Jules de Balincourt
Gents of Desire
A fresh paint job for Coney Island. Bringing contemporary vision to the long-held tradition of hand-painted signs at the amusement destination, the artists will paint signs, concession stands, storefronts, and murals throughout Coney Island. Many of the artists invited to contribute have a personal, social, or aesthetic interest in the visual culture of the area; while others have come from as far away to participate.
A fresh paint job for Coney Island
This summer, Creative Time and artist Steve Powers, in association with Coney Island USA, are back on the boardwalk with The Dreamland Artist Club 2005, featuring a fresh batch of artists from the U.S. and around the globe. Bringing contemporary vision to the long-held tradition of hand-painted signs at the amusement destination, the artists Tauba Auerbach, Beatriz Barral, Crash, Ronnie Cutrone, Os Gemeos, Justin Green, Isca Greenfield-Sanders, Mimi Gross, Vandana Jain, Greg Lamarche, Paul Lindahl, Clive Murphy, Gary Panter, Kamau Patton, Bruno Peinado, Steve Powers, and Swoon will paint signs, concession stands, storefronts, and murals throughout Coney Island. A 130-foot long mural by Os Gemeos, the identical twin street painting team from Brazil, welcomes visitors as they exit the subway to begin their Coney Island adventure.
In an exciting new twist that further infuses the Coney experience with contemporary art, lucky winners at participating game booths can take home amazing art prizes instead of a stuffed teddy bear or a goldfish that wonâ€™t last the week. Artists Michael Amter, Annabel Daou, Dogg + Bone, Fintan Friel, Katie Holten, Steve Keene, Greg Lamarche, Cary S. Leibowitz, Nina Pandolfo, and Garrett Phelan contribute artworks that entice you to test your skills at Happy Landings, Feed the Clown, Bushel Basket, Basketball Game, Water Racing, Shoot Out the Star, and Skin the Wire.
Want to see the artists at work, get a hand made sign, pick-up a map or receive a personal tour of the Dreamland artworks? Swing by The Dreamland Artist Clubhouse. Conflating the concepts of trade and art, the Clubhouse will be manned by artists Steve Powers, Matt Wright, and a summer-long rotation of sign-painters offering up their craft to the public. Located right on Surf Avenue (under the Coney Island Museum) it will be open for business Thursday â€“ Sunday through Labor Day.
Many of the artists invited to contribute to The Dreamland Artist Club 2005 have a personal, social, or aesthetic interest in the visual culture of the area; some live in Brooklyn or greater New York, while others have come from as far away as Brazil and Spain to participate. The artists represent a wide range of practices and techniques from traditional oil painting to street sign painting to PixacÃ£o, a form of graffiti art from Sao Paolo, Brazil. The Dreamland Artist Club 2005 employs contemporary artistsâ€™ visions to renew, revive, and reinvent the tradition of colorful hand-painted signs and advertisements dating back more than a century in Coney Island.
This yearâ€™s project, curated by Steve Powers with Alexa Coyne at Creative Time, follows the tremendous success of The Dreamland Artist Club 2004, in which Creative Time collaborated with Powers to commission twenty-five artists to paint signs, murals, fortunetelling booths, and rides in Coney Island. Works remain on view by Jules de Balincourt, Craig Costello, Adam Cvijanovic, Dearraindrop, Christa Donner, Nicole Eisenman, Gents of Desire, Toland Grinnell, Ellen Harvey, David Humphrey, Greg Lamarche, Andrew Lenaghan, Ashley Macomber, Ryan McGinness, Bill McMullen, Steve Powers, Dana Schutz, and Matt Wright.
STEVE POWERS AND DREAMLANDâ€™S EVOLUTION
Sign iconography and outdoor painting have always been an integral component of Steve Powersâ€™ artwork and, as a longtime admirer of hand-painted signage, the artist looked to Coney Island as one of the fading vestiges honoring the tradition. During visits to the neighborhood over the past several years, however, he discovered that a number of painted surfaces in Coney Island were significantly weathered, and furthermore, that many businesses in Coney Islandâ€™s amusement area didnâ€™t have any signage at all. Inspired by a project conceived by Laurie Lazer of The Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco, in which artist Margaret Kilgallen created new signage for businesses in the neglected Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, Powers approached Creative Time. Together they invited a range of emerging and established, street and gallery artists to participate in a public art project that would enhance the visual character of this extraordinary and storied New York neighborhood. Named for one of the famous amusements of Coney Islandâ€™s heyday, The Dreamland Artist Club was born.
