by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

William Basso’s current show at New York’s Last Rites Gallery, “Mise-en-scene,” takes its name from a French theater term that describes all the elements in a stage production or film — the actors, lighting, scenery, etc. Basso treats his mixed-media assemblages something like tiny film sets. He begins by sculpting his figures out of a hodgepodge of materials, such as clay, cardboard, string, paper, wire, tape, wood, hair, and odd bits of cloth. Then, he photographs these sculptures, alters them in PhotoShop, and uses the resulting digital prints to create textured collages. The final works live somewhere between sculpture and digital art. For “Mise-en-scene,” his assemblages are displayed alongside the original sculptures and 3D objects from which they originated. The show is on view through May 16 at Last Rites.

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Scott G. Brooks presents a series of offbeat, satirical paintings for his solo show “Inappropriate Nature,” opening at Last Rites Gallery in New York on February 21. For the exhibition, Brooks says he took inspiration from the social mores we attempt to impose on ourselves, only to transgress our own rules. The particular topic he takes to task is our society’s squeamishness around the topic of sexuality, which in reality is a natural facet of human life. The artist pokes fun at our collective apprehensions and failed ability to curb our animal nature. Take a look at some of his works below.

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Vincent Xeus’s shadowy portraits reference the Italian and Dutch masters. But rather than directly emulating the techniques of Caravaggio and Rembrandt, he builds on their styles to create works with a moody, haunted ambiance. He scratches and smudges his anachronistic portraits with his paintbrush, making them appear broken and somehow corrupt. His subjects’ faces become ghostly and unrecognizable — their images, relics of an opulent society with a dark underbelly. Xeus’s new work is currently on view in his solo show, “Love — Fragmented Traditions,” showing through February 14 at Last Rites Gallery in New York.

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Two solo exhibitions currently on view at Last Rites Gallery in New York, Kelley Hensing’s “The Animal Within” and N.C. Winters’s “Overgrowth” examine humankind’s darker impulses through folkloric visuals and occult imagery. Winters’s sculptural paintings with hand-crafted float frames depict characters undergoing processes of decay, their faces being consumed by plants and fungi. The artist explores the idea of being overtaken by nature as a metaphor for the voraciousness of an untamed, unruly mind.

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A New York City art space with a penchant for the macabre, Last Rites Gallery currently has its annual group show, “The 13th Hour,” on view just in time for Halloween. The show features artists who have come to be associated with Last Rites — Dan Quintana, Naoto Hattori, David Stoupakis, menton3, Paul Booth — as well as many unexpected participants like Hannah Yata, Nicomi Nix Turner, Brin Levinson and Jean Labourdette. However, these are just a few examples of the show’s wide-ranging roster. Take a look at some highlights from the exhibition below and check out the show through November 15.

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Currently on view at New York City’s Last Rites Gallery, Donato Giancola and Fred Harper’s respective solo shows take viewers into strange worlds influenced by science fiction and fantasy. Donato Giancola’s “Silent Tragedies” is a rich series of oil paintings set in a distant realm where mechanical meets Medieval. Painting with a filmmaker’s eye, he depicts his protagonists in pivotal moments of their adventures. Fred Harper’s show “Virus Like Us” takes viewers into a megalopolis where biomorphic shapes become architectural structures (H.R. Giger appears to be a big influence). Harper attributes his interest in strange cityscapes to the culture shock he experienced when coming to New York from a small Pennsylvania town. Both shows are on view through October 4, so check them out while you still can.