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Art This Week: Continued Haunts, Queer Ceramics, and Planning Ahead For Death

(image via Leslie-Lohman Museum / Facebook)

Objectified
Opening Friday, November 3 at Leslie+Lohman Prince Street Project, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 5.

This swift three-day exhibition shows the work of queer ceramic artist Caitlin Rose Sweet. I first encountered Sweet’s work when I interviewed her about a show she was doing inspired by Bosch’s notorious triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. Since then, she hasn’t stopped whipping up sculptural pieces that impressively mix elements of grotesque and feminine. Friday, her solo show Objectified is unveiled to the public, placing the queer femme body in all its manifestations on view. Sweet’s ceramic sculpture creations can resemble traditional craft art, domestic home goods, genitalia, gnarled fingers, and fantastical beasts all at once. Will you be entranced or spooked? Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Stonewall Recollections, Radical Burlesque, Renewable Energy

WEDNESDAY

(image courtesy of Alton PR)

Street Theater
September 20-October 4 at The Eagle Bar, 7 pm: $25

The “father of modern queer theater” is back, and fittingly doing a show inside a gay leather bar in Manhattan. Yes, the late playwright and Stonewall Uprising participant Doric Wilson, who recently received a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to gay theater, is bringing his satirical Stonewall play Street Theater to Chelsea’s The Eagle.

Street Theater, which won an Innovative Theater award for a recent prior revival, was written in part to chronicle the events and people Wilson experienced personally at Stonewall in 1969. It’s produced by The Other Side of Silence (TSOS), one of the city’s first LGBT-centric theater companies, initially co-founded by Wilson and “resurrected” in 2002 by Wilson, Street Theater‘s director Mark Finley, and Barry Childs. Plus, after the show tonight, it’s “jockstrap night” at the bar. Keep Reading »

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Artists and Designers Try to Create the Next Iconic NYC Souvenir

A little Lady Liberty defends her iconic status. (photo: Diego Lynch)

What do tourists have to show for their trips to New York City?

Selfies and souvenirs, usually.

The moment visitors step off the plane, they’re greeted by ranks of Statue of Liberty miniatures, skyline snow globes, and Yankees paraphernalia. However, does everyone Heart NY?

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Art This Week: Bushwick Open Studios and Black Femmes

(photo: Sophia Wilson, via Facebook)

The Future Is (Black) Femme
Opening Friday, September 22 at 329 Broome Street, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. On view through October 3.

While the rest of our art opening recs for this week correspond with the return of Bushwick Open Studios, this show is happening in Manhattan. Lower Manhattan, so you Brooklyn dwellers don’t have to travel very far, don’t worry. The Future Is (Black) Femme is, unsurprisingly, an art exhibition of work by black femme artists. For the uninformed, “femme” is a term that describes a feminine-presenting person that may but doesn’t necessarily have to conform to the binary identity of “woman.” It can also mean a feminine-presenting lesbian, used as the opposite of “butch.”

Enough about semantics, on to the art. The exhibition is curated by Jessica Pettway, Josette Roberts, and Miranda Barnes, and features the work of 14 artists, including Roberts and Barnes. Though every artist identifies as a black femme and an artist, the show’s content spans a wide variety of artistic disciplines and themes, as every artist has something unique to say about existing in this country as a black femme. These lived experiences can often be painful, but the exhibition’s description notes that “similar themes of kinship, tenderness and rejoicing” are present throughout all the works. Keep Reading »

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The Museum of Interesting Things Is a Roving ‘Speakeasy’ Run By a Quirky Curator

How did we watch films at home before Netflix and DVD? And before VHS? Denny Daniel will show you at his Museum of Interesting Things. This “speakeasy museum” pops up weekly at various locations in the city to show how our current-day technology is based on earlier inventions, often going all the way back to the late 19th century. From 1960s solar-powered walkie-talkies to carousel animations and parts of the original World War II Enigma machine, Daniel has collected a wide array of antiques and curiosa.

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Bowery Wall Tagged After Getting Mural By Controversial Pick, David Choe

(Photo courtesy of Shannon Barbour)

Taggers wasted no time marking up the Bowery wall’s newest mural.

The wall, on Houston Street and Bowery, has featured work by artists like Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf in the past and is now host to David Choe’s mural, completed last week.

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Artists & Fleas Brings Williamsburg to Soho With a New Market

After a decade and a half as a staple of the Williamsburg flea market scene, Artists & Fleas is opening its fourth location, smack dab in the middle of Soho, on the corner of Prince and Broadway. Look out, Prada.

Founded by Brooklyn-based Amy Abrams and Ronen Glimer in 2003, A&F allows independent artists and designers to sell their wares (or wears. . .get it?), resulting in a hodge podge of hip stuff: vintage clothing, jewelry, leather products, art items, handbags, food, and, of course, beard oil. 

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This Museum Has ‘Expanded Visions’ For Queering and Preserving Art

Installation view, Expanded Visions: Fifty Years of Collecting, at Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, 2017. (photo: Riya Lerner)

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.

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Williamsburg’s Dokonoko Launches Debut Women’s Line at Soho Pop-Up

(Photo courtesy of Dokonoko)

Dokonoko, a new Williamsburg-based womenswear brand, launched its debut line last night in Manhattan. For the next three months, you can peruse the label’s colorful, funky pieces at the new Soho location of Bulletin, the local-designer showcase that also has a store in Williamsburg.

Dokonoko was launched by Tokyo-born graphic designer Reina Sugiyama and her fellow New Yorker Lacey Voss, who has designed for American Outfitters and Victoria’s Secret. The brand describes itself as “a play on many things: Japanese and American cultures, femininity and feminism, identity and stereotypes, and the seriousness of the retail world.” The quintessential “Dokonoko woman,” according to the brand’s manifesto, had an international upbringing (Sugiyama was a globe-trotting diplomat’s daughter) and “found her freedom to be truly herself” in New York City.

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NADA to See Here: Best of the New Art Dealers Alliance Fair

The annual NADA New York art fair kicked off yesterday in Soho. With a new space (Skylight Clarkson North) and a new time of year (Armory Week), NADA remains a cacophony of serious art enthusiasts and neophytes. Among the 100 exhibitors are a host of downtown galleries like Jack Hanley Gallery, Regina Rex, Rawson Projects, Alden Projects, and Brennan & Griffin. In classic style, nearly everyone was dressed in an all-consuming black. Here’s a look at what was on display this year.

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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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BRUJAS Gather Around a Caldron of ‘Tricky, Politically-Incorrect Ideas’

Herbal Workshop with Antonia Perez, Installation shot (image courtesy of Recess)

Herbal Workshop with Antonia Perez, Installation shot (image courtesy of Recess)

On a chilly but pleasant afternoon, a group of people sat at tables in Soho art space Recess, poring over strips of film. One person scratches designs onto a strip, another adds metallic star-shaped stickers. Croatia-born artist Željka Blakšić, who also uses the name Gita Blak, has been conducting what she calls a “direct filmmaking workshop.” In it, 16mm film strips are directly altered through the use of collage, drawing, scratching, and other tactics. Each person’s customized film strip is individual, but soon they will all be assembled into one motley creation, fed into a projector, and screened for all its creators to behold.

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