Clowns, Women, Nature by Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Richard Kern at VICE Exhibit

Cindy Sherman, Cover Girl (Vogue) 1975/2011. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York

VICE’s 13th annual photo exhibition is on view at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn, featuring works by Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Thomas Albdorf, Jaimie Warren, Richard Kern, and Robert Melee among others. VICE Photo Editor Matthew Leifheit curated the show, which centers on the expanding field of trompe l’oeil. Check out some of the highlights below, then venture to Red Hook before the exhibition ends on August 10th.

Jaimie Warren ViceJaimie Warren, Self-Portrait as Pennywise the Clown, 2014

Jason Nocito ViceJason Nocito, PUD, 2014 

Jimmy DeSana ViceJimmy DeSana, Red Boy in the Woods, circa 1978. Image courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York

laurie-simmons vice
Laurie Simmons, How We See/Look 1/Daria, 2014. Image courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York

Robert MeleeRobert Melee, Bowling, 2014

Thomas Albdorf Krimmler Ache WaterfallsThomas Albdorf, Krimmler Ache Waterfalls, Detail (from A Song of Nature [Working Title]), 2014

Thomas Albdorf Typical Alpine FloraThomas Albdorf, Typical Alpine Flora at the Hochschwab Area (from A Song of Nature [Working Title]), 2014



Matt Lipps, Kadar Brock, and Karl Wirsum: Fantasy Shopping at NADA in Miami

Hey, we’ve got an unlimited fictional bank account and some blank walls to fill in our brand-new Tribeca penthouse. Thanks to Artsy, we can now browse most of the offerings for the NADA fair in Miami early, ensuring that once the preview hours begin, we’ll know exactly where to head for the best deals. Let’s get shopping…

Chris Bradley (Thomas Campbell Gallery): I love Bradley’s ‘totems’ – strands of trinkets hanging from the wall – and this young sculptor’s illusionistic handling of materials (he once crafted a potato chip out of metal).

Despina Stokou and Karl Wirsum (Derek Eller Gallery): Stokou is a Berlin-based artist whose mixed-media paintings cram an overload of language onto the picture plane; Wirsum is part of the Hairy Who cadre. Presenting both artists together, this gallery’s NADA booth guarantees to be a cross-generational serving of irreverent awesomeness.

Matt Lipps (Jessica Silverman Gallery): I’ve always loved Lipps’s photos, which are constructed by staging little collaged vignettes in the studio. This latest body of work takes his own aesthetic and throws in a bit of Carol Bove’s things-arrayed-on-a-shelf style. (And hey, if you’re building a collection according to a very specific theme, why not pick up David Korty’s Blue Shelf #15 over at Night Gallery’s booth?


Kadar Brock (The Hole): Painting-as-sculpture-as-mixed-media-explosion…This Brock piece looks like a city street in the aftermath of a war, followed by a celebratory post-war parade, with lots of confetti. Process-based abstraction gets a slightly longer lease on life.

Robert Moskowitz (Kerry Schuss): I had no idea who Moskowitz was until I started prowling through this NADA preview. (Thanks, Artsy!) According to his Wikipedia profile, I’m not alone in not knowing who he is. I’d like to make up for that oversight by asking someone to buy me this totally weird, totally perfect painting.

Richard Kern (Feature, Inc.): I’m not sure if I’d be able to deal with this on my own wall, but the double-vision nude portrait of Angela Pham – the most self-obsessed of all the self-obsessed Gallery Girls – is something to behold, however queasily.

Jamian Juliano-Villani: I’ve previously written about this young painter’s tangential affinity with Mike Kelley. She’s got several works in this gallery’s booth in the fair’s ‘Projects’ section, and they’re all “affordable,” by the punch-drunk standards of the art world.

Main image: Jamian Juliano-Villani

Comfortably Numb: Richard Kern’s Girls Are on Drugs

A central figure in the underground East Village arts scene of the 1980s, photographer and filmmaker Richard Kern is something of a patron saint for a new generation who have been inspired (often to the point of imitation) by his bold, sexually-charged images. Last night he opened an exhibition of new photographs at Feature Inc., in New York (including a series, "Medicated, etc.," in which his semi-nude models hold the prescription bottles of the drugs they’re taking), and launched his new book, Contact High, about drugs of a different sort.

The book, published by Picture Box, includes a very specific form of portraiture: portraits of nude or mostly nude girls smoking marijuana, an irresistible combination for the longtime New Yorker and regular contributor to GQ, Vice and Playboy who is widely known for his photographs of naked women.

"Some of my nicest memories from my teenage years in the 1970s were when I would be sitting around somewhere smoking pot with friends," said the native of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, where he spent a lot of his teen years "outside near water—stoned, naked and listening to music."

"Someone would say, ‘let’s get nekkid and go skinny-dipping!" Kern recalls of his youth. "And to be cool you had to do it."

But smoking pot naked in the 1970s is worlds away from the subject of Kern’s new photo series, "Medicated, etc.," which he admits was a bit of a learning experience for someone who quit drugs and booze a long time ago.

"I can’t say it’s a critique," he said about his images of naked or nearly naked young girls holding their prescription drug bottles. "But I was surprised to find out that many kids and adults are medicated now."

The other works in the exhibition are double exposure portraits of the same girl, with one shot of a clothed female model superimposed on the same girl in the nude. Because of the blurriness, they are a bit difficult to look at and have a strange effect of turning sex appeal into something a bit grotesque.

But he’s not trying to make a major statement about drugs or sex or anything beyond the moment he’s capturing. Even after all these years in New York, he has managed to maintain the relaxed vibe of that stoned, skinny-dipping teenager from North Carolina who loves listening to music with his friends. And that cool kid essence has translated into how he chooses and relates to his models.

"I usually meet the girls I shoot to see if we get along before I shoot," he said. "If there is the slightest bit of hesitation with a model, I back out. Sometimes I like a model but I think she is not working out for me, image-wise, and then years later I come back to her photos or video and sort of fall in love with her and feel like I finally understand her."

We stopped by Feature Inc. last night and asked Richard a few questions about his new work.