Jayson Musson first hit the art world radar with an online series, “Art Thoughtz,” in which he dropped deep knowledge behind the satirical guise of “Hennessey Youngman.” He went on to make a name for himself, sans persona, with a debut show at Salon 94 that featured enormous paintings composed of collaged Coogi sweaters. His latest exhibition at the gallery, “Exhibit of Abstract Art,” on view through June 21, recreates actual paintings and sculptures seen in the comic strip “Nancy.” Below is an excerpt of an interview with ArtInfo:
Would you consider the pieces in “Exhibit of Abstract Art” to be appropriation works, since they’re taken directly from the “Nancy” cartoon? Or is that too simplistic of a way to think of them?
I guess in some respects they are, but there was never a conscious point while making this body of work where I was like, “I wish to make Appropriation Art.” I guess that appropriation as a strategy for making work is like a non-thought; there’s so much data and noise floating around that culling from the pre-existing materials and reorganizing them into something else — whether it’s appropriation, assemblage, collage, or a photo on Twitter that’s re-captioned for a transient joke — is a natural (for this time at least) way of making things.
For those new to street art, you may not be familiar with the work of NohJColey. The artist creates sculptural works as well as wheatpastes throughout New York, often dealing with themes of racism as well as portraits of people he knows. He last held a solo exhibition at Weldon Arts; the space was transformed with pieces set under bottles, fences adhered to walls, and patterned stencils.