Scott Covert & Ray Johnson at Keyes Art
August 19, 2018: On Saturday August 18, Keyes Art, 53 The Circle-Main Street in East Hampton, hosted the opening reception of “Mail Art,” the pairing of two preeminent artists, Scott Covert and Ray Johnson, with unique mediums at an exciting new show that will be on view at Keyes Art through August 31. Ray Johnson delivers stunning work, and Scott Covert brings gravestone rubbings into vibrant life.
The legendary Ray Johnson was one of the earliest Pop artists, and the father of “Mail Art.” In the late 50s, he created pioneering Pop Art collages, some of which centered on cult figures like Elvis Presley and James Dean. He used strips of printed images, usually accompanied by his signature “bunny head.” The bunnies evolved over the years and became a form of self-portraiture. Eventually Ray created “mail art,” and in 1968 founded the New York Correspondence School, an international network whose members exchanged art through the mail. Ray’s mail art combined painting, lettering, found objects and abstract mosaics. He became renowned for his work, and was the subject of an acclaimed documentary about his life, “How to Draw a Bunny.” On January, 13, 1995, Ray committed suicide, diving off a bridge in Sag Harbor, NY. Ray’s work is held in many private collections and has been widely exhibited.
Scott Covert is a highly regarded contemporary artist who has transformed the Victorian craft of gravestone rubbing—or Frottage—into high art. He has criss-crossed the U.S on his creative pilgrimages, visiting cemeteries where various cultural luminaries are buried, including Florence Ballard, a member of the Supremes, Frederick Douglass, Truman Capote, Malcolm X, Rudolf Valentino, Tammy Wynette, Jack Benny, Jayne Mansfield, Thelonious Monk, Babe Ruth, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe and many more. Scott turns the graveyards into artistic studios, creating his works with a vibrant color palette, often using bold pastel shades of pink and blue. His work has been exhibited throughout the U.S., and there have been many articles written about him, including “Scott Covert: The Dead Supreme” by David Liam Sanderson for Art Fuse in 2017.
Keyes Art is at 53 The Circle on Main Street, East Hampton. Gallery hours are 10am-6pm, open 7 days.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 917-509-1379.
Keyes Art showcases the works of both emerging and celebrated artists in two solid galleries: Julie Keyes Gallery in East Hampton, NY, and The International Club in Wellington, FL.
Photography: Barry Gordin