local galleries

Dex Fernandez Exhibit and International Art in Greenpoint: In Conversation with Owen James Gallery

Mixed media portrait by Dex Fernandez
Dex Fernandez @ Owen James Gallery (61 Greenpoint Ave) on view until 12/20

In conjunction with the 10th edition of Asia Contemporary Art Week, Owen James Gallery is holding an exhibition on Manila-based artist Dex Fernandez. The Southeast Asian artist is known for his eccentric expression through mixed media collages, murals, and sticker art. I had a chance to visit Owen and Isabel, the couple running the gallery to talk about Dex’s work and what drives them to the artists they seek.

GP: What is the story behind the gallery?
Owen: I studied art history as an undergraduate, working for several galleries shortly after moving to New York. At a certain point I wanted to go back to emerging art and younger artists that I had personal interest in, as opposed to what other galleries were showing. At the same time, Isabel moved here and we got married. She’s a children’s illustrator and we have this back and forth relationship between New York and Manila, which is partly what this gallery’s about. Continue reading

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Between the Real and Virtual: UNCANNY Explores 3D at REVERSE

Uncanny_OpeningRemember Second Life? It’s a platform that gives users the ability to create 3D virtual spaces and interact with one another as avatars. When I first dabbled with it, I was drawn to the numerous possibilities. I imagined a new kind of online shopping where instead of looking at lists and product images, my avatar would walk down an aisle full of items and bump into other shoppers along the way. I created an account and explored various “worlds”. I attended a political debate. Then one night, I dressed up and went to a virtual beach club. The landscape was beautiful and the music was good. I “danced” for about 15 minutes before I realized the reality of the situation – that I was in my PJs sitting in my bedroom furiously tapping the CTRL key on a Friday night.

But does that make the experience less “real”? I met people from around the world in a space that inspired the imagination and I took the time to create the movements and image of an avatar. Self-expression plus interaction, however digital, was present and was arguably less inhibited by the limits of physical space. Through the work of five artists, this notion of “immersive experiences that oscillate between real and virtual space” is explored in REVERSE gallery’s UNCANNY, a group show about 3D virtual environments (28 Frost St). Continue reading

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