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Mastermind of Controversial ‘Bushwick 200’ Project Tries to ‘Heal the Gap’

Grattan St._096 Bushwick_ Rafael Fuchs_DSCF7140

“Grattan St.” June 11, 2006 by Rafael Fuchs (Image courtesy of Fuchs Projects)

Rafael Fuchs has lived in Bushwick for the last 11 years. For the first five, Fuchs worked as an independent artist and since 2012 he’s run Fuchs Projects, a gallery for showing work by himself and other artists (international and local) inside the BogArt, a building that on weekends is packed with streams of visitors headed to galleries with names like Soho20. An Israeli photographer who’s lived in New York since 1985, Fuchs arrived in Bushwick just prior to what he calls the “art explosion,” as just another newcomer looking for cheap rent. His neighborhood stomping grounds over the years have been mostly confined to the area around the Morgan stop. Beyond that zone of familiarity is what Fuchs described to me as “deep Bushwick.”

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Blurry Backpage Girls and Liquor Bottle Swirls: Paintings for Bukowski

"Bather" (2014) by Walter Robinson (Image courtesy of Owen James Gallery)

“Bather” (2014) by Walter Robinson (Image courtesy of Owen James Gallery)

We’ve all seen the “massage girl” advertisements lurking at the back of alternative weeklies and the grainier budget versions of escort ads spamming the nether regions of the internet– signs that a legitimate underworld of body-business is still solidly stuck to the underside of the white market. It’s ever-present, and in some ways unchanging. These familiar “backpage ads” are the source images for art-critic-turned-artist Walter Robinson‘s blurry acrylic renderings on view at There’s a Bluebird in My Heart, a new show opening Friday, April 8 at Owen James Gallery in Greenpoint.

The paintings depicting doe-eyed girls wearing slinky loungewear, long tresses, and pouty demeanors, account for about half the show, while the rest consists of still-lifes of liquor bottles, cigarettes, and pill bottles. “It’s basically a two-artist show,” explained Owen Houhoulis, owner of Owen James. “One is a longtime New York artist and the other is the well-known poet Charles Bukowski.” Really, though, the show is a three-way effort between curator, painter, and the late, great drunken poet, as well as a way for Houhoulis to realize a longtime dream of putting together a curatorial homage to Bukowski.

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Questions Swirl Around Art Fest Aiming to Fill in For Bushwick Open Studios

via Bushwickartsfestival.com

via Bushwickartsfestival.com

Just a few weeks after volunteer org Arts in Bushwick surprised the neighborhood by announcing that Bushwick Open Studios would be held in October rather than in the summer, an anonymous entity has popped up with plans to fill the void in June, during the same weekend usually reserved for BOS. But little is known about the players behind the new arts fest, and neighborhood artists, gallerists and residents say they don’t know yet whether they’ll get on board. 

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Panel: Language of the Birds: Occult & Art: Art Workings

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

In conjunction with the ongoing exhibition (through Saturday February 13) Language of the Birds: Occult & Art the show’s curator Pam Grossman (who’s manned the esoterica blog Phantasmaphile for the last 10 years) will host a panel discussion featuring Professor Susan L. Aberth (author of Surrealism, Alchemy, and Art), Jesse Bransford (Chair of the Art Dep’t at NYU, Grossman described him as “an unbelievable occult artist” and his work is featured in the show), and William Breeze of the band Coil.

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Last Dance at Alt Space Before Crew Takes Off On This Baby Bus

the wee alt bus (Photo: Nicole Disser)

the wee alt bus (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Tonight’s your very last chance to say goodbye to the Montrose Avenue location of Alt Space– the netty, uber-hip physical incarnation of Alt Citizen. We told you last week that the gallery slash super-fetch fashion boutique would close at the end of the month, and now the time is upon us. But we also promised you more deets about where founder Nasa Hadizadeh and the Alt crew would be headed.

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Art: Bushwick in Time, Part 2 “Elevations: an Exploration in Structure”

Christina Cassone at right, the current "Bushwick in Time" artist in residence (Photo courtesy of The Hollows)

Christina Cassone at right, the current “Bushwick in Time” artist in residence (Photo courtesy of The Hollows)

This Bushwick-based residency at The Hollows, called Bushwick in Time, brings together artists from abroad and close to home for a discussion and creative exploration of the myriad changes happening in this neighborhood.

