A man (Myself) Text (Action)
DIE IN YOUR SHIT
Marinara - Gottis with God
No one gets to be alone anymore. Even those surprising instances when you get home before the roommates and you think you have a moment to yourself, you hear the social network tapping at the glass, the voice of some cloying co-workers echoing in your head, or you’re rehearsing an argument you plan on having with your boyfriend. When you realize none of these voices parsed out of the static silence is actually anyone who cares about you, but some general voice of the multitude telling you how it should be, you feel alone. The louder the voices, the lonelier you feel.
Touch is the antidote.
Either because we all fear loneliness, or perhaps because of the affordable housing crisis, Alex and Ian found each other on Facebook and moved in together. They smoke, they talk about their relationships, they reminisce about the gritty music scene that was so formative to the attitude they approach art with; one characterized by intuition and immediacy, and lately by an honesty about their stations in life. They might never get to be the rigorous, blue chip selling academics they once watched from a distance, but something about a canvas on the bedroom wall says something more timely about art’s potential anyway.
Alex and Ian are probably competitive with each other too (there’s not enough for everyone in the arts after all) but they definitely support each other. When that cacophony of voices follows them home into the solitude of their bedrooms, they need each other’s help to make sense of the noise. Alex’s work gleans claustrophobic echo chambers of men at their computers, occasionally letting their insecurities and shortcomings materialize on a canvas, while Ian draws from the silent, watchful eyes of surveillance cameras. They work through a new kind of loneliness together, one marked by the impossibility of really being alone.
"I'm telling you. People come and go in this Forest, and they say, It's only Eeyore, so it doesn't count.' They walk to and fro saying 'Ha hal' But do they know anything about A? They don't. It's just three sticks to them. But to the Educated—mark this, little Piglet—to the Educated, not meaning Poohs and Piglets, it's a great and glorious A. Not," he added, "just something that anybody can come and breathe on."
Ian Swanson (b. 1983, Detroit, MI) attended Wayne State University in Detroit and Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Recent solo exhibitions include As It Stands, Los Angeles, 315 gallery, Brooklyn, Simone DeSousa gallery, Detroit, Ashes/Ashes, Los Angeles, welcome screen, London, and David Shelton Gallery, Houston. Ian lives and works in New York.
Alex Bienstock (b. 1987, West Orange, NJ) received his BFA from The School of Visual Arts in New York. Recent solo and group exhibitions include Simone DeSousa Gallery, Detroit; Welcome Screen, London; 67 Ludlow, New York; Kilroy Metal Ceiling, Brooklyn; and Kravets Wehby Gallery, New York. Alex lives and works in New York.