NYC gallery showcases art made with obsolete objects

Painting on floppy disks
CC BY 2.0 Margaret Badore. Painting on floppy disks by Nick Gentry.

The C24 Gallery in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood is currently exhibiting a group show that features work made with obsolete objects. Used agenda books, old technical books and floppy disks become canvases for new work.

Russian-born artist Ekaterina Panikanova assembles books that she finds discarded or in thrift stores. She mounts them to a board open-faced, then overlays the pages with ink and watercolor paintings.

© Ekaterina Panikanova, ink on books. Photo courtesy of C24 Gallery.

Panikanova paints images that seem nostalgic for childhood: glimpses of old-fashioned dress, cakes, toy horses. The old books with slightly yellowing pages also reference the past. Yet the work also says something about the nature of memory: fragmented, with parts blacked out and muddied by running ink.

Multimedia work by Ekaterina Panikanova. Photo by Margaret Badore/CC BY 2.0
Detail of Ekaterina Panikanova painting. Photo by Margaret Badore/CC BY 2.0

Nick Gentry turns grids of floppy disks into a base for his portraits. The UK-based artist asked for people to send him their disks on social media, and received donations from all over the world. Gentry at times uses the original colors and shapes of the disks, and at other times covers them over thickly with oil paints. The metallic parts give a slightly mechanical touch to faces that are otherwise portrayed with soft lines.

One can read many of the labels on the floppies, which range from bland software installation disks to personal photos and children’s games. These titles hint at a hidden layer of personal information embedded in the work.

Panikanova and Gentry pair nicely, both in aesthetics and their similar approach to re-using discarded materials.

The group show, titled “YELL-O” is rounded out with works by the Brooklyn street-artist J. Mikal Davis (A.K.A Hellbent) and the holographic-like composite photos of Adele Mills. “All of these artists renew their medium,” said gallery manager Amelia Critzer.

Portrait by Nick Gentry, oil paint on floppy disks. Photo by Margaret Badore/CC BY 2.0

The intricacy of the works make them especially worth seeing in person. “You see new details every time you look at it,” said Critzer.

The show will be on view until August 26. More details at c24gallery.com.

Tags: Artists | Arts | New York City | Upcycling

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