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Hudson, NY. 12534

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Great Pretenders: An Exhibit of Art Fakery

Mark Beard, Kahn & Selesnick, Scott Serrano, Mark Catalina, and Paul Chojnowski

In the Backroom: paintings by Carolou Kristofik

September 3, 2009 through October 11, 2009

Great Pretenders:   An Exhibit of Art Fakery




Carrie Haddad Gallery is pleased to announce a new show titled “Great Pretenders: An Exhibit of Art Fakery”, featuring the work of Mark Beard, Scott Serrano, Paul Chojnowski, Kahn and Selesnick and   Mark Catalina. (with Carolou Kristofik exhibiting beautifully composed still life paintings in primary colors in the back room).  The show opens September 3 and runs through October 11, 2009.

Haddad has had some fun curating this group show featuring several artists she has been representing for many years and one newcomer who all share a common theme in their work; fakery.  Of course, the artists are not faking as far as their talent or execution of their artwork goes. Their fakery involves painting under the assumed names of invented characters,  creating historic and futuristic photographs of events that never took place, and drawing invented objects that have never existed. Additional trickery is created by artists who disguise their paintings as photographic negatives and prints.


Mark Beard, an artist who paints as various personae, has been exhibiting for many years at Carrie Haddad Gallery.  As “Bruce Sargeant”, an imagined English artist living in the early 1900’s, he paints scenes of young men sporting in the English countryside, falconing, canoeing, wrestling, posing casually and handsomely in the landscape.  They are privileged and serene figures of another time.

Beard also created Bruce Sargeant’s teacher, Hippolyte-Alexandre Michallon, a 19th-century French Academist. Michallon and Sargeant’s work will make up the bulk of this exhibit, but readers can check the gallery website to learn about the other personae Mark Beard inhabits.


The artist Scott Serrano will create an installation of a fabricated 19th century exhibit hall inside the Carrie Haddad Gallery.  Serrano also assumes the character of a 19th Century botanist who traveled the tropical, and invented continent of Wallaceana and now presents in images, text and artifacts, his discoveries.  The artist writes, “The exhibition is sponsored by a fictitious science institution (created by me) with detailed science-historical museum placards near each image and artifact. These placards will contain a textual narrative telling the story of this fictitious 19th c. Natural History expedition. I will place myself as a character in the narrative of exploration, documenting this continent through many types of media: drawings, faked daguerreotypes, travel journals, artifacts and specimens.”  The work has an undercurrent of irony.  One piece has a tongue-in-cheek political reference to Bush and Cheney, and another one is a tribute to Ralph Albert Blakelock.  Serrano lives near Stone Ridge with his artist/wife

Allyson Levy and their children.


The “art pranksters” Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick have been collaborating for years as writers, photographers and sculptors creating fabled narratives that straddle the real and the fake.  Their staged photographs of imaginary quasi-historical expeditions using costumed people and home-made props in real locations combine an amusing loopiness with a seriousness of purpose.  Kahn and Selesnick exhibit worldwide and have been included in countless museum and private collections.  They have been exhibiting with Carrie Haddad Gallery since 1993.


Another magical (sleight-of-hand) art process is Paul Chojnowski.   At first glance, any viewer would think they were looking at sepia-toned photographic prints or conte crayon drawings.  Chojnowski actually paints with water and then burns in the image with a blowtorch.  These beautiful “burned drawings” of scenes at dusk are magical and moody.  An image of the majestic Chrysler Building is referred to as “My Rouen”, as an homage to Monet who painted Rouen Cathedral many times from different angles in varying light. 


Artist Mark Catalina uses state-of-the-art computer graphics technology to make working sketches from which he creates large-scale paintings on canvas, typically of women.  Influenced by the work of psychologist Carl Jung, these paintings represent a vision of “the Anima”. The artist says, “To me, there is a part of all women that is smoky, ethereal, unknowable.”  His large paintings trick us by looking just like huge photographic negatives.

Carolou Kristofik is a meticulous painter.  Her flawless execution combined with sumptuous texture and composition makes common everyday objects seem monumental and mysterious.  Kristofik studied at the Art Students League and The Brooklyn Museum Art School and has travelled widely in Europe and Africa. 

The vividly imagined work of these great pretenders will entertain and delight.  The exhibit runs from September 3- October 11.  Carrie Haddad Gallery is located at 622 Warren Street in Hudson, NY.  All are invited to attend an opening reception for the artists on Saturday, September 5, from 6 – 8 PM.


Gallery hours are 11-5, Thursday through Tuesday.  Please call 518 828 1915 for directions or information. Visit our website at www.carriehaddadgallery.com .





Artists in this show

Kahn & Selesnick

Eisbergfreistadt, Installation III

Eisbergfreistadt, Installation II

Ship of Fools, 2008

assorted photos, 2008

Bird Photo Album, 2008

Eisbergfreistadt Map, 2008

Ice Boats, 2008

Iceberg Photo Albun, 2008

Lubeck, 2008

Man with Pole and Hanging Objects, 2008

Marzipan Iceberg, 2008

Ship of Fools photo album, 2008

Single Iceboat, 2008

Three Masked Musicians, 2008

Woman with Ice Bird, 2008

Wenzel Hablik poster, 2008

Currency Birds, 2008

Currency Balloon, 2008

Bear Parade, 2008

Card Game, 2008

Sea Plane, 2008

Snake Boat, 2008

City and Iceberg, 2008

500 Billionen Mark , 2008

Costumed Musician, 2008

Nude Man with Animal, 2008

Harnessed Man, 2008

Flying Banknotes, 2008

Lunar Wanderer, 2001

Carolou Kristofik

Paper Bags, Black Objects & Wood, 2007

Rubber Ducks I

Red Cloth I, 2008

Red Cloth II, 2008

Rubber Ducks, Red Paper Bags & Glass, 2008


Robins Egg Blue I, 2008

Rubber Ducks III


Rubber Ducks V


Mark Beard

Capt. John Barnes Readying for Water Polo, date unknown

Untitled (Two Youths Arm Wrestling), date unknown


Studio with Chairs, 1934

Head of Youth

Young Wrestlers, 1938


Man with Weight Bar, date unknown


Horse Skull, date unknown

Male Standing in the Woods, 1925

Still Life with Peppers, 1929

Trout Study II, 1921

Paul Chojnowski

Nocturne - Midtown

City Lights XXVII, 2003

On the Street, 2008

Out of the Darkness, 2007

Lights Across the City, 2008

My Rouen, 2008


Scott Serrano

The Bearded Pirhanna Pitcher Portfolio Text, 2009

Blakelocks Nocturnal Arum, 2009

Study of the Bearded Piranha Pitcher, 2002-2006

Bearded Piranha Speciman, 2008

installation shot, 2009

Kurtz's Five Fingered Creeper

The Bearded Pirhanna Pitcher Portfolio, 2009

The Bearded Piranha Pitcher, 2009

Tri-Colored Cereus, 2009

Tri- Colored Cereus, 2009

Decorative Cover detail, 2009

Thomas Locker

Homage to Jan van Hysun, 2010

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