Powers, aka ESPO, made good on 15 years of painting graffiti by making it a public service and writing the book, The Art of Getting Over, published by St. Martinâ€™s Press in 1999. Powers has exhibited at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia; Deitch Projects; the 49th Venice Biennale; and the 2002 Liverpool Biennial. He was featured in Beautiful Losers Contemporary Art and Street Culture and most recently, he created an art installation in the form of a bakery that sold ESPO designed cookies and cakes and paintings from the Deitch Projects booth at The Armory Show.
MEMBERS OF THE CLUB 2005
Tauba Auerbach (San Francisco) painted a marquee for Basketball Game on Stillwell Avenue. Auerbach makes her living as a sign painter and has recently received critical acclaim for her artwork in gallery exhibitions. While she is a native to the Bay Area, her work represents a break from the Mission School with its sparse precision and clean, Zen-like quality.
Beatriz Barral (Spain) painted the marquee for Water Racing on The Bowery. Barral lives and works in Madrid and is represented by Parkerâ€™s Box in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Recent solo exhibitions include Beatriz Barral, SMP Gallery, Marseille, France (2004) and Looking for the Future, Galeria Ray Gun, Valencia, Spain (2002).
Crash (New York City) and Ronnie Cutrone (New York City) collaborated to paint the faÃ§ade of The Snack House on the corner of Jones Walk and The Bowery. Both artists live and work in New York City. Crash has had numerous one-man shows, most recently Second Skin, New Paintings by CRASH Wooster Projects, NY and CRASH, Fender Stratocaster 50th Anniversary, Fender Museum, Corona, CA (2004). Cutrone attended the School of Visual Arts from 1966 â€“ 1970. He was Andy Warholâ€™s art assistant for ten years. His most recent solo exhibition was Landscapes, Lies, and Lollipops, at Casola Gallery, Peekskill, NY. His work is in numerous public and private collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany.
Os Gemeos (Brazil) spent three weeks in May painting the first artwork for the projectâ€” a 130-foot mural on the wall opposite the subway station on Stillwell Avenue. They are identical twin brothers (Otavio and Gustavo) and their name translates to "the twins" in Portuguese. Os Gemeos have garnered tremendous acclaim with a recent show at Deitch Projects and a major mural for the Olympics in Athens. They gained international notoriety for their unique works created on the streets of Sao Paulo. Os Gemeos also paint canvases, make sculptures, and are both graphic designers and photographers.
Justin Green (Cincinnati) collaborated with Steve Powers to paint the exterior of Leoâ€™s Food Store on The Bowery. He is considered one of the most important artists of the underground comix movement. Green is most noted for Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary, an autobiographical comic book produced in 1972 that set the standard for the genre. The artist currently has two monthly strips, Musical Legends and Sign Game.
Mimi Gross (New York City) painted a sign for Plaza Mexico USA on The Bowery. A painter, sculptor, set and costume designer, and sometimes college professor, Gross uses her skills to explore humanity and the environment. A veteran of Creative Time, Gross participated in Custom and Culture 1 (1977), Art on the Beach 1 (1978), and Breaking In, Old Slip Police Station (1980). She is a long-time collaborator with both Red Grooms and Douglas Dunn. Recent exhibitions include Charm of the Many, Salender-Oâ€™Reilly Gallery, New York (2002).
Vandana Jain (New York) painted a sign for The Ice Cream Booth on Jones Walk. Jain has her Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University. Her often pattern-based artwork is characterized by its ability to visually juxtapose emblems of contemporary culture with the iconography of traditional belief systems. Jainâ€™s most recent exhibitions include Fatal Love, the Queens Museum of Art (2005), Diversity Project, Momenta Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2005), and Primary, and Sub-version, PS 122 Gallery, NY (2005).
Isca Greenfield-Sanders (New York City) painted a sign for Happy Landings on Jones Walk. Recent solo exhibitions include Silver Cove, Galerie Kluster, Munich, Germany (2004) and Rose Point, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY (2003).
