February 1 - 28, 2008

Visual AIDS and The Body

In The Flesh
Curated by Jo-ey Tang

Sam Orwen, Lovers, 1982
Vincent Cianni
Tim & Dave: The Scrap-BAR-NYC-Exhibitionist Series, 1987
Gelatin silver print from Polaroid, 14" x 18"

Featuring the artwork of Archive Members: Luis Carle, Vincent Cianni, Jose Luis Cortes, Bruce Cratsley, Tony Feher, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Richardo Morin, John Morrison, Robert Miles Parker, James Romberger, David Wojnarowicz, and Martin Wong.

In the Curatorís Statement:

"Darlin' darlin' darlin'
I can't wait to see you
Your picture ain't enough
I can't wait to touch you in the flesh
Darlin' darlin' darlin'
I can't wait to hear you
Remembering your love
Is nothing without you in the flesh"

-- "In The Flesh," Blondie

These paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures form a scrapbook of New York City by a handful of the thousands upon thousands of artists who have lived and loved here. They are flâneurs, looking at the city from multiple vantage points and at all hours: rooftop, windowsill, busy avenue, dark corner, dark bar, broad daylight, and 3 a.m. Theirs is a private version of New York City, unlikely to find its way into any guidebook. These are visual love letters.

Luis Carle shows an aerial view of the gay pride parade, its revelry reduced to pure geometry. Ricardo Morin's mixed media paintings are abstract, angular interpretations of the metropolis in action, lending a voyeuristic sensation. Robert Miles Parker, Martin Wong and James Romberger drew and painted intersections, storefronts and backyards, memorializing the anonymous, while David Wojnarowicz, under the mask of Rimbaud, roamed the Meatpacking District in its pre-gentrified days.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres's billboard made public the tender scene of a freshly slept-in bed he shared with his lover, installed shortly after his lover passed away from AIDS-related illness. Tony Feher's sculptural installation transports the sentimentality of the everyday with simple objects -- marble, soap, cans and bottles. Casually propped on the windowsill, at the artist's home or studio, they are imbued with quietude and longing. They protect the artist from and link him to the world beyond.

Jose Luis Cortes's sexualized reworking of a Christie's ad contemplates and confounds the exchange of body, art and money. Sex as art, and art as commerce. And sometimes desire glimmers in the flash of a jockstrap in the darkest bar, as with John Morrison and Vincent Cianni's documents of life after dark. The pleasurable abandon is palpable. Once again, we are conscious of ourselves as sensual beings, a promise that if we continue to feel, touch, love, perhaps nothing will ever be lost or taken from us.

Finally, Bruce Crastley's 1976, flash-lit photo of an ice block is transcendent and mesmerizing. A moment frozen in time. The future is impossible to know. Will the ice melt away or stay the same?

b i o g r a p h y

Jo-ey Tang is a New York-based artist and former photo director of OUT magazine. He received his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at Goff+Rosenthal Gallery, Berlin, Bond Street Gallery, Brooklyn and Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco.

Every month, Visual AIDS invites guest curators, drawn from both the arts and AIDS communities, to select several works from the Frank Moore Archive Project.

Founded in 1988 by arts professionals as a response to the effects of AIDS on the arts community and as a way of organizing artists, arts institutions, and arts audiences towards direct action, Visual AIDS has evolved into an arts organization with a two-pronged mission: 1) Through the Frank Moore Archive Project, the largest slide library of work by artists living with HIV and the estates of artists who have died of AIDS, Visual AIDS historicizes the contributions of visual artists with HIV while supporting their ability to continue making art and furthering their professional careers, 2) In collaboration with museums, galleries, artists, schools, and AIDS service organizations, Visual AIDS produces exhibitions, publications, and events utilizing visual art to spread the message “AIDS IS NOT OVER.”

The Body is now the most frequently visited HIV/AIDS-related site on the Web, according to the Medical Library Association and also the most frequently visited disease-specific site on the Web, according to Hot 100. The Body contains a rich collection of information on topics ranging from HIV prevention, state-of-the-art treatment issues, humor and art. An invaluable resource, The Body is used by clinicians, patients and the general public. Part of The Body's mission is to enable artistic expression to reach the Web, and to join art with other resources needed to help the public comprehend the enormity and devastation of the AIDS pandemic and to experience its human and spiritual dimensions.

Visual AIDS 
526 W. 26th St. # 510, New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212.627.9855  Fax: 212.627.9815

Visual AIDS Gallery

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