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Art This Week: LA Comes to NYC and Questions of the Body

(image via Lesley Heller Gallery / Facebook)

Phantom Paradise
Opening Wednesday, April 17 at Lesley Heller Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 19.

Delano Dunn’s work is colorful and busy; it draws you in and demands you stay a while, in order to soak up all the shades and shapes and details on view. The LA-based artist’s collages, paintings, and mixed-media creations aren’t just nice to look at, they also pack an emotional punch—each piece of art is one part of a patchwork quilt of memories Dunn recounts from experiencing the 1992 LA riots, which occurred in the midst of his childhood. Birds, protestors, flames, cops, and streaks of neon colors help tell a story of chaos that’s abstract and visceral. More →

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Performance Picks: Your New Favourite Queer Comedy Show and More

FRIDAY

(flyer courtesy of Tessa Skara)

The Favourites
Friday, April 12 at Club Cumming, 8 pm: FREE

Most people with an awareness of pop culture have at least heard of The Favourite, Yorgos Lanthimos’s recent feature film that facilitated, among other things, a frequent (and queer) call for actress Rachel Weisz to take control of them in every which way. With The Favourites, a new queer comedy show from Tessa Skara and Jes Tom, perhaps you’ll find a new object of affection to request bodily harm from. Described as “part safe space, part dyke party, part comics to watch showcase at a liberal arts college,” the kickoff show features Becca Blackwell, Kiko Soirée, Mila Myles, Spike Einbinder, Jess Salomon, and Eman El-Husseini—plus, of course, some obligatory Weisz fawning. More →

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Art This Week: Fantastical Bodies, Canal Street Takeover, and More

(Via Instagram)

#CO2

Opening Thursday, April 11 at Unix Gallery. On view through May 18. 

Though many people still deny it, climate change is here to stay, and it will only get worse as time goes on. It’s even commonplace to hear people casually joke about how nothing matters because climate change is going to kill us all soon enough anyway! While it’s not quite as darkly humorous as such quips, the latest crop of work by painter Ellen de Meijer comments on the type of elite who think that sure, global warming is a thing, but I can just keep living my fancy life and everything will be fine, we’ll just adapt. Feast your eyes upon a lanky, formally-dressed man furnished with a pout and arm floaties, another large-eyed man with a hat made of newspaper, and more, and remember that global warming has no income bracket.

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Performance Picks: Autobiographical Bodies, Black Burlesque, and More

THURSDAY

(image via Union Hall / Facebook)

Yourself, Your Body
Thursday, April 4 at Union Hall, 9:30 pm: $10

Arti Gollapudi, who we interviewed back in 2017 about her aggressively inclusive Comedy Cunt Collective, has been quite busy lately. One of her many endeavors include the recurring show Yourself, Your Body, a comedy show (produced by Amanda Justice, also of Comedy Cunt Collective) perhaps unsurprisingly about how bodies and brains alike can be, well, extremely weird. Anyone with a human body (and maybe some without) knows there’s a lot to be mined from this topic. This time around, the funny folks waxing humorously about this weirdness include Rachel Sennott, Rebecca O’Neal, Drew Anderson, Mia Myles, Amanda Justice, and guest co-host Maya Deshmukh. More →

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Art This Week: An Activist’s Paintings, Interactive Light Vessels, and More

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Told the wife I’m fishing

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Monika Monika
Opening Monday, April 1 at Steuben Gallery, 5 pm to 8 pm. On view through April 5.

Monika Monika is both the name of a multimedia artist and an exhibition opening tonight at Pratt Institute’s Steuben Gallery. The self-titled display explores Monika Monika’s experiences as a sex worker, through lush paintings exposing snapshots of customers she’s gotten to know and sculptures combining imagery both kitschy and sensual. While sex workers are often the subject of non-sex-working people’s artistic endeavors, adding what some might see as an edgy appeal and others see as needless fetishization, this exhibition (designed to mimic the feel of a Times Square peep show) puts the sex worker’s perspective front and center, compelling viewers to see her world through her eyes. More →

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Performance Picks: Living Dolls, Coding Controversy, and More

THURSDAY

(flyer via Eventbrite)

Quitters
Thursday, February 28 at C’mon Everybody, 8 pm: $8 advance, $10 doors 

It could be argued that February is a quitter. All the other months stretch on for 30 or 31 days, while February stops short. It gives up. And then, suddenly, it’s March, and you’re left wondering why rent costs the same for 28 days as it does for 31. Celebrate the last day of this short month tonight at Quitters, a comedy show hosted by Sam Corbin and Ian Goldstein that embraces failure in all its forms, particularly the funny ones. This time, they’re welcoming guests Karen Chee, Brett Davis, Marcia Belsky, and Matt Buechele to the stage, and audience members have the chance to confess their own memorable moment of quitting for a chance to win a free drink. More →

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Art This Week: Tasty Treats, American Artist, Painted Haiku

Food For Thought
Opening Thursday, February 28 at Louis K. Meisel Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through March 30.

It’s a shame you can’t consume paintings with more than just your eyes, as the works on view at Food For Thought, opening Thursday at Soho gallery Louis K. Meisel, certainly look good enough to eat. That’s not a metaphor: they’re artistic renderings of food, from sugary, cellophane-wrapped confections to simple still lives of walnuts or onions. The edible item isn’t always front and center in this stuffed show—some pieces are intricate retro renderings of the signs outside of diners, bars, or burger joints; others are painted nudes where the subject just happens to be holding an apple. Either way, the food is there. Sometimes you have to look for it, sometimes it’s so prominent you’ll start feeling peckish. More →

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NYC Comedian Recounts Her Time As a ‘Massage Parlor Madam’

Many artists have to work odd jobs to pay the bills, but comedian Nicky Sunshine had a hustle that set her apart from most. After getting tired of and/or fired from unsatisfying gigs and winning a comedy competition that paid only in beer, Sunshine answered an ad in the back of the Village Voice and found herself at a happy ending massage parlor. Her one-woman show Confessions of a Massage Parlor Madam, which ran at the East Village’s historic Wow Café Theater this past weekend, is a chronicle of how she got there and what happened next. More →

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Performance Picks: Green New Deal Raps, Comedians Get Serious

THURSDAY

(image via Make/Shift / Facebook)

SHE Creates 2k19
Now through February 24 at New Ohio Theater, various times: $25 

The hills are alive with the sound of performances from female-identifying and genderqueer artists at She Creates, a festival presented by Make/Shift and Akin running through the end of the weekend at the New Ohio Theater. The festival centers around the premiere of The Clark Doll, a play by Liz Morgan about three black women figuring out how to escape a confining situation, but it offers much more than just plays, with night after night of drag, performance art, live music, visual art, and more. More →

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An X-Rated Exhibition, In-Flight Creations, and More Art This Week

(image via Solas Studio / Facebook)

Smut
Opening Wednesday, February 20 at Con Artist Collective, 7 pm to 11 pm. On view through February 22. 

Many pieces of art are meant to be refined and cultured, prompting viewers to gaze at delicate brushstrokes and profound deeper meanings. But some art is just plain hot, and you sure can find a lot of that (plus some refined and cultured stuff, too) at the opening of Smut, a steamy group show curated by Liam Cotter and produced by Solas Studio featuring art ranging “from the erotic to the pornographic.” Of course, the line between those two descriptors is historically blurry, but it’s unfortunately common to see “fine art” insisting that porn doesn’t have a place in it, so the fact that that’s not the case here is refreshing to see. Over 40 artists working in all types of disciplines will be exhibiting as part of the show, so there’ll certainly be a lot to take in. Just make sure to keep it in your pants. More →