(image courtesy of Contra Gallery)

Fake Smears and Facial Food Fiascos
Opening Thursday, January 31 at Contra Gallery, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through February 15.

While playing with your food has long been understood as a childish act one grows out of, not everyone stops meddling in their munchies. Sometimes this is actually for the best; in the case of artist David Henry Nobody Jr., it’s resulted in some compelling (and sometimes stomach-turning) sculptural works featuring the artist’s head and corn, cabbage, tomatoes, lunch meat, and even a bag of corn flakes stuck around his head that then gets steadily filled with milk. That’s just a smattering of what Nobody Jr. has to offer in his new show Fake Smears and Facial Food Fiascos (say that fives times fast). Opening at Chelsea’s Contra Gallery on Thursday, it explores the absurdity of both humanity and the waste we leave behind.

(flyer by Clara Lu, via W.O.W. / Facebook)

Books, Texts, and Forgotten Narratives
Opening Thursday, January 31 at Wing on Wo & Co., 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through March 31.

Wing On Wo & Co. is Chinatown’s oldest continually-run family business, selling a variety of pots, mugs, jars, and pinsbut that’s not all it is. It’s also home to the W.O.W. Project, an initiative that seeks to sustain the artistic and creative community of its gentrifying neighborhood through discussions, shows, exhibitions, and more. Included in this initiative is W.O.W.’s Storefront Artist Residency, a six-month program that includes studio space and an exhibition. The latest resident artist is Vincent Chong, a queer mixed-race Chinese-American artist who focuses on printmaking, traditional calligraphy, watercolor, and etching. Chong will exhibit not only his own work, but the work of participants in a series of workshops he’ll hold on calligraphy and bookmaking, with a focus on uplifting other queer creators.

(image via Proto Gallery / Facebook)

I Want To Believe
Opening Saturday, February 2 at Proto Gomez, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through March 31.

Proto Gomez, an offshoot of the Hoboken-based Proto Gallery and the former home of Chinatown’s MEN Gallery, will be opening a solo exhibition of works by Jackie Mock starting Saturday. Both sculptural and spooky, Mock’s works zero in on 18th and 19th century American Spiritualism, and more specifically the often-radical women who practiced it. Expect Ouija boards, historical figures, wishbones, and other imagery that may contain more than meets the eye.