Duke Riley has joined the roster of Andrew Edlin Gallery in New York. At the gallery’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach, he will show a large-scale work on paper, It’s Coming Through a Hole in the Air (2017), that references maritime illustrations, folk art, and tattooing with a depiction of an intricate allegory staged atop the deck of a ship.
An artist with a penchant for nautical subjects, Riley first garnered attention in 2007, when he was arrested for floating a Revolutionary War submarine replica too close to the Queen Mary 2 in New York Harbor. The act was intended to draw attention to societal and ideological shifts in post-9/11 America.
Riley put on another high-profile performance at the Queens Museum of Art in 2009 titled Those About to Die Salute You. The show was a live, Roman-style naval battle in the reflective pool outside the institution that featured artists and art workers from Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens, along with the artist himself playing the role of a Roman emperor.
For his 2016 Creative Time project Fly by Night, Riley made a monumental coop on the deck of a decommissioned ship in the Brooklyn Navy Yard—from which some 2,000 pigeons, with LED bulbs attached to their bodies, flew during weekly performances. After presenting the spectacle in New York, Riley created a new rendition of the work last spring on the banks of the Thames Estuary in London to commemorate the centennial of the end of World War I.