This exhibition examines the tension between our natural drive to excel and succeed and the human need for quiet reflection, relaxation, and clarity. You Are Thinking Too Much is a reminder that you don’t have to do it all, know it all, and be on top of it all… In fact, to truly find balance and happiness, we all need to let go and stop overthinking.
You Are Thinking Too Much is about turning it off without going dark. It is focused on prioritizing the things that matter in every aspect of life – beyond business and the chaos of the day. Silencing the phone, allowing colleagues to handle the details, letting go of the loose ends that tie knots in the back of our brains…
Welcome to You Are Thinking Too Much, an exhibition that gives you permission to turn off the phone and focus on what’s important right now. What are we looking at? Who are we with? Why are we here? How do we want to live? We are fortunate to have the resources to manage the things that get in the way of our humanity, our ability to connect with each other on a deeper level, and the time to observe and appreciate what we typically overlook.
The artwork you experience tonight will provoke a new level of thinking about how you engage the world. What is your aesthetic? How do these works signify the ideals and vision that inform your life? How can pieces of art creatively tell our outlook today and into the future? We encourage you to let go of the conventional, abdicate responsibility for the details, and look closely at the things that inspire you to dream bigger.
The topic also highlights NYC where both Romano Law and the Soho Salon Series operate. We are deeply familiar with – and immersed in – the culture that drives the city and its inhabitants. In fact, we both embrace and manage the environment so that our constituencies can take time to observe and enjoy it. Romano Law specializes in the entertainment, cultural and corporate sectors, a focus that informed the selection of artworks – many of which were chosen to highlight the work and sensibilities of clients. The firm proudly presents You Are Thinking Too Much in celebration of 20 years of service and in recognition of the clients, partners, friends, and family who have made it possible. Many of the artworks are also from the permanent collection of LOI.
*Eugenio Ambudia © Galería Max Estrella, Courtesy: Max Estrella
About the selected artwork:
Eugenio Ampudia’s Our Destiny was Present, for example, depicts New York throughout days and nights, weeks and months, and all four seasons. This beautiful collage combines peaceful panorama with constant movement and change. Ampudia (b. 1958) lives and works in Madrid. As a multidisciplinary artist, his work approaches the artistic processes from a critical point of view; the artist as a promoter of ideas, the political role of creators, the meaning of art pieces, the strategies that allow to bring them to life, their mechanisms of production, promotion and consumption, the efficiency of spaces assigned to art, as well as the analysis and experience of those who watch and interprets them. His work has been internationally exhibited in places as ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany; Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman, Jordan; Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico DF, Centro de las Artes de Monterrey and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, Mexico; Boston Center for the Arts, Boston (MA), USA; Ayala Museum, Manila, Philippines; The Whitechapel Gallery in London; Abierto X Obras, Matadero Madrid, Spain; MAC Gas Natural Fenosa, La Coruña, Spain; and in Biennials such as Singapore and Havana’s The End of the World Biennial. And it is also held in collections of museums as MNCARS, MUSAC, ARTIUM, IVAM, and La Caixa, among others.
Park Daa Won’s iconic paintings are created in one stroke after countless hours of meditation. Deeply rooted in Eastern philosophy, Dawon’s approach is centered on emptying her mind and becoming one with the world around her – thereby enabling a more pure, instinctual and uninterrupted creative process. The strength of her brushstrokes is, perhaps, derived from her aesthetic foundation which was shaped through her early childhood exposure to Korean literati painting (traditionally and predominately practised by scholar-gentlemen during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Park’s works also highlight the difference in history and cultural background. Park’s (b. 1959) work begins with a single color undercoat. This quiet process, which will serve as the basis for the narrative rhythm and three-dimensional resonance afterwards, is repeated with thousands of brushstrokes, stacking 50 to 60 layers. When the mind and spirit are satisfied, a touch of a free brush is applied. This tension, the explosion of free energy, and the restraint of a calm moment are harmonized, revealing the infinite power and long aftertaste of abstract art through dots, lines, and blank spaces. ‘Now Here’, explains the artist’s philosophy of time, life, and existence. It contains intense introspection to face the essence through the perception of ‘this moment’, the process of countless present passing through the flow of time to become the past and the future.
