Remembering The Michael Mut Gallery
CLOSED in 2014.


 

This website has been restored and archived as supplemental reading material for Burn Sidra's Art Appreciation I course. Mr. Sidra comes from both an art forensics background, having worked for museums and for private investigation firms. In addition to researching stolen cultural & religious art, he is also known for his in depth research into fraud and scam artists. He gained some notoriety for the exposure of con man George Binakis and his contractor fraud perpetrated in NYC. The example cited in Magnify involved the theft of over $65,000 from an elderly woman in NYC. Binakis posed as a contractor doing apartment renovations for upscale residents. The victim in this case was convinced that George Binakis was a reliable contractor who would look after her interest. He had also sold himself as having a serious heart condition requiring a pacemaker while also seeking additional treatments. The con was so successful that when George walked away with her money, her first thought was that he must have died or suffered a debilitating illness. So she called his brother, a lawyer named Patrick Binakis to see how George was doing. Patrick told her he had no contact with George, but when she mentioned the money, he hung up on her. When her son in law called, he also hung up on him but subsequently Patrick told him that he had little contact with George. A former contractor called and Patrick told him that George was getting better. These conflicting stories along with the horrible treatment she received from Patrick finally convinced her that she had been conned. And although there was no proof that Patrick Paraskivas Binakis was complicit in the fraud, his behavior convinced her that he was not completely innocent. This con, and another related to the stolen artifacts from Somalia and Egypt are part of the course content. Students can find the entire reading list on the art department webpage under "Sidra."

 


The Michael Mut Gallery was committed to positive growth, learning and teaching. It specialized in experimental and innovative work which has a political or global consciousness focus. Michael Mut Gallery intended to make a difference in the world by providing access to works of art that inspire contemplation and positive action.
The was th gallery's website for a number of years.
The new owners as a tribute to the goals of the gallery have chosen to present archived content from the site's original archived pages.

The Michael Mut Gallery CLOSED in 2014.

michael mut project space

Michael Mut Project Space is located in the East Village/L.E.S. of Manhattan. The space is utilized as a platform for contemplation on current events.

Michael Mut Gallery
97 Avenue C
(at East 6th Street)
New York, N.Y. 10009
2126777868

As a service to the professional development of the artists in our community, MMG hosts a monthly open critique. Artists are invited to bring up to three pieces of work of any medium and should be prepared with a brief introduction and up to three questions of focus. This event is moderated by gallery owner, Michael Mut. An advance rsvp is required.

the lower east side

Loisaida (pronounced: lou.i.saidә) is a term derived from the Latino (and especially Nuyorican) pronunciation of “Lower East Side”. The term was originally coined by poet/activist, Bittman “Bimbo” Rivas in his 1974 poem "Loisaida". Loisaida Avenue is now an alternative name for Avenue C in the Alphabet City neighborhood of the East Village, New York City, whose population has largely been Hispanic since the late 1960’s.

Historically, the Lower East Side stretched from the East River at the southern end to 14th Street at the northern end, bound on the east by the river and on the west by First Avenue. It originally comprised German, Jewish, Irish and Italian working-class residents who lived in tenements without running water. Since the 1940s the demographic changed markedly several times: the addition of Stuyvesant Town / Peter Cooper Village after World War II at the northern end added a lower-middle to middle-class element to the area which contributed to the eventual gentrification of the area. The construction of large government housing projects south and east of 14rh Street and the growing Latino population transformed a large swath of the neighborhood into a Latin one until the late 1990’s when low rents attracted large numbers of artists and students to the area.

Today Loisaida is a hipster mecca that is quickly becoming further gentrified. Of particular interest is the large number of pocket gardens that are open to the public. With many new restaurants and shops opening in the area it is the perfect location for the Michael Mut Gallery.


