About Cassidy Dawn Graves

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

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Art This Week: Edible Drawings, Fuzzy Dudes, and More

(image courtesy of Cooler Gallery)

Origins
Opening Tuesday, April 3 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through May 19.

What is a Fuzzy Dude? I have some theories, but so does artist and director John McLaughlin, whose solo show Origins will give you a thorough introduction to these wacky creatures that have sprung from his brain. Appropriately, Fuzzy Dudes are beings covered in a stringy, colorful fur that recalls silly string, shaggy dogs, household mops, or something else entirely. They come from a “space-like” dystopian world, or so I’m told, but you can see them come to life on Earth by way of sculpture, video, and more. Watching these curious creatures feels almost like a psychedelic experience, as their multicolored, textured bodies run, jump, and sway. Their actions are humanlike, but their appearance is a lot more interesting. Why not take a break from the dreaded news cycle for an evening and go meet some otherworldly beings? Keep Reading »

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UFO Cults, Modern Vaudeville, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image via Wondershow / Eventbrite)

Wondershow
Wednesday, March 28 at Lot 45, 7 pm: $25

When you think of vaudeville, you may imagine charismatic and fast-talking magicians, jokesters, and other memorable figures circa hundreds of years ago. Though it had its heyday in the past, this type of vaudevillian evening is far from extinct, and you can find it tonight in the form of Wondershow, a night helmed by mentalist Eric Walton. In addition to mind-melting tricks from Walton himself, you can also see “elegant sleight of hand” from Alex Boyce, dancing from Jenny Rocha and Her Painted Ladies, and comedic experiences from Jonathan Burns and Harrison Greenbaum. Time Out called this show “professional mindfuckery,” so provided that’s what you’re into and consent is obtained, I assume you shall be in for a treat. Keep Reading »

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‘Downtown Was My Heaven’: Generations of Performers Revisit Club 57

L-R: Holly Hughes, Moe Angelos, Martha Wilson, Carmelita Tropicana (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Last Thursday, the theater at MoMA went back to the 20th century when Performing Difference: Gender in the 1980s Downtown Scene, a day of panel discussions presented in conjunction with the exhibit “Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978-1983.”, took over one of the museum’s spacious screening rooms.

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Art This Week: Developer Trays and Stylized Selfhood

(image via Elizabeth Houston Gallery)

Developer Trays
Opening Wednesday, March 28 at Elizabeth Houston Gallery, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through May 5.

Though digital photography (whether on fancy DSLRs or iPhones with portrait mode) is inarguably king today, there are still people out there shooting film. Though not quite a relic yet, the chemical-laden process of developing and printing your own film in a darkroom is something many people may not understand or even be aware of. One of the key components of doing this is laying the soon-to-be photograph in a tray filled with developer chemicals, which steadily brings the photo to life. Artist John Cyr, a photographer and printer himself, has latched onto the developer tray as an integral object to the working photographer. His images, portraying developer trays that belonged to notable and unknown photographers alike, cast these practical objects in a light usually reserved for more “important”-seeming items. Their unique textures, stains, colors, and designs documented for posterity illuminate film development as a historically-significant art practice in itself. Keep Reading »

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Boxing, Competitive Comedy, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(image via Uncharted)

Polly Mope
Thursday, March 22 at Greenwich House Music School, 8 pm: $15

I have to be totally honest, I have not yet managed to see one of performer Molly Pope’s cabaret shows, but based on what I know of her and who she has collaborated with, I feel like I can still say with confidence that you’ll be in for a treat when you do. Thursday is a particularly good time to do so, as Pope will be premiering her first ever “completely original solo piece,” Polly Mope, as part of Uncharted, a concert series focused on new work and first-time experiments. By “completely original” she means the music is her own instead of the familiar cabaret protocol of covers n’ banter, but you can trust that the originality will not stop there. Keep Reading »

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Choreographed Photos, Experiments In Light, and More Art This Week

Image: Jenna Westra, Mariana Sits on “The Complete Photographer, An Encyclopedia of Photography” (1949), Volume 6, Pages 2178-79, ‘Best Fashion Study and Best Action Production Still Taken in a Studio’, 2018. Archival pigment print, 26 x 21.75 inches (image courtesy of Lubov)

Parts Of Some Quartet, Fruits
Opening Saturday, March 24 at Lubov, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through May 6.

The Tribeca gallery Lubov is small, tucked away on the second floor of an office building, but within it you’ll find none of the monotony typically associated with such work. Instead, you’ll be greeted with contemporary art of all sorts, including their newest exhibition Parts Of Some Quartet, Fruits. In addition to being a very good exhibition name in my opinion, it’s also an assortment of analog photography by Jenna Westra that focuses on what happens when you don’t shy away from the act of purposefully trying to create an engaging scene ripe for the snapping. The scenarios recall a kind of captured choreography, such as an amateur model (or maybe a dancer?) kneeling with their dirt-dusted feet squarely sitting on (what else?) a book of photography, simultaneously desecrating and establishing its position as subject. Keep Reading »

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A Tribute To Brooklyn, Queer Storytelling, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(photo: Aaron “RadioSilence” Jaker)

