Last week was the opening night for the new season and we couldn’t wait to hit the Chelsea streets chasing the next distinctive show. We initiated our Gallery walk at Galerie Protégé to see The Playground of the Fantastical. Galerie Protégé is part of Chelsea Frames and the brain child of Jaclyn Acker. The gallery, which is located downstairs, has been transformed into a magical world created by artists Maria Lynch and Joseph Meloy using two different styles that balance each other.
The first thing you see coming down the spiral stairs is a large intense sculpture by Maria Lynch. This soft colorful piece is made out of different textures that resemble stuffed animals’ tentacles, tails, horns and other long and pointy objects; collaged and sewn together, hanging like an abstract piñata. I love her use of different textiles and fabrics mixed with foam, they are playful and rich but also express a weird strangeness because of the execution and overall look of the sculpture.
Joseph Meloy refers to his work as Vandal Expressionism; a movement that combines active abstract expressionism with street art. By painting on cardboard, metal, and found wood, Joseph lets the street inspire and initiate the art. He uses a combination of soft and rapid strokes mixed with different paint mediums giving his work life and excitement. My favorite piece from Joseph was the Conversation Piece, which is made from deteriorated wood that I’m sure he found. I admire the decay and texture of the wood blended with the baby blue background. The abstract form at the center has primitive and Native American qualities to it and as the title suggests, should be able to spark great conversations and opinions on what he is trying to say.
The layout of the show is done very well. When you step back and look at it, it’s like watching two kids playing in a playground. Even though these artists use different vocabularies, they understand and complement each other’s work, creating this fantastical magic land. Maria and Joseph remind us that we must never forget to play, especially since NYC is the biggest playground in the world.
The playground of the fantastical at Galerie Protégé
September 4th to October 3rd
197 Ninth Ave (Lower Level – Chelsea Frames)
New York, NY 10011
Tel: 212-807-8726 Fax: 212-924-3208
Monday: 10am – 6pm
Tuesday: 10am – 7:30pm
Wednesday: 10am – 6pm
Thursday: 10am – 7:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Sunday: Closed (by appointment)
Article by Jamie Martinez
Photography by Jamie Martinez and the Artists and the Gallery