“It’s not so good, huh?” laughs Kathleen Webster, president of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition as she refers to the D- grade that the park received from New Yorkers for Parks. The near-failing grade was issued last year by the nonprofit whose research and policy recommendations help in advocating for more equitably distributed, sustainable and well-maintained parks in the city.
The R&B legend now has his face supersized in spray paint on Avenue A, but that’s not all– he’s earned his own flavor. Every month, Mikey Likes It Ice Cream devotes their latest batch to a different icon— everyone from Urkel to LL to Elvis. For February, they’re honoring the season of love by featuring “the OG croonster” (per owner Michael Cole), known for transforming smooth jams into creamy red velvet. They call the concoction Never Too Much, because there’s never too much love, Mikey tells me.
Last night, dozens gathered in Greenpoint event space Magick City to discuss the current state of DIY spaces in New York and to brainstorm ideas they could offer the Department of Cultural Affairs that would help keep DIY arts and culture spaces operating safely without being prohibitive financially to those running them.
The meeting was organized by the NYC Artist Coalition, “an emerging coalition of artists, creative organizations, community leaders, activists, policy makers, and specialists providing mutual support and advocating for informal and affordable community spaces in NYC.” The Magick City discussion was a follow-up to a packed meeting about DIY spaces two weeks ago with the commissioner of Cultural Affairs. This willingness to formally cooperate with a city that is so often seen as actively working against DIY spaces comes hot on the heels of the Ghost Ship fire tragedy in Oakland, an event that shook up the DIY community nationwide and led to increased crackdowns on other homegrown venues.
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If you made it to the Ray-Ban x Boiler Room Weekender at Split Rock Resort back in November, then you know the Poconos still have some kick in them. I mean, jazz giant Kamasi Washington tearing up a ballroom, followed by a dance party at an indoor water park? Too bad that probably won’t become a regular thing, given what ended up going down. But they can’t take this away from us: Elsewhere in the Poconos, there’s a magical place where at least one of the rooms is equipped with a heart-shaped swimming pool and a seven-foot-tall Whirlpool shaped like a champagne flute.
OMG. When we dorked out about spotting that gentrification graffiti from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, we had no idea we’d actually get to meet Tituss Burgess, aka Titus Andromedon. But here is, coming to Bowery & Vine to sign bottles of his new wine, Pinot by Tituss Burgess. Wait a minute, they didn’t call it Peeno Noir?? What’s more, a description of the 2014 Santa Barbara County pinot doesn’t even say whether it goes with caviar, Myanmar, mid-sized car. Or whether it’s available at your local leather bar.
Wednesday February 8, 6:30 to 11 pm at Saint Vitus: $15
Given the heavy flow of benefit shows going on around town these days, it seems inevitable that a band called Netherlands would pick Planned Parenthood as their cause of choice. Proceeds aren’t going directly to Planned Parenthood, but instead will be funneled into a PAC known as PPNYC Votes, which supports candidates running for political office at the state level. But wait a sec, aren’t we doing pretty well when it comes to reproductive rights in New York state? Actually, not so much. As one of the show’s organizers explained on Facebook, there is still a majority in the State Senate “opposed to reproductive rights.” You, like me, probably assumed that these Biblical, stick-up-the-you-know-what holdups of complex, usually self-hating origin (I mean, Brad Patton, the shimmery blond and toothy-smiled gay porn star, made a really convincing Mike Pence) were reserved for rural representatives, the same guys (they are all guys, let’s be real) who wilt at the sight of a stray tampon string. Wrong-o again. Four of those PP-blockin’ pols are from our very own city.
Just 18 months after acquiring them, Raphael Toledano of Brookhill Properties is selling a portfolio of 300 East Village apartments and 15 retail spaces. [The Real Deal]
Read a dispatch from Cat Marnell’s book party at new Bushwick bar Private Party. [Observer]
The Cornelia Street Cafe is approaching 40 and in need of help. [Off the Grid]
Part Is No Object
Opening Friday February 10 at SOHO20 Gallery, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through March 12.
Denise Treizman’s colorful sculptural creations are refreshingly playful, uplifting and childlike. This solo show of her work is opening in SOHO20 Gallery’s modest +/- Project Space, a space highlighting “ephemeral” or site-specific work. For Treizman, site-specific is everywhere, as her “constructions” are made of essentially anything that crosses her path, from pom-pom puffballs to PVC pipe. She collects these “fragments,” whether they be bits and pieces found on the side of the road or broken remains of a studio project, and then puts the mismatched pieces together to create something entirely new. There will be two other openings this weekend at SOHO20 Gallery, one of paintings by Nana Olivas and one showcasing work by the gallery’s three 2016 Residency Lab artists.
