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Art Shows: Fire Island, Creative Teens, and Political Cakes

Photo via @companygallery on Instagram)

Fire
Opening Wednesday, March 6 at Baby Company, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through April 14. 

Oh, Fire Island. Even if you’ve never been (I haven’t), you’ve probably come across it in one way or another, even if it’s just on your Instagram feed or that time you overheard a group of partygoers dishing about their weekend outing. You have another chance to soak in this getaway through the eyes of another at group exhibition Fire, opening Wednesday at Allen Street’s Baby Company (an offshoot of the nearby Company Gallery). The show, organized by photographer Ryan McNamara, features familiar queer art names like Raúl de Nieves, Kia Labeija, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Nicole Eisenman, all revealing snapshots of what Fire Island (and by extension, spaces known for being queer sanctuaries) means to them.

Patrick Martinez, Chocolate Cake for the Black Panther Party, 2018, Heavy body acrylic, acrylic, airbrush, and ceramic cake roses on panel with gold mirror plex, 20 x 26 x 3 inches (image via Fort Gansevoort)

That Which We Do Not See
Opening Thursday, March 7 at Fort Gansevoort, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through April 20. 

Artist Patrick Martinez brings something simultaneously sweet and politically-charged to the Meatpacking District gallery Fort Gansevoort this week when he opens his solo show of paintings, multimedia pieces, and neon works. The show, which takes its title from a Martin Luther King quote, is peppered with notable figures from modern history, from author Rebecca Solnit to Malcolm X and James Baldwin. These faces, along with other iconography like the Black Panther Party’s panther image, are emblazoned on cakes in remarkable mixed media paintings that truly look edible—their decadence hints at portrait painting’s history of elevating those who could afford to commission one. In addition to the cakes, a selection of paintings of Los Angeles’s changing landscape and text-based neon sculptures will also be on view.

(image via Sonder Exhibition)

Sonder iii
Opening Friday, March 8 at 198 Allen Street, 6 pm to 10 pm. On view through March 10. 

In many instances, going to see art means going to see the work of older people, whether that be artists who made work decades or centuries ago or contemporary greats who have been in the art world for years. But exhibition series Sonder, returning to the Lower East Side for a third year, only shows work by young people. No, not people who are in their mid/late twenties. It’s curated by teenagers, and features work by teenagers who create in multiple genres, who are both local to NYC and based around the globe. When I think about what I was doing when I was a teen, it definitely wasn’t showing art in a New York City gallery, so this is your chance to get a peek at those paving the way for the future of art. I can only wonder if, in light of all the news, there’ll be some Momo-themed art…

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Performance Picks: Electro-Opera, Kinky Dungeon, Experimental Comedy

FRIDAY

(image via The Kitchen / Facebook)

Improvement (Don Leaves Linda)
February 7-9 and 13-16 at The Kitchen, 8 pm: $25 

One of the most common ways people encounter opera is when very old compositions from well-known classical greats like Mozart are revived. This opera at The Kitchen is also a revival of sorts, but a more modern one: it has “newly reconstructed” a work from 1985 by late experimental composer Robert Ashley, staging it with a chorus of live vocalists and an “electronic orchestra.” The opera centers less around the Don in the title, but around a woman named Linda. She embarks upon many types of ventures spanning many locations and historical periods throughout the opera, all with varying degrees of success—something that should spark some level of familiarity in us all. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Dystopian Theater, A C.R.E.A.M. Afternoon, and More

THURSDAY

(image via The Nova Experiment / Facebook)

EthnoGraphic
Thursday, January 24 at Eris Evolution, 8 pm: $11 advance, $15 doors

The average show in Brooklyn—comedy, burlesque, music, and beyond—seems to have gotten a touch more diverse in recent years, but it’s still common to walk into a venue and see predominantly white faces staring back. That’s not the case at burlesque performer Stella Nova’s EthnoGraphic, a variety show featuring exclusively performers of color. As Nova does burlesque herself, the lineup is filled with striptease and pasties, with acts from Abby Fantastic, Fox Squire, and Lady Mabuhay, as well as slam poet Omar Holman and comedian Lauren Clark. Keep Reading »

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Meditations on Lip-Locking, and Other Art Shows to Catch This Week

Camae Ayewa/Moor Mother, detail from He’s Got the Whole World, 2017 (image via The Kitchen)

Camae Ayewa / Moor Mother
Opening Wednesday, February 21 at The Kitchen, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through March 17.

Camae Ayewa, who some may know by her musician moniker Moor Mother, is a truly multifaceted artist. She writes poetry, pens and performs visceral electronic noise protest songs referencing black activists and theorists, photographs, leads community workshops, makes collages, and if you’re impressed already, that’s merely a partial list of what she’s capable of. If your curiosity has been piqued, head on over to The Kitchen for a comprehensive look at Ayewa’s creative output and process. Though this is an art exhibition, it’s so much more than that; created as an accompaniment to her second solo album (and its subsequent instrumental accompaniment), the show delves into the album’s creation and inspirations by way of collage, film, soundscape, and poetry. On March 6 and 7, Moor Mother will take to the stage. Keep Reading »

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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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Women Getting Lit, Plexiglas Playgrounds, and More Art

Kate Hush (image via Cooler Gallery)

Kate Hush (image via Cooler Gallery)

Female Behavior
Opening Tuesday January 10 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through January 31. 

Firstly, let’s discuss this gallery’s name. Sure, it sounds sort of pompous, in a cooler-than-you kind of way, and maybe that’s what they think of themselves. But the origin of this gallery is actually, well, cool. It exists within a “repurposed industrial icebox” in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, so it really is a cooler gallery. Plus, it seeks to display work that involves elements of manufacturing, so it’s aware of its roots. But enough about the gallery, let’s get to the show: artist Kate Hush makes massive sculptures of neon light, and what she is particularly trying to capture in her solo show, Female Behavior, are women and their so-called “wicked ways.” She writes of light being produced when bonds are broken, such as the cutting of a diamond, so she has crafted female silhouettes to portray those who are seen as cruel and conniving simply for being “sharp” or for cutting ties with a man who will then call her crazy. May women burn bright and powerful as much as they can, especially now.

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