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Can Luxury Chickens, Zimbabwean Mushrooms and a Williamsburg Artist Save Detroit?

Detroit-baed philanthropist Gary Wasserman speaking at Markus Linnenbrink's Williamsburg studio (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Detroit-baed philanthropist Gary Wasserman speaking at Markus Linnenbrink’s Williamsburg studio (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Everything was going rather predictably at the preview event for an upcoming arts initiative in Detroit spearheaded by Gary Wasserman, a well-known steel mogul, philanthropist, and patron of the arts in Southeast Michigan. Inside the Williamsburg studio of Markus Linnenbrink there was the requisite colorful, unprovocative artwork chosen for public display, the starchitect with an approachable design, and talk of revitalization of a bankrupt city through the arts. There were even sandwiches. But once the conversation moved into specifics about Wasserman Projects– namely, the launching of a public outreach initiative involving a modular pavilion, $250 chickens, and Zimbabwean mushrooms– that sandwich nearly fell out of my mouth.

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’90s Skateboards On Gallery Walls? ‘It’s Hard to Compete With That Level of Freshness’

Detail of The LB Project artwork by Michael Sieban. (Deckaid's FB)

Detail of The LB Project artwork by Michael Sieban. (Deckaid’s FB)

One of skateboarding’s biggest commercial booms was in the 1980s. With their robust royalty checks and penchant for partying, many of the big name vert riders of the decade were legitimate rock stars. Unlike today, it wasn’t the contest money or shoe contracts that beefed up their bank accounts, but monthly board sales royalty checks that often exceeded 10K (put that in the inflation calculator). Sure, kids were consuming these boards because Tony Hawk and Christian Hosoi were household names, but it was the actual board art that was the true marketing tool.

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Enter the Institute For New Feeling, Find Your Future Through a Mystical Net Experience

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

The invitation for Seek: A Self-Fulfilling Prophesy, at Soho’s Recess gallery, was a strange one, steeped in culty vibes. “Visitors are invited to make an appointment to meet with a consultant for their personal reading. Seek is the newest treatment from Institute for New Feeling. It offers individuals a clairvoyant reading generated by the misuse of online search engines.” An invitation for a free “reading?” Check. Sounds a lot like an E-meter reading. Arcane symbols? Check. The Institute’s website is replete with them. And hold up– the Institute? Yup. It’s a self-described “research clinic committed to new ways of feeling, and ways of feeling new” that offers “a rotating menu of wellness treatments, therapies, and retreats.” Right. Needless to say we got down there quicker than you can say “Scientology.”

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Peep Some Mini, Artsy Water Towers at These Two Openings

Claw Money's tower will be at "Towers of Power" event.

Claw Money’s tower will be at “Towers of Power” event.

What’s (possibly) more Brooklyn than Jay Z? Water towers. Or at least that’s what Boundless Brooklyn, a company that creates replica DIY model kits of the towers and other iconic New York City structures, would argue. Their water towers are featured in two upcoming art installations – one at MoMA Design Store and the other at a boutique that only sells Brooklyn-made goods, aptly named By Brooklyn.

This isn’t the water towers’ first appearance as an art installation – earlier this year they appeared at a MoMA Design Store show that featured the artists Zero Productivity and MURRZ.

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A Threesome Messed Around With ‘Banal Erotics’ at Bushwick Open Studios

Looking at female nude photos at Chasm Gallery. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette)

Looking at female nude photos at Chasm Gallery. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette)

Anyone who attended Bushwick Open Studios this past weekend knows there was a plethora of penetrating art. Especially at the closing weekend of “Housebound,” an exhibit at Chasm Gallery where penises abounded.

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This Photo Show Marks a High Point for the Transgender Movement

(Photo by Robyn Hasty)

(Photo by Robyn Hasty)

Robyn Renee Hasty is no stranger to outsiders, countercultures, and misfits. So it might feel a little strange for the artist to be in the midst of what’s becoming a mainstream social movement and media obsession to match, as embodied in the debut of Caitlyn Jenner. A new exhibition featuring Hasty’s most recent work, opening Thursday at Brooklyn’s Pioneer Works, couldn’t be more timely. But even with a newfound frank (but still sometimes fraught) discussion of the transgender experience going mainstream, Hasty’s nude portraits of transgender, gender non-conforming, and cisgender people are still subversive.

