Three years after the police shut down their Bushwick gallery and party pad, brothers Sei and Ki Smith keep finding gonzo ways to show art. Last Saturday, the founders of Apostrophe NYC launched a guerrilla attack on MoMA PS1 in Queens. Sneaking in paintings with hinged dowels that they had hidden in their bags, they infiltrated the museum’s courtyard and quickly pushed the works into 12 one-inch holes in the wall, adding informational cards that mimicked the museum’s Proxy font.
This week, even more so than usual, art aficionados are really spoiled for choice in New York. Not only is Frieze Fair going on, but NADA (the New Art Dealers Alliance) returned to Pier 36 on the Lower East Side today. With 105 exhibitors showing through May 8, the selection can be quite overwhelming, so we went ahead and did the work for you and picked out six of our favorite exhibits.
Opening night for In the Raw: The Female Gaze on the Nude (on view now through May 21 at The Untitled Space) was predictably packed, and not just because it’s Frieze week and the gallery was giving out free booze. I’d like to think that people were there for the actual art exhibition, which was billed as an all-female, all-nude art show where 20 women artists, aged 21 to 60-something, from Russia, Chile, and beyond, “explore a perspective less chartered, that of a woman’s eye on another,” and in the process “challenge the status quo with a liberating and authentic beauty.” Or maybe they were there because Victoria de Lesseps (daughter of Real Housewives “star” Countess LuAnn de Lesseps) is also on the roster of participating artists. Who could tell?
Indira Cesarine, who curated the multimedia art show along with Coco Dolle of Milk and Night, told me that she felt the exhibition was a “timely” one. Dolle told Whitehot magazine that the work is “saleable.” They’re in no way wrong.
Last December, Charles Pastore, a real estate investor who owns property in East New York, purchased a century-old Bushwick brownstone, on the corner of Cooper Street and Wilson Avenue, just a block off the Wilson L stop. He and his partners, Hillary Megroz and Lauren Douglass, spent a few months renovating the house and now they’re ready to launch the Unruly Collective, a 2,500-square-foot space dedicated to artistic creation, offering co-working studio spaces as well as short-term rentals for travelers and resident artists.
Every morning, Dina Leor opens her Mexican folk-art store the same way: by lighting sage, burning incense and scattering rose petals. “I feel it affects the store if I don’t,” she says.
With the approach of Cinco de Mayo, a flood of local restaurant owners and residents have been coming to La Sirena, in the East Village, looking for authentic, handcrafted decorations like papel picado banners and colorful ponchos. As I lingered over some painted shot glasses during a recent visit, Dina called over: “People in America associate Cinco de Mayo with getting drunk! I have no idea why!”
Continues through May 14 at The Brick, 575 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg. 7:30pm (Sundays at 2pm and 7:30pm). $18. More info here.
Imagine an episode of Law and Order with only two people in it. Now imagine those two people playing every character. Add a missing cat, a suicide prevention hotline worker who also once worked as a stripper, some lo-fi multimedia, and a hearty scoop of madcap campiness, and you’ll have a thick stew similar to acclaimed writer and performer Kim Katzberg’s new play Strays, where two actors (Katzberg, with Nora Woolley) take on a long list of character and an even longer list of hijinks.
Monday night on McGuinness Avenue, a cyclist allegedly got off his bike, opened a car door, and assaulted the driver with his bike lock before taking off. [Gothamist]
Last week a man was shoved and hurt while taking out the trash at a Dupont Street senior center. [Brooklyn Paper]
Six East Villages buildings were just acquired for $127 million by the investment firm Lightstone Group. [The Real Deal]
Andra Ursuta’s new solo exhibit is, well, a lot to swallow. “Alps,” which opened at New Museum last night, is rimmed by artificial rock-climbing walls with colorful, penis-shaped holds– some are flaccid, some are erect, all are sculpted by the Romanian-born, New York-based artist. Within the walls are cavities that, according to a press release, resemble “eye sockets as vacant as peep holes (or glory holes).”
Grrrl Germs: a Visual History of Riot Grrrl 1990-1997
Various screenings, now through Saturday May 28 at Spectacle: $5.
It’s been nearly 30 years since the Riot Grrrl movement challenged punks everywhere to reexamine their subculture, demanded “girls to the front” at shows, and delineated punk’s physical and intellectual spaces as welcoming to women, but also as zones that were for and by a diversity of voices. Riot Grrrl may have become the victim of sensationalism due to a desperately out-of-touch media trying to figure out what the hell was going on with these tattooed, pierced, and sex-crazed Gen Xers.
EAST VILLAGE—God unsuccessfully attempted to wipe away an advertisement for Justin Bieber’s latest album today on the corner of Second Avenue and East 6th Street. The All-Knowing and All-Seeing Lord of the Universe pummeled the sidewalk with rain, apparently displeased that the stencil had been placed across the street from the site of the Fillmore East.
With all the buildings going up on the Lower East Side, it’s not uncommon to come across scraps of metal or other weird objects left behind at construction sites. But picking them up and using them for artistic inspiration? Denise Triezman, a Chilean artist, has been collecting found objects all over the city for the past five years, hoarding many of her treasures in an ever-growing storage facility. Now she brings some of the results to Cuchifritos, Essex Market’s resident gallery run by Artists Alliance Inc.
On Monday John Barclay, proprietor of Bushwick mainstay Bossa Nova Civic Club, announced on Facebook that he was no longer involved with Juno, the upscale-diner “date spot” that he opened up with the help of the same investors from his nightclub venture back in December. “It had become clear that the spot wouldn’t survive without the funding that I can’t provide,” he wrote, wishing the place well.