Exhibited @ www.gallerythe.org
March 16, 2006 through June 26, 2006
The "meatstore" exhibition is a culmination of approaches by
three artists that draw from their experiences and react to
the world around them. The commonality of the market, and
more specifically the meat market industry, has an extensive
effect on our culture and connects to reflects both our lives
and roles in the art world on multiple levels.
The opportunity to display the products of their world, their
studio, in this setting, under glass for the outside world to
browse, produces meatstore.
John Wolfer's current work has its origins in his personal
connection to meat, he spent his formative years cutting meat
in his father's meat store. This series of paintings uses
metaphor and parody to raise questions about meat and its role
in art and society. His intention is to study meat as a subject
for still-life and parody in art throughout history and create
work which combines and extends each of these genres. The
paintings juxtapose traditional still-life painting and the more
contemporary process of screen-printing. The idealized images
and text are adopted from advertising collateral from the 1940s
and 50s. The meat itself is painted from life in a more realistic
manner. The result is intended to raise questions about the
complexity of beauty, humor, and society at large. There was a
time when meat wasn't the culturally divisive subject it is today.
My work attempts to bridge and blur the distinction between then
and now. This comparison is made by stylized screen-printed images,
contrasted by realistically painted meat and further emphasized by
the double entendre present in the slogans.
This extended series of meat paintings involves the sensuality and
seductiveness of meat. Having worked in meat rooms at supermarkets,
as both a clerk and apprentice meat cutter, long enough I see the
aesthetic values in a wide range of cuts of meat. As an 'artist/meat
cutter' I recognized the necessity for meat to be abstracted in order
to be swallowed, therefore, it was natural for me to objectify meat
and approach it with the same focus as my other still-life objects.
I found it most enjoyable to work with subject matter that attracted
a diverse audience consisting of vegetarians and carnivores alike.
The more recent additions to this series approach the beauty of meat
as a subtle decorative element that heightens the weight, color and
over all fleshiness of the subject. Beyond simply describing, I
enjoy the language and substance of oil paint and make use of its
inherent qualities to explore and experience the world around me
Born in Indiana to a Mexican mother and a Jewish father, Josh
Goldstein has lived in New York City since 1994. He studied
architecture at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and has worked
at several architecture firms, while pursuing his real passion
of biking around the city photographing signs and storefronts,
from Chinese fish markets to Hasidic hat shops. The New York
bodega especially interests him. He is attracted by the bodegas'
"bright colors, bold graphics, rotating set of key words and
phrases, and strong horizontal banding, as well as by their
current state of faded glory." Josh has been frantically
photographing these signs for over four years, collecting
thousands of images using his outdated digital camera and
Josh has photographed over 1000 bodegas in Brooklyn, Manhattan,
Queens, and the Bronx.
His favorite bodega items are: 1. Ting, 2. Coco Rico, 3. bananas,
4. Goya black beans, 5. dill pickle