Posted on March 19, 2010
Don’t try to jam these square pegs into a round hole. You’ll never make them fit.
Germany’s VARIOUS & GOULD join Brooklyn’s SPECTER at Brooklynite Gallery in the workshop; an assembly-line of drilling, cutting, painting, pounding and pasting to create a show about work and workers.
SPECTER goes for the sculptural and literal to depict his workers – re-fashioning found objects like bikes and shopping carts into frank open portraits of delivery guys and bottle re-cyclers, among others. VARIOUS & GOULD metaphorically consider the changing job descriptions in an increasingly digital age with memories of an industrial one, throws in a splash of DaDa with a poppy panoply of fluorescent washes, and hilarity ensues!
- “Brooklyn Gothic”, a portrait of Various & Gould by Jaime Rojo.
Various explains their working styles, “I think he is more thoughtful. He thinks ahead about what he wants to do. I am more like “do it first” and then see if I like it or not. That is maybe the main difference and so we have to talk about it more to make it work – to make it fit.”
- Various & Gould (detail) (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gould re: Various, “She is more atypical with everything that she does, or chooses, or brings together. You might think at first, ‘Oh, I wouldn’t do that’, and then later you say ‘Yeah, but that was good because I wouldn’t have thought of it’… She has her very own approach.”
- Specter’s guy on a bike looking at you through the brake lines. (detail) (photo © Jaime Rojo)
- Skilled screen printers, Various & Gould created nearly all of their components in Germany before traveling to New York. The collections are divided into body parts – heads, upper bodies, lower bodies, arms, legs, etc., to be assembled as needed.Various & Gould (detail) (photo © Jaime Rojo)
- In this piece by V& G men and women representing workers are lined up in rows – A group that, while very individual (witness mis-matched footwear, patterns and colors in ensembles), is represented as a generic production crew. All the men have one face, an instance repeated across the stage. Similarly, all the women are represented by one face multiple times. Gould explains that the artists looked through many old photographs of workers in their preparation for the show and here they pay tribute to the many proud laborers who posed in front of their completed project, or in front of their industrial plants or offices. Leaving the pants off a few of them is a reference to the ribald humor that can erupt in some workplaces. The cheery and multiple colors are indicative of the joys of being part of a group, each one knowing that the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. Various & Gould (detail) (photo ©Jaime Rojo)
- Work in progress. Various & Gould (photo © Jaime Rojo)
V&G feel a kinship with Specter, despite their differences in aesthetic style. On working with Specter, Gould says, “So meeting Specter was natural because his work is about the homeless and unemployed people and the daily struggle to survive – so it is not strange to us. In future work we plan to come back to more relevant issues like this. We have different ways of seeing. Of course our pieces are colorful and collage and his are realistic and life-size – so our styles are different but I think what keeps us going is quite similar.”
- You have to see these in person to understand how the 3-D aspect of the found objects lends a realism to the person in the portrait. Specter (detail) (photo © Jaime Rojo)
“MAKE IT FIT”
SPECTER • VARIOUS & GOULD
OPENING Saturday MARCH 20, 7-10pm
Brooklynite Gallery is located at 334 Malcolm X Blvd., Brooklyn, New York 11233. Open Thursday thru Saturday from 1pm – 7pm or by appointment. Located 2 blocks from the A or C subway to Utica Ave. stop.
Check out BSA’s recent coverage of Specter: