Andrew Kuo, The Walk Home After Being Racially Slurred/I’m Not Tall, Dark or Handsome, 2011. Via Taxter & Spengemann.
New York City-based artist Andrew Kuo is presenting his second solo show, My List of Demands, at Taxter & Spengemann through April 30th. Kuo meticulously tracks events in his life on digitally-produced charts, including rational and emotional insights on his milieu or on the music he listens to. The richness of the color palette on these charts, as well as the highly stylized use of lines and shapes, and the ludic quality of the variables reflect the artist’s concern on creating beautiful and empathetic representations of messy and conflicted life experiences; enclosing either a gesture, an incident, or a temporal subject (e.g. a musical piece) in a tight, quantifiable, bi-dimensional object.
more images and story after the jump….
Andrew Kuo, During an Episode of “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”/There is Not a Single Moment to Waste (Starting From Now), 2011. Via Taxter & Spengemann.
Widely known as a music blogger for The New York Times’ ArtsBeat, Kuo started his charting of musical events as a humorous post-show note for his friends. Eventually, as he kept producing them, one caught the eye of a music critic for the The New York Times, who asked Kuo to collaborate with the newspaper’s cultural blog, ArtsBeat, by creating more charts that synthesized his perceptions on the musical scene, instead of writing conventional reviews. The meshing of the functionality element and Kuo’s idiosyncratic tone on his contribution with ArtsBeat, renders an illustrative and entertaining mapping of popular music by a self-described “music nerd.” Kuo’s reliance on the casual use of–assumed as assimilated–music references and genre neologisms, make the charts even more appealing for the youth culture, as the readers who catch the “wink” can also consider themselves insiders, music connoisseurs.
Andrew Kuo, My List of Demands, 2011. Via Taxter & Spengemann.
Andrew Kuo, New Me/One Hour Paid Conversation With a Psychiatrist, 2011. Via Taxter & Spengemann.
On My List of Demands, Kuo’s charts are beyond self-explanatory, with titles such as The Walk Home After Being Racially Slurred/I Am Not Tall, Dark or Handsome, 2011; The More You Know About Me, The More You’ll Think Twice Before Calling/I’d Be More Tolerable If I Smoked Weed Because…, 2011; or New Me/One Hour Paid Conversation With a Psychiatrist, 2011. There’s little room for misinterpretation of the charts’ genesis, or a tangential approach to the formal possibilities of the composition. As he creates variables that englobe his perplexity on the intricate–perhaps irrational–behavior of the other, Kuo quantifies an unilateral reflection on personal emotions and perceptions he indirectly attributes to a ghostly interlocutor, and to which he seems to be responding by means of his variables. There is also a certain aspect of loneliness in the works, as their small sized type makes them claim the viewer’s physical proximity, as if that proximity would contribute to further sympathy of the audience for the artist’s dissected emotions they are having access to.
Andrew Kuo, The Greatest Story Ever Told as of March 2, 2011, 2011. Via Taxter & Spengemann.
Andrew Kuo, Flower Face 1, 2011. Via Taxter & Spengemann.
Besides the charts, Kuo is also exhibiting prints and paintings of flowers and self-portraits. The intended effect of “zooming-in,” by means of juxtaposing amplified versions of units of color which compose the image, resembles Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco‘s “Atomists” series, where sport pictures from newspapers are overlaid with painted geometrical figures, such as circles and ellipses, using–as well–colors that are taken from the picture’s palette. On Kuo’s prints, these modifications may also be appreciated as a continuation of the artist’s charts, but with contextualizing images instead of words, giving the work a more evocative, mute quality.
- M. Silva