In 1976, a comic artist named John Holmstrom begot Punk magazine as an excuse to stalk his favorite bands from the downtown scene, and look cool in the process. Needless to say, Holmstrom succeeded (beyond what he ever imagined) in permanently etching the East Village into the throbbing heart of the punk movement, and visualizing an R. Crumb-like vision of the scenes running through Max’s Kansas City and CBGB. Soak up the 40th-anniversary exhibition that opened last week at Howl! Happening and Punk’s lasting influence becomes sharply real.
Arts & Culture
The Confidence Game
Tuesday, January 19 at 7:00 p.m. at The Strand, 828 Broadway
New Yorker columnist Maria Konnikova is in her element with a deep dive into the psychology behind the art of the scam. From literature to Bernie Madoff, she examines how charming tricksters manage to so easily weasel through our best defenses and earn our trust — and more importantly, why we almost always fall for their cons. Might come in handy next time you’re trying to figure out if that Tinder date is for real.
Though it’s easy to get distressed about how white and male-dominated the artistic landscape still is today (because it really, truly is), it’s important to acknowledge and seek out the exciting and prevalent work being made by artists of color in spaces that are perhaps not as commercial as, say, network television. Some of it has been in comedy: recently, we’ve written about black comedian and activist Elsa Waithe and an all-Muslim comedy showcase.
Guido, Ritual Humor, Lover’s Touch, Rubber, Decorum
Monday January 18, 8 pm at Aviv: $8
Late notice, but we know you’re looking for something to do on what’s sure to be a cold-as-hell Monday night anyway. We’re talking something that doesn’t involve drinking a bottle of wine to the face in front of How to Make a Murderer and passing out, mid-text message while you’re attempting to convince your friend that Steven Avery did do it. Rest assured this one’s not going to be outside, but last we checked it’s a good idea to wear a lil cardi and a beanie to Aviv– industrial spaces can be tres drafty, y’all. But even if you’ve got the chills, count on em being long banished by the time the second opener, Rubber, takes the stage.
“The world of podcasting is really white and really male-dominated if you look at the charts,” said Julia Furlan, the founder of Buzzfeed Audio. She was reflecting on the state of women in media after the official launch for Where Girl Radio Lives (WGRL), the podcast of the Lower East Side Girls Club. “The people who really started it out were these tech nerds 10 or 15 years ago. Now the industry is getting bigger and more diverse and more exciting– but it doesn’t happen by accident.”
This afternoon Furlan, along with eight other accomplished female radio producers and media insiders, gathered at the WGRL podcast kick off. So much for those tired all-male panel excuses that there just aren’t enough ladies out there.
In the late 1990s, Catherine Opie drove across the country, taking photos of lesbian families in and around their homes. The resulting series, Domestic, (which Opie, who herself is gay, said was an attempt to document “the lesbian dream’’) contains a still life of a washer and dryer, which the photographer joked was “a lesbian washer and dryer.” Because, as she put it, “it’s the same thing.” An ongoing pair of solo exhibitions, Portraits and Landscapes and 700 Nimes Road, at the Lehmann Maupin gallery locations in Chelsea and on the Lower East Side, respectively, also readjust our expectations about the artist and her long-held role as a “provocateur.”
January is theatre-fest time: there’s the always exciting COIL fest, Under the Radar at the Public Theater, and the opera-centric summit Prototype. But Theresa Buchheister– a founding member of Title:Point, the DIY production company that runs Vital Joint at the Silent Barn– thought it was the perfect opportunity to introduce her own operation into the mix, The Exponential Festival, as a counterpoint to the usual. “Most of the festivals are very Manhattan-centric and exclusively feature artists who are well established–they’re already getting huge foundational support–some of them it’s their actual job to be an artist, which is that golden goose we’re all chasing,” she explained.
“To title a piece ‘Black Face’ is going to raise some hairs on the backs of some peoples’ necks [who] find that that’s a derogatory phrase,” acknowledged Ellen Hackl Fagan. Her Bushwick-based gallery, Odetta, is opening the exhibition Heliotrope tonight, showcasing the work of four mid-career artists. German-born photographer Eva Mueller, a New York City-dweller since 1989, has contributed a series of portraits depicting different people coated in dark, midnight-black paint.
“What she’s really aiming for is to show the similarity among us all, if we are all the same color, and explore: What does that mean now?” Fagan explained.
There are maybe more comedians in New York City than anywhere else. And while material can vary a lot, stand-ups tend to have similar backstories, or at least in what they feel like dishing. But Elsa Waithe is a comedian like not many others. Sure, she’s a transplant from Virginia who said she “dropped everything” and moved here to “follow my dream.” She’s also of the opinion that “comedy quite literally saved my life”– another common story. But instead of squeezing her way into the big clubs, Elsa is carving out a place for under-represented comics, something she considers part of her work as a civil rights activist.
Ever find yourself wondering about Satan, or listening to music that mothers would pale to hear? Banish those devilish desires of yours with a trip to everyone’s favorite Bushwick-based occult bookstore and event space, Catland, to take in the Satanic Panic Propaganda Video Show, a compilation of short videos showcasing the moral panic of the ’80s and ’90s centering around the potentially violent dangers of Satanic rituals and cults.