Sometimes I forget I live in NYC and there’s crazy-cool art galleries within every square mile, which is great when you happen to stumble across one of the absolute coolest, The Hole (I hadn’t been since Early Man), where 20 of Taylor McKimens’ paintings will have you wow-ing to yourself at each piece.
The exhibit, titled Stoic Youth, features a series of portraits both big and small that’s line work can be attributed much to George Washington himself on the US dollar bill. Every painting is as colorful as it is mysterious; the expressions on their faces appear indifferent of both gender and feeling.
“Growing up in a small desert town on the Mexican border, I had no access to museums or galleries to see original art. I learned how to make art by looking at print: the bumblebee on a Cheerios box, cartoons in the paper, Ratfink, comics, crummy illustrations with bad printing on Mexican products, the lines on George Washington’s face on a dollar bill. I think it’s a very common story for American artists raised outside of big cities with their significant museums and deep European traditions. When most of these artists go to art school they’re usually forced into the decision of either wiping out their past identity and conforming to the look of ‘high art’, or the more prideful yet limiting path of rejecting the art world entirely and pursuing a more ‘low brow’ art.”
I’m no art critic by any means, but I know enough to know when something is really f*cking cool, and McKimens’ series is worth the trip to Bowery for an interesting walk through the mind of an artist exploring with a drawing / painting combo that tells an American story, up for interpretation of course.
The Hole is at 312 Bowery. McKimens will be featured on display until October 11th.