Todd James "King of the Wild Frontier" at Gering & Lopez Opens March 1st

By - Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

New York based artist Todd James, formerly known as Reas AOK has been exhibiting around the world and recently collaborated with Stephen Powers on an intimate show that revived their classic Street Market concept. James is gearing up for his latest exhibition, titled King of the Wild Frontier at Gering & Lopez Gallery on 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan. The opening reception will be on March 1st from 6-8pm and the exhibition will run through April 21st. Take a look at the gallery above for some of his previous work and scroll down to read the official press release from the gallery. Gering & Lopez Gallery 730 Fifth Avenue Between 56th and 57th Streets New York, NY 10019 {image-2} TODD JAMES King of the Wild Frontier March 1 – April 21, 2012 Opening Reception: Thursday, March 1, 6-8pm Press Release “The first is a group of canvases depicting his familiar Somali pirate series. No longer on roughly cut sheets of paper, these oil paintings dominate the gallery with their crisp shapes, large scale and emotive brushwork. The new medium accentuates characteristics of James’ work, namely the seductive colors and fluid lines of its subjects. These pirates are masked in headgear, smoking cigarettes, having tea at sunset. They bear hand-me-down AK-47s and RPGs, the looping shapes of their bullet belts and gun straps echoing 1970s graffiti letterforms. In the distance, their quarry – cargo ships – is represented by blocky shapes squatting on the ocean’s horizon. These works address David and Goliath themes of survival, justice, ingenuity, ownership, and difference. The second part of the exhibition is a recreation of Vandal’s Bedroom, the sprawling, graffiti filled structure that was a highlight of the Art in the Streets exhibition recently shown at LA MOCA. The New York version of the work is equally dense with information. Part object, part installation, this teenage vandal’s bedroom-turned-graffiti-battle-station gives glimpses of plans for an imaginary artistic takeover. Bleeding marker drawings form letter styles from the rough & tumble 1980’s New York subway era, combined with repurposed cartoon characters performing decidedly off-model activity. A clutter of color, slogans, fantasies, and affiliations is all barely contained, ready to spill out of this eat, sleep, and breathe environment. The piece is a celebration of early influences and an exercise of traditions that remain relevant, holding up better than ever. According to James, both vandals and pirates step over invisible boundaries put in place by faceless power structures every day. Both also anonymously make claims (to space or to cargo), their deeds forcing society to confront the undeniable complexity of right and wrong. It is this sense of injustice that informs and energizes James’ work. The fact that James is able to do this with a generous amount of humor is his unique ability. Todd James has had numerous one-person exhibitions internationally, including New York, Tokyo, Madrid, Brussels, Melbourne, London and Copenhagen. His most recent exhibition, a large collaborative installation for Art in the Streets at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CA in 2011, was a critical and popular addition to that show. James currently lives and works in New York.” Source: Gering & Lopez Gallery

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