Antony Hegarty is best known for—well, hold on a second. There’s his flat-out incredible and hauntingly fragile falsetto, deployed to great effect on albums like I Am a Bird Now andThe Crying Light. Then there’s his transgender identity, plus other attachments to a faded, androgynous and gritty version of the Lower East Side (Lou Reed guest spots, those stylized cover photos, etc.). So perhaps its not surprising that last year, he crashed the visual art world with a solo show at UCLA’s Hammer Museum. Now he’s bringing work to New York, at Sikkema Jenkins in Chelsea.
Actually, he’s been making art for much longer than that, debuting curious artifacts quietly for the past few years. And like the multidisciplinary weirdos of the 1970s and 80s who are so clearly his heroes, Antony seems discontent not only to be limited to a single medium, but with the individual limitations of each medium. Which means visitors to the show – opening Friday, May 31, with a 6pm reception, and running through July 12 – can expect to see drawings alongside collage and sculpture.
While his paintings and cut-and-paste offerings do begin to get at the ethereal, barely-there quality of his quieter songs, I think it’s really his methodical and monochromatic drawings that catch the eye. Sometimes he even applies ink to photographs, doodling out the geometry that underlies the image. Anyway, it’s refreshing to browse pieces by someone who has no real stake in art world politics and nothing to say about them: here is a chance to feel vivid individual expression in the form of a clean, unhurried line. Don’t miss it!
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