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Which Pol Would You Rather Meet: Hillary or Gnarr?

Who’ll spark the longer line tomorrow morning: David Chang’s hamburger or Hillary Clinton? The First Lady turned Senator turned Secretary of State (turned President?) is signing her new book, Hard Choices, at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square tomorrow at 11 a.m., and chances are pretty good there’ll be a line of James Franco proportions when the wristbands are handed out at 8 a.m. (you’ll have to buy a book to get one, and no, Hillary won’t sign your Benghazi bumper sticker.)
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Steve Keene, Who Did Cover Art For Pavement, Is Painting in the Street

(All photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(All photos: Kirsten O’Regan)

Steve Keene actively distances himself from the world of fine art, but that hasn’t stopped the Greenpoint-based painter from being named Brooklyn Public Library’s Artist-in-Residence for Summer 2014. Keene, best known for his astounding productivity (he claims to have sold or given away more than 250,000 paintings over his career) and art for the likes of Pavement (the cover of Wowee Zowee) and Soul Coughing, has always been something of a maverick.
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Is NYC Experiencing Its First Scrapplegasm?

Sweet Chick's scrapple. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Sweet Chick’s scrapple. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

First off, apologies for the headline — but we did not invent the word scrapplegasm. It’s the name of an event that took place last month in Delaware, where scrapple is a local staple. The greasy brick of pork scraps and cornmeal is ubiquitous in the mid-Atlantic region, but for years it’s been conspicuously (okay, not quite conspicuously) absent from New York City menus. Maybe because, eaten at your average Pennsylvania diner, scrapple often has the sharp, tangy taste of wet cat food.
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An A-to-Z Index of Marc Spitz’s New History of All Things Twee

MarcSpitzTweeMarc Spitz’s Poseur recalled his salad days as a downtown Manhattan music writer. But his new book kicks off in Brooklyn – and specifically at the Brooklyn Flea – because, you see, it is a history of twee.

You could define the Twee Tribe as the “hipster elite” that’s ruining America. But Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion and Film describes the Twee Party in more flattering terms: its multigenerational members exalt beauty over ugliness, childhood and innocence over adulthood, nerd chic over conventional “cool,” and intellectual curiosity over bullying. Think coffee mugs etched with owls, probiotic hot sauce, and mason-jar tops with built-in straws, to name some of the Brooklyn Flea items Spitz singles out.
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During past installments of BOS,  self-proclaimed psychotherapist "Dr." Lisa Levy has performed theatrical psychiatry sessions. This time she dressed up as a grandma because, she said, “it takes all the sexiness away," giving people permission to sit not just on her couch but right on her lap. “What we all really want is unconditional love,” she said. “I like giving love.”

A number of grown men (and women, as you can see here) actually sat on her lap. It was awkward for some, until Granny told them to "just relax" and rocked them back and forth.

“I’ve always drawn basically since I was really young," she said. "I was obsessed with animals and I got into fantasy imagery so I went from there.”   Her appearance wasn't exactly planned. “My manager, who is setting this up, texted me at 2 a.m. and was like, ‘Naomi, I need you to come do a live painting in the morning -- can you do that?’” she said.

“I’ve always drawn basically since I was really young,” she said. “I was obsessed with animals and I got into fantasy imagery so I went from there.”

Her appearance wasn’t exactly planned. “My manager, who is setting this up, texted me at 2 a.m. and was like, ‘Naomi, I need you to come do a live painting in the morning — can you do that?’” she said.

We stumbled on Amanda Millet-Sorsa’s "A Game of Lovers," a 78-piece reinterpretation of a deck of tarot cards, at 23 Meadow Street, in a warehouse owned by Mona Liza Fine Furniture (the name of the exhibit curated by Art Helix Gallery was "Gioconda,” the Italian name for the Mona Lisa). The 28-year-old painter said of her initial fascination with tarot: “The images on the cards were just so strange. There were all these medieval figures, all representing these very universal symbols."

Millet-Sorsa is having her own deck printed up so that at future shows, people can play with her work in addition to seeing it behind glass. "I'm looking for places where the cards can be used, really interacting with people," she said.

