Art + Culture

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HIV Criminalization, Thermal Surveillance, and More Art This Week

Barton Lidicé Beneš, “Lethal Weapons: Silencer,” 1994. Mixed-media assemblage with artist’s HIV-positive blood, 16 1/8 x 15 1/8 x 3 1/2 in. Collection of Joshua Rechnitz. Courtesy of the estate of Barton Lidicé Beneš and Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York (image via Visual AIDS / Facebook)

Cell Count
Opening Thursday, May 31 at La MaMa Galleria, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 16.

Presented by Visual AIDS and curated by Kyle Croft and Asher Mones, this exhibition zeroes in on the insidious intersection of HIV and incarceration, both today and throughout history. Currently, more than half the states in America have laws in effect that criminalizes the act of potentially exposing someone to HIV without first disclosing their status, often regardless of other factors like viral load or actual transmission risk, leading many to deem them dangerous. The 15+ artists of Cell Count use their work to interrogate these laws and how they affect people with HIV, placing them into conversation with a larger history of “medically sanctioned violence and incarceration.” Keep Reading »

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The Last Art Show at Silent Barn Is an Education in Skincare

(image courtesy of Disclaimer Gallery)

If you’re even slightly interested in skincare, it would be hard to ignore the current popularity of K-beauty, or Korean cosmetics and skincare products such as sheet masks, serums, and snail-slime face creams. Many of these products contain lactic acid, an organic compound that’s also used in fermentation and produced by the body. For her solo show at Silent Barn’s Disclaimer Gallery, artist Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin has delved into this multi-use microbe both figuratively and literally, investigating its presence in beauty, bodies, and Korean identity by making her own lactic acid skincare products. Keep Reading »

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A Cartoonist Charged With Obscenity and More Art This Week

(flyer via Checks Cashed / Facebook)

Neu Show
Opening Thursday, April 26 at The Living Gallery, 7 pm to 11 pm. One night only.

Sometimes you want to go to a Chelsea gallery to silently stare at art alongside a bunch of people who probably have more money than you, and sometimes you want to stay in Bushwick and see some art while a local trans punk band plays. You can do the latter on Thursday at The Living Gallery (which just celebrated its sixth anniversary) at Neu Show, a showcase of nine local underground photographers, painters, experimental mixed-media artists, graphic artists, and more, with live tunes from local punk outfit Library and tracks from DJ Drew Redmond to keep the mood nice and energized. There is a $5 cover at the door, but the show is a mere one night only, and these artists need to be supported somehow. Keep Reading »

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Jemima Kirke of Girls Talks Painting, Marriage and #MeToo

Kirke with “ShiShi In My Wedding Dress,” 2017. (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

You may know her as the free-spirited Jessa in oft-discussed HBO show Girls, but Jemima Kirke considers herself more painter than actor. Her third solo exhibition, The Ceremony, is currently on view at Lower East Side gallery Sargent’s Daughters. A series of portraits depicting both friends and fictional women in their wedding dresses, the show seeks to interrogate why women still partake in this “antiquated ceremony.” A few days after the opening, we met with Kirke at the gallery to talk marriage, the #metoo movement, and recent controversy involving her castmate Lena Dunham.
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Art This Week: Spooky Shows, Paintings N’ Dumplings, The Colonization of Fruit

(flyer via Idio Gallery / Facebook)

The Past, Too, Is An Intruder
Opening Tuesday, October 24 at A-Pou’s Taste, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through October 29.

Although East Williamsburg space Idio Gallery is no longer formally operating in the Grand Street building they called home, this has not stopped the gallery and its fearless leader Montana Simone from continuing on in new and creative ways. This Tuesday marks the opening of an exhibition of paintings by A. Savage that will still be on view on Grand Street, but not in a gallery space. Instead, they will find a home for the week at A-Pou’s Taste, a dumpling shop across the way. At the opening, you will certainly be able to purchase as many dumplings as your heart desires while gazing upon colorful works by the multi-hyphenate A. Savage, a visual artist who also performs music solo and as part of Parquet Courts and co-founded the label Dull Tools. If you’re looking to get more of an insight into the artist’s process, there will be a talk with Savage and artist Jonathan Campolo this Thursday at 7 pm. Keep Reading »

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Hookup App Etiquette, QueerCom, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(photo: Maria Baranova, via Abrons Arts Center)

Raw Bacon From Poland
Now through June 17 at Abrons Arts Center, 8 pm: $25 

I would say that most of us agree that war is bad. I would also say that most of us are able to state that opinion without having directly experienced the horrors of war ourselves. Guggenheim Fellow Christina Masciotti’s new play, currently running at Lower East Side’s Abrons Arts Center, revolves around a veteran who has been forever altered by a tour in Iraq. Through attempts to sedate his PTSD with pills, he finds himself sentenced to Brooklyn Treatment Court due to a domestic violence incident.

Theater is rarely free to attend, and often costs a pretty penny. So when the genre tells the stories of people typically cast aside by society, it can be difficult for these very people being portrayed to actually witness the work being staged. In an effort to make this play more accessible, the theater has set aside two free tickets per night specifically for veterans. Keep Reading »

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Attention Indie Film Fans: One Week to the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival

The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival

Picture courtesy of AoBFF17.

