Urban Development, a group show which explores urban themes through painting, photography and sculpture utilizing a refined and elevated approach, is currently on view at Castle Fitzjohns on the Lower East Side, New York. Conceived and curated by the gallery’s owner and director Vincent Harrison, the all male artist exhibit is comprised of Tim Okamura, Marcus Jansen, Jamel Shabazz, Ori Carino & Benjamin Armas, and Gregory Saint Amand, who each bring a unique and singular perspective to urban living. Through their combined efforts a multi-faceted tapestry of urbanity is woven and beautifully told.
Tim Okamura’s semi-photorealistic, mixed media pieces incorporate wood panels and found objects. Okamura expertly depicts women of color in a striking manner and seamlessly places them in these fierce, bold female squads as seen in Una /Infinita. Marcus Jansen’s canvases are hauntingly beautiful and quite melodic. In Memories of the Boombox, small figures traverse a barren landscape approaching a giant boombox, perhaps an ode to his New York roots. Jamel Shabazz, the iconic documentarian of hip-hop culture of the ’80s and ’90s, presents authentic slices of New York urban life through several photographs – young boys are seen frolicking on an abandoned mattress in one image, while a man inadvertently swings a dog around in another photo – all remnants of an older, grittier New York. Artist duo Ori Carino and Benjamin Armas create fantastical, architectural, street-art infused sculptures which touch upon elements of religion and sexuality. Carino also shows a few solo pieces, including New World which oozes Buddhist attributes laced with classicism and pop culture. Painter Gregory Saint Amand rounds out the show with brash, vibrant canvases exploding with consumerism and pop culture iconography.
Jasmin Hernandez is a New Yorker with a deep passion for visual culture and a rich background in fashion, editorial, and digital media. Ms. Hernandez is the founder of Gallery Gurls, where she covers the contemporary art world and also regularly writes about art & culture for numerous digital outlets. Visit jasminhernandez.com and gallerygurls.net. You may also follow on Instagram and Snapchat: @gallerygurls