Greg Lamarche (New York City) painted a mural on the sidewall of the Coney Island Museum. A painter, designer, and graffiti artist, Lamarche has work in many private and public collections. Recent solo exhibitions include Second Nature: New Works by Greg Lamarche, Riviera Gallery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (2005). He was included in Word, Bronx River Arts Center, Bronx, NY (2005) and Flaneur, Punch Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2005). Lamarche participated in Dreamland 2004 for which he painted the Tunnel between Denoâ€™s Kiddie Park and the Wonder Wheel with Darrell Dulude, as well a marquee for The Balloon Water Race.
Paul Lindahl (Portland, Oregon) painted a sign for Dennyâ€™s Delight on Surf Avenue. Graffiti led Lindahl to the age-old craft of hand painting advertising murals. After three years of painting signs in his hometown of Portland, Lindahl took his craft on the road to cities and towns across the country. He recently joined forces with Mass Appeal Magazine to create Colossal Media in an effort to revive the tradition in the New York area.
Clive Murphy (Ireland) painted the faÃ§ade of Gangster Cigars on Jones Walk. Murphy works in Belfast, Ireland involving community with art. The artist works in a range of disciplines including mural painting, photography, animation, video, and sculpture. Murphyâ€™s most recent exhibitions include Bergstubl Projects, Berlin, Germany (2005) and Public Art Project, British Council Commission, University of Ulster, Belfast (2005).
Gary Panter (Texas) painted a sign for The Art Exchange on Surf Avenue. Panter lives and works in New York and is an illustrator, designer, painter, and part-time musician. He made his mark in the 1980â€™s as the head set designer for Pee Weeâ€™s Playhouse. Joshua White and Gary Panterâ€™s Light Show recently premiered at Anthology Film Archives in New York City and new work will be performed at Creative Timeâ€™s psychedelic Benefit Trip the Light Fantastic in May.
Kamau Patton (Brooklyn) painted a sign for Coney Island Tacos on Surf Avenue. The artist currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA and was recently selected by the San Francisco Art Commission to develop twenty-four posters to display in kiosks along Market Street. Pattonâ€™s work has been included in exhibitions at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery (2003); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (2003); and The Luggage Store Gallery (2003).
Bruno Peinado (France) painted a sign for Plaza Latina on Surf Avenue. Peinado lives and works in Douarnenez, France. Peinado will have concurrent solo exhibitions at Parkerâ€™s Box, Brooklyn, NY and the Swiss Institute in Fall 2005. He was a resident at PS1 Contemporary Art Center in 2002.
Steve Powers (Philadelphia) painted signs for Shoot out the Star on Stillwell Avenue and other locations (to be determined) and collaborates with Justin Green to paint the exterior of Leoâ€™s Food Store. His artworks from Dreamland 2004 that remain on view include The Cyclone rollercoaster cars, Bump Your Ass Off, Coney Island Museum steps, and the faÃ§ade of the El dorado Arcade. The artist is a West Philadelphia native who has lived and worked in New York City for the past ten years.
Swoon (New York City) painted a sign for the Balloon Dart Game on The Bowery. Swoon began working on the streets of New York City about five years ago with projects ranging from billboard alterations and poster campaigns to street parties and sculptural installations. Swoonâ€™s work has appeared in many group exhibitions including 1:100, organized by Glowlab at DCKT Contemporary, NY (2004), and Something Else at The Vinyl Factory, London (2004).
Matt Wright (Brooklyn) mans the Dreamland Artist Clubhouse with Steve Powers this summer. Wright, a professional sign painter from Brooklyn, created a sign for Bushel Baskets on Jones Walk for The Dreamland Artist Club 2004.
GAME PRIZE ARTISTS
Michael Amter (New York City) created a limited-edition print for the Basketball Game booth on The Bowery. His artwork was included in True Colors: Meditations on the American Spirit, Meridian International Center, Washington, DC (2002). Michael has worked in a variety of media, including experimental video with LCD projections. His work is drawn from personal experiences that are expressed through the code of graphic symbolism, and contains thematic properties of scientific theory. He has experience in film production and has worked with Propaganda Films and NBC Television.
Annabel Daou (Lebanon) designed limited edition playing cards for the Skin the Wire game booth on Jones Walk. Daou traditionally paints using oil stick on unprimed board, building richly textured surfaces of muted color which are then painstakingly scraped away to create artworks reminiscent of archeological findings. Daou is represented by Conduit Gallery, Dallas, Texas. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions including The Elizabeth Foundation, New York, NY, Entwistle Gallery, London, and Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
Dogg + Bone (Los Angeles) designed limited edition stuffed toys for the Water Racing game booth on The Bowery. Brenden Fowler and Isaac Ramos began their artistic partnership as the rap group Dogg + Pony. Fowler, known as a â€œpublic speakerâ€ and musician, has performed at clubs across the country and released his first full-length album What Would the Second Barr last fall in conjunction with a solo show at Golinko & Kordansky in Manhattan. Fowler has also written and produced zines, including the noteworthy Sex Sells Magazines.
Fintan Friel (Ireland) designed a limited-edition print for the Water Racing game booth on Jones Walk. Friel has more than 10 years experience in Art and Design He has exhibited in New York, Australia, and throughout Ireland. His practice includes works on paper, street markings, and bookworks that deal with contemporary music and street culture. He was most recently included in Rhythm-A-Ning, Artists Working with the Ideas of Music, Context Galleries, Dublin, Ireland.
Katie Holten (Ireland) designed and hand-painted a limited-edition jigsaw puzzle for the Happy Landings game booth on Jones Walk. She currently lives in New York City where she is undertaking independent research as a Fulbright Scholar. Holtonâ€™s interdisciplinary artistic practice includes drawing, installation, temporary sound pieces, and living plants. She represented Ireland at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). Her work has appeared worldwide in both museums and galleries including the Musee dâ€™Art Contemporaine, Geneva (2003) and City Lights, Melbourne (2004).
Steve Keene (Virginia) created one-of-a-kind paintings for the Bushel Basket game booth on Jones Walk. Keene received his MFA from Yale University before moving to New York City and developing his eponymous style, SK. Keene is known for his mass production of paintings sold at bargain prices from his Williamsburg store, SKSK Brooklyn. He has collaborated with Pavement, The Dave Mathews Band, and others to create album art, video sets, stage sets and posters. Keene has had recent exhibitions at Santa Monica Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia.
Cary S. Leibowitz (New York), also known as Candyass, designed an artwork for a game booth to be determined. Leibowitz lives and works in New York City and has studied at both the Pratt Institute and the Fashion Institute of Technology. His art is characterized by use of humor, media satire, self-doubt, homosexual innuendo, and Jewish cultural references in critique of the pretentiousness of the art world. Leibowitzâ€™ work has been exhibited in Chicago, New York, Stockholm, Paris, DÃ¼sseldorf, Berlin, Montreal, and Nagoya, Japan.
Nina Pandolfo (Brazil) designed limited edition t-shirts for the Shoot Out the Star game booth on Stillwell Avenue. Pandolfo brings the street art of Brazil to life in figurative illustrations heavily influenced by the mural work she does in South America. Her work grapples the universal themes of internal and external identity.
Garrett Phelan (Ireland) designed limited edition t-shirts for the Basketball Game booth on Stillwell Avenue. Phelanâ€™s artistic practice has primarily focused on site-specific installations. Phelanâ€™s recent series of installments includes NOW: HERE (2003) and Lung Love (2004) has focused on the process through which ideas and beliefs enter society. Other recent exhibitions include Romantic Detachment, PS1 Contemporary Arts Center (2004) and Racer Recaptured, SS Michael & John, Dublin, Ireland (2003).
ABOUT CREATIVE TIME
For 32 years, Creative Time has worked with thousands of artists to invigorate the urban landscape and enliven New York City. From Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage, Coney Island, the skies over Manhattan with Tribute in Light and cloud skywriting, to storefronts, milk cartons, deli cups, and billboards, projects have taken us all over the city.
Support for The Dreamland Artist Club 2005 is provided, in part, by public funds from the New York State Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller; New York City Councilmember Christine Quinn; State Senator Thomas K. Duane; and private funds from the J.M Kaplan Fund, The New York Community Trust, the Independence Community Foundation, and the Puffin Foundation. Special thanks to Deitch Projects, Montana Paints, and Tokion Magazine.
By Train: Take the D, Q or F train to Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue (last stop). By Car: Take the Belt Parkway to exit 6. Head south on Cropsey Avenue to West 17th Street. Keyspan Park and the Parachute Jump will be in front of you on Surf Avenue. Make a left onto Surf; the amusement area will be on your right after Stillwell Avenue. Parking is available along most streets. There are commercial parking lots on West 17th Street and West 12th Street between Mermaid and Surf, West 15th Street between the Boardwalk and Surf and on Neptune Avenue between West 12th and Stillwell Avenue.
Media Contact: Sara DeRose 212.206.6674 x 206