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Legendary Art Duo McDermott & McGough Are Building an ‘Oscar Wilde Temple’

McDermott & McGough, “Oscar Wilde in Prison, 1895 (MMXVII)” (detail), 2017. Oil and gold leaf on linen. Courtesy of the artists.

Legendary New York art team McDermott & McGough — known, among other things, for spending 15 years living in the East Village while dressed as top hat-wearing Victorian gentlemen — are back with an ambitious new project to be unveiled at The Church of the Village this September.

The new art installation combines several of the artists’ motifs and preoccupations — the Victorian era, Ireland, gay culture, LGBT rights, time — in a giant homage to Oscar Wilde, the turn-of-the-century Anglo-Irish writer and bon-vivant famously condemned to prison for refusing to hide his sexuality.

The Oscar Wilde Temple “combines painting, sculpture, and site specific elements in a functioning environment that recalls the beautiful and provocative sensuousness of the Aesthetic Movement [that] Wilde championed,” according to a press release. It will transform The Church of the Village‘s chapel into a shrine to Wilde. In the center will be a four-foot statue of Wilde in the manner of a religious icon. On the walls will be paintings in the style of the Stations of the Cross, but instead of depicting Christ’s persecution they will illustrate Wilde’s journey from arrest to incarceration.

Peter McGough and David McDermott — who, after their East Village days, threw elaborate parties in the Williamsburg bank building where they resided — evidently first began discussing the idea of the Oscar Wilde Temple more than 20 years ago. In keeping with the duo’s fondness for “time experiments,” the Temple will painstakingly replicate the aesthetics and atmosphere of Victorian England through the use of “specially made fabric wall coverings, architectural and decorative details, furnishings and lighting.”

The Temple will also include a secondary altar conceived as a shrine to those struggling with or killed by AIDS, as well as a series of portraits by McDermott & McGough of homophobia “martyrs,” such as Harvey Milk and Alan Turing, and lesser-known victims of AIDS or homophobia including Sakia Gunn, a teenage African-American lesbian stabbed in Newark in 2003, and two figures from The Church of the Village’s own history — Rev. Paul M. Abels and Rev. C. Edward Egan, ministers forced out for being gay.

Sponsored by The Church of the Village and the New York LGBT Center, the Temple will also be available to rent for weddings, memorial services, and other private functions, with the proceeds benefiting the LGBT Center.

The installation will run concurrently with “I’ve Seen the Future and I’m Not Going,” a McDermott & McGough retrospective opening at the Dallas Contemporary in Texas on October 1st.

The installation will be open Sept. 11th through Dec. 2nd at The Church of the Village at 201 W. 13th St. at 7th Ave., viewable Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon – 7:00 pm.

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The Museum of Interesting Things Is a Roving ‘Speakeasy’ Run By a Quirky Curator

How did we watch films at home before Netflix and DVD? And before VHS? Denny Daniel will show you at his Museum of Interesting Things. This “speakeasy museum” pops up weekly at various locations in the city to show how our current-day technology is based on earlier inventions, often going all the way back to the late 19th century. From 1960s solar-powered walkie-talkies to carousel animations and parts of the original World War II Enigma machine, Daniel has collected a wide array of antiques and curiosa.

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What You Missed at Hanksy’s Surprise Art Show, ‘Market Surplus’

Art credit: @bkfoxx. Photo credit: @bytegirl24.

If you didn’t catch it this weekend, you sadly missed your chance to visit “Market Surplus,” the limited-edition LES popup street art show that opened Friday evening and closed last night. The show, organized by LES provocateur Hanksy, featured work from ten street artists who had less than a week to fill an abandoned market hall with murals. The show’s “gallery” — slated for conversion to senior housing as part of the massive Essex Crossing development — will soon be demolished.

But despair not: we’ve rounded up the best Instagram photos from the show.

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Sneak Peek: Hanksy Brings Art Show to Abandoned Lowline Space For One Weekend Only

Photo credit: Jesse Vega.

