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With a New Gallery, iPhone Repair Guys Show They Have Art-World Juice

Brendan McElroy at the opening of Chad Moore’s “Archive 001.” (Photos by David Morett.)

After Brendan McElroy, the founder and previous owner of Dr. Brendan, reopened the beloved East Village bar St. Dymphna’s in November of last year, one thing led to another. Now he’s opening a non-profit gallery, JUICE, in the space right next to his old iPhone repair shop on St. Marks Place.  

For years, McElroy said, he and his brother, Daniel McElroy, had been toying with the idea of opening a gallery in the empty space, which isn’t zoned for retail use, but they lacked the proper connections. The popularity of St. Dymphna’s among artists and musicians happened to fill the vacuum, according to McElroy. After meeting local photographer Chad Moore at the bar, McElroy quickly put the idea into action by exhibiting Moore’s photographs at the gallery’s pre-opening on January 30. Over 100 guests showed up to the party, McElroy said. Among the multi hyphenate attendees: Actor/DJ/gallerist Leo Fitzpatrick, model/rocker Matt Hitt, model/writer/designer Alexa Chung, and model/artist Sarah Hiromi.

The exhibition, “Archive 001,” featured portraits of young people sleeping, spitting, or lying shirtless a la Ryan McGinley, along with skyscapes with colors resembling magnified northern lights. According to Dazed, Moore is a Florida-born, New York-based photographer whose work has been exhibited in Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, and New York. 

McElroy’s vision for JUICE gallery is highly local. In the next month, he plans to feature mostly artists from the East Village and Lower East Side on a monthly basis. For the group opening show on Feb. 27, from 7pm to 10pm, the gallery will exhibit the works of Spencer Sweeney, Jim Power, Maggie Lee, Lucien Smith, Harif Guzman, Perry Khalil, and Eric Smith. Their work will be featured in upcoming solo shows, with Brion Starr curating this year along with the McElorys.

Jim Power, the “Mosaic Man” whose colorful tile work can be seen around the East Village, is a long-time customer of Dr. Brendan and created a mosaic for the tech repair store on the pole in front of Ray’s Pizza on St. Marks and 3rd Avenue. “It’s kind of like old meets new,” McElroy said. 

St. Dymphna’s is also undergoing changes. The 25-year-old tavern formerly located at 118 St. Marks Place closed in October 2019. McElroy took over the bar and reopened it around the corner, at 117 Avenue A, because it was “like an extension of my living room where me, my brother, and my close friends all hung out for 11 or so years.” In the next couple of months, a slightly more upscale bar will open inside the existing space, separated by a door at the back end of the hallway. 

“There’s a lot of synergy to be explored between the bar and the gallery,” McElroy said. “It’s tough to isolate the story without bringing in the other part, because they’re all intertwined.”

JUICE is located at 8 St. Marks Place, bet. 2nd and 3rd Avenues.

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An Artist Who Defies Patriarchy Launches a Biennial That Takes On Immigration

Katya Grokhovsky in “Immigrant Ball,” 2018. (Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk)

Not many people understand immigration like Katya Grokhovsky. Inspired by her globetrotting and a desire to celebrate immigrant artists in America, Grokhovsky founded The Immigrant Artist Biennial (TIAB), an event series that showcases artwork by over 40 interdisciplinary artists who were born outside the U.S. but currently live in the country. More →

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Exhibit Lifts the Curtain On Legendary Rock Promoter Bill Graham

Costume worn by Bill Graham at the Grateful Dead’s New Year’s Eve 1988 show at the Oakland Coliseum. (Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

Concert promoter Bill Graham brought rock royalty to the East Village in 1968 when he opened Fillmore East. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Who, Elton John, the Allman Brothers and Eric Clapton all performed at the former movie theater at 105 Second Avenue. Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution explores the impresario’s life and career in an exhibition that opens today at the New-York Historical Society. More →

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Art This Week: Unconventional Perspectives and Mao in America

Kristen Schiele, “Kites,” 2019, 29″x 32”, Acrylic, oil on canvas (image courtesy of Equity Gallery)

The Center Cannot Hold
Opening Wednesday, February 12 at Equity Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through March 7.

So many variations in culture can be traced back to perspective, be it metaphorical or literal. The latest group show at Equity Gallery, The Center Cannot Hold, assembles 17 artists and six curators to grapple with the topic from all angles, and the variety will ensure there’s plenty of different perspectives to explore perspective from. How meta! More specifically, these artists are interested in what happens when perspective and spatial reasoning becomes skewed and illogical, resulting in landscapes and creations that break with most known conventions of what things should look like. As some say, they only way to progress is to discard the rules and norms and start anew.

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This Baker Makes Dog Portraits That Your Pup Can Wolf Down

Instagram-famous chiweenie, Tuna, celebrates his birthday with Anna Scala’s portrait dog cake in 2018. (Photo via @tunameltsmyheart)

Baking cakes for dogs was not Anna Scala’s initial call into the world of niche desserts. She started with erotic cookies. Her artistic passion drove her to create things that other people would not normally do and Pornolicious Cookies, the short-lived business that preceded Dog Cakes for Dogs, was the creative outlet she had been searching for. More →

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New Zine Offers Food Carts For Thought

(Photo: Maxwell Schiano)

Maxwell Schiano was leaving the Apple store on Fifth Avenue and 59th St. when he was struck by the glow of a food cart at 3am, with barely anyone around. “My train of thought just stopped and I had to photograph it,” he said. That moment inspired Schiano to launch his NYC Food Cart Zine project on Kickstarter. More →

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The Strokes Covered Talking Heads, Revealed New Album Date at Bernie Sanders Rally

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Bernie Sanders may or may not end up getting us free health care, but he did bring a free Strokes concert to Dunham, New Hampshire on Monday. And that counts for something, considering how much it cost to see them at Barclays Center on New Year’s Eve. At the Brooklyn show, they played some new songs and announced their first album since 2013; this time around, they kicked things off with a Bernie-appropriate cover of “Burning Down the House” and revealed that the album, The New Abnormal, will be out April 10. More →