(Image via Sharon Spell)

(Image via Sharon Spell)

Close Hamm
Opening Monday August 15,  7 pm to 9 pm at ROOQ Fine Arts and Framing. On view through January 17.

Artist Sharon Spell seems to have each one of her hands equally in art and comedy: she’s worked with UCB since 2007, performs at The Moth, and has illustrated comic strips for the freaky people at The Onion, just to name a few bits from her resume. These two worlds unite in her “Close Hamm” diptychs– paintings depicting two distinct people joined together to create one image, much like the fine art of balance an improv-comedy duo’s always aiming for.

In this case, frequent pairings include a portrait of actor Jon Hamm paired with the visage of Del Close, often considered to be the “premiere influence” on modern improvisation, and the inspiration for UCB’s annual Del Close Marathon, which gathers folk from all over to improvise continuously for three days.

And if you think you might get tired of gazing at these two men’s faces rendered in paint for an entire opening, rest assured there will also be other odd couples on display; you’ll just have to “yes and” all the way to the gallery to find out who they are.

(Flyer via Superchief Gallery / Facebook)

(Flyer via Superchief Gallery / Facebook)

Woman With the Good Meat Removed
Opening Friday August 19, 6 pm to 10 pm at Superchief Gallery. On view through August 24.

Zoë Ligon, artist and sex educator, was formerly based in New York City, where she showed work at places like the Living Gallery, Secret Project Robot, and Disclaimer Gallery at the Silent Barn. She’s spent the past year or so living in Detroit, where she runs an inclusive sex shop called Spectrum Boutique and writes about sex for outlets like Refinery29 and Bustle. But lucky for us, Ligon still finds time for her art.

This week, she returns to NYC to show her collection of collages, Woman With the Good Meat Removed, at Tender Trap’s Superchief Gallery in Greenpoint. The show includes Ligon’s intriguing depictions of women (or rather women’s bodies), both intimate and soulless, staring straight at you but with no face at all, flesh wrapped tight but existing only as pieces.

Janet Bruesselbach, "Star," 2015, Oil on canvas, 48 x 24 in. Courtesy the artist. (image via Leslie-Lohman Museum / Facebook)

Janet Bruesselbach’s “Star,” 2015, Oil on canvas (Image via Leslie-Lohman Museum / Facebook)

Daughters of Mercury
Opening Friday August 19, 6 pm to 8 pm at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Prince Street Project Space. On view through August 21.

Painter Janet Bruesselbach, who’s quick to clarify that she’s “an able white cis fem painter raised by scientists,” will be showing a selection of her Daughters of Mercury paintings for three days only, starting this Friday at Leslie-Lohman’s Soho project space.

In the span of just one year, from 2014 to 2015, Bruesselbach create 23 full-length, large-scale oil portraits of trans women and people “subject to transmisogyny” as a way of demonstrating her love and admiration for her subjects. Each piece was constructed along with the subject, weakening the “cis gaze” inherent in a cis woman by using her eye and hand to paint trans people, and instead making it more of a human-with-human collaboration and less of a scientific study. Talk about rebelling against your parents’ expectations.

Noah Becker. 5' x 3', oil on canvas. (image via Amy Li Projects / Facebook)

Noah Becker, oil on canvas. (Image via Amy Li Projects / Facebook)

True Lies
Opening Saturday August 20, 6 pm to 10 pm at Amy Li Projects.

This no-frills group show curated by Alfredo Martinez (yep, that same dude who was jailed for making Basquiat copies) is inspired by a classic Picasso quote, proclaiming, “Art is a lie that brings us closer to the truth.”

Six lyin’ artists, working primarily in painting and mixed media, have drummed up their response to this statement. The result is sculptures that may or may not actually be sculptures, gazing self-portraits of beckoning tricksters, three realities on canvas—or maybe there’s just one.

A delightful deception to dream about: perhaps these artists artists took “true lies” truly, truly to heart and there will be no show at all. Was it all just a lie after all? Of course, that’s probably not true. But you might want to look twice to make sure.