I was lying on a yoga mat in a Bushwick loft with two quartz minerals on either side of my head, when the “art witch” placed a selenite crystal just below my chest. I had just gone through a soul-searching tarot reading session in which a preponderance of pentacles revealed that I had to be more systematic and less feverish about pursuing my goals, while the ace of wands (with its phallic symbology) insured I had the “fire” to keep going.
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The group of Pratt alums who opened Pokito were tired of the typical Williamsburg look — “it’s all the re-claimed woods, steel, dark, all the Edison filament bulbs,” said Alex Kleinberg — so they opened a spot on South 4th Street that has a clean, sleek, tile-and-marble dining room where LED lights emitting a rainbow-like glow.
Time again for our weekly roundup of what’s new on the art scene.
Buccaneer, Masquerade, Suspence, Abundance, Thorn, Champion. Recent works by Brice Brown
April 17 (opening reception 7-9pm) to May 23 at Air Circulation, 160 Randolph St., Bushwick.
Kentucky-born artist Brice Brown created a multi-part installation meant to present a fragmented experienece of the still life genre as a way to explore “the dichotomous impulses inherent in the act of domestication: containment and freedom; restraint and release; a need for chaos and a need for order,” per the artist’s statement. The installation, largely consisting of archival pigment prints, wallpaper design and soft sculpture, draws from The Batsford Colour Book of Roses (1962) and pages from an early 20th century fruit and seed catalog. References to the letterhead design of constructivist-influenced masters such as Piet Zwart are embedded in the pieces.
Yesterday we stopped by D & F Contemporary, a new gallery located in a former discount lingerie store at the corner of Delancey and Orchard, to chat with Don Devore of New York hardcore band Sick Feeling. He’d been at the gallery for the past 30 hours, creating an immersive, one-night-only installation to coincide with the release of “Metaphysical Cops,” the new single and music video by his electro project Collapsing Scenery.
One recent morning in Tara McPherson’s Bed-Stuy studio, the artist’s easel was loaded with sketches of two nearly identical girls connected by a sparkling rainbow springing from inside their heads. The drawing was also on her iMac, where she had been working on a color mockup in Photoshop. A finished 12 x 12 painting, she explained, was due the following Monday for “Dreamlands,” a group show now open at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles.
Last week’s roundup of art openings touched on mythology and mysticism (most of those shows are still on, so go now). This week, it’s all about deconstruct, abstraction, illusion, order and chaos.
Alicia DeBrincat: Digital Interference/Analog Intervention
April 9 (opening reception 7-10pm) to April 28 at Vitrina, 90 Stanton St., Lower East Side.
Brooklyn-based artist Alicia DeBrincat is interested in the collision of photography and painting as two very different ways of presenting “visual truth”: she transfers photos, whether archival or taken by herself, onto canvas and then leaves gaps in the photographic images — oftentimes, the face is what’s left out. These gaps are then filled with brightly colored paintings. At this show, you’ll see embellished versions of celebrity mugshots from victimless crimes, e.g. Elvis’s arrest for lewd dancing or David Bowie’s arrest for marijuana possession, along with archival photos of powerful cultural figures from the past including Queen Victoria, Buffalo Bill, and Wyatt Earp.
At these upcoming shows, artists “pimp” out myth, magic, and movies.
Myth and Mutations
April 10 (opening 7-9pm) to May 2 at Reverse, 28 Frost St., Williamsburg
For this one, Richie Brown took traditional oracle cards and swapped in emojis. “I realized that a lot of the newly created cards had emoji counterparts (i.e. santa, alien, poop with eyes) as well as some of the traditional ones (i.e. envelope, dog, eyeballs),” he told us. The cards, he said, contain what you might call “Jungian archetypes” — “but I don’t know how Jung would feel about poop with eyes being included in that,” he admitted. Brown will perform readings using his “spiked” or “pimped” deck at the opening. Meanwhile, Jonathan Monaghan’s “The Checkpoint” is a reinterpretation of Dürer’s Triumphal arch, where griffons and heraldic crests are replaced by security camera, video game weaponry and Whole Foods logos. And Yara Travieso’s video installations reinterpret Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Eurypides’s Medea.
Wait how did this one not make Smorgasburg’s new lineup? In a new video by Brooklyn Independent Media, the minds behind the Bushwick Spam — who look a lot like the Greenpoint-dwelling hipster-yuppies from the David Cross’s Hits — eagerly break down their creative process using all the right buzzwords, from “refined, artisanal” to “inspiration, and, you know, frivolity, experimentation.”
Brown Girls Burlesque: Lil’ Kim vs. Nicki Minaj
April 2 at Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St., East Village; tickets $20
Brown Girls Burlesque promises to plumb “the good, the bad, and the ratchet” at this tribute to “hip-hop’s sista queens”: “We are going to get everything ‘Did,’ our hair, nails, with heels and hype gear to match and celebrate two of Hip-Hop’s greatest with sexy ferocity befitting a Double Queen Jubilee!” Va va voom.
Sure, it was cool to see Tilda Swinton sleeping in a glass box, but what if the artist was present for some pillow talk?
That’s exactly what’s happening at a new show at Bosi Contemporary, “Come to Bed!”, which uses three queen-sized beds to focus on the different types of communication that take place under the covers. “You can sleep, you can eat in your bed, you can have sexual experiences,” said the show’s curator, Roya Sachs. “At each age, you experience it differently, which is nice because they’re all of different ages, the artists, so they have different relationships with the bed.”
Do you find yourself humming “The Age of Aquarius” in the shower? constantly cursing Mercury retrograde?blaming your misfortunes on Saturn? All of those are, um, signs that you should head to Parkside Lounge tonight for “Zodiac Burlesque: The Best of the West.”