(image courtesy of Cooler Gallery)

Opening Tuesday April 4 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through April 22.

Camilla Engström has had an interesting history for an artist. Born in Sweden, she swiftly relocated to Shanghai to work full-time as a model, and then made her way to New York to study fashion at FIT. However, she left to focus on her art, a familiar story that surely many can relate to. Now, she exhibits her multidisciplinary work around the city, and will be bringing a series of paintings and more to Cooler Gallery, a unique space nestled a stone’s throw from the Navy Yard.

This show is new territory for her, in a way. Her practice, the gallery states, typically revolves around a Swedish cartoon Engström created named Husa, a smiling femme figure with a curvy belly. This show will feature more landscape-driven works, but ones that still retain the dreamy, playful, Candyland-esque quality of Husa. There will not just be paintings on view, but also sculptural pieces that reflect particular elements of the paintings, bringing a multi-dimensional quality to it all.

(image courtesy of Venus Over Manhattan)

Bernard Buffet: Paintings From 1956 to 1999
Opening Wednesday April 5 at VENUS, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 27.

Bernard Buffet was once known as the “art star” of France, which is not to be confused with the underground experimental arts movement of the same name, founded by NYC’s performance darling, elf girl, and Troll Museum curator Reverend Jen Miller. Indeed, Bernard Buffet left this world in 1999 after a noteworthy and eventful artistic career, and this will be the first time his works will be shown in NYC in nearly three decades.

While some artists have a generally steady critical reception, Buffet’s was more of a rollercoaster. Consistently popular, his work was at times called worthy of the next Picasso and at other times deemed the utter manifestation of the poorest taste. Interestingly, he lost all institutional support at the height of his fame and fortune in France because he decided to relish in his newfound wealth and was photographed for a publication with the Rolls Royce he had purchased. Whatever you may feel about Buffet personally, you can now see 13 of the works made in his 40+ year career hanging on Madison Avenue.

(image via littlefield)

The Sexting Art Festival
Opening Wednesday April 5 at littlefield, 5 pm. One night only.

Firstly, I cannot believe someone made an entire festival about sexting and did not invite me to be a part of it, as I believe the topic is a source material with endless potential.

Secondly, this is not just an art festival but more of a symposium, as it features an entire day of #discourse around everyone’s favorite (?) mode of communication: sexting. The festival includes presentations by psychologists, “social historians,” artists, journalists, and more. And of course, there will be art pieces that incorporate “sexts from around the world,” which is a thrilling/stressful enough notion that I don’t even know if I need any more details.

Sarah Joncas – “Audrey” (image courtesy of Spoke Art)

David Lynch Tribute Art Show
Opening Saturday April 8 at Spoke Art, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through April 30.

In typical fashion, bicoastal art gallery Spoke Art will be serving up another fresh tribute art show that is sure to attract lines out the door, as we saw with their Bob’s Burgers tribute show last fall. This time they’re going in a darker direction, and paying artistic respects to beloved weirdo David Lynch. The gallery has assembled a group of over 80 artists from around the world to create pieces inspired by Lynch’s work. Rather than asking every artist to focus on just one film, they were given free reign to choose from anything Lynch has created, which is sure to result in a truly dizzying and surreal array of work to look at.

The gallery will also be partnering with the Roxy hotel’s theater in Tribeca for a screening of 1992’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me at midnight on May 1, and the first 100 people to attend the opening reception on Saturday will receive a free ticket. For those who don’t care to wait in line (or for anyone who attends, really), a photo booth designed as a recreation of The Black Lodge will be part of the exhibition, so instead of seeing Twin Peaks you can just pretend you lived it.