New York: Fantasy Island

November 14th, 2001 by Adam

Plymouth State College presents, New York: Fantasy Island, an exhibition representative of emerging artists who live and work in and around Manhattan.

The show runs through runs November 20 at the Karl Drerup Art Gallery, on North Main Street in Plymouth.
Curator Eric Swangstu says, “In this new century, young artists continue pilgrimages to New York City, pursuing careers in the arts while balancing the demands of supporting daily life in arguably the most costly and challenging city in the country.”

Swangstu is an artist and independent curator who recently relocated from New York to Boston. Some of the works are specific to New York, and post-September 11 the artists considered the appropriateness of the show. In consultation, however, they elected not to censor themselves and held to their original ideology. Swangstu says, “One work, for example, is about surveillance issues, using images reflected in a security mirror.”

Some of the works are formal, some involve pop culture. Most are two dimensional, drawings and paintings, but there are also photographs, sculpture and a video installation.
When I say …, by Valerie Tevere uses five video monitors simultaneously to show interviews with New Yorkers “on the street” describing their thoughts about specific locations including city hall, a subway, a street in the South Bronx, Times Square and the Brooklyn Museum. The interviewer asked, “When I say [name of place], you say ______?”

Works in the show are by Kate Teale, Janel Johnson, Greg Goldberg, John vonBergen, Natasha Sweeten, David Henderson, Lucas Monaco, dan levenson [Ed note; all lower case], Valerie Tevere and Gehry Kohler. The curator says, “These are the people I am connected with as an artist, first, who happened to curate this show.”

Swangstu, who is originally from the mid-west says, “I didn’t even meet an artist until I went to art school It is important for students and patrons to get a glimpse of the life of working artists. It’s a lifestyle and a professional commitment, not happenstance. The underlying theme of this show is to celebrate the perseverance of the participants as young artists, and as New Yorkers.”