About Cassidy Dawn Graves

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

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Art This Week: Sculptural Decay, Immigrant Portraits, Post-Apocalyptic Paintings

(image courtesy of Derek Eller Gallery)

Dawn of the Looney Tune
Opening Thursday, November 16 at Derek Eller Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 23.

Not all sculptures involve components like carrots and bread, but Michelle Segre’s sculptures certainly do. You can see them this Thursday at LES space Derek Eller Gallery, when her latest exhibition opens. As these works often involve organic matter such as the aforementioned carrots and bread, and gallery shows are often on view for quite some time, it is almost guaranteed that Segre’s work will subtly change as time goes by. More specifically, that organic matter is probably going to get mushy. Or grow fur. Or change colors. Either way, it will shift. And you will get a healthy reminder that like it or not, we are all slowly but surely decaying. Happy Monday! Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Comedic Compliments, Native Satire, All the Feels

WEDNESDAY

(image via The Center for the Humanities)

This Isn’t Funny!: I, An Moron
Wednesday, November 8 at CUNY Graduate Center’s James Gallery, 7 pm: FREE

Comedy is a strange thing. Many write it off as merely jokes with little meaning, but comedy is one of our biggest and most pervasive cultural forces. So, be careful what you joke about, because hey, jokes do matter and it’s extremely easy to be very funny without tearing down marginalized groups. I see it happen literally all the time. Anyway, tonight you can see performance artist Dynasty Handbag perform their new work that riffs on “white activism” (#resist by buying this shirt about feminism!) and solo shows made by privileged heterosexual women with little self-awareness, which I also see happen all the time. After the performance concludes, the artist will be joined by Morgan Bassichis, Dominique Nisperos, Keisha Zollar, and moderator Bess Rowen for a discussion about the role of comedy in times of political unrest, and how one can utilize the genre to productively take on the establishment.

THURSDAY

(flyer via Union Hall)

Boast Rattle
Thursday, November 9 at Union Hall, 10 pm: $10 advance, $12 day of

Ah, roasts. No, I don’t mean cookouts or that ceremony where you put the whole pig in the ground and take it out after a while. I am talking about the weird comedic ritual of hurling insults in a way some take as complimentary, ultimately. In my opinion, it is too easy to resort to cheap shots in a roast. Unless maybe you are roasting a white man who does not have many redeeming qualities. In any case, at this show you needn’t worry about expecting to laugh at any cruel or dumb retorts. In fact, Boast Rattle is a night of fierce compliments. So, you can sit back and watch Jo Firestone, Josh Gondelman, Mike Drucker, Adam Conover, Shalewa Sharpe, and even Bizzy The Dog cook up their best words of praise to each other. Plus, this edition of the show is part of the New York Comedy Festival, so maybe you will feel fancier in the audience.

FRIDAY

(flyer via Ars Nova / Facebook)

Every Feeling I’ve Ever Felt
Friday, November 10 at Ars Nova, 8 pm: $15

When it comes to feelings, composer and musician Ellen Winter has many of them. So many, in fact, that she’s written an entire show to expose them all to you. Her one-night-only show at Ars Nova (where she also interned several years back) not only has a hefty dose of emotions all along the spectrum (and probably more than one or two tears), it also serves as a showcase of songs she’s written over the years, from renditions of punk songs past to new material from her upcoming solo album. With some rare actual good news coming from the most recent local elections and the inevitable advent of chillier weather and seasonal depression, I have also been feeling many types of feelings. It can always be a treat to experience them with a roomful of others, set to a handful of songs.

SATURDAY

(photo: Theo Cote)

Don’t Feed The Indians: A Divine Comedy Pageant
Now through November 19 at La MaMa, 7 pm (Sundays at 2 pm): $25, $20 students/seniors

One (and certainly not the only) group who has faced hundreds of years of oppression that still continues today is Native Americans. Though their land and livelihood is still largely disregarded today, illuminated by movements like that of Standing Rock and more, the struggles they face are not always splashed on the (virtual) front pages of the news. And when Native or Indigenous people are portrayed in fictional media, it’s equally uncommon that they themselves are the ones telling the stories or even playing the roles. That all gets turned on its head at Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective’s “greatest sideshow of Indigenous people you’ll ever see.”

Created by Murielle Borst-Tarrant of Spiderwoman Theater with music direction by Kevin Tarrant, Don’t Feed The Indians takes common Native stereotypes and subverts them in a satirical, musical night performed by actual Native artists. May the future only bring more and more work like this.

