Tenochtitlan Toyland

This is one of two proposals I recently submitted for a solo show… boney fingers crossed. The first, The Thinking Reed is pretty much ready to hang; this one resides mostly within my head and deals primarily with perception and the problems that arise from appropriation and misappropriation.

img_5064

Tenochtitlan Toyland: Playthings from New Spain

My proposal for “Tenochtitlan Toyland: Playthings from New Spain” is a theatrical concept room, an installation piece that essentially represents a nursery from hell. My concept which employs painted and constructed assemblages, cardboard and papier-mâché figures, marionettes and paintings on paper also incorporate an interactive element in which to engage the gallery viewer.

The nursery in question is that of the Infanta Margaret decorated with imagined booty from New Spain. By utilizing commonly found construction materials, I wish to poke fun at consumerism and the incessant quest for novelty.  To achieve this end I plan to make a plywood Selfie Booth, fashion a series of cardboard jumping wall puppets , even introduce a live performer encased in a walking puppet of my making. There is also a faux didactic element to this installation; I’ve painted a series of watercolor illustrations for an alphabet primer of New Spain that completely misses the mark in comprehending these vanquished people. From encouraging the use of hashtags for my proposed Selfie-booth, to passing out crayons in which to color pastiches of Baroque wall hangings, I wish to engage the viewer, reflect the past and hold up a mirror to the foibles and vanities of our current society.

My work is always narrative based and whether expressed through two dimensional or three dimensional works, I seek to tell universal stories and explore universal truths. With this installation I wish to employ every weapon in the arsenal. Paintings, sculpture and interactive engagement are part of my concept; I wish to create a sense of Gesamtkunstwerk, but instead of a Wagnerian Valhalla, I instead wish to create a dark and funny depiction of our seemingly unquenchable thirst for power and privilege.
Much of this work is still in the conceptual stage, so I have provided preparatory drawings to illustrate my intentions. I have also, when available, enclosed images of completed elements such as marionettes, paper dolls and pages from the aforementioned Primer of New Spain. I have also enclosed an itemized page providing details concerning my concepts and anticipated materials for the elements which make up the whole of Tenochtitlan Toyland; they are numbered to correspond with the images. Concerning which gallery I would prefer I have submitted a scaled rendering of the show situated in the W Gallery; of course that decision is up to the gallery. Given that much of the work is site specific I would appreciate, if I were fortunate enough to be selected, a later date in 2017 for the opening. Given my themes of consumerism and toys, a slot close to Christmas would be devilishly delightful!

107px-tenochtitlan_glyph_zp-svg

 

An Itemized List Concerning Tenochtitlan Toyland: Playthings from New Spain

1- “The Rape of Tenochtitlan”, 2016, colored pencil on paper, 18 by 24”.
The initial impetus behind this concept.

2- Pages from my alphabetic primer The Primer of New Spain ; letters A, B, C and D shown. The entire alphabet will represented .
Materials: watercolor on paper.

3- My marionettes of the Hero Twins. These marionettes are part of a body of work that includes other puppets and doll derived from the Popol vuh, that will be incorporated into the concept as a whole.
Materials: Sculpey modeling medium, armature, paint.

4-Part of a collection of paper dolls that I have been working on over the last few years. Some of the dolls are nearly life-sized, some conventionally sized.
Materials: watercolor, graphite, on paper, brads.

5- The Coatlicue Selfie Booth , given that Aztec goddess Coatlicue (and her war god son Huitzilipochtli) is quite a fearsome presence, she is an amusing choice for a selfie cutout . I would actively encourage the hashtag #teotoyland while visitors snap away; both ridiculing social media and exploiting it.
Anticipated materials: self supporting painted plywood cutout.

6- My proposal includes four “jumping jacks”, childish amusements of the Victorians, the difference being, as is the case with this depiction of the rain god Tlaloc,my offerings would be considered inappropriate for the nursery by most sane people. I imagine including three other Aztec gods including the aforementioned war-god Huitzilipochtli. Each will be placed behind a baroque inspired “tapestry”, that with crayons provided near by, I would hope gallery visitors would color in. I imagine an interactive experience, as with the selfie booth.
Anticipated materials: paint, cardboard, string, brads; tapestries, enlarged renderings with crayons provided.

7-The Templo Major, the heart of Tenochtitlan, home to the primary altars of Tlaloc and Huitzilipochtli , scene of countless human sacrifices and terrible battles , could not be a more inappropriate inspiration for a dollhouse; yet I propose just that concept . The installation would include rag dolls of gods, priests and their unfortunate victims. I anticipate quite a few hearts.
Anticipated materials: Painted wood and or papier-mâché construction, lightbulbs, mixed media as yet undetermined.

8- One of the aforementioned rag dolls, in this case, Huitziliopochtli.
Materials: rags, thread, paint.

9- A Meso-american television complete with vignettes from the creation myth , the Popol vuh. It would include the aforementioned marionettes.
Anticipated materials: painted wood and or papier-mâché , lightbulb , mixed media elements as of yet undetermined.

