Thomas Lanigan Schmidt. Lollipop Knick Knack (Let’s Talk About You), c. 1968-69. Foil, printed material, linoleum, glitter, staples, Magic marker, found objects and other media

Tenemental (With Sighs Too Deep For Words)
Opening Friday, November 16 at HOWL! Happening, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through December 19.

The year 2019 (which isn’t too far away) will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a pivotal and much-debated moment in LGBTQ history. While 50 years is a fairly long time ago, some people who were present on that fateful day are still alive and kicking today, including the artist Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, who will be exhibiting a collection of art and ephemera at HOWL! Happening right before Stonewall’s 50th. Lanigan-Schmidt’s work is kitschy and eye-catching, using common-yet-ostentatious materials like foil, glitter, and colorful plastic wrap. Broken down into individual parts, his materials may appear to some as trash, but assembled into these creations they take on a new, queer life full of promise.

(image via Muddguts / Facebook)

Opening Friday, November 16 at Muddguts, 6 pm. On view through December 9.

Muddguts, the East Williamsburg gallery opened by tattoo artist Mark Cross and photographer Lele Saveri in 2013, has brought plenty of underground weirdness over the past few years. They aren’t stopping anytime soon, as Friday they’ll be unveiling an art show and pop-up shop in collaboration with the brand Death/Traitors. The name might sound threatening and morbid, but that’s uh, because the imagery they’re selling is pretty much both of those things. One of their shirts proclaims “do not feed the putrid dogs of WAR,” another says “power through violence; they hate you.” But there’s something that feels timely and appropriate about this intensity in an age where the demise of the planet and rise of fascism are things that are casually, frequently discussed.

Jamie Gray Williams
Schadenfreude, 2018
62 x 57″

Very like a whale
Opening Saturday, November 17 at Selenas Mountain, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through December 21.

While yes, there’s a lot to feel grief and anger in this current moment, it’s important to also maintain some levity and humor in life, lest we all go insane. Someone who seems to understand this is artist Jamie Gray Williams, whose paintings and drawings go on view at new space Selenas Mountain this Saturday. Williams’s exhibition takes its name from a playful exchange of dialogue from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet—fitting, as it’s a moment of lightness within a tragedy—and her works are filled with abstracted, cartoonish figures. These, according to an exhibition description, are inspired by old-school comedic figures like the Three Stooges and are meant to “[invoke] slapstick misfortunes.” They’re funny, they’re sad, and you can stand there and be glad at least this stuff isn’t happening to you. At least, not yet.