This past weekend, Beau Stanton and Logan Hicks transported nautical vibes to Chelsea as part of a 12 day pop-up at the Highline Loft. Curated by Lori Zimmer and Natalie Kates, “Calm Before the Storm” features old and new studies by the two artists, whom share a common curiosity in historical re-imagining through an urban lens.
Stanton is perhaps most famous for his maritime-themed mural art that patterns the city he lives in, referencing New York’s natural harbor roots. His rusty copper-hued palette is however increasingly being transposed in oil paint, through which he is able to create a more eternal sentiment. Timelessness is certainly a central theme in Stanton’s work, as he samples antique influences across different architectural eras for both style and content. His largest painting in the exhibition features the iconic marble head of Greek king of the gods, Zeus, crowned by a post-classical sailing vessel with Gothic Cathedral-like masts and finishes. Simultaneously the work also broaches current century topics, using the romantic symbolism of a crashing tide to evoke contemporary fear over climate change and rising water levels.
As if Stanton’s artistic range was not broad enough, he surprises once more in the contribution of a site-specific sculptural piece, a titanic ship that visually anchors the entire exhibition; all naval puns aside. Meticulously constructed from found objects, the installation not only highlights Stanton’s appreciation for material artifacts and curiosities, but pinnacles his magnificent craftsmanship and utmost attention to detail. It is simply put, a handsome ship.
Old and new world concepts are also stitched seamlessly together by Logan Hicks in his series of aerosol sprayed stencil paintings. In a similar vein to Stanton, Hicks is more known as a “street artist” who uses photography from his travels as a base to artistically explore the systems of urban space. He is imaginably a perfectionist too, bearing a labor intensive process to produce a single work, which sometimes involves as many as 15 different stencil layers. The intricate results are vivid and show hyperrealist vantages of the urban environment juxtaposed with fabled characters and scenes.
Hicks draws the majority of his context from nautical mythology and lore, creating haunting images that float between past, present, and future dimensions. More specifically, many of his works examine the concept of fate, which transcends time itself. His interpretation of the classic image The Execution of Lady Jane Grey, which captures the moments preceding the interim Queen’s beheading, also recontextualizes the feeling of anticipation and mortality within the work. Whereas The Awaited Arrival with its Jeffrey Campbell heeled heroine provides the same suspense before an action occurs but in a modern urban setting. Hicks’ viewers grasp the timelessness of fate as they are left to contemplate their own present state – their own, as you will, “calm before the storm.”
Logan Hicks and Beau Stanton: Calm Before the Storm
Curated by Lori Zimmer and Natalie Kates
October 17 -28, 2015
The Highline Loft, 508 W 28th St, 5th floor, NYC
Article by Lisa Marsova
Photographs by Arte Fuse