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Ricky Powell NYC 1985 – Bushwick 2013


David Kesting Presents:
Ricky Powell
May 17 – June 9, 2013
Curated By Tono Radvany
Opening Night Reception Friday May 17, 2013 from 7:00 – 10:00pm
257 Boerum Street Brooklyn NY 11206 ( btwn Bushwick & White) L train to Morgan.
Gallery Hours: Saturday & Sunday from Noon until 5pm

As the recession of the early 1980’s gave way to the wall street excess the decade is known for, the streets of downtown New York were flush with inspired graffiti from a new generation of artists. The poetic, wall written musings of Samo© and rhythmic patterns of Haring’s subway chalk paintings are excellent examples of that new art form. These visual artists accompanied or actively participated in the sounds of a new style of musicians, noise bands and punk rock- hip hop fusions. The term “famous for being famous” created a mystique surrounding this urban revolution launched in the wasteland below 14th street. Scharf, Haring and Basquiat were the logical step from the father of pop art, Warhol. In the same way as the Beastie Boys, known for their punk rock swagger were learned in the school of hip hop instructed by Run DMC.

Bushwick today represents a strong similarity to New York in the mid 80’s. Our country is emerging from a long term recession. The then downtown scene, a place where desolate streets hide art events, performances and late night music behind steel loft doors, is mirrored in the urban wasteland of industrial East Williamsburg and Bushwick. A familiar terrain where like in the decades past, everyone knows everyone, everyone is an artist, actor, writer or musician or possibly a combination thereof. Here and now, as was then, an artist, denied exhibition at the gallery plies their trade with spray paint and wheatpaste, capable of going as far as their creativity will take them. Scharf is the new father figure, showing the new generation tenacity with his late night graffiti walks, as deftly as his installs showcases in a blue chip Chelsea gallery.

It is for this reason, and in this context, that we reflect on the renowned photojournalist work of Ricky Powell. Far from paparazzi, far from fly on the wall, Powell was the peer these artists spent time with. A photographer whose candor reflects in his subjects the intimacy that was Downtown New York. An intimacy that is now found in the Bushwick Scene.

When looked at in large format, Powell’s Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol On Mercer Street Going To Tony Shafrazi Gallery, 1985 is reflection of this relationship. This black and white photograph, printed in museum quality as large as the gallery wall is an epic work the size of these epic characters. Basquiat a hero of contemporary street art, heralded a new style of poetry, written in spray paint with a drive to be on museum walls. Warhol, the hero of the Neo-Expressionists, a graphic designer using color, repetition and marketing to mold the art world. Both artists, both quiet, sometimes shy individuals. In a city much like their personalities, shyly protective of its hidden treasure, its underground scene. This photo could easily been seen as taken today, on Bogart street in a moment of transit with an artist and his young peer.

So with this context we are please to announce that David Kesting Presents: Ricky Powell, a collection of photographs from the artists archives reflecting the urban artistic and music references between these two times and cultures. Curated by Tono Radvany a longtime friend of Powell known for cataloging, exhibiting and printing Powell’s work. The exhibition  opens to the public with a reception for the artist on Friday May 17 from 7:00 – 10:00pm, and will be open to the public during the Bushwick Open Studios May 31 to June 2 and close on June 9. For additional details please visit for details. David Kesting Presents: is a contemporary art space in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn NY. The gallery was originally founded in 2003 as Capla Kesting Fine Art, then in 2008 became Leo Kesting Gallery in the Meat Packing District & Kesting/Ray in Soho in 2011.

Ricky Powell, American Photographer B.1961, Brooklyn NY – Raised in New York City, Powell graduated from Hunter College and has worked as a photographer for numerous international publications. Photographs in Time Magazine, RollingStone and the New York Times have given Powell notoriety as a intimate photographer who captures the private candor of well known musicians, artists and actors.

Powell has four published books and is in the collection of several prominent institutions.

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Brian Leo Closing Silk Screen Party

Frieze week Bushwick gallery crawl Saturday night May 11 will mark closing night silk screen print party for Brian Leo’s show

Hello Friends. Brian Leo’s exhitbion, I Hear The Droning, which has garnered good press and very good sales will close May 11. This and next weekend are your last days to see the show. I hope you will have a chance to to come and visit the installation before it closes.

