Reality Sandwich: Tyler Krasowski + Kevin Hennessy
SPRING/BREAK ART FAIR ︎︎︎ 16 - 19 FEBRUARY 2023 ︎︎︎ LOS ANGELES ︎︎︎
︎︎ you can drag these bois around ︎︎
A naked lunch is natural to us,
we eat reality sandwiches.
But allegories are so much lettuce.
Don’t hide the madness.
—On Burroughs’ Work, Allen Ginsberg
William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch caused a bunch of bust-ups. Its disjointed scenes of seedy drug-hunts and sexual encounters splashily laundered its formal mutiny: the cut-up method. The writer cut up phrases and pages into pieces and then freely rearranged them, ceding control, courting chance, and making poetry of prose. While US courts were abuzz and shouting “obscenity” and banning its contents, it was the free-wheeling, associative, non-linear form that seeped into the artistic community’s consciousness.
“Reality Sandwich” lays bare the array of salad dressing and symbolic condiments that make up the multidisciplinary practices of artists Tyler Krasowski and Kevin Hennessy. Both have developed dense lexicons of imagery and language that they deploy with traditional technical mastery over any media they can get their hands on: a trash bag, linoleum, cardboard, skateboards, a traffic cone, human flesh. Fully finished works on paper and sculptures that play with references to sexuality, reality, theatricality, ritual, ceremony, and historical art hang against a backdrop of bits & pieces of inspiration, a wallpaper of scribbles, notes, and visual experiments. A cut-up joint portrait of the inner minds’ eye of the new renaissance artist.
Kevin Hennessy is a licensed tattoo artist, while also maintaining a varied practice making votive altar pieces, prints, drawings, and stamps. His Catholic upbringing cultivated a love of ceremony and mystery alongside an instinct for rebellion. Tyler Krasowski was also raised amongst the somehow standardized, deeply disturbing imagery of bleeding and mutilated saints, of wrath and morality intertwined. Steeped in this darker, more medieval version of Western European art history, their fascination with every physical medium and type of artisanship populates their artistic worlds with surreally (un)recognizable stories, figures, and forms. But the lack of linear narratives, moral overtones, or rigid interpretations — the introduction of chance encounters — is more honest in its ambivalence than the conventional historic versions they obsess over and refashion. In conversation, Tyler’s drawings and prints and Kevin’s objects and sculptures are an explosion of allegories, symbols, and references; somehow in the smashing together of the allusive pieces there is a sandwich of something real, physical, true.
Unhide the madness. This show immerses viewers in the artists’ inner worlds, a Suzan Pitt-esque bacchanal of their works and the thoughts and gestures that produce them. The artists treat the booth as a studio, doodling and experimenting through the duration of the show. The very spontaneous (and very thrill-seeking) can engage directly in a performance by Kevin. The willing visitor sticks their arm through a hole in a carnival-set apparatus, the “Tattoo Glory Hole,” leaving the resulting tattoo entirely up to chance (and the artist’s whim). While revealing both the figurative and the literal processes of their artmaking, the beguiling theater sets, the performance of the artists, and the mystical eccentricity of the works will challenge simple “reality.” We’ll just have to accept that a naked lunch is natural, and sometimes reality is no more or less than a sandwich.
︎ click here for purchasing information: SPRING/BREAK Art Show booth 9 ︎