Art Hearts

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Art This Week: Questioning Borders and a Brazzers Collaboration

(image via The Lower Eastside Girls Club)

Love No Border: An Artist’s Call for Action
Opening Monday, September 23 at the Lower Eastside Girls Club, 6 pm. On view through November 30.

It’s always been common for art to intersect with buzzy political topics, for better for for worse. Of course, not everyone is just trying to capitalize on the latest news item; some artists have more noble intentions. One show that fits more into this category is Love No Border, a group show at the Lower Eastside Girls Club featuring artists from New York, Guatemala, Mexico, and New Orleans who are “questioning the value of borders in 21st century society.” The show includes a wide variety of artistic disciplines—from a sculpture of stuffed toys referencing ICE to a contribution by performance art activist group Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir—and there will be events throughout the run of the show to raise funds for immigrant aid organizations. 

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Art This Week: Downtown Luminaries and Iridescent Sculpture

Martin Wong
TV Party, 1988 
Acrylic on canvas
34 x 47.5 in. (86.4 x 120.6 cm)
Private Collection
Courtesy of the Estate of Martin Wong and PPOW, New York

Glenn O’Brien: Center Stage
Opening Tuesday, September 17 at Off Paradise, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 2.

Off Paradise, a loft located on Soho’s Walker Street, is both a new and old space. As a gallery, it’s brand new, and the exhibition opening Tuesday it its first. As a more general space, it’s been around quite a while—the show’s curator, Natacha Polaert, has been there for the past ten years. Off Paradise’s gallery debut celebrates the life and legacy of Glenn O’Brien, a producer, writer, and creative director who worked with Andy Warhol at Interview magazine, among other projects. The show features work by Warhol, as well as contributions by luminaries like Eileen Myles, Rene Ricard, and Richard Prince.

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Art This Week: Black Portraits, Robotic Architecture, Neon Pleasure

Amy Sherald
Sometimes the king is a woman, 2019
Oil on canvas
137.2 x 109.2 x 6.4 cm / 54 x 43 x 2 1/2 inches
Photo: Timothy Doyon
© Amy Sherald (image via Hauser & Wirth)

The heart of the matter…
Opening Tuesday, September 10 at Hauser & Wirth, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through October 26.

As a painter, Amy Sherald focuses on portraiture that captures the human spirit, specifically the African-American spirit. She achieves this by taking inspiration from the classic American Realism style, popularized by the likes of George Bellows and Edward Hopper (both, unsurprisingly, white men), and imbues it with a distinctly contemporary energy and eye-catching pops of color. They’re tall, too, with a typical painting spanning over four feet tall and three feet wide. A collection of Sherald’s paintings will be on view at Hauser & Wirth’s 22nd Street gallery space, at an exhibit that takes its name from within the pages of a bell hooks book.

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Art This Week: Cuban Abstraction and Tender Collaboration

(image via Sean Kelly Gallery / Facebook)

Constructing Her Universe
Opening Thursday, September 5 at Sean Kelly, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through October 19.

Most of the exhibitions in New York’s galleries center living artists who are actively making work today, but not always. This week, Chelsea art space Sean Kelly will be presenting the first American retrospective of Loló Soldevilla, a Cuban artist who predominantly made work during the abstraction heyday of the 1950’s. Though Soldevilla has been at times overshadowed by more well-known (and male) artists, her contributions to art in Latin America and beyond were groundbreaking and noteworthy—in addition to her innovations in the field of geometric abstraction, she also curated shows, co-founded a gallery, and advocated against political corruption.

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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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