Located on an oft overlooked block on West 27th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues stands Winkleman Gallery, alongside at least a half dozen or so more contemporary art galleries. Currently at Winkleman is Man Cave (giggle), a solo exhibition featuring the fun, quirky, and campy work of 52-year-old, Vermont-based sculptor, Andy Yoder.
Exploring the conflicts that stem from "human domestication, via cultural expectations of conformity and assimilation," Yoder addresses typical gender stereotypes by taking traditionally "masculine" objects and feminizing and glamorizing them. He covers a garage door and a giant, nine-foot-tall bowling pin in pink, silk flowers; gilds another normal-size bowling pin in 23-carat gold leaf; covers a life preserver in coyote fur; and casts and engraves a series of pastel- hued hubcaps in lead crystal.
According to his artist's statement on his website, Yoder says, "I use domestic objects as the common denominators of our personal environment. Altering them is a way of questioning attitudes, fears and unwritten rules which have formed that environment and our behavior within it." By prettifying and giving the normally manly items in Man Cave a feminine twist, Yoder raises interesting thoughts regarding some rather old-fashioned (yet still alive and kicking) gender associations. See more at Winkleman.com and at the artist's website Andyyoder.com. Through October 24th.
A few doors east on the same block is ATM Gallery which is currently hosting A Face on Mars, a solo show featuring the work of 28-year-old, New York-based artist Virginia Martinsen. The title of the exhibit refers to images taken from NASA's Viking 1 in 1976 which showed what appeared to be a human face on the surface of Mars. The face actually turned out to be just shadows but as the show's press release states, the assumption that it might have been a face "reveals our desire to know that we are not alone and also to identify something familiar in the unknown."
By pouring paint and dry pigments onto large canvases lain flat on the floor and leaving them to dry and settle, Martinsen creates abstracts that slightly resemble flowers, cells under a microscope, ink blots, or celestial formations. They explore "the human need for companionship and search for a higher power." She likens her paintings to the images of Jesus people find in random objects like a slice of burnt toast or in the markings of a tree. Read more about A Face on Mars and see Martinsen's dramatic paintings at ATMgallery.com. Through October 17th.