Vesuvius, Will You Be My Girlfriend?, 2018. 10 x 12½’ (image courtesy of Howl Happening)
Homo Eruptus Opening Thursday, February 14 at HOWL! Happening, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through March 13.
Scooter LaForge’s paintings, on view at East Village space Howl Happening starting on Valentine’s Day, are satisfyingly messy, so it’s only appropriate they are unveiled on a day classically associated with messy emotional feelings, whether they be good or bad. Similar feelings are articulated through LaForge’s brushstrokes, which create compelling and mind-boggling scenes featuring cartoon animals, bodily fluids, autofellatio, angels, and much more. He manages to fit a doe-eyed rabbit that looks straight out of a Disney movie in the same frame as angry black paint smears, a urinating brown bear with big black boots, and human(ish) figures that look almost like they’d be fit to adorn the ceiling of a church somewhere, provided that church was sufficiently strange. The longer you look, the more you’ll find. Keep Reading »
Fake Smears and Facial Food Fiascos Opening Thursday, January 31 at Contra Gallery, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through February 15.
While playing with your food has long been understood as a childish act one grows out of, not everyone stops meddling in their munchies. Sometimes this is actually for the best; in the case of artist David Henry Nobody Jr., it’s resulted in some compelling (and sometimes stomach-turning) sculptural works featuring the artist’s head and corn, cabbage, tomatoes, lunch meat, and even a bag of corn flakes stuck around his head that then gets steadily filled with milk. That’s just a smattering of what Nobody Jr. has to offer in his new show Fake Smears and Facial Food Fiascos (say that fives times fast). Opening at Chelsea’s Contra Gallery on Thursday, it explores the absurdity of both humanity and the waste we leave behind. Keep Reading »
Joel Osteen (Jessie Pierrot) part 1, 2018 Single Channel Video 00:31:28
Holy Fools Opening Wednesday, January 9 at Rubber Factory, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 3.
Clowns are perhaps one of the most polarizing figures on this green earth. Some people have a literal phobia of them, some find them distasteful, some chuckle at them, some employ them, some become them, and some make art about them. One of the art world’s more notable clown-based endeavors is Bruce Nauman’s 1987 piece Clown Torture, featuring a slew of video displays portraying “an absurd misadventure of a clown” that’s both morbid and humorous. Over three decades later, artist Ondine Viñao is putting her own spin on this work in an exhibition at Rubber Factory, recruiting four all-female clownish performers to stage their own mishaps, mixing both trauma and folly.Keep Reading »
Stigma Unbound: The Birthday Party Opening Thursday, November 29 at Wild Embeddings, 6 pm to 11 pm. On view through December 4.
Stigma Unbound, a performance series dedicated to giving a platform to sex workers and allies, is celebrating their first birthday with an art exhibit and a week of special programming. They’re kicking it off with an opening reception that will presumably not look like any typical gallery opening filled with fancy people furrowing their brows at paintings while daintily sipping small plastic cups of free wine. Rather, this will be more of a party, with drag, burlesque, and performance art to accompany the visual art on display from 20+ artists working in multiple mediums. It costs $10 to get in, but remember you’re supporting local marginalized creators here, not a big fancy gallery catering to the rich. If you can’t make the opening, later in the week they’re doing body art presentations, artist talks, and a pole dance night.Keep Reading »
Flash of the Spirit Opening Friday, November 9 at Salon Bowery 94, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 21.
Lyle Ashton Harris’s photos, on view at Salon 94 Bowery starting this Friday, contain much colorful, vivid imagery, but few human faces. Instead, the faces in the bodies he captures are covered by elaborate, striking masks sourced from a variety of places, including several African masks from his uncle’s collection. These images are actually self-portraits, but you might not know it. And that’s kind of the point: throughout history, people putting on masks has been equated with them transforming into someone (or something) else, whether that be an improved version of oneself or a way to avoid accountability. Harris has been making work dealing with queerness, Blackness, and the self in the context of diaspora for decades, and this is a chance to see what he’s up to now.Keep Reading »
Hot Farce Opening Thursday, November 1 at Field Projects, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 15.
Throughout centuries, one thing has remained the same when it comes to art: in some way, nudes will be there. Curator and artist Kristen Racaniello knows this, but seeks to do something a bit different with her group show Hot Farce. The work on view seeks to be the antithesis of the “hetero-sexy nude,” meaning nudes that trouble the binary, nudes that question why you’re looking at them, nudes that may not even qualify as nudes at all. According to the exhibit statement, Hot Farce’s artists “admire figuration and are at the same time deeply suspicious of it,” a feeling in this time of existential dread I can only assume is shared by many.Keep Reading »
In the Name of the Hypersurface of the Present Opening Wednesday, October 17 at Rubber Factory, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 11.
