By Anna Beketov
FACTION Art Projects have announced their second Harlem Perspectives, an annual exhibition celebrating the local talent of Harlem and uptown New York.
Harlem Perspectives II is co-curated by Leanne Stella of Art In FLUX, and showcases an eclectic mix of local artists who live and work above Manhattan’s 110th Street.
This year’s edition of Harlem Perspectives will present works by a selection of artists who deconstruct history through their process of art making. With their hands, a brush, or through a lens, the artists investigate, manipulate and work materials and objects that are charged with a personal and/or political narrative. While teasing, tearing and appropriating materials, the artists examine the cultural values and historical significance placed on the objects or subjects in their work. The resulting works define a new narrative revealing how the artists may find reconciliation or antipathy through the process and prompting the viewer to question preconceived notions and beliefs.
Artists include Coby Kennedy, David C. Terry, Elan Cadiz, Kennedy Yanko, Patrick Alston, and Tammy Nguyen.
In his multi-media series, In The Service of a Villian, Coby Kennedy paints, welds, sews, films, photographs and animates his subjects in a quest to antagonize and perhaps overthrow a patriarchal society.
David C. Terry manipulates ubiquitous objects like a terry cloth headband, a pair of basketball shorts, a dollar bill and with a bit of irony reveals society’s suppressed or unsaid viewpoints.
In An American Family Album, Elan Cadiz cleverly re-claims fabrics in a series of family “portraits” depicted by a chair. Through conversation with relatives and elders, and the reuse of familial items such as a dress, a tablecloth, curtains, scarves, and blankets she re-constructs an unusual visual history of her family.
Kennedy Yanko is fascinated by the human tendency to see objects only as they appear. Through her large-scale metal and “skin” formations she creates a new context, changing our interaction and relationship with the objects.
Patrick Alston’s abstract paintings are a reflection, perhaps even a memoir of growing up in the Bronx. Patrick combines traditional techniques with graffiti gestures on hand sewn canvases deftly creating an historical patchwork with a bit of personal history hidden within each painting.
Tammy Nguyen’s paintings portraying fictional histories wrestle with relevant timely topics including immigration, cross cultural trade and colonialism. The resulting visual fantasies are informed by her academic and political fervor combined with a fresh yet skilled technique and color sense.
Curator Leanne Stella says: “Harlem is often called a state of mind that extends beyond its physical boundaries, of which the people, the streets, the cultural influences are in a continual state of flux while remaining a true community. The artists in this exhibition are reflective of this dynamic place called Harlem. Each of the artists presents a unique perspective that challenges and redefines history and biased views or values. As a group these artists echo the diversity of Harlem that thrives and coexists despite the current divisive political rhetoric.”
Notes to Editors:
About Leanne Stella:
Leanne Stella lives and works in Harlem and is deeply invested in her neighborhood. Her passion for art and architecture led her, to a career spanning both art and real estate. In the 90’s and early 2000’s Leanne produced some of the largest art and antiques fairs on the East Coast as President of Stella Show Management Company, operator of the Triple Pier Antiques Show. In 2011, she moved to Harlem and founded Art In FLUX, a Harlem based arts initiative that creates opportunities for artists by reclaiming underutilized spaces for art and procuring commissions and projects for artists. The organization is built on the philosophy that by merging artistic, commercial, and community interests, a community in flux can increase accessibility to the arts and maintain artists as stakeholders. In 2016 through Art In FLUX Leanne produced over forty public art projects in Harlem in collaboration with NYC Parks Department and NYC Department of Transportation's Art Program. In her role at Halstead, she and her real estate partner commit a percent of commissions to public art uptown, furthering her commitment to support the arts and artists uptown.
About FACTION Art Projects:
FACTION is a flexible collective, from the team behind the hugely successful Gallery 8 and Coates & Scarry in London, who have created a unique model for artists and gallerists to work together. FACTION addresses the changing market place and the erosion of the traditional art market, where galleries were gatekeepers for artists. FACTION provides artists with promotion and opportunity to access collectors and a wider audience, with all the support of a gallery but without the constraints of the traditional model. They aim to deliver a programme of artists that is diverse and inclusive. FACTION launched in February 2018, and since then has become strongly imbedded in the Striver’s Row community and a highlight of Harlem’s cultural scene.