Volume 73, Number 48 | March 31 - April 6, 2004

Thousands check in at Market’s new hotel to check out art show

By Warren Allen Smith

Villager photos by Warren Allen Smith

Nude canoodlers upstaged the art in one suite.

The third annual scopeNew York art show was held at the Hotel Gansevoort March 12 - 15. Eight thousand viewed the work of over 65 artists, each occupying a room on the third through sixth floors of the new hotel in order to display their artwork. According to the show’s producer, Michael Sellinger, $2 million of art was sold.

Artists came from various parts of the country as well as from Canada, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Japan. Previous shows had been held at the Dylan Hotel in 2003 and the Gershwin Hotel in 2002.

Work that had been aided by computers was evident, along with sculptures, oil paintings on canvas as well as on raw linen, acrylic on acrylic, graphite on vellum, digital prints on plexiglass, gouaches on canvas, mixed media on wood and various other inventive forms. One work, “Curve,” consisted of 34 snooker balls made of stainless steel.

Villager photos by Warren Allen Smith
Some were not exactly bowled over by Iliya Chichkan’s work, displayed in one of the hotel room’s bathrooms.
One artist displayed his work but also had hired a nude couple to canoodle on one of the room’s two beds, to the delight of those who crowded into the room.

The Reverend Ethan Acres, whose color print was called “Exercising Demons #4,” had the work’s model appear in person atop one of the room’s beds and, screaming like a fundamentalist minister, exhorted sinners to rid themselves of their demons.

Evan Penny, a Toronto Artcore artist, displayed a startling work, “Self Stretch,” a face made of silicone, pigment, hair and fabric. Viewers remarked that what looked like a decapitated head had individual hairs inserted realistically atop the man’s scalp and on his bearded face.

Doug Fishbone, of Jane St., had a Cinema-scope show, “Revival — Keeping Video Alive.” A creative artist known for having sculpted huge mounds of bananas in Costa Rica, Poland and Brooklyn, Fishbone in his show at the hotel spotlighted the work of emerging international video artists and filmmakers.

Atop the new hotel’s roof, panel discussions were held on “Collecting the Hard Stuff” and “Art, Sex and Religion.” Two models who streaked around the roof, nearly falling in the unfinished swimming pool, were not on Friday’s program but were willingly photographed.

The dealers who put on the show allowed unknown and emerging artists to showcase their art, much of which was experimental and included works that raised a few eyebrows. A Ukrainian, Iliya Chichkan, had a work depicting a semi-clad gal straddling a toilet and holding her dog upside down so it could drink. Another, by Yang Yong, was a print of a clothed gal inexplicably resting inside an empty bathtub.

The Gansevoort’s Web site lists 187 guest rooms starting at undiscounted rates of $325 per night, including 20 corner suites at $575 per night and a duplex penthouse suite at $5,000.

“Reminds me of the old Greenwich Village scene,” one viewer remarked, speculating about what evenings must be like with 65 or more “crazy artists,” each staying overnight in their rooms and roaming around the corridors.

“We were freaky back then, too,” said a friend, “but it wasn’t quite as expensive.”

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