Chris Dean – “Speaking in Tongues” at Krausegallery – Review by Rochibauld Sachse-Heutelier

Krausegallery is a fascinating gallery located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan on 149 Orchard Street South near Delancey Street. it has depth, encapsulating the nature and feel of the Manhattan brownstone itself, yet with bold clean interior lines, remarkable in their simplicity, so as not to drown the artwork in macabre, tasteless décor. The gallery blends in perfectly with the neighborhood. I highly recommend you visit. However, step quietly and lightly. For god’s sake don’t make a scene of yourself.

The current exhibition is by one Chris Dean of Detroit City, with a display of what is known as lenticular art, where there are optic layers viewed through a special lens that may depict different scenes depending on the lateral position of the viewer in relation to the artwork.

I popped my head in on the 20th of June in the early afternoon. I always attend at the very precise moment of the opening, before the gallery can be too contaminated by the sad 30-40 something, single Manhattan cat-women that Rochibauld so despises. yes, I asked my dear friend Rochibauld Sächse-Heûtélièr to join me for a visit to the Krausegallery and give me his critique of the exhibition. Here is his typically cynical, caustic and occasionally ja unglaublich cruel, satirical DDR Kritiker.

Ja, it is a delicious gallery as it were, Mann can walk in right off the street. It exists as a Ground level entry. Also, I must point out to the so-called reader that it was daytime. I am Krank of walking into some pretentious gallery in some disappointingly re-purposed cliché warehouse on eine beschissen horizontal double-door work elevator to walk past impossible self-involved fashionista waifs in their jejeune black outfits at some evening soiree, whilst some foppish twit in a half-tuxedo hands you a champagne and some hideous hors-d’oeuvres and then rolls his eyes because you are a bear and lack a Schwimmerkörper.

So I wait to sign in. Yes, I detest waiting. I also detest listening – blah, blah, blah, will you please shut up for Himmels Willen! But, I digress. Some, I imagined, miserable, self-loathing, yet typically vain New York (by way of god knows where) girl who is probably a top lawyer or investment banker, single of course, reeking of shitty cats, small apartments and utter despairing loneliness. She clearly knew I was standing behind her, waiting to sign the guest book and to review some description of the Kunstausstellung. She slowly read some sort of leaflet, but instead of standing aside, she, whilst noting my presence, proceeded to delay as long as possible, making me languish in delicious, yet furious Angst-Qualen. I hated this icky Girl, she needed a muscular spanking from the stern, calloused hand of the bold, unyielding Kommander. I was forced to remain stoic due to my  old Europa breeding. Finally, after interminable delays, and constantly looking back to ensure that I was adequately suffering, she deigned to step aside leaving a hideous scent of fermenting feline Katze-bauell movement.

I viewed each artwork, as it were, from many different perspectives and angles. Apparently, according to the artist, who I found quite personable and yes, very professional, almost may I say Hanoverian? The art was designed in vertical split-space, so that the height of the viewer did not affect the perception of the artwork, however distance allowed one to more clearly see the underlying thema in each of the works. Some refer to this I would call it eine modern psychologischen optischen tryptich. Wherein the tryptich becomes subsumed into the lenticular Kunstwerk. It could be considered, the Exhibition as a whole as a return to Op-Art and Pop-Art movement of the 1940er und der 1950er Jahren, with a hint of Warholianism, but without the pretension. I found some subtle traces of Lautrec Art Nouveau, softening the lines of some of the works, with a dash of Pollock due to a few vertical drips of paint? Although some may credit the sadly self-named ‘Freak-out’ genre, I found more a taste of impressionism with the nature and animal content than I would say that I discovered any morsel of a Peter Max.

I found all of the lenticular pieces in the upstairs gallery to be expertly-crafted and composed, but I didn’t linger long enough to see all the meaning in many of them, other than some delectable homoerotischen Inhalt which of course is known when animal content is revealed in Rohrshach inkblots (aside from the obvious semi-nude male figures). Number 5 was tasty, with more than a dash of Ludwig Meidner. Ah Meidner! who passively writhed and groveled deliciously nude beneath the apocalyptic, mind-scape of violent, muscular Pickelhauber preußischen Generals. However Piece number 4 was utterly hideous. It looked like the ghastly disembodied female leg lamp from the trite ‘Christmas Story’ movie which only reminds me of the past horrors of my country’s darkest period. I’m glad that it apparently sold whilst I was there to some, I fancied, savage, lonely, female cat-companion. The absence of this terrifying piece will bring up the overall quality of the collection dramatically. I do like Dean’s commitment to his work, evident in the level of detail. There are no imperfections to be found.

The basement was a rather eclectic blend, but once again the starkness and cleanliness, yea minimalist? quality of the gallery allowed the viewer an honest appraisal of the art, for which the gallery owner must be commended. I was immediately struck by the derivative homage to Lichtenstein, but nonetheless transcendental in the clever application of colored dowel pieces to the surface of the canvas. Here, the dots from the comic-book newsprint style of the Lichtensteinischen Kunstwerk were actually made with the surface discs of the  colored dowels, making the expressive effort of the artist of great consequence despite the obvious pastiche.

The explosive elephant piece was disturbing, yet lovable. However, my favorite piece in the basement, although I am at a loss to say how to hang it in a contemporary Manhattan apartment, was the somewhat out of place ‘Jordan Eagles’, true mystical op-art, aber meine geliebten Gott, I hope it was not made with human blood. Haven’t our sensibilities suffered enough?

At any rate, this is all I care to write for Botendaddy. He sickens me. He delights me. Botendaddy is a completely self-involved megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur, fixated at the pre-oedipal stage of psycho-sexual development with obvious homosexual panic and extreme transference and projection-reaction. I hate Botendaddy, I love Botendaddy.

Mit äußerster Demut, R.S.H.

If you would kindly permit me, your humble editor, my dear readers, to apologize for Rochibauld’s excess.

The Botendaddy