art openings

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Art This Week: Lines, Cut Paper, and Low-Tech Glitches

thecatamites, Magic Wand, 2016, Video game, Dimensions variable (still) (image via apexart)

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 Pixelated images, old Photo Booth filters, outdated Flash games, glitches, and more are put on a pedestal here, valued more than the glossy, hyper-realistic creations that modern technology can create.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 →

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Art Shows: Fire Island, Creative Teens, and Political Cakes

Photo via @companygallery on Instagram)

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…

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Art This Week: Tasty Treats, American Artist, Painted Haiku

Food For Thought
Opening Thursday, February 28 at Louis K. Meisel Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through March 30.

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 →

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Art This Week: Two V-Day Shows and Fruity Fellows

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 →

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Art This Week: Food-Covered Faces, Chinatown Locals, and Witches

(image courtesy of Contra Gallery)

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 →

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Art This Week: Traumatized Clowns and Reducing Food Waste

Joel Osteen (Jessie Pierrot) part 1, 2018
Single Channel Video
00:31:28

Holy Fools
Opening Wednesday, January 9 at Rubber Factory, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 3.

Clowns are perhaps one of the most polarizing figures on this green earth. Some people have a literal phobia of them, some find them distasteful, some chuckle at them, some employ them, some become them, and some make art about them. One of the art world’s more notable clown-based endeavors is Bruce Nauman’s 1987 piece Clown Torture, featuring a slew of video displays portraying “an absurd misadventure of a clown” that’s both morbid and humorous. Over three decades later, artist Ondine Viñao is putting her own spin on this work in an exhibition at Rubber Factory, recruiting four all-female clownish performers to stage their own mishaps, mixing both trauma and folly. More →

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Weekend Art Openings: African Masks, Tiny Sculptures, and The Apocalypse

(image courtesy of Salon 94 Bowery)

Flash of the Spirit
Opening Friday, November 9 at Salon Bowery 94, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 21.

Lyle Ashton Harris’s photos, on view at Salon 94 Bowery starting this Friday, contain much colorful, vivid imagery, but few human faces. Instead, the faces in the bodies he captures are covered by elaborate, striking masks sourced from a variety of places, including several African masks from his uncle’s collection. These images are actually self-portraits, but you might not know it. And that’s kind of the point: throughout history, people putting on masks has been equated with them transforming into someone (or something) else, whether that be an improved version of oneself or a way to avoid accountability. Harris has been making work dealing with queerness, Blackness, and the self in the context of diaspora for decades, and this is a chance to see what he’s up to now. More →

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Art This Week: 'Anti-Nudes' and KKK Cannibalism

(image via Field Projects / Facebook)

Hot Farce
Opening Thursday, November 1 at Field Projects, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 15.

Throughout centuries, one thing has remained the same when it comes to art: in some way, nudes will be there. Curator and artist Kristen Racaniello knows this, but seeks to do something a bit different with her group show Hot Farce. The work on view seeks to be the antithesis of the “hetero-sexy nude,” meaning nudes that trouble the binary, nudes that question why you’re looking at them, nudes that may not even qualify as nudes at all. According to the exhibit statement, Hot Farce’s artists “admire figuration and are at the same time deeply suspicious of it,” a feeling in this time of existential dread I can only assume is shared by many. More →

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Riot Gear With Feminist Slogans and More Exhibitions This Week

(image via Rubber Factory)

In the Name of the Hypersurface of the Present
Opening Wednesday, October 17 at Rubber Factory, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 11.

Presented in conjunction with Lower East Side Art Week, which spotlights women artists in the neighborhood, this solo show by Pakistani artist Umber Majeed may have a sci-fi-sounding name, but the work on view more closely resembles Word Art, trippy memes, or old Geocities web pages than any high-tech, augmented reality creation. That’s not to diminish its appeal; the distorted text, flattened graphics, and occasional use of Comic Sans creates a world of online intrigue that feels half in the past, half far in some weird corner of the future. Through this, Majeed seeks to explore a “feminist re-historicization of Pakistan as the first ‘Muslim nuclear state,’” bringing it out of the patriarchy and into a more radical framing. More →

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A Silent Disco Art Show, Glamorous Putin, And More Weekend Exhibitions

(screenshot via watermelonmelange.com)

Watermelon Melange
Opening Saturday, October 6 at 21 Ludlow Street, 7:30 pm to 10 pm. On view through October 7.

Have you ever been to a silent disco? You know, the kind of weird outdoor party where everyone’s wearing bulky headphones and dancing to the various channels of music blaring from them, making them look strange to any onlooker who doesn’t know what’s going on? This art exhibition by Mason Roberts, a painter from Perth, Australia whose 26,000 Instagram followers are equally likely to see both documentation of his artistic process and shirtless selfies, provides a somewhat similar experience. He’s partnered with lo-fi hip-hop artist Stirling Caiulo to create a multisensory artistic experience—don noise-canceling headphones and walk into a dark gallery, then you’ll hear beats n’ tunes while you steadily discover a series of paintings on display, lit by spotlights. More →