About Cassidy Dawn Graves

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

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Performance Picks: Kaufman-Inspired Comedy, Mental Health, and More

THURSDAY

(image via Vow Performance Party / Facebook)

Vow II: Mental Health
Thursday, August 2 at Rose Gold, 7:30 pm: $10 advance, $15 doors

While it still carries some stigma, mental health has steadily become more and more of a presence in today’s everyday dialogues. This is undoubtedly due to the unfortunate prevalence of mental health issues, many of which have proven to be exacerbated by the current political climate. Even as (and especially) as things get worse, continually talking about it can help. One of the more unique ways you can engage is through Vow, a sex-positive party and performance series “for artists with stigmatized identities or experiences to express themselves freely in a supportive community.” The night is centered around mental health, and features relevant performances by a lineup that includes burlesque performers Regal Mortis, Lucy Risqué, and Miss Sugar Mamasota, dominatrix Venus Cuffs, performance artist Monika Rostvold, and more. Keep Reading »

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The Photographer Documenting DIY Culture in Brooklyn and Beyond

La Rhaata on the subway, New York City 2017 (photo: Walter Wlodarczyk)

Those who proclaim the spirit of New York City is dead would be wise to look away from the fresh horror that is the CBGB Target and instead fix their eyes on the work of photographer Walter Wlodarczyk. There, you’ll find a vibrant collection of musicians, performance artists, dancers, and other experimental creative types. As Wlodarczyk’s solo exhibition There Is Only One Of You demonstrates in an impressive 160 or so photos, thriving artistry is still alive and well here. Keep Reading »

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A ‘New Yonic Era’ and More Art This Week

(image via Cooler Gallery)

Surface Tension
Opening Tuesday, July 31 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through August 12.

Some art has sweeping sociopolitical messages, while other art serves a primarily aesthetic purpose. Neither is better or worse: sometimes you want to be provoked into thinking deeply about the world around you and sometimes you just want to be dazzled by how cool something looks. The work of mixed media artist Senem Oezdogan (presented in partnership with Uprise Art) falls more into the latter category, consisting largely of “fiber-based geometric studies” inspired by architecture, shapes, and the textures of fabrics. They’re fairly simple pieces, featuring abstract shapes and rich splashes of color, and manage to convey an alluring calmness in their playful minimalism. Rather than fixating on what message an artwork might be trying to proclaim, Oezdogan’s work invites you to merely appreciate the visuals. If it makes you feel nice, you don’t need to question it. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Boat Comedy, Puppetry, Being Very Online

WEDNESDAY

producer Catherine Woodard, playwright Stefani Kuo, and director Theo Maltz (image courtesy of Corkscrew Theater Festival)

delicacy of a puffin heart
July 25-August 5 at Paradise Factory, various times: $24 (pay what you can on July 28)

Presented as part of the second annual Corkscrew Theater Festival, a festival of new plays and readings showcasing up-and-coming artists, this play by writer, poet, and performer Stefani Kuo tackles the weighty topic of how female friendship and love perseveres in the midst of loss, lies, and decades of time. It does so by telling two stories: one of a lesbian couple trying to conceive in 1990s San Francisco, and one of their daughter 20 years later living in that same apartment and coping with illness. It can be hard to be a person who is consistently both living life and loving people, and this play seems to serve as a reminder of that. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Beach Bodies, Paintings, and Who Gets To Play

Nate Lewis (image via Fridman Gallery / Facebook)

Strange Beach
Opening Tuesday, July 24 at Fridman Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 31.

Summertime is a time for going to the beach, but that’s not what this group exhibition at Fridman Gallery is about, despite the name. Rather, it’s a “metaphor for the body,” framing one’s physical form as a vessel of sorts that can advance, retreat, swallow up others, be intruded upon, amass debris and valuable items alike over time. Three artists comprise Strange Beach: Arghavan Khosravi, Nate Lewis, and Tajh Rust, who incorporate themes of race, social history, portraiture, and the marginalized retaking their own narratives, whether this be through drawing on photographs to create something celestial or painting portraits of people using their own skin tones to inform the color palette. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Wallace Shawn, Heavy Metal Comedy, and More

THURSDAY

(image via The Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret / Facebook)

The Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret
Thursday, July 19 at Bizarre Bushwick, 10 pm: $10 suggested donation

Even though your parents probably told you otherwise, it can be fun to sin. Someone who knows that well is Vic Sin, a dance, drag, and burlesque performer who produces The Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret every month at Bizarre, which is hosted by drag performer (and leader of the inimitable queer drag and burlesque collective Beefsquad) Lee VaLone. It also happens to be Lee’s birthday, so you know the show will be extra special. Helping celebrate (and sin) will be the stacked lineup of C’Etait BonTemps, Angelica Sundae, Devo Monique, Dynasty, Laé D. Boi, Mini Horrorwitz, Nyx Nocturne, and Theydy Bedbug. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Algorithms, Jesus, and Bottle Blondes

(image via Flowers Gallery NY / Facebook)

yes no maybe
Opening Tuesday, July 17 at Flowers Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 24.

