(image via Nat Girsberger / Facebook)

Close Your Eyes
Opening Thursday, December 13 at The Storefront Project, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through January 6.

Looking at Nat Girsberger’s collages, on view at the Lower East Side’s Storefront Project starting Thursday, is a good way to get lost in a kind of psychedelic fantasy land. Outer space, nature, animals, and human figures intermingle in landscapes with colors that seem brighter than what one would typically encounter in reality. In a time where the news feels more and more anxiety-inducing every day, it’s important to have little moments of escape, where we’re not filled with dread and instead perhaps wondering about the inner life of a deer standing among very large mushrooms standing on a vivid path that seems to be leading into the sun.

Image: Mickey Aloisio, ‘The Pool Noodle’, 2018, Archival pigment print, 20 x 25 in. Courtesy the artist. (via Leslie-Lohman Museum / Facebook)

Opening Friday, December 14 at Leslie-Lohman Project Space, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 16.

Rarely is art created entirely alone. A painter might isolate themselves for days finishing a particularly intricate canvas, but eventually someone’s going to see it. A photographer has subjects; sculptors buy their supplies from someone or share studio space. This multifaceted social component of art is what artist Mickey Aloisio seeks to examine in their new solo show Trips, which “explores the importance of physical human connectivity in response to the current standard of 2D relationships we value today.” Does putting one end of a pool noodle in your mouth while next to someone with the other end in their mouth count as human connectivity?

(image via Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space / Facebook)

Extremely absorbent and increasingly hollow
Opening Friday, December 14 at Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 3.

This group show featuring Alison Kuo, Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin, and Xandra Ibarra zeroes in on how the presence of the rest of the world affects individual bodies and subjects, arguing that it is difficult to be truly “impervious to the penetration of cultural signifiers from the social world.” Naturally, everything we do is informed, consciously or not, by the norms and practices of the world around us, even if we’re rebelling against them. Do something totally new (if that’s even possible anymore), and it becomes something for others to be influenced (or repulsed) by. The show features artists who work with food, fermentation, burlesque, choreography, and more to delve into themes like colonialism, Blackness, class, and what happens when the combination of bodies and objects creates something that mainstream society sees as distasteful.