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New Exhibitions: One Artist In Two Galleries, Beautiful Soup, Native Transformers

(image via Disclaimer Gallery / Facebook)

First, Play / Second Date
Opening Wednesday, November 8 and Thursday, November 9 at Disclaimer Gallery and Field Projects, 6 pm to 9 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm.

It’s common to see many artists showing work in one gallery show, but less so to see a singular artist (who isn’t a long-deceased master or buzzy household name) exhibiting at multiple galleries in the same city at the same time. Though this may be rare, queer artist Loren Britton is far from ordinary. Both exhibitions explore the confines and freedoms of bodies and language, specifically in regards to the queer and gender non-conforming experience.

At Chelsea’s Field Projects, their charming but rough paper pulp wall reliefs reside. Over at Bushwick’s Disclaimer Gallery, a sandbox installation rife with pastel, pulp, and radical politics makes its home. At the former, it’s recommended attendees “stay clean”; at the latter, “getting dirty is encouraged.” Rounding out the artist’s presence is a coloring book collaboration with artist/designer Laura Coombs; people are encouraged to fill in the book on their time between exhibitions. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Immersive Witchcraft, FMK, Branded Comedy

THURSDAY

(flyer via Branded Content: A Corporate Variety Hour / Facebook)

Branded Content Presents: Whole Foods
Thursday, November 2 at Pine Box Rock Shop, 8 pm: FREE

Ah, it appears the brands are at it again, my friends. The brands are always at it again. In this case, the brands are going seasonal, as the weather is finally getting colder some of the days but other days it feels like summer still and the earth will surely burn to a crisp sooner than we know it. Anyway, while we still have time on this strange planet we call home, you might as well spend a Thursday night watching some free comedy at a show that is all about the perils and peculiarities of brands and their content. The evening is hosted by Simone Norman and Jackson Fisher, and features Jay Jurden, Jeremyah Schur, Mary Houlihan, Kate Dellis, Gianmarco Soresi, and Chanel Ali, with a little help from the biggest jokester of all, Whole Foods. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Continued Haunts, Queer Ceramics, and Planning Ahead For Death

(image via Leslie-Lohman Museum / Facebook)

Objectified
Opening Friday, November 3 at Leslie+Lohman Prince Street Project, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 5.

This swift three-day exhibition shows the work of queer ceramic artist Caitlin Rose Sweet. I first encountered Sweet’s work when I interviewed her about a show she was doing inspired by Bosch’s notorious triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. Since then, she hasn’t stopped whipping up sculptural pieces that impressively mix elements of grotesque and feminine. Friday, her solo show Objectified is unveiled to the public, placing the queer femme body in all its manifestations on view. Sweet’s ceramic sculpture creations can resemble traditional craft art, domestic home goods, genitalia, gnarled fingers, and fantastical beasts all at once. Will you be entranced or spooked? Keep Reading »

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Get Ready to Dance On the Grave of the Cabaret Law, Set to Be Repealed

Council Member Rafael Espinal and others at a hearing on the Office of Nightlife and cabaret law repeal in June (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Those attending bars and clubs in NYC can soon collectively shake their hips without fear, as a bill repealing the Prohibition-era cabaret law is slated to pass the City Council tomorrow. The repeal marks a win for the coalition of individuals and advocacy groups like the Dance Liberation Network and NYC Artist Coalition who have spent many months attending hearings, making calls, and staging town halls in their quest to make a ban on social dancing a thing of the past.

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Performance Picks: Stigma Unbound, Alaskan Journey, Moon Juice

WEDNESDAY

(flyer via The Juice / Facebook)

The Juice!
Wednesday, October 25 at Union Pool, 7:30 pm: $5 advance, $7 doors

What is The Juice? Is it pressed and does it cost $9 for some reason? I do not know about how pressing the situation is, but I do know that this juice costs $5 in advance and $7 at the door. It is also a comedy show hosted by Carmen Christopher, which seems more enjoyable than sipping some green and/or pulpy liquid through a straw, which we were recently reminded are bad. Tonight, the show welcomes stand-up from Liza Treyger, Casey James Salengo, Dan Licata, and Greta Titelman, and improv from John Reynolds, Zack Pearlman, Monique Moses, Meghan Strickland, Matt Barats, and Zach Cherry. If you’re already tired of all the spooky and Halloween-themed goings-on around, why not check out something loosely themed around uh, juice. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Spooky Shows, Paintings N’ Dumplings, The Colonization of Fruit

(flyer via Idio Gallery / Facebook)

The Past, Too, Is An Intruder
Opening Tuesday, October 24 at A-Pou’s Taste, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through October 29.

