Art Hearts

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Funky Ceramics, Mermaids at Sunny’s, and More Art Openings

Jess Sheridan. Trump This, 2017. Screenprint. 22 x 15 in. Printed and published by the artist. Edition: 45. (c) 2017 Jess Sheridan.

Just Under 100
Opening Thursday, June 22 at International Print Center, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through September 16. 

This show marks the 56th edition of the International Print Center’s New Prints Program, the result of an open call for fine art prints created in the last 12 months. Curator Katherine Bradford has selected 98 of them from artists all over the world, and they will all be on view in the self-proclaimed “small” gallery space of the IPC on West 26th Street.

While there isn’t necessarily a unifying theme for all the prints, several seem to have a political bent. On the gallery’s website, I observed at least one pussy hat reference and one print involving a woman in an American flag hijab and ripped jeans skateboarding on top of the head of a man with very orange skin. Which isn’t surprising, as nowadays it almost seems like more effort to avoid referencing the current political climate than not. Keep Reading »

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Radical Hospitality, Political Stitching, and More Art Affairs

(image via Idio Gallery / Facebook)

Radical Hospitality
Opening Thursday, June 15 at IDIO Gallery, 6pm. On view through July 15.

“Art is my life,” you’ve probably heard so many people proclaim. But rarely does it ring true in quite so literal a sense as this exhibition at Idio Gallery, in which “radical hospitality” means the East Williamsburg art space will be open from sun-up till sundown for 30 days in a row, welcome to all for any stretch of time. It’s the culmination of an ongoing exploration of the same name by the gallery’s curator Montana Simone, built partially by research and partially by actual times she experienced the hospitality of others, particularly in locations seen by Westerners as “hostile.”

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One Structure To Sustain You, Selena Lives On, And More Art Openings

(image courtesy of Cooler Gallery)

A Structure For Hope And Survival
Opening Tuesday, June 6 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through June 30.

Artist Huy Bui has a penchant for constructing environments, and his latest creation to be brought to life at Navy Yard-adjacent art space Cooler Gallery is timely in its name: A Structure For Hope and Survival. Deemed a “framework of organizing artifacts, objects, art, tools, books, games, supplies, seeds, plants and provisions,” this “modular ecological unit” serves as a structure and container for anything you might need, from plants and seating areas to how-to books and emergency snacks. An artist statement indicates that a manual is in the works for anyone who might want to build one themselves. The opening reception on Tuesday will begin with a panel discussion entitled “Art and Architecture in the Anthropocene” with Bui, fellow artists, and people who have worked on projects like Playlab and the Lowline.

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A Sign of The Times, Russian Prison Tattoos, and More Art Shows

Rirkrit Tiravanija
untitled 2017 (tomorrow is the question, january 21, 2017), 2017
Acrylic and newspaper on linen
89 1/4 x 73 1/4 inches
Courtesy Rirkrit Tiravanija and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York/Rome
(c) Rirkrit Tiravanija

The Times
Opening Thursday, June 1 at The Flag Art Foundation. On view through August 11.

Hate it or love it, one newspaper that has rocketed even more to the forefront of the public eye in the past year is the Times. From the president’s dismissal of it as failing to its recent scoop battle with The Washington Post and even today’s announcement that it has eliminated its public editor position in favor of opening more of their articles’ comment sections, there is much to talk about.

This art exhibition goes even further than the paper’s recent goings-on, asking over 80 artists to use current and archival issues of the physical newspaper as a jumping-off point to create works of their own. Some imagine what the headlines would be in 2020, some insert themselves into the news, and others take a second look at press coverage of major historical and sociopolitical events. If the news wasn’t already on your mind constantly, this show could do the trick. Keep Reading »

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Rikers As Seen By A Former C.O., Superstar Creators, and More Art Openings

(image via The Living Gallery / Facebook)

Behind These Prison Walls
Opening Monday, May 22 at The Living Gallery, 7 pm to 9 pm. One night only.

