at the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center
1680 Lexington Avenue, NYC

Painting, drawing, and sculpture intersect with a vigorous whirl in Jongil Ma’s new installation at Taller Boricua in Spanish Harlem.
This is his latest version of an art tornado, a force of nature but not a ruinously rampaging one. Rather the colorful tempest of swirling eddies suggests an inner sanctum of harmonious delight.
Assembled from long bendable slats of wood that have been stained/painted beforehand, they are attached at various nexuses, the resulting torque arcing the segments into gracefully curvilinear paths.
Jong’s work tends to carve up the interior space of a particular site, crowding the optical nerve in a disquieting way. There may even be a slight feeling of claustrophobia as you insinuate yourself into the interior of the tangled matrix. But then the playful nature of his sensibility asserts itself, you can’t help getting into the spirit of things; associations of roller coasters or fun houses tickle the psyche.
The improvisational process employed by the artist to create his site-specific installations lends itself well to the intuitive schematics of free-form drawing inherent in the loosely conceived, but tautly constructed dynamics of this sculptural composition.
Color is used in a succinct manner to affect a specific, but unidentifiable psychological mood and implies a painterly, subjective influence on a streamlined structural framework that might otherwise be construed purely as an exoskeleton.
The lively dichotomies ruling the day in Jong’s artful sprawl gives credence to the consideration that insightful poetry is what moves us towards a rewardingly interpretative gaze.
The more you see, the more you get.

NetFlix pick of the week:
The Left Handed Gun
Arthur Penn, 1958
Based on a teleplay by Gore Vidal

Due to the unfortunate passing of Arthur Penn we’ve started our own little NF retrospective. Since Left Handed Gun was his first movie we watched it last night.
I’d love to find some of the early TV dramas Gore and Penn did together, but not on NF. However LHG is a remake of one of those dramas shot for the big screen. A youthful, but sage Paul Newman plays a revisionist version of Billy the Kid. He’s the only name actor, and he delivers a life sized performance right up there with some of his best work.
Vidal supplies an engrossing tale that paints a nuanced portrait of a complicated young warrior/outlaw struggling with the ethical quandaries of loyalty and revenge. I’d guess Vidal must have seen Seven Samurai, this film is a worthy sibling.
Nice cinematography, a lot of it shot on location at one of the producer’s ranch, and there are some evocative scenes set in a Mexican ghost town.

Have a nice rest of the season, go Pats, Jets suck!