SHOWS


 

Love Yourself Store

Oct 23 - Jan 25, 2014

Opening Reception: Oct 24, 6-8pm

Artists: Sophie Chemla, Arlene Rush, Olivia Johnson, Michael Mut, Ciaran Tully

Curated by: Marie Katherine Vigneau

Image advertising Love Yourself Store Exhibition at Michael Mut Gallery, Lower East Side, New York 2013

ABOVE: Open Call Winner Artist Sophie Chemla

For the next three months The Love Yourself Project takes over the Michael Mut Gallery at 97 Avenue C, New York, NY and becomes the Love Yourself Store. The Love Yourself Store will offer artist-made merchandise, as well as an educational store, youth art show and a holiday exhibition. The first portion of this exhibit is the "LYP Retail Pop-Up Store that will premiere new LYP brand designs. Products included; tee shirts, posters, postcards, magnets, stickers, candles and much more! The proceeds from this exhibit will fund future projects for The Love Yourself Project.

The mission of the Love Yourself Project is to utilize the arts to celebrate and empower communities around the world, to spread a message of unconditional self-love. The Love Yourself Project is an artist collective that delivers creative arts programs directly to New York City emphasizing on intergenerational artists who are traditionally under-represented. Through multi-medium art projects and workshops by partnering with local schools, community centers, after-school programs, and like-minded non-profit organizations, our goal is to guide others through the journey of self-discovery and self-love. We hope to inspire a discussion on the nature of self, and examine those formative forces, which either hinder or enhance our ability to love others and ourselves wholly.

The Love Yourself Project Team

Michael Mut
Charlotte Mouquin
Louis Yungling
Kristen Zwicker
Lauraberth Lima
Sameeh Alderazi
CeeCee Witcher
Melissa Grywalski
Jonathan Batista
Marie Katherine Vigneau
Katie Nunez
Klay Enos

 


 

Drama Queen

Artist: Wayne Hollowell

June 26 - 30, 2013

Reception: June 26, 7 - 10pm

Hours that week:
Wed-Thur 2-9pm;   Fri 2-10pm;   Sat 12-10pm;   Sun 12-6pm

Pop is back and just in time for NYC Pride. Michael Mut Gallery delivers more drama than any queen should ever have to take with artist Wayne Hollowell's solo show Drama Queen. Hollowell splashes every color of Dorothy's rainbow onto canvas and brings to life the most spectacular characters in Gay Hollywood History. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Mommie Dearest, and Mahogany are just a sample of the cinematic jewels Hollowell celebrates with his new series.

Image of artwork by artist Wayne Hollowell at Michael Mut Gallery, Lower East Side, NYC June 2013

Only at Michael Mut Gallery will you see Oprah's VAJAAAYJAAAAY, Divine as Dawn Davenport from Female Trouble and a super fabulous glittering Liberace just "hanging out." If reality drama is more your taste, then feast your eyes on his Big Edie and Little Edie Beale of Grey Gardens fame and "Ain't nobody got time fo' dat!" Sweet Brown. Ramona Singer and Nene Leakes. This fête of pop culture portraits are also a visual homage to the words and characters of Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams and Alice Walker.

The oversized portraits explore the dark side of human nature, the beautifully grotesque and that spectral sadness that plagues so many of us. Hollowell states, "I aim to invoke the complexity and despair of these characters while celebrating their camp factor; something the gay community has done for decades."

Growing up in 1970's rural North Carolina, the artist was mesmerized by the camp and tragedy of many of these characters: "I always felt they were like the women in our trailer park, passed out in the yard." Hollowell studied at North Carolina School of the Arts, received a BFA in painting from Atlanta College of Art and did Graduate Studies at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Everybody needs a painting of Mommie over the dining room buffet, so come get yours. From Baby Jane to Sweet Brown this is the gayest (art) show in town

Image of artwork by artist Wayne Hollowell at Michael Mut Gallery, Lower East Side, NYC June 2013

 


 

Untapped Love

May 1 - 25
Reception: May 2, 7-9pm

Artists: Michael Mut, Lauraberth Lima, Marie Katherine Vigneau, Luiza Cardenuto, Jonathan Batista, Dawn Perry, Yexenia Vanegas

Image of Artwork Advertising Untapped Love Exhibition at Michael Mut Gallery, New York Feb - May 2013

 

In this unique participatory installation, UNTAPPED LOVE brings a community together. LYP volunteers have taken to the streets and visited businesses, and other organizations to ask them one simple and powerful question: "How do you help others and spread love through your work?" The project brings to light these acts of kindness to show how self-love leads to loving others. The untapped resource of self-love can create a more harmonious community.

UNTAPPED LOVE documents local businesses based in The Lower East Side who have gone above and beyond the products and services they offer. The project highlights local generosity and illuminates the compassion these business owners have for their community and its members. LYP's goal is to honor these unsung heroes of The Lower East Side whose philanthropy is a testament to the human spirit and its extraordinary potential for positive growth.

UNTAPPED LOVE encourages people to engage in the conversation about the power of self-love and how it can empower our local and global communities. The exhibition featured throughout the festival Ideas City will be a truck displaying a Map of Love that illustrates the extraordinary individuals and businesses The Love Yourself Project is honoring. Visitors are invited to share personal acts of love and populate the Map of Love with their kind deeds. Participants may also make short videos telling their story of kindness.

The Love Yourself Project will host a discussion about UNTAPPED LOVE, and conduct short interviews with people regarding the impact of self-love on the world. There will be a satellite exhibition at Michael Mut Gallery (97 Ave. C) from May 1 - May 25. Opening reception is May 2, 6-8pm. and May 4, 11-6pm at the New Museum

 


 

still counting...

Installation by Michael Mut

Image of Still Counting by Michael Mut at Michael Mut Gallery, Lower East Side, New York

Beginning in 2004, "...and counting..." was my reaction to the violence and murder of the devastating incidents of 9/11 and the ongoing reports of death in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was an opportunity to put myself and others through the tough questions that surround violence and murder. I arrived at a conundrum: "I am opposed to killing and war, I love my country, but my government wages war... I pay taxes, and those dollars are used for warfare...I am ultimately inextricably connected to the whole process. I am killing innocent people with my money"

"...still counting..." expands my focus to include all acts of murder committed around the globe.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the next phase of the installation was put into action in New York City. Tagged mummies were placed in various locations throughout the city and the world, and I invite you to find and follow these objects to my website for more information and opportunities for participation.

From September to December 3, 2011, Michael Mut Gallery hosted the installation exposing the horrors of genocide. Over 9000 mummies were piled up in a pool of blood as you walked into the space. New mummies will be created daily to commemorate the murders that take place every day around the globe.

Image of Still Counting by Michael Mut at Michael Mut Gallery, Lower East Side, New York

 



Artists

 

Artist Maureen Kelleher at Michael Mut Gallery New York

maureen kelleher

After graduating the University of Florida with a degree in philosophy, and turning down a Peace Corps teaching assignment in Cameroun, Maureen Kelleher moved to New Orleans in 1982.

She held a number of odd jobs -- housemother to the mentally disabled, fence painter, fry cook, case worker, secretary, typesetter.

She bumped into the case of Gary Tyler in 1987 and got involved in community activism, 24/7.

She was trained to be a private investigator by one of the best criminal fact investigators in the country, and currently works as a capital habeas investigator with attorneys who represent men on Louisiana’s death row.  She worked on the case of Curtis Kyles (exonerated off LA death row Feb 1998) and John Thompson (exonerated off LA death row May 2003) and at the trial level, has prevented a lot of innocent men from being shipped off to LA Sate Penitentiary.   

She evacuated New Orleans fifteen hours before Katrina hit, drove north for three days, with a stop in Belzoni, Mississippi  [to figure out what to do next].  

Ms. Kelleher currently lives in Hoboken NJ with her especially significant significant other.

She continues to work as a criminal fact investigator, north and south of the Mason-Dixon Line, and likes to write.


Weeds 1, Provincetown, Mass.  Glyn, 1994 by Michael Mut at Michael Mut Gallery New York

michael mut

I started being very creative at a young age, but no one pushed me in that direction and I had no idea that I would actually become an artist. Until one day out of loneliness I started painting and began the process of healing myself. I had to learn to love myself.

I studied business and fashion, got a license to cut hair, and took some courses in photography and painting. I remember the first time I saw Cy Twombly's work. I ran home and painted the night away. Ever since then I haven't been able to stop. Though my work can be visually beautiful, it also speaks to my deeper relationship to humanity and my awareness of my deeper self.

Today I feel like.."Hey what ever works!" So I've learned how to make my life work for me. I love what I do and I am grateful for all that is. And if life really doesn't have a purpose, I know that I can always create one for myself. One of my missions that I am passionate about is getting the word out to "love yourself". So I've been working on "love yourself" art for 5 years and it has created a big change in the way I see myself and the world around me.

As my love for myself grows, so does my love for all living things. I began using nearly 90% recycled materials and found objects, creating installations about human relationships, and I even started eating raw and organic foods.

Art has helped me grow spiritually and intellectually....a huge change from the lonely man who thought picking up a paint brush might help.

 


Artist George Towne at Michael Mut Gallery New York

george towne

Towne’s work is engaging, sexually charged, and is set in defined backgrounds. This allows him to highlight specific light sources and utilize his “Painterly Realistic” style.

Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Port Jervis, New York, Towne realized he loved drawing as a young man, and often found himself copying caricatures out of old "Mad" Magazines. After his high school art teacher bought him his first set of oil paints, he started to become more serious about making art. Towne cites Old Masters Caravaggio and Velasquez, as well as American painter Thomas Eakins, as his influences.

Towne’s grants, residencies, and awards include: Visual AIDS Materials Grant, 2007, 2009, 2010; SVA Summer Studio Residencies, 2006, 2007; Stonewall Community Foundation, 2002; Paula Rhodes Memorial Award, 1997; and the SVA Alumni Society Award.

His work has been reproduced and written about in publications such as American Artist Magazine, Time Out New York, and HX. Next Magazine put a piece on the Cover in Spring 2010. Recently, he has been attending two Gay Men's "Erotic Life Drawing" groups: "The Leslie/Lohman Erotic Drawing Studio" and "Harvey Redding's Queer Men's Erotic Art Workshop" that meets at the LGBT Center.

George has settled in New York's East Village neighborhood, and has continued with his love of painting and depicting masculine images.


Artist Mark Roth at Michael Mut Gallery New York

mark roth

"When your back's up against the wall, it means everything's in front of you."

Roth borrows a line from his performance days to aptly describe the contemplative underpinnings of the Plank-Lever Series.

With the planet's imperiled viability in frightening focus, it can feel we are collectively walking the plank to a futureless doom. Still, it is also true that the sun has not yet hit peak light and the heart is a resilient organ. With a shift in application, the extreme place at which we find ourselves - the end of the plank - becomes a lever, the privileged position offering maximum leverage to effect change. It's simple physics, a kind of opportunity by default.

Mark Roth is an East Village-based painter devoted to process and the rigors of oil. He is the creator of TINSQUO.com and, in an earlier incarnation, a central figure in Chicago’s performance art renaissance of the 1980s and 90s.


Artist Maximiliano Siñani at Michael Mut Gallery New York

maximiliano siñani

Maximiliano Siñani (born March 6, 1989) is a prominent Bolivian artist based in New York. He was born in La Paz, Bolivia, educated in the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés in La Paz and continued in New York at the School of Visual Arts. His works are based in the everyday, treating the signifier of common objects to be transformed into a new signifier. A linguistic lap. His pieces were showing in several exhibitions such as the Art Basel Miami Beach, Paratissima in Torino, Italy and the Bienal Siart Bolivia. A constant world traveler, Siñani and his wife Ilaria Garbero, divide their time between La Paz and New York.


