Despite the suffocating amount of luxury stores, there are still some small pockets of Soho that retain the neighborhood’s old gritty art spirit. As you pass The Performing Garage, where experimental troupe The Wooster Group and others still rehearse and perform, you’ll now encounter an new and improved iteration of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. After lengthy renovations, the museum has reopened and nearly doubled in size with Expanded Visions: Fifty Years of Collecting, an exhibition rich in the history and scope of queerness and the artistic expression surrounding it.
leslie-lohman museum of gay and lesbian art
Life seems pretty bleak post-November 9, and even moreso when you consider that 2016 has been declared the “deadliest year on record” for transgender individuals in America, with 24 trans people– predominantly women of color– murdered so far.
This week, GLAAD’s Transgender Awareness Week continues, culminating on Sunday with the Transgender Day of Awareness. Founded in 1998 by a trans advocate in honor of trans woman Rita Hester’s memory, TDOR has been commemorated every year by vigils and other community-based events. Here are several goings-on this week, fun and solemn alike, that are either directly affiliated with Trans Awareness Week or serve to spotlight and lift up trans and queer individuals or groups.
Mike Taylor: Condensed Flesh
Opening Thursday October 13 at Idio Gallery, 6 pm to 11 pm. On view through October 30.
East Williamsburg space Idio Gallery put out a call for crowdsourced financial support several months ago, which very well could have signaled that it was beginning to scale down. However, with a show at Bushwick Open Studios and another show opening shortly after, they don’t appear to be going anywhere. This one is a solo show, presenting works on paper and paintings by renowned graphic artist Mike Taylor, created between 2012 and now. Finished works won’t be the only thing on display in this show, as Idio’s downstairs basement space will be transformed into a showcase of the artist in-process, with drawings not yet done, prints, and “printmaking debris” on view as well. Taylor’s work is bold and bright, often utilizing neon colors and mixing abstract patterns with notes of realism and the human form filtered through the style of the illustrator and comic artist.
Up Against The Wall
Opening Tuesday August 30, 7 pm to 10 pm at Booklyn. On view through September 27.
Greenpoint “artist and bookmakers organization” Booklyn, which has impressively been hanging around since 1999, presents this exhibition of prints by two projects: Imagining Apartheid, a Montreal-based initiative bringing awareness to Palestinian liberation and the BDS movement with a focus on Israeli Apartheid, and Celebrate People’s History: Iraq Veterans Against the War, a portfolio project which aims to highlight veteran and active duty members who were against the war and have spoken out over the last ten years. Placed side-by-side, these prints and posters highlight years of a common struggle and fight for demilitarization and justice regardless of country or nationality.
Opening Monday August 15, 7 pm to 9 pm at ROOQ Fine Arts and Framing. On view through January 17.
Artist Sharon Spell seems to have each one of her hands equally in art and comedy: she’s worked with UCB since 2007, performs at The Moth, and has illustrated comic strips for the freaky people at The Onion, just to name a few bits from her resume. These two worlds unite in her “Close Hamm” diptychs– paintings depicting two distinct people joined together to create one image, much like the fine art of balance an improv-comedy duo’s always aiming for.