Guns in the Galllery

April 10, 2013 | Kyle Chayka

Superchief Gallery at Culturefix is currently featuring the work of three artists dealing with blackness in the appropriately titled exhibition “BLACK POWER” — an eclectic mix of illustration, graphic design and sculture.

They also have guns.

As I walked into the Lower East Side space, it seemed quite casual — people hanging out in the lobby on their computers, nodding to hip hop. The most familiar work in the exhibition was that of Coby Kennedy, whose machine gun vending machines I recognized from last year’s Fountain Fair at Art Basel Miami Beach. With all the recent talk of 3D printing, these machines are becoming less and less surprising, as we may very well be able to print our own automatic weapons in the near future.

Also, they’re fake guns. I really wish that, at least, these machines were shown outside and not in the confines of a gallery. Perhaps on the street — like the ubiquitous vending machines we already see on the streets of the city. As a street intervention installation, they would be much more affective.

Jorden Haley, the Pratt-educated illustrator and graphic designer, shows a series of new dark ghoulish illustrations that very much seem to fit the tone of the shows themes of race, violence and cultural oppression. Haley has also done work for the likes of Playboy’s art department, DMX, Method Man and Ja Rule. Ronald Wimberly has a series of illustrations centering around the theme of “blackness” and subversion of the classic narrative by telling from the point of view of a cultural outsider. Wimberly has previously worked for DC Comics and just so happened to be included in Time Magazine’s Best Graphic novels back in 2007. While the show opened last night and will only be up for a short time, Superchief Gallery will be having a proper opening party this Thursday as per the usual New York gallery night schedule. “BLACK POWER,” Ron Wimberly, Coby Kennedy, Jorden Haley, Apr 9 – Apr 14, Superchief Gallery at Culturefix, Manhattan