on wednesday evening, i was invite to asya geisberg gallery, on 23rd st and 11th, by miles ladin to hear an artist discussion of the show in progress right now called “first class/second class“. if the title doesn’t give it away, the show is about class structure. since i can’t say it better than they can, here is the pres release:
“First Class/Second Class” features work that investigates various aspects of class structure via either a personal narrative or an outsider’s perspective. The artists come from a range of backgrounds and cultures, and do not necessarily foreground the theme of class in their work. This exhibition extracts class as a necessary and frequently overlooked prism through which we can interpret their work. “First Class/Second Class” posits that class is omnipresent as an identity marker, and frequently undermines race, gender, and nationality, while simultaneously being dependent on individual circumstances. Works in the exhibition illustrate the tribal aspects of class, and show how it might be as confining or freeing as other aspects of cultural identity. “First Class/Second Class” presents a multiplicity of alternative views, in order to alter assumptions and to personalize the topic from each artist’s perspective.
in listening to and speaking with some of the artist it was interesting to hear that most of them didn’t strive to show this line dividing the classes. some seemed to be telling their own story and that led into the topic of class, such as chris venere, who has been photographing his home town of galesburg, illinois for 26 year; or rebecca morgan who moved to new york from a small town in pennsylvania to get away from the rural life and find the world she strove for to end up make gorgeous paintings and drawing that reflect the world that she wanted out of; or miles ladin, whose access to the upper class elite comes from his work as a hired photographer allowed him to view a world that many don’t get to see.
the show is up till may 7th and i highly recommend it. it is few and far between that we see artwork that directly speaks of class, whether intentional or not.
i wish i had more pictures to share, but i think you’re better off going to look for your damn self. also visit asya geisberg gallery site.