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In Our Masthead: The Art Handling Olympics

by A.L. Steiner + Z Drucker on February 2, 2010

art fag city, paddy johnson, art handling olympics, shane caffrey
The Art Handling Olympics

Calling all art handlers! The Art Handling Olympics wants you! Register your team of four on their website and go head to head with New York City’s best, Sunday March 21st. The first competition of its kind, The Art Handling Olympics (AHO) celebrates the art world’s unsung heroes. These are the people who figure out how to fit over-sized sculptures into undersized elevators, find the straight line in a crooked paintings on slanted walls and eat the double park ticket so clients don’t have to! This March we find out who the best in the business really are.

Competition founder Shane Caffrey says he’s pleased with AHO’s response thus far, and enjoys the team names handlers have come up with. “My favorite is “Well Hung” he told me through a bit of laughter. Knowing there’s a “Special Delivery” portion to the competition makes me think that group will need to bring a little more to the table for the win though. Nobody’s dick is going to drive a truck.

I’m told the competition is still selecting judges, so I’m taking the liberty of offering up a few suggestions of people I’d like to see participate. In no particular order those are: Mary Boone (dealer), Jeffrey Deitch (dealer), Jerry Saltz (critic, former trucker), Andrea Rosen (dealer), Brian Alfred (artist), Sue Schaffner (artist), Cynthia Yardley (artist + Atelier 4′s art fair and expo co-ordinator), Lauren Cornell, (Executive Director of Rhizome and Adjunct Curator for the New Museum).

*The Art handling Olympics is an event founded by Shane Caffrey, and brought to you by Ted Riederer, Nick Brooks, Hiro Sato, and Jay Ivcevich. Together they are the Olympic Committee.

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In Our Masthead: Daniel G. Baird

by Karen Archey on September 28, 2009


Daniel G. Baird and Robert Andrade, A Moon of Saturn Resting on a Doric Foundation, 2007. Wood, Polystyrene, Hydrocal. Image via Daniel G. Baird

Daniel G. Baird considers ideas endemic to Western society about culture and technology, often subverting ideas of technological progress with juxtapositions of their primitive translations. Baird, a Master of Fine Arts candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago, predominantly works through sculpture using found objects and those of his own creation.

The artist frequently makes use of CNC cut models, as evidenced by his 2007 collaboration with fellow graduate Robert Andrade. Titled “A Moon of Saturn Resting on a Doric Foundation,” the sculpture pairs the landscape of Titan—the terrain believed by scientists to closest resemble the environmental conditions of the Earth—with the Parthenon, an ancient representation of advanced human civilization. Here, Baird and Andrade collapse numerous centuries, subtly highlighting the innumerable, sometimes prodigal events accounting for our currently screwed up civilization, and consequent desire to inhabit an untapped alien world.

Daniel G. Baird Homo Habilis Hand Axe, 2007. Image courtesy the artist.

Baird similarly packages time in his 2007 piece Homo Habilis Hand Axe. Accredited with creating the most primitive of tools, the hand axe, the Homo habilis is an early ancestor of the Homo sapien. The artist acquired a batch of flint, transforming it into his own Homo habilis-style hand axe, which looks like a dagger made of rock. The tool was then sent to a 3D modeling company to be scanned into a computer. The company, who usually recreates artifacts for museums, manufactures (supposedly) exact replicas of much lesser value, allowing institution visitors a tactile experience with the “artifact.” The effect is a little like the French government's recreation of Lascaux' Paleolithic cave paintings: It was discovered that only fifteen years worth of human contact with the caves noticeably damaged their paintings—in response the French government created Lascaux II, an exact reproduction of select cave halls only 200 meters from the original. Similarly, Baird created an exact replica of his own artifact, although for a different purpose. In effect, the artist recreated the hand axe to test the efficacy of the computer in reproducing the most primitive version of itself—the tool. Reticent to spell out exactly what may be lost in the process, the artist simply offers the original and its computed progeny side-by-side, allowing the viewer to contemplate the technological progress of eons.

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In Our Masthead: Jessica Dickinson

by Art Fag City on July 14, 2009

art fag city, Jessica Dickinson, Paddy Johnson
Jessica Dickinson, Distance-Come Closer, 2007-2008, oil on limestone polymer on panel, 54 x 48 inches


Jessica Dickinson makes paintings and works on paper, and has been based in Brooklyn since 1999. She has had solo exhibitions at Bas Fisher Invitational in Miami and Brooklyn Fire Proof project space, and her work has been included in group exhibitions at Guild & Greyshkul, Max Protetch, Andrew Kreps, Derek Eller, and Zieher Smith, among others. She received her MFA from Cranbrook and BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art; awards include the Marie Walsh Sharpe studio residency. Dickinson is currently working on her upcoming solo exhibition, Here, at James Fuentes LLC, August 10 – Sept.20, 2009.

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In Our Masthead: John Houck

by Art Fag City on May 26, 2009

john houke, art fag city
John Houke, McNoon Lighting, C Print

John Houke‘s, photographic series To The Things, captures the physical properties of the spiritual and logical, as well as many of its mechanical elements. Light may resemble higher reasoning in one photograph, and in another, one of many products that could be used to manufacture that effect. Houke’s McNoon Lighting, falls squarely in the latter category, and is currently in our masthead. We highly recommend his website.

john houke, art fag city
John Houke, Vertical Blinds , C Prints


John Houck works with photographic materials and executes architectural interventions. Through installations, he explores photography as a mode of thought, focusing on the relationship between embodied perception and depiction. John Houck is a Los Angeles based artist who received his MFA from UCLA in 2007. He lectures in the architecture departments at UCLA and SCIArc and will attend the Whitney Independent Study Program this fall. He looks forward to trying to surf on the east coast.

