Jenni Hensler is convinced most people have no idea who she is, but if you’ve been paying attention to popular music in the last few years, you’ve definitely seen her work. The stylist and art director’s hand is immediately recognizable in the witchy, borderline-spiritual looks of Zola Jesus and Chelsea Wolfe that seem to draw inspiration from the occult, fetish wear, and fantasy. But a new project could bring her out into the light as an artist in her own right.
On Wednesday night the Living Gallery in Bushwick was abuzz with punk kids and curious passersby who had stepped inside to soak up the atmosphere of Collective Delusion / Mass Hysteria, a new all-female art exhibition. “Pretty much everyone is involved in the punk or noise scene in some way,” Jennifer Calandra, who curated the event, explained of the participating artists. “They’re mostly ladies I know from the scene here and from going to shows in different states.” The exhibition arrived just in time for the annual punk fest, New York’s Alright, which kicked off last night with shows at the Acheron and Tender Trap and continues throughout the weekend.
Time again for our weekly roundup of what’s new on the art scene.
Buccaneer, Masquerade, Suspence, Abundance, Thorn, Champion. Recent works by Brice Brown
April 17 (opening reception 7-9pm) to May 23 at Air Circulation, 160 Randolph St., Bushwick.
Kentucky-born artist Brice Brown created a multi-part installation meant to present a fragmented experienece of the still life genre as a way to explore “the dichotomous impulses inherent in the act of domestication: containment and freedom; restraint and release; a need for chaos and a need for order,” per the artist’s statement. The installation, largely consisting of archival pigment prints, wallpaper design and soft sculpture, draws from The Batsford Colour Book of Roses (1962) and pages from an early 20th century fruit and seed catalog. References to the letterhead design of constructivist-influenced masters such as Piet Zwart are embedded in the pieces.
Yesterday we stopped by D & F Contemporary, a new gallery located in a former discount lingerie store at the corner of Delancey and Orchard, to chat with Don Devore of New York hardcore band Sick Feeling. He’d been at the gallery for the past 30 hours, creating an immersive, one-night-only installation to coincide with the release of “Metaphysical Cops,” the new single and music video by his electro project Collapsing Scenery.
Last week’s roundup of art openings touched on mythology and mysticism (most of those shows are still on, so go now). This week, it’s all about deconstruct, abstraction, illusion, order and chaos.
Alicia DeBrincat: Digital Interference/Analog Intervention
April 9 (opening reception 7-10pm) to April 28 at Vitrina, 90 Stanton St., Lower East Side.
Brooklyn-based artist Alicia DeBrincat is interested in the collision of photography and painting as two very different ways of presenting “visual truth”: she transfers photos, whether archival or taken by herself, onto canvas and then leaves gaps in the photographic images — oftentimes, the face is what’s left out. These gaps are then filled with brightly colored paintings. At this show, you’ll see embellished versions of celebrity mugshots from victimless crimes, e.g. Elvis’s arrest for lewd dancing or David Bowie’s arrest for marijuana possession, along with archival photos of powerful cultural figures from the past including Queen Victoria, Buffalo Bill, and Wyatt Earp.
Chilean-born photographer Sergio Purtell moved to New York City back in the ’80s but for the past eight years, the changing landscape of Brooklyn struck him as a development worth documenting. The result is over 1,400 black-and-white images, all of which are on view (in either large format print or slideshow form) at Art 3 in Bushwick.
In anticipation of the opening for the Witches of Bushwick residency at Stream Gallery, we stopped by the Bushwick mini-art front yesterday. We can’t say we didn’t look sort of ridiculous getting there right as the gate opened, but thankfully we were greeted not only by a singular, unopened bottle of red wine sitting by its lonesome on a pedestal but also by Christine Tran (co-founder of Witches of Bushwick along with Anne Alexander).
At these upcoming shows, artists “pimp” out myth, magic, and movies.
Myth and Mutations
April 10 (opening 7-9pm) to May 2 at Reverse, 28 Frost St., Williamsburg
For this one, Richie Brown took traditional oracle cards and swapped in emojis. “I realized that a lot of the newly created cards had emoji counterparts (i.e. santa, alien, poop with eyes) as well as some of the traditional ones (i.e. envelope, dog, eyeballs),” he told us. The cards, he said, contain what you might call “Jungian archetypes” — “but I don’t know how Jung would feel about poop with eyes being included in that,” he admitted. Brown will perform readings using his “spiked” or “pimped” deck at the opening. Meanwhile, Jonathan Monaghan’s “The Checkpoint” is a reinterpretation of Dürer’s Triumphal arch, where griffons and heraldic crests are replaced by security camera, video game weaponry and Whole Foods logos. And Yara Travieso’s video installations reinterpret Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Eurypides’s Medea.
When Shara Hughes was born, her father bought her and her three brothers 200 acres of land each in rural Georgia. It was the early ’80s and land was going for 10 cents an acre. Her father saw his opportunity and planted a tree farm. Shara spent a lot of her childhood on that property, learning about land and taking care of the trees. She still goes there to enjoy the space and the nature and when she moved to New York from Atlanta in August last year, land – because there’s so little of it in the city – was the first thing she thought about.
A scowling woman shoved a plastic bag in my face and gestured toward the mound of grapefruits at a Chinatown grocery like any other. “No thanks,” I smiled, pointing toward the rust red door with chicken scratch white paint that reads: 94 1/2. “Oh,” she said knowingly and smiled. Unlike everyone else clucking around the piles of produce, I wasn’t shopping. I was looking for an art show supposedly behind this dingy door. I tentatively knocked and heard no echo, no indication there was anything but darkness behind there, let alone an exhibition dedicated to work by the street artist RAE, some recent and some that might have otherwise been lost had it not been for a helpful neighbor.
Keep calm and carry home some art — and help fund schools in the process.
On Friday, The Creative Cycle hosted “Out of Line” at Bruce High Quality Foundation University in the East Village. The one-night only exhibit raised a total of $420 for two arts classrooms at PS 64 Robert Simon and PS 9 Teunis G. Bergen. If you missed it, don’t worry: you can still chip in by buying a new mix tape of previously unreleased tracks from your fave Brooklyn bands.
Sure, it was cool to see Tilda Swinton sleeping in a glass box, but what if the artist was present for some pillow talk?
That’s exactly what’s happening at a new show at Bosi Contemporary, “Come to Bed!”, which uses three queen-sized beds to focus on the different types of communication that take place under the covers. “You can sleep, you can eat in your bed, you can have sexual experiences,” said the show’s curator, Roya Sachs. “At each age, you experience it differently, which is nice because they’re all of different ages, the artists, so they have different relationships with the bed.”