Kevin Bruk Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Miami by New York based artist Matthew Weinstein. The opening reception will be held on Saturday, January 9th, 2010 from 7-9 pm coinciding with the monthly Wynwood Gallery Walk, and will remain open to the public during regular gallery hours until February 20th, 2010. For this exhibition Weinstein will be exhibiting his 3D animation “Chariots of the Gods”, 2009, as well a series of paintings.
Weinstein’s main influences for his Animated Cabarets are the “Epic Theater”, of Bertolt Brecht and Weimar Cabaret. By employing presentational theatrical devices and performances, narrative interruptions, and songs, Brecht created issue-oriented productions with a strong entertainment factor. The Weimar Cabaret was a type of performance in which the highly personal and the sexual became political by becoming public. Seduced by sexuality, theatricality, comedy and entertainment, the audience, in both of these forms, is encouraged to question cultural norms and perhaps be inspired towards change.
In the animation “Chariots Of The Gods”, 2009, the protagonist is an articulated metal female fish hanging from a golden chain inside an empty restaurant. She discourses on aliens, the impossibility of progress, climate and other weighty topics. She bubbles along in her monologue, moving from one room of the restaurant to another, delivering bombshells with a smile. The restaurant set is a reconstruction of Ernie’s Restaurant from Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo.’ Hitchcock himself had Ernie’s, a local San Francisco restaurant, reconstructed as a set for his film. Weinstein’s computer generated version of the restaurant is the virtual reconstruction of Hitchcock’s reconstruction. At the end of the piece, the metal fish sings a song called ‘Annie.’ It is a ballad to Suzanne Pleshette’s character of Annie in ‘The Birds.’ It is based on the moment when a bird flies into Annie’s door and dies. Annie thinks that the bird has lost its way in the dark. Tippi Hedren’s character, Melanie, tells her that this is impossible because there is a full moon. The scene is the premonition of death for Annie and the indication of the superior survival skills and clear headedness of Melanie. The use of foreshadowing (the dead bird in ‘The Birds,’ and the blood red restaurant as the container for the doomed double heroine/villain in ‘Vertigo’) is echoed in the mood of ‘Chariots Of The Gods,’ which suggests that something may be coming out of the sky and it may or may not like us.
Weinstein collaborates with a wide range of actors and musicians on these animation projects; the band ‘Balkan Beat Box,’ the composer and DJ ‘Adultnapper,’ and actresses Natasha Richardson and Blair Brown.
Weinstein’s paintings are based on images from the animations. Using his invented world as a substitute reality to base his imagistic paintings on, Weinstein experiments with just how far we can distance ourselves from The Real and still maintain an empathetic stance towards the world of familiar actions, ideas and events. His interest lies in what happens when an artist’s subjectivity is in charge of 3D animation technology, a technology that is usually implemented by Hollywood to create hyper-real entertainments and commercials and feeds the American preoccupation with escapism and simulated reality.
Born in 1964, Weinstein lives and works in New York. Solo exhibitions include Sonnabend Gallery, New York; Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany; Nolan Judin Gallery, Berlin, Germany; Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden; Bard College, NY; Art Gallery, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY.