“I Wanna Be Me” Exhibition

66 Orchard

poster for “I Wanna Be Me” Exhibition
[Image: Balthus (1908 - 2001) ADOLESCENTE AUX CHEVEUX ROUX, (1947) Oil on canvas 25 5/8 x 31 7/8 in.]

This event has ended.

There seems to be a proclamation floating around that “punk rock is dead.” Though the years have long eschewed any ‘70’s suffix, the perception of subculture has vastly shifted, and several outspoken protagonists have tragically departed, the fundamental elements of punk rock are still as stubbornly resilient and vivacious as they were at its inception. What brought the generation together was a common goal, a mutual instinct to rebel against complacency, and in the case of CBGB’s fetid bathroom, a camaraderie in common suffering.

It was a cultural revolution: the conditions were right, the timing ripe, and gamy institutions like CBGB and Max’s Kansas City attracted actively engaged crowds, facilitating a fevered growth. The music ignited a new form of expression, an aggravated belief, and these venues were the dirty shrines. 66 Orchard’s I Wanna Be Me conjures the bold essence of the punk rock scene by assembling the seminal works of iconoclastic artists and framing them within a grimy bathroom scene and haphazard stage set up, thick with the encrusted strata of DIY stickers and vagrant graffiti tags.

The show’s title I Wanna Be Me is directly lifted from the classic discography of the Sex Pistols; its heady tune emphasizes the exhibition’s thematic mission to celebrate the singularity of personal expression and pay homage to the ingenuity of pioneering artists. 66 Orchard indulges in a perfect maelstrom of critical painters, bringing to the fore the dusty silence of Hammershøi in succession with the sexual disquiet of Balthus, and the feminist pop of Burga placed beside the acute surrealism of Dali and the bold and bright Hyon Gyon.

To be sure, I Wanna Be Me does not try to suggest an immediate link between the artists and the punk rock era; there is no intertwined clandestine history or cult-inspired mythos conspiratorially implicating them as the founding parentage of the punk scene (or at least none to our knowledge.) The offbeat assemblage simply boils down to the shared desire to create in defiance of the conventional and how the legacy of these visual artists are analogous to the raucous, music-oriented culture of the late 1970’s.



from February 19, 2016 to May 03, 2016

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