Mira Dancy: FUTURE WOMAN // remake me

Opens Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Shanghai, China


Yuz Project Room will present Mira Dancy’s project “FUTURE WOMAN // remake me” from November 8th, 2016 to January 15th, 2017. 

Taking a feminist approach, Mira Dancy creates images of women that conjure varied histories from Egyptian hieroglyphics and Greek mythology to advertising models. The bodies of her figures are never passive despite their repose. They are liberated, larger than life, enveloping and consuming the viewer.

As the artist’s first solo exhibition in China, Mira Dancy began preparing for this show in summer 2015. “I started drawing up images, thinking specifically about the cultural significance of showing my work in Shanghai. Time is fluid in painting, and as a medium I take pleasure in this option to lurch forward and backward at once. An ancient goddess or a billboard model are equal inspirations, and often their corresponding fictions fuse in my psyche. My impulse is to resurrect, embody, and overwrite these personas – to inhabit and inevitably alter these mythical constructions of Woman. I want to dig her up and drag her forward – I want to hear her speak. I want the story to be new. These concerns circle me back to the thread I first started pulling at last summer – an idea about Chang’e – the goddess of the moon – weathering her exile. The images here revolve around her fate – what if time peeled away? This repeating image of a woman in repose – she doesn’t dial back. The world writes itself over her – She is a mountain, she is a garden, she’s a sign in a shop window... she is repossessed.”

This exhibition is the first in a series of artist residency projects launched by the Yuz Museum. The residency aims to provide an environment for cultural exchange, an opportunity for non-local artists to learn about China and Chinese culture. Mira Dancy started her residency on November 1st, 2016. Her exhibition opens November 8th and includes paintings, a site-specific wall mural, neon installations and works on paper.

Mira Dancy Taylor Collection Denver

Alex Becerra: Interview

Article: Purple Magazine



BILL POWERS — We have a mutual friend who said she first met you selling sandals on Venice Beach.

ALEX BECERRA — During “Made in LA” in 2012, I got invited by Ali Subotnick to be part of the Venice Beach Biennial. She asked more than 50 artists to be vendors along the boardwalk at the beach. In my little booth, I sold these custom, handmade Huaraches that were made out of acrylic paint. They looked functional, but if you put them on, they’d rip apart after five steps.

BILL POWERS — For your solo show in Berlin this summer, you included a giant painting of your dog?

ALEX BECERRA — Of my dog, Fletch.

BILL POWERS — Is he named after the Chevy Chase movie?

ALEX BECERRA — Yeah. At my studio in LA, he’s always with me. Not too many of my friends live around this


Luis Gispert: The Story Behind the Cover of VICE Magazine's October Music Issue

Article: The Story Behind the Cover of VICE Magazine's October Music Issue


Luis Gispert and Jeff Reed first began collaborating on films and photographs around 2002. Their Stereomongrel project premiered at the Whitney Museum of American Art and has been exhibited or screened Internationally. Both work as artists and filmmakers on their respective coasts: Gispert in Brooklyn, New York, and Reed in Venice, California.

Pedro Reyes: Pedro Reyes Named Inaugural Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT

Article: Pedro Reyes Named Inaugural Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced today that Mexico City–based artist Pedro Reyes will be the center’s first Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist. Reyes will be in residence at the Cambridge school for at least one year.

The residency is funded by Dasha Zhukova, the philanthropist and founder of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow who, in October 2015, gave a $1 million gift to MIT. (Zhukova is also an ARTnews Top 200 collector.) The gift funds a year-long residency at the institute that allows an artist to pursue projects and research while also teaching a course.

Reyes’s course will be called “The Reverse Engineering of Warfare: Challenging Techno-optimism and Reimagining the Defense Sector (An Opera for the End of Times),” and based on its title, it seems as if it will focus on surveillance technology. A press release includes no information about what Reyes will work on while at MIT.

Reyes, who will soon debut a “political house of horrors” called Doomocracy at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, said in the statement, “My personal experience and perspective from Latin America, where human interaction matters more than technology, have made me particularly interested in challenging techno-optimism at MIT….It’s my hope, along with my co-teacher Carla Fernández’s, that this long-term residency, encompassing both our course and my own research and experimentation, can serve as a laboratory of sorts that will give feedback to MIT as much as it will impact my own practice. We want to place a human perspective where the machine now lives, which is very much a departure from the idea of progress that has prevailed for the last three centuries.”

Vincent Valdez: New Painting by Vincent Valdez Shows Haunting Scene at David Shelton Gallery

Article: New Painting by Vincent Valdez Shows Haunting Scene at David Shelton Gallery

(Houston Press)

There's a haunting over at David Shelton Gallery in Montrose, but not the ghost and goblin Halloween spookiness that comes around this time of year.

It's a haunting of the soul, and it starts with the shock of turning the corner to view Vincent Valdez's massive, panoramic oil painting of the Ku Klux Klan. The 13 adults and one klanbaby-in-training are staring out, as if interrupted by the viewer, creating a back-and-forth energy that's highly unsettling. (more at Houston Press)

Titus Kaphar: Titus Kaphar Talks Race, History, and Personal Experience at Anderson Ranch

Article: Titus Kaphar Talks Race, History, and Personal Experience at Anderson Ranch


“When people look at my work, and they talk about my work, a lot of times they talk about it in the context of this sort of social and political work,” said New Haven–based artist Titus Kaphar as he began his recent talk at Anderson Ranch Arts Center. “I understand that, but for me, it always comes from a really personal place, some experience that I’ve had — something that’s affected me directly, and I’ve decided to take it to the studio.”

