"On Monday October 29, 2012, with storm warnings brewing on the news, Iwan Baan boarded an overnight plane from Europe to New York City. He had heard about the monster storm that was racing up the Northeastern shore of the United States and gaining speed by the hour. As he left the safety of Amsterdam, flying toward the hurricane, he was already mentally preparing himself to meet the storm head on. An assignment for the Parrish Art Museum was taking him to NYC on business. But it was the storm that was drawing him in inexorably.

Baan is no stranger to disaster. From Tokyo to Haiti, Iwan Baan has pursued the story of human survival in the wake of natural disaster for years. Baan knows stories and drama emerge at a time when people are challenged to their core. And with a compassionate and optimistic eye, he has been there to capture the resilience and transcendence of humanity in the face of overwhelming challenge. He will do anything to capture his picture. From chartering helicopters where none exist, to strapping himself onto hot air balloons in China where private aviation is illegal, Iwan looks for the big view; the highest and widest perspective of humanity caught in its dwelling places, and sometimes in the wake of their destruction.

Baan checked into the Washington Square Hotel in Greenwich Village, settling into his room on the 10th floor, jet lagged after the long flight. Calling in to his contacts at the Parrish Museum, it quickly became clear that nothing was going to happen until the storm had blown over. The city was shutting down. Roads and bridges were closing. Businesses were closing. The city was going into lockdown in preparation for nature's onslaught..."


Read more at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bettina-gilois/the-city-and-the-storm_b_2365616.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

Image courtesy of Perry Rubenstein Gallery.

Huffington Post: "Iwan And The Storm" by
Bettina Gilois

Huffington Post: "Art in a Box: The Hero's Journey of Mike Kelley and Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites "
by Bettina Gilois

"It was 1978. David Bowie had just released Heroes into the new world wave about to crest into the looming decade. The consummate disenchantment of the late seventies still lay curdled on everyone's palate and the world was indeed looking for heroes. At this very moment, at the decade's shapeless, molten transition into the next defining ten years, Mike Kelley emerged from his studies at CalArts and embarked on the artist's journey; that long expectant road winding into an unknown hopeful future, with all the intended stops on the line: from gallery representation to critical acclaim, to market acceptance and the ultimate inclusion into the permanent pantheon of contemporary artists.

But the journey for Mike was long and winding; a trajectory filled with obstacles and detours. Though represented by Metro Pictures, he never moved to New York, but stayed in Los Angeles. While New York's critics and curators saw his voice as compelling, challenging and important, collectors and dealers remained unmoved. Mike's work was incisive, self-reflective, ironic, sentimental and deep. It exposed the underbelly of a culture that was already weary of itself, ready to escape rather than reflect. And New York buyers were not up for that challenge.

By the time the Zeitgeist exhibition opened in Berlin in 1982, and the lofting terraced walls of the Martin Gropius Bau were covered in the prescribed three by four meter sized paintings, a taste for large scale paintings was formalized with a call for the "heroic." Fellow CalArts alumni, David Salle, Eric Fishl and Jack Goldstein had preceded Mike Kelley by only a few years. They, along with Julian Schnabel and Robert Longo, and Europeans such as Georg Baselitz, Rainer Fetting, Francesco Clemente and Sandro Chia, were now providing the kind of large-scale heroic canvases the market was hungry for..."

Read more at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bettina-gilois/art-in-a-box-mike-kelley_b_2850964.html

Image courtesy of Perry Rubenstein Gallery.

Bettina Gilois: Contributor at the Huffington Post Arts and Culture

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