Pillows 1962-63 by Stephen Antonakos
Stumbled across a contemporary gallery in Chelsea yesterday, Lori Bookstein Fine Arts and it reminded me of why I like looking at art in galleries so much… you can get up really close to the works. Also, I’ve always found viewing works by living artists provides me with a strong sense of community, because the pieces are often motivated by things that are happening in an era for which I live or fully understand.
On display was a retrospective exhibition of the historic Pillow series by Stephen Antonakos from 1962-1963. It was developed in a time when Pop Art and Minimalism were emerging and the European found-object and assemblage traditions were common. This Pillow series was a departure from Antonakos’ signature medium, neon light, and spurred on by an instinctive, unmediated process that informed his decisions. A very interesting artistic process! His medium, the pillow, is what I find most fascinating. Pillows are objects that people interact with everyday, but to see it from the point of view of an artist, as opposed to a designer, makes me think of its potential as a medium to communicate as opposed to solely its function.