Devin Reynolds‘s piece Untitled is born of 1980s advertising, signage, graffiti and personal narrative, combined with material application on board and canvases, examines a more contemporary aesthetic where messages of all kinds invade our everyday lives. Devin Reynolds is a painter based in New Orleans. He received a BA in Architecture from Tulane University in 2017. Originally from Venice Beach, CA, Reynolds grew up working as a deckhand on The Betty O, a local sportfishing boat. He was raised between flea markets, yard sales, and the beach. His first encounters with art-making came in his early twenties in the form of graffiti. His obsession for graffiti took off when he began painting his assumed alias on the sides of freight cars that traverse the railroads of North America. Devin’s art practice finds itself at the intersection of graffiti and his love for nostalgic Americana design and sign painting, through the lense of his biracial upbringing in LA. In 2018, his work was featured in the solo exhibition Tyrone Don’t Surf at Antenna Gallery in New Orleans. He has exhibited in group exhibitions at the Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York; Core Gallery, New Orleans; The Chamber, Tacoma, WA; UNO Gallery St. Claude, New Orleans; and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, where he was awarded “Best in Show” in Louisiana Contemporary (2017). In 2018, he was awarded an Early Art Practitioners Residency at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans. (Texts from Joan Mitchell Foundation)
Lolo Loren, a Dutch artist based in Ibiza. Loren brings us Voyeurs and Voyagers, a set of two photographs, depicting life in a Central American metropolis. These explore the contrast between the anonymity of crowds and city life and the deeply intimate lives within. Lolo Loren was born as Lise Lorraine Gelderman in Rotterdam. She started her career in fashion after her studies at the fashion academy in Paris. She attended the Vogue Academy in Amsterdam and has worked for several important Dutch interior designers. She was the founder of looco.com, an online platform for wedding lists. Lolo’s career shifted from styling towards art.
Sammy Lee’s the Hour between Dog and Wolf is a sculpture suspended in a tank. The title refers to the French saying “entre chien et loup”. Jean Genet’s quote can be read “The hour between dog and wolf, that is, dusk, when the two can’t be distinguished from each other, suggests a lot of other things besides the time of day…The hour in which…every being becomes his own shadow, and thus something other than himself. The hour of metamorphoses, when people half hope, half fear that a dog will become a wolf. The hour that comes down to us from at least as far back as the early Middle Ages, when country people believed that transformation might happen at any moment.” The sculpture is accompanied by Showgirl single channel projection. Lee is partly inspired by Loïe Fuller’s hypnotic ‘Serpentine Dance’ which reconfigured fixed representations of the female body as eroticized stage spectacle into visual alchemy, through the inventive use of light technologies and bodily prosthetics. In this video ideas of metamorphosis are explored using the drapery of silver foil curtains, where the appearance and disappearance of human form abstracts into raw energy and constellations of light. The veiled female body in motion plays an enigmatic character, in a performance of becoming metaphor. Sammy Lee is a Canadian artist of Korean heritage, currently based in London. Her work traverses virtual realities, moving images and immersive installation, exploring ideas of human-machine consciousness, more-than-human subjectivity, and the poetics and politics of recent cultural history. Her artworks are highly collaborative and multidimensional, weaving the site-specific with the global. Her recent public artwork Aviary (2021), commissioned by Tate St Ives, combined real-time simulated birds with live environmental data to create a site-specific installation and 360 live stream. Drawing on the ancient divination practice of augury, Aviary was a form of data visualisation using birds as relatable symbols which have inspired mythology throughout the ages. Last year an adapted version of Aviary was exhibited at the Myungwon Museum in Seoul, curated by Stephanie Seungmin Ki. Data sets were adapted to reflect local environment concerns such as air pollution and flooding.
Koh Sang Woo’s Night Vision shows nocturnal creatures and reminds us of perceptions that depend on vision. Recently, scientists tested the ability of barn owls to find a moving target among various shifting backgrounds, a visual processing task previously only tested in primates. The result, a striking owl portrait, was created with painstaking precision and countless hours of artistry. Recognizable by the blue tone photograph that captures his subject using negative film, Koh Sang Woo is a visual artist who consolidates photography, performance, and painting. His work is a result of dialogue with the model. The decoration of their bodies and hear with flowers and butterflies and painting them with brush strokes is a part of the performance and preparation for photographing. His subjects are completely revealed, represented in their essential purity. Change of the color and the light in exposure gives them intense visual and emotional charge. Koh gives us the opportunity to see the world in reverse, to reconsider the way in which we look at others and understand ourselves. Koh graduated with the School of Art Institute of Chicago in 2001, he double-majored in Photography and Performance Art. Working in both mediums at the same time allowed him to explore the relation between captured moment and movement. He thinks that photography is lacking by emotion and that its combination with performance is the only way the right message gets to the audience. Koh has exhibited widely worldwide and was listed in 2013 as one of the 100 most important Korean contemporary artists. He has participated in various international fairs such as Armory Show, Armory Photography, Art Basel Hong Kong and Art Miami and his works are held in various international collections including National Museum of Contemporary Art and Savina Museum in Korea. [Text from James Freedman Gallery].