To commemorate the closing Brian Leo and I will host a closing night silk screen print party Saturday, May 11 from 7 until 10pm. This will coincide with over 30 galleries staying open late for the Frieze art week Bushwick gallery tour.

We will be printing several of his images and I hope you can stop by to be part of the closing night. Screens will be $10 on whatever items you bring, and an assortment of shirts will be here in case you forget to bring yours.

We look forward to seeing you.

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Brian Leo – I Hear The Droning – To Open At New Bushwick Space


David Kesting Presents
Brian Leo – I Hear The Droning
March 22 – April 28, 2013
Opening Night Reception Friday March 22, 2013 from 7:00 – 10:00pm
257 Boerum Street Brooklyn NY 11206 ( btwn Bushwick & White) L train to Morgan.
Gallery Hours: Saturday & Sunday from Noon until 5pm

In a new collection of paintings, I Hear The Droning, Brian Leo creates a symbolic language based on pop culture imagery contrasted with post ironic wit, executed in a day glow palette of color. The grouping of paintings are exhibited en masse to create a tension similar to a barrage of television channels, non stop news cycles, text messaging, tabloid culture and internet pornography.

Since showing in NYC in early 2000, Brian has always attempted to push the boundaries as to what the content of a painting could/should  be. Subject matters range from poignant to bizarre, and ridiculous to precious. Brian’s paintings have always meditated on personal events and social issues. His shows defy singular themes, yet rather reflect his contemplative attempt to understand globalization and humanity. 2013, marks Brian Leo’s debut solo show in Bushwick, a new hotbed for avant garde thought and art.

Born in 1976 in a NYC suburb, Leo recalls the A.I.D.S epidemic in the 80′s when people were unsure of how the disease had been transmitted and spread. The panic and fear spread from distorted, unknown facts by the media and the artist’s respective age at the time proved to form a traumatic existence. Health education classes during freshman year of high school reinforced the importance of wearing protection, all of which is depicted in Brian’s recent work, Jimmy.

In a similar play on ignorance, 9-11 Droning, mixed media on canvas 2013, the Bush era war atrocities of collateral damage from drone strikes, are depicted as absurdist propaganda. Propoganda that mirrors Fox News’ recontextualized clips of Muslims dancing in the streets to the supposed Osama Bin Laden triumphs on the actual morning of Sept.11th, 2001. In, 9-11 Droning, the artist feels that remote controlled airplanes being part of the 9-11 tragedy are as  equally hilarious and dadaesque as to the notion of Osama Bin Laden, being the sole mastermind of 9-11.

As part of the showcase, Brian Leo will reshape a 100 square foot back room of the gallery into a replica of his studio. The creation will be akin to Calus Oldenburg’s The Store, 1961, Warhol’s The American Super Market, 1964, Keith Harring’s Pop Shop 1986-2005, and Dieter Roth’s recent studio installation, Diether Roth. Bjorn Roth at Hauser & Wirth.

Brian Leo’s studio installation at DAVID KESTING PRESENTS: will show the intimacies of the artists space in a public setting. The slew of source materials, tables stacked with canvases & paint jars and the constant repeat of Django playing in the corner will give the gallery visitor private insight to the creation process of the artist.

David Kesting Presents is a contemporary art space in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn NY. The gallery was originally founded in 2003 as Capla Kesting Fine Art, then in 2008 became Leo Kesting Gallery in the Meat Packing District & Kesting/Ray in Soho in 2011. This is the inaugural exhibition of David Kesting Presents as a solo venture. Brian Leo, I Hear the Droning, opens to the public with a reception for the artist on Friday March 22 from 7:00 – 10:00pm, visit for details.

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Snowy day paint away. #DrawEveryDay #Brooklyn #Bushwick

via Instagram . November 07, 2012 at 03:26PM

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Awesome birthday gift. #birthday thanks @mandykalajian #DrawEveryDay

via Instagram . November 07, 2012 at 11:34AM

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Seat belts don’t suck. #DrawEveryDay #brooklynlife #Bushwick

via Instagram . October 24, 2012 at 03:56PM

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#DrawEveryDay #Brooklyn #Bushwick

via Instagram . October 15, 2012 at 04:14PM

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#milkshakes ! #DrawEveryDay #Brooklyn #Bushwick

via Instagram . October 12, 2012 at 12:57PM

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Light reading #DrawEveryDay #Brooklyn #Bushwick

via Instagram . October 11, 2012 at 04:26PM

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