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A sticky good time at Ad Hoc - Exhibition of wheat-paste art opens June 13 at Bushwick gallery

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Fresh off their dense, shantytown-themed exhibit “The Threat of Chance,” Ad Hoc Art gallery pulls a Monty Python with something completely different. The gallery welcomes Elbowtoe, Armsrock, Gaia, and Imminent Disaster, artists who often work with wheat paste, contributing several of their mixed media pieces in a show called “Poets of the Paste,” opening June 13.

“The four artists in the show create intricate moments of contemplation in public spaces though very sensitive imagery and line work,” said gallery director Andrew Ford.

The art promises to be different from the Lichtenstein-inspired graphic-heavy pop surrealism that Ford has cultivated at Ad Hoc in prior shows. Ford has been impressed by the fine art quality of their work, which has appeared in the street.

“There’s a place for everything and these guys took a more conceptual route,” Ford said. “They do wheat pasting, everything from paper cuts to block prints to original drawings, which transitions well to a gallery.”

Each artist is contributing a unique style to the show. Elbowtoe is showing several paintings, which incorporate paper, brushes, and strings, which he glues to each piece. The works are intricate and blur the medium of painting and sculpture by adding three-dimensional elements to the work.

“For a painting of a parachuter, he is adding actual fabric with a parachute and strings that will be coming down off the walls,” Ford said.

Armsrock, well known in Germany and Los Angeles, is showing a variety of pieces in different forms from six by six foot colorful canvasses to small box-like dioramas of haunting black and white figures. The dioramas, cut out of wheat paste and done by hand, are among Ford’s favorite pieces.

“We’ve never seen him show this kind of work before and people have responded to it really positively at preview shows,” said Ford. “This is his first New York show and I’m really proud that he chose this gallery to show his work.”

Gaia, perhaps the most well-known artist in the show, will be contributing a series of naturalistic works combining imagery of people he has known in his life with animals, a kind of chimera collage. At only 18, Gaia was named by a New York Times reporter as one of the artists of the moment. Ford is clearly excited of have him in the Poets show.

“We can guess at why he has got so big so fast, but I feel that his work has had a transfixing quality,” Ford said. “It’s so different from other street art or pop art that’s out there. He just found something so different and went with it.”

Imminent Disaster, at age 23, will be showing six-foot high posters and block prints for her first major show in a professional gallery. An assistant of the renowned artist Swoon, Ford believes that Imminent Disaster has found her own voice and shown herself to be an artist in her own right.

“When she’s cutting paper, it doesn’t look like when Swoon is cutting paper,” Ford said. “She’s learned how to cut paper and do block prints from Swoon but found her own way to do it.”

Ford is especially proud of Imminent Disaster and her ability to show work in the gallery and on the street in a way that is inspiring to people.

“She has a Mandela paper cut, four feet by four feet, that will blow everyone away,” Ford said.

‘Poets of The Paste’ will open on June 13 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Ad Hoc Art on 49 Bogart Street. The show will run from June 13 to July 13. For more information, visit www.adhocart.org.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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