About Cassidy Dawn Graves

Contact: cassidydawngraves@gmail.com / Twitter: @malegazegraves

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Performance Picks: Clowns, Immersive Aliens, and Comedy Comebacks

THURSDAY

(image via Becca Bernard / Facebook)

Clown Cabaret
Thursday, September 20 at The Brick, 7 pm: $20

Ah, clowns. Perhaps one of the most misunderstood performance mediums, they’re most commonly thought of as just a strange part of circuses (or horror films), wearing red noses, white face paint, and large shoes. I just had a strange recollection of a time my mom volunteered to be a clown at my preschool or something, and she did in fact have to wear large floppy shoes. But it’s not always this way! Come see the many ways clowns can exist at an all-clown cabaret at The Brick in Williamsburg on Thursday night, presented as part of The Clown Theater Festival. There will be music, comedy, and other varieties of clownlike performance. Will everyone be wearing a red nose or will someone be subversive and spring for a different color? Only one way to find out. Keep Reading »

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New York City’s ‘Gut Biome’ And More Art Opening This Week

(image via Storefront for Art and Architecture)

Subculture: Microbial Metrics and the Multi-Species City
Opening Tuesday, September 18 at Storefront For Art and Architecture, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through January 12.

It’s no secret that the city is filled with all sorts of microorganisms—yes, even the kind you’d rather not think about. They’re there! Rather than focus on just the unsettling spores, a uniquely scientific new installation at the Storefront for Art and Architecture seeks to reimagine the city and the many neighborhoods and cultures it contains using the framework of the “human microbiome.” This posits that each city in the world, and each subculture or pocket within them, has their own “gut biome,” just like human beings do. The installation (by Kevin Slavin, Elizabeth Hénaff, and the collective The Living) normalizes the idea that there are microorganisms everywhere in a city, collecting them through wood in the exhibition space’s facade as well “bio-receptive wooden tiles” scattered throughout the city. This wood is then displayed and analyzed, simultaneously art and scientific specimen. Keep Reading »

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A Dive Into Arts Funding, A Drag Pageant, and More Performances To See

WEDNESDAY

(image via Caveat / Facebook)

Profiled: A Comedy Show About Racial Profiling
Wednesday, September 12 at Caveat, 9 pm: $8 advance, $10 doors 

Though Nanette seemed to imply otherwise, making jokes about experiences one has had with hate and bigotry can actually be a productive outlet for one to deal with these experiences and for (hopefully) allowing audiences to see these issues from a new perspective. Profiled, a comedy show hosted by Lauren Clark and Marcela Onyango where performers of color (Ziwe Fumudoh, Milly Tamarez, Rebecca O’Neal, Andrea Coleman, and Ariel Evans) discuss instances of racial profiling they’ve experienced, seeks to do just that. Plus, 40% of ticket proceeds will go to the ACLU. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Vases, Radio Waves, Self-Reflection

(image via Richard Taittinger Gallery)

Transmitting Waves
Opening Wednesday, September 12 at Richard Taittinger Gallery, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through November 10.

There’s something inexplicably entrancing about the colors that pervade vintage printed matter, such as ads or movie posters. The colors tend to look impossibly vivid, or at least they do to my eyes. I get a similar feeling when viewing the work of the late artist Nassos Daphnis, who also developed a color theory stating each primary color, plus white and black, “occupies a number of planes on a scale of 1 to 100.” It’s no surprise, then, that the man stuck with these five shades in his art-making as well. This show at Richard Taittinger Gallery is a “reimagining” of a 1983 show at Leo Castelli Gallery, a place Daphnis exhibited at often, though it also includes works that haven’t been shown before. If you’re into fine lines, bold colors, geometric precision, and a minimal-yet-vivid take on radio waves and the like, this is the show for you. Keep Reading »

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Where DIY Once Thrived, A Sicilian Restaurant Now Stands

(photo: Leonardo Mascaro)

When Bushwick DIY venue Palisades closed in 2016 after an unsuccessful quest to get up to code following a police raid, we briefly brainstormed what the space at 906 Broadway might become. A corporate music venue, a new Vice headquarters, some kind of chain store? None of these appeared, but in June a Sicilian “casual dining experience” called Concrete officially began serving dinner and weekend brunch there, with plans to begin hosting live events later this fall. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: A Queer Eye Parody, Bushwig’s Return, and More

THURSDAY

(photo: Rachel Nicholson, via Facebook)

Athena
Now through September 16 at JACK, 8 pm (some shows at 3 pm and 7 pm): $18-25

You can probably divide people into three categories regarding competitive athletics they engaged with growing up: more mainstream sports-doers who partook in football, basketball, and the like; people who vehemently did no sports at all; and those drawn to more niche offerings, like martial arts or fencing. The latter grouping is the star of Gracie Gardner’s play Athena, which is being revived for a brief run following a sharply successful debut at Clinton Hill space JACK in February. Presented by The Hearth, which “tells the stories of women,” the play surrounds two teenage girl fencers training for the Junior Olympics. Though such a task undoubtedly requires the duo to spend quite a lot of time around each other, “friends” they do not seem to be. While this situation seems stressful to go through personally, it surely will be interesting to spectate upon. Keep Reading »

