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Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
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March 06, 2014

zackary drucker and rhys ernst: One Last Dance in the Old Place / 2014 Whitney Biennial Has New Faces and Interesting Choices

They are also, of course, inherently political statements, and in a Biennial damningly mum about politics, it is bracing to find work that isn’t. Photographs of, and by, Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst, a transgender couple, put queer consciousness on the front burner...  [ READ ON ]

March 06, 2014

Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst: This Is Not a Survey: An Incomplete Review of the Whitney Biennial

...Meanwhile, Zachary Drucker and Rhys Ernst's photographic series Relationship, 2008-13, is one of the biennial's true stand-outs—it tracks the pair's criss-crossing gender transformations (male to female, female to male), and is beautifully composed, funny (some Sarah Lucas-y humor, wherein eggs stand for balls and bratwursts become penises), and unabashadedly sweet and sentimental. [ READ ON ]

March 06, 2014

Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst: Photography at the Whitney Biennial: Hidden in Plain Sight

It’s been a long time since photography was considered a separate medium made by people who called themselves photographers—the medium has been thoroughly absorbed and blended with painting and sculpture, video and installation for several decades at least. But it can be fun to check in on photography in a show like the Whitney Biennial, which offers a broad look at rising trends and new directions in art.   more

These seven artists from this year’s show, which spans three floors and was curated by three different people, prove that photography is hardly over—it’s just changed shape in one way or another, and lives on as a tool or a reference or a lens.
...Two rows of color photographs make up Drucker and Ernst’s glamorous Relationship, 2008-13. In the top row, a figure with long bleached-blond hair poses in heels or in a dark apartment; below, a person with short dark hair lounges in bed or wades in the ocean. The series documents the couple’s gender transitions, artist Drucker from male to female and filmmaker Ernst from female to male, in images that, like gender, walk the line between documentary and performance. 

March 06, 2014

Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst: The Young Guns: 8 Whitney Biennial Artists Born After 1980

...The cohort of young artists in the current Whitney Biennial are so independent and energetic in articulating their practices that there is little danger of these voices getting lost. Seven of this group of eight were selected by Stuart Comer… Touring Comer’s third floor installation at the museum, these young artists provide some of the clearest expressions of that thesis, perhaps because they have spent most of their lives in times that have embraced the composite, the blended, the layered.   more

If you want to get an idea of what will be talked about not only in this Biennial, but for years to come, check out these artists with long careers ahead of them...

Offering up the most literal expression of shapeshifting personal identities, Drucker and Ernst both have been undergoing gender reassignment surgery for several years, the former from a man to a woman, the latter vice-versa. A couple in their personal as well as professional lives, the Los Angeles duo have recorded the slow evolution in photos and films of their everyday lives. The means of expression is perhaps the most traditional of any of these artists—when looking at the wall covered with color photos of utterly intimate moments shared between the two lovers and artists, it is hard not to think of Nan Goldin’s photographs of a quarter century ago. Yet where Goldin’s works were praised for their honest expressions of angst and pain and frailty within relationships, the power here comes from the couple’s casual joy and easy confidence. The occasional visual jokes (two eggs held between a pair of thighs, a sausage about to be consumed) refer back to the project's central theme with a knowing wink and reveal behind the seemingly candid shots a self-awareness that speaks to everyone's attempts to remake themselves. Films by the pair will be on view a various times during the Biennial’s run.
 [ READ ON ]

March 06, 2014

ZACKARY DRUCKER AND RHYS ERNST: The 2014 Whitney Biennial Disappoints, With Misfires, Omissions, Only Glimmers of Greatness

From the moment that the Whitney Museum revealed that the 2014 biennial would have three curators, each organizing a show on a separate floor, I’ve been worrying. The decision sounded like an abdication of responsibility, a downgrading of the museum’s trademark show, and a recipe for a colossal disaster... Secrets are being shared on floor three; bodies are morphing, writhing and posing. Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst document, in heartrending photos, their sex changes, male to female and female to male. [ READ ON ]

March 06, 2014

ZACKARY DRUCKER AND RHYS ERNST: Your Guide To The Artists Of The 2014 Whitney Biennial

How are you ever going to navigate 103 of the most exciting artists of today (and tomorrow)? We've picked out ten artist's we're particularly excited for to give you a taste of what's out there. For the other 93, you'll have to make your way to the Whitney. Behold, 10 Whitney Biennial artists we can't wait to see...

