Syd Krochmalny
Collectors Buy The Aura

Opening Reception : November 9th 6 - 8pm

Dates: November 9th - November 29th 2023

The Opening Gallery  is pleased to present  Syd Krochmalny's conceptual paintings that venture into themes of authenticity, originality, and replication, by navigating the intricate maze between the genuine and the reproduced. Drawing inspiration from Chinese philosophy and its nuanced take on authenticity, the artist attempts to contrast these insights against the West’s relentless pursuit of immutable truth.

Krochmalny treats paintings as theoretical hypotheses. He paints words, not solely through the alphabets or scripts but by transcribing intangible emotions, abstract concepts, and profound philosophies into tangible color and form. Through a harmonious fusion of the visual and the verbal, he seeks to capture the profound potential of art—its inherent power to act, influence, and tap into the intrinsic essence of existence. Using brushes as my pens, Krochmalny writes with forms, hues, and textures. Each brushstroke becomes a word, a sentence, a story, echoing a symphony of creation, reception, and essence. This dance between the figurativism of the literal and the abstract allows me to construct narratives, rendering intangible thoughts into palpable visual tales.

In "Collectors Buy the Aura," the concept of origin is a comforting myth: the idea that something is singular and irreplaceable, much like ourselves. Yet, we routinely replace our sneakers annually, and society typically utilizes its labor force for a span of 45 years. Artwork, too, adheres to a similar perception. We uphold the aura of art, believing it elevates its worth to immeasurable heights. This aura, rooted in the unique existence of an object at a specific time and place, holds profound allure. While collectors venerate the time-honored aura of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, they are also willing to invest $3,000,000 in a mound of candies attributed to a deceased artist.

But, what determines the value of art? How is it established? While Karl Marx opined that commodities are opaque, Krochmalny views artwork in a similar light. These age-old questions find their answers in the evolving landscape of the art world. During the era of modernism, artists held the power to dictate the value of their work. However, post the ‘bubble effect’ of the art market in the 1980s, the value of artwork began to be shaped by the collective influences of various stakeholders - from curators, collectors, art critics, and museums, to galleries, universities, and auction houses.

Challenging traditional perspectives on the viewer's, collector's and artist’s role within the creative continuum, Krochmalny emphasizes the transcendental nature of art. It’s not just artists that give life to art, but art, with its myriad expressions and interpretations, that breathes life into us, artists.

At its core, this body of work is not just a testament to art’s transformative might, but also a vivid demonstration of how words can be rendered through brushstrokes. The artist aims to engage viewers both aesthetically and intellectually, crafting a journey that stretches beyond the limits of the canvas, resonating in the body, mind, and soul.

"Collectors Buy the Aura," grapples with the multifaceted intricacies of post-capitalist structures and the very essence of value, consumption, and obsolescence. The solo exhibition navigates the symbolic and the literal, weaving together fragments of a rapidly changing world. The deserted expanse of forsaken shopping realms evokes a dance of historical significance, intertwining with shadows of impending uncertainties. This imagery wrestles with the duality of our societal symbols, reflecting t he ongoing tension between insatiable consumerism and its inherent threats.

Venturing deeper into the fabric of commercialism, the chaos of scattered remnants raises questions on the intrinsic value and essence of art. Can art’s core remain untouched when interwoven with commercial transactions, or does it gather richness through the very systems seemingly undermining its sanctity? The interplay of originality and authenticity is another focal point. Through strokes and shades, the artist ponders our society’s relentless chase for the “unique” while exploring the intriguing confusion between the eternal and the ephemeral.

In the echoing silence of once-bustling temples of capitalism, Krochmalny envisions a transformative narrative. These spaces, while relics of past indulgences, hint at possibilities of future reimagination, urging a shift from mere transactional hubs to symbols teeming with deeper narratives. This series of works isn’t just about observation—it’s a provocation. It urges introspection, challenging viewers to dissect, interpret, and perhaps redefine boundaries amidst the ever-converging worlds of commerce and canvas.


About The Artist

Syd Krochmalny is a multidisciplinary artist and thinker. He holds multiple roles, including artist, writer, poet, novelist, researcher, musician, curator,  gallerist, and professor. No single description or theme can encapsulate his many endeavors, which range from the political to the humorous to musings on the interactions between society and technology, and from which emerge a unique and profound form of social commentary. Following his completion of a Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires, where he also obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, he pursued Postdoctoral studies on Latin American Art at Columbia University in New York. Krochmalny’s multimedia work (from performance to video, from photography to painting, from sculpture to installation, from experimental writing to essay, from poetry to literature) has been exhibited around the globe at prestigious institutions such as the Reina Sofia Museum, Harvard University, David Rockefeller Center, the MALBA, the Americas Society, Cultural Center of Memory Haroldo Conti, Remembrance Park, University of Oslo, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, MAC de Niteroi, Pinacoteca San Pablo, The University of Edinburgh, Museum of Contemporary Art in Buenos Aires, Tecnópolis and others. Notably, he is the author of several books, including “Darios del Odio” [Journals of Hate], 2016; “Débil” [Weak], 2017; “Los Sueños: Gino Germani en la revista Idilio con fotomontajes de Grete Stern” [The Dreams: Gino Germani in the magazine ‘Idilio’ with photomontages by Grete Stern] 2018; “El tamaño de mi mundo” [The Size of My World], 2021; and “Ramona: debates en el arte al filo del milenio” [ramona: Debates in the Art on the Edge of the Millennium], 2021. Krochmalny has been an active collaborator in various literary endeavors. He contributed a prologue to “Crypto Currency and Sovereignty” (2022) and other books on gender, sexuality, and cultural studies. His work on Diarios del Odio” (installation, poetry, and performance) has further distinguished his career. This piece, lauded by artists, critics, and historians, includes two essays that are among his most recognized artworks and contributes to the publication of “La Babel del Odio,” a part of the “Cuadernos de Lenguas Vivas” collection housed at the Museo de la Lengua del Libro of the National Library of Argentina. He has also been instrumental in multiple magazine projects, serving as editor of Ramona, co-founder and editor of Jennifer Magazine, and co-founder and editor of the CIA magazine (Center for Artistic Research).