst for this exhibition. In 2008, Max documented the stories of Latino gang members in L.A., for whom tattoo art serves an important role in self-identity. Max also wears part of his identity externally in the form of body art.

In the 1930s, Herbert Hoffmann photographed people and documented their fantastic stories before they were sent to prison by the Third Reich. He developed a great respect for these people, whom he saw as hard-working and unpretentious. Many bore the simplest of tattoos on their arms and hands – historically a sign of degeneracy. Over the years, tattoos have broken free of this inherent link to all things degenerate, to the point where they now have the potential to serve as a status symbol on par with designer handbags. Bruce Willis, on the cover of W Magazine, sports tattoos. Supermodels adorn themselves with body art. We see biker motifs, as well as Maori, Japanese, and sailor themes – rich codes to decipher on other’s bodies.

Courtesy of Deitch Projects

The PIG opened in Deitch Project’s Long Island City location on April 25th. The collaborative show is a reincarnation of a group show from Art Basel Miami Beach in December of 2008. More artists have joined returning names such as Paola Pivi and Austrian art collective Gelitin to give the installation a new life. The featured artists are bound by the common threads of collaboration, plays on formalism, and a spontaneity accompanying the use of found materials.

When reached by phone, Director of Deitch Projects Andrea Cashman credited the exhibition with “delighting and inviting the viewer to really engage with the work.” Along these lines, The PIG Presents Summer Sunday School – a series intended to be a playful version of Sunday School. Summer Sunday School includes panels, workshops, question and answer sessions, demonstrations, and performances connecting a wide array of art-related fields.

This Sunday, The PIG Presents Summer Sunday School with performances by Thu Tran & Bad Brilliance. Tran has a program with IFC called Food Party in which she turns a cooking show into a post-modern performance of sorts. Tran will be giving a live demonstration on building cardboard props, as well as screening an episode of Food Party and Bad Brilliance will be performing Red Carpet to Nowhere. Sunday School begins at 6 PM.

The Pig runs until August 9th, 2009 and will be culminating in a ‘zine making workshop with Trinie Dalton, Ben Jones, and Dan Nadel.

Joan Pamboukes, Cleanse from Grand Theft Auto, digital photograph, 2007 via

OMG Aferro Art Benefit Party
Saturday, June 20th, 7 - 10 PM.- Gallery Aferro
73 Market St - Newark NJ 07102

This Saturday, Gallery Aferro hosts an art benefit complete with silent auction, art “yard sale/flea market,” live entertainment, and local eats. The silent auction features works by dozens of emerging and established artists, ranging from the local level to international. The yard sale component provides attendees with the opportunity to buy the antiques and original crafts of local artisans at discounted prices. Aferro will also be auctioning an artist-designed tattoo by Dahlia Elsayed.

All proceeds from the benefit will help the artist-run gallery finalize its status as a nonprofit organization, and contribute to expanding the scope of programs the gallery offers. When reached by phone, Curator and Co-Founder Emma Wilcox said she founded the gallery with the goal of breaking down barriers, perceived and actual, surrounding the art world. "Everyone should have access to a cultural life," she said, adding that she hopes to eradicate some of these barriers through improving existing initiatives, as well as providing more educational programs. Wilcox, an artist herself, said she has personally experienced the difficulty of locating scarce resources in today's economic climate, leading Affero to adopt the mantra: “If we can locate resources, share – if we can’t, make them.”

The event takes place this Saturday, June 20th from 7- 10 PM. A preview will be held on Friday, June 19th from 6-8 PM.

Molly Larkey Untitled ("Pastel Bars"), acrylic and gouache on paper via pocket utopia

This Saturday marks the opening of the inaugural Bushwick Biennial. Four Bushwick-area spaces will be showcasing the work of local artists – NURTUREart Non-Profit, Pocket Utopia, English Kills, and Grace Exhibition Space. We have spoken with artist Austin Thomas, director of the art and social project Pocket Utopia. For the Biennial, Pocket Utopia will be exhibiting the work of eight Bushwick-area artists in the space’s last show of its two-year run, “Finally Utopic.”

ArtCat: I understand that this is the inaugural Bushwick Biennial. Can you speak a little bit about what it means for this area of Brooklyn to stage a Biennial?

Austin Thomas: There's definitely a local flavor to this Biennial – that local flavor being Bushwick. There's a lot of creative energy and diversity in the Bushwick art community. All the spaces in the Biennial are "alternative," meaning they're artist-run, no-profit, performative and rad!

The 15th Annual Watermill Benefit
Marlene Dietrich in Dr. No's Ludovico Clinic (Dr. Baby's Erzland)
Jonathan Meese
The Watermill Center - 39 Watermill Towd Road, Watermill, NY
31 July - 10 August 2008

The Watermill benefit is known as the best art party of summer. Each year at the end of July, that king of avant-garde drama Robert Wilson and his acclaimed foundation present their artists-in-residence in the form of an installation heavy, no-expense-spared cocktail extravaganza, littered with equal parts socialite, theater and art world. All in an idyllic setting off the beaten path of the Hamptons. People fly in from all over the world to attend, and there are always a smattering of celebrities and artists. This year Rufus Wainright looked especially sharp in his Viktor & Rolf suit, while Kim Cattrall went with simple and elegant. Fashion-wise, all attending were upstaged by the brilliant costume of Russian artist Andrey Bartenev, this year sporting a minimal black and white op art jumpsuit with giant inflatable spheres along his body contour. As one collector was overheard saying, "I know it's a good party if Andrey is attending."

Watermill Benefit 2008, photo by Benjamin Tischer
Watermill Benefit 2008, photo by Benjamin Tischer

This year, the main event of the benefit was courtesy of Jonathan Meese. Fresh from his solo exhibition at Bortolami Gallery in New York, Germany-based Meese took over the main building of the center, and turned the various rooms and performance area into an orgy of collage, video performances and Germanic graffiti about the role of art, or rather of Meese's all-inclusive pantheon of art and history in which personality is king, and fictional figures meld with the factual in a complicated belief system that's hard to crack. The bottom line, if one is to believe artist statements, is that "Art is not a religion, but every Religion is Art."