New York Postcard: Massage Masters

Art Life Aug 16, 2018 No Comments
Just prior to his Mexico sojourn, George Shaw reports on the last of summer… 

Aaron Fowler, Donkey, 2018


Aaron Fowler, Jmae, 2017


Aaron Fowler, 3 Problems, 2017


Aaron Fowler, AI, 2017


 Aaron Fowler, You Are Not the Father, 2017/2018

I don’t know what 50,000 volts feels like, but I imagine it would be as electrifying as Aaron Fowler’s show Donkey Nights at Salon 94 and his concurrent exhibition at Totah Gallery. Fowler’s large-scale assemblages are made from the stuff we thoughtlessly discard every day, yet in his hands become powerful, personal narrative treasures. These intricately layered modern-day religious icons to family and friends are held together with collaged art materials, detritus, memories, and disembodied incantations; they inhale hardship and exhale beauty; their gross imperfections an invitation to transformation, without a cliché in sight.

  Christian Jankowski, Massage Masters, 2017


Christian Jankowski, Massage Masters (Promise), 2017



Christian Jankowski, Massage Masters (The Wind Tells), 2017


Christian Jankowski, Massage Masters (Three Part Object), 2017


 Christian Jankowski, Massage Masters (Richard Henry Bruton), 2017


German artist Christian Jankowski is known for left-of-field collaborations with TV evangelists, fortune tellers, porn stars, and psychotherapists. Jankowski aims not just to make art from others’ ideas, but to demonstrate that it can be created from anything within reach. At Petzel, his bountiful show 2017 features four new photographic series, as well as scores of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and installations. In Massage Masters, for example, Jankowski asked Japanese massage therapists to show how they would ‘heal’ public sculptures in Yokohama, with the accompanying videos viewed from the comfort of various types of massage equipment.

Joseph Hilton, Waiting For Spring, 1978


Joseph Hilton, Ash Wednesday, 1979


Joseph Hilton, Bronzino’s Venus, 1979

Joseph Hilton, October 76, 1976


Joseph Hilton, Visitation by Good and Bad Council, 1979

Joseph Hilton’s Paintings from 1976-1979 at Half Gallery are perfect examples of Bad Painting, which is not saying he is an incapable artist, but rather a description of an American style of figurative painting embraced by a number of accomplished painters in the 1970s, as a ‘f*** you’ to trending styles of the day. In this collection, Hilton took inspiration from pre-Renaissance religious themes, and the period’s painting style to render his deliberately clumsy works. They may look like op-shop paintings, but it’s not easy to be bad when you are actually good.

George Shaw

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