Monday, February 6, 2012

Eat, Drink, Create: The B(A)NO{S} Show

The complete works of B(A)NO{S} will be on view and for sale at This Must be the Place Gallery this month. The opening reception is Friday, Feb 10 at 6pm.

In the mid 1990s, Milton Carter was invited to attend Boys Night Out with a group of older guys in Asheville, NC who met once a week. Everyone chipped in a dollar and they had different themed nights, like jam (music) night or bowling but it was basically a frat hangout for art dudes. After moving to New York, Carter proposed the idea of a "boys night out" for artists to his new friends: designer Derick Holt, painter Harrison Marshall, graphic artist Mike Reddy, and later illustrator and artist Nathan Gelgud. Gatherings would be used to make and discuss art--not just as excuses to get out of the house. {Society} was added—tongue partially in cheek—with the intention of creating a fraternal organization with outposts in different cities. Dues were raised to five dollars. And so, in 2008, B(A)NO{S} was born.

Organized around semi-regular meetings, B(A)NO{S} projects take place in one night. Members rotate hosting duties, and create a project based on certain materials, concepts, or inspiration. In addition to devising the project, the host also cooks dinner for the other members. With a few exceptions, each member must begin and complete his piece that evening.

At a typical meeting, time constricted art-making takes place amidst an environment of food prep, a generous amount of snacks, responsible drinking, and general buffoonery punctuated by a steady stream of personal insults. Each member’s personal work outside of B(A)NO{S} is given serious discussion. Every meeting is meant to push the limits of every participant’s skill and to give him the opportunity to assess his life as an artist alongside other like-minded artists with similar pursuits.

The work on view represents the complete B(A)NO{S} catalogue up to now. In the few cases where the original work was not available, photos fill the gap. Also on view are some works that are the results of collaborations between certain members made outside of meetings, many of which apply techniques developed in B(A)NO{S}, and all of which are made in the spirit of camaraderie that is vital to the group.

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