ARE THEY NOT MEN? THEY ARE POTATOTRON
February 9, 2014 -- This past Saturday night, in a performance reminiscent of the late 70's and 80's new wave/punk band Devo, the band Potatotron closed out Potatoville: Post Potatoism, an art exhibition at the Glenwood Church on Grove Street in Glenwood Landing.
As an animated film introduced the band from the planet Potatotronia, the trio, fronted by LIU-Post Fine Arts Professor Jeffery Allen Price, took to the make-shift stage at the altar in the church's sanctuary, wearing burlap potato sacks fashioned into robes resembling those worn by monks of the European middle ages. Joining Mr. Price, were NY Area DJ musician-brothers, Francisco Caban and Gabriel Caban.
The high energy, electronically synthesized songs, many original, and of course, a cover of Devo's I'm a Potato, each paid tribute to the new world root vegetable. For the second set, Mr. Price, appearing like a carnival barker, donned a top hat and thick black-rimmed glasses and took the stage shouting "Viva La Potato! Viva La Potato Revolution!."
Mr. Price began performing potato music around the start of his Think Potato movement in 1996 in a variety of potato bands-- The Blues Spuds, God Potato, Tater County and others. Potatotron favorites such as “Brave Potato,” “Potato from the Hill,” “Potato Circus,” “Funky Potato” and others vary and mix styles and genres, ranging from Country/Dutch Rockabilly, Heavy Grunge, Post-Punk Electronic to Post Spaghetti Western, Reggae/Dub, free-form sound landscapes, and even an opening heavily influenced by Gregorian Chants.
The art exhibition, which opened in mid December, featured about 30 works by students in the Master of Fine Arts program and Faculty at Long Island University C.W. Post Campus, as well as by local artists.
Honoring the often under-appreciated tuber for its importance in human history and perhaps for the countless ways in which it can be prepared, the exhibit's artwork incorporates the potato in a variety of ways - in some works as the centerpiece and in others a bit more subtly. A few of the mixed-media pieces include actual potatoes.
Wendy Foster's "Latke Dream"is an 18 inch high stack of blue ceramic Latkes with a dreidel perched on top. In Heon Woo Nam's piece "Potato Eye, only under close inspection and with a lot of help from the work's title, does the viewer discover that there are bits of actual potato floating in the creature's (or is it a potato's?) resin eye. Justin Mayer's "Potato Farmer" depicts a beautiful Andean girl gathering potatoes and holding them so as to conceal her bare chest.
Mr. Price has been creating potato themed art and organizing potato related events since the mid 1990's and is the founder of the Think Potato Institute and organizer of the Occupy Potato movement. His enthusiasm for spuds carries over into music as well.
The exhibition was organized by Mr. Price and Glenwood Arts Director, and Sea Cliff resident, Greg Sturge.
Coming this Spring
Glenwood Arts continues its collaboration with local artists, the community and other groups, featuring the PAK-CAT Upcycle Co. Pop-up Depository and Project Space created and led by Jeffrey Allen Price. Starting this Spring, community members are invited to Glenwood Arts’ (at Glenwood Church’ Community Center) to drop off their daily products and non-conventional materials (teabags, used plastic lighters, laundry lint, dead lightbulbs, eggshells, used markers, etc). These accumulations become works of art in their own right, becoming the basis-materials for new works of art, architecture and furniture by PAK-CAT, local schools, LIU, local artists and members of the community
For more information about Jeffrey Allen Price, click here for a link to his website.
For more information about Glenwood Arts Click Here.
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