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On what was a previously art-free block in Chelsea (27th Street between 11th & 12th Avenues) a group of youngish gallerists opened up a sort of art mall last night. The galleries, which include John Connelly Presents, Wallspace, Foxy Production, Clementine and a few others are lined up in a row of storefronts making it easy to see a lot of work at once. But is it worth it? Hard to say from a visit made elbowing through the crowds of opening night.

One highlight was the show at Foxy by Jacob Ciocci. He is a member of the collective Paper Rad and his solo work is similar to theirs. Here he shows hybrids of digital video, computer graphics, sculpture, and drawings that anybody who came of age in the 1980s will relate to. He’s got Gremlins, Mario Brothers, troll dolls, Bobby McFerrin, etc. Sounds like pure kitsch but Ciocci pulls it off with the sincerity and the frenetic pitch of the work.

On the way out of Chelsea I checked in with the establishment at Mary Boone. There is a group show there, “Hiding in the Light,” curated by Neville Wakefield. The highlight of this show was a coat I saw a woman wearing. It was a puffy jacket with outer fabric that was translucent and lined with a swirly psychedelic cotton. It was pretty spectacular. I also liked Rudolf Stingel’s piece in which he covered the entire floor with mirror-polished aluminum and Aleksandra Mir’s big marker drawings of the United States.

- Asha Schechter [Friday, January 13th, 2006]

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