This March, Grizzly Grizzly is excited to host a two-person exhibition entitled ’Sadly, occupied,’ featuring Baltimore artist, Gary Kachadourian and New York artist, Michael Siporin Levine. The immersive show, incorporating large-scale and intimately rendered drawings, boldly graphic prints, and a cut out animation, brings together two artists with divergent takes on private spaces. Each artist draws from a different set of formal references and techniques, yet both offer a worldview imbued with humor, irony, melancholy, and affection.
Gary Kachadourian creates tightly rendered drawings and meticulous prints, depicting often unnoticed public and private spaces. His renderings can seem detached and objective, yet his attention to detail suggests an obsessive care for these unremarkable environments. For Sadly, occupied, Kachadourian turns his attention to public restrooms. On display will be his full-scale model of a port-a-potty, along with a set of luminous aquatints of public bathrooms.
In Siporin Levine’s work, mundane snippets of daily life are abstracted and deconstructed through print and video. He employs gesture, shape, and sound to describe the awkward and emotional connection to intimate spaces and experiences. For Sadly, occupied, Siporin Levine will be presenting a series of relief prints and an animation, Sad Karaoke: Making Believe, in which those print motifs create a strange narrative about home, love, and loss.
For both men, an exploration of scale plays an important role. Exploring a physical space from different scales and vantage points, we experience Kachadourian’s drive to comprehend an environment using a thorough visual analysis – whether he utilizes a 1:16 bird’s eye rendering or a 1:1 scale model which a person can enter. In Siporin Levin’s video, Sad Karaoke: Making Believe, we see drawings magically come to life in traditional stop motion form, yet moments later the artist places himself in the frame, a puppet master moving the drawings around on an overhead projector. Still later, a miniature Siporin Levin becomes part of the animation – his drawn hands on a drawn projector in a futile attempt to alter his actions.
Both artists will be attendance at the opening. Michael Siporin Levine will be performing Horse Projector on First Friday at Grizzly Grizzly, 8:00PM.
Siporin Levine's Horse Projector will reflect on the themes and imagery present in Sadly, occupied, and will act as a culmination of this series of work. Props, subject matter, and imagery within the performance reference modernist and avant-garde puppetry of the late early 20th century, early experimental animation, country music, and karaoke.
Gary Kachadourian makes scale drawings of objects, surfaces, and locations that exist in the public or personal space that he regularly interacts with. Each selected object, surface, or location is measured, photographed, and drawn to scale, scanned, adjusted in scale and printed in book, life-sized poster, or room covering form. He has recently begun working on a new set of books utilizing scraped aquatints of illusionistic depictions of public spaces and buildings. After living in Baltimore, MD for 58 years he is now living Tulsa, Oklahoma as part of the Tulsa Artist Fellowship. Recent exhibitions include the The Nothing That Is, CAM Raleigh; Tree Lined Street, Space Gallery, Portland, ME; 12th National Drawing Invitational, Arkansas Art Center; Forest/City at FAM/Western Carolina University; Home Maker at Purchase College, SUNY; Floorplan at PLUG Projects, Kansas City, MO; Baker Artists Awards Exhibition at The Baltimore Museum of Art. His books and posters have been carried by Atomic Books, Printed Matter, and Quimby’s Bookstore. He received a Mary Sawyers Baker Prize and a Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant in 2011 and the Trawick Prize and a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Grant both in 2013.
He was the Visual Arts Coordinator for the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, formerly the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Art and Culture, from 1987 to 2009 where he coordinated grant programs, exhibitions for Artscape, the city’s mural program and numerous temporary public arts projects in the city of Baltimore. In 2012 he completed his MFA degree at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Michael Siporin Levine is a visual artist, working in drawing, printmaking, video, animation and installation. Michael graduated with a BFA in studio art from the University of Connecticut (2011), and an MFA in printmaking from The Lamar Dodd School of Art at The University of Georgia (2014). This spring Michael is the Visiting Artist in Residence at Counterproof Press at the University of Connecticut. In the fall of 2016 Michael completed an Artist in Residence at Knox College where he taught Experimental Printmaking, and produced work for a solo exhibition and mixed media installation. From May-September of 2016 he was the Print Fellow at the Wassaic Project Artist Residency in Wassaic, NY, where he developed his own work as well as assisted visiting artists with screen printed editions. In 2015 he was selected to participate in a public art installation as part of the Southern Graphics Council in Knoxville, TN. In the spring of 2014, Michael received a grant from the Latin American and Caribbean Studies institute at the University of Georgia to travel to Cuba to work alongside artists as he studied contemporary Cuban printmaking. His work has been shown in museums and galleries throughout the United States, including The Georgia Museum of Art (Athens, GA), The Asheville Art Museum (Asheville, NC), Athens Institute for Contemporary Art (Athens, GA), The Joseloff Gallery at The Hartford Art School (Hartford, CT), and Art Space in Willimantic (Willimantic, CT).