Lower East Side

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Performance Picks: Living Dolls, Coding Controversy, and More

THURSDAY

(flyer via Eventbrite)

Quitters
Thursday, February 28 at C’mon Everybody, 8 pm: $8 advance, $10 doors 

It could be argued that February is a quitter. All the other months stretch on for 30 or 31 days, while February stops short. It gives up. And then, suddenly, it’s March, and you’re left wondering why rent costs the same for 28 days as it does for 31. Celebrate the last day of this short month tonight at Quitters, a comedy show hosted by Sam Corbin and Ian Goldstein that embraces failure in all its forms, particularly the funny ones. This time, they’re welcoming guests Karen Chee, Brett Davis, Marcia Belsky, and Matt Buechele to the stage, and audience members have the chance to confess their own memorable moment of quitting for a chance to win a free drink. More →

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Performance Picks: Green New Deal Raps, Comedians Get Serious

THURSDAY

(image via Make/Shift / Facebook)

SHE Creates 2k19
Now through February 24 at New Ohio Theater, various times: $25 

The hills are alive with the sound of performances from female-identifying and genderqueer artists at She Creates, a festival presented by Make/Shift and Akin running through the end of the weekend at the New Ohio Theater. The festival centers around the premiere of The Clark Doll, a play by Liz Morgan about three black women figuring out how to escape a confining situation, but it offers much more than just plays, with night after night of drag, performance art, live music, visual art, and more. More →

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An X-Rated Exhibition, In-Flight Creations, and More Art This Week

(image via Solas Studio / Facebook)

Smut
Opening Wednesday, February 20 at Con Artist Collective, 7 pm to 11 pm. On view through February 22. 

Many pieces of art are meant to be refined and cultured, prompting viewers to gaze at delicate brushstrokes and profound deeper meanings. But some art is just plain hot, and you sure can find a lot of that (plus some refined and cultured stuff, too) at the opening of Smut, a steamy group show curated by Liam Cotter and produced by Solas Studio featuring art ranging “from the erotic to the pornographic.” Of course, the line between those two descriptors is historically blurry, but it’s unfortunately common to see “fine art” insisting that porn doesn’t have a place in it, so the fact that that’s not the case here is refreshing to see. Over 40 artists working in all types of disciplines will be exhibiting as part of the show, so there’ll certainly be a lot to take in. Just make sure to keep it in your pants. 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: Construction, Windows, and Queer Black Bodies

(image via The Walther Collection / Facebook)

Destruction and Transformation: Vernacular Photography and the Built Environment
Opening Thursday, February 7 at The Walther Collection, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 25.

No geographic location ever looks exactly the same over time, but if there’s one type of place that has the most potential for rapid transformation, it’s cities. This photo show at Chelsea’s The Walther Collection seeks to spotlight photographs taken throughout history that reveal the ways buildings and land have been knocked down and built upon, and not always in beneficial ways. Taken between 1876 and 2000, this “vernacular photography” (defined as “utilitarian imagery made primarily for commercial or personal purposes”) illustrates how urban expansion has been historically valued more than preserving the natural world, from mining towns in rural Kentucky and West Virginia to the sprawling metropolises of NYC and Los Angeles. More →

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Performance Picks: Gross Girls, Thirst Traps, and More

FRIDAY

(image via The Nobodies / Facebook)

The Nobodies Hosting All Stars 4
Friday, February 1 at Brooklyn Bazaar, 7 pm: FREE

The fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars is upon us, and has been for some weeks now. It also happens to be the only season I have ever watched, and every week I am reminded of how much the main challenge of each episode typically resembles something I was once made to do in theater school. If you don’t want to watch alone, sashay to Brooklyn Bazaar, where drag collective (and pro-wrestling aficionados) The Nobodies will be hosting a screening of the latest episode, as they do every week. Obviously when drag performers host a Drag Race screening, you’re not just going to get people sitting and staring at a screen. This is a show in its own right: expect live drag acts, bingo, banter, and even the chance to do your own lip-synch if you so desire.

SATURDAY

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Performance Picks: Dystopian Theater, A C.R.E.A.M. Afternoon, and More

THURSDAY

(image via The Nova Experiment / Facebook)

EthnoGraphic
Thursday, January 24 at Eris Evolution, 8 pm: $11 advance, $15 doors

The average show in Brooklyn—comedy, burlesque, music, and beyond—seems to have gotten a touch more diverse in recent years, but it’s still common to walk into a venue and see predominantly white faces staring back. That’s not the case at burlesque performer Stella Nova’s EthnoGraphic, a variety show featuring exclusively performers of color. As Nova does burlesque herself, the lineup is filled with striptease and pasties, with acts from Abby Fantastic, Fox Squire, and Lady Mabuhay, as well as slam poet Omar Holman and comedian Lauren Clark. More →

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Art This Week: City Collages, Uyghur Portraits, and 2 Shows in 1

John Driscoll (image via Fridman Gallery / Facebook)

Slight Perturbations / The Weight of Things
Opening Wednesday, January 16 at Fridman Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 13.

Fridman Gallery’s new space on Bowery has two levels, upper and lower. Fittingly, there will be two exhibitions opening there this Wednesday: a show of of interactive sound sculptures by John Driscoll in the upper space, and a two-channel video installation by Dana Levy centered around the Palace of Versailles in the lower space. Driscoll’s sculptures resemble hodgepodge collections of found objects or avant-garde furniture pieces crossed with a science fair, but they’re much more than something to puzzle over: they contain minuscule microphones and speakers, and a “reflective foil” that creates sound with help from whatever objects are nearby. And though it’s in the lower level, Levy’s video work deals with the upper crust of Versailles, depicting the palace’s contents steadily crumbling due to an earthquake. 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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Performance Picks: Three Theater Festivals and Quit-Happy Comedy

A scene from Chambre Noire, running January 10-13 at The Public Theater as part of The Public’s 15th Annual Under the Radar Festival. Photo Credit: Benoit Schupp

Under the Radar Festival
Now through January 13 at The Public Theater (some shows at offsite venues), various times: $30

Yesterday marked the start of the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival, which showcases new performance from around the globe and is now in its impressive 15th year. While most of the shows take place at The Public, some are staged elsewhere, from Chelsea’s SVA Theater to The Met. Festival loyalists may recognize some familiar names—Peter Mills Weiss and Julia Mounsey’s [50/50] old school animation, a monologue-based work about violence that’s hard to adequately describe, also appeared as part of UTR’s smaller fest-within-a-fest last year, but is chillingly compelling enough to warrant a repeat viewing. Other highlights include creative storytellers James + Jerome filling the halls of The Met with their music-laced tales, multimedia puppet-centric riffs on both Frankenstein (Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein) and Warhol shooter Valerie Solanas (Plexus Polaire’s Chambre Noir), an evening with darkly odd comedian Lorelei Ramirez, and more. More →