The first time we met Tim Spelios was when he performed at Alexis Hubshman’s legendary Grizzly Lodge at Scope New York 2007. The Cartoon Cover Band’s (Tim Spelios, David Weinstein, Matt Freeman) performance is one of VernissageTV’s all time favorites. So we didn’t want to miss Tim Spelios’ solo show at Studio 10 in Brooklyn.
The gallery is located in Brooklyn’s Borgart Street. The show is titled “Scissors, Paper, Glue and Books I Can’t Cut Up” and that’s already a good description of what visitors get to see. Brookly-based artist Tim Spelios creates collages out of flyers, books, magazines, trade catalogs and manuals that he collects and mostly finds at flea markets, second hand book shops or on the street. In his work he creates strange and irrational connections. The collages he creates often seem to be abstract, with images becoming identifiable as the viewer has a closer look at the work. The exhibition at Studio 10 also includes an installation with books that he judged to be too special to be cut.
Hit the jump for the complete press release. VernissageTV also filmed one of Tim Spelios’ performances as drummer of the band “Mr. Klopp” (Tim Spelios, Mark Deffenbaugh, John Sherman, Tony Maimone) on March 10, 2012. Another performance in association with the exhibition is going to take place on March 24, 2012, 7:30 – 10:00 pm.
Tim Spelios: Scissors, Paper, Glue and Books I Can’t Cut Up / Solo Show at Studio 10, New York. Opening reception, March 2, 2012.
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Spelios’s original source materials become the means to mine obscure connections and create irrational associations through juxtapositions of images and objects. The obsolete materials he collects include flyers, books, magazines, trade catalogs and manuals which are often found at flea markets, second hand book shops or on the street. Spelios has a particular wonderment in the printed matter with the covers torn, important pages removed or defaced.
Wandering the city is integral to Spelios’s process as is working late at night, a time he finds conducive to getting lost in the photographic fragments of his experience. Much of his time is spent removing and obscuring the content of the source material in a palimpsest. He says, “when you’re lifting samples from well-known pop music, you don’t want recognition of the original tune getting in the way of creating something new.” Spelios works quickly and on multiple projects simultaneously. He feels that the speed and multiplicity of his method prevents the process from getting too comfortable, since the images are quickly used. He says, “fluctuation and unevenness are part of the mix, a sort of disjoint history lesson with hallucinogenic discord.” The glutton of material is cut and disassembled with scissors and razors then rearranged to create new associations. The hand cut photo collages wrestle with the tension between abstraction and identifiable images. Though each work is made entirely by hand, the precise execution belies the painstaking effort.
In some cases, the collage is simply one image placed over another such as in the series “Defaced.” The content and context of the original painted and photographed portraits is obliterated by a single, curvilinear fragment cut from an unrelated source resulting in an irreverent dislocation. In other collages, dozens of fragments are layered, creating an intimate, ambiguous and cacophonous space. Also included in the exhibition is the installation Books I Can’t Cut Up, 2012 which consists of approximately seven wooden sawhorses of different heights with thin tabletops haphazardly placed on the horses. Books that are determined too special to be cut lie opened to random pages on the tabletops for viewers to thumb through.
As chance plays a role in Spelios finding the printed matter, so it continues in creating peculiar relationships between the disparate elements associated in the collage. “It’s a visual stream of consciousness with a pinch of free jazz and blurry eyes… I like things organized so I try to keep my worktable as cluttered and chaotic as possible. Comfort can create problems,” he says.
Spelios has exhibited at Exit Art, The Drawing Center, Sculpture Center, Smack Mellon Studios, Long Island University, Pierogi Gallery, and Parkers Box among others. Spelios teaches at Pratt Institute, and taught at The University of Illinois at the Phillips Collection in D.C. Caroline Cox and Tim Spelios, co-founded and ran Flipside Gallery from 1996-2001.
Performances in association with the exhibition:
March 10, 7:30 – 10:00 pm
March 24, 7:30 – 10:00 pm
The band, Mr. Klopp, will play on both nights. The Kloppasonic sound is an unpredictable amalgam of Cajun, Blues, Country, Psychedelic and Free Jazz.
Tim Spelios: drums
Mark Deffenbaugh: guitar
John Sherman: accordion
Tony Maimone: bass
Exhibition Dates: March 2, 2012 – March 26, 2012