At Invisible Exports located on 89 Eldridge Street there is an explosive opening with works from Alan Vega entitled ‘Keep IT Alive.’ Vega died on July 16th, 2016 at the age of 78. Born Jun 23rd and raised in Brooklyn, Alan Vega was primarily known for his work with electronic-punk band Suicide. Studying at Brooklyn College in the 1950’s Vega studied under Ad Reinhardt where he started experimenting with visual arts. On display are figurative paintings Vega completed before his death and his iconic light based sculptures. His sculptures are assembled from found objects.
The gallery space cramped and suffocating from the New York heat was well curated to direct viewers through Vegas creative process. On the largest wall in the gallery are Vega’s most recent figurative paintings. The colors were sparse overlaid with gray tones on single color backgrounds- their figurative nature was heightened by surrounding sculptures. The paintings were surrounded by Vegas light sculptures. Pieces of wood are adjoined to form a cross. There are various stickers attached to the back facing wood panel, with multi colored lights dangling almost haphazardly from the beams.
Directly across there is another sculpture made from wood with lights dangling. This piece was more compelling for the scratched out drawing of a face on the front, and affixed under it was a dream catcher, one can assume to entrap the person’s essence and effervescence. The show struck me with a need to capture like the dream catcher Vegas propellent to catalogue and collect from discarded materials. Similarly, to the symbolism of the dream catcher it holds an essence of the individual- the individuals who discarded the items are still entrapped in them, and they’re being repurposed and revitalized.
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