Monday, March 23, 2009

EQUUS MAXIMUS Gregory de la Haba


Over-the-top doesn't quite capture the incredible vulgarity of it all.

Gregory de la Haba's Equus Maximus is unabashedly pagan. Grand carnal passions ignite in a full-scale installation of barbarism and gaudy frills. It is the decadence of Rome and the unquenchable greed of recent years. It is primitive hunger and lust, unbridled—the return of the repressed.

This show at Jack the Pelican is so over the top, it seems completely incomprehensible to this viewer that it has not received more critical attention/
The artist told me this piece was five years in the making and was driven down to Miami for the art fair this December by himself. At one point the cops stopped his Uhaul at the midtown tunnel and were taking pictures of his black stallion that was on it's back with 20" hard on pointing skyward. In the Gallery we find Black Stallion with two white females all life-size (Horse scale) with humanoid vaginas. They are all on a real craps table from Las Vegas covered in sequins. Jack the Pelican has done some pretty wild shows over the years, but this one may take the cake. Where is the New York Times, they have not written anything about Williamsburg in a couple years. Lazy Legs must be the reason. These horses were skinned to perfection by the artist. Nancy Grave's camels would run for their lives if they saw them. Joesph Beuy's coyote would have licked his chops at the realism of the armature's. With sexy music and draped transparent shims hanging from the ceiling this installation is a perfect whorehouse for our pathetic pathos. The question here is what does an artist have to do? Richard Tuttle merely presented a few simple forms in the early seventies and had the whole board of the Whitney Museum bent out of shape. Today have we seen it all? Sometimes less is more, not in this case. If you want to get shocked out of your depression having lost half your never had net worth go see it.

Mary Reed

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