Heekyung Sung continues the tradition of Chekgado from Korea’s Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910) where these royal painting embody an ideal world throughout philosophical politicsI liked scholars and politicians. Books, various stationery, and symbols of peace and abundance were put in the bookcase. The Chakegado were able to both satisfy demands of scholarism and conspicuous consumption. Sung is based in Korea and has explored this traditional technique for last three decades.
Bernhard Hildebrandt (b.1959) Much of Hildebrandt’s practice merges photography and painting. Although he was trained as a painter, photography has always had a great impact on Hildebrandt’s work; he is especially influenced by the medium’s early stages, from mid-19th century daguerreotypes to the late 19th-century photographic studies of motion by Eadweard Muybridge. The paintings of modern European masters Paul Cézanne, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, Marcel Duchamp, and Giacomo Balla, who all in their different ways attempted to distort the picture plane into multifaceted fragments, are also highly inspirational for the artist. Recently, the nexus between painting and photography has become the primary focus of Hildebrandt’s work. Just as early photography challenged the illusionary quality and representational character of realistic painting and pushed painting toward abstraction, painting has also challenged photography both visually and conceptually. This Intersections project links the painterly aspects of photography and the photographic bases of painting that intrigue the artist.
Eric Reed Boucher (b. 1958), known professionally as Jello Biafra, is an American singer, spoken word artist and political activist. He is the former lead singer and songwriter for the San Francisco punk rock band Dead Kennedys.
HaYoung Kim (b.1983, Seoul) previously studied painting at Hongik University in Seoul, Korea, before going on to complete her Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art at the Royal Academy Schools. Since graduating from the Schools in 2011, she has also completed a Doctorate of Fine Art (DFA) at The School of Arts and Digital Industries in London. Working primarily with painting on polyester canvas and drafting film, often incorporating it into animation and installation, HaYoung is very much interested in modern technology and science, and their effect on the human mind. She finds it fascinating that people are becoming like characterless characters; by losing some part of their humanity and individuality in the high-technology society, they start living in a big game world. The controlling, cold, rational, and “intelligent” logic make them feel like objects, resulting in the creation of vulnerable and fragile feelings.
Jungwook Mok (b. 1980) is one of the most celebrated fashion photographers from Korea. This series of photographs ‘Urban Topography Research’ started from a nostalgic personal experienc. Places of Seoul that are no longer there. Mok writes “Wlaking through footage taken from various sources, including the internet, I attempt to reproduce the diverse mooments of explosive demolition as a significant symbolic event of transformation of urban environment.
James Nares is a contemporary British artist known for large calligraphic paintings. Inspired by Roy Lichtenstein’s iconic depictions of brushstrokes, Nares’ paintings are intuitive and gestural, created in a single swipe of the brush. She may erase and attempt the same stroke over and over again, continuing until the desired precision is achieved. “A lot of it had to do with reinventing the brush, the surface, and the paint,” she explained of her process. “They’re pretty simple, the ingredients to my paintings. I like to think of it as like making bread or something. A little change in the recipe and you get something completely different.” Born in 1953 in London, England, Nares went on to study at the School of Visual Arts in New York, soon becoming an integral part of the late 1970s downtown Manhattan art scene, initially working in film and creating a series titled No Wave. Today, her work is found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Albright-Knox Art Museum in Buffalo, among others. Nares lives and works in New York, NY.
Cecil Ffrench (b. 1904) was born in India as his parents were Henry Lyde Salkeld, a member of the Indian civil service, and Blanaid Salkeld, a poet. He returned to Ireland with his mother in 1910 after the death of his father in 1909. He attended Mount St Benedict’s, Gorey, County Wexford, and the Dragon School, Oxford. Salkeld did win a scholarship to Oundle but returned to Dublin where he entered the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art in 1919 to study under Seán Keating and James Sleator.
