Neke Carson

Neke Carson has been described by The New York Times as “a long time fixture on the downtown art scene”. In the early seventies he was point man and chief satirist for the emerging new form of art later to be labeled “performance art”. In an event entitled “SOLD!” Mr. Carson placed red dots (an indication that the artwork has been sold) near every work of art during the simultaneous gallery openings of Leo Castelli, Sonnabend, John Weber, and Andre Emmerich Gallery at their Soho premiere. In 1966 Mr. Carson opened for Janis Joplin, in a rock band he had formed with comedian and actor Martin Mull. In1979 he founded “LaRocka”, a new wave modeling agency. His infamous portrait of Andy Warhol for which Andy sat for over an hour has never been duplicated. In 1993 Mr. Carson became a photographer for the trendoid ‘Styles of the Times’ section of The New York Times. Mr. Carson has written extensively about fashion for The Village Voice and other fashion magazines. An article he wrote for Mirabella Magazine, inviting top designers to re-invent the hospital gown, also appeared on the television program Good Morning America. Mr. Carson also writes a regular column for Night Magazine. In 1994 he staged a mid-career survey of his artwork at the Helander Gallery in New York City. The show received a very favorable review in Artforum magazine, a mention in The New York Times, and a photo and review in The New Yorker.

In 1999 he had a one-person show of his kinetic sculptures at the Holly Solomon Gallery. Mr. Carson is currently curating a series of performances at the Gershwin Hotel. In this series Mr. Carson is presenting such talent as the writer Anthony Haden-Guest, novelist Glenn O’Brien, designer Todd Oldham, poet laureate of America Billy Collins, singer Debbie Harry among others. The series recently received a review in the theatrical section of The Village Voice. In September of 2004 Mr. Carson began an engagement playing piano every Wednesday and Friday at the world famous Petrossian restaurant on 58th St. In the summer of 2006 Mr. Carson gave a piano concert and lecture at the Rubin Museum of art in Manhattan. ​

The Paul Fisher downtown Gallery is proud to announce a one-person show of the recent work by the artist Neke Carson. The New York Times has dubbed him a long time fixture on the downtown art scene. Over the past 15 years Mr. Carson has mainly concentrated on photography with a ground breaking show of his work at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg and also his “Portraits from the Closet” series at JohnMcWhinnie @ Glenn Horowitz Bookseller in New York City.

With this new show at Paul Fisher Gallery he has returned to painting which was his major at Rhode Island School of Design. The artist explains, “The first time I began working on a series of paintings entitled “Urgent Messages of Extreme Importance” was in 1987. At the time these messages were scrawled on 12”x12” marble slabs.

This time around I took two small canvasses (4×5 inches) and extended one message on to both canvasses. Once finished the two oil paintings are leaned on each other for support making a sort of “A” frame shaped structure.” In one fell swoop Mr. Carson has taken painting off the walls and turned them into sculptures. It is another revolutionary act from a master of revolutionary acts.  The urgent messages are embedded in the sculpture/painting. It is up to the viewer to find the key to unlock its meaning.

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