Artist John Seung-Hwan Lee at Michael Mut Gallery New York

john seung-hwan lee

John Seung-Hwan Lee was born in 1987 while his father was studying at University of Texas. After finishing his study, Dr. Lee returned back to Korea with his pregnant wife and son.

Lee spent most of his childhood in South Korea until he started going to high school in Santa Barbara, California in 2002. In 2003, Lee's family besides Lee himself had to leave the United State when Dr. Lee, faculty at Han-Yang University, completed his sabbatical. Lee started practicing independence at Midland School, a college-prep boarding school which relied heavily on self-sufficient, minimal, and outdoor lifestyle as well community compatibility.

At Midland, Lee found and decided to pursue his interest in visual arts at Alfred University. Influenced by the school's educational system and principle, Lee explored from photography and video to graphic design to glass and painting. When he was ten, Lee’s parents sent him to a calligraphy academy for a short while. Although he was too young to appreciate the beauty and force of calligraphy, later when he found attraction for abstract expressionism, Lee realized his earlier practice in calligraphy has always resided subconsciously.

Growing up in South Korea, Lee was always interested in learning Taekwondo, the national sport and very popular among kids. However, despite his wish to learn, Lee could not take lessons because of his struggle against leukemia. When Lee had his first contact with Taekwondo at the age of sixteen, he took it more seriously than he would have when he was younger. His interest in taekwondo expanded to general martial arts in various styles as well as other physical activities such as breakdance.

At Alfred University, Lee started experimenting to combine many different materials he learned and practiced. After his graduation in 2011, Lee moved to New York City in 2011 to continue his experimentation and practice of art as well as to have more exposure to art and culture.


Artist Luis Carle at Michael Mut Gallery New York

luis carle

Santos in a Bag: A New Puerto Rican Hagiography by Luis Carle

Santos, or "holy images," embody generations of Hispanic artistic tradition and religious devotion. They represent the aspirations and devotions of devotees to make unique spiritual and religious devotion. Santos display "soul" as emblems of devotion, but their "substance" also reveals history and meaning. Santos are intermediaries with the power to communicate with God on behalf of their devotees. Believers may ask a saint to help cure an illness, bring consolation, or avert a disaster.

A saint's power, in turn, arises from his or her ability to perform requested favors or miracles. Traditionally, santos were seen as messengers between earth and Heaven.

As such, they occupied a special place on household altars, where people prayed to them, asked for help, or tried to summon their protection.

For the believer, each santo is imbued with the saint's spirit whom they invoke through prayer to intercede with God on their behalf. For example, saints might be asked to help bring about physical healing or spiritual consolation, to help one find a mate, or to ensure the safe return of a loved one.

Saints are rewarded for favors granted with modest offerings of flowers and milagros (miniature representations in silver or other metal symbolizing parts of the body that had been healed from disease or injury).

Special celebrations are held on the memorial or feast day of a favorite saint who is honored as the patron guardian of the household or of the community. These elaborate festivities, also known as fiestas patronales, bring people together for prayer, music, food, and socializing, and involved special rituals such as the velorio (prayer vigil accompanied by music) or rosario cantado (rosary prayers accompanied by religious songs).

The Puerto Rican art of the santero (artisan wood carver) has served a devotional purpose for three centuries. Today the santos embody devotional, artistic, and cultural attributes that reflect the past, but look forward to the future. Santeros carved portable images of Catholic saints for many rural households in Puerto Rico and other Latin countries in the "New World", following a religious craft tradition that hailed back to Spain. They traditionally fulfilled their mission as spiritual intercessors. In earlier times the image carvers of were not recognized as artists, but instead earned their reputation based on their spiritual efficacy, being called to their work by divine inspiration. Santos makers may carve parts of the figure separately. The figure's clothing and pose, as well as its attributes – the symbols associated with a particular saint such as flowers, swords, chalices, keys, or wings – can provide clues to their specific identity.

