We the People Opening Wednesday, June 19 at Howl! Happening, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through July 21.
Some people go to prestigious and expensive schools to learn how to make art, throwing piles of cash at nice supplies in the process. Guy Woodard, on the other hand, honed his craft using a cheap ballpoint pen while incarcerated. The former counterfeiter and forger is opening a solo show of intricate ink drawings at Howl Happening in the East Village starting tonight. In addition to his drawings, which explore both political events and the ins and outs of everyday black life, the exhibition also features a selection of Woodard-created forgeries, including one of Trayvon Martin’s Howard University diploma.
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 Pixelated images, old Photo Booth filters, outdated Flash games, glitches, and more are put on a pedestal here, valued more than the glossy, hyper-realistic creations that modern technology can create.More →
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 →
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 →
Dawn of the Looney Tune Opening Thursday, November 16 at Derek Eller Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 23.
Not all sculptures involve components like carrots and bread, but Michelle Segre’s sculptures certainly do. You can see them this Thursday at LES space Derek Eller Gallery, when her latest exhibition opens. As these works often involve organic matter such as the aforementioned carrots and bread, and gallery shows are often on view for quite some time, it is almost guaranteed that Segre’s work will subtly change as time goes by. More specifically, that organic matter is probably going to get mushy. Or grow fur. Or change colors. Either way, it will shift. And you will get a healthy reminder that like it or not, we are all slowly but surely decaying. Happy Monday! More →
A black-and-white illustration by David Wojnarowicz, on view last week at Chelsea gallery ClampArt, shows a grim reaper descending with a large scythe. The reaper claims to be “Democracy At Work,” but freely slices through individuals and activists voicing concerns like “No healthcare,” “Killer cops,” “Corrupt politicians,” and “Unemployment.” Though the piece was created in 1990, this so-called democracy keeps on wounding today.
Female Behavior Opening Tuesday January 10 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through January 31.
Firstly, let’s discuss this gallery’s name. Sure, it sounds sort of pompous, in a cooler-than-you kind of way, and maybe that’s what they think of themselves. But the origin of this gallery is actually, well, cool. It exists within a “repurposed industrial icebox” in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, so it really is a cooler gallery. Plus, it seeks to display work that involves elements of manufacturing, so it’s aware of its roots. But enough about the gallery, let’s get to the show: artist Kate Hush makes massive sculptures of neon light, and what she is particularly trying to capture in her solo show, Female Behavior, are women and their so-called “wicked ways.” She writes of light being produced when bonds are broken, such as the cutting of a diamond, so she has crafted female silhouettes to portray those who are seen as cruel and conniving simply for being “sharp” or for cutting ties with a man who will then call her crazy. May women burn bright and powerful as much as they can, especially now.
In this show, artist Raque Ford takes on the character of Georgia Brown, a “temptress” figure from the 1940s film and Broadway musical Cabin in the Sky. The show made history as the first production to feature an entirely African-American cast, but the creators were (shocking!) all white. Using a variety of techniques, including plexiglass sculpture and a zine of handwritten letters that attendees can take home with them, Ford will reexamine and rewrite the narrative of Georgia Brown through a rigorous and contemporary lens.
Free Films at Tompkins (Photo: Joshua Davis for The Local East Village)
Dinner theater is often regarded as cheesy, and not in a good way. Cinemas serving food with flicks can be pricey (and let’s be honest, sometimes a little too air conditioned)– also, where’s that food even coming from? One of those Wolfgang Puck airport terminal franchises? Let’s be real, the answer’s probably much worse than that. So what is one to do when they want to enjoy the blissful multitasking of watching moving pictures with their eyes while shoving deliciousness into their mouths?
Police cadets reading “Howl” (Photo: Gordon Ball, courtesy of Howl!)
If Allen Ginsberg were still croaking around today, he would’ve just celebrated his 90th birthday. I can see it now– the old man and his expansive beard, its gnarls wafting gently at the rims of coke-bottle glasses. He’d invariably be rocking sandals (whatever to the people locking eye-to-fungi) while boy servants fan him with palm leaves, gently though, so he can still roll those double-sized fatty spliff-spliffs from pages ripped out of On the Road and intermittently flash people from underneath his dashiki. Inevitably, James Franco would be VJing a Howl ft. Grimes remix and everything, everything would be lost.