John Currin/Lucas Samaras

Yesterday, I went to view 2 new exhibits at the Whitney Museum.

I was really looking forward to seeing the first solo exhibit of John Currin. This past Sunday there was a article on him and his work in the New York Times magazine section. 41 year old artist, lives in Soho, was turned on to art at a young age while taking classes with a local artist. Went to school for art and then off to Yale grad school for art. He was struggling and then finally figured out how he could stand out as an artist. Rare for an artist to try and figure out his niche. He started painting figures in 6 by 8 easels. Noone else was doing that so he decided that he would make an impact. Lucky for us. His figurative paintings are beautiful pieces of work. It as if through the Renaissance art played off of Norman Rockwell and then Alex Katz, John Currin was the next step. Some of these paintings could been hanging in old museums in Rome. The bodies are lucious. The colors are warm. The characters are alive. Yet, the characters are people of today. Definitely work worth seeing. They are already classics.

The other exhibit was of Lucas Samaras. Wow! What a prolific human being. There are literally over 400 objects in this exhibition. The majority of them are self-portraits made over many years. There are some paintings and drawings and even some mixed media boxes but most of the work are polaroids. Polaroids that have been manipulated, drawn on, blown up, focused on parts of his body, his movement. Really extraordinary use of film. John Currin believes that photograhy is not an art form. I think he would beg to differ if he came and saw the incredible depth of imagery that Lucas Samaras has created of himself.

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