Each one is a connoisseur to certain subjects that they know best. Individual preference, interest and choice of subject where you have a definite opinion can be attributed to both nature and nurture. Nature mainly because of the geographic and factual circumstance you are born into but nurture steps in when you have the cognitive choice to gravitate to things that peak your interests. It seems like a simple subject but not really.
AF came to the solo exhibition of works by COJO (Colin C. Jorgensen, artist and publisher of ART SUCKS!) last September 25th where he extrapolated and illustrated his prolific view on his 10 subjects. COJO is one of the few art scribes on the prowl and AF always bumps into him even taking pictures of each other at times. On previous art events where he has shown in groups or by himself with the more modest venues on the Lower East Side and during that course, he had been making it his mission to draw at least one item for 365 days. The cumulative results of finally putting together his daily drawings are the elements of his large-scale panel for 10 Subjects.
The panels are rendered in street art style and illustrative to which COJO developed a universe that is bountiful and compact for each subject. They all happen to start with S as in Space, Straphangers (commuters), and of course the one that sells, SEX, just to name a few. For the duration of the month, the other four panels that complete out the 10 subjects will be taking over the front gallery space. As in life, subjects are individualistic and derivative of one’s experience. COJO related that these are things he got to know more about over the years while living in New York City.
Every entity that populates the rectangular panel was given a personality and expression to animate COJO’s chosen subject. There is no denying that his work is very much rooted in the street style but the cohesion of theme and conscious color harmony demonstrated the thoughtfulness the artist brings to the table. Space was populated with aliens and the green shade alludes to the little green men or Martians that inhabit imagination or nightmares. Sex is done with curves and sensual lines with the flesh-like tones of course that invokes without a doubt the carnality of the subject. The wide ranges of forms that fill up the canvas are snippets of memory set into motion. Therein lies the trick as COJO is masterful in the interjection of items but with a rhyme and reason. Every bit belongs to the scenery he created. There is no extant matter that is a throw away or after thought. Each one is considered and a contributor to the entire narrative of the subject.
As voyeurs or viewers into the universe of COJO’s chosen subject, the minutiae of the drawing style and technique becomes a subject of interpretation. There are technicians who obsess over the degree of lines, width, and color placement. Some are reducing it down to the stories or narrative impact of his work and its discourse on the subject at hand. All of these are valid opinions and I’m sure COJO will be amused. However, art is just that. It is subject to one’s interpretation. There is no one way to look at an artist’s work. It all depends on your aesthetic conditioning or predisposition. What one sees as chaos will be cohesion to another. There might be jumbled messages but another can really see a clear signal. Therefore that is the beauty of 10 subjects. It can lead to a hundred or a thousand times more exchanges of ideas or discussion.
COJO may have started out to create his representation of 10 subjects that are closest to him. The end results are infinite when we observe shrewdly with our own eyes the things to pick apart or homogenize as a whole. It is not wrong or right to do so. It is mainly subjective.
To view our interview with the artist COJO, please click on below:
COJO: 10 Subjects: On View: September 25 – October 23, 2014
Gallery Hours: Monday – Sunday (12 to 7 pm)
Castle Fitzjohns Gallery. 98 Orchard Street. NYC, NY 10002
Art Review by: Oscar A. Laluyan
Photography and video by: Max Noy Photo