Kavi Gupta is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition for Ari Marcopoulos entitled, Midway. Ari Marcopoulos has been an active documentarian and participant of American pop culture for thirty years. A native of Amsterdam, Marcopoulos moved to New York in 1979 where he began working as a printer to Andy Warhol. At that time, he began taking portraits of artists and social figures of the 1980s downtown New York scene. With little formal training, Marcopoulos has developed a style and approach to photography that neither romanticizes his subjects nor objectifies them. His candid images of street culture, urban youths, athletes and celebrities suggest an anthropological impulse to record his contemporary milieu. A segment of Marcopoulos’s recent photographs and video stills explore Joseph Beuys’s mythic narratives, including an image of a forlorn coyote, referencing the latter’s 1974 performance “I like America and America likes me.” Photographs of Beuys’s original monographs are abstracted through image degradation and mechanical reproduction. Marcopoulos shares similar personal experiences to Beuys, including a move to New York from Europe and a fascination with Americana. Since 2000, the artist’s teenage sons have become a recurring subject of his work. Observing and documenting their interactions with pop culture and everyday home life, he adds a layer of intimacy and the personal to his practice. The work, however, retains a distance allowing for a broader commentary on the contemporary American family. In a recent interview Marcopoulos states, “…as my sons went into teenagehood, they started to look like some of the groups of people I had photographed previously. They started to become like my old subjects. As if, as a photographer, you come around to the same visual points.”
Ari Marcopoulos was born in 1957 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Recent exhibitions include the 2010 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum, New York; This Week, Galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris, France; Abandoned Sleep, Ratio 3, San Francisco; Street and Studio: From Basquiat to Seripop, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria and Ari Marcopoulos: It Might Seem Familiar, Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Marcopoulos currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.