Sue Coe (b. 1951) graduated from the Chelsea School of Art and Royal College of Art in London. She moved to New York, where she taught until 1978, before fully devoting herself to painting and press illustration, exploring in each instance the theme of protest against any kind of social or political abuse of power. During her first years in New York, she gained knowledge of the Dada movement (founded in Zurich in 1916) and of New Objectivity (active in Germany between 1918 and 1933), the politically-conscious works of which tackled society’s failings with revolutionary fervour. Also an activist, she developed a sharp and unaffected figurative style, free of any element that would get in the way of the power of the message conveyed, and going so far as to add words or symbols to her drawings to simplify their interpretation. Coe’s first subjects dealt with all forms of inequality: urban violence is featured in a series of paintings that draw on her personal experience or on real events.
Léa Bou Habib is a Lebanese visual artist based out of both Beirut and London, working mainly in oil and charcoal mediums. Léa is inspired by human vulnerabilities, virtue and decadence. Her paintings are multi-layered narratives, often questioning individuality in face of the contemporary world. Léa has training in classical realism at the Barcelona Academy of Art and has participated in a number of exhibitions in Beirut and Spain over the years. She also has recently started painting murals as a way to practice art in another culturally engaging manner. Her recent mural in Beirut with Art of Change NGO produced in support of Women Empowerment gave her the title of being the first female artist to produce a mural of that scale in Lebanon.
Meekyoung Shin, who trained in the classical tradition of European sculpture, is known for her ongoing “Translation” project, which explores the processes of translation and mutation—both literal and figurative—undergone by cultural objects that have been subjected to a change in location. Her “Translation Vases” (2009), for example, are soap facsimiles of Chinese originals created for the European market in the 16th through 20th centuries, painstakingly colored, carved, and painted and displayed on shipping crates. For Shin’s “Kouros” series (2009), she modeled archaic and classical sculptures in soap, preserving their cracks, missing limbs, and other defects.
Lee Sang Yong has been carving on collected materials he collected, crafting them with his ‘touch’ meticulously creating works that play on space and time. Lee had carved on hundreds of inkstones. Inkstone is one of the ‘Four Precious Things of the Study according to Eastern Confucianism, and have been dug out from a mountain, used by scholars for all their lives. Grinding them, and preparing stories on them means ‘fate’ for Lee. Since the pandemic, Lee has begun painting on collected ancient wooden panels and abandoned woodblocks he previously had collected while travelling the coastline of Korea. Their weathering from the elements over their long life makes them almost as strong as a rock. He then smooths them down, making flat surfaces before adding multiple layers of paints and drawings to make each a symphony of time and touch.
Over the past decade, New York–based artist Wade Guyton (b. 1972) has pioneered a groundbreaking body of work that explores our changing relationships to images and artworks through the use of common digital technologies, such as the desktop computer, scanner, and inkjet printer. Guyton’s purposeful misuse of these tools to make paintings and drawings results in beautiful accidents that relate to daily lives now punctuated by misprinted photos and blurred images on our phone and computer screens… (They) confront the viewer like the layered pages of a book or stacked windows on a monitor. (text from Whitney Museum of Art)
After studying in Korea and Japan, Joon Choi moved to the US in 1982, and in 1984 he established the first Korean studio in Manhattan, New York. After returning to Korean in 1988, the way he walked became the way of Korean advertising photographs and portraits. He is a rare photographer who takes both commercial and art photography. The artifacts of the Beakje era, which was taken by Joon Choi are very unusual. His photographs are very intense and have a power to draw the essence of the object linearly.
Ayoung Kim is one of the most prolific artists working now. She explores present-day issues concerning the modern and contemporary history of Korea, petroleum politics, territorial imperialism, and the migration of capital and date through her videos, performances, and installations shown at the exhibitions including the 2015 Venice Biennale and in her solo show at the Palais de Tokyo in 2016. Ayoung Kim has participated in the 56th International Exhibition of the Venice Biennale (2015) and the Serpentine Galleries’ public programme (London, 2016). She has exhibited at Maraya Art Centre (Sharjah, 2015), SeMA (Seoul, 2014), the Leeum (Seoul, 2012), the Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin, 2011), 176/Zabludowicz Collection (London, 2011) and the Museum of Arts and Design (New York, 2011).
