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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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Throwback Italian Deli Promises Food Just Like Nonna Used to Make

Credit: Nico Eyes.

Following on the recent news of Greenwich Village eatery Dante’s expansion to a second location in Little Italy comes another development of interest to fans of Italian cuisine.

Today is the grand opening of Regina’s Grocery, an Italian-American comfort-food joint at 27 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side, next door to The Fat Radish.

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Drink from a Literal Negroni Fountain at Dante’s New Location

The Negroni Fountain. Credit: AvroKO Hospitality Group.

Dante, the award-winning Greenwich Village bar-restaurant best known for its negroni on tap (and its sadly discontinued $1 martini specials), is launching a new satellite location tonight. Created in partnership with design firm-slash-restarauteur AvroKO, the new bar — “Dante at GENUINE” — is located above GENUINE Liquorette in the space formerly occupied by GENUINE Superette.

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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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New LES Cacti Store Meets All Your Cactus Needs

A cult LA cacti store now has a location in New York — at least for the season. So, while the sun shines, check out Cactus Store’s Lower East Side popup site and admire its collection of exotic cacti — which run anywhere from $30 to $4,000, if you’re interested in taking one home and making it your own.

Most of the cacti on display are rare, including a few that are part of a private collection and not for sale. All the plants were shipped from California, but drawn from across the world, especially South America and the American southwest. “True cacti,” as distinguished from related flora, are always from the New World, explained manager Han Wang.

Cactus Store’s collection includes several “mutations” — cacti that have grown into strange shapes — and “grafts,” where two plants fuse together and one plant draws its water and nutrients from the other.

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A Visit to DeKalb Market Hall, the Heathen Food Orgy and New Home of Katz’s

I like food; I dislike crowds. So it was with mixed feelings that I descended the escalator into DeKalb Market Hall, the Albee Square food-court-on-steroids that opened today in downtown Brooklyn.

I arrived on the earlier side of the lunch rush – actually right at the stroke of noon, when civilized people like myself take luncheon – but the market was already bustling with people eager to sample from some of the 40-odd food vendors.

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Industry City Beefs Up With Another Restaurant, This One With Shuffleboard

Pool and shuffleboard on offering. Photo credit: Industry City.

Vincent Chirico, the chef and serial restaurateur behind Coarse in the West Village and Vai on the Upper West Side, opened a new restaurant today in Sunset Park’s Industry City. We got some photos and a copy of the menu.

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