Here’s some good news for New York’s numerous indie film fans – the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival is only a week away.

Running June 3 to 12, the festival (acronym, for extra credit: AoBFF17) describes itself as “the ONLY international, independent festival in the world devoted to Brooklyn’s vibrant film and media scene,” and considers films with any connection to the borough.

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Great Comet‘s Dave Malloy On Epic Choral Songs, Hamilton, and Showing Tunes to a New Generation

(photo: Chad Batka)

Nowdays, the commercial and insular shell that is Broadway is feeling a little less untouchable. Of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is a major catalyst behind this shake-up, but the latest to breathe new life into the Great White Way has been Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, an “electro-pop opera” based on a drama-laden portion of Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

The immersive show began at Ars Nova in 2012 and has gone through many iterations, including a funky stint in a pop-up tent in the Meatpacking District. Now, it’s landed at Broadway’s Imperial Theater, which has been totally restructured to accommodate the show’s 360-degree, immersive staging. Directed by Rachel Chavkin, it remains one of the most authentic transfers of a smaller, more experimental production to a Broadway stage I have observed.

I have seen every NYC production of this show now, and always maintained it was too odd and unique to ascend to the oh-so commercial realm of Broadway. Turns out I was absolutely wrong, and audiences and critics alike are gobbling it up with a voracious enthusiasm. (Singer Josh Groban is now in a starring role.) There is even fanart of the characters, so you know it’s real. The 12 Tony nominations don’t hurt, either.

Great Comet‘s original Broadway cast recording will be released tomorrow and is now available for first listen over at Vulture. We caught up with the show’s writer and composer Dave Malloy, fresh off his Broadway debut temporarily stepping back into the role of Pierre, to talk how the Broadway transfer has affected the show’s music and even got him a little closer to Bowie. Keep Reading »

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Week in Shows: Sacred Bones Turns 10, The Future Is Odwalla 1221, and More

(Flyer via AdHoc)

Odwalla 1221, SADAF, Chicklet, Half Pet
Friday May 19, 8 pm at Alphaville: $10

There’s this weird feature on Soundcloud, ostensibly an interactive one, that allows users to leave a “comment” by clicking anywhere on the wavelength as the song progresses. It seems kind of pointless until you come across a remark like the one left on an Odwalla1221 song that reads: “The world isn’t ready for your genius abilities!”

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Light-Soaked Galleries, Meditative Street Ads, and More Art Exhibitions

(image via Foley Gallery)

Subtext II: Meditations
Opening Wednesday, May 17 at Foley Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 25.

I would remark on the humor inherent in exhibiting artist Wyatt Gallery’s name, who is indeed showing artwork in a gallery, but it seems he’s already got that covered. As soon as you visit his website, the very large and very green phrase “a person, not a place” is followed, literally, by a trademark symbol. So, guys… he gets it.

For this show, Gallery is displaying a series of works using foundational material quite truly ripped off of the city streets, in that they are portions of the endlessly-stacked-and-glued mountains that are NYC street advertising and flyering. He transformed these found object compilations into “UV cured photographic plates,” making them even more abstract in the process. Interestingly, Gallery sees these dirty, aged poster creations as relevant to his practice of mindfulness and meditation. So next time you’re saddled with a 20-minute train wait, maybe you should try deep breathing while staring at the many advertisements on the walls. Perhaps inner peace will crawl out from in between the pages.

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Week in Film: Dinosaurus!, a Highly Accurate Prehistoric Epic, Stalker Returns

Combat Cops
Thursday May 11, 9:30 pm at Nitehawk: $12

Perhaps you’ve heard of The Deuce Jockeys, the resident VJs at Nitehawk whose film series has a very specific mission: “Excavating the facts and fantasies of cinema’s most notorious block; 42 Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.” If you’re wondering, that’s the Port Authority Bus Terminal, once the epicenter of violence in Fear City. Around 1970, the Times described the place as a sort of terrifying, tortuous God’s waiting room– another circle of Hades that Dante himself would have considered just a bit too far even for tax evaders. Its occupants went one of two ways: “Some are waiting for buses. Others are waiting for death.”

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How the Bombay Beach Biennale Brought Art to a Toxic Wasteland

James Ostrer (seated) with Joseph Walsh of the San Francisco Ballet at Bombay Beach Biennale 2017. (Photo courtesy of Bombay Beach Biennale)

Just a few hours south of Los Angeles there’s a tiny desert town called Bombay Beach– though its geographically close at hand to many millions of people, it might as well be another world.

One of several beachside settlements on the shores of the Salton Sea, the town was once a booming resort spot popular during the prosperous post-War years when more than a million vacationers traveled there annually. But the sea– actually a sprawling, shallow lake– and the dusty desert expanse around it, have since lost their appeal, slipped out of range, and essentially vanished from the minds of many Southern California residents. “I’d never heard of it,” filmmaker and LA native Tao Ruspoli explained in a recent interview.

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