THE MAD BIENNIAL 2014: NYC MAKERS

Looking for an art exhibit unlike anything else in the city?  Want to see who are the movers and shakers in the the creative fields today?  Love to be up on the those talented artisans that function on the “A” level but  are rather unknown since they fly under the recognition radar?  Well, I suggest you take yourself right over to the MUSEUM OF ARTS AND DESIGN (see post)  for one of the most unusual shows I have been to in a long time.

 

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Curtis K. Kulig , “Love Me”

 

It is called NYC Makers:The MAD Biennial, and if I am not mistaken, this is actually the first show of it’s kind at the museum.  The show is the brain child of the new director, Glenn Adamson. The entire show was vetted, nominees for inclusion being suggested by 10 professionals from the five boroughs, and then winnowed down to the top 100 for the exhibition by the curators and directors of the museum.

 

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Ralph Pucci, Eight Mannequins from Motion2-Red

 

I had the good fortune to attend the opening night party last week, and the entire museum was a buzz with excitement about the show.  The exhibition has video art, costume designers, sculpture, work by set designers, pieces by glass designers, work by media-art collectives and even a piece by Yoko Ono, who, for the record, is 81 years of age. AND there is much more!

 

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“Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band”

 

The show is seeking to highlight the multi faceted talents of artisans and creative people living in New York City today, many who have never had  recognition before, especially by a museum.  It’s emphasis is on talent, discipline and originality. AND you will see plenty of that!

 

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Misha Kahn , “Pig Bench” & Confettisystem Wall Installation

 

The exhibition has taken over every available corner of the museum, minus the two floors where other exhibitions are in progress.  AND I mean everywhere: the lobby, the elevator banks, the stairwells, the ceilings, etc., etc., etc.!  It is a total art immersion and you will find yourself not knowing where to look first.

 

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Rafael de Cardenas/ Architecture at Large & Stepin One 2 /Nightclub Environment

 

As it says in the catalogue connected to the show, the curators are attempting to reflect on “…the living nature of the city,…” and to “…explore themes relevant to New York City in 2014.”  That is definitely a wide program to undertake, but I personally think they have made a good dent in it.

 

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Chen Chen & Kai Williams’ Vase “Moonmilk,”

 

I must admit it was a little difficult to navigate the exhibition, as there are just such a large variety of pieces and exhibits squeezed into the exhibition space.  If you have the time, sign yourself up for one of the special tours being led by Jake Yuzna, a director from the museum who was very intimately involved in selecting the artists participating in the show.  I’m actually planning on doing that myself.

 

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Miriam Ellner, “Fata Morgana”

 

You can also take advantage of the wide range of workshops, performances, talks and cinema programs that will be available in coordination with the exhibition through October 12, 2014.  This is an exciting time for the Museum, a chance for it to show its vitality and energy and relevance.

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Marvin Goldman of Duffy & Quinn, Roman Catholic Bishop’s Choir Dress

 

As Roberta Smithe of the New York Times wrote in her review, “The Museum of Arts and Design is plunging into the deep end of the biennial pool with a big, messy splash…(but)It is well worth seeing, even if you mostly argue your way through it.”  You can read the entire review here if you are interested. I think that sums it up in a nutshell. You must go see it for yourself as I know it will leave you pondering, thinking, questioning and celebrating the power of creativity.

 

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 Ciao, ciao ’til next time!