Sunday, November 25, 2012



I remember as a child seeing all the hip-hoppers, boom boxes, b-boys and tagged subway cars in NYC, and all the COST/REVS murals all over. Graffiti had a special flavor then...and now, well it's amazing that it's an accepted fine art (almost). Photography also used to be on the fringes. In the fringes, or the fuzzy edges there seems to be more freedom...there are no Picasso shadows to struggle to grow beyond, and into the source of nourishing light. Painting is always there for new voices, but the market through which it reaches an audience is a complex machine. That was the appeal of street art and graffiti to begin with. But now its graduated from its outsider status, and growing in interesting ways, like how in Germany there is a program to get the elderly out of their house by teaching them how to spray paint. Its a cute concept, and allows people to communicate to their community in new ways as well as adding color to the urban palate.

So what art forms remain outside the realm of commerce? Outside the influence of predecessors and a marketplace and dealers and critics? Even community based work is absorbed into the mainstream institutions these days (which is great). And all this intellectual conceptual art, sure I sometimes cultivate projects grown in that soil, but its fruit rarely yield art that you can sink your teeth into.

I guess this is a left brain way of talking about the right brain activity of adorning the body with paint, which is where I have been bringing my mark making lately. The body as the canvas. The material ephemeral. No storage necessary. No studio. No archival concerns. No openings. No reviews. Just creation unfolding through one body onto another. Sure, there are body art painting competitions, where artists paint their painting onto the body, but then its not about the body, but about their imagery. And some of the work is so cheezy that I think it lets people pass judgement in a negative way. Which is perfect, because the fewer people who take it seriously, the more freedom and room there is for people to explore and play.

 photo © Polina Sirosh and Oliver Halsman Rosenberg 2012

So now I am in Tulum, playing with the muse, and collaborating with photographer Polina Sirosh. What washes or sweats off in a matter of hours is now being recorded thru the eyes and lens of a very talented photographer. The images we are getting are amazing, but I will not post them on-line for the most part. To follow the story more closely, check my other blog devoted to this form of expression:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Works Available

If you are in Paris, swing by Galerie Estace (near the Pompidou) where I have some works on paper available for sale.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Vey-Yo's Hello Halo Echo 

The last time I mounted an art show in Paris was 4 years ago, right before I left for India, so it’s nice to return from India and show in Paris the work I made since I was last here. Brachfeld gallery has also allowed me the use of the space for the month of August to use as a residency, hosting different teachings/lectures/workshops/presentations/events.

I knew I had a lot of pieces to choose to show, all small paintings/drawings/collages on paper (cause that’s the easiest to work on when living out of a backpack and traveling). I wanted to do something site-specific that could make all the individual works operate individually or as a group. I decided to put murals on 3 of the walls that the pieces could relate to thematically/conceptually. Also I wanted there to be a blend of the East and the West, not just a display of work made abroad.


For this mural I revisited a mural I did a year ago, when I showed some work in Sweden after my first year and a half in India. I called him my Quantum man, jumping from one location to another, shedding identifying features. It seemed appropriate now to use him again as the Large Hadron Collider in nearby Zurich just confirmed the “God-particle” existence. I wanted all my art to be flying out of his briefcase, like a commuter late for the train. But on a deeper level I am thinking about strings of memories unfolding into the past, each linked and expanding meaning by association, all traceable back to the briefcase, open in the present moment (caught between the door of the past and the door of the future).  The quantum man now has an outfit (with matching hat and briefcase) of sacred geometry (flower of life pattern, also seen in many of the works on paper), which speaks to this French Haute-couture culture of luxury branding. The pieces transition from chaotic strings into salon style hanging, which also references the history of Paris.

For this mural I am integrating East and West concepts of beheading. I am using many images of Kali, a fierce and often misunderstood goddess from the Hindu pantheon as well as that of the guillotine  (the show opened close to Bastille Day -July 14th, the celebration of the French 1789 Revolution), and the iPhone (as the guillotine blade) that makes people “loose their head.” The angel is there to catch the head, and serves as an image to relate works on paper to.  Like a diagram, the strings in this and the next installation come out of specific places and connect to relational visuals. Over all, I liked the image to look like a computer desktop as well as a diagram. Each work on paper was like a folder that could be conceptually double clicked on, accessing more information about the subject. Many relations of images need time in the mind to create meaning for why they were placed together.

The final mural references the fake book cover series I did in India, 6 of which are also on display in the gallery. GalapaGhost in the Machine allows me to talk about technology vs. Evolution/nature, and bring in imagery I made in India, which connect directly or indirectly, to these themes. The main graphic I use on the book cover is a medieval alchemy woodcut of man looking beyond nature to get a glimpse into the mechanisms of heaven. This also allows me to integrate East and West mystical imagery from the past and the present.  Again, the works on paper serve individually as file folders, or create as a whole a feeling of a chart or diagram.

Wall of fake book covers

Limited edition prints available from BRACHFELD Gallery

Window installation

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Oliver Halsman Rosenberg
July 11th - September 15th 2012
Opening : Wednesday, July 11th 2012, 7 - 10PM

Om. This summer Brachfeld Gallery is pleased to present a site-specific installation and new work by nomadic artist Oliver Halsman Rosenberg, who has been traveling through India for the majority of the last 3 years. Also, during the month of August Rosenberg (as his alter ego: "In Praise of the Void"), will be curating the gallery as a pop-up healing space; Hosting lectures, workshops, hapenings, music events, sound-bowl meditations, screenings, and other surprises, facilitated by his community of fellow nomadic scholars and practitioners met during his Indian travels. Please check  IN PRAISE OF THE VOID for an evolving calendar of events.

Rosenberg has been making works on paper (no larger than the bag he has been living out of) that reflect his inner and outer journey through the illuminating  and overwhelming landscapes of India. Themes, techniques, and materials often vary from one body of work to the next. From Sacred Geometry re-mixed to fake spiritual book location would inspire collages, another painting, and another photography. Trying to use local materials and inspired by folk techniques and motifs, the works shown may include any of the following: hand made dung washed paper, eucalyptus paper, rice paper, incense burns, henna, gouache paint, god eyes, and odds and ends from Indian spiritual  ephemera shops. From minimal tantric images, to explosive rainbow energy chaos, to deities emerging from patterns...all that is found in the ever-changing ancient culture and land of India is also reflected in the body and mind. Om

Rosenberg comes from a long lineage of artists and artisans including Ludwig Moser the Bohemian glassmaker,  and Philippe Halsman the celebrity photographer. He studied Art and Art History at Skidmore College (NY) , and SACI ( Florence, Italy). His work has been exhibited in a variety of international galleries and institutions, including: The Drawing Center (NYC), The DESTE Foundation (Greece), Junsthalle Wien (Austria), Berkeley Art Museum (CA), and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts(CA). His work and writing has appeared in The New York Times, Parkett, The Japan Times, D.A.P.,Dwell, Planet, and various art web sites.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Welcome back to NYC Oliver. You have had an amazing 6 month journey to India, learning about tantra, yantras, and mantras as you desired. Now it's time to organize what you created, and get ready for your show in Paris that opens July 11th at Brachfeld Gallery. Not sure to post pix on-line or not. Most of the work is meant to be seen in person.

Friday, January 27, 2012

India 2012 *new drawings/paintings

Back in my favorite living museum...India...eucalyptus paper, gouache, bird calls dancing in ears, temple views...back to the sacred geometry and spiritual iconography...unfolding flowers and stars with symbol of divine devotion with-in...

(view from my outside studio)