Bushwick business owners have become more accommodating to street art over the years, Hater noted: "More and more, the business owners are letting [artists] use the space, because they know it looks better than a bunch of tags." That said, a permission slip from the building’s owners is a must. "Cops will still roll by and ask you for it,” said Hater, “even though it's kind of obvious that we're not going anywhere quickly.”

Hater and BZEE, two members of a Brooklyn street artist collective known as NSF, were painting a building at the corner of White and McKibbin, as they do yearly around this time.

In a warehouse at 56 Bogart Street, the artist Norton displayed examples of shadow-casting, a medium he's worked in for the past 10 years. He carves small notches into huge slabs of Plexiglas. "It takes 20 minutes to carve a two-square-inch area," he said. When light shines through, the shape of the final piece appears as a shadow on the wall behind it. "Ghost in the Machine" intricately depicts the 6th Avenue L-train stop, right down to the silhouetted figures of subway riders. But Norton said that he only works from a rough sketch, and that the individual placement of the lines is due to a combination of intuition and chance.

"I grew up in Japan, so there's a lot of the Japanese philosophy that you're going to make mistakes and then just use them," he said. "There is no perfect line. Everything's a mess-up, and it's perfect."

As a Japanese-American, Red Hook-based sculptor and photographer Ward Yoshimoto draws his ideas from both cultures. "Tangibles," an installation made out of garden fencing, reflects his fascination with the nuclear bomb and World War II, and the influence of artists Calder and Noguchi. Asked what message he wants to convey, he said the “mystery of art, of making something simple.”

A stretch of Rock Street owned by Boar's Head once again became an outdoor sculpture garden curated by Bushwick artist-gallerist Deborah Brown and Lower East Side gallerist Lesley Heller. Steve Rossi, who lives and works in Beacon, N.Y., told us that his "Reciprocal Ladder to Roll," made of plywood and latex paint, was meant to challenge the idea of the "ladder of success." Instead, he said, “the movement should be horizontal, so everybody is at the same level,” because society should always be a “constant push and pull,” and a “motion that unites.”

"The Artist's Grandmother/Death Portraiture" by Alex Sewell.

Alex Sewell, a Massachusetts native who showed his pieces at 1717 Troutman Street, wanted to do “something the way a child would, but without deskilling the work.”   “Childhood drawings are so wonderful,” he said. “Birth Mother” shows something resembling one in a box of pizza. It's "the most honest of the paintings I have here,” he said.

These days, Palmeri works primarily at home in Brooklyn, painting exclusively on the floor by using splatter and scraping techniques that mirror the gritty vibe of the street.

These days, Palmeri works primarily at home in Brooklyn, painting exclusively on the floor by using splatter and scraping techniques that mirror the gritty vibe of the street.

Palmeri said the painting nodded to his mother’s steadfast work ethic and dedication to her children, which motivates him to this day.

Palmeri said the painting nodded to his mother’s steadfast work ethic and dedication to her children, which motivates him to this day.

“Recently, I have been painting at the Evergreen Cemetery -- it’s a great place for silence and to see where nature meets civilization,” Robertson said.

H Dee Robertson's naturalistic canvases were also on display at "Naked Remnants (the remainder of things)," at the Vazquez Building. Robertson moved to Bushwick from Richmond, Virginia about five years ago. Her pieces -- using an eclectic mix of oil, pastel, wood varnish, and string -- explore nature's convergence with humanity, and she often emphasizes trees as the subjects of her work.

Inspired by his fascination with buildings, bodies and behavior, the work reflects “how we think about things like corporate personhood and how that intersects with things like ethical responsibility,” he told us at his studio at street address? As voices tell the story of each crisis, video of the buildings is flicked and bended by a hand that reaches in, causing one to think about “façade and image and narrative as something flexible.”

Inspired by his fascination with buildings, bodies and behavior, the work reflects “how we think about things like corporate personhood and how that intersects with things like ethical responsibility,” he told us at his studio at street address? As voices tell the story of each crisis, video of the buildings is flicked and bended by a hand that reaches in, causing one to think about “façade and image and narrative as something flexible.”

Reverse painting on glass with airbrushed automotive paint gives Doug Young’s work an eerily photo-like quality. “Those specific ones have to do with repulsion,” he said of a series that included imagery of a death chamber and a dirty fridge. “You know, being in an uncomfortable spot and how you can be attracted to uncomfortable environments.”   Young’s choice of medium allows for “illusions” – ones “that aren’t normally possible with paper or canvas,” he said.