Thanks to social media, the word “algorithm” is no longer something only mentioned in math class. I’d say for better or for worse, but we all know that people typically invoke talks of The Algorithm when they are complaining about the latest way it’s seeming to screw them over. A new group exhibition at Chelsea’s Flowers Gallery, which takes its title from the mathematical theory of probability, asks five artists to create works using their own algorithmic processes. This may sound intimidating until you realize an algorithm isn’t much more than a purposeful pattern that repeats over time, which is something done in art often. The artists of yes no maybe (all prolific and regarded in their respective fields) take their algorithmic inspiration from topics as varied as geometric microscopic organisms, Berlin’s Tempelhof airport, jazz music, and hypercubes. At the opening, there will be a panel discussion with Beryl Korot, Manfred Mohr and Judith Stenneken, moderated by Zabet Patterson, a professor and writer who focuses on how contemporary art and computing interact. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Drag Competition, Comedy (Divine Or Otherwise)

WEDNESDAY

(image via House of Yes / Facebook)

Hot Mess: Drag Competition
Wednesday, July 11 at House of Yes, 10 pm: FREE

When you think of a drag competition, surely one certain television show comes to mind. But, as RuPaul’s Drag Race has made clear, not every type of drag performer is allowed to partake. But at Madame Vivien V’s live drag competition Hot Mess, there are no such limitations. “All drag is equal so whatever form you take, [whether] you are a seasoned professional or a baby darling, if you’ve got something to say, we want to give you the stage,” the event page articulates, noting that the show will include queens, kings, “queerdos,” and whomever else may want to strut their stuff. The winner will receive the coveted title of Mx. Hot Mess, as well as $100 cash. Plus, unlike a lot of events at the glitzy House of Yes, it’s free. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Pleas For Peace, New Sculptors, Motherhood

(image courtesy of The Untitled Space)

Defining Form
Opening Wednesday, July 11 at The Untitled Space, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through August 1.

When one thinks of sculpture, it’s likely the old masters of yore come to mind: Donatello, Michelangelo, Bernini, even more modern creators like Duchamp and Calder. Something else these artists have in common, in addition to their acclaim and skill, is their gender. Surprise surprise, like most art historical figures, they’re all men. New group show Defining Form seeks to introduce the public to a new, more diverse generation of sculptors. Over 50 artists are participating in the exhibition, which features common motifs of feminism, unconventional materials, and technologically-advanced ways of creating art, such as 3-D printing. So, come and have your notions of what it means to be a sculptor expanded. Keep Reading »

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Drag Brunch, Radical Latinxs, And More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

Awilda Rodríguez Lora. Performance of La Mujer Maravilla: INDIA$ m.e. at the Brooklyn Museum, 2016. (Photo: Daryl E. Tillman) (image via Brooklyn Museum / Facebook)

Cuerpxs Radicales: Radical Bodies In Performance
Thursday, July 5 (plus July 12 and 19) at Brooklyn Museum, 7 pm: FREE with museum admission ($10-16)

While the bulk of the buzz surrounding the Brooklyn Museum lately has surrounded the acclaimed and ever-popular exhibit David Bowie Is, that’s not the only thing that’s happening at the art space. Another exhibition currently on view is Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985. In addition to the exhibition, there’s been a consistent array of programming to accompany it. This Thursday marks the beginning of a weekly showcase spotlighting contemporary female and gender non-conforming Latinx artists and performers working in any discipline from performance and music to literature and visual art and more. This week features Ela and Alina Troyano, Awilda Rodríguez Lora, Sonia Guiñansaca, and STEFA*. Keep Reading »

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Art About America and More Exhibitions Opening This Week

(image via Con Artist Collective / Facebook)

Amurikana
Opening Wednesday, July 4 at Con Artist Collective, 7 pm to 11 pm.

The 4th of July falls on a Wednesday this year, which for the people with Real Jobs means you probably have to drink less than you would if it was on a weekend. It’s also admittedly a weird and unsettling time to have a holiday that’s supposed to celebrate patriotism and America when in just the past week families were torn apart, children were kept in cages, journalists were shot dead at a local newspaper, and a Supreme Court Justice who occasionally voted in non-conservative ways announced his retirement. Even so, it can be comforting to come together for a little merry-making. If you’re looking for something to do before or after a rooftop party, backyard BBQ, or other outdoor activity, the artists of Con Artist Collective are putting up a show appropriately all about America, whatever that might mean to them. Keep Reading »

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Bushwick’s San Loco Is Now a No-Go

(photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Though “Gringo-Mex” spot San Loco left their East Village home of 31 years in 2017 due to a rent increase, folks hungry for Guaco Locos and margaritas could still get their fill at San Locos in the Lower East Side, Williamsburg, and a location at 582 Bushwick Avenue that opened right before the Second Avenue location shut their doors. Now, that latest addition has also ceased operations. Its windows have been papered over and an employee at the Lower East Side store confirms it has closed.  Keep Reading »