Porno Transformed

Team Gallery in New York is currently in the final week of a group exhibition organized by Miriam Katzeff, titled  “Forced Exposure” (July 1 through 30;  83 Grand Street, ground floor). One of the artists, Bjarne Melgaard’s
most recent paintings are covers of old Screw magazines, which are
defaced with “crudely executed figures and scrawled texts from a
continuous novel that relies on the violent mythology surrounding the
artist. Like the rest of Melgaard’s work, the fragmented
and diaristic qualities of the text lures the viewer into the artist’s
constructed personas and manipulates the relationship between fact and
fiction.” As it happens, those old covers of Screw were done forty years
ago under my art direction.
In fact, the one above was one of my favorite covers, showing an
adorable sheep and macho ram in sweet embrace. Forget the copyright
issues, its fascinating to see something I’ve done so long ago, not only
reinterpreted, but look so contemporary. Ah, the wonder of art.

Incidentally, according to Team Gallery’s press release “This
exhibition focuses on works of art that position the viewer as an
interloper in the gallery. As technology encourages people to expose
themselves to unknown audiences online, the idea of privacy has relaxed
to reflect these developments. The works on view test whether this lack
of boundaries extends into the physical world. While the artists in the
exhibition do not have a strictly confessional style, the works force an
immediate and awkward intimacy onto the viewer.”
 

 


About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes a weekly column for The Atlantic online and is the "Visuals" Columnist for the New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of over 160 books on design and visual culture. And he is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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