The multitalented Bill Rice lives on a downtown block shadowed by a monolithic men’s shelter, on streets imbued with dark romance, a world far removed from Apple Pie America. Despite his birth in bucolic and often frozen Vermont, Rice immortalizes a Lower East Side beauty that smolders with evening heat. Actor, director, filmmaker, playwright and painter, the 74-year-old Rice is an eclectic creative force who has worked with downtown luminaries like Jim Jarmusch and Richard Kern, Cookie Mueller and Penny Arcade, Gary Indiana and Charles Henri Ford. [...]
Five poignant watercolors, all dated 1986, can be read as an elegy for that year when the early AIDS epidemic continued its decimation of New York’s creative world. Using a title echoing his friend David Wojnarowicz’s iconic and untitled photographic image of buffalo charging headlong off a cliff, Buffalo Dreams depicts men supporting an incapacitated central figure, an actual portrayal of Rice’s companion, who died of AIDS. Green Tank Top celebrates the first brave verdant treetops midst the relentless gray urban monochrome, heralding spring’s renewal.
Also in the exhibition are collage experiments, an assemblage, photographs and a 1983 video, Sound Bites in the Garden, featuring monologues written by David Wojnarowicz and interpreted by Rice, Kirsten Bates, Allen Frame and Nan Goldin. [read on...]
Bill Rice, "The View from 13 East 3rd," Sept. 8-Oct. 8, 2005, at Mitchell Algus Gallery, 511 West 25th Street, New York, N.Y. 10001