Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ghada Amer & Reza Farkhondeh: Collaborative Drawings

Art New York

Ghada Amer & Reza Farkhondeh: Collaborative Drawings
The Tina Kim Gallery
The Chelsea Arts Tower
545 West 25th Street
3rd Floor
New York, NY 10001

by Shayla Lawson

Nothing new. I have trouble with the contemporary art world’s acceptance of hybrid print work as a new-medium substitute for the craft of drawing. I readily admit, I have little knowledge of Amer or Farkhondeh, I found an advertsiment for the art opening on, but I have an intense attraction to the intimacy and reverence that accompanies artist that work as part of a successful collaborative partnership. That said, I found little about the work present in RFGA show that transcended beyond their shared enjoyment of process. Birds and thread-stiched Disney characters scattered in a field of pornographic heroines do not an artshow make. Although the press release refers to their attraction to Dadaist Automism and “the latent eroticism of the human form,” I found the half-dozen dry, uninspired, and downright silly. Yes, I am certain Farkhondeh and Amer would give elegant recitations regarding the meaning of each drawings. And they work so adeptly as a team one could easily make the argument RFGA constitutes a third artist in the body of singular and collaborative work produced by these artists in the past twenty years or so. But nothing in the pieces showcased a new take on humanity, a broader reflection on the human body, an elevated sense of craft. They were doodles. And not even particularly compelling ones in the art world of widely accepted contemporary doodling. Better luck next time, boys and girls.

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