Kaphar’s talk was delivered on July 7 as part of Anderson Ranch’s Summer Series of panels and discussions featuring artists, curators, critics, and collectors. The artist, known for his multimedia practice that investigates, appropriates, and even invents history — particularly African-American history — went on to speak about his most important projects to date, his role as a teacher (of others and himself), and his relationship to the complex narratives of art history. Kaphar’s work feels deeply personal, and indeed his presentation came off that way as well.

Jordan Casteel: 10 Exceptional Millennial Artists to Watch in 2016

Article: 10 Exceptional Millennial Artists to Watch in 2016


Jordan Casteel (b1989)

The young artist is known for depicting black male subjects at ease in domestic scenes, and her style is reminiscent of the work of Alice Neel, Martin Wong, and Nicole Eisenman. Her residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem culminated in a highly-anticipated show this summer. We can’t wait to see what she does next.

Casteel Yahya 2013 52x72 Taylor Collection Denver

Vincent Valdez: Artist Vincent Valdez Paints The Ku Klux Klan In "The City"

Article: Artist Vincent Valdez Paints The Ku Klux Klan In "The City"


Inside, the art space is taken over by one colossal black and white painting — 43 feet long — broken up into six panels. It’s titled “The City.” It features 14 hooded members of the Ku Klux Klan caught in a candid moment on a bluff overlooking a city at night.

“I felt that it was important that the viewer, when they first confront the piece, might even make the assumption that it is based on a historical photograph. That this is 1869 or 1920, but when they start looking at the details of the piece they’ll find traces of contemporary life like the iPhone, the baby Nikes, class rings, the cell phone towers and the modern day 21st century Chevrolet truck.”

Valdez started this painting last October. And after working on it seven days a week for 11 months, he says he’s glad it’s finally finished. But, he has been thinking about painting this image for years.

Valdez says viewers make the mistake in assuming it’s a reaction to the current political climate.

“People jump to the conclusion that this is Donald Trump’s fault – Oh, this is Trump all day right? This is about Trump. Well, I ask the viewer to step back for a moment. You don’t have to look very far and you really don’t have to look too deep to realize that this was here – this was present – long before any politician,” Valdez says.

That’s not to say there isn’t a connection to today’s politics. There is a rise in white nationalism in American and in Europe. And according to the Southern Poverty Law Center there is a surge in the growth of white supremacist groups — especially the Ku Klux Klan.

“It’s strangely coincidental, fascinating. It strikes me as being a little bit surreal. I’m not sure what to make of it exactly. I guess all I can say about it is the timing couldn’t be more urgent,” he says. (more at TPR.org)

Vincent Valdez Winner Taylor Art Collection Denver

Titus Kaphar: Titus Kaphar's broken home

Article:  "Titus Kaphar's broken home"


When artist Titus Kaphar started building his farmhouse five years ago, memories of the past conspired to drive him insane.
Painful remembrances were the genesis of "The Vesper Project," an ambitious new installation of paintings and keepsakes on view this week at the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami. The centerpiece of the exhibit looms tall inside the gallery, and could not be more out of place in Coral Gables: Kaphar's 19th century-style Connecticut farmhouse, a ramshackle box filled with splintered wood, old photographs and uprooted floorboards. The interior is wallpapered in yellowed newspaper clippings and framed portraits of the home's inhabitants: a mixed-race, multigenerational family called the Vespers.
Everything about the "The Vesper Project," Kaphar says, is built on an elaborate fiction. The farmhouse is neither from the 19th century nor from Connecticut, and the Vespers never existed. But this hardly stopped Kaphar from concocting back stories for the Vespers, characters whose histories called out to him like vengeful ghosts. He swears he heard the Vespers' voices five years earlier while painting a portrait of his aunt, a strong figure from his childhood in Michigan. Kaphar, 40, says the memory of his aunt was actually false, and that she wasn't the guardian he fondly remembered.
"Between this memory lapse and the voices, I felt like I was going insane," Kaphar says. "I was troubled by the characters speaking to me, but what terrified me more was the idea that memory is unreliable, where people are sure they are remembering something a certain way, but turns out to be untrue."


Pedro Reyes: For Pedro Reyes, Politics and Sculpture Go Hand in Hand

Article:  For Pedro Reyes, Politics and Sculpture Go Hand in Han


After studying architecture at Mexico City’s Universidad Iberoamericana, Pedro Reyes found his calling as a sculptor instead. He uses his art, typically large works sometimes incorporating elements of theater, to call attention to political issues. To protest against his country’s gun culture, for example, he melted down pistols to make shovels to plant trees. But his early interest in architecture reveals itself as well. He launched Pirámide Flotante from a beach in Puerto Rico, and he and his wife, fashion designer Carla Fernández, built Pirámide del Futuro right in their family home. He works in materials including marble and volcanic stone, which he shapes with the assistance of professional masons. The results, straddling the divide between abstraction and representation, force us to see the familiar in new ways, just as the artist asks us to reexamine our preconceived politics.

Represented by Lisson Gallery, Reyes has gained wide recognition. A solo show opens at Dallas Contemporary in September. Then, for a commission from New York’s Creative Time that coincides with Halloween, he will create a haunted house presenting doomsday scenarios related to climate change and other ills. He will also be teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall. In fact, he and Fernández will be co-instructors, offering a class intended to “reimagine the ethos of the Defense Sector and challenge the per­vasive contemporary outlook of techno-optimism,” according to the course description. He will focus on performance art, she on costume design. The semester will culminate with their students staging “an Opera for the end of Times.”

Pedro Reyes Jim amd Julie Taylor Art Collection Denver