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Adam Green: Hot Chicks

The musician and artist's latest gallery offering, with a cast of friends

by David Graver in Culture on 03 January 2014

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In a vibrant, mesmerizing match of childlike wonder and moderate perversion, musician and artist Adam Green's latest show at NYC's The Hole gallery features the exploratory wit for which Green has become known. Through "Hot Chicks" (running through 31 January 2014) Green explores the female form, warps beauty and indulges in bold swathes of color across 40 oil crayon and assorted pencil and pen pieces. Acting as a counterbalance, Green also dedicated an entire wall to artwork by an array of talented creators.

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"The idea for the series started while I was on tour," Green explains to CH. "I was thinking, could I draw something that my bandmates could jerk off to? So I started drawing pictures of women and asking them, 'Could you jerk off to this?' And the answer was always no or... maybe." He began drawing the new series on-and-off over the last six months. "After I got back from that tour I got on a real manic trip drawing these chicks constantly," he says. It was then he began to attach meaning to the process: "I've spent a few years meditating on the idea of noise as pain, noise as a spice, trying to draw noise. These are definitely 'Noise Chicks' with a digital ketamine glitch."

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Green cites previous distortion of the female form as an inspiration—from DeKooning to Bacon—but the drawings are also infused with the roughness of early video game imagery. "I'd call these pieces 'Erotic Information.' I've always had a love for pixelated-flesh. I guess I relate to Paul Thek that way, like how he makes flesh-cubes." Green likens the works to "downloaded boob blocks with digital distortion."

There is an innocence to the artistry, much like the wandering eyes of a youth entering puberty. With that, an edge juts forward which calls upon a kind of "naughty boy" tinge. "It's with a lot of passion, and my line has a sort of crackhead-style. There's a decadence to everything that I do, always glorifying drinking or drugs or sex or something like that. Maybe I'm kind of a cubic-expressionist or a romantic symbolist who draws like a naughty boy."

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Standing alone on one wall, a papier-mâché and acrylic sculpture offers a three dimensional version of the essence of the show. It maintains the same 8-bit sensibility found within the various drawings. For a show titled "Hot Chicks" these images are not hot—they explore various archetypes from strippers to mothers and all-the-while viewers feel the artist almost smirking from within the work. There is humor and irony and, although the line work is rough by choice, the message is not: Question what is beauty, determine what is tactile and what is digital, explore what is female and figure out where (if at all) they meet.

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Green's "And Friends" portion consists of a wall with 20 pieces. He instructed his friends simply to draw a female. The resulting works feature everything from a surrealist Dustin Yellin offering to a Jeffrey Lewis comic book rendering. "It's amazing how the woman that most people draw is grotesque! For me, the friend's wall was really rewarding because it caused all these great pieces to be created that otherwise wouldn't have been made," Green said. The wall also includes drawings by Devendra Banhart, Alia Shawkat, Matt Leines, Macaulay Culkin and Har Mar Superstar, among others.

Lead photo and sculpture photo by David Graver, all other images courtesy of Adam Green

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