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Intergalactic Utopias, Suburban Kitsch, and More Art This Week

(image via Max Rosen / Facebook)

Omg Random
Opening Tuesday, September 5 at Benson’s NYC, 7 pm. On view through September 19.

Some art shows are tightly curated, conceptually driven projects that claim to elegantly tackle a Big Theme. Others are just selections of nice-looking stuff. Both types of curation are valid, but sometimes you want to give your lil’ old brain a break and just look at some fun, colorful works of art. Luckily, it appears that the aptly-titled Omg Random, opening tonight in the Lower East Side, will deliver all this and a bag of chips. But probably a bag of chips in painting form.

The show consists of work by Mary Houlihan, Max Rosen, and Rosie Morales. They will be showing paintings, mixed media works, collages, and more. Some of you may know Mary as a comedian, but she also makes very fun paintings. I once commissioned her to make a custom dog painting that really turned out great. I have not commissioned dog paintings from the other artists, but they seem top-notch as well. And if you like what you see, prints will be available for sale at the opening.

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Art This Week: Father + Son Collab, VR World, Hairy Domesticity

(image via Babycastles / Facebook)

Virtual Insanity
Opening Monday, July 17 at VR World NYC, 7 pm to midnight.

I think we can all agree that reality as we know it currently leaves something to be desired. So, what about virtual reality? For those not particularly prone to dizziness and/or nausea, it can be a very effective way to literally escape the perils of life and be thrust into a new environment. Even if you move your head in a bunch of angles, you can’t escape it! It’s pretty remarkable, TBH. Or terrifying, depending on what world you’re virtually immersed in. 

Tonight is the beginning of VR World NYC and Babycastles’ “VR-themed exhibition and concert.” You’ll be able to see VR ~experiences~ crafted by 9 developers/artists and vibe to music from Icarus Moth, RAFiA, and Haleek Maul. How hard can you dance without your VR goggles falling off? Tonight be the night to find out. Keep Reading »

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One Structure To Sustain You, Selena Lives On, And More Art Openings

(image courtesy of Cooler Gallery)

A Structure For Hope And Survival
Opening Tuesday, June 6 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through June 30.

Artist Huy Bui has a penchant for constructing environments, and his latest creation to be brought to life at Navy Yard-adjacent art space Cooler Gallery is timely in its name: A Structure For Hope and Survival. Deemed a “framework of organizing artifacts, objects, art, tools, books, games, supplies, seeds, plants and provisions,” this “modular ecological unit” serves as a structure and container for anything you might need, from plants and seating areas to how-to books and emergency snacks. An artist statement indicates that a manual is in the works for anyone who might want to build one themselves. The opening reception on Tuesday will begin with a panel discussion entitled “Art and Architecture in the Anthropocene” with Bui, fellow artists, and people who have worked on projects like Playlab and the Lowline.

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Robotic Theater, Online Anxiety, and More Art This Week

(image courtesy of Disclaimer Gallery)

Anxiety Sex
Opening Wednesday April 12 at Disclaimer Gallery, 6 pm to 10 pm. On view through May 8.

Ah, anxiety and sex, two things that go together like peanut butter and jelly, or perhaps crying and bathrooms. Artist Charlotte Greene, the latest to set up shop at the inclusive Disclaimer Gallery inside the Silent Barn, sees this all too well. Focusing on the many strange ways digital encounters can translate to IRL ones, Greene has formed an array of digital collages made from predictive iPhone text, tweets, stream-of-consciousness writing, and more.

Riffing off of a computer’s ability to zoom, distort, crop, and alter images, many aspects of these collages have been modified accordingly, often to the extent that they are hardly legible anymore. This manipulation mirrors the strange spirit of online communication, in that it can be so easily seen as something larger, smaller, or entirely different than it ever intended to be. Talk about #relatablecontent!

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Patron Saints of the Local Scene, and More Art Affairs This Week

F8 Tropical , 2017
28 x 21 Inches
Dye Sublimation on Aluminum

Particle Paradise
Opening Wednesday March 22 at Foley Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through April 30.

Photography is said to be a significant documentation tactic due to its ability to capture reality in its truest form. Particle Paradise, Joseph Desler Costa’s solo show at Foley Gallery, seeks to lay bare the ways one can manipulate the medium of photography to turn it into something sleeker, or even a total rejection of reality. This can happen through tactics like double exposures, cut paper constructions, in-camera editing, or even snapshots of the equipment used to create the photo in the first place.

The show is named for a video game mod that allows players to customize their experience through hacking and tweaking the existing code, allowing the gameplay experience to change oh-so-slightly or immensely. I don’t know about you, but I associate mods with either sneakily downloading sexy clothes for my Sims or that time I bought a Gameshark to use with my Pokemon and it glitched in a way it was not supposed to and I felt fear deep in my heart. Maybe this show will be something like that?

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Ghosts, Missed Connections, and More Must-See Art Shows

(flyer via The Living Gallery / Facebook)

Of Ghosts and Girls
Opening Tuesday March 14 at The Living Gallery, 6 pm to 10 pm. One night only.