Presented in conjunction with Lower East Side Art Week, which spotlights women artists in the neighborhood, this solo show by Pakistani artist Umber Majeed may have a sci-fi-sounding name, but the work on view more closely resembles Word Art, trippy memes, or old Geocities web pages than any high-tech, augmented reality creation. That’s not to diminish its appeal; the distorted text, flattened graphics, and occasional use of Comic Sans creates a world of online intrigue that feels half in the past, half far in some weird corner of the future. Through this, Majeed seeks to explore a “feminist re-historicization of Pakistan as the first ‘Muslim nuclear state,’” bringing it out of the patriarchy and into a more radical framing.Keep Reading »
Watermelon Melange Opening Saturday, October 6 at 21 Ludlow Street, 7:30 pm to 10 pm. On view through October 7.
Have you ever been to a silent disco? You know, the kind of weird outdoor party where everyone’s wearing bulky headphones and dancing to the various channels of music blaring from them, making them look strange to any onlooker who doesn’t know what’s going on? This art exhibition by Mason Roberts, a painter from Perth, Australia whose 26,000 Instagram followers are equally likely to see both documentation of his artistic process and shirtless selfies, provides a somewhat similar experience. He’s partnered with lo-fi hip-hop artist Stirling Caiulo to create a multisensory artistic experience—don noise-canceling headphones and walk into a dark gallery, then you’ll hear beats n’ tunes while you steadily discover a series of paintings on display, lit by spotlights.Keep Reading »
There’s something inexplicably entrancing about the colors that pervade vintage printed matter, such as ads or movie posters. The colors tend to look impossibly vivid, or at least they do to my eyes. I get a similar feeling when viewing the work of the late artist Nassos Daphnis, who also developed a color theory stating each primary color, plus white and black, “occupies a number of planes on a scale of 1 to 100.” It’s no surprise, then, that the man stuck with these five shades in his art-making as well. This show at Richard Taittinger Gallery is a “reimagining” of a 1983 show at Leo Castelli Gallery, a place Daphnis exhibited at often, though it also includes works that haven’t been shown before. If you’re into fine lines, bold colors, geometric precision, and a minimal-yet-vivid take on radio waves and the like, this is the show for you.Keep Reading »
August Summer Residency Showcase Opening Wednesday, August 29 at Con Artist Collective, 7 pm to 11 pm. On view through August 31.
It’s the end of the summer, which means people are scrambling to get the last of their leisure time in before it feels less justifiable to do so. This often means less events and other artistic goings-on. After all, it’s hard to have an art show when you don’t want to leave the beach. But the restless vigor of Con Artist Collective continues—on any given day (including in the midst of the end-of-summer lull) you can probably find them up to something, whether that be the party-filled unveiling of a new art exhibition or something else entirely. Starting Wednesday night, the Lower East Side art space’s summer studio residents will be showing their latest creations.Keep Reading »
The title of this new group show from ISCP conjures some immediate images: two artists, lounging on the beach. Their peaceful time is cut short due to the fact that they both really want to collect the same type of shells, but there are only a couple of those, so they start fighting over them. Dare I say, all shell breaks loose? I forget if you can even take shells from beaches, but still. The actual content of this show, which features nine artists from ISCP’s Ground Floor Program, appears to be more interesting (or soothing) than my strange musings about beaches. With a goal of “lull[ing] the viewer into a state of relaxation,” the show offers vacation-centric content like thoughts on summer road trips and an interactive piece that quite literally gives the gallery’s front desk staff a break from working. It’s summer, after all.Keep Reading »
yes no maybe Opening Tuesday, July 17 at Flowers Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 24.
Thanks to social media, the word “algorithm” is no longer something only mentioned in math class. I’d say for better or for worse, but we all know that people typically invoke talks of The Algorithm when they are complaining about the latest way it’s seeming to screw them over. A new group exhibition at Chelsea’s Flowers Gallery, which takes its title from the mathematical theory of probability, asks five artists to create works using their own algorithmic processes. This may sound intimidating until you realize an algorithm isn’t much more than a purposeful pattern that repeats over time, which is something done in art often. The artists of yes no maybe (all prolific and regarded in their respective fields) take their algorithmic inspiration from topics as varied as geometric microscopic organisms, Berlin’s Tempelhof airport, jazz music, and hypercubes. At the opening, there will be a panel discussion with Beryl Korot, Manfred Mohr and Judith Stenneken, moderated by Zabet Patterson, a professor and writer who focuses on how contemporary art and computing interact. Keep Reading »