I was in Detroit for New Year’s Eve sometime in the recent past, and ended up partying at a place called North End Studios. I was taking lots of stupid party photos and snapped a photo of a friend who had nestled up to another girl I didn’t know. This mystery woman was clutching a tallboy of Coors, not unusual, but she also wore purple-painted eyebrows, a high-collared ivory fur coat, and a black beanie with skulls on it. I posted it on Instagram and instantly accumulated a hefty number of likes.
Art + Culture
“Bushwick is on its own, she doesn’t need our help anymore,” laughed Jason Andrew, co-founder of Norte Maar. “She really doesn’t need our help anymore.” Though neither he nor his partner, Julia K. Gleich, have quit the neighborhood entirely, they’ve taken what to many was a quintessentially Bushwick arts organization (see: Beat Nite, the biannual art party at galleries and studios throughout the neighborhood the organization has begotten) and moved its headquarters to East New York. “Our plight is the same as everybody else’s in New York, we just want to try and find a way to stay here,” Jason said.
Last year, Clayton Patterson announced that he and Elsa Rensaa, his partner and collaborator of more than 40 years, were moving from the Lower East Side to a small spa town in Austria. Lucky for anyone who admires his unflagging commitment to keeping it real and his tirades against the processes of gentrification and corporatization (see: his damning of Taylor Swift as the city’s cultural ambassador), the 66-year-old outsider artist, photographer, tattoo artist, dissident, and haberdasher who is known to many as the neighborhood’s “last bohemian” is not just still residing there, he also has a new solo exhibition. If you haven’t had a chance to see “Outside In” at Howl! Happening, tonight is the night to do so: the gallery will be screening Captured, the must-see documentary about Clayton’s obsessive documentation of the city as it once was.
A new group exhibition at Signal Gallery Surface Support started out with the question, “How does video exist outside itself?” Curator Amanda Schmitt has worked with video artists since about the dawn of Postinternet thinking. It’s almost as if now that thinking too heavily about the internet as a thing (and just accepting it as an inherent part of aesthetics, social interaction, and sadly even existence) we can get back to thinking about video in new ways again. “Video and of course screens changed the way we think,” Amanda explained. “We’re always on our phones now, so sometimes we take it for granted.”
You’d expect someone like Brooklyn-born comedian Simeon Goodson to be straight up freaking out right about now. Depending on who you are, an impending move to Abu Dhabi could strike you as utterly terrifying or worthy of giddy anticipation. The dazzling, conservative Vegas of the Middle East is a polarizing place to say the least. But somehow Simeon’s experiencing these two extremes and managing still to take things as they come. While the United Arab Emirates is hardly the dream home for a guy who enjoys swigging glasses of Hennessy (“OD ice”) and belting out karaoke renditions of “Trap Queen,” Sim sees his impending move there less like a stint in purgatory and more an enjoyable challenge and the chance to be a transplant for once in his life.
Ludlow Studios was packed to the brim with people for the private one-night only event to celebrate and ogle Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett’s art work. The crowd included everyone from stylish hip kids furtively scanning the room for Barnett’s messy brown mane to appear somewhere in the crowd, loafers who weren’t sure exactly what all the hoopla and video cameras were all about but knew for certain there were infinite free mezcal cocktails to be guzzled, and the nearing-the-top-of-the-hills sponging around to see what the kids are into these days. I’m not old, but this event made me feel old, particularly because up until I heard word of this event, I had no idea who Courtney Barnett was.
Gigawatts Fest is happening this weekend, which is great and all — I need my pop fix as much as the next guy. But sometimes I want to be surrounded by sounds that whinge, “I’mmmmmmm differentttttt.” If that’s you, too, get thee to these smaller shows where you’ll find acts that don’t exactly qualify as festival material, if you catch my drift.
I’d never seen art move so quickly off the walls as I did last night at Con Artist Collective‘s Lower East Side gallery. Things were so hectic that it was difficult even to talk to founder Brian Shevlin about the unusual exhibition. His eyes were too busy darting to and from the small, rectangular pieces of art as they were gently taken off the walls, wrapped in red plastic bags, and quickly replaced by more art works. It felt like a feeding frenzy, and I couldn’t help but join in. Snagging some art myself, I realized I’d never even considered buying art in a gallery before this. I mean, definitely the $20 price tag had something, a lot, to do with making an already appealing piece of work feel accessible. “We did this based on Bread & Puppet Theater’s Why Cheap Art? Manifesto,” Shevlin explained. “Basically, we believe that artists should be required to make cheap art.”
Another tattoo shop. In Bushwick. Next to an esoteric record shop. OK… you might be thinking. But your attention please, because the mind of Marina Heintze, bled out of her ears and solidified in tattoo parlor form, is anything but the embodiment of that triangle tattoo you’ve seen on everyone and her sister since Miley Cyrus revealed that anyone, so long as they’ve got a sewing needle, some India ink, and a bottle of vodka, can permanently press ink into skin.
A “roaming screening series” has set up shop in venues across New York City and unofficially dubbed July queer cinema month. Maybe you’ve seen the posters around town for Dirty Looks: On Location, which the organizers are calling “a series of queer interventions” in the form of performance art, but mostly cinema inside LGBT cultural landmarks, art institutions, DIY spaces, and even in places where the ghosts of queer past linger, like defunct bathhouses and former meeting spots. Screenings are showcasing not just classics of gay cinema but recent efforts by local up-and-comings.