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Art This Week: War, Globalism, and Multiple Realities

Richard Mosse, Love Is The Drug, 2012 (image via apexart)

Light In Wartime
Opening Wednesday, June 6 at apexart, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through July 28.

War has been a near-constant in most people’s lives, whether they intimately know it or not. This exhibition, curated by Rola Khayyat, explores “the gap between understanding wars as historical happenings, and their fictionalized representations in the entertainment world, political realm, and collective consciousness.” Seeking to combine traditional documentary photographs with artistic metaphor and experimental development processes, the work in Light In Wartime predominantly depicts imagery that shows the aftermath of war, from sniper holes to newspaper articles. In viewing these new creations, we may start to form new thoughts about the information related to war we’ve been given for most of our lives. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Drag, Science, Neurodivergence

THURSDAY

(flyer via The Dirty Blondes / Facebook)

DRAG!
Thursday, May 31 at Le Poisson Rouge, 7 pm: $35

Everyone likes drag. Well, maybe not everyone, but it’s certainly been having a mainstream moment lately, so it’s safe to assume more people like drag than ever before. If you’d like to see some drag, there are many places you can go in the city, but tonight you can specifically go to Le Poisson Rouge, where an array of colorful performers such as Bear Lee Legal, Glace Chase, Chris Tyler, Dynasty, and Donald C. Shorter Jr will be giving shows, shows, shows to help raise money for feminist theater company The Dirty Blondes. The show’s Facebook event proclaims “bodies will dance, drinks will flow and gender norms will be smashed,” which sounds like a recipe for a nice night to me. And yes, I know Drag Race is also tonight, but you can just watch it later. Keep Reading »

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#StopSESTA, Lobotomies, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(poster by Mikey Heller)

Tim Platt: Live in COWncert
Thursday, April 26 at The Brick, 9:30 pm: $10

Many of us grew up watching Sesame Street. Comedian Tim Platt has recently written a song for this beloved children’s show, but that isn’t the only song he’s penned. In fact, you can see Platt’s entire repertoire of comedy music on Thursday night at The Brick when he plays a concert as part of the Brooklyn Comedy Collective’s residence at the Williamsburg theater. Sure, comedy music can be grating or cringe-inducing, but Tim’s music is neither of those things. Well, unless it’s trying to be. So, come one come all, and open your ears for songs about vegetables (as someone who once wrote an entire play about broccoli, this excites me) and all other sorts of topics, with accompanist Ben Kling and opening act Eudora Peterson. Maybe, just maybe, there will also be a cow. Keep Reading »

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Choreographed Photos, Experiments In Light, and More Art This Week

Image: Jenna Westra, Mariana Sits on “The Complete Photographer, An Encyclopedia of Photography” (1949), Volume 6, Pages 2178-79, ‘Best Fashion Study and Best Action Production Still Taken in a Studio’, 2018. Archival pigment print, 26 x 21.75 inches (image courtesy of Lubov)

Parts Of Some Quartet, Fruits
Opening Saturday, March 24 at Lubov, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through May 6.

The Tribeca gallery Lubov is small, tucked away on the second floor of an office building, but within it you’ll find none of the monotony typically associated with such work. Instead, you’ll be greeted with contemporary art of all sorts, including their newest exhibition Parts Of Some Quartet, Fruits. In addition to being a very good exhibition name in my opinion, it’s also an assortment of analog photography by Jenna Westra that focuses on what happens when you don’t shy away from the act of purposefully trying to create an engaging scene ripe for the snapping. The scenarios recall a kind of captured choreography, such as an amateur model (or maybe a dancer?) kneeling with their dirt-dusted feet squarely sitting on (what else?) a book of photography, simultaneously desecrating and establishing its position as subject. Keep Reading »

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Sesame Street Drag, Disabled Comedians, and More Performance Picks

Asia Gagnon’s ‘The Kind of Thing You Don’t Talk About’ at SipFest

SipFest
Now through March 14 at Wild Project, various times, various prices

The nature of live theater is that anything can happen at any time. Sometimes this is good, but not always. Spaceman, a high-tech play from Loading Dock Theater about a woman astronaut’s journey to Mars, was supposed to have a run at Wild Project currently, but had to be canceled due to an injury sustained by the lead performer. However, the venue will not be empty. A last-minute festival of original performance works by women and queer artists called Sipfest will run at the Lower East Side venue in its stead. There, you’ll find a solo show digging into how we discuss sexual assault, drag performances, femme ballads, a play inspired by the fanfiction epic My Immortal, and more. Keep Reading »

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Neutral Milk Cabaret, Butts, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image via Salty Brine’s Living Record Collection / Facebook)

How Strange It Is
Wednesday, February 7 at Pangea, 7:30 pm: $20 advance, $25 doors

