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Jeff Koons on His Dream Choo Choo and That Time Lady Gaga ‘Kind of Went Down’ On Him

Koons Cat

“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.”

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Performance Picks: Experimental Fest, Macaulay Prom, Wormhole Party, and More

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(image by Federico Ausbury)

WEDNESDAY

Wednesdays With A “W”: Wormholes
At The City Reliquary, 370 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg. 7pm. $7. More info here.
This is the second iteration of a monthly “art party,” sporting a whimsical theme and featuring a slew of performances from artists of all disciplines, including live painting, interactive performance art, a human canvas, a bug petting zoo, and an alien experiment. Naturally eschewing any average theme for an event, this evening is themed for wormholes. You heard that right. Whether it be actual worms digging holes or folks traveling through space and time or something else entirely, expect excitement and unusual sights at every turn.

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Seven Badass Things Said By ‘Fuck Paintings’ Artist Betty Tompkins

"Word Paintings" by Betty Tompkins, on view at FLAG (Photo: Nicole Disser)

“Word Paintings” by Betty Tompkins, on view at FLAG (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Since we last caught up with Betty Tompkins– the downtown artist best known for her “Fuck Paintings,” she’s been doing what an established artist should be doing, showing her work at art shows and galleries galore. But for most of her career, as we learned, Tompkins was subject to censorship, sexism, and flat-out rejection not just from gallerists and the art world, but from first- and second-wave feminists too. Nevertheless, Tompkins kept painting nether regions and money shots, all of it sourced from porn. “The problem is, I’m a slut for painting,” she said.

We heard all this and more at “A Woman’s Greatest Weapon is Her Tongue,” a Q&A held in conjunction with Tompkins’s new solo exhibition of “Word Paintings,” which depict some of the “awfully familiar” words used to describe women. (“WOMEN Words Phrases Stories” is on view at the FLAG Art Foundation through May 14).

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Performance Picks: Queen Cabaret, Comedy in a Well, Solo and Group Lovin’

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WEDNESDAY

This One Night at the Opera
Continues every Wednesday through April 29 at The Red Room, 85 E 4th Street, East Village. 8pm (April 29 show at 7:30pm). Tickets are $20. More info here
For over a year now, cabaret artist Salty Brine has undertaken what he calls his “Spectacular Living Record Collection,” where he takes a classic or beloved album (anywhere from Weezer to The Beatles) and performs it in full, giving it his own personal touch. This often includes delightful and surprising reinterpretations of songs, larger-than-life costumes, and storytelling interludes. After working in this style for so long, it’s only fitting Brine is taking on Queen’s harmonic behemoth A Night at the Opera, spinning it into a grand evening of theatrics and betrayal fittingly directed by opera director Jordan Fein.

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How to See Art During Armory Weekend and Still Afford to Eat

(Via Spring/Break Art Show / Facebook)

(Via Spring/Break Art Show / Facebook)

Armory weekend is upon us y’all, and you know what that means– if you’re gonna hoof it to the West side to get cultured and not just slammed at the after parties (which is perfectly alright, too) it’s best to have some idea of where you’re headed, and we’re guessing it’s probably not going to be in the direction of those $45 Armory tickets. Hoo boy. No, thank you. Besides, there’s plenty else going on that’s not gonna nuke your wallet.

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4 Performances Not to Miss This Weekend

FRIDAY

(photo: Patrick Moore)

(photo: Patrick Moore)

Lear
Continues through February 20 at New York Live Arts, 219 W 19th Street, Chelsea. 7:30pm; Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here
Acclaimed dance artist Valda Setterfeld, sporting a shock of white hair, crafts her own version of Shakespeare’s Lear in collaboration with Irish choreographer John Scott. Interestingly, Setterfeld herself plays Lear while the King’s daughters are played by three men. Don’t expect this to be an evening of period dress and Classical language. Setterfeld may be the right age to play Lear, but this unique and movement-driven creation seems anything but typical.

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Week in Film: Nicolas Cage, Hallucinating Cop; Soviet Synthesizer Nerd Fest

(Flyer via the Silent Barn)

(Flyer via the Silent Barn)

Audio Visuals
Sunday, Jan. 31, 3 pm to 7 pm at the Silent Barn: $5 suggested donation

Hey! It’s a combined live music/screening event at the Silent Barn in honor of the release of Kung Fu Crimewave‘s new music video for their very topical song, “Winter Squall.” The band is fluent in so-called “regressive rock,” or what sounds to us like a mix of weird-punk and psych– there’s a crush of instruments going on here but not in an annoying Arcade Fire way. But instead of having a traditional something-release show, the Kung Fu kids have brought together a bunch of local filmmakers (who have either dabbled in or are steeped in music videos) to share their work. There’s even a Q+A after the screenings, so if you’re curious about how they get stuff done, well here’s your opportunity to hear it straight from the horsies’ mouths.

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Photographer Catherine Opie Has a Pair of New Exhibitions That “Humanize Celebrity”

Catherine Opie's "The Quest for Japanese Beef," 2010-2011.  (Photo: Gillie Collins)

Catherine Opie’s “The Quest for Japanese Beef,” 2010-2011. (Photo: Gillie Collins)

In the late 1990s, Catherine Opie drove across the country, taking photos of lesbian families in and around their homes. The resulting series, Domestic, (which Opie, who herself is gay, said was an attempt to document “the lesbian dream’’) contains a still life of a washer and dryer, which the photographer joked was “a lesbian washer and dryer.” Because, as she put it, “it’s the same thing.” An ongoing pair of solo exhibitions, Portraits and Landscapes and 700 Nimes Road, at the Lehmann Maupin gallery locations in Chelsea and on the Lower East Side, respectively, also readjust our expectations about the artist and her long-held role as a “provocateur.”

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The East Village Is Getting Another Sri Lankan Spot

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Until now, Sigiri has been the go-to for Sri Lankan food in the East Village – and pretty much the whole city as far as those who don’t want to venture out to Staten Island are concerned. But starting next month, it’ll get some competition just around the corner.

Banana Leaf is moving to Curry Row, into the space at 326 East Sixth Street currently occupied by Spice Cove, which has the same owner.

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The Jazz Loft According to W. Eugene Smith Will Bop You and Floor You

W. Eugene Smith, (self-portrait at Loft window). (c) The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith.

W. Eugene Smith, (self-portrait at Loft window). (c) The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith.

“I caught the tail end of when New York was cool,” said a woman waiting in line to watch movies with Shia LaBeouf this morning.

Should she want to relive those days, she might want to forget about #AllMyMovies and catch The Jazz Loft According to W. Eugene Smith, showing Friday and Monday as part of the DOC NYC festival. The documentary by Sara Fishko is an offshoot of her “Jazz Loft Radio Series,” a 10-part WNYC production that unboxed the audio recordings that legendary photographer W. Eugene Smith made while sharing his Chelsea loft with some of the jazz greats of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. Her new documentary adds a visual element, sharing some of the thousands of photos that Smith took of the loft’s habitués, from Thelonius Monk to Salvador Dali to Warhol’s Ultra Violet, and the street life below.

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Week in Film: Kathleen Hanna on 16mm and Bomb Shelter Children of Botulism Turn Out Totally Normal

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Film still from “In Search of Margo-Go”

This week, cash in your change jar because you’re gonna need it for the screening of this lost Riot Grrrl film starring Kathleen Hanna. Also, pick from a bazillion or so documentaries this year at Doc NYC 2015, and more. Read on, friends.

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