'Youth Manifesto' at New Orleans Museum of Art

September 12, 2009 – January 3, 2010

PRESS RELEASE ::: SKYLAR FEIN --- 'Youth Manifesto'

JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY is proud to announce that this fall, the New Orleans Museum of Art will present SKYLAR FEIN: Youth Manifesto, the first solo museum exhibition of work by the New Orleans-based artist Skylar Fein. Focusing on youth culture, rock and roll, Americana and advertising, Youth Manifesto tackles the pervasive power and symbiotic relationship between rock music and consumerism. The high-energy exhibition is comprised entirely of new work, including painting, sculpture, video and screen prints.

SKYLAR FEIN: Youth Manifesto is organized by Miranda Lash, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. The exhibition will be on view in the second-floor Frederick R. Weisman Gallery from September 12, 2009 through January 3, 2010.

A concert to celebrate the opening of Skylar Fein: Youth Manifesto featuring New Orleans-based bands, including experimental indie rockers Belong and others to be announced, as well as DJ Musa Alves, will be held Saturday, September 12, 2009 from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at the Museum. The free concert, co-curated by Fein and Alves, is supported through a grant from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation.

Skylar Fein is represented by Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans.


About Youth Manifesto:

Beginning with the aesthetic of punk culture from the late 1970s and early 1980s, Fein re-contextualizes this esprit into large-scale sculptures, paintings and T-shirts presented as art objects. Fein's intent is to create a visually "explosive" environment, an ambience that conveys the charged energy of youth. The rebellion, drugs, and sexuality associated with counterculture are made apparent through references to alternative magazines such as Oor and VILE, as well as influential punk and New Wave bands including T.S.O.L., Adam and the Ants, Hüsker Dü and Crime. Memorabilia from rock concerts-ticket stubs, bootleg cassettes, CDs and flyers-are re-interpreted into arresting, monumental objects. Drawing from the legacy of Pop art, Fein turns a bootleg tape of a concert by The Clash, for example, into a sleek sculptural presentation over four feet wide.

Typical of his artistic style, Fein imbues his art with elements of ambiguity and critique. His own appropriations from pop or "low" culture are paired with references to American culture, famous for its ability to assimilate. His Black Flag and presidential silhouettes of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are covered with advertising icons and prices, thereby raising the question of whether American history is a "product" in itself. Is the United States, as a black flag would indicate, in distress? Or is it merely available for consumption and sale?

Music plays a central role throughout Fein's installation, including in his video component, entitled The YouTube Show. Recognizing YouTube as a preeminent force in twenty-first century youth culture, The YouTube Show displays a selection of actual YouTube videos that use music as a central emotive factor. Used with permission from the original authors, the videos are chosen for their ability to elicit strong responses from their viewers. Visitors to the Museum are invited to view the commentary associated with these videos, which is projected onto an adjacent wall, and to add their own thoughts.

Skylar Fein: Youth Manifesto will be accompanied by an illustrated color catalogue with an essay by Dan Cameron, founding director and curator of Prospect.1 New Orleans and director of visual arts at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, and an interview with the artist by Miranda Lash, organizing curator of Youth Manifesto and curator of modern and contemporary art at the New Orleans Museum of Art.


Public programs

Saturday, September 12, 5:30-10 p.m.-Opening concert and reception to celebrate the opening of Skylar Fein: Youth Manifesto featuring New Orleans bands, including experimental indie rockers Belong and others to be announced, as well as DJ Musa Alves. The free concert, co-curated by Skylar Fein and Alves, is supported through a generous grant from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation. A cash bar will be available in the Great Hall and the Museum will be open throughout the evening for viewing of Skylar Fein: Youth Manifesto and other current exhibitions.


Wednesday, September 30, 6 p.m.-Tour of Youth Manifesto with Skylar Fein: Join artist Skylar Fein, one of the standout artists from the Prospect.1 New Orleans biennial, for a tour of his first solo museum exhibition, Skylar Fein: Youth Manifesto. The tour is part of the Mid-Week in Mid-City series of public programs on Wednesday evenings, when the Museum stays open late until 8 p.m. The program is free to Louisiana residents. A cash bar will be available in the Great Hall.

A native of New York, SKYLAR FEIN (born 1968) was a participant in Prospect.1 New Orleans, the 2008 biennial curated by Dan Cameron. His multimedia installation Remember the Upstairs Lounge garnered acclaim in publications such as Artforum, Art in America, The New Yorker and the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Since moving to New Orleans in 2005, Fein has had solo exhibitions at JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY (where the artist is represented) The Phoenix, Sound Café and Bazaar. His work resides in public and private collections across the nation.