At Water McBeer Gallery, You Can Only Buy the Whole Show

If you do, you'll get a tiny version of Carol Bove's 'Noodle.'

Artist Jamian Juliano-Villani with dealer Water McBeer.Photo courtesy Water McBeer.
Artist Jamian Juliano-Villani with dealer Water McBeer.
Photo courtesy Water McBeer.

If you head to the downstairs project room at New York’s 247365 Gallery this weekend, you’ll come upon a diorama, a few feet across, of a white-walled, wood-floored gallery, much like the main space upstairs.

Teensy little artworks hang on the walls and sit on the floor, most recognizably a miniature version of a recent sculpture by Carol Bove, Noodle, in which a steel tube rises from the ground, bends back on itself, and descends again.

The show also includes tiny versions of works by Ajay Kurian, Nathaniel de Large, and Jessie Stead. The “Kurian” is a sculpture, a foot or so high, with seven purple panes hung one above another inside a standing black armature; at full size, it would stand at least 10 feet high. Stead’s work appears to be a circle formed by little black shapes stamped on the wall, while De Large’s is a purple-hued wall-hung abstraction on what looks like a sheet of metal.

While the diminutive space looks like a singular object, it is actually a gallery space of its own. It’s called “Water McBeer” and the objects in it supplied by the artists themselves (the mini Bove comes from Bove).

The current show at Water McBeer is called “In Appearance of Order,” said artist/dealer MacGregor Harp, who runs the Lower East Side space 247365 along with fellow artist Jesse Greenberg. According to a checklist, 247365 has “guest organized” the Lilliputian show.

He promises an extravaganza of epically small proportions.

He promises an extravaganza of epically small proportions.

According to Harp, you can’t purchase the miniature works individually, but have to buy the whole show, and this one, he said, is still available.

Harp directed me to the website for Water McBeer, which is named after a fictitious dealer by the same name. The creator of the project, he said, didn’t want to be named. (Speaking of names, though, the project’s humorous appellation rings a bell: the San Francisco Art Institute hosts the Walter and McBean Galleries.)

Water McBeer’s website is a dead ringer for that of an actual gallery, with a minimal, white-page design and typical sections for shows, artists, news, and contact information. But then the news link doesn’t work. In the artists section, links for Alex Ito and Gregory Ito are also not functional. (Is this a reference to artist Parker Ito, who is himself known to use the pseudonym Parker Cheeto?)

On the other hand, the site lists real artists including up-and-comer Jamian Juliano-Villani (“Everyone wants her works these days,” Harp said), Evan Nesbit, Marisa Takal, the Itos and Matthew Palladino. For some reason, clicking on Palladino’s CV just leads to the video for Rick Astley’s 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Ha.

Browse all the way to the end of the installation shots for Paul Wackers’ show “Forever Beta,” and you’ll see a solemn-faced Donald Trump, complete with classy “make America great again” baseball hat, standing in front of one of Wackers’ bright floral paintings.

 

Donald Trump at Water McBeer Gallery.<br>Photo courtesy Water McBeer.

Donald Trump at Water McBeer Gallery.
Photo courtesy Water McBeer.

The plot thickens on reading an interview with the dealer at the San Francisco-based art blog FecalFace, featuring an obviously Photoshopped shot of a man who we’re meant to believe is “Water McBeer” posing, naturally, with Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and one of him in his office with Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon taking up some serious space on the wall behind him. That interview was on the occasion of a 25-artist show in a Zoolander-esque gallery space that, according to a drawing published with the interview, measured 30 inches across.

“It will be,” McBeer promises, “an extravaganza of epicly (sic) small proportions.”

Now that’s an art dealer you’d want to have a McBeer with.


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