This one-night-only exhibition will be showcasing the work of Lorenzo Steele Jr., a visual artist who formerly served as a corrections officer at Rikers Island. As we’ve outlined in the past, conditions at Rikers could be described as “dismal,” if you’re into understatements. This holds particularly true for its younger residents, as New York state still charges 16 and 17-year-olds as adults, one of only two states to do so. This will soon change due to the recent passing of the Raise the Age initiative; individuals under 17 will no longer be held in county jails as of October 2018 (18-year-olds, too, starting a year later) and the “majority” of defendants aged 16 and 17 will be dealt with in Family Court rather than tried as adults.

Lorenzo Steele Jr. knows this particular plight all-too well, as the majority of his photographic documentation (taken from 1987-1999) chronicles the grim conditions to which inmates at Rikers have been subjected. Specifically, his work zeroes in on the adolescent jail and its solitary confinement unit. These images will be displayed alongside found weapons and other prison-sourced artifacts. Even as we spend our days lamenting the state of politics and Russia and the world, it is important to remind ourselves that there are also local travesties still happening around us, and it wasn’t the new administration that put them there. Keep Reading »

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Light-Soaked Galleries, Meditative Street Ads, and More Art Exhibitions

(image via Foley Gallery)

Subtext II: Meditations
Opening Wednesday, May 17 at Foley Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 25.

I would remark on the humor inherent in exhibiting artist Wyatt Gallery’s name, who is indeed showing artwork in a gallery, but it seems he’s already got that covered. As soon as you visit his website, the very large and very green phrase “a person, not a place” is followed, literally, by a trademark symbol. So, guys… he gets it.

For this show, Gallery is displaying a series of works using foundational material quite truly ripped off of the city streets, in that they are portions of the endlessly-stacked-and-glued mountains that are NYC street advertising and flyering. He transformed these found object compilations into “UV cured photographic plates,” making them even more abstract in the process. Interestingly, Gallery sees these dirty, aged poster creations as relevant to his practice of mindfulness and meditation. So next time you’re saddled with a 20-minute train wait, maybe you should try deep breathing while staring at the many advertisements on the walls. Perhaps inner peace will crawl out from in between the pages.

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Alleyway Objects, Tech Art Galore, and More Visual Treats Opening This Week

(image via The Lodge Gallery)

Foofaraw & Spleen
Opening Wednesday, May 10 at The Lodge Gallery, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through June 11.

This exhibition brings together two artists whose work is lighthearted, literary, and warmly familiar. The Lodge Gallery and DAVID&SCHWEITZER Contemporary, whose Ayakamay exhibition we recently covered, will be pairing up paintings by Heather Morgan and watercolor works on paper by Paul D’Agostino for the jauntily-named exhibition “Foofaraw & Spleen.”

Morgan, who normally deals in self-portraits, has created an array of portraits of familiar faces that are not her own. Looking back at you will be a selection of figures that Morgan considers inspirational: writers, musicians and the like, ranging from esteemed literary fellows to plain old rock stars. D’Agostino, on the other hand, will be showing a portion of the 140 works on paper he’s created for a book project. As they are titled The Produce Chronicles, With Flowers, it seems he is taking a leafier approach than Morgan’s human renderings. Together, their work creates a harmony of quaint depictions, from the natural realm to the human species.

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Artists Envision Inspiring Women, Masterful Portraits of Black Artists, and More Art Openings

Work by Jess De Wahlis, Michael Hubbard, and Diana Casanova (image courtesy of The Untitled Space)

She Inspires
Opening Tuesday, May 2 at The Untitled Space, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through May 20.

Tribeca art gallery The Untitled Space and its curator Indira Cesarine, who reacted swiftly after Election Day with their massive Angry Women group show in partnership with the ERA Coalition, are returning with another large and women-centric group show. She Inspires will show the work of 60 artists who have made pieces that feature or are inspired by “women that have made a positive impact on the world.” Exhibiting artists include Cesarine herself, Molly Crabapple, and Elisa Garcia de la Huerta of the Go! Pushpops collective. The definition of “inspiring women” is broad, as the show includes portrayals of local luminaries, famous faces like Frida Kahlo, and even fictional characters like Wonder Woman.

