Art Hearts

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Art This Week: Morph Suits and Sex Workers

(image via @the.olympia.project / Instagram)

Orchid.Summer
Opening Wednesday, August 21 at The Olympia Project, 6 pm. On view through September 12.

When you think of art having to do with particular colors and seasons, you might think of formal pieces of fine art depicting sunsets and foliage and other such subjects. Matthew Morrocco’s work, on view at The Olympia Project in Williamsburg, does in fact dabble in such imagery, but that’s not all. The star, appearing in front (and sometimes lurking in the background) of sun-dappled beaches and parks, is a person wearing a bright yellow morph suit (remember those?). Faceless and monochrome but more fun than creepy-looking, this figure injects a certain surreality to otherwise fairly standard photographic scenes. It makes one wonder how classic still lives and landscapes might look with this mustard-tinged individual added to the mix. More →

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Art This Week: Seinfeld Tributes and Scene Kids

James Gregory Atkinson, Hypersensitive (Blowing things out of proportion) II, 2017, Archival pigment print on dibond. 65 x 43 inches. (image via Lubov)

Rawr means I love you in dinosaur
Opening Thursday, August 15 at Lubov, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through September 22.

If the title of this exhibition at Lower East Side space Lubov brings back memories, particularly ones involving Myspace and Hot Topic and straightening your hair too much, it’s meant to. No matter if you look back on scene and emo subcultures with embarrassment, pride, or total confusion, artists Riley Hanson and James Gregory Atkinson want you to revisit these tender, oddly-fashioned times through art. Hanson has painted a series of portraits of scene kids from back in the day, while Atkinson has contributed an array of large-scale photos of eyes wearing novelty contact lenses while feeling all sorts of emotions.

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Gender Fluidity, Artistic Anger, and More Exhibitions This Week

(image via Dacia Gallery / Facebook)

Non + Binary
Opening Thursday, August 8 at Dacia Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 10.

Gender fluidity seems to be trendier than ever lately, which of course means that big companies and brands are rushing to make money off of the latest marginalized identity seen as “cool.” However, these people, whether they be non binary or genderfluid or have another term that feels better to them, are actual people with hearts and minds who are more than just a buzzword. Photographer David Scoven’s latest solo show at Dacia Gallery seeks to showcase that, featuring portraits of four models who identify outside of the binary in some way. Through various outfits, poses, and expressions, they show that one person’s gender doesn’t have to always look like one thing.

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The Last Little Skips Show and More Art This Week

(image via The Living Gallery Outpost / Facebook)

BYO Art
Opening Tuesday, July 30 at The Living Gallery Outpost, 7 pm to 9 pm. One night only.

While art space The Living Gallery originally started in Bushwick, it has since expanded to a smaller outpost location in the East Village. To celebrate that space’s two-year anniversary, the gallery will be hosting one of their signature “BYO Art” nights, which are exactly what they sound like. Rather than entering into a space where some elite artists has their work on display, BYO Art welcomes anyone who makes art to bring a piece and hang it on the walls. There’s a $10 suggested donation, but any sales made will go directly to the artists in full.

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Art This Week: Surrealism and a Benefit For Immigrants

Collin van der Sluijs, New Life, 12.6 x 9.4 in (image courtesy of Sugarlift)

Mother and Child Vol. II
Opening Monday, July 15 at 198 Allen Street, 6 pm to 9 pm. One night only.

If you’ve as much as glanced at the news lately, you probably know we have a problem, the kind of problem that involves both children and adults being mistreated and kept in literal cages as politicians essentially look the other way. There are many ways to at least attempt to fight back against this barrage of injustice, one of which is through art. Tonight in the Lower East Side, Colossal and Sugarlift will be presenting a group art show featuring over 50 artists exhibiting works themed around the subject of family. Everything will be for sale (prices start at $100 and go up from there), with 100% of the proceeds will be donated to immigrant right organizations The Young Center, Kids in Need of Defense, and The Florence Project.