Opening tonight: a three-nights-only popup art installation in an abandoned, soon-to-be-demolished Lower East Side market hall, organized by the cult New York street artist Hanksy. We got a preview tour of the space, where the ten artists have been working overtime to finish their murals.

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Duane Michals Targets Trump in New Art Show, But Does He Hit the Mark?

“The Lyin King” (c) Duane Michals.

Political art is easy to create but hard to pull off. The election of President Trump has spurred much talk among the chattering classes about art’s potential as a weapon of activism and satire. Unfortunately, as we’ve noted before, that political impulse often comes up short. The cultural left has an unfortunate tendency to bring butter knives to gun fights; but satire, like knives, only works when it has a real edge.

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How to Make the Most of #MuseumWeek

(Photo courtesy of Rose M. Singer Center, Rikers Island Correctional Center)

It’s time to stop putting off checking out the city’s great cultural institutions, because this week is #MuseumWeek. UNESCO is focusing on a different theme each day, with the entire week dedicated to celebrating gender equality and women around the world.

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Tonight, Superchief Gallery Celebrates Five Years of ‘Gettin’ Away With It’

The New York staff, artists and friends of Superchief Gallery in front of their new space in Ridgewood, featuring a mural by Yok and Sheryo, 6/8/17. (Photo: Nick McManus)

Tonight, Supechief Gallery will celebrate its fifth anniversary at its new space in Ridgewood. What started out as a live-in loft space has now expanded to two warehouse-sized buildings in New York and Los Angeles that can feature large-scale installations and even larger murals. The anniversary is part of bi-coastal exhibition that opened in LA on June 3, featuring over 50 favorite artists whose work will be rotated over the course of the summer, through September 1.

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‘Catholic Anarchist’ Dorothy Day Returns to the East Village Via an Art Show

Dorothy Day sculpture. (Photos: Oliver Conroy)

“We need to change the system. We need to overthrow, not the government, as the authorities are always accusing the Communists [of conspiring to do], but this rotten, decadent, putrid industrial capitalist system which breeds such suffering in the whited sepulcher of New York.”

So spoke Dorothy Day – “Catholic anarchist” and founder of the radical Catholic Worker, still published seven times a year at Maryhouse in the East Village. Day, an activist and writer who became the godmother of the religious-left “Catholic worker” movement, died in 1980, but her legacy lives on in the form of the East 3rd Street soup kitchen she founded to minister to the poor and homeless of the East Village and Lower East Side.

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Visit a Bodega Where Every Item is Made of Felt. Yes.

Credit: www.sewyoursoul.com

Have you ever fantasized about visiting a bodega where every sale item is an exact replica made of felt? No? Either way, as on June 5, you’ll now have the opportunity.

For your consideration: Next week British artist Lucy Sparrow will unveil her newest art installation– a 1,200-square-foot space she has conjured into an “immersive, fully stocked felt convenience store.” The store will contain 8,000 purchasable items, all made of felt. Snickers bar? Felt. Pack of Marlboros? Felt. Liter of milk? Felt. Bodega cat? Felt, probably.

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New Museum Will Debut New Galleries With a Kahlil Joseph Show and More

231 Bowery. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

To celebrate New Museum’s 40th anniversary (contemporary art museums, they grow up so fast!), two new gallery spaces and several exhibits will be added this fall. The temporary galleries will open on September 27 and showcase work by Peter Halilaj and filmmaker Khalil Joseph.

The galleries will connect the museum’s ground floor to 231 Bowery, which the museum purchased in 2011, and will operate for an indefinite period of time, according to a museum spokesperson.

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A Look at Industry City’s New Tugboat Bar, Ping-Pong Arena, and Mini Golf Course

(Photos courtesy of Industry City)

Last week we shared some details of the summer offerings at Sunset Park’s Industry City – including mini-golf, ping-pong, and a satellite eatery of the Frying Pan, the wildly popular floating restaurant at Pier 66 Maritime in Chelsea.

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