Jason Bard Yarmosky, who has a studio at 117 Grattan Street, has always been “interested in the inevitability of aging,” and the way youth culture is celebrated more than old age. The 27-year-old paints his grandparents in everything from children’s costumes to superhero costumes. “They love it,” he said, especially when people ask for autographs at his shows. Most importantly, it's been “beautiful for our relationship,” the artist said.

We stumbled on this piece by Davis McLane Connelly at 141 Thames Street. When Davis first moved to Brooklyn he found a bunch of discarded Tickle Me Elmos. He liked the fur, color, and “the way light played off the different textures,” he said. Meanwhile, he was obsessed with conspiracy theories about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, so he incorporated Kubrick’s use of bilateral symmetry into a piece that he said was “full of my own personal visual metaphors and symbolism.”

Needless to say, Matthew Silver made the scene.

A bearded man in a sparkling leotard, a person donning an ape mask and pink dress, a partially naked man, and other surreal friends raised eyebrows with a performance art piece on the corner of Bogart and Grattan that continued throughout the day.

At one point, a man inside a cage shouted, “Freedom within limitations! There are limits to free speech!” The group broke into protest against free speech. “We don’t need it anymore!” another shouted.  A little girl cried and asked her mother if they could go home, but most audience members laughed and some brave souls even got involved.

James Bullough James Bullough putting up a mural at Livestream.

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Ramiro Davaro-Comas at work.

Inside Sugarlift, London Kaye's crocheted Nikes were going for $200. These are a 10 1/2, but you can request a size and color.

Rubin also contributed to Lifestream's wall.

Inside of Livestream, Brandon Sines and his Frank Ape character were part of a group show.

This trippy work by Andrew Erdos is made from blown and cast glass, silver, a two-way mirror, and LEDs.

Aphotic's annual "Art in the Air" rooftop party featured live painting by Zukie and others.

Here's the other wall at Art in the Air.

Here's BKFoxx at work.

Best DJ booth ever?

The Roberta's Art Party, in the parking lot of a Chinese noodle factory on Moore Street, consisted of outdoor bars, a skate ramp, an Oddfellows Ice Cream stand, and a tent with art on display..

A caricature artist was posted up at Tutu's.

Self-declared "underdog expressionist" David Henry Nobody, Jr. was tromping around in this get-up, claiming he was "The Shit." Don't worry, it's not what you think it is: he was promoting a show of his photos at Fine & Raw Chocolate.

We were probably the 5,000th person to photograph Jerkface's SpongeHomer mural at the Bushwick Collective's block party.

Same goes for Owen Dippie's Jay-Z/Basquiat piece.

This one's by Dasic Fernandez.

Buff Monster, of course.

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See More of This Rad Street Art Go Up at Juicy Festival This Weekend

Bushwick’s forthcoming beer garden, The Well, still isn’t ready for nightly revelry (sometime in July, rumor has it) but thanks to the Juicy Art Festival, you can go hang out there and drink tonight and all day tomorrow. If you enjoyed all the live painting at Bushwick Open Studios last weekend, you’ll definitely want to head to The Well’s back courtyard to see the likes of Magda Love, Iena Cruz, Son and Werc fill up the enormous walls.
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Plenty to Get On Board With at Central Station, a New Outdoor Drinking Depot

(Photo: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photo: Kirsten O’Regan)

Do you like sitting in the sun while eating good food and drinking delicious things? Well, join the crowd. “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” admits Peter Simon, co-owner of new Bushwick bar/restaurant Central Station, which provides patrons with a venue to engage in the aforementioned activities.
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I Stayed at the New Ludlow Hotel And All I Got Were These Lousy Photos

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

The northernmost block of Ludlow Street saw some momentous change this week: Sweet Chick opened in the old Max Fish space last night, and right next to it, the long-in-the-works Ludlow Hotel (the latest from that titan of tastemaking, Sean MacPherson of the Bowery, Jane and Maritime hotels) has also swung open its stately steel doors. We decided to check in for a night and, immediately upon entering the modest wood-paneled lobby, were hit with that “new hotel smell” — best described as a mix of sawdust and gentrification. Just kidding! Here’s the rundown.
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