Van Der Plas Gallery presents LADADA 2. Opening Reception Wednesday September 14th, 6pm – 9pm. Featuring Shalom Neuman, Kevin Wendell, Konstantin Bokov with a special performance by the Unbearables Collective in the downstairs showroom. On view September 14th through October 2nd, Wed – Sun 12pm – 6pm.
If you followed the East Village art scene back in the day, you should be familiar with the names Keith Haring, David Wojnarowicz, Rodney Alan Greenblat and Rick Prol, among others. Then you probably watched the neighborhood drown in a tsunami of money, wiping out all the cool places you used to hang out in, and all the nifty little galleries that featured the art you loved; the art that got you through time. Well, some of those good times are coming back; the same way the ‘60s followed the ‘50s. And the Van Der Plas Gallery has the art to prove it!
Check out the Amerika series by Shalom Neuman – talking heads constructed from found objects – mostly broken kid’s toys. When you approach one it sets off a motion detector, and tells you a story. Many of the tales are by members of the Unbearables Collective (the same guys who picketed the New Yorker and took over the New School – Jim Feast, Carl Watson, Tsaurah Litzky, Thad Rutkowski, Steve Dalachinsky and myself). Shalom calls his productions FusionArt because he seeks to engage all of your senses: sight, hearing, thought. Shalom was part of the Rivington School, welding found objects together and displaying them in the Sculpture Garden. At the same time he was curating the FusionArt Gallery and Museum on Stanton Street; displaying his large moving figures. He has shown all over Europe, and is in the process of opening the International FusionArt Gallery and Museum in Prague.
Konstantin Bokov also fits into this re-igniting of old-school East Village art. His work was exhibited at the Now Gallery along with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s and Keith Haring’s. Emerging Collector Gallery has also shown his work. Bokov’s art has been part of group shows in London, Paris, Holland, Berlin and Japan, as well as at the Morin Miller Gallery on 57th Street, The Grant Gallery in Soho, and the Monique Goldstrum Gallery in Chelsea. He showed at the 2008 European Outsider Art Fair in Vienna and the 2009 Outsider Art Fair in New York. Since 1993 the Van Der Plas Gallery has exclusively represented him.
Kevin Wendall, aka FA-Q’s art career started in New York as well, making him the logical third part of this significant triad. He was a graffiti artist in the 70’s and 80’s who creatively disfigured billboards and advertisements, scraping out letters to give them new meanings. By the mid-80s his work came into it’s own. He was awarded the Finland Travel Grant and eventually ended up in a studio in Dusseldorf, West Germany. While in Italy he met and worked with the artist Enrico Baj, one of Italy’s best-known contemporary painters. He then joined the Rivington School on the Lower East Side of New York where he and Shalom worked with metal sculptors, blacksmiths, painters, performance artists and other outsider artists. The school’s most significant production was the construction of the Rivington Sculpture Garden in the mid-80s. Totally dissident, FA-Q said, “We were against commercial art, and against capitalism, championing art for people.” A book on the “Rivington School” and its artists will be released by Black Dog Publishing Limited London, by the end of 2016.
–Ron Kolm, June, 2016
156 Orchard St
New York, NY