Text: Alec Coiro
Photos Courtesy of Safe Gallery
In the Daniel Herr / Guy Walker show, Bushwick’s Safe Gallery continues its expert practice of pairing artists together with transportive results, a practice we first noticed with the Brian Chippendale And Ioanna Pantazopoulou show. I remember talking to Pantazopoulou after the show and her telling me how like magic her work seemed to suddenly gel with an artist she didn’t meet until right before the opening. Apparently, gallerists Pali Kashi and Sarah Welsh Elliott add to the art of curation a cosmic astrology in their knack for bringing people together. Herr’s use of colors and his brushstrokes provide an eerily perfect compliment to Walker’s use of paint on his sculptures (or perhaps it is vice versa). And the mood the two artists create in their work is complementary to the point of being mutually magnifying.
The show itself is a lovely three-way pairing between sculpture, painting, and the old wooden space itself. Out of the wood like mushrooms sprout the strange organic yet plastic bag related l sculptures that Guy Walker creates in the Hudson Valley and then harvested and brought down for this show. On display are a few variations in plaster clustered together, some formed directly into the space. The use of plastic bags in the creation of something that feels so organic gives all the iterations of the tempting to think of them as alien life. The effect is transportive, which I think is the best effect one can hope to have from art.
Moving from the sci-fi world of alien lifeforms to the fantasy world of painting with titles like “Gnome Stronghold,”, we have the works of Daniel Herr on the walls. The paintings make use of an ultra contemporary version of abstraction that combines or recreates subtle elements of collage. One in which figurative images are constantly threatening to emerge, but remain abstract, on the brink and rife with potential. Reading about some of Herr’s inspirations for his work — like his second-hand experience with a Spanish landscape — I realize that I can suddenly see subject matter coming to focus in the painting. Sustaining this liminal space on the edge of abstraction is, I think, what causes my mind gets lost in when looking at Herr’s work. And as with Walker, the effect is again transportive.