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Art This Week: Father + Son Collab, VR World, Hairy Domesticity

(image via Babycastles / Facebook)

Virtual Insanity
Opening Monday, July 17 at VR World NYC, 7 pm to midnight.

I think we can all agree that reality as we know it currently leaves something to be desired. So, what about virtual reality? For those not particularly prone to dizziness and/or nausea, it can be a very effective way to literally escape the perils of life and be thrust into a new environment. Even if you move your head in a bunch of angles, you can’t escape it! It’s pretty remarkable, TBH. Or terrifying, depending on what world you’re virtually immersed in. 

Tonight is the beginning of VR World NYC and Babycastles’ “VR-themed exhibition and concert.” You’ll be able to see VR ~experiences~ crafted by 9 developers/artists and vibe to music from Icarus Moth, RAFiA, and Haleek Maul. How hard can you dance without your VR goggles falling off? Tonight be the night to find out. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Printmaking in Protest, Robots Will Kill, Mexico + Staten Island

(image via Center for Book Arts)

Center for Book Arts Summer Exhibitions
Opening Wednesday, July 12 at Center for Book Arts, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through September 23.

This Wednesday, The Center for Book Arts will unveil their two summer exhibitions, titled “Protest Profest: Global Burdens” and “Animation + Printing.”  Though the institutions focuses on books (obviously), the exhibitions themselves span a variety of disciplines. “Protest ≠ Profest” is their annual Artist Members Exhibition, with the timely concept of showing work dealing with activism and “current societal concerns.” In order to narrow down the type of theme that could easily fill multiple rooms worth of art (and to keep with the book focus), works on display will either be artist’s books or works relating to the book arts.

“Animation + Printing” is predominantly a short film showcase, but all films have been created using techniques typically applied to the creation of books, such as  etching, moveable type, and silkscreen. A whopping 50-ish artists will be partaking, and the exhibition theme invites a cross-discipline experience for many, as several printmakers will be attempting animation and vice versa. Keep Reading »

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A ‘Fair’ Roger Ailes Memorial, The Secret Life of Plants, and More Art This Week

Rochelle Feinstein, The Week in Hate, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 by 38 inches (via yours mine & ours)

The Roger Ailes Memorial Show: Fair and Balanced
Opening Thursday, July 6 at yours mine & ours, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through August 4.

When news surfaced that Roger Ailes of Fox News had departed this earthly plane, certain left-leaning pockets of the internet reacted similarly to the announcement that longtime Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia had kicked the bucket. That is, they were not mourning in the typical sense, unless your regular mourning routine includes Twitter jokes and dances of joy. Now, a little over a month since he passed, LES gallery yours mine & ours will be gathering an array of artists to memorialize the man. And remember, being memorialized may have a positive connotation, but it merely means that people are publicly remembering what you did.

A press release for the show has opted not to include a traditional exhibition description, instead reprinting in full an essay by Monica Lewinsky that ran in The New York Times on May 22, 2017. Entitled “Roger Ailes’s Dream Was My Nightmare,” Lewinsky articulates for many paragraphs how Ailes and Fox was one of the first to incessantly cover her sexual involvement with Bill Clinton in a way that she writes made her “[cease] being a three-dimensional person.” The fact that this exhibition elected to uplift a woman’s story instead of trumpet about its own prestige should give you a clue of what’s in store. Keep Reading »

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Experimental Comics, A Munchkin Saga, and More Art This Week

(image via Artists Alliance Inc)

Sweety’s Radio: Edición Especial
Opening Tuesday, June 27 at Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space. On view through July 30.

Sweety’s, a curatorial initiative “dedicated to the labor of black and brown artists,” will be taking over the Lower East Side’s Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space until the end of July, using their time to stage live talk show interviews with artists and “Spanish-speaking cultural producers.” They’ve partnered with four unique artists, who will be interviewed by Sweety’s and given space for a week to show their work. Once those weeks have concluded, the four members of Sweety’s will be creating a collaborative installation.

The residency begins with Cecilia Gentili, a performer, storyteller, and advocate for trans women of color, and continues with illustrator Raul Gonzalez III, poet and AIDS activist Emanuel Xavier, and visual artist Elia Alba. As the Manhattan art world continues to largely fulfill its reputation of being upper-class, cis, and white, ventures like Sweety’s are a breath of fresh air.

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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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