PULSE is a contemporary art fair that gets a lot of love in Miami Beach during Art Basel, but due to the proliferation of New York fairs since its inception in 2005, it may get overshadowed in the Big Apple. However, it shouldn't, because it continually provides a fresh take on today's art scene with galleries who don't always get the platform to share on such a wide level.
Enjoy our brief walk-through of highlights at the fair this year and visit it today in New York through 7 p.m. at the Metropolitan Pavilion.
Entering the fair, you encounter Andy Yoder's Early One Morning, a PULSE Project presented by Winkleman Gallery. Made of 300,000 match sticks and weighing in at 200 lbs., it's named after an earlier piece by the late Anthony Caro and references the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.
Nearby are the works of Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj , who takes traditional, vibrant portraits of his creative friends and the "Kesh Angels," who are a group of female bikers. He often frames or creates entire works out of found materials and products found in localized regions of the Middle East. This year, Hajjah is a PULSE Prize finalist with the Gusford Gallery.
Around the corner, there's a fascinating work by Arlés del Rio called Nearness, which was brought by Times Square Arts and the Cuban Artists Fund.
Gallery Joe hosts a work by Mia Rosenthal titled iPad, which is actually ink, gouache, and graphite on paper (including the cord at the bottom). It's a tongue-in-cheek reduction of an interface that we hardly think twice about anymore.
Pavel Acosta's multiple pieces at Zadok Gallery, including María Teresa, Infanta of Spain, after Diego Velazquez, (Stolen from the Met), are brilliant mosaic-style works made out of paint chips (because originally, the artist had very limited access to materials). The attention to detail in each is mesmerizing.
Michael Scoggins' work may be on view at lots of art fairs, but this singular piece is comic relief, if nothing else. Brought by Freight+Volume, Decorative Piece (one in violet) costs $6,000 and just might be designed to perfectly fit over your fucking couch.
Eric Firestone Gallery brought multiple impressive works by BÄST, whose popularity continues to grow since his recent Marc Jacobs collaboration. Snoopy and Box Top are two of the most exciting ones the gallery brought, which appear alongside photographs by Tseng Kwong Chi and Henry Chalfant of Basquiat, Haring, and graffitied subway cars.
On a crowded wall of works across the way, one simply cannot miss Shawn Huckins' Ulysses S. Grant: Hashtag Um at Keeler & Co. We did a Portfolio Review with him earlier this year.
Walk a little further and find Jessica Lichtenstein's Winter (Four Seasons Series at Gallery Nine5. Look closer and see the multiplied collage of computer generated nude girls in an orgy-like setting.
Lisay Levy's Self Portrait has been at PULSE previously, but it's no less striking or fun to see again. Schroeder Romero Editions brought the piece, which is from an edition of 50, and costs $150.
Coburn Projects has brought all RETNA this year, and the arrangement alone was worth spending time pondering the language he's created in his works.
Planking may no longer be a trend (lest we forget, it was referenced in Watch the Throne's "Gotta Have It"), but Anibal Vallejo may be bringing it back? Her Plank after Freud multi-panel piece has an astronaut in various, well-colored moments of planking.
Shantell Martin's YOU ARE YOU booth is a Haring-like journey into the mind of a very promising, rising young artist whose drawing has no limits. Having recently been commissioned to paint the Viacom office, she has a solo show at MOCADA in New York right now and is also in a major group show at Brooklyn Museum later this year. She is signing prints for $20 and live-drawing in the booth.
Next door, Kai Schaefer's stunning, large photograph of a Licensed to Ill record being played feels like a proper homage to the intricacies of analog music...and an awesome album, too.
There may be no better way to end one's time at PULSE than with Paco Pomet's history-meets-comic-books-and-destruction pieces at My Name's Lolita Art.
Until next PULSE...