Bec Stupak

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Bec Stupak is an artist living and working in New York City. She works mostly with video, but her imagery is rarely limited to a rectangular screen. You don't just sit and watch her videos ? they affect your glands and elevate your serotonin levels like drugs. They are mood enhancing. Maybe it's because Stupak got her start as a "VJ" at raves and dance parties scratching and superimposing video imagery like a DJ. For 4 years, she accompanied superstar mixmasters like Paul Van Dyk and Sandra Collins, traveling to thumping clubs and warehouses in Detroit, Washington DC, Vancouver -- even as far as Slovenia and Macedonia. Mixing her wildly varied imagery in a room full of people with dilated, color-hungry pupils honed her editing skills and sharpened her eye for arresting images. In 1999, she founded Honeygun Labs, an experimental video project that has created branding, animation and graphics for major companies like Bacardi, MTV2, and Red Bull, as well as music videos and live visuals for artists like Derrick May, Ultra Nate, and Delia & Gavin. In 2002 Honeygun Labs moved into the art world. The studio joined with the NYC-based art collective Assume Vivid Astro Focus, and together they created an installation for the Whitney Biennial called "Garden 8". At the LA MoCA Ecstacy Show in 2006, they presented two pieces: "AVAF vs. HGL #2" and "AVAF vs. HGL #3," which were projected through mirrors onto the psychedelic wallpaper to create an environmental sensory overload. Also that year, the collective exhibited at the Tate Liverpool and Stupak screened "Pills and Cigarettes" a looped recording of a live VJ performance. In 2003, Honeygun Lab's video, "Shiny Disco Balls" won the award for Best Underground Music Video at the Winter Music Conference in Miami, and Stupak created 4 DVD "'zines" that were shown at the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center. 2004 she appeared in Art Star, a documentary/reality show broadcast on the art network Gallery HD. The show, a very contemporary hybrid of television pop culture and artworld commentary, was the final lesson in media spectacle for Stupak. Since then, her gallery shows have evolved into performances that mix all her previous work as an artist and commercial designer. In 2006, for example, Stupak created "Radical Earth Magic Flower," her companion piece to Jack Smith's 1961 classic drag film, "Flaming Creatures." The installation, shown at Deitch Projects in New York, displayed Stupak's technical fortitude and production savvy. Using 3 video screens, LED lights and lenticular signage, Smith's original film and her remake were projected on opposite walls of the gallery while her storyboards outlining the action were projected on a surface in the middle of the room. Meanwhile, friends and collaborators who appeared in her video would often come to the space, decked out in eye-popping costumes and glittery makeup. Surrounded by Stupak's gorgeously dressed colleagues, the audience would become part of the environment, invited to lounge on a huge bed. The happening was "amazing," according to Roberta Smith in the New York Times, who found Stupak's film "much more fluid, androgynous and 'flaming' than the originalÖin this regard, she may have surpassed her inspiration." Stupak traveled to Iceland in July 2006 as a part of a cultural exchange organized by SIM, the country's premiere institution for artistic cultural exchange. While there she was captivated by the countryside and produced "No Limit," a video short that depicts alien creatures in the enchanting Icelandic landscape. She continues to return to the country to make projects, which have included a video for the band Cocktail Vomit, and an ongoing project with the artist Machine Flower. Recently Stupak directed and created "The Love Boat," a joyously sexy music video for the multi-ethnic, polysexual downtown New York dance troupe, The Dazzle Dancers. The song is a reinterpretation of the classic theme from the TV show, The Love Boat, and Stupak's accompanying video depicts the wildly costumed dancers spreading their message of luminescent love with swiveling dance moves and at least 10 pounds of glitter. Stupak is also in a performance duo named Superalot, which offers visual effects and live performance for parties and functions. An outlet for her hulahooping, airbrushing and VJing skills, it's yet another project to add to her ever-increasing bag of tricks. Stupak's mission seems pretty clear- to employ her huge imagination, technical know-how and artistic skills to create work that pleasures the senses ? lifting video and performance out of the static and into the ecstatic.