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Pols Get Amped For Electric Bus Service During L Shutdown

Would electric buses soften the blow of the approaching L train shutdown? City Council members Rafael Espinal and Stephen Levin think so, and yesterday they called on the MTA to make it happen.

Aside from being an inconvenience for more than 200,000 daily commuters who ride the L train daily, the 15-month shutdown planned for 2019 will also cause an increase in carbon emissions as the subway is replaced with more car and bus traffic. Electric buses would solve the problem of noxious bus fumes while pushing the city closer to a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly public transit system, the council members said during a press conference.

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VR Meditation, A Day to Combat Rape Culture, and More Art Affairs This Week

(flyer via Babycastles / Facebook)

Mind Portals
Opening Thursday, April 27 at Babycastles, 8 pm: $10-15 sliding scale. On view through May 12.

Babycastles has done a pretty good job framing itself as the place to be when it comes to wacky tech-driven art and indie games. This Thursday’s opening will be no exception, as they will be unveiling a host of new video games, VR experiences, and multimedia installations. You can “follow an aries goat on an herb walk” (whatever that means, I’m intrigued) in Young Ascension Hypnosis’s VR video, relax and kick back in Avalon’s sound and flower installation “The Garden,” and find yourself in a flurry of disembodied hands and techno music through Palgal’s cleverly named video game “Palmystery.”

If this opening wasn’t internet-centric enough, net artist Molly Soda will be DJ-ing for the night as well, in addition to sets by Good DJ with High Speed Music, Neo Edo, and A Pigeon Is Born. Keep Reading »

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Tiny Art in a Laundromat, Unlimited Algorithmic Paintings, and More Exhibition Openings

(image via Trevis True / Facebook)

Coin-Op: a tiny art show
Opening Monday, April 17 at Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball, 9:30 pm. One night only.

The Sunshine Laundromat in Greenpoint has a lot to offer. You can wash your clothes. You can play plenty of pinball. You can sip beer or wine while doing all of this. And tonight, you can experience something a little bit artsier. The vending machine at Sunshine has been host to many trinkets and miscellany, even catching media attention last year when they restocked it with Plan B and pregnancy tests alongside bite-sized candies. While you could argue that is a much more practical move, tonight this little machine sandwiched between a photobooth and Jurassic Park pinball machine will be filled with art of all shapes and sizes.

Well, not quite all shapes and sizes, seeing as there is only so much space in that thing. The exhibition’s Facebook event has even outlined parameters for interested artists: any submissions “can range in size from a personal bag of Cheetos to a Snickers bar or a can of Axe body spray.” If you’re on your last pair of underwear and have been putting off laundry for an undisclosed amount of time, this little art show could be the motivation you needed to get ‘er done. And you could leave with a souvenir—since the art will be in a literal vending machine, the pieces will indeed be available for purchase. Keep Reading »

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Robotic Theater, Online Anxiety, and More Art This Week

(image courtesy of Disclaimer Gallery)

Anxiety Sex
Opening Wednesday April 12 at Disclaimer Gallery, 6 pm to 10 pm. On view through May 8.

Ah, anxiety and sex, two things that go together like peanut butter and jelly, or perhaps crying and bathrooms. Artist Charlotte Greene, the latest to set up shop at the inclusive Disclaimer Gallery inside the Silent Barn, sees this all too well. Focusing on the many strange ways digital encounters can translate to IRL ones, Greene has formed an array of digital collages made from predictive iPhone text, tweets, stream-of-consciousness writing, and more.

Riffing off of a computer’s ability to zoom, distort, crop, and alter images, many aspects of these collages have been modified accordingly, often to the extent that they are hardly legible anymore. This manipulation mirrors the strange spirit of online communication, in that it can be so easily seen as something larger, smaller, or entirely different than it ever intended to be. Talk about #relatablecontent!

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