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Keith Boadwee May Or May Not Have Painted These Poppies With His Butt

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Keith Boadwee is known for provocative photographs like this NSFW one of a compromised Homer Simpson doll as well as his “scatological” paintings (meaning he painted them with poo). About 20 years ago, at the insistence of his art dealer, Keith documented his artistic process and became an instant sensation. In this case, the process involved filling his body (and you know which part I’m talking about) with paint and splashing it out onto a blank canvas.
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Inside the Psychedelic, Orgiastic Rituals of Bushwick’s Wildest Art Collective

Wild Torus (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Wild Torus (Photo: Nicole Disser)

When I first walked in to Torus Porta, it was difficult to understand exactly what was happening. After opening a door at the bottom of a staircase, all I could see were a number of sweaty, naked bodies covered in stickiness and powder. On the floor a human-centipede-like blob of people thrashed about. I thought maybe this was an illusion or some optical trick brought on by the kaleidoscopic glow of multiple projections, but even after a few minutes of adjusting I found I couldn’t distinguish between men, women, and blow-up dolls.

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Smoke Gets In Your Eyes At SIGNAL

(Photo: Flyer for Signal Gallery's current Exhibition, "Fissure: Fog")

(Photo: Flyer for Signal Gallery’s current Exhibition, “Fissure: Fog”)

Walk into Bushwick’s SIGNAL Gallery and you might feel as if you’ve just stepped off a spaceship onto the surface of some distant moon. A thick cloud of fog dominates the room, and strangely its opacity seems to vacillate as you move across the room from painting to installation to sculpture. It can be disorienting but also sort of zen inducing, though the gallery cat doesn’t seem to be bothered one way or the other.

An exhibition curated by Bennet Schlesinger, Fissure: Fog, installed the cloud here at SIGNAL when it opened nearly two weeks ago at what’s become one of Brooklyn’s premiere galleries for emerging artists. Fissure features work by local artists including Nikholis Planck, Aidan Koch, Graham Hamilton, and Kayla Guthrie, among others. The works draw from a variety of mediums and artistic practices.

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LES Artists ‘Still Looking Quirky and Funky’ at This New Exhibit

People gather to celebrate the Lower East Side's working artists, at "All | Together | Different." (Photo: Lindsey Smith)

People gather to celebrate the Lower East Side’s working artists, at “All | Together | Different.” (Photo: Lindsey Smith)

Woody Allen wannabes mingled with finance types in cowboy boots and a few fellas who looked like they could be Keith Richards’s little brothers last night at at the opening of “All | Together | Different,” an exhibition celebrating nearly 100 artists working on the Lower East Side.

“I recognize a lot of faces here from the East Village in the ’80s,” said John Lloyd, a painter who was not featured in the show. “It’s good to see so many old farts still looking quirky and funky. It’s a wonderful reminder of what was going on. We took it for granted and it disappeared, but it’s good to see that everyone is still around.” The camaraderie was palpable, like a high school reunion with just as much booze and half the awkwardness. 
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At New Museum, Pole Dancing Without the Tassels and Police Hassles

(Photo courtesy of New Museum)

(Photo courtesy of New Museum)

If you thought pole dancing was just a thing for strippers and dance instructors (or strippers turned dance instructors), you thought wrong. It’s a thing for art galleries too. This Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. artists Brennan Gerard and Ryan Kelly will be showcasing their exhibition P.O.L.E.—People, Objects, Language, Exchange—at the New Museum Lobby Gallery. The exhibit will be on daily at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. from February 4 to 15. The main attraction is Two Brothers, where a colorful array of entertainers—from exotic dancers to contemporary artists to those ever embattled subway performers —will perform around two 16-foot brass poles.
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From the Streets to the Suites: ’80s East Village Shows in Modern-Day Midtown

(Photos: Giulia Alexandra)

(Photos: Giulia Alexandra)

