Watercolor on archival paper
23 x 17 inches in white-painted custom wood frame with 8ply mat
19 x 13 inches unframed
This whimsical watercolor drawing on archival paper was made by the creative duo Nicholas Kahn & Richard Selesnick as part of their series "Madame Lulu's Book of Fate", wherein the artists celebrate the carnivalesque with a cast of peculiar costumed characters. In this illustration, a burning tree continues to stand despite having been gnawed through by a beaver. An ominous shrub looks on from the left. A palette of umber, beige, spring green and tangerine orange enlivens the composition, and the artists' highly stylized approach adds an almost vintage touch.
The drawing is complimented by a simple white frame, and a sturdy wire across the back provides for instant, professional-quality hanging.
About "Madame Lulu's Book of Fate":
Kahn & Selesnick’s latest project “Madame Lulu’s Book of Fate” continues the adventures of the Truppe Fledermaus, a cabaret troupe of anxious mummers and would-be mystics who catalogue their absurdist attempts to augur a future that seems increasingly in peril due to environmental pressures and global turmoil. In this body of work, the artists also examine the notion of the carnivalesque - traditionally the carnival was a time when the normal order of society was upended and reversed, so that at least for a day the fool might become king, the sinner a priest, men and women might cross dress, and sacred ceremonies and normal mores are burlesqued and spoofed. During such brief times of anarchy, societal pressures were relieved by revealing their somewhat absurd and arbitrary natures. Costumes and masks were traditionally worn so that all people might have the same social status during the duration of the festival. The Truppe ask you to consider: is it the carnival that is upside-down, or perhaps the real world that it purports to burlesque?
About Kahn & Selesnick:
The ultimate storytellers, who have been showing with Carrie Haddad Gallery for more than 20 years, are Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick of Kahn & Selesnick, who met at Washington University in St. Louis in the 1970’s. Their initial collaboration started in Truro, MA with real film and a box camera, (that belonged to Kahn's father and was actually used during the war), a real darkroom, stacks of cotton rag paper, and a xerox machine set on sepia tone. The first few series documented an invented history about “The Royal Excavation Corps” and their experiences with a shaman, experimental wings for solo flying, psychedelic honey and all sorts of adventures shot like an old movie. Eight series later, Kahn & Selesnick now shoot with digital cameras and alter them on the computer. The results are stunning and still have the appearance of an era long ago. One of their most interesting series, Truppe Fledermaus (Bat Troupe), explores magic realism and documents a group a performers dressed as bats, “greenmen” and “death dancers” who wander the countryside performing only for animals. There are many hand-made elements in Kahn & Selesnick's work—imaginative costumes, stage sets, carved clay bat heads and figures, as well as drawings.
About Kahn & Selesnick
based in Hudson, NY, United States