COPE NYC presents “WTFOLKS,” curated by Founder and Executive Director, Vida Sabbaghi, in the newly renovated lobby at 630 Flushing Avenue. As the Art Director of the building, Vida will be mounting rotating exhibitions paired with outreach and educational programs. "WTFOLKS" artists, Will Kurtz, Christian Faur, and Xan Padron’s unique interpretations of people from all walks of life are drawn from local and international communities, and celebrate the diversity of neighborhoods.
Will Kurtz, a former landscape artist who changed career paths in his thirties, creates uncanny raw and realistic life size figurative sculptures. His technique, often thought to be papier-mâché, involves taking photos of people and bringing them to life with wooden armatures and newspapers. His “Sweeping Woman” takes center stage with her broom in hand, a heroic gesture that mimics the essential workers in the building. Another sculpture, a figure with a paintbrush, might be a student in the Pratt Institute MFA Studios on the 7th floor or one of the building's maintenance painters.
Christian Faur views his subjects through a mathematical numerical lens. He uses a repetition of hand cast encaustic crayons to create pixelated realistic portraits. He begins with the deconstruction of a single image into its basic elements of color, form, and resolution. With a nod to Pop Artists, his “Melodies Series” begins with an image of his daughter, Melodie. By using a single image as a series, he illustrates how colors and patterns affect an image. His crayon-based woman’s face stares out in a voyeuristic manner as if following the movement of people coming to and from.
Xan Padrón enjoys 'people watching' behind the lens of his camera. He sets up his equipment, and then, unnoticed by passersby, he captures his shots in one location. He pieces them together later. His observations, and his interest with time, place, and movement in various cities, offer new visions of unique ecosystems. Through an array of background bands of color, his archival work zooms into specific human landscapes. Padron’s archives of people walking in specific local and international communities mimic the tenants’ and visitors’ movements when walking up and down the lobby ramp. They remind us that we all are in motion - going to and from a place often becomes routine.
This exhibition's unique interpretations of people provide us with multiple perspectives, an affirmation that we all see things differently.