Downtown-style performance art saunters uptown a bit for the 12th annual Prelude Festival at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Martin E. Segal Theatre Center. Spanning three days, Prelude celebrates many of the exciting and zany performance and multidisciplinary artists who are making work today. Come get immersed in the world of the theatrical with installations, panel discussions, and performances from notable artists like high-belting queerdo Erin Markey, site-specific pioneers En Garde Arts, and Obie-winning experimental playwright Mac Wellman. Attendees will be transported via party buses to the closing party Friday night at PioneerWorks in Red Hook. Best of all, it’s free. Performance times vary. Full schedule available here.
Christopher Stout, founder of Bushwick Art Crit Group, has just opened his gallery in the disputed territory of East Williamsburg, the realization of plans we first heard about in early September. I had a chance to check the place out on Friday, and found that Stout is already keeping good on his pledge to show “subversive art.” The centerpiece of the gallery’s inaugural show, Shepard by Phoenix Lindsey-Hall, is a massive, meticulously crafted porcelain replica of the iconic fence Matthew Shepard (the victim of a notorious hate crime) was bound to before he was tortured and left for dead back in 1998. Not easy-to-swallow material, to say the least.
Read more about the gallery and the exhibition here.
There’s plenty to see and do at the third annual Motorcycle Film Festival, which kicked off Wednesday. Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds are playing an after party, the “lost film crew” of Easy Rider will convene for a revealing discussion, and– in case the name wasn’t hint enough– there are a variety of motorcycle-themed films to attend. But while you’re knocking back beers and mingling in the Littlefield atrium between screenings, look around. You’ll probably notice some small but intriguing paintings. On display are early works by artist Ray Abeyta, the late “Mayor of Williamsburg,” and close friend of the film festival.
Betty Tompkins spent decades working as, in her own words, “your typical rejected artist.” On and off again since 1969, she’s painted up-close-and-personal images of sex– literally, contact between nether regions, penetration, and other intimate moments. But it wasn’t until more than 30 years later that her work, more specifically her “fuck paintings,” began getting more attention than shame. Recently, the artist has revived the subject that inspired her the most and continues to evolve her process, as seen in her latest work now on view at BHQFU‘s project space and gallery FUG (Foundation University Gallery) in the East Village, as part of Tompkins’ solo show, Real Ersatz.
Royal Young is currently living in his grandparents’ attic in Long Island. While that may not sound like the most inspiring place for a 30-year-old writer and now painter (especially one who’s spent almost his entire life living in the city) the journalist and author of Fame Shark seems to be loving it. “New York City sucks, let’s be real,” he laughed. Royal only recently admitted defeat, something he still seems to have a hard time believing. Nevertheless, his early retirement has been a productive one as evidenced by a series large, colorful paintings, currently on view at Figureworks gallery in Williamsburg as part of Lush Doom.
“This gallery is my baby,” explained Christopher Stout, founder of the Bushwick Art Crit Group. This fall, Stout will host his inaugural exhibition as a gallery owner at his new space, the first of several anticipated art institutions inside an East Williamsburg warehouse space. BACG is “a not-for-profit community resource for everybody,” Stout explained. “But it felt like it was increasingly challenging– in a negative way– to make programming that was about everyone.” In order to host exhibitions that relate to specific subjects that Stout is more personally invested in, without having to worry about “alienating everyone else,” he said, “it really needed to be separate and become its own thing.”
Drones– amongst the most controversial technology of our time– as weapons, tools, and toys have given us the opportunity to see things through a new pair of eyes. Curators at Knockdown Center spent months recruiting a bunch of artists to utilize drones in relation to art work, however that may be interpreted.Visitors will have a chance to fly the drones themselves through various obstacle course-like installations and engage with them in participatory performance art like Cara Francis’ Remote in which the artist’s drone interrogates then dances with volunteers.
Special performances are scheduled throughout the exhibition’s tenure.
Read more here.
Artist and animator Penelope Gazin is bringing her freaky-deaky alien ladies and buxom monster broads to Superchief Gallery. The solo exhibition will include some new work, old work, and of course the “Coolumbine” piece that landed Gazin in some trouble with her Etsy shop.
Read more about Penelope and her new Etsy alternative, Witchsy, right over here.
Looking at Abdul Abdullah‘s work alone might not give you every hint necessary to guess immediately where the 29-year-old artist is from. And seeing him in the flesh, t-shirt and jeans, ordering a beer at bar in Greenpoint, gives you even fewer clues to go on. That’s because in the post-9/11 world, Muslims in countries across the world have had to deal with widespread prejudice, demonization, and deeply confused depictions of their religion and culture, experiences that Abdullah confronts head-on in his paintings and photographs. Turns out Abdullah’s from Australia, but his new solo show, Coming to Terms, is a reminder that the problem of Islamophobia is unfortunately still as potent as ever almost everywhere.
Looking at Abdul Abdullah‘s work alone might not give you every hint necessary to guess immediately where the 29-year-old artist is from. And seeing him in the flesh, t-shirt and jeans, ordering a beer at bar in Greenpoint, gives you even fewer clues to go on. That’s because in the post-9/11 world, Muslims in countries across the world have had to deal with widespread prejudice, demonization, and deeply confused depictions of their religion and culture, experiences that Abdullah confronts head-on in his paintings and photographs. Turns out Abdullah’s from Australia, but his new solo show, Coming to Terms, is a reminder that the problem of Islamophobia is unfortunately still as potent as ever almost everywhere. By appointment only, contact Jessica Holburn: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more here.
We’re guessing the world would look a whole lot different if bad ass women like Penelope Gazin had been well-represented in animation and comics from the start. But Gazin has her hand in so many projects, it’s almost as if she’s single-handedly trying to make up for lost time. Her paintings, drawings, and animations have a unique staying power, and will almost certainly end up plastered all over the walls of your skull if you spend some time with them. Gazin’s sassy, hilarious, and sometimes twisted images of alien babes and monster princesses don’t depart amicably.
I was in Detroit for New Year’s Eve sometime in the recent past, and ended up partying at a place called North End Studios. I was taking lots of stupid party photos and snapped a photo of a friend who had nestled up to another girl I didn’t know. This mystery woman was clutching a tallboy of Coors, not unusual, but she also wore purple-painted eyebrows, a high-collared ivory fur coat, and a black beanie with skulls on it. I posted it on Instagram and instantly accumulated a hefty number of likes.