¡Oye! For My Dear Brooklyn
March 15-31 at Abrons Arts Center, various times: $20

It’s far too common to see comedians, storytellers, and other performance-based creative types make quips about living in Brooklyn, but usually these are predominantly white transplants talking about how quirky it is to live there, with all the cute cafes and niche boutiques and all that. I typically find this very grating, because living in a place is not a personality trait, particularly when you are a white person being all “Haha, how funny is Brooklyn” about what is almost always a gentrifying neighborhood. But if you’re looking for a different kind of love letter to the borough, look no further than Modesto Flako Jimenez and the Oye Group’s latest multimedia production, ¡Oye! For My Dear Brooklyn. Using projections, bilingual storytelling, poetry, music, and more, Jimenez waxes quite literally poetic about his unique life, the multifaceted place he calls home, and all the complicated forces currently at work within it. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Diaspora, Borders, and Healthcare

(image via Aperture Foundation / Facebook)

Home Away From Home
Opening Wednesday, March 14 at Aperture Gallery, 7pm to 8:30 pm. On view through May 10.

For some people, home is the place they have lived for their entire lives. But for immigrants, it’s not always so clear-cut. Photographer Taysir Batniji is originally from Gaza, in Palestine, but he is also French and splits his time between the two places. Members of his family, on the other hand, have ended up in America, in places like California and Florida. Batniji paid these people a series of visits, photographing and interviewing them about their sense of home and experience living in America. His new solo exhibition at Aperture Gallery combines these new images with archival material, such as old photographs and sketches of their family home made from memory, creating a portrait of generational memory and history contrasted with current lives. Keep Reading »

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Sesame Street Drag, Disabled Comedians, and More Performance Picks

Asia Gagnon’s ‘The Kind of Thing You Don’t Talk About’ at SipFest

SipFest
Now through March 14 at Wild Project, various times, various prices

The nature of live theater is that anything can happen at any time. Sometimes this is good, but not always. Spaceman, a high-tech play from Loading Dock Theater about a woman astronaut’s journey to Mars, was supposed to have a run at Wild Project currently, but had to be canceled due to an injury sustained by the lead performer. However, the venue will not be empty. A last-minute festival of original performance works by women and queer artists called Sipfest will run at the Lower East Side venue in its stead. There, you’ll find a solo show digging into how we discuss sexual assault, drag performances, femme ballads, a play inspired by the fanfiction epic My Immortal, and more. Keep Reading »

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Spring/Break, Emma Sulkowicz, and More Art To See

(image via SPRING/BREAK Art Show / Facebook)

Spring/Break Art Show
Opening Tuesday, March 6 at 4 Times Square, 5 pm to 9 pm. On view through March 12.

While it may not be spring quite yet, we will soon see the return of the Spring/Break Art Show, springing (sorry) back into action during Armory Arts Week for a seventh year. This show in particular stands out among the dizzying array of art shows and fairs and shows-within-fairs due to both its focus on art that’s a little more out-there than some contemporary offerings, and its location, which utilizes “underused, atypical, and historic” space rather than some pristine white box or whatever. It would take me a very long time to count all the artists involved this year, which range from Iggy Pop and Robert Mapplethorpe to Parker Day and Azikiwe Mohammed, so I can only assume there are hundreds and you will have plenty to see. Granted, you’ll have to go to Times Square to do it, but it will probably be worth it. Keep Reading »

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Get Woke and Dodge the Oscars With This Week’s Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(flyer via Woke AF / Facebook)

Woke AF: A Mind-Opening Variety Show
Thursday, March 1 at UCB East, 11 pm: $7

Minds are like doors, I guess. Some are closed and some are open and some are in between and uh, some have doorbells? I’m working on it. Instead of trying to continue this bit, let’s get to the point here: Woke AF is a comedy variety show that aims to open your mind by exposing you to a diverse group of people waxing poetic/comedic about social issues they feel particularly attached to. Maybe it’s a topic you’re well versed in but have never heard joked about lovingly, or maybe you’ll learn something totally new. However your mind will react to this proposed awakening, you can expect to see ruminations of all sorts from Jes Tom, Corin Wells, Timothy Dunn, Glorilis Tavarez, Jesse Roth, and Kami Dmitrova. Just remember not to be too performatively woke, even if this is a performance. Keep Reading »

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City Life, Bodily Resistance, and More Art This Week

(image via Tina Kim Gallery / Facebook)

Jeong
Opening Wednesday, February 28 at Tina Kim Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm.

You’re probably familiar with the most common way to write music, with notes on a staff, even if you can’t read music yourself. But did you know there are other ways to do it? One of them, the Korean system Jeongganbo, dates all the way back to the Joseon Dynasty, which began in 1392 and ended much later, in 1910. Rather than using a staff system, it uses a grid system, with each note taking up a square in sequential order. Seoul-based artist Suki Seokyeong Kang was drawn to this geometric composition technique, and has created a series of “visual translations” of Jeonggabo in her new solo show at Chelsea’s Tina Kim Gallery. The show is mostly sculpture based, in a way that attempts to put forth both logic and harmony. Perhaps after exploring, you’ll come away with a subconscious new knowledge of how music can be made. Keep Reading »