fish mystery in the shift horizon Opening Wednesday, May 22 at Rubber Factory, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 23.
The natural world is so vast and multifaceted it can seem like an impossible task to quantify it all. In fact, sometimes it is, and the scientific inability to identify a species’s baseline population size (known as “shifting baseline syndrome”) is one of the driving factors behind Catalina Ouyang’s latest show of sculptures and videos, which also draws from notions of diaspora and mistranslation. Huge, curious, jade-colored creatures populate the gallery space, looking simultaneously like cows, humans, fish, and some other fantastical creation entirely. They’re based off the Chinese paddlefish and baiji, creatures that are now extinct but once had a shifting baseline. The opening reception on Wednesday will not only feature Ouyang’s sculptures and videos, but also a durational performance among the aquatic creatures.
Broken Heaven Opening Tuesday, May 14 at 7 Franklin Place, 6 pm to 10 pm. One night only.
Art exhibitions featuring people who are formerly or currently incarcerated have been fairly common, but it would be unproductive to shoehorn them into a category. After all, no one goes about remarking about how there are too many art exhibitions featuring people who live in houses. If you’ve yet to go to an art show that draws from the profound and traumatic experience of incarceration on creators, or even if you have, head to Tribeca tonight for a show by the formerly incarcerated artist Pingo, who will be showing his work to the public for one night before a stint at this year’s Art Basel Miami. Pingo’s work is abstract and textural, recalling Jackson Pollock and utilizing shocks of colorful paint to convey a landscape of emotion. Not only that, but the exhibition will also include ice sculptures.
Shame is the First Betrayer Opening Thursday, May 9 at Victori + Mo, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 22.
Art gallery Victori + Mo, which previously occupied a space within Bushwick’s 56 Bogart, is moving to Chelsea. The first exhibition in their new space, opening Thursday, is by multidisciplinary artist Phoenix Lindsey-Hall. The show takes its inspiration from the Lesbian Herstory Archives, specifically sections of the archive’s collection containing people’s personal belongings. Typically, these items stay in an archival setting, accessible only for people who already had the idea to go hunting for them. In Lindsey-Hall’s work, they come alive, as the gallery will be filled with replicas and reproductions of specific items that lesbians and queer women throughout the past decades possessed, whether that be everyday objects or treasured possessions. More →
The Portrait is Political Opening Wednesday, April 24 at BRIC, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through May 12.
Portraits have become one of the most ubiquitous forms of imagery in our society. While their origins lie in fine art, today’s portraits can take any form, but the most common is surely the selfie. Some might argue the vast proliferation of selfies and such has diluted the significance of this form, but I’m more inclined to believe it has opened up the opportunity to start thinking more purposefully about portraiture; one must, to cut through the churn. The Portrait is Political, a “suite” of exhibitions opening at BRIC this week, seeks to reassert the power of depicting people in art. Jaishri Abichandani immortalizes Brooklyn’s South Asian feminists in paint, Texas Isaiah creates collaborative works with his subjects, and Liz Collins curates a sprawling spread of portraits from over 35 queer artists. More →
Monika Monika Opening Monday, April 1 at Steuben Gallery, 5 pm to 8 pm. On view through April 5.
Monika Monika is both the name of a multimedia artist and an exhibition opening tonight at Pratt Institute’s Steuben Gallery. The self-titled display explores Monika Monika’s experiences as a sex worker, through lush paintings exposing snapshots of customers she’s gotten to know and sculptures combining imagery both kitschy and sensual. While sex workers are often the subject of non-sex-working people’s artistic endeavors, adding what some might see as an edgy appeal and others see as needless fetishization, this exhibition (designed to mimic the feel of a Times Square peep show) puts the sex worker’s perspective front and center, compelling viewers to see her world through her eyes.More →
Dire Jank Opening Wednesday, March 20 at apexart, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 19.
It’s usually considered good and impressive for something digitally created to look flawless, almost like it wasn’t created by humans to begin with. Usually this process is time-consuming; it almost always involves some sort of expensive software, or equipment, or graduate degrees. Dire Jank, an exhibition of games, videos, and digital art curated by Porpentine Charity Heartscape, celebrates pretty much everything that isn’t that. Pixelated images, old Photo Booth filters, outdated Flash games, glitches, and more are put on a pedestal here, valued more than the glossy, hyper-realistic creations that modern technology can create.More →
Fire Opening Wednesday, March 6 at Baby Company, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through April 14.