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Ambrosia Elixirs, a ‘Home For Plant Medicine’ in Bushwick

(photo: Inna Shnayder)

Troutman Street between Evergreen and Central Avenues in Bushwick is a block awash with construction. Jackhammers, scaffolding, and dust make their home alongside the bar Precious Metal, an auto shop, and the notorious dorm-like apartment complex Castle Braid. One of the newest additions to the block is Ambrosia Elixirs, a cafe, event space, and “home for plant medicine” that’s taken up residence in a small storefront, fittingly flanked by a large, leafy tree. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Groovy Folk Art, Incarceration Adaptations, and More

(image via Front Room Gallery)

Back To Nature
Opening Wednesday, September 5 at Front Room Gallery, 7 pm. On view through October 21.

If you ever rode the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland, you’ll recall paintings hung on some of the walls that had eyes that appeared to follow you as you moved your own from side to side. Spooky! That’s sort of how I feel when I look at the wide-eyed paintings done by Amy Hill, who is opening a solo exhibition at Lower East Side’s Front Room Gallery on Wednesday. Her portraits are realistic while also being surreal and a little creepy (even the cats stare at you with unblinkingly large eyes), bringing the style of 19th century American folk art into more modern times. Rather than setting her figures in the 21st century, she curiously grounds them in 1960s counterculture, where peace-sign necklaces and fringed leather replace any peasant frocks. We never actually found that peace, did we… Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Anarchist Emmas and Violent Ellens

WEDNESDAY

(image via The Tank / Facebook)

Red Emma and the Mad Monk
Now through September 1 at The Tank, 8 pm: $20-30

Nowadays, when one thinks about theater (particularly any form of commercial theater, Broadway or otherwise), radical politics aren’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. Or the second or third for that matter. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see this serve as the cornerstone of Red Emma and the Mad Monk, a new play with music by Alexis Roblan presented as part of The Tank’s Ladyfest. It centers around a 12 year-old girl who has a mystic Russian imaginary friend and enjoys fighting online with “deplorables,” an unsettling pastime for someone so young, but it probably happens more than we’d like to think. In the midst of this, she learns about the influential anarchist activist Emma Goldman, and starts to consider the world a bit differently. Keep Reading »

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Black Art Matters and More Exhibitions This Week

(image via Con Artist Collective)

August Summer Residency Showcase
Opening Wednesday, August 29 at Con Artist Collective, 7 pm to 11 pm. On view through August 31.

It’s the end of the summer, which means people are scrambling to get the last of their leisure time in before it feels less justifiable to do so. This often means less events and other artistic goings-on. After all, it’s hard to have an art show when you don’t want to leave the beach. But the restless vigor of Con Artist Collective continues—on any given day (including in the midst of the end-of-summer lull) you can probably find them up to something, whether that be the party-filled unveiling of a new art exhibition or something else entirely. Starting Wednesday night, the Lower East Side art space’s summer studio residents will be showing their latest creations. Keep Reading »

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Cole Escola, Sloppy Shakespeare, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(image via Sanina Leilani / Facebook)

Glow Up!: An All POC Variety Show
Thursday, August 16 at Starr Bar, 8:45 pm: $10 advance, $15 doors

Queer drag performers Noctua and C’ètait BonTemps host this variety show featuring exclusively artists of color. If you’ve been posting on social media about how bad white supremacy in America is lately, attending would be a good way to put your money where your mouth is and support a show where the lineup, hosts, and producers are all people of color. And what can you expect out of the night? The lineup isn’t too packed with people, but the ones they do have really pack a punch: burlesque performer Miss Sugar Mamasota, soulful singer Cherry, drag and music artist Laé D. Boi, and Texas-based pole and burlesque performer Black Orchid. Keep Reading »

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Art That Lulls You Into Relaxation and More Openings This Week

Image: Raul Valverde in collaboration with Muntadas, ‘Calendar for Travelling Artists’, 2018, 8 × 51/2 in. (20.32 × 13.97 cm). Courtesy of the artist. (via ISCP / Facebook)

Never Take a Vacation with an Artist Who Collects the Same Stuff You Do
Opening Tuesday, August 14 at International Studio + Curatorial Program, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through October 12.

The title of this new group show from ISCP conjures some immediate images: two artists, lounging on the beach. Their peaceful time is cut short due to the fact that they both really want to collect the same type of shells, but there are only a couple of those, so they start fighting over them. Dare I say, all shell breaks loose? I forget if you can even take shells from beaches, but still. The actual content of this show, which features nine artists from ISCP’s Ground Floor Program, appears to be more interesting (or soothing) than my strange musings about beaches. With a goal of “lull[ing] the viewer into a state of relaxation,” the show offers vacation-centric content like thoughts on summer road trips and an interactive piece that quite literally gives the gallery’s front desk staff a break from working. It’s summer, after all. Keep Reading »