Monday, May 12, 2008

Hell Wool

Recently, I went to an art opening that succeeded on a variety of levels (in ascending order of importance):
1) I got there early. Always remember, retarded people show up "on time" (late) to talk loudly and opine freely with little knowledge of anything. Avoid them by arriving early and getting out early. You'll actually get to see the work. Though, it should be mentioned that some guy did burst out of an office to yell "Tell Richard and Chris that Richard Prince IS on for dinner tonight. Yes, he'S COMing!" Scamp.
2) There were beautiful vintage books everywhere. John McWhinnie at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller and Gallery is a perfect venue for a small show. Among the art (which I'll get to) were amazing first-ofs punk and downtown glam 'zines from the early 80s. There were amazing first editions of art books and novels in cases and on shelves everywhere. It was sweet, sweet music.

3) The art was the product of a great collaboration. Christopher Wool has apparently been obsessed with Richard Hell for some time. And

4) it involves typography! Wool's work is always simple and direct in presentation. He usually limits himself to black and white and much of his work is little more than a statement executed in black stencil type on a white background. The starkness of the execution allows the mind to actually consider the statement with no distraction.

From the downtown punk days of The Voidoids, The Neon Boys, and Television, Richard Hell has been a powerful artistic force. Malcolm McLaren, manager of the Sex Pistols, credits Hell with creating the original punk aesthetic of torn clothing, scrawled-on shirts, abundant safety pins and devil-may-fuck-off attitude.

Wool has approached Hell to work on projects before. Finally, Hell gave. And the work is cool. It is called Psychopts. Both of their styles and personalities come through clearly in this show (which includes their sketches as well as the finished pieces). I prefer the sketches personally.

And here is the show take-away with an important message inside.