V1 Gallery proudly presents
Here and Now
A solo exhibition by Ari Marcopoulos
Ari Marcopoulos arrived in New York from the Netherlands in 1979, and started taking pictures. He documented the relationship between Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, making some of the last images seen of both. He recorded the legendary downtown skateboarding scene in ’90s New York from the street, making some of the first images ever seen of, among others, the teenaged Harold Hunter and Justin Pierce. Through the past decade he has proven to be one of America’s only firmly established artists playing by no established rules—despite, for example, his two appearances in the Whitney Biennial, the survey exhibition considered the most important bellwether of contemporary American art Marcopoulos takes very little interest in today’s gallery system and its business of wealth, canonization and the market.
Marcopoulos’ practice these days is very much about what he sees on a daily basis. Composing and distributing work in the form of publications is a constant part of his public output, so the most recent work is always what is focused on. In Here and Now he wanted to just show his work from 2012, and most of the prints, as can be seen from the date stamp in the lower-right hand corners, are from March this year.
He still works on film, so there is some separation between the time the photo is taken and the time the result is seen. So much imagemaking now only exists on a held-hand device or only disseminated electronically. Marcopolous does not record and store imagery this way—he continues to look, feeling a constant slow change of where he stands. He no longer judges the work from an aesthetic point of view. Here and Now contains an image of Tyson Chandler, the center of the NY Knicks basketball team, on the court at Madison Square Garden. Marcopoulos has access to Chandler, but instead took a picture anyone could take at a public event. This image crystallizes the idea behind the show: everything is squarely photographed as is, without much consideration for emotion or compositional guidelines.
Here and Now is a selection of 23 recent color works. V1 Gallery is additionally showing a selection of older works, putting the new work in perspective and introducing a bit of history here, at Marcopoulos’ first exhibition in Denmark. Among the older works are a portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat, a self-portrait with the actor and skater Justin Pierce, a group of street photos, and a large collage of contact sheets from Marcopoulos’ seminal ’90s New York skateboarding series.
Ari Marcopoulos currently has a show with Kavi Gupta (May 5th) gallery in Chicago. Other recent exhibitions include 2010 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum, New York, USA; This Week, Galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris, France; Abandoned Sleep, Ratio 3, San Francisco, USA; Street and Studio: From Basquiat to Seripop, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria and Ari Marcopoulos: It Might Seem Familiar, Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Here and Now will be accompanied by a new Marcopoulos publication, which has been specially made for the exhibition, and an essay on the artist by writer and exhibition co-organizer William Pym.