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These Guys Have Camped Out All Week For a Williamsburg Art Show

Joe Wong, Paul Af, Dan Hamburger.

Joe Wong, Paul Aftanas, Dan Hamburger.

At 2:30am this past Tuesday, having just flown in from San Diego, Dan Hamburger pulled up to Cotton Candy Machine’s rain-soaked curb. With the Williamsburg gallery’s annual Tiny Trifecta art show just four short days away, Hamburger was taking no chances. Keep Reading »

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Kim Gordon’s New Show: Fear of Lost Art and Ideas in a Changing City

"The City is a Garden" : an exhibition of work by Kim Gordon now at 303 Gallery (Photo: Nicole Disser)

“The City is a Garden” : an exhibition of work by Kim Gordon now at 303 Gallery (Photo: Nicole Disser)

As of today, a new body of work by Kim Gordon is living at 303 Gallery in Chelsea, a white box like most others on this slick block of 24th Street that’s all glass, steel, and tourists. Naturally, we’re excited. Kim Gordon Week may be long over, but we’re still obsessed with the musician-designer-artist-author who for some of us (me) is our girlhood hero. But on my visit, I was trying to keep things pure – hoping to avoid any unwanted osmosis from an artist statement or a pre-determined explanation to fulfill, I darted straight back to the art, resisting the temptation to pick at the stack of press releases for Design Office: The City is a Garden.

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What it Was Like to Hang on the ‘Playground’ with Blondie and the Ramones

Deedee Ramone and Connie Gripp in the kitchen at Max's Kansas City, 1975 (Photo: Paul Zone)

Dee Dee Ramone and Connie Gripp in the kitchen at Max’s Kansas City, 1975 (Photo: Paul Zone)

You’ve seen photos from the heyday of CBGB and Max’s Kansas City a thousand times. In a way, they never get old, but a new photo book out by Paul Zone (and an exhibition opening tomorrow at Leslie-Lohman’s Prince Street Project Space) gets even closer to the likes of Blondie, the Ramones, and the Dead Boys than we’ve ever been. The downtown figures we know and love still certainly look cooler than iced tea, but it’s clear their guards are let down — it’s something like seeing the punks in their natural element.

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Eat Like a Martian at this Supper Club’s Art Exhibition

(Photo: Menu for Mars Supper Club)

(Photo: Menu for Mars Supper Club)

“As a group, we’re imagining the future,” explained Douglas Paulson, who co-founded the Menu for Mars Supper Club with fellow artist Heidi Neilson. This weekend throughout June, the supper club– which has been holding meetups for the past year where members gather to dream up, enact, and discuss solutions to culinary life on Mars– will hold a residency at The BoilerThe Menu For Mars Kitchen, complete with tastings, cook-offs, and interactive events of all kinds. “It’s thinking expansively about interpreting the Martian experience,” Paulson explained. “We have a pretty ambitious lineup and hopefully we’ll get a lot of people who come in and try their hand at cooking something.” When the exhibition wraps up, the supper club will hand out awards to the most innovative chefs and will pack up the winning dishes and ship them off not to Mars, but to NASA in hopes their creations will be adopted in missions to Mars.

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Drones to Invade Knockdown Center This Summer

The Knockdown Center is accepting submissions for a drone obstacle course to be built this summer (Photo: Nicole Disser)

The Knockdown Center is accepting submissions for a drone obstacle course to be built this summer (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Call me a hyper-sensitive freak, but when I first heard the buzzing sound of a drone hovering above the smooth concrete floor at Knockdown Center, I got the chills. There’s something deeply ominous about drones, not least of all because they’ve become synonymous with a futuristic, one-sided (for now anyway) kind of warfare that’s shrouded in secrecy. Somewhat evil undeniably, but drones are also fascinating. “I have a drone newsfeed and stuff pops up like every day, probably 10 or 15 different stories ranging from ‘Three People Killed in Pakistan’ to ‘Drone Captures Surfing Dolphin’ or ‘Perverts are Spying on People,’” said Michael Merck, the creative director at Knockdown Center. It’s no wonder, then, that the Queens-based art center has chosen drones as the centerpiece of its summer exhibition.

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