May 5, 2020 -
May 15, 2020
For Frieze NY 2020 BANK is proud to present a brand-new series of life drawings by NYC based artist, Oliver Herring. Since 1998 Herring has regularly involved other people in his work. From stop-motion videos, scrupulously rendered photo-sculptures, and participatory performances, these intimate interactions have expanded his practice into new realms, culminating in the open series of TASK Events, Parties, and Workshops that have toured the world over and involved up to 20,000 participants at once. Though varied in form, his projects share a focus on social interactions, human relationships, and playful experimentation.
With this new series, Herring turns toward the fundamental artistic practice of figure drawing to explore more intimate possibilities with his participants. Soliciting a host of men from Craigslist Herring engages these volunteers in lengthy drawing sessions that explore his sitter’s sensibilities, idiosyncrasies, fantasies as well as the relationship that is formed between artist and muse, speaker and listener. Herring chronicles his exchanges through detailed journal entries of each session. The men come from different walks of life, sexual orientations, and have different reasons for participating. The aim of Herring's work is to facilitate representation on the sitter's terms. These ‘directors’, sometimes for the first time, are given agency to design and control their own depiction of themselves now and for posterity. Often this collaboration between sitter and artist becomes a therapeutic exploration of body awareness, sexuality, gender, and identity.