NEW YORK, NY.- Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
presents The New Grand Tour. The original concept of the grand tour was born in the late sixteenth century when it became fashionable for young aristocrats to visit the great cities of Europe such as Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome, as the culmination of their classical education. As rail and steamship travel became more accessible, the practice flourished and served as an educational rite of passage for Englishmen, Germans, French and Americans alike. The goal of The New Grand Tour is to revive, re-invent, redefine, and change the old concept by venturing well beyond a voyage for the privileged elite. Instead, The New Grand Tour would become a mechanism for a group of unique and talented artists to interact with foreign cultures in an appreciative and organic way, rather than simply as voyeurs.
Beginning on October 20, 2007, Young Kim was joined by Deanne Cheuk, José Parlá, Rey Parlá, Rostarr and Davi Russo for thirteen days of travel in the Far East. They began in Shanghai heading for the remote Yunnan Province, in search of the mystical city of Shangri la. With James Hiltons novel, Lost Horizon as their guide, their journey took them through the beautiful valleys, rivers and lakes between the border of Yunnan Province and Tibet, through the Mei Li Snow Mountains and eventually to Beijing. While on this journey, each artist created new works within their respective medium, inspired by the places they visited during their travels.
This wide-ranging body of work, now showcased in The New Grand Tour exhibition, brings together a diverse group of voices united through their individual and collective experiences on this tour, which reflects both the visual and sensory inspiration they encountered in the many destinations of this shared travelogue. From Suitmans humorous snapshot portraits of Tsitang school children to José Parlás densely layered paintings the works in this exhibition show how materiality and subject intertwine to make an image of their journey. Deanne Cheuks meticulous drawings and colorful watercolors inspired by the Shangri La landscape take us there. While the free form calligraphy in Rostarrs graphic paintings and filmmaker Rey Parlás exploration of narrative storytelling through his unique process of distressing and treating celluloid negatives reflect the visual and written, much like the Chinese character as word. Photographer Davi Russos snapshots of the sights and sounds he encountered on the journey give a raw and immediate sense to the overall experience.
SUITMAN and YOUNG KIM have been together for over twenty years. They quickly became creative collaborators making an onslaught of photographs, videos, installations, and design objects that followed suit. Together they have traveled through six continents, hundreds of cities and created thousands of images. Their work is insightful, personal, relevant, highly engaging and always surprising. Their projects have been published in a wide range of culture, art and lifestyle publications. They have exhibited widely in both solo and group exhibitions in New York, Paris, Barcelona, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Osaka, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Shanghai, and Beijing.
DEANNE CHEUK is an artist and designer. Born in Perth, Australia, where she lived alongside the Swan River until her move to New York in 2000. Cheuk attributes her love of fantasy, other worlds and space to her upbringing and youth spent out-of-doors. Working predominately on paper with charcoal or watercolor, she always touches on nature, utopia, space and being; often distorting realistic representation into fantasy. She has exhibited her work around the world, most recently in Mexico, Los Angeles, and Sydney. In 2004, Cheuk published her first book of drawings of girls and mushrooms called Mushroom Girls Virus. It sold out immediately.
JOSÉ PARLÁ was born in South Florida to Cuban parents. In 1983 Parlá was painting on city walls before he began to experiment on canvas to adapt and translate the derelict environment of urban cityscapes to a more permanent medium. He studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia as well as The New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida. In the early days of his career, mostly known by the name Ease, Parlá painted alongside the legendary Bronx artist Case 2, while exhibiting works with the Ink Heads and Barnstormers art collectives. In 2003 he was featured in the Boomerang exhibition with Lee Quiñones and ROSTARR and later in 2007 the two-person show Pirate Utopias in London with Futura. In 2003 Parlá's work was selected by Agnes B. for the New York Scene exhibition in Paris. Manon Slome featured his work with Mimmo Rotella in the 2004 curated exhibit Hollywood to the Street. His work was also selected for the Hi & Lo exhibition in Tokyos Kai Kai Ki Ki Gallery by Takashi Murakami and Hiroshi Fujiwara of honeyee.com in 2009. Parlá describes the object of his method in which each painting bears the name of the location or experience as segmented realities or memory documents. This has led him to form a personal philosophy of his work he calls Contemporary Palimpsests.
REY PARLÁ (b. 1971) in Miami, Florida lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He studied Film and Film Theory at the Alliance Film & Video Cooperative in Miami Beach with Doris Wishman, Mark Boswell and Cuban filmmaker Sergio Giral. He continued studies in Art History and Photography at Miami Dade Community College and received a B.A. in English Literature and Film Studies with honors from Florida International University.
Rey is a self-taught artist and filmmaker. His abstract Visual Music animations have screened alongside works by Stan Brakhage and other critical atmospheric adjusters in galleries, museums and films festivals. Inspired by his brother José, Rey also began to paint what he calls Scratch | Graphs, single photonegative frames. Influenced by the tradition of Dziga Vertov and experimental film, Rey carries on this practice by creating complex kinetic films; the source, process and origin of his handpainted and scratched still images.
ROSTARR a.k.a., Romon Kimin Yang is a multi-disciplinary artist, painter, calligrapher and filmmaker living and working in Brooklyn, New York. ROSTARR graduated from The School of Visual Arts where he studied experimental graphic design and printmaking. Early in his career he managed to produce work in both the art and graphic design spheres, blurring the lines between the two. For the past 15 years he has become widely known for his colorful abstract polymorphic paintings, totemic iconographic characters and mostly black and white calligraphic drawings. Always creating in a spontaneous manner, he is continually striving to find freedom within style, medium and form, and building upon the iconographic visual language he terms Graphysics, a word that exemplifies the geometric dynamism characteristic in his work. Since 1999 ROSTARR has also been a influential and core member of the group Barnstormers, a collective of approximately 40 artists. In 2000, he was named one of i-D Magazines i-D 40 under 30. The Association of Independent Commercial Producers recognized his contribution to a celebrated Nike campaign as an honoree at the 2004 show held at the Museum of Modern Art. In February 2010, his 45-minute motion painting film Kill The Ego was shown at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. ROSTARR has had exhibitions on both the national and international stage, most notably as part of the esteemed Beautiful Losers show, which has toured museums and contemporary art centers worldwide.
DAVI RUSSO was born in 1978 in Manhattan. He was raised, and lives and works in NYC. Photography came early in his life. When he was seven, his father was incarcerated and his mother gave him a camera to document parts of his daily life. These pictures were sent to his father along with letters to keep him involved and updated in the familys life. To this day, he is still sending photos to his father. He remembers that buying film was cheap, although processing was expensive. So shooting rolls of film was easy, but then the rolls would accumulate around his house, sometimes for years before being developed, if at all. Sometimes just the act of shooting the pictures seemed more important than ever seeing them. Russo has come to enjoy the time lapse between shooting and working with images. The process of living (shooting, editing, saving, forgetting, re-finding, printing, destroying) with an image in order to get a sense of its worth tells a lot about each images personal value to him.
The camera is my excuse to meet, look, and collaborate with people. A threesome so to think. Images are like letters that I collect, and eventually try to form words, phrases and sentences.