In the Santos in a Bag series, Puerto Rican photographer Luis Carle is experimenting with a new visual language that reinterprets the traditional imagery of the santos, not only as Catholic saints, but also in their syncretic manifestations within the santería tradition. Although born into a Catholic household, Carle did not grow up with a marked influence of the patron saints and their lore in his immediate domestic sphere. Following an earlier documentary project during the late 1990's that focused on exposing the malice of the pirate santeros who stole ancestral santos from rural homes to sell them to private collectors, his curiosity about these sacred images has continued to grow. After a challenging period in his personal life, his own spiritual quest has also brought the photographer closer to their spiritual arena, where intercession became a source of solace.

In his new Santos in a Bag series, Puerto Rican photographer Luis Carle experiments with a new visual language that effectively reinterprets traditional imagery into a new light. In some cases, Carle goes as far as inventing new types meant to address the particular circumstances and needs of their subjects based on what he coaxed from his conversations with individual models.

Unexpected, spontaneous combinations of props literally manifested before him as he worked with his models, resulting in inventive compositions that elaborate on the familiar imagery without being repetitive.

Throughout the series Carle explores the notion of spiritual ambivalence. In some cases he playfully explores the Jungian archetypal divine marriage between female and male energies – the Hieros Gamos as the union of the anima and the animus - by resorting to representations of androgyneity in a number of his photographs. The female and male energies each santo is meant to manifest result in portrayals simultaneously reify and contest sexual stereotypes.

Written by independent curator Anabelle Rodríguez, in collaboration with Luis Carle, José Vidal and Carlos Manuel Rivera.

 


 

Artist Kathy Creutzburg at Michael Mut Gallery New York

kathy creutzburg

I have always been an active participant within my physical environment, observing the interface between nature and man-made design from various points of view. My mind's eye perceives form and detail which I incorporate into my artistic practice as I I collect natural and discarded objects along the way to later assemble into sculptures that portray the essence of how human imagination shapes the natural world.

An active viewership community is key in creating a successful artistic practice. Viewers become more involved with an artwork and develop a relationship with the physical environment when I create interactive art projects. Interactivity is accomplished through a variety of methods. For instance, an installation may be site specific, contrasting its surrounding colors, textures and environment. A design which projects playful movement and thought draws the viewer through its physicality, diminishing the barriers inhibiting viewer perceptions of the art.

A door opens for the viewer as the creative process becomes a thought which is manifested in an artwork. Frequently, I collaborate with other artists or with a group to strengthen an idea and cultivate a production. Public space ideally maximizes the viewership of my artwork and art projects, exposing different types of views to art in a variety of ways.

As a sculptor and watercolorist, I like to think of my materials and ideas as collected remnants found along different paths. Some of these paths are taken alone, while others are shared. As I move forward, trails both tangible and invisible are left behind. The river becomes a metaphor for process, meandering in one direction and then another. Its water creates a path, transparent with nuances of perceived texture defined by light. On the shore lies the recycled remains of natural and man-made worlds. The contents of rivers reveal how we are active participants in our own natural setting.


Artist Zen Browne at Michael Mut Gallery New York

zen browne

"I am Zen, and I am a painter. My paintings are a culmination of my personal life experiences…"

Philadelphia born artist, Zen Browne, has resided in New York City for more than 2 decades. Browne's natural artistic talents were enhanced when he studied painting at the historic Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art during the early '80s.

"I've always painted since I was young. I grew up in a large family with a father who was a commercial artist. We were all encouraged to engage our selves creatively, TV was not allowed early-on. I went to after school art programs then eventually began attending more formal art classes that were more focused on drawing and painting." In 1985 Browne relocated to Alphabet City in the East Village of New York where he became involved in the "Squatting Movement" and mounted his first solo show, "Remember Move," at the Nuyorican Poet's Café.

"I was invited by a friend to become a member of a "squat" on 13th Street, given the task of removing some 300 windows from a raw space in the building. I was told, "if you can get theses windows out of here, the space is yours," so I got them out and that space became my first live studio space."

