MIAMI PROJECT

booth 711

December 2 – 7, 2014

MEL CHIN

Cabinet of Craving, 2011

white oak, antique English boneware (circa 1843), footed silver tray, steel, pigment dye, shellac

108 x 168 x 168 inches

 

The spider’s improbable stomach contents are the key to Chin’s purpose. Visible through the glass belly of the beast is a Victorian tea set sitting on a silver tray. The allusion is to the exploitative opium trade that Great Britain inflicted on China in the 19th century.  The trade grew out of Britain’s craving for tea and China’s demand for silver. The British wanted China’s tea but didn’t want to pay for it with hard currency. So British ships picked up opium in India and smuggled it to China, where they inverted the economic situation. Chin’s piece begins in a comment on this historical episode, which led to the Opium Wars, then broadens into a meditation on the monstrous nature of consumption, addiction, and exploitative relations between peoples and nations.

MEL CHIN

Cabinet of Craving [detail], 2011

white oak, antique English boneware (circa 1843), footed silver tray, steel, pigment dye, shellac

108 x 168 x 168 inches

 

The spider’s improbable stomach contents are the key to Chin’s purpose. Visible through the glass belly of the beast is a Victorian tea set sitting on a silver tray. The allusion is to the exploitative opium trade that Great Britain inflicted on China in the 19th century.  The trade grew out of Britain’s craving for tea and China’s demand for silver. The British wanted China’s tea but didn’t want to pay for it with hard currency. So British ships picked up opium in India and smuggled it to China, where they inverted the economic situation. Chin’s piece begins in a comment on this historical episode, which led to the Opium Wars, then broadens into a meditation on the monstrous nature of consumption, addiction, and exploitative relations between peoples and nations.

MEL CHIN

Cabinet of Craving [detail], 2011

white oak, antique English boneware (circa 1843), footed silver tray, steel, pigment dye, shellac

108 x 168 x 168 inches

 

The spider’s improbable stomach contents are the key to Chin’s purpose. Visible through the glass belly of the beast is a Victorian tea set sitting on a silver tray. The allusion is to the exploitative opium trade that Great Britain inflicted on China in the 19th century.  The trade grew out of Britain’s craving for tea and China’s demand for silver. The British wanted China’s tea but didn’t want to pay for it with hard currency. So British ships picked up opium in India and smuggled it to China, where they inverted the economic situation. Chin’s piece begins in a comment on this historical episode, which led to the Opium Wars, then broadens into a meditation on the monstrous nature of consumption, addiction, and exploitative relations between peoples and nations.

MEL CHIN

Cross for the Unforgiven, 2012

eight, cut and welded AK-47 assault rifles

59 x 59 x 1.5 inches

 

A Maltese cross of the Crusades, made from eight AK-47s, the international symbol of resistance to the West.

 

From Marcia Brennan’s article in ::: Harithas, James and Marica Brennan, Paul Farmer, James Metcalf, Eugenie Tsai and Mel Chin. Do Not Ask Me. Houston: Station Museum of Contemporary Art, 2011.

 

“Drawing on these themes, Mel’s sculpture Cross for the Unforgiven (2002) is composed of eight welded AK-47 assault rifles, instruments of formidable destructive power. With a capacity to fire six hundred rounds of ammunition per minute, the “AK” (or Automatic Kalashnikov) remains one of the most widely used automatic weapons in the world today, just as it stands as a symbol of international resistance to Western power. Yet for viewers who are unaccustomed to the collective display of such armament, confronting this sculpture can feel like a jarring visual and psychic assault, a tear in the field of one’s consciousness accompanied by a shudder of violence that ripples viscerally through the body. After a moment, however, the initial impact of these arresting sensations becomes counterbalanced by the pervasive sense of transcendence and symmetry that the sculpture seems to project. With the individual rifles arranged in a cruciform composition, Cross for the Unforgiven reminds the viewer that the crucifix is a highly ambivalent symbol, at once the sign of a blessing and an instrument of execution. Through its implicit sense of rotational symmetry, the sculpture suggests the possibility of a deadly turning movement, and one can almost imagine a frozen roulette wheel or spiral of death that has been temporarily locked in place. Yet the work also displays a twist on conventional Christian iconography. The AK-47s are arranged in the shape of a Celtic cross, with a halo-like circle spanning the cross’s lateral points of convergence. Yet the sculpture’s pointed arms also evoke a Maltese cross, with its corresponding associations of Christian warriors battling the Muslim Empire during the Crusades. Paradoxically, Cross for the Unforgiven instantiates a collision between these symbolic events and world views, just as it intertwines the brutal violence of ritual sacrifice with the sacred promise of redemption in a field where no absolution can be possible. Creation and destruction thus become welded together in the shared body of the sculpture, where they meet to return one another’s gaze so that one may shed light on the other.”

