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Lifeforce Ditches Our Dystopian Present For a Post-Gender Cyborg Future

"Olympia" by Kelsey Bennett (Image courtesy of Kelsey Bennett)

“Olympia44” by Kelsey Bennett (Image courtesy of Kelsey Bennett)

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling like everything on this place we call Planet Earth is terrible right now. Mostly because a bigoted, beady-eyed mop man partial to Valencia-orange spray tans has power boated, ass pinched, and butt picked his way to the Presidential contest. The whole charade is sort of starting to feel like the first few chapters of a sci-fi paperback– when the autocratic overlord is hurtling toward consolidating his dystopian reign, and you can’t believe that no one saw it coming.

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At The New Museum, The Keeper is a Haven for Historians, Hoarders, and Humanity

Yuji Agematsu (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Yuji Agematsu (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

We all have a little hoarder in us. Some more than others. Or maybe you have that weird friend who just won’t throw stuff away, and you wonder when someone is inevitably going to mistake his detritus for an art installation. Well, there’s now something for everyone at the New Museum. Its newest show, The Keeper, is an astounding assortment of collections amassed by artists, scholars, conspiracy theorists, survivors, weirdos, and everyday folk alike.

The show, which has over 4,000 objects spanning almost every floor of the museum, has the largest amount of items in the museum’s history. It’s a collection of collections, a hoard of hoards, a love letter to devotion. Similar to how many of the collections exhibited took years or decades to gather, curator Massimiliano Gioni has spent years on The Keeper; Lisa Phillips, the museum’s director, calls the show his “lifelong obsession.” Keep Reading »

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Meriem Bennani’s FLY at PS1 Will Leave You Feeling Buzzed

Meriem Bennani's "FLY" at PS1 (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Meriem Bennani’s “FLY” at PS1 (Photo: Nicole Disser)

It was an unusually quiet day on a recent visit to PS1– so deserted that, weirdly, I felt like I could get better acquainted with the 19th-century elementary school portion of the building than ever before. Call me cray, but the artwork at MoMA’s edgier little sister began to feel straight-up rebellious against the throwback schoolish confines which, in turn, started to feel even more institutional. Now that I was alone, and making actual contact with doors and hallways instead of awkwardly rubbing all over my fellow museum-goers, I realized everything was just slightly undersized. And that obligatory museum hush was starting to feel so intense that I felt compelled to swallow my gum and adjust my bad posture (everyone knows a well-trained ear can actually hear you resting on your laurels).

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At Babycastles, Squinky Makes Video Games For The Awkward in Us All

(photo: Clement Shimizu)

(photo: Clement Shimizu)

As we’ve mentioned recently, DIY art and game space Babycastles has been working hard to offer alternatives to the often exclusionary world of video games, showcasing work by indie game designers and artists who reveal that yes, there can be more to video games than mindless shooting and the Mountain Dew-guzzling men who often play them.

The previous exhibit on view was Toronto-based Kara Stone’s The Mystical Digital, offering a witchy and introspective take on games, with selections like Techno Tarot, where a robot gives you a detailed tarot reading, and Cyclothymia, a narrative exploring connections between emotions and astrology.

Another Canada-based game designer and programmer, Mx. Dietrich “Squinky” Squinkifier, has similar wishes to disrupt the tired norms in video games and video game culture. Rather than appealing to one’s inner mystic or the Bushwick dwellers who frequent places like Catland, Squinky’s games are more familiar to those who might stay in on a Friday night, presenting playable stories of awkward social interactions and small Claymation creatures of indistinct gender.

The Montreal-based artist’s second solo exhibition, Squinky Hates Video Games, is a compilation of work from the past three years in the form of ten different games, some of which were created during a stint at UC Santa Cruz’s Digital Arts and New Media MFA program. Squinky completed the program in 2015, and was recognized by Forbes that year as one of 30 Under 30 in Games.

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Get Consumed By A Death Womb at This Bushwick Art Show

(image courtesy of Club 157)

(image courtesy of Club 157)

Tonight, loft apartment turned art gallery Club 157 will be transformed into a tribute to the life of Mary of Cain.

Who’s that lady?, you ask.

Well, she’s the creation of multidisciplinary artist and model Jane Cogger, who birthed the character four years ago when she wanted to write more from a place of fiction, rather than autobiography.

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Latest Bushwick Art Fair Is a Bit of a Circus

(Photo: @bushwickopen)

(Photo: @bushwickopen)

Since it was announced that Bushwick Open Studios will be taking place in October and not on their usual summer date, a couple fledgling fests have tried to fill the void. There’s been the Bushwick Arts Festival, which was a bit of a letdown, and the Bushwick Galleries Association’s Hot Summer Nights of extended hours, which are great but for galleries only. So when we heard tell of a new Bushwick art festival called the Bushwick Open Art Fair, we were skeptical. What would make their “Bears on Bicycles”-themed fair different from the other upstarts? But then the organizers told us they’re “currently looking into the permits required to have live animals at the show.”

