All of this is made for you

Curated by Regine Basha
with the participation of Benjamin Fredrickson and Aaron Philip

Opening Reception: December 12th | 6-8 pm
December 12, 2014 – January 3, 2015

…Desire affords agency, but without an object it is lost
(“O: the apparatus” by J. Yolande Daniels, in Crime and Ornament)

For All of this is made for youJuan Betancurth will present a selection of objects and photographs as well as work from a new series, Bouquet at 25, realized in collaboration with performer Aaron Philip and photographer Benjamin Fredrickson. This recent body of work investigates flower and their specific capacity for exaltation or mourning. Considered through collage, performance and photography, the floral characters invoke the artist’s own Colombian roots and the rituals invested within them.  The new work signals the artist’s departure from tradition into more ambiguous terrain. Both tender and dark, like many of the objects in the room, the images from Bouquet at 25 reveal the results of a playful seduction taken almost to sadistic limits. In this triad scenario, Betancurth suggests a flexibility with control and trust, as well as with collaboration and ownership, which for the artist is a material as well.

Juan Betancurth infuses his image-making process with a kind of sculptural value that is borne of his investigations of power and desire. With the use and re-use of certain found objects and devices (hooks, tools, animal skins, and bulbs for instance) placed either as characters in installation or as triggers for performances, Betancurth assembles what he calls a psychic economy of forms. Precise and decidedly beautiful, the objects double as fetish objects and functional tools that clearly draw from within the artists’ own repository of memory and fantasy. A hovering question becomes:  exactly how do these objects cause pleasure or pain? This is not externalized in any literal way, but comes across as an internalized mood, or a persuasiveness. Betancurth manages a fine balance between the figurative, the anthropomorphic, and cold abstraction in his collection of objects, and their relationship to one another is additive.

The exhibition is part of a series of guest-curated exhibitions at Baxter St. resulting from an open call for proposals, and is made possible in part by generous support from public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

BIOS
Juan Betancurth is a Colombian born artist living and working in New York City. Selected exhibitions include Transperformance3, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, (2014) Pomada Festival, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2014), Home Sweet Home, Dazibao, Montreal (2014), Sketchy Walk in collaboration with Todd Shalom, The New Museum, New York, (2012), Dirty Looks On Location, New York (2012), On/Sincerity, Boston University College of Fine Arts, Boston MA (2012), For Faith, Pain or Pleasure, Bulletin Board, CCS BARD College, Red Hook, New York, (2012), Chamber of Delights, El Museo del Barrio Biennial, New York, (2011), Domesticus (2011), Abrons Arts Center, New York and Altar to Myself / Installation, Queens Museum of Art, New York, (2006). He participated at Performa 11. In 2013 he took up a residency in Louisville, Kentucky, as part of the Residency Unlimited program IDEAS 40203 and in 2013-2015 is in residency at the Queens Museum.

For Regine Basha, no two projects are alike; over the course of her 20-year career, her inventive approach has considered the very specific contexts or situations for the production of or engagement with new work – whether it be placed throughout an entire town, an intervention into a magazine, a radio presentation, a series of discreet projects in private collectors homes, or commissions for corporate offices. Often, collaboration and connecting diversified fields of knowledge are central to her curatorial practice and interest. Much of her research and engagements connect artists from throughout North America, the Middle East (Istanbul, Cairo, and Tel Aviv) and Latin America (Buenos Aires, Santiago, Rio) into the United States.  She has written for Art Papers, Cabinet, Art in America, and Art Lies. She has advised The Museum of Art and Design, The Queens Museum and The Shandanken Project, and No Longer Empty. She is a member of Art Table, AICA and currently sits on the board of Art Matters, New York. Recent exhibitions and projects include such artists as: Basim Magdy (upcoming), Nina Katchadourian,  Stephen Vitiello / Leah Beeferman,  Paul Pfeiffer, Hope Ginsburg, and exhibitions at Cabinet Magazine, Mass MoCa (EXCHANGE WITH SOL LEWITT), SculptureCenter (TREBLE), Bloomberg’s Headquarters with Julieta Aranda, Beth Campbell, Cao Fei and Ana Prvacki (SPECULATIVE FUTURES) and many others, including numerous exhibitions exploring sound as sculptural material (THE MARFA SESSIONS AT BALLROOM MARFA). Her curatorial site bashaprojects.com also features video conversations with artists of interest.

Benjamin Fredrickson is an American photographer whose work centers on portraiture and subcultural taboos. Fredrickson studied at the Paris College of Art before earning a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Since then, his work has been shown extensively in international photography magazines, gallery exhibitions, as well as presented as a solo program at the Museum of Arts and Design (NYC) in 2011 and NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial in 2014. He will have a solo show at Daniel Cooney Fine Art in January 2015. He has had editorial commissions from publications including Apartamento, BUTT, Dazed & Confused, Capricious, Document Journal and PIN-UP.

Aaron Philip is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses text in tandem with other mediums to create autobiographical works that reflect on a broader human experience. He was born in Silver Spring, MD and was the recipient of a Distinguished Merit Scholarship to attend The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Philip’s work is featured in both private and public collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.  He lives and works in New York and Maryland.

The exhibition is part of a series of guest-curated exhibitions at Baxter St. resulting from an open call for proposals, and is made possible in part by generous support from public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.