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In Our Masthead: Josh Poehlein

by Art Fag City on May 11, 2009

Josh Poehlein, Call of Duty, from the Modern History series, 2008

Josh Poehlein – Artist’s Biography

Josh was born in Georgia then moved North along the East Coast pausing in Virginia and Pennsylvania, where he first started taking photographs. In May of 2007, he graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Photography. Since then he’s been living and working in Salt Lake City, Utah, with brief stays in Oregon during the summertime.

Although Josh resides as far as he can get from an artistic hub in the US, art and photography are still an integral part of his life. He also enjoys table tennis and finding places to swim in the summer.

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In Our Masthead: Parker Koo Ito

by Art Fag City on April 21, 2009

Artist Biography

Parker Ito is an artist simultaneously immersed and disconnected from his surroundings. His work is a collected amalgam of sources ranging from the unpleasant and obscene to the extravagant and abundantly excessive. Parker Ito lives and works in Berkeley, CA.

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In Our Masthead: Sarah E. Wood

by Art Fag City on April 15, 2009

Sarah Wood, art fag city, paddy johnson
Sarah E. Wood, Untitled, 2009, Paint, wood, rubber, elastic, wire and cotton, 77 1/2 x 55 1/2 inches

Artist Biography

Sarah Wood was born in Beckley, West Virginia in 1976. She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, attended The Maryland Institute, College of Art, graduating with a BFA in Painting, and a minor in Art History. She then completed the MFA program at Rutgers University, with a concentration in Sculpture. In 2001, Sarah moved to Brooklyn, NY where she continues to live and work.

Sarah has had recent solo exhibitions at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA and at PS 122 in NYC.

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In Our Masthead: Jason Lazarus

by Art Fag City on March 19, 2009

Jason Lazarus, Art Fag City, Paddy Johnson, photography
Jason Lazarus, To Abdul Abdi (who everyday in Mogadishu, Somalia makes signs that read ‘Beautiful Mogadishu’ to remind citizens what has been lost, 2007, 30 x 34 inches

The subject of a photograph inevitably holds it’s own story, the role of photographer at its most base, simply to present it. Jason Lazarus, our featured masthead artist builds upon this tradition, creating work wherein the role of the artist — in as many forms as that can take — is presented and evaluated. “The hell-raiser, prophet, failure, historian”, his statement reads, listing off the possible roles of makers. He doesn’t mention owner of understated subversive acts, the form many of his pictures seem to take, but maybe he doesn’t have to. The slow photographic read of his work eventually does it for him, greatly rewarding any viewer.

This week in our masthead a far away figure holds up a sign for an unseen audience reading Beautiful Mogadishu. It’s a simple, elegant gesture likely meaning more to the sign’s owner than it does whomever happens to see it. Lazarus’ placement of the figure underscores the beauty the sign describes, while simultaneously exposing the absurdity that such messages represent the fringe of society.

Jason Lazarus, The entire three minute duration of the ‘America’s Answer’ fireworks package, $99.95, Independence Day 2007, 54×70 inches, archival inkjet

Artist’s Biography

Since receiving his MFA in 2003 from Columbia College Chicago, Jason has exhibited around the country and abroad. Highlights include solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Emerging Artist series 12×12 New Artists/New Work in Chicago; Andrew Rafacz Gallery in Chicago; Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery in Cologne; and D3 Projects in Los Angeles. In addition, his work has been included in group exhibitions at the Renaissance Society in Chicago, Silverstein Gallery in NYC, The Future Gallery in Berlin, the Minneapolis Center of Photography, and the Australian Centre of Photography in Sydney.

Jason received an Artadia Artist grant in 2006 and the distinguished Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Emerging Artist grant in 2008. Currently, he is represented by the Andrew Rafacz Gallery in Chicago and Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery in Cologne, Germany.

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In Our Masthead: Miguel Palma

by Art Fag City on March 4, 2009

Miguel Palma, Art Fag City, Paddy Johnson
Miguel Palma, Clarity, 2008, Natural History Museum, Lisbon, Portugal

Artist’s Biography

Born in 1964, Miguel Palma is a multi-media artist who lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal. His work explores matters related with the world's hurried technological development, proposing alternative (and ironic) paths to this hunger of new. Selected previous venues include the Berardo Museum, Lisbon; the Serralves Museum, Oporto; Prospect.1 — New Orleans Art Biennial; and Location One, New York.

Palma is represented by Baginsky, Lisbon. His show Comma 01 will open in Bloomberg Space London March 4, 2009, and in the Spring of 2009 he will be at the Headlands Residency — Center for the Arts, completing a two month residency.

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In Our Masthead: Dyke Action Machine

by Art Fag City on February 17, 2009

Dyke Action Machine, Art Fag City

Artist Biography

Dyke Action Machine! (DAM!) is artist Carrie Moyer and photographer Sue Schaffner.

Since 1991, DAM!'s public art projects have dissected mainstream advertising by inserting lesbian images into recognizably commercial contexts, reclaiming public and virtual spaces from the encroachments of corporate sponsorship. DAM! began as a working group of the 1990s activist organization, Queer Nation, and soon evolved into a stand-alone agitprop duo. DAM!’s projects have been included in exhibitions throughout the U.S. and Europe and have been anthologized widely. “Straight to Hell: 10 Years of Dyke Action Machine!” was mounted at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2002.

To learn more, visit:

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