This one-night-only exhibition (as is the norm for The Living Gallery) showcases the work of Üriel Shlüsh-Reyna, a Bushwick-based artist who creates paintings, drawings, and sculptures. She also appeared as a cast member in immersive show Houseworld in 2015, which took place in the various rooms of a Greenpoint church. Her work zeroes in on matters of mysticism, fantasy, and magic. Also, she draws and paints a lot of women, some busty, some doe-eyed, some even tied-up and split in two. Of Ghosts and Girls will show a mix of old and new works in various mediums. She also indicates on her website that she’s inspired by both sleep paralysis and ice cream, which if anything is an interesting combo. The opening reception will also feature musical performances by Mike Campbell, Ben Pagano, and Charles Mansfield. Keep Reading »

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This Week: Art Fair Affairs, Club Kid Portraits, and Anything But Trash

(image via Volta NY)

Volta NY
Opening Wednesday March 1 at Pier 90, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through March 5.

Now is the time for art fairs aplenty, and Volta NY is just one of many. Volta stands out singularly (ha) because they focus on solo artist projects only. Though they’re all about solo stuff, by no means are they taking a minimalist route. At Pier 90 you can catch not only the water, but the work of artists from 38 nations shown by 96 galleries and art spaces across 5 continents and 36 cities. You needn’t be a math whiz to figure out that is a lot of art to place your eyes on. Only not literally, that could cause vision issues and probably a lot of side-eyeing. If you stop by on the first night, it’s free to enter, but any other day it’ll cost you $25.

This is Volta’s tenth year of existence, so you can expect they’re pulling out all the stops this time. This week you can also catch The Armory Show (ticket bundles are available, which get you into Volta and Armory) and SPRING/BREAK, in a new location in Times Square. If you wish, you can pop around the piers all weekend for a veritable art adventure. The art doesn’t stop there: the Architectural Digest Design Show will be from March 16-19, also on the pier. And we can only wonder: will The Mars Volta be at Volta NY?

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Openings: Black Lives Matter Show, Art for the Apocalypse, Refugee Reflections

(flyer via The Living Gallery / Facebook)

(flyer via The Living Gallery / Facebook)

Black Lives Matter Art Show
Opening Tuesday January 31 at The Living Gallery, 12 pm – 10 pm. Reception and performances 7 pm to 10 pm. One day only.

This pop-up art show, on view for one day only, features the work of Carla Cubit, who has created art in conjunction with Black Lives Matter in the form of posters, mixed media assemblages, and photos of BLM protests in the NYC area. The daylong event will also feature musical performances, a jam session, a speaker from “mobile social justice museum” The Museum of Impact, and an artist talk.

Throughout the day, a variety of BLM necklaces, magnets, pins, and other creations will be on sale for only $1, and The Stop Mass Incarceration Network will be offering posters for free. If you’d like to get involved on the creative side of things, there will be materials for folks to make their own posters or Black Lives Matter-inspired artwork. If you’re not artistically inclined, attendees are also encouraged to simply share their thoughts on the BLM movement.

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Art Openings: Love Positive Women, Virtual Quilts, and More

(by David Shama, via Con Artist / Facebook)

(by David Shama, via Con Artist / Facebook)

Supernatural
Opening Wednesday January 25 at Con Artist Collective, 7 pm to 11 pm. On view through January 27.

Inspired by the popularity of Netflix’s Stranger Things and other popular culture in genres that like to bring on the chills, Con Artist Collective’s Supernatural exhibition is a quick weeklong endeavor showcasing all things that go bump in the night. So, you’ll bear witness to ghosts, werewolves, demons, vampires, and other otherworldly creatures, but this won’t only be literal manifestations of the theme. Some artists will choose a more metaphorical path, rendering feelings of fear, suspense, or uncertainty through color, shape, or something else entirely. Boo! Keep Reading »

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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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Art that is ‘Vapid and Screaming,’ Philosophical Collage, a Solo Show Duo, and More

(flyer via Vapid and Screaming / Facebook)

(flyer via Vapid and Screaming / Facebook)

Vapid & Screaming
Opening Monday January 2, 6 pm to 9 pm at 208 Bowery. On view through January 4.

Nowadays, gallery space in Manhattan is pricey, yet art is still being created left and right. For those still clinging on to the last kernel of hope that there is hope for the island, well, there might be something there. At least, for pop-up shows.

Take 208 Bowery–a former restaurant supply shop-turned-pop-up hub which recently featured a Drake-themed event, among other art shows and will now be the site of Vapid and Screaming, a pop-up show of work by “emerging fag, femme, and queer artists.”

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A Bed-Stuy Biennial, Nina Simone Self-Defense, and Other Art Events This Week

Nkiruka J. Oparah, study n° 080415, 2015, digital collage (image via BRIC)

Nkiruka J. Oparah, study n° 080415, 2015, digital collage (image via BRIC)

BRIC Biennial: Volume II, Bed Stuy / Crown Heights
Opening Wednesday, November 9 at BRIC, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through January 15. 

BRIC’s largest exhibition to date is centered at Downtown Brooklyn’s BRIC House but also taking place in portions of Crown Heights’s FiveMyles, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Weeksville Heritage Center. The show’s sprawling spread reflects the artists represented in the show, as all 40 are local to Crown Heights and Bed Stuy. The theme for the exhibit is “Affective Bodies,” placing a focus on “bodily experience rather than on learned knowledge,” a somewhat subversive move in the world of art exhibits, as so many are grounded in theory, explained using highly academic terms, and/or featuring high-class educated folks. Each non-BRIC venue will showcase a different sort of work: Weeksville Heritage artists are focused on the “emotional resonance” people give urban spaces, the Brooklyn Public Library artists use preexisting documents as their source material to create new works, and FiveMyles will focus on performance art. Keep Reading »