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A ‘Quite Unorthodox’ Artists Residency Puts Bushwick into Global Perspective

 Piril Gunduz (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Piril Gunduz (Photo: Nicole Disser)

I had a hard time believing I was in the right place, what with shattered glass scattered everywhere and the absence of a sign. I’ve been to a few galleries in my day, but none that looked like a party house from the outside. I was just about to turn around when a woman with neon yellow streaks in her dark hair, swung open the old door and invited me into the dark-red brick building’s castle-like space. Piril Gunduz– the founder of this Bushwick art space, The Hollows– apologized for the broken window downstairs. “What happened?” I wondered. She shrugged. Strange, but it was actually broken windows at a brand new development next door that inspired Piril to curate an ongoing program called Bushwick in Time.

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A Little Bird Told Me: Aleister Crowley and Genesis P-Orridge in Occult Art Show

Carol Bove "Legal Status of the Moon," 2015  (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Carol Bove “Legal Status of the Moon,” 2015 (Photo: Nicole Disser)

“Ordinary morality is only for ordinary people,” Aleister Crowley once said. That maxim echoes inside the walls of a new exhibit at 80WSE, Language of the Birds: Occult and Art. Even now, when dabbling in the occult has become morally ambiguous rather than universally derided, the work shown at NYU Steinhardt’s gallery is far from ordinary. Spanning the beginning of the last century to the present day, its authors range from avant-garde filmmakers (Kenneth Anger), to spiritual philosophers (Aleister Crowley), to industrial music makers (Genesis Breyer P-Orridge), and “just” plain artists (Kiki Smith). Somehow these varied participants share a similar worldview, which they’ve communicated (at various points in time) through symbols and talismans that have remained fairly static throughout.

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Language of the Birds: Occult and Art

Peter Lamborn Wilson, "Leonora and Loplop," 2015  (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Peter Lamborn Wilson, “Leonora and Loplop,” 2015 (Photo: Nicole Disser)

“Ordinary morality is only for ordinary people,” Aleister Crowley once said. That maxim echoes inside the walls of a new exhibit at 80WSELanguage of the Birds: Occult and Art. Even now, when dabbling in the occult has become morally ambiguous rather than universally derided, the work shown at NYU Steinhardt’s gallery is far from ordinary. Spanning the beginning of the last century to the present day, its authors range from avant-garde filmmakers (Kenneth Anger), to spiritual philosophers (Aleister Crowley), to industrial music makers (Genesis Breyer P-Orridge), and “just” plain artists (Kiki Smith). Somehow these varied participants share a similar worldview, which they’ve communicated (at various points in time) through symbols and talismans that have remained fairly static throughout.

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Punk Magazine 40th-Anniversary Exhibition

Issue #2 featuring Patti Smith (Image courtesy of Howl! Arts)

Issue #2 featuring Patti Smith (Image courtesy of Howl! Arts)

In 1976, a comic artist named John Holmstrom begot Punk magazine as an excuse to stalk his favorite bands from the downtown scene, and look cool in the process. Needless to say, Holmstrom succeeded (beyond what he ever imagined) in permanently etching the East Village into the throbbing heart of the punk movement, and visualizing an R. Crumb-like vision of the scenes running through Max’s Kansas City and CBGB. Soak up the 40th-anniversary exhibition that opened last week at Howl! Happening and Punk’s lasting influence becomes sharply real.

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Remember When Punk Magazine Made the East Village the Center of the Universe?

Punk magazine celebrates its 40th anniversary at Howl! Arts in the East Village (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Punk magazine celebrates its 40th anniversary at Howl! Arts in the East Village (Photo: Nicole Disser)

In 1976, a comic artist named John Holmstrom begot Punk magazine as an excuse to stalk his favorite bands from the downtown scene, and look cool in the process. Needless to say, Holmstrom succeeded (beyond what he ever imagined) in permanently etching the East Village into the throbbing heart of the punk movement, and visualizing an R. Crumb-like vision of the scenes running through Max’s Kansas City and CBGB. Soak up the 40th-anniversary exhibition that opened last week at Howl! Happening and Punk’s lasting influence becomes sharply real.

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Artist Literally Paints it Black With Photo Series Black Face, on View at Odetta

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

Eva Mueller’s photographs, part of “Heliotrope” (Photo by Kavitha Surana)

To title a piece ‘Black Face’ is going to raise some hairs on the backs of some peoples’ necks [who] find that that’s a derogatory phrase,” acknowledged Ellen Hackl Fagan. Her Bushwick-based gallery, Odetta, is opening the exhibition Heliotrope tonight, showcasing the work of four mid-career artists. German-born photographer Eva Mueller, a New York City-dweller since 1989, has contributed a series of portraits depicting different people coated in dark, midnight-black paint.

“What she’s really aiming for is to show the similarity among us all, if we are all the same color, and explore: What does that mean now?” Fagan explained.

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