The House of Yes has something of a problem with their shimmering, funky, newish venue in Bushwick– they have a surplus of space, which is sort of a unique issue when it comes to digs in post-industrial-squatting Brooklyn. But as the performance collective settles into what’s by far their most functional and fanciest home yet, they’re filling up their calendar with even more events. Soon enough they’ll have every inch of the space and their time occupied by cool happenings. Take for example, the first-ever Question the Market (Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29), billed as a new pop-up “queer design and arts market.”
“It will be shopping as nightlife, nightlife as shopping,” organizer Eric Schmalenberger told us. “I feel like shopping can be more than shopping. When given the right space, it can be more interesting and engaging, and the great thing about flea markets is that you, often, can engage with the maker.”
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.)
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.
As the cliché goes, a talented artist can make their work look easy. Most successful works of art, then– anything from albums to paintings and photographs– belie the huge amount of effort and skill that went into their creation. This might stem from the idea that showing too much of the maker’s hand demystifies the process, and therefore risks ruining the magic of art. That distance is especially important when it comes to music– for most genres anyway, maintaining a separation between the audience and the performer, both physical and psychologically, is an essential part of the experience.
Lisa Levy performing “Rockin’ Granny Love,” Diego Barnes in her arms at Bushwick Open Studios 2015 (Photo: Jordan Abosch)
Stephanie Theodore of Theodore:Art was massively disappointed when Arts in Bushwick announced that Bushwick Open Studios was moving from summer to fall in an attempt to close the door on an eight-year tradition. But AiB had their reasons– BOS had ballooned into something of circus, an event that they believe had been co-opted and used by corporate interests and party promoters looking to cash-in on the thousands of people who swarmed the neighborhood each June. But galleries and individual artists also benefitted from the huge influx of people and the visibility that BOS brought to the area, so Theodore was hardly alone. “A lot of other galleries wanted something to replace BOS,” she told B+B over the phone today.
Raul De Nieves “Fat Man” 2010 (Photo: Nicole Disser)
Over the weekend fancy people in an “acquisitive mood” milled around Frieze Art Fair, discreetly making it rain while rubbing shoulders with art dealers, the dapperly dressed, and a donkey named Sir Gabriel– an animal brought there by an artist who recently broke a personal record when his statue of Hitler sold for $17.2 million at auction.
Back in Bushwick, however, less absurd things were going down at a very different kind of art happening. As far as we can tell, there wasn’t a VIP section at the opening night of Body Language, the second art show to happen at Angelina Dreem’s art and technology educational hub, Powrplnt, and the first one dedicated to paintings and other 2D works by emerging and established artists.
Silk tapestry by Bill Zangewa, Afronova Gallery (Photo: Nicole Disser)
It’s pretty screwy that here, now, in the year 2016 many people still have a hard time grasping that Africa is an incredibly diverse continent home to vastly different cultures, languages, landscapes, and art traditions. Thankfully, we have things like the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair (held May 6 through 8 at Pioneer Works in Red Hook) at our fingertips to keep us in the know about the incredible (and, ahem, marketable) art work coming out of the 54 countries on the African continent.
If you made it to Frieze New York this weekend, chances are pretty slim that you managed to see everything the elite art fair had to offer, including more than 200 booths dedicated to “the world’s leading galleries” (or so the fair boasts), countless individual art works, installations, roving performances, and outdoor displays. Between the enormous octopus tentacles, the ultra-defensive IRL Soylent reps, and the live donkey, there simply weren’t enough hours in the fair’s four-day span (or alcohol in their refrigerators) to do so.
Amanda Charchian “Ana in Costa Rica,” 2012 at “In The Raw: The Female Gaze on The Nude” Exhibit, (Courtesy of Untitled Space Gallery, New York)
Opening night for In the Raw: The Female Gaze on the Nude (on view now through May 21 at The Untitled Space) was predictably packed, and not just because it’s Frieze week and the gallery was giving out free booze. I’d like to think that people were there for the actual art exhibition, which was billed as an all-female, all-nude art show where 20 women artists, aged 21 to 60-something, from Russia, Chile, and beyond, “explore a perspective less chartered, that of a woman’s eye on another,” and in the process “challenge the status quo with a liberating and authentic beauty.” Or maybe they were there because Victoria de Lesseps (daughter of Real Housewives “star” Countess LuAnn de Lesseps) is also on the roster of participating artists. Who could tell?
Indira Cesarine, who curated the multimedia art show along with Coco Dolle of Milk and Night, told me that she felt the exhibition was a “timely” one. Dolle told Whitehot magazinethat the work is “saleable.” They’re in no way wrong.
“Cat on a Clothesline (Red)” Jeff Koons at FLAG Art Foundation
Last week, when Jeff Koons spoke about an unrealized pet project of his– a giant, actual crane holding up a replica of a “choo choo train”– and casually estimated that it would cost somewhere around $25 million to $50 million to produce, I couldn’t help LOL’ing.
“I never think about failure,” Koons told the crowd at FLAG, where several of his sculptural pieces are on view through May 14 as part of Cecily Brown, Jeff Koons, Charles Ray. “I let things resonate and when I’m ready to make a gesture, I just do it.”
While Bushwick Open Studios is fighting back against the bro-vasion of a festival that started out, anyway, as a means of celebrating local artists and the neighborhood where they live and work, Greenpoint Open Studios has remained the nerdy (not actually related) little sister that never had to tell corporate bandits and party promoter tagalongs to beat it. We’re guessing this has something to do with the G train– whatever it is that’s holding back a heavy influx of too many non-art and non-Greenpoint related interests, keep doing what you’re doing.
OK, so there are a fewwww sponsored things going on this year at GOS, but the greedy capitalist overlords in this case are, like, a potato chip maker and Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. (oh, and one advertising interest, but we’ll get to that later). We’d be crazy to hate on free salty snacks and local beer! But remember: it’s all about the art and more than 300 local artists and their often pretty cool studio spaces.
Clayton Patterson’s new book with Jose “Cochise” Quiles, cover photo by Clayton Patterson (Image: Nicole Disser)
Last week, Elliot Caldwell was fatally shot outside of Campos Plaza, the NYCHA public housing project where he’d grown up. An EV Grieve commenter noted that the 23-year-old had been arrested in 2013 when the Manhattan DA busted alleged members of the Money Boyz, a coke-dealing gang based out of the East Village housing project. DNAinfo wrote that a woman claiming to be Caldwell’s aunt told reporters: “He was a great father. He changed his life for his son. He just got caught up in a bad situation.”
The NYPD told B+B that the suspect in Caldwell’s shooting is described as a “black male wearing a red hoodie,” who “fled from the scene on foot.” So far there have been no arrests, and police say the investigation is ongoing.