After talking to photographer Ken Schles last week about his exhibition opening at the Howard Greenberg Gallery I headed to the Midtown East last Thursday to check it out. Ken captured the East Village during the 1980s heroin haze and I wanted to see the glittering carnage up close. What I found was something else entirely.
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With ‘Respond,’ The Anti-Police-Brutality Movement Reaches The Gallery

Smack Mellon in Dumbo (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Smack Mellon in Dumbo (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Walking in to Smack Mellon last Friday, I was immediately overtaken by a sense of urgency. Respond is the current exhibition taking place at the non-profit space in Dumbo. It’s brought together over 200 artists– working in a variety of mediums, from painting and sculpture to photography, mixed media, and film– whose contributions are all united by their concerns with police brutality and institutionalized racism in America.
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The City Reliquary Adds Relics From Brooklyn’s Distant and Not-So-Distant Past

Paintings by Ivan Koota (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Paintings by Ivan Koota (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Perhaps you haven’t been to City Reliquary in a minute. And if you’re too cheap to cough up five measly bucks, then maybe you just haven’t been at all. A place for tourists, you ask? Maybe cool ones. But for real, if you’re even slightly intrigued by Brooklyn history, you should pay attention to what this mini-museum has lined up for programming, because chances are it’ll be something fascinating.

Ben Wigler, who goes by the long-winded title of “volunteer and visitor experience director,” greeted me jovially from his perch behind the front desk when I walked in today and was happy to give a run-down of one rather, er, gangster exhibition and a newly expanded gallery space in the front. Oh, and if you’re still too cheap to drop five bones, you can check out a series of really amazing paintings by Ivan Koota living in the front room — where the Huntress Home pop-up closed last month — for exactly zero cents.

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A Beer-Splashed Showcase For Emerging Photographers Takes Root in Brooklyn

(Photos: Hannah McCarthy)

(Photos: Hannah McCarthy)

“We didn’t want it to be a party,” said Sarah Reynolds, a director at Root Studios, as a crowd gathered outside of the North 14th Street photo studio and Narragansett flowed freely in what’s normally its echoing room. “We wanted people to be able to talk and show their work.” But that didn’t stop over 300 from showing up to the first Works in Progress on word-of-mouth and a last-minute email blast alone.
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John Waters Exhibit Draws Gasps From Unsuspecting Chelsea Tourists

(Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York,  © John Waters)

(Photo: Beverly Hills John, courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, © John Waters)

When I stopped by the Marianne Boesky Gallery on an exceedingly chilly Saturday afternoon, just one day after the opening of John Waters’ Beverly Hills John exhibition– the raunchy filmmaker’s been featured in a number of solo shows across the country since 2000– the place was packed with an awkward mix of tourists and people who seemed to be in the know. One woman snapped a photo of a sculpture depicting a mini-living room, a memorial dedicated to the late Mike Kelley, an artists who continues to be an inspiration to Waters. In a speech given at UCLA, Waters dubbed Kelley a “terrorist and a hero.”
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This Exhibit of Radical Art Speaks to the Power of the Pen

Mabel Dwight, "Danse Macabre," c. 1934. Lithograph, 11 3/8 x 15 3/4 in. Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, 1995.59.

Mabel Dwight, “Danse Macabre,” c. 1934. Lithograph, 11 3/8 x 15 3/4 in. Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, 1995.59.

Anyone needing a crash course in the ways the pen can confront the gun should head over to NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, where a decade’s worth of revolutionary art celebrates immigrants, denounces tyrants, ennobles workers of every race–and even illustrates the very idea of terror.
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The First Snowman of the Season Isn’t Sweating the Rain

(Courtesy of frosch&portmann)

(Courtesy of frosch&portmann)

Snowmen have become a bit of a thing on the Lower East Side, but it usually takes a snowstorm for them to appear. Not in this case. Portland-based artist Bruce Conkle has been creating frosty fellows inside of refrigerators since 2002, and last week he brought a so-called “Captive Snowman” to frosch&portmann on Stanton Street. (And you thought the Art Basel crowd was having all the fun.)
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