Glam Conceptualism, Interventional Performance, et aliis rerum
It’s great to see that pioneering performance artist Neke Carson is getting a full scale retrospective at the Mitchell Algus Gallery (132 Delancey St, 2nd floor, NYC). Always a bit off the radar, Carson is a true original who has built up a hardcore group of admirers over the years. Bruce Helander, the former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Rhode Island School of Design, called Carson the school’s most multi-talented graduate, praising him “as a legendary and scandalously controversial genius [whose] mischievous academic projects were jaw-droppingly revolutionary”, (Huffington Post, 2013).
Gallery 98’s Marc H. Miller bonded with Carson over an unfortunate incident that occurred when he included the artist’s “Rectal Realist” portrait of Andy Warhol in the 1978 Punk Art exhibition in Washington, D.C. While John Waters’ superstar Edith Massey performed with her band, Scratch and Sniff, someone slipped into an unguarded gallery and stole Carson’s painting. Thanks to a local radio station, the theft became a cause célèbre in the D.C. area, and a repentant teenager returned the painting a couple of weeks later.
Gallery 98 has had a long relationship with Carson, beginning with our online exhibition, The Strange World of Neke Carson: Early Works, 1970-85, which included announcements for guerrilla performances that took place in blue-chip galleries without permission; and ephemera connected to the La Rocka modeling agency, which deliberately walked a fine line as both performance art and real-life business. All of this and much more can be seen in Carson’s current retrospective at the Algus Gallery, running through February 24th.