Showtime: James Rosenquist and Ben Fenske

This “blue-collar” anti-pop star cultivated his inimitable skill painting commercial billboards through the 50s. Though clustered alongside pop artist icons such as Warhol and Lichtenstein, Rosenquist’s oeuvre tends to be more politically subversive, playfully abstract and Aesopian in its storytelling. His horizontal lithographic prints from the 70s will be showcased at Heckscher Museum, revealing his career-spanning preoccupation with technology, consumerism and American culture. The six oversized pieces on display are angular, vibrant and oddly juxtaposed, depicting familiar imagery like wheels, orbits, American flags and stars.

James Rosenquist: Tripartite Prints will be showing through Nov 22 at Heckscher Museum in Huntington. (631) 351-3250,

James Rosenquist and Ben Fenske

If Monet were painting his impressionistic masterpieces today would he gravitate towards the overt beauty of nature? Or would his wistful brush depict the uncertain, fragmentary nature of these contemporary times, a very real conundrum that confronts many of the millennial generation? Ben Fenske seems to opt for the latter as his jaunty brushwork uncovers indecisive, somnolent narratives: a nude woman naps with the window open, another stands befuddled before a closet of clothes and a summer party insouciantly sits around a table absorbed by their own thoughts. For all the play of light and warm tones on the surface of these canvases, there’s a subtext here that challenges his generation’s sometimes insular, distracted existence.

Ben Fenske: Solo Show will be showing through Oct 24 at Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor. (631) 725-8469,

brian kelly

Brian Kelly is a journalist, writing instructor, songwriter, playwright and a mediocre cook. His own writing has appeared in Blackbook Magazine, MEDIA, and The East Hampton Press. His off-Broadway play, Hello Superstar will open in 2012; it details the vibrant lives of Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick. His band Aeroplane Pageant will put out their 3rd LP Float Above the Yard on September 20th. He currently lives on the fading shoreline of Long Island where now he’s writing/directing a short film for Off-Hollywood and Technicolor Studios.