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Art This Week: African Portraits, Radical Radio, Gender Expression

Samuel Fosso
Autoportrait, 1975-1978
From the series 70’s Lifestyle 
Gelatin Silver Print
© Samuel Fosso (image via Yossi Milo Gallery / Facebook)

African Spirits
Opening Thursday, July 11 at Yossi Milo Gallery, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. On view through August 23.

Your standard art history education tends to stay pretty Eurocentric, so some people might not know that portrait photography has had quite a heyday in Africa, dating back to the early 1900s, when both European visitors and African locals experimented more and more with the form. The 1950s through the 1980s were considered the “golden age” of portraiture in West Africa, and images from this time will be showcased in a new group exhibition at Chelsea’s Yossi Milo Gallery, which range from staged studio imagery to more candid nightlife captures. These photos will be displayed alongside works from more contemporary photographers of all stripes. 

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Art This Week: Miss Meatface and Many Group Shows

(image via The Untitled Space / Facebook)

Miss Meatface
Opening Tuesday, July 2 at The Untitled Space, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through July 13.

No, “Miss Meatface” does not refer to the latest right-wing woman to adopt the “carnivore diet,” that frightening all-beef culinary regime embraced by the likes of Jordan Peterson; it refers to the artist Kat Toronto, who creates bizarre and entrancing “performance-based photography” under the name Miss Meatface, which resemble stills from some surreal, experimental, BDSM-laced film you want to immediately consume in full. In addition to an exhibition of recent creations by Miss Meatface, Tuesday’s reception will also feature a zine signing and an artist talk between Meatface and The Untitled Space’s director, Indira Cesarine.

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Art This Week: Grotesque Femininity and Basquiat’s Travels

Margot Bergman,Bea, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 40 inches (127 x 101.6 cm) (image via Anton Kern Gallery)

Family Album
Opening Wednesday, June 26 at Anton Kern Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 16.

Margot Bergman’s paintings draw you in, both with their rich colors and their appeal that’s grotesque, realistic, and dreamlike all at once. It makes sense, then, that she paints “imagined people,” abiding by only the rules of her brain when bringing brush to canvas. A selection of her curious, feminine creations will be on view at Anton Kern Gallery starting this Wednesday; Bergman usually only exhibits paintings, but Family Album will also include an array of “theatrical photographs” taken by the artist, featuring subjects posing with portions of Bergman’s collection of dolls and figurines.

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Art This Week: A Brewery Gallery, Forgeries, and Another Stonewall Show

(image via Howl Happening)

We the People
Opening Wednesday, June 19 at Howl! Happening, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through July 21.

Some people go to prestigious and expensive schools to learn how to make art, throwing piles of cash at nice supplies in the process. Guy Woodard, on the other hand, honed his craft using a cheap ballpoint pen while incarcerated. The former counterfeiter and forger is opening a solo show of intricate ink drawings at Howl Happening in the East Village starting tonight. In addition to his drawings, which explore both political events and the ins and outs of everyday black life, the exhibition also features a selection of Woodard-created forgeries, including one of Trayvon Martin’s Howard University diploma.

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Art This Week: Radical Love, Abstraction, and Bedroom Exploits

Athi-Patra Ruga
Umesiyakazi in Waiting​, 2015
Image courtesy of the artist and WHATIFTHEWORLD
Photo by Hayden Phipps

Radical Love
Opening Tuesday, June 11 at The Ford Foundation Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 17.

The never-ending slew of Pride-related events of all types continues! This time, with an exhibition at the new gallery within The Ford Foundation, which opened this past February and focuses on the intersection of art and social justice. Radical Love, curated by Natasha Becker and artist Jaishri Abichandani, showcases the work of over 20 artists (many of whom are queer) making work about the impact of love in the midst of a chaotic world. Queer people aren’t the only marginalized community centered in the show; disabled people and people of color are also uplifted. And the theme of “love” may seem corny to those jaded folks out there, but the exhibition expands the conventional notion of love beyond the romantic, dealing in self-love, religion, devotion to the natural world, and more.

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