The "Squatting Movement" of the Lower East Side consisted of 50 buildings which were occupied by a host of artists and political activists. There were accomplished musicians, writers, poets and performers living alongside revolutionary-minded activists, a prostitute, a runaway, the occasional wonderer, and a few "bums."

"There was a soup kitchen, a theater stage, and open community spaces for folks who wanted to warm-up during the winter months around a huge pot belly wood burning stove. There was no heat or hot water in the building, so everyone had their own makeshift fire place and chimney to heat their spaces. We got our electricity from the streets in those days; the lights went out quite often! Many of my paintings were created in the mystique and flickering shadows of fire light."

Zen Browne's experience as a squatter allowed for a stimulating environment, and unique platform to communicate his life through painting.

"The cast of characters, personalities, political activism, and the drama of the social climate that surrounded the 50 buildings that made up the squatting community contributed significantly to my growth as a painter, spiritually, intellectually, politically, socially, culturally… it was rich… I was rich."

Using his life experiences as fuel for vision, Zen Browne has been teaching the art of painting throughout the metropolitan area for the past 20 years. He has also taught abroad from Europe to down the Amazon. Browne draws from his personal experiences as a source for the pedagogy of his unique teaching style of painting.

"Because painting is life, and incorporating life experiences into painting is what paintings is all about… be it objective or subjective... they cannot be separated".

In 2005, Browne took his first step towards what he felt was his real and true physical life, and transitioned to male. The work on display reflects on identity and serves as a mirror by portraying transsexual men who bring their stories into an encounter with Browne's own experience. The project was begun in 2009 and is ongoing. In the future, Browne plans to create a parallel series of portraits of transsexual women.

"Over the years my paintings have explored the idea of 'searching.'"

Many of Browne's past paintings were allegorical narratives involving a seemingly lone sojourner in a "grand and expressive" natural universe that is "spiritually and ancestrally" rich. Zen's body of work entitled "Internal Landscapes" largely dealt with personal and spiritual experience. These works explored the realms of identity through visual allegory and metaphor; focusing on themes of personal journey, quest and transformation. They opened the door to the current portrait series on view.

 

Obscure Identities

Artist: Zen Browne

June 5 - 22, 2013
Reception: June 6, 6 - 8pm

 Image of Artwork by Artist Zen Browne June 2013 at Michael Mut Gallery, Lower East Side, New York   Image of Artwork by Artist Zen Browne June 2013 at Michael Mut Gallery, Lower East Side, New York

"Obscure Identities" presents paintings from 2009 to the present by East Village artist Zen Browne. These portraits of transsexual men meditate on identity and serve to counteract the underrepresentation of the transsexual experience in visual culture. They also mirror Browne's own sense of selfhood, both artistically and personally. Where Browne's past work has documented a self-expression in flux through allegorical representation, his adaption of the portrait form serves to ground these themes of transformation in everyday life, producing representations of friends and acquaintances that are at once intimate and real. The portraits on view strive to locate a commonality on the plane of human experience, while initiating a constructive dialogue about the spectrum and self-expression of gender identity.

Browne's return to figural representation reflects his interest if the formal characteristics of painting. It has allowed him the opportunity to explore color, the play of light, and the human form in his own expressive style. His absorption with the material reality of the painting process can be seen in several works-in-process presented alongside a video documenting Browne at work in his studio.

 



 

michael mut - gallery owner, artist


Gallery Owner, Michael Mut Gallery, Lower East Side, NY — 2009 - 2014 Art space (MM Project Space) featured underrepresented populations such as LGBTQ, women, and minorities. Raised awareness of the function of an art gallery. Curated more than 45 empowerment, political and edgy provocative exhibitions to inspire the community to participate. Build community bridges and inspire community involvement with internship programs with NYC schools.

