PSYCHEDELIA | ASSUME VIVID ASTRO FOCUS: “ADDERALL VALIUM ATIVAN FOCALIN” AT SUZANNE GEISS, NYC
Neo-psychedelic artists Eli Sudbrack & Christophe Hamaide-Pierson–known collectively as Assume Vivid Astro Focus–have brought their dazzling vision back to NYC in a trippy new show (their first solo exhibition since 2008), Adderall Valium Ativan Focalin (Cantilevering Me), at The Suzanne Geiss Company, located in the former Detich Projects space at 76 Grand in SoHo.
The paintings, hung on top of an original mural by the artists, explore geometric abstraction and transgender imagery that challenge social and sexual norms range from visually explosive figurations to pared-down abstractions. Presenting expressive forms against constructivist patterns and a restricted palette, the artists engage tensions inherent in class, gender, and identity politics. The dichotomy is furthered by the exuberant features applied to the figures.
AVAF’s imagined trannies have kaleidoscopic skin, titanic breasts, and penises with minds of their own. They become extraordinary, mighty foils to the hyper-sexualized female figures advertised in porn magazines and Marvel comics. Underlying the buoyancy of avaf’s characters, there is also a frenetic, spent quality inspired by the non sustainability and failure of contemporary ideals. The bodies come in all states: curved, swelling, drooping, splintered and, occasionally, completely dismantled.
These varied states of transformation infer contemporary lifestyles supported by shaky systems of technology, drugs, and advertising. As avaf’s figures combust and blend in and out of their abstracted, networked backdrops, bodies become architectural fragments, cyborgs, and cogs. The possibility of fragmentation and degradation alludes to fallibility and transformation, but not to complete failure. Even as fragments, the forms are vibrant and resilient. Here, the artists restructure the language of portraiture and abstraction to create new icons of liberation.
Adding to the spectacle inside the gallery, the artistic duo also adorned the gallery rooftop with a pair of sexually explicit dancing inflatable tranny figures of the variety usually found out front of quickie oil change joints in an effort to up the fun factor.
The show remains on display until June 21st, don’t miss it…
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