Please Sign In: The Fractal Drawings of Ray Vuoso

February 11 – March 22, 2013

Ray Vuoso crafts churning, fecund worlds in rigid, regimented environs. Using crayon, oil pastel and earnest investment, he creates works that seem to transcend scale: they read, alternately, as microscopic investigations of cellular life and as satellite views of teeming landscapes. 

Please Sign In reveals Vuoso’s personal aim to cover every inch of paper with every visual idea he can conjure. This impulse derives to some extent from the unique scenario under which he works.

“For nearly 30 years I’ve worked as a security guard. The last few, I mostly work the nightshift in corporate lobbies. It’s a good job, gives me time to think and that turned into time to make art. I never set out to, it just happened on its own – doodles turned into faces, mostly in the newspaper margins. Eventually, I started bringing in my own paper and it went from there.”

Slowly evolving and obsessively rendered, the works are done on the sly with frequent interruptions. Vuoso recounts he chose his paper size because he could slip it into the desk binder if he had to conceal it rapidly.

“I like art. It’s relaxing and it’s a good place for my ideas. To my friends, I joke I’m a corporate lobby artist … but only literally.”

Curated by Mark Roth

The show, Please Sign In: The Fractal Drawings of Ray Vuoso resides at the Adjacent to Life pop-up gallery housed in Ninth Street Espresso (341 E. 10th Street at Ave B). Drop by for some earnest espresso and art to match.

image: Steep Ravine, 11" x 8.5” oil pastel on paper.

In Retrospect: Paintings by Mark Roth

March 3 – April 4, 2014

Picasso is said to have explained that he’d sometimes leave a painting unfinished in the corner of the studio. Weeks, months or even years later, he’d unearth that canvas to discover it magically resolved, as if on its own.

The paintings displayed here reflect a similar dynamic. While I’ve always considered them resolved, a critical transformation has occurred during the many years since they were archived in my studio.

This aesthetic alchemy is driven by a multi-fold mechanism. Partly, the works stand as irreproducible relics of an aspirant artist in the thrall of the New York School painters. The doors to that former self now closed, they also retroactively connect-the-dots to subsequent evolution. I’m glad to have this opportunity to share them with you.

Picasso might have considered this art of recovery the aesthetics of self-compassion - increased self-acceptance on the part of the painter leads to a tempered critical eye. Could Picasso’s tale have been a wink and nod to the retrospective gaze as another tool at the artist’s disposal?

                                                                                       - Mark Roth

In Retrospect resides at the Adjacent to Life pop-up gallery housed in Ninth Street Espresso (341 E. 10th Street at Ave B).

image: Mark Roth, Fibonacci, 48” x 40” oil on canvas


Day is Done from Five Leaves Left by Nick Drake