Tonight a gallery in Brooklyn opens with the grand purpose of helping you deal with the weight of life’s mysteries. That’s not to say Stephen Romano, curator and gallery namesake, is offering any answers. Instead “Lexicon Infernali,” the gallery’s debut exhibit, is a window into a world of questions, inviting visitors to take a trip down the rabbit hole of visionary art.
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.
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.”
Dina Gadia’s pulpy, graphic collages, now on view at Greenpoint’s Owen James Gallery, bring to mind a ’50s wholesomeness and tropical kitsch while at the same time challenging it. Her collages are at once subtle and unabashedly clear, familiar and obscure, paradoxes that hold fast because Gadia, a Filipino artist living and working in Manila, is working in two, if not three registers by exploring the impact of Spanish but especially American influence on Filipino culture.
For once count yourself lucky if you missed an art opening. Synaesthetics, a new exhibition at Reverse Gallery in Williamsburg opened last Friday; sure, there was free booze and great people watching, but the two interactive installations that are featured and the trans-sensory trips they inspire are best experienced in isolation or maybe at most with one other partner. Both Eunoia II, by Lisa Park, and Format No. 1, by Louise Foo and Martha Skou, strangely mimic our increasingly digital experience of the world, which is itself a lonesome, disconnected way of engaging with people more and more through social media.
A press release from Arts in Bushwick paints the broad strokes for this year’s Bushwick Open Studios, coming June 5-7. There aren’t many details just yet, but there’s always a ton to do aside from gawking at artists’ workspaces. Our itinerary last year included a concert by Broke MC and Life Size Maps, a rooftop dance party at House of Screwball and a live painting contest at EXIT Room, all in the same night.
Here’s the scroop, straight from the horse’s mouth.
Chilean-born photographer Sergio Purtell moved to New York City back in the ’80s but for the past eight years, the changing landscape of Brooklyn struck him as a development worth documenting. The result is over 1,400 black-and-white images, all of which are on view (in either large format print or slideshow form) at Art 3 in Bushwick.
In anticipation of the opening for the Witches of Bushwick residency at Stream Gallery, we stopped by the Bushwick mini-art front yesterday. We can’t say we didn’t look sort of ridiculous getting there right as the gate opened, but thankfully we were greeted not only by a singular, unopened bottle of red wine sitting by its lonesome on a pedestal but also by Christine Tran (co-founder of Witches of Bushwick along with Anne Alexander).
A pair of outerborough galleries, Rawson Projects and Regina Rex, will now be neighbors on the Lower East Side. And Harbor, one of the galleries punted from 17-17 Troutman along with Regina Rex, is popping up there as well.