Libby Schoettle is a NYC artist originally from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She attended Gettysburg College, Philadelphia University and graduated with honors from Hunter College. Libby’s alter ego character PhoebeNewYork first came to life in collages created with found objects, including vintage photographs, magazine pages, clothing, as well as old books, record covers, reproduced prints on paper, and the occasional iconic pop art element. The artist is drawn to materials that have been owned and handled by others, materials that have been touched over time and that will remain intact over time (or not). As a perfectionist, Libby uses her art to fight against her own flaws, and to find beauty in the mistaken. She often chooses to make her collages from materials that “have lived an imperfect life,” as evidenced by wrinkles, bumps, spots and tears. She uses archival glue and mattes to attach her works. From the streets of New York City to Philadelphia, L.A., London, and Berlin, NYC-based artist Libby Schoettle reveals her own vulnerability, raw emotions, and witty observations through her alter-ego PhoebeNewYork‘s dark and funny explorations into love, feminism, political independence, and finding beauty in the mistaken.
Since the 1960s, Lynda Benglis has been celebrated for her free, ecstatic forms, which are simultaneously playful and visceral, organic and, abstract. Benglis began her career in the midst of the Postminimal movement, pushing the traditions of painting and sculpture into new territories. She initiated several bodies of work in the late 60s and early 70s that set the course for her subsequent practice. Her wax paintings, which began with brushed skin-like layers of pigmented beeswax and dammar resin progressed, in one series, to the use of a blowtorch as a kind of brush, manipulating colors into a marbleized surface that seemingly fought against the constraints of the lozenge-shaped Masonite panels. The impulse to see these forms flow beyond the structure of a traditional support led Benglis to embrace pigmented latex, which she began pouring directly onto the floor. The use of gravity and her body in the latex pours invoked Jackson Pollock’s process, a connection immortalized in the February 27, 1970 edition of Life magazine, which featured Benglis at work.Benglis began her career in the midst of the Postminimal movement, pushing the traditions of painting and sculpture into new territories. She initiated several bodies of work in the late 60s and early 70s that set the course for her subsequent practice. Her wax paintings, which began with brushed skin-like layers of pigmented beeswax and dammar resin progressed, in one series, to the use of a blowtorch as a kind of brush, manipulating colors into a marbleized surface that seemingly fought against the constraints of the lozenge-shaped Masonite panels. The impulse to see these forms flow beyond the structure of a traditional support led Benglis to embrace pigmented latex, which she began pouring directly onto the floor. The use of gravity and her body in the latex pours invoked Jackson Pollock’s process, a connection immortalized in the February 27, 1970 edition of Life magazine, which featured Benglis at work. (Text from Pace Gallery).
Sea Hyun Lee (b. 1967) is a South Korean artisr who lives and works in London and Seoul. The series of paintings Between Red is inspired by the demilitarized zone between South Korea and North Korea. No man’s land since 1953, the fauna and the flora develop on this space of 249 kilometers long and 4 kilometers wide. The different paintings show a great visual coherence, with a very precise and detailed style, various “islands” seem to float. The mountain elements appear and disappear, evoking with melancholy the trauma of the post-war period. Lee’s works may seem like utopia, but it actually capture dystopia created by humans. When looked from afar, it looks like a landscape painting but looked closely, there are images of ruins of buildings and traces of cannonballs; his works frankly speak of Korea’s painful history. Traces of pain and reality of today’s society are portrayed along with the artist’s intimate places and people on the canvas. He graduated from Hongiik University and Chelsea School of Art London.
Shan Hur works and lives in London and Seoul. Hur holds an M.F.A from The Slade School of Fine Art (2010) and a B.F.A in Sculpture from Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea (2007). His work is held in the collection of the British Art Collection and some recent awards include ‘Royal British Society of Sculptors Bursary Award’, London U.K. (2013), Oriel Davies Open 2012 Newtown Wales, Uk Finalist, ‘The Open West’, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK, 1st Award, ‘Art Catlin’ Finalist (2011). His work is included in the forthcoming exhibition at the Korean Museum, and he has participated in recent exhibitions A New Column for Manchester, Manchester University, Manchester, UK (2014), and L’ÂGE D’OR, Aando fine art, Berlin, Germany (2013) among others. Shan Hur’s sculptural interventions disrupt the viewer’s perception of the white cube as an art container, directly implicating the gallery space as an active element in the artwork itself. The ideas, which inform his practice, derived from a careful examination of construction sites and closed shops, fascinated by the moment of transition when a particular space is reconfigured for a new purpose. [Text from Gazelli Art House]