This Kevin Amato show at Casa de Costa has many layers of overlap. It's a New York complex. A hidden yet oddly prevailing and therefore mythic New York, multi-cultural, hermetic, commercial, grass-roots, spontaneous and yet packaged. It's the New York of the everyday which you could take for granted if you're careless in your thinking . It's a New York that some people think of as being on the fringes.Yet when you come back to New York after a long sojourn it is the New York that makes this city indelible.
It's photographer Amato's take on the New York of the South Bronx, home to hip-hop and the subsequent cultural revolution invoked in its wake. But in terms of cultural manufacturing, you might be mis-led to think that the revolution is finished given its thorough and ruthless commodification. Snapshot? Throwaway? Candids? Personal diary? Half-fashion, urban boy/urban girl fetish? Are these pictures too eye candy and light drenched to be taken up as heavy thinking art? Is it photography as off-handed and yet as sure handed as graf? I don't think Keith Haring would had a problem with "F*ck The Golden Years' '" populist bent . He would appreciated the continuation of this kind of vernacular imagery as a legacy. I mean these are the sons and daughters of the boys Haring chased some 30 years ago.
I was very happy to see the images of the exhibit on leopardmilkshake.com. It means that tenacious New York ideal forges on. And Amato has a beautiful sense of place and time in his pictures that makes for a seductive intimacy. And that's the personal value therein.