West Chelsea Contemporary, the Austin-founded contemporary art gallery that recently opened a location in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, presents its next show, First Impressions, that opens to the public on Saturday, January 8. Running through February 27, this exhibit features the work of five emerging and mid-career artists who are shaping the landscape of contemporary art, including: Gary James McQueen, King Saladeen, The Love Child, JAZZ, and PhoebeNewYork.
First Impressions marks the second exhibit in the New York gallery, following its epic street art and graffiti show – Concrete to Canvas – that opened this location with names like KAWS, Basquiat, Herring and more, and ran concurrently in Austin last November through the holidays. This new collection highlights five innovative artists’ work across media—from mixed media paintings to collage and photography— through which they examine their own interior and social worlds. By reflecting on their individual histories, influential movements, and social positioning, these artists create new and reimagined worlds that the public has the opportunity to experience.
Using his experience in the fashion industry as a foundation, Gary James McQueen has developed three-dimensional lenticular artworks that immerse viewers in the McQueen world of storytelling. Applying his advanced knowledge of digital technology with traditional principles of art and fashion, McQueen has created a line of limited edition silk scarves, three-dimensional lenticular artworks, and most recently released an entirely digital fashion show.
Raheem Johnson, also known as King Saladeen, is a self-taught artist from West Philadelphia whose own path continually led him back to art-making. Saladeen has traversed worlds of apparel, toys, prints, hype and street art all while developing his studio practice simultaneously. References to contemporary culture and the history of pop and street art are intertwined with elements from the artist’s own personal journey resulting in works layered with meaning and ripe with powerful connections.
Influenced by the rich organic colors of his home in the Caribbean, The Love Child’s color palette exudes an energy that is barely contained by his rough outlines. Formed through feeling and intuition, the artist creates imagined and mythical worlds that transport the viewer and manifest spiritual energy through his unique visual language. Incorporating archetypes from world mythologies, religions, and philosophical traditions, The Love Child intertwines the realm of fine art with a brazen street style aesthetic.
Stephen Jaskulski, also known as JAZZ, is a self-taught artist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania whose stream of consciousness mixed media paintings explore the human experience through abstraction and deconstructed figuration. Finding inspiration from iconic street artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Richard Hambleton, the artist thoughtfully investigates process and formal technique while breathing contemporary air into a style deeply rooted in history.
PhoebeNewYork, an alter ego character for New York-based artist Libby Schoettle, comes to life in collages created with found objects including vintage fashion magazine pages, old photographs and books, record sleeves, and pop art. Phoebe, a paper-doll like character with a distinctly round pink head and bob haircut, grapples with femininity, sexual politics, love, and independence. From wryly dark musings to inspirational affirmations, Phoebe’s multi-faceted personality poignantly captures the contemporary moment and is imbued with the essence of New York, reflecting Schoettle’s own journey of self-discovery made possible by the magic of the city.
Through subject matter and technique, these five contemporary artists generate imaginative narratives and transport the viewer into new worlds. West Chelsea Contemporary is excited to present new works by these innovative artists and usher them into the epicenter of the contemporary art world in New York City.
Located at 231 10th Avenue in the heart of the West Chelsea neighborhood, the New York gallery is almost 4000 square feet with plenty of space for creating an immersive viewing experience (and maintaining social distancing). Like the Austin location, WCC NYC plans to feature a gift shop of unique, artful items — from KAWS companions and Keith Haring Bearbricks to Yayoi Kusama pumpkins, art books aplenty and more. Gallery hours in Austin and New York are Monday – Wednesday from 10am-6pm, Thursday – Friday from 10am-8pm and Sundays from 12pm-6pm.
ABOUT WEST CHELSEA CONTEMPORARY
WCC’s collection includes artists influential to Pop, Street, and contemporary art as well as taste makers of these movements. With a local, national, and international roster of represented artists, West Chelsea Contemporary situates artwork from the primary market alongside a highly curated selection of pieces from the secondary market.
WCC produces museum quality exhibitions year-round with programming that is free and open to the public. This novel display of represented, emerging and mid-career artists alongside Blue Chip masters increases each artists’ exposure and serves to make connections between their work.
The New York gallery in Chelsea is located at 231 10th Ave. New York, New York. For more information on West Chelsea Contemporary and its upcoming exhibits and various locations, please visit wcc.art or find the gallery on Instagram @wcc.art and Facebook @wcc.gallery.graffiti artself taught artiststreet art