John Lesnick - Future Icons, 1984

"After receiving his MFA in printmaking from Indiana University in 1990, and unsuccessful in his search for a teaching position in any major city, John returned to New York City, where he resided for 20 over years. Being HIV+, and having had one close friend die with AIDS in the Bloomington Hospital while he was in graduate school, he became aware that he needed to be in a major city with the latest and best AIDS drug trials, medical knowledge and treatment available.

During much of the 90's, John was dealing with his own health, and taking care of several close friends, and didn't really see much point in making art. He was too busy staying alive. However, somewhere late in 1996, he realized that he had survived lymphoma, MAC (and AIDS-related bacterial infection), and mycrosporidiosis, and he had been on the same path many of his friends had, of simply getting sicker and weaker, but in John's case, death didn't come. He had good doctors, health insurance to insure he could get the care he needed, there were new drugs, and he was faced with an even greater dilemma — life. After living with a terminal illness for over ten years, finding out he might get a reprieve (of how long, no one ever knows), was his biggest challenge ever. John said, “After all, when I decided to go to graduate school, something I had always dreamed of, but had constantly put off, I didn't even know whether I would live to see the end of the three year program.”

John returned to art gradually, taking classes and working at Greenwich House Pottery, with various instructors. This brought him back into a studio atmosphere, working alongside all levels of students, from beginners to professional artists. After about a year and half, he finally got my own computer, and translated what he used to do in the printshop into computer imagery."

 John said,
“...I'm no longer sure how to portray what I've lived. But living in New York City, even when I'm not producing, I'm always runing around and looking at art. That was, after, the original reason for my moving here.”


Christoph Schmidberger

"Christoph Schmidberger’s naturalistic, figurative paintings dispense a certain sensuality coupled with a deliberate detachment. Taking portraits of friends and acquaintances as his material, he documents a poetic world of nature and architecture, of private interiors and sunlit gardens. The meticulously executed surfaces of his paintings in oil and acrylic render his subjects perfect and inscrutable, the sheen of their hair and eyes highlighted almost to overexposure. Placed in classical poses their protracted gaze lends an element of intrusion to the scene as if the viewer were privy suddenly to unseen rooms and private moments.

Schmidberger often contradicts the realism in his paintings with exacting areas of abstraction and dashes of chromatic enhancement. Any familiarity or intimacy that might be afforded a scene or its subject is masked by an immaculate and impersonal execution. Touching on the same subjects are his works on paper. In contrast to his painting’s saturated and iridescent palette, Schmidberger’s drawings are hyper ethereal and delicate studies in black and white almost disappearing into the paper like photographic plates or portraits from cinema’s golden age.

The artist deliberately chooses ambiguous titles for his works that are both redolent and misleading in the context of his paintings. Removing the importance of his protagonists’ activities and identities, Schmidberger explores an image focused, self-consumed LA lifestyle with an indifference much found in the work of Gerhard Richter and Andy Warhol; the protagonist’s guise reaffirming the artist’s distinction between reality and his documentation of that reality.

‘In the seventies, Franz Gertsch's huge canvases were often interpreted as a mere exercise in style, influenced by the American Hyperrealism of Chuck Close and Richard Estes. It was only years later that we able to truly appreciate Gertsch's intentions for what they really were: a celebration of the Blow Up, the explosion of colour in cinema and European Hippy culture. It is dangerous to make predictions in art, however the idea that in thirty years or so the young, uninhibited and exhibitionist universe depicted by Schmidberger may be seen as a portrait of the inconsistencies that marked the first decade of the third millennium, is something more than a suspicion.’ "


Benjamin Fredrickson

"Desde finales de los 90, Benjamin Fredrickson ha documentado su vida y a las personas a las que se encuentra en su camino con fotografías. Usando Polaroids, Fredrickson nos cuenta sus pasadas experiencias como trabajador sexual, junto a las personas con las que las compartió. Las imágenes que Benjamin produce nos acercan a lo verdadero, sin haber pasado por filtros que la mayoría de las veces son aplicados para ser fieles a un concepto falso de la realidad.

Después de estudiar en su natal Minneapolis y en París, sus fotografías han estado impresas en las páginas de Document Journal (en la primera entrega, y con el retrato de la modelo Hanne Gaby Odiele), Dazed, Metal Magazine y BUTT. La más reciente exhibición de su trabajo fue en Febrero de este año y tomó lugar en Nueva York, exponiendo sus instantáneas en la galería Daniel Cooney Fine Art. Cada imagen, de la manera más honesta, revela la vida sexual de Benjamin, y nos muestra cada suceso en su camino como portador de VIH con la ayuda de autorretratos y fotografías de las que él es parte, aunque no aparezca en ellas."

texto + entrevista:  panico.com.mx


Adomas Danusevičius

"Adomas Danusevicius (b. 1984) is a painter of the young generation who made a strong debut on the Lithuanian contemporary art scene already as a student. He held several solo shows in Lithuania and Denmark, and took part in dozens of group exhibitions. He was a finalist and award winner of the competition “Young Painter’s Prize” many times. Works by Danusevicius can be found in collections of contemporary art in Lithuania and abroad.

With his first solo exhibition in 2008, Danusevicius became distinguished in the context of Lithuanian painting by his unique creative style and the addressed themes. In his paintings, the artist depicts exclusively men: he was one of the first to analyse the theme of masculinity, seldom appearing in Lithuanian art, in a consistent way. The painter is interested in masculinity as a social and cultural structure, the meanings attributed to masculinity in society and culture, and male sexuality. In his paintings, the spheres of activity that are traditionally considered as belonging to men (e.g., sports, the army), and the relations between men in these spheres are represented. These typically male domains become a space for demonstration of power and projection of desire.

In his work Danusevicius puts to doubt the understanding of a “real” man prevailing in the heteronormative patriarchal society: supposedly he must be physically and emotionally strong, rational, economically independent, and heterosexual. The painter draws our attention to the tensions rising from the efforts to comply with this stereotype at any cost by imitating, acting, and disguising one’s true identity. Masculinity is revealed in his paintings as a manifold, changing, and undefined construct, which also includes various possible subnormal variations of masculinity and marginal sexual identities. Danusevicius analyses and criticises the customary standards of gender, the taboos of homophobic society, and the mechanisms of disciplining sexuality. Thus, in his compositions, political and confrontational aims coexist with personal stories, and his tendency to provoke and ironize alternates with intimate, chamber, mildly eroticised situations.

Danusevicius’s painting is a synthesis of refined high-quality visual expression, urgent tendencies of contemporary figurative art, and intellectual contents. It also shows a strong theoretical basis covering gender studies from the theory of sexuality by the French philosopher Michel Foucault to the contemporary insights of the theory of masculinity."