 

Mel Chin - "Vertical Palette 3/4 Scale"

MEL CHIN

Vertical Palette 3/4 Scale, 1976 - 1985

lead, wood, water, smoke, clay, glass and steel

22.5 x 5 x 7 inches

Edition of 5, each unique with variable contents

 

MEL CHIN

Elementary Object (For Corsica), 1993

Corsican briarwood, steel, plastic, concrete/vermiculite, excelsior packing material, flannel, paper tag, fuse cord, triple F blasting powder

3.5 x 12.5 x 10.25 inches

Edition of 13

MEL CHIN

Open Mouth LeadHead: Contcept Drawing, 1986 

xeroxed image, ink, graphite on notebook paper

15.625 x 12.625

MEL CHIN

Lecture Ax Artifact, 1987

Collier's Encyclopedia, graphite, colored pencil on museum board

9.625 x 11.625 inches

 

MEL CHIN

Study for Sea to See, 2014

graphite, watercolor, medical tape on vellum

31.25 x 30.5 x 5.5 inches

MEL CHIN

Sheathed Irrationality Piercing the Lie: Study for Shape of a Lie, 2005

ink, colored pencil, methyl cellulose on vellum

21.5 x 30.375 x 3 inches

MEL CHIN

Pattern for Silver and Stone ("I Don't Want To" Serving Tray), 2005

23.25 x 27.25 x 1.75 inches

MEL CHIN

9-11/9-11 Storyboard Development Sketch: Julia's Descent, 2006 - 20079-11/9-11 Storyboard Development Sketch, Scene 26: L. DaVinci and D.I.N.A. Screaming Shadow, 2006 - 2007

graphie and ink on paper

18.5 x 18.5 x 2 inches

MEL CHIN

Safety Paper Safehouse, 2007 - 2014

security envelopes with graphite, glue on ragboard

21 x 29 x 3 inches

artist-made frame

MEL CHIN

A Magnified Call Out, 2006

graphite on drawing paper

22 x 26 x 2.25

artist-made frame

MEL CHIN

Ruin, 1995

erased U.S. currency, five dollar denomination

11 x 14.5 inches

MEL CHIN

9-11/9-11 Storyboard Development Sketch, Scene 130: La Monde/Twin Tower Rocket/Plane Attack, 2006 - 2007

pencil, watercolor, ink on graph paper and paper

29.625 x 19 x 2.25 inches

MEL CHIN

9-11/9-11 Storyboard Development Sketch: Julia's Descent, 2006 - 2007

pencil on paper

14.125 x 16.875 inches

MEL CHIN

Internal Medicine: Home y Sew Nine, 2014

graphite, colored pencil, staple, pigment on paper

15 x 29 inches

artist-made frame

MEL CHIN

Bilateral Mycological Entity (Mushroom), 2014

graphite and colored pencil on paper

16 x 19.5 inches

artist-made frame

MEL CHIN

Gertrude's Girdle (third layer), 2003

electric stylus marks on Japanese paper

30 x 30 x 1.75 inches

MEL CHIN

Reassembled Anatomical Study for Myrrha P.I.A. (Post Industrial Apocalypse), 1984 - 2014

graphite, marker, ink, methyl cellulose, albumen and pigment on trace paper

41 x 33 x 2 inches

MEL CHIN

Study for Yaqin Saza (Punishment) Wrap Projection, 1986

silverpoint, wood, tar, house paint on paper

26.25 x 36.25 inches

MEL CHIN

The Syrian Wheel, 2014

ink on butcher paper

28 x 28 inches

artist-made frame

MEL CHIN

Pregnant Leda, 1984

document repair tape, colored pencil, graphite on sketch paper

16.5 x 13.625

MEL CHIN

Construction Document: The Cabinet of Craving, 2011

colored pencil, graphite on trace, shoe polish and marker on pattern

34 x 40.75 x 2 inches

MEL CHIN

Study for a Cabinet in Wood, 2012

ink on paper

31.5 x 21.125 inches

MEL CHIN

Category 5: Disaster and Diaspora, 2008

ink and graphite on vellum

13 x 11.5 inches

MEL CHIN

Enhanced Version of Fig. 10.8 - p.164 from: "A Brief History of Time" 1988, 2013

graphite, colored pencil, pigment, paper, adhesive, mounted on distressed rag paper

