"Rotting, wounded, smiling--watermelons in Valerie Hegarty's latest exhibition of paintings and sculptures--are depicted as sentient objects: carnal, threatening. Several wedges of the fruit, done in ceramics, rest on a plinth, their pink flesh resembling gums and growing teeth, tongues, ribs, stalagmites, barnacles."
ARTnews: "Americana Gone a Bit Weird"
"I am always interested in talking about transformation," Hegarty said one recent afternoon in her studio in midtown Manhattan, surrounded by a sinister set of anthropomorphic fruits-- tooth-filled watermelons rinds, spinal carrot carcasses and some Arcimboldo-style faces. The pieces are a morbid answer to kitschy centerpieces of yesteryear, now robbed of their evergreen freshness."
"[Art Basel Miami] features works by several artists working in the same vein...that is, making figurative ceramic work that plays with scale and tone, or that uses the handcrafted medium to imbue typically inanimate objects with inner life. [A] shining example of this approach are the playful food sculptures by Valerie Hegarty that are on view in Miami gallery Locust Projects' booth."
"Valerie Hegarty frequently addresses topics from American history, borrowing imagery from quintessentially American genres...but then re-imagines the subjects from her own singular perspective. [Her] watercolors suggest a fevered, hallucinatory vision of America through the prism of its artistic visual traditions...The works are simultaneously macabre, funny and provocative."
"[Hegarty's] work is topical, as it is informed by the 'current turbulent state of our country while also excavating from America's past.' What we're seeing here couldn't be described as decay, as such, but her work seems to have a theme of the gooey-ness of information, of shared knowledge. We live in a post-fact society and consensus validation is gospel. That, of course, leads to strange distortions of the truth--things that resemble fact, but are wholly alien to reality."
"Both works [by Jesse Krimes] are stunning: Purgatory--especially as displayed, on a long shelf with the cards against a black wall--because necessity made it so original, and heaven-and-earth Apokaluptein because its as good as Rauschenberg's similar works and, perhaps, more heartfelt and lyrical."
The New Yorker: "Jesse Krimes"
"A tapestry on prison-issued bedsheets--a weird, oneiric landscape festooned with faeries, fields, and images transferred from prison copies of the New York Times and Artforum. Pictures of Rihanna and Taylor Swift, not to mention an ad for a Christie's Sale, assume a mournful character as absurdist totems of freedom while enduring Draconian punishment."
"The exhibition's centerpiece is a work...that Mr. Krimes made while at a federal prison in Fairton, NJ. He created a 39 panel mural on white prison bed sheets...The artist took photos from newspapers and magazines and transferred them onto the sheets using hair-gel to lift the image and a plastic spoon to rub the image onto the sheet. He then drew and painted his own figures onto the works. The panels move from heave to hell and feature a riot of images whose subjects range from Hurricane Sandy to Taylor Swift, from Jean Michel-Basquiat to Chanel."
"The centerpiece of the exhibition is a sculpture by artist Valerie Hegarty, Return to the Catskills. An amalgamation of canvas, paint and moss, the piece is nature-art hybridity depicting a moss-covered tree (and a small woodpecker) devouring a painting. Malin says that the piece 'directly attacks the idea of the landscape that exists outside the ravages of time and the impact of society.'"