10-A prototype of #9, the Meso-american television.
Materials: painted wood, mixed media.

11- Mictlantecuhtli (Lord of Xibalba) parade marionette. A walking interactive puppet depicting the major god of the underworld . Once again introducing an absurd interactive element into the nursery concept. I hope the performer to be most fetching.
Anticipated materials: chicken wire armature, papier-mache, dowels, string, wire, paint.

12- Schematic of my proposal within the Wubdemann Gallery; drawn 1/4” scale.

 1-Rape of Tenochtitlan
1-Rape of Tenochtitlan
2-detail from Primer of New Spain
2-detail from Primer of New Spain
3-Hero Twin marionettes
3-Hero Twin marionettes
4-Paper-dolls from Xibalba
4-Paper-dolls from Xibalba
5-Selfie Booth
5-Selfie Booth
6- Tlaloc Tapestry design
6- Tlaloc Tapestry design
7-Welcome to the Xibalba Dollhouse
7-Welcome to the Xibalba Dollhouse
8-Huitzilipochtcli Rag-doll
8-Huitzilipochtcli Rag-doll
9-Xibalba Variety Hour
9-Xibalba Variety Hour
10-prototype example
10-prototype example
11-Walking Puppet
11-Walking Puppet
12-Installation Schematic
12-Installation Schematic

107px-tenochtitlan_glyph_zp-svg

Well, that’s it. I’m not sure which worries me more, being rejected or actually having this proposal accepted and going mad putting it all together! Wish me well please.

tenochtitlan_glyph

The Thinking Reed : From the Hermitage to the Underworld, the Quest for Gnosis

I’m putting together two proposals for a solo show, this is one of the proposals:

greco_resurrection-of-the-fatherwatercolor( cover: The Resurrection of the Father , 2013)

The Thinking Reed: From the Hermitage to the Underworld, the Quest for Gnosis.

“Man is only a reed, the weakest in nature, but he is a thinking reed. There is no need for the whole universe to take up arms to crush him: a vapor, a drop of water is enough to kill him. But even if the universe were to crush him, man would still be nobler than his slayer, because he knows that he is dying and the advantage the universe has over him. The universe knows none of this.
Thus all our dignity consists in thought. It is on thought that we must depend for our recovery, not on space and time , which we could never fill. Let us then strive to think well; that is the basic principal of morality.”

Pascal, Pensées

 

 

 
This dignity is our greatest gift and our harshest burden, this awareness of how absurd our very existence is. Bird, beast or fish are oblivious to their insignificance ; we alone must confront this existential dilemma . We are left to comprehend this miracle we have been given, a gift given with the cruel understanding that it endures for only the blink of a god’s eye. We must then live this life fully , and as Pascal demands, ponder deeply and “strive to think well”
It is this Thinking Reed which I wish to examine with this body of work. Begun in 2013, it consists of drawings, relief prints, watercolor and oil paintings, drawn from a number of sources: the Popol vuh of the Quiche Maya to Flaubert’s Temptation of St.Anthony. These narratives are re-examined through a queer prism , reclaiming the canon as a gay man living in the 21st century.  Of varying sizes they depict a quest for “think(ing) well”, a search for gnosis -self knowledge.
The collection will include approximately 10 -12 pieces, work I envision hung salon style; in the ideal world, against a rich background (I will need to ponder the logistics of that desire). As per gallery preference, ultimately I leave that up to the jurors and the gallery, however the Center Room might prove an intimate setting well suited to the intricacy of the work. Much of the work is completed and ready to be hung; in the instance of enclosed drawings, they may be translated into a painting, a tradition which is part of my studio practice.

The works are as follows:
1- Cover: Resurrection of the Father
2013
watercolor on paper
18 by 24 inches

2- Gnosis…& the Old Gods Were Pleased
2014
oil on canvas
24 by 48 inches

3- Genesis
2014
oil on canvas
30 by 40 inches

4- Seizing Sanctimonium
2016
oil on canvas
40 by 56 inches

5- The Temptation of St. Anthony of the Desert
2013
oil on canvas
36 by 48 inches

6- The Temptation of St. Anthony of the Desert
2015
acrylic on paper
11 by 14 inches

7- The Apotheosis of Sophia
2014
oil on masonite panel
18 by 24 inches

8- Jonah
2016
oil in panel
8 by 10 inches

9- Herakles and Telephus
2015
watercolor and graphite on paper
9 by 12 inches

10- The Temptation of St. Anthony (of the Desert) at the Baths of St. Mark
2016
sanguine pencil on toned paper
18 by 24”

11- The Temptation of St. Anthony of the Desert (or , The Betrayal of the Pig)
2016
graphite and colored pencil on paper
18 by 24 inches

2 greco_gnosis_and_old_gods_pleased

3 greco_genesis

4 greco seizing sanctimonium

5 greco_temptation-of-st-anthony-of-the-desert (1)

6 greco temptaion-of-st-anthony-of-teh-desert7 greco_sophiathe-apotheosis-ofoil-copy8 greco jonah-20169 greco herakles10 greco the temptation of st anthony_bath of st mark11 greco the temptation of st anthony and pig

My second proposal is more conceptual and I would rather keep it under wraps until it comes to fruition. This one however consists of work I have posted before.

