PUBLIC HOTEL, BY IAN SCHRAGER
THE NIGHT YOU LEFT
TOWNHOUSE, GREENWICH VILLAGE
SOHO HOUSE/ LUDLOW HOUSE
FEMALE ARTISTS, SOCIAL CHANGE
ALL TOO HUMAN
Baron von Fancy Selections includes both ink on paper pieces and a large scale commissioned oil painting, curated by Emie Diamond, on view at Hotel Americano. The artful yet playful brilliance of Gordon Stevenson aka Baron von Fancy exists in the compelling, invisible, and ambiguous space between art and technology. In our modern age of vast technological growth, where aversion to newness is seemingly (un)natural, Baron von Fancy has forged his path exploring the connectedness of social media. With his witty and satirical ink reaching an extensive following on instagram, he has become an innovator in his space and set the technological stage for generation of artists to come.
In this time of polarizing views on the co-existence of the internet and art- a true cultural transition- there is much discussion regarding whether or not we have arrived at a different reality for what it means to be an artist. This extends deep into the industry, with collectors and institutions presenting contrasting views on how to integrate, challenge or accept the emergence of technology as a shift of norms. We begin to pose the question ‘what is a norm’ and how much of it is a construct of short-sighted, contemporary-biased views.
Take a moment to consider television, the last great technological break-through before the internet. In the 1960s Andy Warhol was notoriously one of the first artists to recognize its revolutionizing nature and popularized it in his work. Warhol dove into this new medium, utilizing images from television for his screen prints and producing such films as How to Put on Your Makeup, seeing his television programs as ready-made art.
In the last 1960s and early 1970s there were also artists creating works that were anti-media. For instance Carlota Schoolman and Richard Serra produced the video Television Delivers People challenging pop culture as a control tactic and social construct.
Nevertheless, Warhol’s fearlessness to embrace new media transformed the art world. At the Leo Castelli Gallery in 1966, Warhol created an installation Silver Clouds, with the assistance of Bell Labs Electrical engineers. This work was groundbreaking in it’s unique existence at the intersection of art and technology- an art piece that was ‘On Air.’
Fifty years later, the presence of the internet makes art more visible to the public then ever before and Baron von Fancy continues to challenge the pre-conceived assumptions of art and technology. His work encompasses wit, humor, irony, connecting with viewers and triggering emotional responses that are sincere, provocative, and robust. He speaks to us through our screens, showing and telling at the same time. Undeniably, Baron von Fancy is a dominant voice and ambitious force of the millennial generation.