Will Kurtz – Another Shit Show: Artist Spotlight (New York 2013)

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Will is a Michigan-born artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He was interviewed at Mike Weiss gallery at his one-man-show openning called “Another Shit Show” on March 21, 2013.

Another Sh*t Show, the second solo exhibition by Brooklyn-based artist Will Kurtz at the Mike Weiss Gallery . Using the empty gallery as a site on which to stage operatic, all-encompassing mise-en-scene, Kurtz makes an ambitious, multi-part figure installation that throws the facade off human nature – albeit in canine terms. Constructed of unlikely materials such as newspaper, glue, wire and wood, more than 20 dogs of every breed, size and color, strain and cavort off the leash of a single human handler, each rendered more expressively than the next.

Kurtz, a master of anatomy, achieves an utterly believable aesthetic by building up layer upon layer of yesterday’s news, held together by exposed grommets and endless amounts of masking tape. In his 2012 exhibition Extra F*cking Ordinary, Kurtz proved his uncanny facility for depicting everyday New Yorkers with an irreverent yet impressive attention to detail and body language, as well subtle cultural nuances – a visual marriage of the likes of Duane Hanson, George Segal, and Red Grooms.

Here, the artist continues to work perfectly to scale, from the tiny, mischievous Min-Pin Dre to the mammoth Bull Mastiffs, Lefty and Cooper. Intentionally leaving large headlines and slogans clearly visible, each anthropomorphic beast becomes both time capsule and social commentator. Lemar, the stout, snaggle-toothed English Bulldog bears a New York Times review of Patti Smith, weaving his own mini-narrative out of Arts & Culture snippets. Theo the brindle-pied pit bears the poignant fragments of a beloved athletic icon’s obituary, while Linda the dog handler sports a vibrant pastiche of political exposés and gendered comic clippings. Ultimately, such intuitive, non-linear connections feel spot on: we’re all the product of the same schizophrenic urban culture; free-ranging pieces of a social fabric we all share.
And sometimes, we need to claim our territory, take our desires — and grievances — for a ‘walk’.

Will Kurtz received his MFA from the New York Academy of Art where he was the recipient of the Postgraduate Fellowship, 2009 – 2010. His work is currently in the Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation, Jersey City; Tullman Collection, Chicago; Krupp Family Foundation, Boston and the Collection Majuda, Montreal. Kurtz was born in Michigan and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

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