Like to grouse about your landlord? Why not do it over Kosher rugelach at an upcoming art opening?
Later this month at his Bushwick gallery, Rafael Fuchs will show new work “based on true stories” about North Brooklyn’s Jewish landlords. For the appropriately titled “LandLords” series, the artist digitally manipulated photographs he had taken of landlords — wearing Shabbat fur hats and following after their children, among other things — by adding imagery, writing, and portions of other photographs. One print features a naked woman with an airplane about to fly into her ass, with a couple landlords in traditional Hasidic garb in the background.
Fuchs told Bedford + Bowery that the idea for the exhibit came from some “bitter incidents” he had with landlords in the past couple years. One involved “a space that was supposed to be rented out for a gallery and then the landlords changed their minds and excused themselves by saying that, after talking to a professional consultant, they found out that ‘the neighborhood doesn’t need an art space,’ which I found very surprising.”
The incident indicated that the landlords “didn’t appreciate the importance of art in the development of the neighborhood where they owned properties,” Fuchs said. “It made it clear to me that it’s in the hands of the landlords to determine how a neighborhood is going to be shaped.”
Fuchs, who was born in Tel Aviv, likens the experiences he’s had with landlords to a Biblical verse from the story about Samson: “out of the strong came something sweet.”
“My hopes are that the exhibition will have a positive impact on the communication between landlords and the artists community,” Fuchs said.