Sex / Drugs / Nostalgia / Death / Love / Rock & “Heavy Metal” Roll – they are words to the mythic life of the bohemian artist. Munch Gallery on Broome Street served it up with a set of kick ass dual shows by Rose Eken “Love is the Drug” and Marshall Weber “Yesterday is Dead”. AF got ready to rock it out and push the pedal to the metal at the opening last January 9th.
Whenever an artist finds beauty in detritus, it is always magic thunderbolt city. Rose Eken was able to connect and gain access to the heavy metal group, Metallica. She created the pounded out drum cover into a stitched on silk version that is a play on the brutal force of rhythmic beating but crafted in a delicate material. Notes for sound engineering are crumpled and tossed but Eken made a large pad paper version in silk with the stitched out notes in harsh scribbles. There were pair miniatures of guitar picks, cigarettes, crushed soda cans, and other items that may litter a studio recording floor or the tour bus but the skillfully made sculpture in cardboard or ceramic denote a loving attention to detail. Eken skillfully threads the line of love geared to hero worship by representational works rooted in raw male energy but her deft execution and feminine touch gave it a resonance that can make a stadium rock. Power is not in force but in subtlety. In this context, that love threads delicately but its sheer force is definitely strong.
Marshall Weber had 18 stenciled photo collages inspired by the Guillemots song “Yesterday is Dead”. Music can run parallel to life events and conducive to a great platform to create. Weber utilized it with a flourish and unbridled passion to make haunting, compelling, and starkly beautiful compositions. It was supposed to obliterate nostalgia but the collected pictures (some taken by his sister, Raimie) from the 1970’s through the 90’s are elements of an evocative feeling that adds to the narrative nature of his series. A 1920’s stencil machine cuts out lyrics of the song and the nostalgia factor is taken to greater depth. As much as yesterday is supposed to be discarded or forgotten – the images Weber finalized are hauntingly too beautiful to forget. Even in darkness, you see strokes of enlightenment that may be somber but it registers sublime.
Here’s the double down about these shows. They make their mark not in gregarious and loud statements. Each seeks to take a more nuanced and self-effacing method that is firmly rooted in their passion for creation. PASSION – It is the one word that elevates their art into thoughtfully inspired objects.
Rose Eken “Love is the Drug” & Marshall Weber “Yesterday is Dead”
On View: January 9 – February 3, 2013
Gallery Hours: Wed. to Sat (12 – 7 pm) / Sunday (1 – 6 pm) & by appt.
Munch Gallery. 245 Broome Street. NYC, NY 10002
art review by: Oscar A. Laluyan
art images from Munch Gallery courtesy of the artists
event photography by: MaxNoy