Hair Paintings & Other Stories Opening Tuesday, February 6 at La MaMa Galleria, 7:30 pm. On view through March 3.
The Bellwether and Codify Art team up with La MaMa Galleria to present this solo exhibition by multidisciplinary creator Jarrett Key. Though yes, it’s technically a showcase of just work created by Key, it’s representative of so much more than that. Their works deal specifically with “the collective bodily memories and rituals of the Black community,” so each one of them manages to be deeply personal while also literally containing multitudes. As you may have guessed by the title, hair has a significant presence here, which can be seen both in the exhibition description (“Key grew up in rural Alabama to their grandmother singing, ‘your hair is your strength'”) and the look of the actual paintings themselves, which often resemble vast and complex tangles you could get lost in.More →
A new art show at the Fortnight Institute is flipping the script on a persistent imbalance in the art world. While men still dominate the major museums, massive retrospectives, and money-makers of the art market, most of the weens found at DICKS (on view now through December 4) are actually nailed to the wall.
All but one of the eight participating artists are women, and each artwork included in the show (paintings, photography, and sculpture) is strikingly phallocentric and jarringly figurative. DICKS is so literal in its approach to the ding-dong (arguably the most hilarious feature associated with the male anatomy) that the show was announced without explanation. The title, and a glimpse of Betty Tompkins’s contribution, Dick Painting #3, said it all.
“Why I Want To Fuck Donald Trump” on view now at Joshua Liner Gallery (Photo courtesy of Joshua Liner Gallery)
Last week’s video of Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault threw a giant dildo into a campaign that seemed impervious to shame, just as the candidate had almost started seeming more presidential (at least, in light of the spotty track record of previous presidents). As screwed up as the whole thing is, nothing in the video was all that surprising. The “locker room talk” only confirmed Trump’s image as a billionaire playboy who trades skyscrapers (his most phallic assets) like Pokémon cards, and gets whatever his little Trump desires.
“His whole image is vulgarly sexual in a way,” agreed Alfred Steiner, the curator of a very timely new art show. “And he’s played right into that the whole time.”
Back in 1970 Michael Netter was a recent graduate, soaking up the big city’s vibrant art scene. A striving painter, he fell in with Andy Warhol’s Factory crowd after showing up to a party with his brand new Sony Portapak video camera (20-pound backpack and all). The new technology instantly attracted the pop-master. “Before, ‘Hello, how do you do,’ it was: ‘Can you do that for me?'” Netter says of his first interaction with Warhol. For the next few years, he followed him around, filming bits and pieces of Warhol’s world, from random conversations at the Factory, to the infamous first meeting between David Bowie and Warhol (“He was miming! And miming badly!”), and interviews with the likes of Cybill Shepherd, Brigid Polk and other Warholian superstars.
Last night the mask-wielding artists of the Bruce High Quality Foundation opened up the doors of their epic new studio space in Sunset Park. The excuses were a party and an exhibition featuring work inspired by French Baroque painter Nicholas Poussin’s landscapes, while the reason was fundraising for the Bruce High Quality Foundation University (BHFQU), an experimental, non-profit art school that offers free classes and an alternative to the MFA by separating art from careerism. Come January, BHQFU, which has had a home base in the East Village since 2013, will move its operations here to Sunset Park.
Christopher Stout, founder of Bushwick Art Crit Group, has just opened his gallery in the disputed territory of East Williamsburg, the realization of plans we first heard about in early September. I had a chance to check the place out on Friday, and found that Stout is already keeping good on his pledge to show “subversive art.” The centerpiece of the gallery’s inaugural show, Shepard by Phoenix Lindsey-Hall, is a massive, meticulously crafted porcelain replica of the iconic fence Matthew Shepard (the victim of a notorious hate crime) was bound to before he was tortured and left for dead back in 1998. Not easy-to-swallow material, to say the least.
Ray Abeyta’s early work is on display at Littlefield throughout the Motorcycle Film Fest (Photo: Nicole Disser)
There’s plenty to see and do at the third annual Motorcycle Film Festival, which kicked off Wednesday. Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds are playing an after party, the “lost film crew” of Easy Rider will convene for a revealing discussion, and– in case the name wasn’t hint enough– there are a variety of motorcycle-themed films to attend. But while you’re knocking back beers and mingling in the Littlefield atrium between screenings, look around. You’ll probably notice some small but intriguing paintings. On display are early works by artist Ray Abeyta, the late “Mayor of Williamsburg,” and close friend of the film festival. More →
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.
If you look carefully at “St. Marks Place,” the above painting by artist Lola Saenz inspired by the gas explosion on Second Avenue, you can see two faces, one screaming or gaping in astonishment, the other with its head quietly lowered. The painting encapsulates the shock and despair felt by East Villagers as they witnessed the sudden crisis that took two people’s lives.
The celebrity cemetery on Broome Street has no headstones, graves or flowers. Through Sunday, the Whitebox Art Center will display 51 portraits from British painter Robert Priseman’s “FAME” series, depicting stars who “died prematurely from suicide or as a result of a self-destructive lifestyle.” More →