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

Devotional Spaces opens this Friday at Ventana 244 Gallery in Williamsburg

244 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Friday, March 28th 6-8pm

My profile of artist, Darren Bader for Interview Magazine


A mere two months before the Whitney deadline, 35-year-old artist Darren Bader doesn't know what he's making for the Biennial. In the time he's had to consider his project, much of the museum's exhibiting spaces have been snatched up by other artists. Mostly all that remains is a secondary, off-site location or an ephemeral, nonmaterial approach—two options well suited to the Connecticut-born artist's relentlessly alternative approach to his craft. "It certainly is a valid approach to be chosen for a prestigious show and participate in no conspicuous way," Bader says. "But for the Biennial, I would like to make something."



Bader's work is created using unfettered, unstructured methods, with freedom going to all variables of his productions. They are often liberally described as sculpture. In his 2012 show at MoMA PS1, he exhibited live kittens up for adoption, and one of them was adopted under the title cat made out of crabmeat. The artwork, he says, is "taking the title at face value and believing in the inner workings of an otherwise superficial entity." In 2013 at Art Basel Miami, he showed more than a dozen copies of Villette, the 1853 novel by Charlotte Brontë. "That was just a placeholder," he says. "The piece is anywhere between two and 18,000 copies of that edition of the book. The collector is encouraged to collect up to 18,000 copies and keep them on hand."

Bader's productions also involve writing, artist books, and video, which he considers the germ for his pieces. His first artistic ambition was to be a film director, and he made videos composed of long takes of objects both inert and in motion. Eventually, he stopped looking through the lens and saw objects as sculpture, allowing everything in his environment to be material for his art. "Anything you can think about as a finite, packable entity is sculpture," he explains.



Bader has the kind of panoramic, definition-bending sensibility that characterized Marcel Duchamp, Gabriel Orozco, and more recently, Tino Sehgal. Bader's 2012 book,Life as a Readymade, is a manifesto-like text on this approach ("an open letter to anyone who considers himself [sic] an artist") and includes phrases such as "Art is a state of mind and experience understood by any number of people at any number of moments." At times, the reaction to this wild open-mindedness can only be laughter—not the goofy, out-loud kind, but the private lung spasms that cough up after a curious, misunderstood, maybe all-too-telling joke.

My profile of artist, Emily Sundblad for Interview magazine


For the Whitney Biennial, co-curator Michelle Grabner asked painter, gallerist, and musician Emily Sundblad to contribute a video. Grabner considered the medium a way to allow the multidisciplined, curatorial-minded artist to be "responsible for her own narrative construction." Born in Sweden in 1977, Sundblad has had a hand in the Whitney Biennial once before. In 2006, she created a series of awnings with John Kelsey and Jutta Koether. Together the artists (and others) function as Reena Spaulings, an art collective and gallery located in Chinatown that exhibits one of the most consistently unpredictable and satisfying programs in New York. "I still consider the gallery the most important work I do in the sense of society and history," Sundblad says. As an artist in her own right, Sundblad is known for her vibrant paintings—especially of flowers, which she describes as "a good empty subject." Her approach is that of a Sunday painter—humble and modest, using oil, pastel, gouache, and watercolor in "a simple impulse to record everyday life." As a musician, Sundblad sings with a dulcet, violin-like tone and works in traditions she considers populist: country, punk, torch songs, and British folk music. Often, the songs are covers of well-known classics (she does a sweetly lugubrious version of "Love Hurts") and are performed in galleries and museums.



Sundblad's video for the Biennial isn't going to undermine the sense of the artist's presence, which informs so much of her other projects. As of now, she's planning a streaming broadcast of a musical performance to be included in the Whitney galleries. This transmitted form, she says, "frees up performing so that it's both public and private at the same time. It's why people go crazy on Instagram and Vine, because there's the sense of a private freedom of expression, even though it's a public act." Her previous foray into streaming live video was for a show in August 2013 at Artists Space. In the middle of the night, from her mother's home in rural Sweden, Sundblad Skyped herself playing hymnals on the piano as two collaborators across the ocean performed with her at the gallery in real time. "It made me realize that, through social media, there's a potential to access a spirituality in performance," she says, "which might be harder to do in front of an audience or in a gallery." As refreshingly optimistic as her view of technology is, she also speaks longingly of the time before screens, when people drew pictures and played instruments as a part of daily life. That, for her, remains one of the primary pleasures of art. "Daily drawing like that—it's still a good tool," she says. "It's good for human beings."