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At The Mystical Digital, Video Games Can Be Witchy Too

"Cyclothymia" and "Ritual of the Moon" on view at Babycastles (Photo: Kara Stone)

“Cyclothymia” and “Ritual of the Moon” on view at Babycastles (Photo: Kara Stone)

The term “gamer” usually conjures up a torrent of awful connotations– an exclusively white-male circle jerk where the only manifestation of “diversity” is between the Cheetos-stained 4chan nerds with a sunlight problem and fedora-wearing MRM creeps who fancy themselves activists. You can catch all of them gushing over first-person shooters and probably trading furry porn at a LAN party, a place where anybody else wouldn’t be caught dead.

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See Biggie as a Faberge Egg and Slick Rick as a European Noble in This ‘History of Hip Hop’

Biggie (Faberge egg)

Biggie Faberge egg. (Photo courtesy Amar Stewart)

Back in 2014 we told you about British painter Amar Stewart’s “Hip-Hop Royalty” series at the Cotton Candy Machine in Bushwick, a display of “Golden Age”-inspired oil paintings of influential hip hop artists like Rick Ross, Action Bronson, and 10 other rap royals. As of June 2, he’ll be back at it again in Bushwick, with a six-week (maybe longer, depending upon popularity) exhibition and residency at Sweet Science.

His new exhibition, titled “The History of Hip Hop” has all-new work, including more than 20 new portraits of major New York hip hop artists in place of European nobles, as originally portrayed by your Rembrandts and Van Dykes, two recreated “Imperial” Faberge eggs (originally crafted for the last Russian Czar Nicholas II) on canvas, and Stewart’s first-ever sculpture, a collaboration with Russian sculptor Anton Tishchenko. (Check out our photo gallery for a sneak peek, courtesy of Stewart.)

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Hit the Beach and Snoop Inside of an Art-Filled Garage at Backyard Rockaway

The work-in-progress garage space and backyard. (Photo courtesy Backyard Rockaway)

The work-in-progress garage space and backyard. (Photo courtesy Backyard Rockaway)

It’s difficult to predict the exact start date of yard sale season– or as I like to call it, “that time a stranger tried to haggle with my dad for the driveway basketball net that I was actively playing with.” As one Maine-based blogger Julie-Anne Baumer quips, “there seems to be a mysterious mathematical equation involving air temperature, the chance of precipitation, and square feet of house junk.” Looking at the weather forecast– and around my apartment– it would seem the season for distracted-er driving and voyeuristic perusal of neighbors’ undesirables is upon us. But for one “yard sale style display” in Rockaway, the start date is more than a month from now, on Independence Day.

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Curves and Hair Lift ‘Burden’ on Ancient Women at Sappho-Inspired Art Show

One of Melanie Park's "What If Sappho" works. (Photo courtesy Mary Judge)

One of Melanie Park’s “What If Sappho” works. (Photo courtesy Mary Judge)

The sardonic #Hoffsome-approved Tumblr posts of “All Male Panel” keep us painfully aware of how underrepresented women are, well, everywhere, but especially in the world of art conferences, culture Q+As, academic panels, and business summits. (Oh wait, that’s just the entire public realm.) At least the female form will be better represented on paper starting tomorrow, with the opening of Italian Airs, the first-ever pop-up show hosted by Schema Projects, an all-art-on-paper, all-the-time gallery in Bushwick. (The exhibition will also be included in the inaugural Bushwick Hot Summer Nights.)

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Spooky Action at a Distance: an Art Show Haunted By Grave Ghosts

Work by Langdon Graves

Animal Hypnosis by Langdon Graves

A new show at Bushwick gallery Victori + Mo approaches the supernatural from a firmly grounded perspective. By exploring the ephemerality of memory and the power of belief, artist Langdon Graves walks a tricky line on the edges of the occult while still keeping a healthy dose of skepticism.

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John Murray Goes to Dexter-esque Lengths to Create Incredible Replicas of Body Parts

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

On a recent Sunday afternoon in a Bushwick art studio, I took my top off, changed into a paper-thin, full-body Tyvek suit, and took a seat in front of a tall, blond man twirling a pair of surgical scissors. He cut off the top of the disposable suit and then wrapped my chest with clear tape, effectively pinning my arms to my sides. “This is starting to get a little too Dexter,” he said, before covering my neck with alginate.

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