Although East Williamsburg space Idio Gallery is no longer formally operating in the Grand Street building they called home, this has not stopped the gallery and its fearless leader Montana Simone from continuing on in new and creative ways. This Tuesday marks the opening of an exhibition of paintings by A. Savage that will still be on view on Grand Street, but not in a gallery space. Instead, they will find a home for the week at A-Pou’s Taste, a dumpling shop across the way. At the opening, you will certainly be able to purchase as many dumplings as your heart desires while gazing upon colorful works by the multi-hyphenate A. Savage, a visual artist who also performs music solo and as part of Parquet Courts and co-founded the label Dull Tools. If you’re looking to get more of an insight into the artist’s process, there will be a talk with Savage and artist Jonathan Campolo this Thursday at 7 pm. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Nightcaps, Bars Become Barns, and Black Girl Magic

THURSDAY

Nightcap | by Ike
Thursday, October 19 at Joe’s Pub, 9:30 pm: $15

Sometimes you’ve had a long and hard week, and you just want to sit back in a comfortable chair and enjoy a nice nightcap. Whether this, to you, means a snug piece of headwear to pair with a matching set of PJs or a fine pour of neat whiskey, come Thursday night it means joining comedic performer Ikechukwu Ufomadu at Joe’s Pub for a night of special guests, gentle quips, live music, and more. As a host and performer, Ike has a demeanor and tone of voice that will simultaneously make you chuckle robustly and feel like a soft blanket is enveloping your very form. Joining him on this evening will be jazz singer Stephan Crump and singer-songwriter LOLO. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Lasers And Dust, Queer Art Auction, Bodies Reimagined

Particulates
Opening Tuesday, October 17 at Dia:Chelsea. On view through June 2.

The space at Dia:Chelsea is big and expansive, as it used to belong to the Alamo Marble Company. This makes it a particularly good fit for Rita McBride’s Particulates, a light sculpture installation consisting of sixteen lasers, water molecules, “surfactant compounds,” and appropriately, some marble dust. The result of this interesting collection of materials is a recreation of what seems to be the vast expanse of outer space mixed with a neon sci-fi world of the future, which should be good news to the people who have always wanted to feel enveloped in the galactic void but do not have the means to actually get up there. For those who cannot make it to the exhibit in-person, there is also a livestream of it. Keep Reading »

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What Can the Night Mayor Do? The DIY Scene Discusses

Great turnout to support small cultural spaces in New York City !

A post shared by MARKET HOTEL – 1140 Myrtle Ave (@market.hotel) on

There’s a new (Night) Mayor in town, or at least there will be soon. On August 24, City Council member Rafael Espinal’s bill to establish an Office of Nightlife and Nightlife Advisory Board was passed by the council, then signed into law on September 19, in a ceremony that included even Marky Ramone. In light of this, some wondered about what this “night mayor” would actually do. Last night, the soon-to-reopen venue Market Hotel was flooded with artists, partiers, community members, and politicians for a town hall on what the people want from the Office of Nightlife.

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Performance Picks: Chocolate, Non-Toxic Masculinity, Comedy for PR Relief

WEDNESDAY

(image via Chocolate Dances / Facebook)

Chocolate Dances’ Costume Party Tasting Performance
Wednesday, October 11 and Saturday, October 14 at Triskelion Arts, 8 pm: $30 advance, $35 doors

Sometimes, chocolate is paired with wine. Sometimes, ice cream. Sometimes, milk. Sometimes chocolate is eaten in groups, sometimes alone in a bedroom in large quantities in the dark of night. Less so is chocolate associated with dancing, but this show will almost certainly change that. Chocolate Dances is a company run by Megan Sipe, who is both a choreographer and a literal chocolatier. She has wisely combined these two things into a night that pairs dance performance with handmade chocolates, from decadent infused truffles to smatterings of cacao nibs. Plus, there will be colorful and fun costumes, and even some for the audience to try on, which might be a good idea in case you get chocolate on yourself, which is likely. I’ve seen Megan and her cohorts perform several times before, and tried her chocolates, and I must say you will be in for a treat. Literally and figuratively. Keep Reading »