#5 & #6. Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst. Drucker: Born 1983 in Syracuse, NY. Ernst: Born 1982 in Pomona, CA.   more

Live and work in Los Angeles, CA.

What was the first artwork you remember really shaking you up?
ZD: Arian Piper's Cornered - one of my all-time favorites.
RE: Superstar by Todd Haynes

Briefly describe your work at this year's Biennial.
ZD & RE: "Relationship" is a photographic series we created that documents our five plus years together. It's 46 images on view on the 3rd floor and the work shows our evolution as people, as a couple, and throughout our gender transitions. "She Gone Rogue" is a 22-minute fantastical narrative film starring Flawless Sabrina, Holly Woodlawn and Vaginal Davis. It will play in the lobby gallery from March 26 to April 13.
Flawless Sabrina will be doing tarot readings at her apartment across the street from the museum as an auxiliary event connected to the Biennial and also to "She Gone Rogue." Additionally, we are staging a live TV Talk show in the museum lower lobby on April 4 for the public programming portion of the Biennial.

 [ READ ON ]

March 05, 2014

Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst: Whitney Biennial 2014: Stuart Comer on the Third Floor

On the third floor, 2014 Whitney Biennial curator Stuart Comer professed to “provide a kaleidoscopic glimpse of this historic moment,” emphasizing work that seemed in flux and in transition from one medium to another, one state to another, or even across borders and identities.   more

Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst’s Relationship series (2008–13) is the most obvious example, and also the most successful, as the couple documented their relationship as a transgender couple transitioning in opposite directions (Drucker from male to female, Ernest from female to male). The images are intimate, feeling almost alchemical at moments as flashes of light and loving gestures demonstrate a closeness one can only have with a lover. The distance between the two bodies or, in this case, the camera and the subject sometimes feels so close you can almost hear them breathe. None of the other works on the floor approach that level of magic...
 [ READ ON ]

March 03, 2014

ZACKARY DRUCKER AND RHYS ERNST: TRADING PLACES: Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst at the Whitney Biennial

Zackary Drucker, 30, and Rhys Ernst, 31, both graduated with MFAs from CalArts—Drucker in 2007, Ernst in 2011. They are a transgender couple, Drucker a transwoman and Ernst a transman, meaning Drucker is man-to-female, and Ernst, female-to-male. (The irony of this transition really never comes up.) The new photographs they’ll be showing at the Whitney will illustrate their stages of transitioning and is a body of work they’ve been working on for five years now.   more

Both are artists in their own right, but they often collaborate, and the work being shown at the Whitney is a fully collaborative series. Ernst is known more as a filmmaker and Drucker, a performance artist who works in video and photography. But to be so definitive, so “boxed in”—a phrase that repeats throughout our conversation—would be a falsity, practically a lie. These artists make art out of their daily lives, and that is what their new work will come to reveal. [ READ ON ]

February 27, 2014

Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst: State of Our Art, According to Whitney | A Guide to the 2014 Whitney Museum Biennial

...An especially provocative photographic diary compiled by Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst in Mr. Comer’s installation chronicles the couple’s five-and-a-half-year relationship, in which one transitioned from female to male, and the other from male to female. Until now, this had been a private journal. [ READ ON ]

February 25, 2014

Poetics of the Everyday: The Photographic Practice of Masood Kamandy by Sophia Azeb

"The stuff that I photograph is fairly mundane and ordinary, but through the process they take on this new life," says artist Masood Kamandy, as he gestures his photographs on the walls of the gallery, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. The subjects of L.A.-based artist's images are uncanny: a fuzzy Gatorade bottle, pomegranates stuck with push-pins, and a roll of raffle tickets floating above an ombré surface. Kamandy's solo exhibition "M.O.O.P."  more

aka "Matter Out Of Place" is on view through March 29 and it is easy to relate to the title while standing before a large-scale photograph of Silly Putty surrounded by the toy's empty shells and topped with ping-pong balls.  [ READ ON ]