The former Chase bank space at 104 Delancey Street has been empty for about four years, intermittently hosting a Halloween store, a Hanksy exhibit and, recently, a Chabad Purim extravaganza. Last night, when we passed by the space owned by controversial landlord Samy Mahfar and his SMA Equities, it looked like it was in the midst of turning into an old-school warehouse party.
Raw exposed ceiling and bare, run-down concrete walls? Check. Random couches and graffiti-scribbled bar? Check. Strange, mismatched artwork? Double check. Was someone about really about to throw a Bushwick loft party in a downtown big box?
It turned out the artist non-profit 4 Heads was setting up for their first benefit party, to be held tonight. The group is in its ninth year of running the Governor’s Island Art Fair (better known as “the thing that made the Governor’s Island ferry necessary again”) and also expanding into other strange and wonderful (ie: cheap) artistic ventures.
Unfortunately, as a benefit and such to help that cheapness, this warehouse-style shindig will dig a little deeper into your wallet than a real warehouse rave– it’ll set you back $85. “Everyone in the neighborhood probably hates us for that,” Antony Zito, one of the 4 Heads cofounders, admitted. “But we’ve been here a long time. And we are offering all the food and drink and entertainment.”
That entertainment comes in the form of Jessy Carolina and the Hot Mess, a “1920 washboard New Orleans” kind of band, Kate Brehm’s puffy performance, Lit owner Erik Foss as DJ, and Ventikoland, a zany interactive photo booth (complete with her peacock Dexter). And of course, an art auction of up-and-comers.
The money will go to support the Governor’s Island Art Fair, which annually organizes 100 independent artist to exhibit for free. (4 Heads only takes a very small commission of sales.) It’ll also help fund the organization’s education program for the LES Girls Club and Chinatown Y, its summer artist residency on the island, and a new exhibition called Portal, to take place in Federal Hall National Monument during Frieze Art Fair.
“One of the things we do is find weird spaces,” Zito said. “More interesting than being in a white box gallery is exhibiting in a raw space or a historic space–off the map a little bit.”
April 13, 7 – 10 p.m. 104 Delancey, Tickets $85, online or at the door.