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A Puffy Playground, A Public Art Legacy, and More Art This Week

Above: Fort Makers in collaboration with Visual Magnetics. Photo: Jen Bristler. Courtesy of Fort Makers.

Puffy
Opening Wednesday, January 22 at Fort Makers, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through March 11.

Usually you can’t touch the art, but starting this Wednesday at Orchard Street space and art collective Fort Makers, you can not only touch it, but rearrange it to your liking. Puffy, organized by Naomi S. Clark, Noah James Spencer, and Nana Spears, transforms the space into a colorful playground of pillows and canvas ready to be grabbed, hugged, and strewn about. If you’re still finding yourself in the clutches of seasonal depression, perhaps an afternoon getting in touch with your inner child (while also engaging in art, of course) could help.

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Performance Picks: War’s Absurdity and Magic in a Flower Shop

FRIDAY

(image via Brooklyn Comedy Collective)

A Late Night Show That is Also Live
Friday, January 17 at Brooklyn Comedy Collective, 9 pm: $10

Some show titles are abstract and obscure; some tell you all you need to know. A Late Night Show That is Also Live falls squarely into the latter camp. But while its name offers no surprises, it will surely be an evening full of them. This is not your average late night experience: host Meghan Strickland will not only be interviewing fellow comedians, but also giving them challenges to complete. And knowing the madcap stuff that comes out of the BCC, that could truly mean anything. Tonight’s guests include Nick Naney, Maya Sharma, Lucyana Randall, and Jessy Morner-Ritt.

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Art This Week: Discarded Toys, Water, and Fermentation

(image courtesy of Doosan Gallery)

stain begins to absorb the material spilled on
Opening Thursday, January 16 at Doosan Gallery New York, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 15.

This “lab” exhibition by artists Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin and Jesse Chun is an intellectual and sensorial treat, offering much to see, hear, ponder, and even smell. The show focuses on the curious relationship between language and digestion, with each artist centering their work around one of these two components. Chun unpacks and deconstructs language’s ability to “render one readable as a subject,” from the ubiquitous presence of English to the power of official written documents, while Shin (who also has an ongoing session at Recess) utilizes ancient Korean vases used for fermentation to explore the theoretical and literal vitrification (the process of a substance becoming glasslike) that occurs in conjunction with Westernization.

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Performance Picks: Winter Theater Fests and Queer Comedy

(image courtesy of The Public Theater)

Under the Radar Festival
Now through January 19 at The Public Theater, various times, $25+.

What do Laurie Anderson, prize-winning playwright Aleshea Harris, and multiple stories about the moon have in common? They’re all part of The Public Theater’s 16th annual Under the Radar Festival, the long-running celebration of innovative performance work from around the world and one of the biggest signifiers that January’s theater festival season is upon us once again. This year, they’re presenting 12 theater pieces, four concerts, six works-in-progress, and several parties. Highlights include Selina Thompson’s pice inspired by a trip retracing a Transatlantic Slave Triangle route, Back to Back Theater’s exploration of disability and an AI-dominated future, and the aforementioned moon tales: one of virtual reality by Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huan, one of desire on the West Bank by Palestine’s Remote Theater Project.

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Art This Week: Peep Shows and Curious Comfort

(image via friedman_benda / Instagram)

Comfort
Opening Thursday, January 89 at Friedman Benda, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through January 15.

Everyone has a different definition of comfort. Your grandfather’s old and cigarette-scented armchair might feel like home to you but cause another person to wrinkle their nose in disgust. Curator Omar Sosa’s latest show at Friedman Benda focuses on the harmonies and contradictions inherent in items, particularly pieces of furniture and design, meant to bring comfort in one way or another. As this is an art exhibition and not a furniture showroom, comfort is usually interpreted quite creatively—think a boxy bookshelf that leans but never falls, a sculpture entitled “Toilet Sink,” and a colorful blanket meant for a pair.

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Performance Picks: Bowie Cabaret, Country Christmas, Asian Drag

THURSDAY

(photo: Hanneke Wetzer)

Where Are We Now
Now through December 21 at La MaMa, 8:30 pm: $26 ($21 students/seniors)

Even though he’s not physically with us anymore, the spirit of David Bowie lives on through the musician’s storied legacy and acclaimed, sparkling body of work. All over, people are having Bowie-centric dance parties, Bowie-themed burlesque shows, and other tributes within the realm of nightlife. The latest of these you can catch is in the form of Dutch-German cabaret performer Sven Ratzke’s Where Are We Now, an intimate evening of storytelling and Bowie’s music, arranged simply for piano and voice. Ratzke has received international acclaim for his performances over the years, with particular attention given to his ability to seemingly transform into the Starman himself.

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Art This Week: Sci-Fi Meets Reality and Holiday Shows

An Evening With Muses
Opening Wednesday, December 18 at Ace Hotel New York, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 20.

Whether it’s a ticketed drink and draw event, a university art class, or a 1-on-1 arrangement, the IRL relationship between artist and model is alive and well these days, though it’s still usually more of a private affair. But on Wednesday, art models Najee and Ume will take to the Ace Hotel to pull back the curtain for all to see with the exhibition An Evening With Muses, which is based on a live drawing series they held at The Ace’s restaurant. On view will be work created in those live sessions, showcasing the many different ways that artist can represent muse. And to show you how it all happens, there will also be a live drawing presentation.

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Performance Picks: A Wholesome Evening In, and Deranged Holiday Drag

THURSDAY

(image via Sad Boy Club / Facebook)

SadBoyClub
Thursday, December 12 at The Deep End, 7:30 pm: $10 suggested donation

Lana del Rey talked about summertime sadness, but we all know that wintertime is when the blues truly come to stay a while. Though sure, the initial shock of seasonal depression is starting to wane a bit, it’s still dark and cold all the time. Rather than isolating yourself, bond with other bleak-minded folk who just happen to be talented performers at SadBoyClub, a “queer and weird” variety show at The Deep End in Ridgewood. Your $10 suggested donation gets you a cornucopia of drag, burlesque, sideshow, circus, and other surprises.

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11 Witchy, Queer, and Unique Holiday Markets to Spice Up Your Shopping

(image via Nowhere Bar / Facebook)

Like it or not, holiday shopping season is upon us. Sure, you can go to big-name stores or fight your way through the Union Square holiday market, but there are plenty of other ways to find meaningful gifts. Here are 11 unique pop-up shops and holiday markets to peruse, where you can find something special while supporting alternative and marginalized makers at the same time.

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Murakami, Couture’s Craft, and More Art This Week

(image via Staley-Wise Gallery / Facebook)

Behind the Scenes
Opening Thursday, December 12 at Staley-Wise Gallery. On view through January 25.

The world of fashion, be it editorial or runway, is very much a polished one. Outfits are perfectly tailored, images are retouched, runway shows are directed and planned, and makeup and hair is painstakingly crafted. It’s less common to get a peek at the work that goes into making this possible, but it’s the chief objective of photojournalist Harry Benson’s latest exhibition at Soho’s Staley-Wise Gallery. The prolific photographer, who has captured notable faces from JFK to The Beatles, has been snapping shots at fashion shows for decades. This show focuses on everything but the finished product (well, and some of that too): the designers at work, the models preparing to walk, the people who actually purchase couture, and more.

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