Oh, Fire Island. Even if you’ve never been (I haven’t), you’ve probably come across it in one way or another, even if it’s just on your Instagram feed or that time you overheard a group of partygoers dishing about their weekend outing. You have another chance to soak in this getaway through the eyes of another at group exhibition Fire, opening Wednesday at Allen Street’s Baby Company (an offshoot of the nearby Company Gallery). The show, organized by photographer Ryan McNamara, features familiar queer art names like Raúl de Nieves, Kia Labeija, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Nicole Eisenman, all revealing snapshots of what Fire Island (and by extension, spaces known for being queer sanctuaries) means to them.
Patrick Martinez, Chocolate Cake for the Black Panther Party, 2018, Heavy body acrylic, acrylic, airbrush, and ceramic cake roses on panel with gold mirror plex, 20 x 26 x 3 inches (image via Fort Gansevoort)
That Which We Do Not See Opening Thursday, March 7 at Fort Gansevoort, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through April 20.
Artist Patrick Martinez brings something simultaneously sweet and politically-charged to the Meatpacking District gallery Fort Gansevoort this week when he opens his solo show of paintings, multimedia pieces, and neon works. The show, which takes its title from a Martin Luther King quote, is peppered with notable figures from modern history, from author Rebecca Solnit to Malcolm X and James Baldwin. These faces, along with other iconography like the Black Panther Party’s panther image, are emblazoned on cakes in remarkable mixed media paintings that truly look edible—their decadence hints at portrait painting’s history of elevating those who could afford to commission one. In addition to the cakes, a selection of paintings of Los Angeles’s changing landscape and text-based neon sculptures will also be on view.
(image via Sonder Exhibition)
Sonder iii Opening Friday, March 8 at 198 Allen Street, 6 pm to 10 pm. On view through March 10.
In many instances, going to see art means going to see the work of older people, whether that be artists who made work decades or centuries ago or contemporary greats who have been in the art world for years. But exhibition series Sonder, returning to the Lower East Side for a third year, only shows work by young people. No, not people who are in their mid/late twenties. It’s curated by teenagers, and features work by teenagers who create in multiple genres, who are both local to NYC and based around the globe. When I think about what I was doing when I was a teen, it definitely wasn’t showing art in a New York City gallery, so this is your chance to get a peek at those paving the way for the future of art. I can only wonder if, in light of all the news, there’ll be some Momo-themed art…
It’s a shame you can’t consume paintings with more than just your eyes, as the works on view at Food For Thought, opening Thursday at Soho gallery Louis K. Meisel, certainly look good enough to eat. That’s not a metaphor: they’re artistic renderings of food, from sugary, cellophane-wrapped confections to simple still lives of walnuts or onions. The edible item isn’t always front and center in this stuffed show—some pieces are intricate retro renderings of the signs outside of diners, bars, or burger joints; others are painted nudes where the subject just happens to be holding an apple. Either way, the food is there. Sometimes you have to look for it, sometimes it’s so prominent you’ll start feeling peckish.More →
Vesuvius, Will You Be My Girlfriend?, 2018. 10 x 12½’ (image courtesy of Howl Happening)
Homo Eruptus Opening Thursday, February 14 at HOWL! Happening, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through March 13.
Scooter LaForge’s paintings, on view at East Village space Howl Happening starting on Valentine’s Day, are satisfyingly messy, so it’s only appropriate they are unveiled on a day classically associated with messy emotional feelings, whether they be good or bad. Similar feelings are articulated through LaForge’s brushstrokes, which create compelling and mind-boggling scenes featuring cartoon animals, bodily fluids, autofellatio, angels, and much more. He manages to fit a doe-eyed rabbit that looks straight out of a Disney movie in the same frame as angry black paint smears, a urinating brown bear with big black boots, and human(ish) figures that look almost like they’d be fit to adorn the ceiling of a church somewhere, provided that church was sufficiently strange. The longer you look, the more you’ll find. More →
Fake Smears and Facial Food Fiascos Opening Thursday, January 31 at Contra Gallery, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through February 15.
While playing with your food has long been understood as a childish act one grows out of, not everyone stops meddling in their munchies. Sometimes this is actually for the best; in the case of artist David Henry Nobody Jr., it’s resulted in some compelling (and sometimes stomach-turning) sculptural works featuring the artist’s head and corn, cabbage, tomatoes, lunch meat, and even a bag of corn flakes stuck around his head that then gets steadily filled with milk. That’s just a smattering of what Nobody Jr. has to offer in his new show Fake Smears and Facial Food Fiascos (say that fives times fast). Opening at Chelsea’s Contra Gallery on Thursday, it explores the absurdity of both humanity and the waste we leave behind. More →