Long-time friends, Bailey and Matthews, both born in South Africa, first worked together in 1999 creating six paintings that were exhibited at Africa’s first World of Music, Arts and Dance festival in Johannesburg. In 2012 they collaborated on the present body of work, a homage to Warhol and Rauschenberg in enamel, oil and silkscreen on canvas. The Statue of Liberty, the “fatman,” and Bailey and Matthews themselves are reoccurring motifs. The film, ITICA PRITICA, was made on the first day of their collaboration in New York while scouting for source imagery to be used in the silkscreened works. Settling on a graffiti backdrop on the Bowery, Bailey, who is known for alter egos, began dancing around dressed in the “fatman” costume (a stylized fat suit) while Matthews filmed the impromptu performance with his mobile phone. Matthews had recently produced a melancholic yet humorous musical composition, and this unreleased material later became the film’s soundtrack.
As it is in Heaven, an installation by Beezy Bailey will also be on view. Produced in 2012, the work consists of a rhinoceros skeleton with angelic wings and a golden horn. Theatrical lighting creates a haunting shadow as an audio loop of the Kings Collage Choir performs the music of Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652). This will be the first presentation of the work in New York. It will then travel to the Beijing National Gallery in China.
March 5, – April 13, 2013