These days, the art scene around New York seems to be attempting a response to the zeitgeist post-November 8 with a new spirit of political urgency. Maybe the public has imposed new standards for the purpose of creative work; anything that doesn’t stir dissent, criticism or reflection has a tone of triviality. The stakes are higher now, and curators appear to know it. Many exhibits have a self-critical justification woven into the work, addressing the question, “What should media do?”
Take the Park Avenue Armory’s exhibit Manifesto, a multi-screen installation by filmmaker Julian Rosefeldt interrogating the societal role of the artist in late capitalism. Last week, the International Center for Photography opened its own exploration, Perpetual Revolution: The Image and Social Change. ICP inaugurated the exhibit in tandem with a workshop on its campus called “Visual Resistance,” which put artists in conversation about their contributions to mobilizing effective change. Perpetual Revolution, meanwhile, addresses that question from a different vantage point. In the curator’s words, it intends to “examine the relation between the overwhelming image world that confronts us, and the volatile, provocative and often violent world it mirrors.”
Walking into the gallery space, a wall-sized looping video of glaciers collapsing lures you to stand face to face with the weightiest issues of the day: climate change, the refugee crisis, #BlackLivesMatter, terrorist propaganda, radical right fringe groups, and gender fluidity. Each room is dedicated to a different topic with media ranging from huge video projections to classic film prints to interactive screens of activists’ Instagram accounts. In keeping with ICP’s core focus, all of the work can loosely be interpreted as photography. The mosaic of different approaches, however, creates a uniquely exploratory environment, compelling viewer participation while examining the possibilities of commentary art.
In the first room about climate change, a NASA animation of yearly temperatures around the world morphs from deep blue to alarming fields of red— shockingly emotive for a scientific graphic. On the opposite wall, a collage artist addresses the topic with more explicit arguments. All-caps sharpie lettering announces, “We cannot understand the problem without reconciling many centuries of hegemonic exploitation” and, “Confronting climate change means addressing these many crises in their full complexity and enormous scale.” The piece, Confronting the Climate: A Flowchart of the People’s Climate March by Rachel Schragis (2014-16) mixes Post-It notes, handwritten text bubbles and cutout black and white images of protesters pulled from Google. The multi-layered effect seems to parallel the tensions and complexity of dialogue about the issue. Schragis solicited input from 50 climate justice organizers, all merging in one expansive work.
Meanwhile, a film plays in the background. In The Arctic in Paris by Mel Chin (2017), an Inuit man dressed in traditional fur regalia walks through the cosmopolitan streets of Paris towing his sled behind him. It was filmed the day after the café shooting in 2015— a juxtaposition of destruction, one immediate, the other gradual. “We have always adapted,” the man asserts prophetically. As a viewer, you are implicitly called to wonder how?
In each room, your presence in the gallery feels more loaded than typical spectating, as if bearing witness demands engagement beyond the museum walls. In “Flood” the curators interrogate the deluge metaphor used to describe refugee migration, writing, “The event is imbued with fear, a sense of inevitability and loss of control.” A projection from the ceiling of transforming images dart over a 3D map of the mountains in Syria. One wall shows a refugee camp photographed with a thermographic imaging— Richard Mosse’s metaphor in Idomeni Camp, Greece (2016) for the techniques used for border surveillance. He critiques the societal fear cast on migrants, and in so doing, our own relationship to media seems itself surveilled.
People grab headsets and watch YouTube videos. They swipe through social media accounts on the walls, and lean in close to highly detailed collage. The level of participation is perhaps making its own point: these are not issues we can just passively observe. Whether the curators invoke “revolution” to describe how media has changed, or to stimulate mass disruption, the exhibit demonstrates that whether we want to or not, these are topics we will have to confront.
Despite the chilly, grey weather, masses of people lined the streets of Chinatown yesterday as the Chinese Lunar New Year Parade wound its way down Mott, under the Manhattan Bridge and up Eldridge to eventually land outside of Sara D. Roosevelt Park.
Political hype started long before those red MAGA hats. “Modern political buttons really started with the McKinley-Bryan election of 1896 and some of the early ones were amazingly colorful and detailed,” said Marty Kane, a collector, as he told us about the political memorabilia show that took place Sunday on the Lower East Side.