Tuesday, August 18, 2009

WILLIAM LAMSON: one of "three NYC artists you probably don't know, but should"

New York's Village Voice recently asked three critics to each select one local artist they thought deserving of much greater attention. We are pleased to see, among their expert choices: gallery artist William Lamson, and we couldn't agree more! (their other choices include the fascinating Heide Hatry, and Carrie Moyer.)

Actions -excerpt 1/33, 2007-08
video, edition of 10, 24 min 20 s

"I don't want to work with real guns," says William Lamson during a phone interview from his residency at the MacDowell Colony. "I want to turn the machismo thing on its head—to shoot a balloon, there's something so nothing about that."

Indeed, the 31-year-old multidisciplinary artist—based in Brooklyn—visits a holocaust upon flocks of balloons in his Actions videos (2007–08). In 1/33 (above), he jumps on a teeterboard, sending nine of these innocent playthings bounding upward, then deftly shoots them with pellet guns, their shadows dissipating across a white wall. Other victims are skewered with darts, lacerated by Exacto blades, and deflated under crushing boards. Revenge of a sort occurs in 9/33 (below), when Lamson rolls into the scene like 24's Jack Bauer and, grunting and squirming, keeps a single balloon aloft with shots from low-velocity pistols. Ammo depleted, the artist finally lies as flat as Manet's dead toreador, while the balloon descends to lightly brush his forehead.

In the shadow of some illustrious forebears—think of David Hammons's flambĂ©ed fur coat, Robert Watts's swaying tree-branch drawings, and Fischli and Weiss's cinema of mad science—Lamson's thoughtful mayhem is dead-on. -R.C. BAKER, excerpt from Village Voice article.

Actions -excerpt 9/33, 2007-08
video, edition of 10, 24 min 20 s

Read the full article at thevillagevoice.com or download a PDF excerpt of the article.

To view the entire Actions video, for further information, available works, and for acquisitions, please contact Marty Walker Gallery.