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Pop Subversion: Street art that everyone’s talking about

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ccording to Andrew Ford, everybody is talking about street art and pop surrealism. Art from the new contemporary movement, which the art world is reluctant to consider fine art, finds a home in Brooklyn at Ad Hoc Gallery this February in “Pop Subversion.” “The point of the exhibition is to show both emerging and established artists making street art, pop surrealism, lowbrow, illustration, print making, tattoo and much more,” said Ford, director of Ad Hoc Art, adding that the show is somewhat of a preview to what he hopes to do here over the next few years at the Bushwick gallery. “Pop Subversion,” which opens February 8, will feature about 30 artists from these fields, including Chris Stain, Aiko and Molly Crabapple. Ford is serious about providing a forum in the fine art world for street artists, pop surrealists and others in the new contemporary movement to display their work and help develop their professional careers. “This is a global movement. Street artists and pop surrealists are from all over,” said Ford. “Street art is so important right now. Whether you like it or not, everybody is talking about it.” One artist, Pagan, who works in the adjoining screen printing shop, Peripheral Media Project, will be showing three paintings in the exhibition. “I’m very excited,” said Pagan. “This is the gallery to be. It’s everything that Chelsea is not.” Pagan’s works explore the faces and emotions of characters drawn in old DC comics from the 1950s. The comics were targeted by the US Senate’s McCarthy hearings during the 1950s after parents and legislators believed they were detrimental to children. The comic books were banned and the company dissolved. “I like to tap into old ‘50s comics and play with the expressions they have,” said Pagan. “There’s this second of tension in the faces and how people relate to that moment of shock or surprise is interesting. I try to put that moment into the painting. People react to that tension differently.” Lisa Bloodgood, another local artist whose painting will be in the show, used to work as an intern and in a staff position at the gallery. “I’m not a big fan of group shows, but Aiko and Chris Stain were the selling points for me,” said Bloodgood, whose untitled work is a painting of several rotund doves sitting in different positions in front of a telephone wire with water splashing around.. “His level of professionalism and the way he works really impressed me.” Ford found himself impressed by Kenichi Hoshine when putting the show together, whose oil paintings are so sharp they look like they were paintings over photography. “I think he’s going to be one of the next great painters,” said Ford. Another artist, Jeremyville, moves well between the commercial world and the fine art world, said Ford. “He works with shoe companies and does his works on shoes and then puts up shoes in galleries,” said Ford. “He also works with Kid Robot to design vinyl toys. This piece we’re showing is called ‘Shroom Vibrations.’” Highlights of the show are the unexpectedly poignant works by such illustrators-turned-painters as Lauralee, Sandra Chi and Jaeran Won. “Won is a South Korean artist who paints very graphic, very simple subjects,” said Ford. “I’m always blown away by how much emotion she conveys though she uses very simple characters.” Ford is also excited to see the work of Sandra Chi in person. Chi uses a number one brush, one of the thinnest brushes available, to paint strange, intricate illustrations of the human body. “Chi does paintings of bodies exploding, except it’s after the explosion happens,” Ford said. “It’s pretty freaky, but I think it’s pretty dope.” “Pop Subversion” runs at Ad Hoc Gallery, located at 49 Bogart Street, Unit 1G, Buzzer 22, now to March 2. For more information, go to adhocart.org, or call 718-366-2466.

Updated 6:57 pm, October 10, 2011
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