Education

  • Art Student League, New York, NY 1999-2000
  • International School of Photography, New York, NY 1996-1999
  • Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT 1980-1984

Solo

  • Weigh It, Pay It Michael Mut Gallery, New York, NY 2011
  • "I Hate Hating" Michael Mut Gallery, New York, NY 2010
  • "...still counting " 97 Ave. C, New York, NY 2010
  • Gem Hotel, Chelsea NY, NY 2009
  • "We are all the same"” 68 Jay St. DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY 2008
  • "...and counting..." 45 Main St. DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY 2006
  • "...and counting..." "Installation on Violence/Killing", Denise Bibro Fine Art Gallery, NY, NY 2005-06
  • Permanent commissioned outdoor installation, Savannah, GA 2003-06
  • Scrapings - Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ 2005
  • Scrapings - Recent Paintings, Denise Bibro Fine Art Gallery, NY, NY 2004
  • Jadite Gallery, 413 West 50th Street, NY, NY 2003
  • "Dickin Around" Installation, One Little West 12th St. NY, NY 2001
  • Relatedness - Soho Photo, NY, NY 1998
  • The Hoofdzaak, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 1996

Group

  • Sculpted Memory, Rush Arts Gallery NY, NY 2011
  • "small works" 80 Washington Square East Gallery, NY, NY 2008
  • BWAC Outdoor Sculpture Show, Brooklyn, NY 2008
  • Red Dot Miami, Miami, FL 2007
  • Earth Matters International Exhibition, TX 2007
  • CIR Pride Week Artists Exhibition, NY, NY 2007
  • Red Dot Art Fair, NY, NY 2007
  • "small works" 80 Washington Square East Gallery, NY, NY 2007
  • SOMARTS Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2007
  • ArtMiami, Miami, FL 2007
  • Gallery on the Green, Pawling, NY 2007
  • September Exhibition, Denise Bibro Fine Art Gallery, NY, NY 2006
  • D.u.m.b.o. Art Under the Bridge, Brooklyn, NY 2005-06
  • Chicago Contemporary and Fine Art Exhibit, Chicago, IL 2005
  • Creatures, Denise Bibro Fine Art Gallery, NY, NY 2005
  • Albright-Knox Museum, Buffalo, NY 2005
  • Art Expo Philadelphia, Denise Bibro Fine Art Gallery, NY, NY 2004
  • ArtMiami International, Miami, FL 2004
  • Night of 1000 Drawings, Artist's Space, NY, NY 2004
  • CLAMPART Gallery, NY, NY 2003
  • Globe Institute of Technology, NY, NY 2002
  • Wessel & O'Connor Gallery, NY, NY 2001
  • Soho Photo Gallery, NY, NY 1997-00
  • Works Published in Male Bonding Vol 2, Fotofactory Press, David Aden Gallery, Venice Beach, CA 1998
  • Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA 1995

Books/CD's

  • 2008 Oprah O magazine color people sculpture
  • 2005 New NY Crossroads, A Journey to Oneness, Illustrations
  • 2005 CD Cover, "Can I Count On You?", Richard Holley

Community

  • Red Cross, NY
  • Visual Aids, NY
  • Glaad, NY
  • Berkeley Carrol School, Brooklyn, NY
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters, San Francisco, CA
  • Art donation for PhotoVoice, NY
  • Art donation for Live Out Loud, NY
  • Art donation for Miami Light Project, FL
  • The Green Guerillas Community Youth Mural Project, NY
  • Art donation for Broadway Cares Foundation, NY
  • Art donation to benefit LGBT Community Center, NY
  • Art donation to silent auction for The Human Rights Campaign, NY
  • Children's photo calendar for Tamarand Foundation to benefit children with HIV/AIDS, NY
  • AIDS project New Haven fundraiser, New Haven, CT
  • Congress Festival to raise money for Earth Day, CT

Awards

  • Juror Award, "small works", New York University, NY
  • Honorable Mention, Soho Photo Gallery, NY
  • Connecticut Friends of Adopted Children, CT

 

MichaelMutGallery.com