Vice Versa – January 6, 2009

Please join us at HSF by MontrasioArte for the opening reception of Vice Versa, featuring works by artists-in-residence, Nicola Magrin and Issa Nyaphaga curated by Raffaele Bedarida.

Opening reception:
Tuesday, January 6th 2009 (6.30-10.30 pm)
128 W 121st Street (between Lenox and Powell).
Subway 2/3 to 116th Street or 125th Street

Vice Versa presents two specular approaches to art making. Nicola Magrin and Issa Nyaphaga are poles apart both formally and conceptually, yet they open up complementary possibilities of post-relational art practices.

Paris-based artist Issa Nyaphaga left his country, Cameroon, in 1996 as a refugee after being imprisoned and tortured for the publication of his political drawings, which targeted government officials. Active in counter-information and educational activities with schools, universities, cultural centers and social institutes mostly in France and in the US, Issa’s art practice ranges from painting to political drawing, from body art to performance and installation. At HSF, Issa presents a series of portraits of Barack Obama. Living in Harlem during the last months of the campaign and the presidential elections of November 2008, Issa witnessed these historical events from the outsider perspective of an African exile and with the eye of the political drawer. He has represented the iconic face of the President Elect on the backdrop of his words, white on black, showing the current in-between condition of intense expectations. A participatory performance, part of Issa’s ongoing project Urban Way, will take place during the opening reception, where the artist will dialogue with live music and the public through live painting, action, and body painting.

Italian artist Nicola Magrin exhibits large and medium size calligraphic works on paper where his daily experiences, encounters, and observations during his three-month stay in New York are translated into poetic, rarefied images. Magrin’s wonder before the range of banal and exceptional scenes or events encountered as a foreigner is initially an intimate fact, but it is then progressively turned, in his folios, into more universal images, which are, themselves, instruments of wonder. “Suddenly – he writes — the fear of a sheet of a piece of paper, good paper, clean, white ready to host some images, fruit of my excursions. And then to prepare the color – in this case instinctively mixing an ‘earth color’ with a black, dense and fragile as coal – finally, a lot of water… water from Harlem.” The artist’s presence is substantial: figures made out of single, uninterrupted brushstrokes that skillfully give shape to abundantly diluted ink, are the physical link between the visitor and the artist’s intimacy. Sometimes, if an affinity is established, Magrin works in presence of and for intimate audiences bringing the gesture back to its performative, yet non-heroic dimension.

Advertisements

About harlemstudio

Harlem Studio Fellowship HSF is a residency program for international artists. Conceived by Ruggero Montrasio and curated by Raffaele Bedarida, the program invites two or three young artists every three months. HSF provides them with housing and studio in Harlem, NYC. HSF gives a welcome party after one month of each group's residence, in order to introduce the Harlem Studio fellows to New York friends and public. Every three-month period will end with a group exhibition, displaying works and projects accomplished by each artist during his/her stay in New York. In every spring from 2008 on, a show will be held (catalogue published by Silvana Editoriale), displaying a selection from the artists in residence during the previous year. View all posts by harlemstudio

One response to “Vice Versa – January 6, 2009

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: