Kate Taylor visits Volta:
The atmosphere at Volta is of course completely different from that at the Piers: sneakers, tattoos, and the vast proponderance of both visitors and dealers under 40. This is a curated show, with each gallery showing a single artist, under the theme “Age of Anxiety.” (Not much of a stretch there.)
The majority of the art is installation, rounded out with some video, photography, and a few exhibitions of paintings. Among the latter is dealer Brigitte Schenk’s booth of paintings by the singer Marilyn Manson. She showed Manson’s work at ArtBasel Miami last year, and it wasn’t hard to make it fit Volta’s designated theme. Two of the paintings in the booth are titled “Eliziabeth Short is Snow White” and show the victim of a famous murder. Another painting shows what seems to be a child soldier; another is a person in a gas mask. “The Man Who Eats His Fingers,” Schenk said, is based on Manson’s history of self-mutilation. Schenk said she had sold one painting and one lithograph so far. Schenk said that Manson’s was a tortured but “beautiful mind.”
The gallery Hoet Bekaert from Belgium is showing an installation of the Thai artist Surasi Kusolwong. The floor is covered with colorful thread waste, in a reference to a famous Robert Morris sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art. The conceit of the piece, explained in a wall label, is that Kusolwong has buried four gold necklaces beneath the threadwaste; visitors are invited to dig through it to find them. They are also free to ogle the svelte redheaded model, topless except for a necklace of threadwaste that brings to mind Brooke Shields’s long hair in “Blue Lagoon,” who was happily answering questions about the work in three languages.
Kusolwong was also standing amidst the threads and fielding questions. Asked if his blond wig was part of the work, he said no; he just doesn’t like to be recognized.