Dear Shaded Viewers,
If you are in New York please pass by Neke Carson’s exhibition Evening Fabric in Morning Light:
Light enters my bedroom each morning
unannounced like it owns the place. It watches
from the window as I turn my body to the
wall and emit an unconvincing morning moan.
But lately I have begun to embrace the light.
And photograph it daily.
As the morning Sun moves around
my room it lights up all the evening fabric
from the night before. I just say “Cheese” and
take a picture of the evening fabric in morning light.
Mitchell Algus Gallery 132 Delancey St,
In 1968 Neke Carson and his Rhode Island School of De- sign classmate Martin Mull formed an art rock band that opened for Janis Joplin when she played at the school. The following year, after graduation, Carson moved to NYC where his RISD thesis project, Double Bubble Bath or Moon Man Fountain – a large sculpture where two people could sit inside plastic bubbles surrounded by water – was photographed by Philippe Halsman for an article on “Fun Art” in the autumn 1969 issue of Horizon magazine.
Interested in kinetic art, Cason began producing conceptu- al drawings for apparatus that could directly address exis- tential problems, particularly those surrounding significa- tion and mortality. His Suicide Egg is a large plastic egg to be affixed high on a building that once crawled into would release its emergent, human, embryo to “be born a splat on the earth.” Bite me and drink what you love is a blood-filled cross to be placed alongside cold cuts in a supermarket freezer inviting vampires to destroy themselves in order to obtain their desire. Pumping Hot Blood is a clear plastic chair plumbed with tubes circulating warm red dye provid- ing a relaxing external cradle that echoes internal physiol- ogy in both form and function.
Living in the then-developing gallery scene in SoHo, Car- son decided to jump right in and document the time he wasted showing his slides to art dealers. Given the continu- ing futility of this endeavor (it took four years before he
Portrait of the artist
was finally offered a show, terminating the piece) Carson decided to turn the Duchampian imperative on its head mounting interventional performances in galleries where, rather than turning readymades into art, he could turn art into readymades; dancing on Vito Acconci’s Seedbed; placing red Sold! sticky dots on Gilbert and George’s Sing- ing Sculpture or Carl Andre’s brick Equivalent sculptures; walking into galleries canoodling with a dog amidst the art (Crimes Against Nature); photographing a large carrot placed on work by Dan Flavin, Robert Rauschenberg, or even Picasso (The Longest Carrot in NYC).
Perhaps Carson’s most notorious invention/intervention is ‘Rectal Realism.’ Here the artist produced paintings holding a paintbrush in his ass. Carson’s Rectal Realist painting of Andy Warhol was made at the Factory in tru- ly circular and collaborative fashion with Warhol filming Neke, while Neke observed and painted his subject.
In the late 1970s, ensconced within the burgeoning down- town New Wave scene Carson decided to gather its most visually intriguing denizens to start the La Rocka Modeling Agency. This project was surprisingly successful, obtain- ing high-profile modeling assignments (for Henri Bendel, for example), working with the likes of Stephen Meisel, Anna Sui, Betsy Johnson, and Michael Kors, doing runway shows for Kansai Yamamoto, and receiving lots and lots of press. The La Rocka Agency was central to the production
of Slava Tsukerman’s 1982 cult classic Liquid Sky , providing both significant cast and presiding over a fashion show that established the film’s defining New Wave aura.
Neke Carson went on produce photographs of phosphorescent figurines, Closet Portraits of Friends (John Wa – ters, Debbie Harry, etc.) made by placing a camera on their closet floors and shutting the door. Other projects include Fictitious Fruits , paintings of real and artificial fruits and vegetables and Evening Fabric in Morning Light .
On the side, having taught himself to play the piano, Neke Carson curated and hosted a performance venue at the Gershwin Hotel from 2001 to 2014 presenting Jared Har – ris, the Poet Laureate Billy Collins, Nina Hagen, and Deb – bie Harry, among other downtown celebrities. Carson has also given piano recitals at the Andy Warhol and Rubin Museums.
Neke Carson (b. Dallas, Texas, 1946) is the youngest of three extraordinary and eccentric brothers. The oldest, L. M. Kit Carson (1941-2014) was an actor and screenwriter whose breakthrough came writing the screen adaptation of Sam Shepherd’s novel Motel Chronicles for the 1984 movie Paris, Texas . He was married at the time to Karen Black, and their son Hunter was one of the movie’s stars. Kit went on to write screenplays for the remake of Breathless with Richard Gere, as well as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 . The middle brother, Reverend Goat Carson (1945-2018) was a Grammy award winning lyricist (in 2008 with Dr. John), Cherokee Medicine Man and professional eccen – tric, running for president in 1992 on the Blues Party ticket and adopting the campaign slogan “We want our money back.” Neke Carson lives and works in Sag Harbor, NY.