21.25 x 32 inches

MEL CHIN

New Game, 2007 - 2013

white gouache on Chinese joss paper with fragment of an ink-soaked hotel receipt

13.5 x 17.5 inches

 

MEL CHIN

Objet de Liaison (Mopar ball joint), 2014

rust and shellac on glass

10.6 x 10.6 inches

MEL CHIN

Red Scent, 2006-2011

graphite, ink on paper

13 x 29 inches

SKYLAR FEIN
Black Flag for Guy Debord, 2009
acrylic on plaster and wood
68 x 114.5 inches

SKYLAR FEIN
Big Hits Rolling Papers, 2014
painted aluminum, wood, rubber
​24 x 24 x 4 inches

SKYLAR FEIN
Bunghole Liquors, 2014
painted aluminum, wood, rubber
​27 x 24 x 5 inches

BONNIE MAYGARDEN
Streaming, 2014
acrylic on canvas
90 x 60 inches

MICHAEL PAJON

Asterion Awaits His Offerings, 2014

mixed media collage on antique book covers

16 x 32 inches

MICHAEL PAJON
Warmth and Life, Purl and Flow, 2014
mixed media collage on book cover
18.5 x 15.5 inches

Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician for which the Hippocratic oath is named after, is believed to be the father of medicine.  He wrongly believed that the liver and spleen were the center of the body and that all blood flowed from them into the heart.  His poetic descriptions of it’s movement through the arterial system are where the ‘purl and flow’ of the title are borrowed not to mention his unflinching dedication to heal his fellow man. The two central figures are describing the, now standard, image of the pulmonary arterial systems and stand as symbols of my personal support for the equal right to marriage for the LGBTQ community.  There is great fanfare and salutation in this piece, as much has changed over the past decade and there is much to celebrate.  There are those who will continue to argue that being gay is a ‘choice’ like a pulling a rabbit out of a hat, while others will simply fume and blow smoke until their opinion simply dies out.  The Serpent of Eden attempting to cast it’s shadow upon the future, but the heart remains steadfast and its currents run fast and true to the ones we hold most dear.

MICHAEL PAJON
Still Silent as Prey, Far from Escape, 2013
mixed media collage with hand drawing on tin type
10.5 x 8.5 inches

A newly-wed couple appear far from happy in this portrait, perhaps an arrangement of convenience which was not uncommon given the time period.  Like a snail slowly eating the flowers in a garden a slow and steady deconstruction of something beautiful.  Once entered into these kinds of contracts it was difficult to escape, snagged in the spider’s web, the ring round ones finger a constant reminder.  Losing your sense of place in the world and seeking only the passage of time to hopefully bridge the gaps between family and devotion.  

MICHAEL PAJON
Baptised by the Sea in Flayed Skin and Coral Crown, 2014
mixed media collage on antique book cover
22 x 16 inches


A Prohibition-era St Bartholomew, St Bartholomew was one of the 12 apostles whose martyrdom has been depicted heavily in Catholic iconography.  He was flayed alive and his body cast into the sea.  Apparently recovered as there are many relics attributed to St Bartholomew that exist throughout Italy.  One such miracle attributed to one of these relics is that of a silver statue that weighed many kilos that was almost melted down during the Nazi occupation but survived as being recorded to only weigh grams, St Bartholomew is credited with many other miracles having to do with the weight of objects.  Appropriately this depiction places in him the role of prohibition era smuggler, the weight of objects often being the kind of sleight of hand required to move black market goods.  He has suffered a similar fate, skinned alive and cast into the sea, but in this depiction the sea is lifting him up a miracle unaccounted for, the returning of St Bartholomew’s body by the sea, the corals and bottom feeders of the sea clinging to him, their virulence feeding off that power.

