Last night Bushwick’s Exit Room gallery hoisted the flag for “Newmerica: The Birth of a Nation,” a tightly-focused group show (and burgeoning art collective?) of new works from Icy and Sot, NDA, Sonni, Matta Ruda, and LNY. Some of the work was so new, in fact, the LNY was still finishing his final piece even after the crowds started to arrive.
There are lots of great pieces here: Icy and Sot’s burned-out NYPD car is a standout, as is Sonni’s Big Cans, and NDA’s painting with the pennants — but it’s the “La Inmortal Deli” bodega installation that really sets this exhibition apart. Sonni told me that the Newmerica crew hadn’t planned on constructing something quite so elaborate, but when they went out scavenging around the neighborhood they found so much good wood on the streets that they couldn’t help but use it all.
Inside the bodega is the Newmerica bonanza. Here are dozens of old bottles and packs of smokes painted by the artists, all for sale for around $25 to $50. That’s real live art, folks, for less than the price of the shitty meal you had last month at that over-hyped restaurant. At the opening party there was a bodega-ish “lotto” drawing, with bottles as prizes, as well as several cool giveaways, like a comic sampler from Rachel Hayes and a mylar ballon decorated with a drone.