Wish me well.

LG

Queer

I received word yesterday that two of my painting were selected for an upcoming exhibition celebrating gay pride in West Hollywood.

Information thus far:

Congratulations! Your works: Andromedus and Descent from the Cross II have been accepted for Out There, a very special exhibition during West Hollywood’s Pride Month festivities at LAAA/Gallery 825, June 12- 19, 2015. 

I’m pleased,  I will post updated information as it is received.

greco_andromedus

Andromedus

2013

oil on canvas

30 by 40″

img_6086

 Descent from the Cross II

2015

acrylic on canvas

30 by40″

8989179659_1469e36540_o

the UNCANNY,OBSESSIONS AND delusions- an upcoming exhibition

I’m delighted that two of my paintings have been selected for a group exhibition of visual works and poetry here in Los Angeles, called the UNCANNY, OBSESSIONS AND delusions. It opens March 1st 2015.

cbe157e1-ebe8-4264-a563-c4bab48cb80c

Please join us for the Opening Reception for
The Uncanny, Obsessions and Delusions
A Juried Art Exhibit and Poetry Slam
March 1, 2015
3:00-6:00 PM
New Center for Psychoanalysis
2014 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Exhibition Coordinator: Esther Dreifuss-Kattan, Ph.D., Chair NCP Art Salon
Co-Curators: Suzanne Isken, Esther Dreifuss-Kattan
Exhibition Jurors:
Suzanne Isken, Director CAFAM (Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles)
Ashley Myers-Turner, Associate Editor at Outdoor Photographer Magazine &
Digital Photo Pro Magazine
Poetry: Bettina Soestwohner, PhD, Comparative Literature

It seems fitting that the  following works were selected by a bunch of psychoanalysts!

Actually the judges were well respected judges in their own right; the artists are in the field. I am the only non-shrink, just married to one.


Greco_Genesis

Genesis

img_5259

Tlazoltéotl, a difficult birth

(this one should open up conversation!)

I’m thrilled, my only disappointment is that David will be at a conference in D.C. that weekend; my consolation being that our lovely and glamorous friend Meme will be my date. I’m looking forward to it.

LG

Upcoming opening: XV Present Art

Two new relief prints were selected to be part of an upcoming group show, opening December 6th, 6-8 pm at the Couturier Gallery (link HERE) 166 N. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles.

Would love to see my friends there.

the show runs from December 6th 32104 through to January 3rd 2015. 

IMG_5708

These two prints were selected:

IMG_5691

Blue Krampus!

The Great War God, Huitzilopchtli
The Great War God, Huitzilopchtli

The Great War God, Huitzilopochtli

Thanking J at Couturier for thinking of me once again!

Lg

Kaleidoscope, opening soon

I’m delighted that some of my work has been selected for another show , right up the street  on La Brea, from where my painting Primavera is being shown at the Loft at Liz’s.

The gods are being generous for which I am grateful.

Kaleidoscope 9

EXHIBITION: KALEIDOSCOPE
DATES: July 12 – August 23, 2014
OPENING: Aritsts’ Opening Reception, Saturday, July 12, 6–8pm
GALLERY HOURS: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm

 

  Couturier Gallery is please to present Kaleidoscope, a group exhibition combining emerging and established artists through a spectrum of disciplines. The show incorporates book art, ceramics, collage, paintings, printmaking and tape sculptures. The varied nature of the show creates complex connections between works that forge a rich mosaic of aesthetics, visual language and themes.  Artists include: Sandow Birk, Fausto Fernandez, Leonard Greco, Gronk, Judithe Hernandez, Noel Vargas Hernandez, John Hesketh, Jay Kvapil, Nancy Goodman Lawrence, DeLoss McGraw, Antonio Muniz, Connie Rohman, Frank Romero, Irwin Sanchez, Danny Scheible, Ana Serrano, Susan Sironi, Corey Stein, Leslie Love Stone, John Valadez and James Zver. Kaleidoscope runs from July 12 to August 23. Join us for the artists’ opening reception Saturday, July 12, 6-8pm.

 

For further information or images please contact me @ cg@couturiergallery.com.

 

10157180_10203328688167544_8306843018962418353_n

one of the three masks selected,The Hero Triplets.

 J, the wonderful fellow who runs Couturie Gallery selected several prints and some masks I have been making. I will be exhibiting alongside Judithe Hernandez , who I  really admire, I feel very honored and intimidated.

greco_resurrection-of-the-father-relief

 Resurrection of the Father

relief print on paper

2013

greco_scapegoatrelief1

Scapegoat

relief print on paper

2014

I need to drop the work off before my yoga class, so I better pack them up.

Until next time,

be well ,

Lg