You may have first caught wind of this show back in 2016, when it happened at small East Village venue the Red Room. Whether you did or not, Salty Brine’s cabaret that uniquely puts Neutral Milk Hotel’s In The Aeroplane Over The Sea in a WWII setting has been enjoying an encore run at nearby spot Pangea for the past few weeks. The show is part of his longtime “Living Record Collection” project, in which he performs notable albums in their entirety with a conceptual twist. Past endeavors have included a German cabaret Abbey Road, a Prohibition-era She’s So Unusual, and a sentimental, seafaring rendition of Joni Mitchell’s Blue. Tonight will be the last night of this particular creation, so don’t be a “fool” (ha ha, get it, because that is one of the song titles) and get over there. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Clickbait, Cults, and… Miss Frizzle

(image via HERE Arts Center)

America Is Hard To See
Now through February 24 at HERE Arts Center, 8:30 pm: $35-45

Do you ever have an idea and sort of less-than-halfway execute that idea, and then spend a really long time procrastinating doing any more work on it and then find out that someone has beat you to the punch but in a way that seems really interesting and cool so you can’t help but appreciate it? Whether you have or you haven’t, that very thing happened to me with this new play. In college, I started writing a play about a trailer park community of sex offenders with nowhere else to live, based on the real manifestations of this phenomenon. I never finished it, or even came close, because writing plot is hard. Life Jacket Theater Company did, and they even traveled to Florida’s Miracle Village and interviewed its residents to create their show. Add in a helping of methodist hymns and theatricality, and you’ve got the recipe for a play that seems truly nuanced and exciting, particularly in today’s tumultuous time of #metoo reckonings. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Marking a Year of Resistance, and More


“America” ONE YEAR OF RESISTANCE artwork by Touba Alipour

One Year of Resistance
Opening Tuesday, January 16 at The Untitled Space, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through February 4.

Though it feels like several eternities, it’s been about a year since Trump was inaugurated. A large array of artists have been asked to channel their rage and other such emotions into their work, resulting in the wide spread that is One Year of Resistance, a group show at The Untitled Space in Tribeca. This gallery is no stranger to art that responds to the current political climate; the month of the 2017 inauguration they presented group exhibition Uprise / Angry Women. For One Year of Resistance, which serves as a follow-up to Angry Women, curator and gallery director Indira Cesarine has asked over 80 artists of all genders to contribute work inspired by “the controversial policies and practices of our current president.” The work ranges from literal depictions of Trump to more symbolic renderings of #resistance. Can you believe it’s only been a year? Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Patriarchal Trash, Woodland Puppetry, Black Remembrance

WEDNESDAY

(flyer via Fire Signs Present / Facebook)

Fire Signs Present: Sociable Sagittarians
Wednesday, November 29 at Artichoke Pizza, 9 pm: FREE

Artichoke Pizza is known far and wide for serving up very large, very rich, very cream-laden slices of pizza to late-night revelers and hungry lunch-searchers alike. But when they opened a Bushwick location in the old Northeast Kingdom space not too long ago, they also began hosting events and shows in their basement. One such monthly show is a woman-centric variety show helmed by Fire Signs Present, a duo (of fire signs, of course) comprised of performers Meg McDermott and Nancy Pop. Each month, they book women and femme comedians, storytellers, musicians, and anything in between, typically who belong to the astrological sign of the month, but not always. (Full disclosure: I performed at last month’s Scorpio show. Fellow Scorpio Risings…hello.) This time around, it is all about Sagittarius folk, specifically Hannah Abney, Thoughtress, Brittany Sherrod, and Aston Hollins McClanahan. Plus, there is free prosecco. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Conspiracy Puppets, Thomas Paine, Synth Improv

THURSDAY

(image via Paul Pinto / Facebook)

Thomas Paine In Violence
Now through November 18 at HERE Arts Center, 8:30 pm: $25

While Paul Pinto may be known by some for his work as a performer in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, he is also a highly interesting composer in his own right. In collaboration with director Rick Burkhardt, he has whipped up an electro-acoustic opera centering around founding father Thomas Paine and a surreal, dreamlike radio station from another planet. Paine, played by vocalist Joan La Barbara, is attempting to deliver various messages on economic justice while a raucous chorus of sound unfolds around him. The show in particular concerns Paine’s 1797 pamphlet Agrarian Justice, considered a precursor of basic income theory and planted seeds for ideas such as Social Security and taxing those who owned land in order to provide for those who did not.

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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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Experimental Comics, A Munchkin Saga, and More Art This Week

(image via Artists Alliance Inc)

Sweety’s Radio: Edición Especial
Opening Tuesday, June 27 at Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space. On view through July 30.

Sweety’s, a curatorial initiative “dedicated to the labor of black and brown artists,” will be taking over the Lower East Side’s Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space until the end of July, using their time to stage live talk show interviews with artists and “Spanish-speaking cultural producers.” They’ve partnered with four unique artists, who will be interviewed by Sweety’s and given space for a week to show their work. Once those weeks have concluded, the four members of Sweety’s will be creating a collaborative installation.

The residency begins with Cecilia Gentili, a performer, storyteller, and advocate for trans women of color, and continues with illustrator Raul Gonzalez III, poet and AIDS activist Emanuel Xavier, and visual artist Elia Alba. As the Manhattan art world continues to largely fulfill its reputation of being upper-class, cis, and white, ventures like Sweety’s are a breath of fresh air.

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