Ten Prospect Drawings for Exhibition A



"Painted in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, these ten original works on paper by artist Ross Simonini represent his ongoing collaboration with nature. Using found sticks and blades of grass to apply paint to the paper as well as site-specific botanical elements like berries and flowers, Simonini creates abstract, psychological landscapes with a similar energy to 1920s Fauvism and Surrealism. Simonini continues an experimentation with constrained gesture by giving himself the challenge of painting with his non-dominant hand and even both of his feet. This loss of control facilitates an exploratory process wherein Simonini develops errant marks into figures emerging out of an intuitive chaos."

More info at Exhibition A

On Gerasimos Floratos


His canvases flap loose. Some of the stretchers crook at the joints, made with the unfussy craft of the truly handmade object, a quality that gives the work what Gerasimos calls "mad character." He points out spots where the figures in the paintings appear to have a "broken hip" or a "sprained elbow" thanks to the warp of the wood or "very un-archival" use of paint. Even within the picture, the figures swell uncomfortably, jammed into the cramped space of the rectangle, squatting, crouching, bending, smoking. "Sketchballs and lurkers," is how Gerasimos describes them, and he sees himself in their reflection, the perverts and bums, the customers and loiters he spends his time with every day behind the counter of the deli his family runs a block from the racing heart of Times Square.

His studio is also in this neighborhood, a few blocks away, down a set of concrete stairs into a well-lit basement. Next door a dance studio plays percolating piano music. Gerasimos plays reggae and smokes, repeating songs compulsively, for hours, over and over, as if warding off the neighborhood's haunt of anxiety with the mantra of Jah.

Gerasimos spends his days moving studio to deli in what he refers to as "the center of the world." He thrives in this place, dives into crowds and maneuvers through the never-ending avalanche of tourists flowing down broadway, a routine he pridefully calls his "pivot game." He was raised inside this electricity and the feeling of it is inextricable from his art.

The center of the world - that plump, green and blue marble thatrevolves at the heart of Gerasimos' paintings. The image of our home planet, as iconic and timeless and "universal" as it has become, is still a mere half century old, and Gerasimos figures' hold onto it. "They're larger than life," he says. It's unclear whether they want to hug it or squeeze it dead. It's become a central glyph for him in his language but Gerasimos thinks of it not as the earth shot from space in the late '60s, but as the symbol on the international calling cards he sells at his deli.

Similarly, he often draws and paints his family's deli, not from memory, but from an episode of Seinfeld, in which the shop is seen from a passing car. Nodding to Baudrillard, he describes it as "that simulacrum shit" where the imagery slips between his memory of a place, his conception of it, and its depiction in media. In this place of bright lights and big ticket shows and franchises, any attempt to separate oneself from the city is futile. Nature is gone. These paintings aren't windows, as they were for centuries of painters before, but billboards, blazing overhead at the vortex of culture.

Written on the occasion of Floratos' exhibition at Sorry, We're Closed in Brussels

My essay on Jamaican Dancehall Feuds is excerpted

 in "How to Write About Music" from the 33 1/3 series. Read it here.


I'm in a show in Mexico City

with Jennie Jieun Lee, Sofia Lieby, Ted Gahl, Agathe Snow, Bill Saylor, etc.

Images from Quartering Myself, my show at Shoot the Lobster gallery in Luxembourg




























Shoot The Lobster Luxembourg is pleased to present Quartering Myself, an exhibition by Ross Simonini, on view from October 2 – November 15, 2014.

“I quarter myself to unlearn lopsided handedness–the sensation of the body's purposeful energy directed down a single appendage, into a single hand, between a thumb and forefinger and onto the tip of a bristle. I'm stopping the imbalanced, repetitive stress. Instead, the marks on these works speak for the full, bilateral, four-limbed body.

Favored unihandedness is excellent for the muscular control of handwriting, and it's true that most humans tend toward sidedness (a preference for one half of the body over the other) but the other limbs also have contributions to make. Painting with a brush held between the hallux and long toe, for instance, produces a softer, fluffier mark, without the defined, refined intention of the right hand. Pedal muscles contain the skill of locomotion–not communication, not draughtsmanship–and I try to exercise them well.

I begin from an open athletic position: readied, relaxed, knees gently bent, eyes aimed forward. With my right hand, I make an arm-reach mark in the upper right quadrant. Without shifting position, I mark with the left hand in upper left quadrant, then the right foot, then the left foot–a reverse clockwise direction. I make four marks, in this manner, with a different color, on each day until the painting is complete. Could take 2 days, could take 23, could take 96. In fact, each of these periods of time is represented in Quartering Myself.”


My first solo show opens this friday


Ross Simonini

Quartering Myself
October 2 - November 15, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 2, 5-8pm


Shoot The Lobster Luxembourg is pleased to present Quartering Myself, an exhibition by Ross Simonini, on view from October 2 – November 15, 2014.

 “I quarter myself to unlearn lopsided handedness–the sensation of the body's purposeful energy directed down a single appendage, into a single hand, between a thumb and forefinger and onto the tip of a bristle. I'm stopping the imbalanced, repetitive stress. Instead, the marks on these works speak for the full,
bilateral, four-limbed body. 

Favored unihandedness is excellent for the muscular control of handwriting, and it's true that most humans tend toward sidedness (a preference for one vertical half of the body over the other) but the other limbs also have contributions to make. Painting with a brush held between the hallux and long toe, for instance, produces a softer, fluffier mark, without the defined, refined intention of the right hand. Pedal muscles contain the skill of locomotion–not communication, not draughtsmanship–and I try to exercise them well.

I begin from an open athletic position: readied, relaxed, knees gently bent, eyes aimed forward. With my right hand, I make an arm-reach mark in the upper right quadrant. Without shifting position, I mark with the left hand in upper left quadrant, then the right foot, then the left foot–a reverse clockwise direction. I make four marks, in this manner, with a different color, on each day until the painting is complete. Could take 2 days, could take 23, could take 96. In fact, each of these periods of time is represented in Quartering Myself.”

-Ross Simonini



“A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility. I do not think that the pursuit of knowledge is an exception to this rule. If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections and to destroy your taste for these simple pleasures, in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind.” - Frankenstein