MICHAEL PAJON
Sums and Summits, 2013
mixed media collage with hand drawing on cabinet card
7 x 5.75 inches

MICHAEL PAJON

The Sincerity of Death and Roses, 2014

mixed media collage on antique book covers

19 x 16 inches

MICHAEL PAJON
The Man with the Gilded Face, 2014
mixed media collage on antique book cover
20 x 16.5 inches

 

 

Much of the history of modern electric tattooing owes a great debt to sailors and the traveling Circus’s and sideshows that were so popular in their day.  Here is a circus relic, face covered in filigree that so lovingly adorns book covers, wrought-iron fences and fine lace.  Most likely a performer as well as an artist he grew accustomed to the stares of children and the slack jawed gaze of the public.  After all the pageantry of the circus was what drew him to a life on the move, a chance to travel the world.  I borrowed certain design elements as nods to the tattoo machines, the fist with bolts of electricity was borrowed from a telegraph emblem…the first machines were actually modified telegraph pens a device that died quickly with the invention of the telephone.  If you can glean one piece of advice from this piece, never trust a man with a pinky ring. 

MICHAEL PAJON
Of Saints and Serpents, 2014
mixed media on antique book cover
19 x 16 inches

This piece is meant to read as a kind of reliquary, the skull of an unknown saint with a golden halo, his/her fate as mysterious as what lies beyond the stars in the heavens.  Serpents twist and coil in and out of what remains.  Life coiling amongst death, flowers left as offering to those who suffer from life’s many ailments.  A flock gathers below amongst the tombstones of the long forgotten, birdsong fills the air like a hymnal despite the fork-tongued devils.  A pair of brave and stalwart herons approach to dispatch the serpents infesting the remains of their forgotten saint.   

MICHAEL PAJON
Loose Knots, Rope Burn, and a Superior Marquee, 2014
mixed media collage on book cover
17 x 14.5 inches

This portrait of a theater-rigging expert, a job I once occupied but was far from an expert at.  In the steady decline from ‘respectable’ theater productions to vaudeville to peep-shows, what our hero is most proud of what remains constant, the marquee.  It’s gilded glow and chasing lights a spectacle of pure beauty and joy.  The riggers life in a decrepit theater has its hazards, a few cracks to the skull from a light swinging free or a near miss from a sandbag come unknotted.  The productions come and go, but it his heart ever remains among the catwalks, ropes and curtains that allow the stagecraft to seamlessly unfold for audience after audience.

MICHAEL PAJON
Dr. Swift's Cure for Hysteria, 2013
mixed media collage with hand drawing on tin type
7 x 6 inches
 

"Female hysteria was a once-common medical diagnosis (distinct from male hysteria), made exclusively in women, which is today no longer recognized by medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for many hundreds of years in Western Europe. Hysteria of both genders was widely discussed in the medical literature of the nineteenth century. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms, including faintness, nervousness, sexual desire, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in the abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and "a tendency to cause trouble".[2] In extreme cases, the woman might be forced to enter an insane asylum or to undergo surgical hysterectomy."   –wikipedia

This woman’s husband has chosen to accompany his wife to Dr. Swift’s ranch where peace and quiet and time spent in nature is said to be the cure for hysteria.  The ‘patients’ at the ranch were treated with the usual elixir to calm the nerves, and all were encouraged to frequent the gardens and socialize and share their experiences.  Gardening activities were planned for most afternoons, and after a few too many rounds of elixir the women would take to running through the gardens singing favorite songs to one another.  A sign of joyousness and sisterhood encouraged as a great stride toward their ‘recovery’. 

NIKKI ROSATO
Untitled (Merged), 2014
hand cut road map
​64 x 48 inches

NIKKI ROSATO
Tim: Detroit, MI, 2013
hand cut road map
21 x 17 inches

NIKKI ROSATO
Untitled (Mouth to Mouth 3), 2014
hand cut road map
9 x 6.5 inches

NIKKI ROSATO
Untitled (Mouth to Mouth 2), 2014
hand cut road map
9 x 20 inches

Information

JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY is delighted to return to Miami, for the fifth consecutive year, for Art Basel Miami Beach week. The gallery is honored to have been selected, among less than 70 galleries internationally, to return to MIAMI PROJECT art fair for the second time. This innovative, contemporary art fair features a cross-section of the leading artists and galleries of today. Listed as the number ONE thing to see during art week 2014, the Miami Herald declared "In its second year, Miami Project is securing ground as the most-cutting edge fair without succumbing to sensationalist tendencies."

Exhibiting Artists :::

MEL CHIN

SKYLAR FEIN

BONNIE MAYGARDEN

MICHAEL PAJON

BRIAN RICHMOND

NIKKI ROSATO