Last week at Bushwick gallery Powrplnt, a group of colorfully-dressed folk sat down and discussed gender. They spoke of societal constructs, deadnames, toxic masculinity, and how norms surrounding body hair can be racist, all while surrounded by eager listeners and an array of art and zines. While some gallery exhibitions have just one night of special programming, this was but one mere component of the multifaceted Death Becomes Her, a show curated by Liberian-American multidisciplinary Vei Darling exploring how concepts of death and femininity intersect in both spirituality and society. More →
Crimes of the Gods
Opening Wednesday, May 23 at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 29.
The mythology of Greek gods have been around for ages, and usually comprise a large chunk of one’s education, whether that be in grade school or college theater classes. But something that is often glazed over or diminished in seriousness is the deep-seated misogyny inherent in many of these powerful characters, and how their actions may have laid a foundation for how our world operates today. Artist Susanna Coffey published an art book in 1988 centered around these tales of gods (men) taking what they want (women, usually), and woodcuts made from these images will be on view alongside self-portraits imbued with the same passionate feminine anger. “Now I see that the tale told in The Homeric Hymn is more of an ongoing truth than a myth,” Coffey writes in an essay included with the exhibition, and it’s worth wondering if the opposite will ever be true. More →
Over the weekend fancy people in an “acquisitive mood” milled around Frieze Art Fair, discreetly making it rain while rubbing shoulders with art dealers, the dapperly dressed, and a donkey named Sir Gabriel– an animal brought there by an artist who recently broke a personal record when his statue of Hitler sold for $17.2 million at auction.
Back in Bushwick, however, less absurd things were going down at a very different kind of art happening. As far as we can tell, there wasn’t a VIP section at the opening night of Body Language, the second art show to happen at Angelina Dreem’s art and technology educational hub, Powrplnt, and the first one dedicated to paintings and other 2D works by emerging and established artists.
Continues through February 20 at New York Live Arts, 219 W 19th Street, Chelsea. 7:30pm; Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.
Acclaimed dance artist Valda Setterfeld, sporting a shock of white hair, crafts her own version of Shakespeare’s Lear in collaboration with Irish choreographer John Scott. Interestingly, Setterfeld herself plays Lear while the King’s daughters are played by three men. Don’t expect this to be an evening of period dress and Classical language. Setterfeld may be the right age to play Lear, but this unique and movement-driven creation seems anything but typical.
Powrplnt– the ambitious non-profit pet project of artist, proud weirdo, and retired Bushwick party girl Angelina Dreem– has officially flipped on the lights and begun watering the plants, so to speak. “Hey–” she started, glancing over at Jake Sollins, one of the teachers setting up to teach teens about Photoshop and Illustrator for a class called “How to Make Money.”
Where, I wondered, does one without children find children? “Everyone asks that, and it’s funny because there are kids everywhere– if you try, how can you not reach kids?” Angelina Dreem found my question pretty funny. Dreem is the artist and the founder of Powrplnt, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing underserved kids (and sometimes adults) with access to digital tools and technology. Angelina recently dubbed it “a net art school for indigo children,” on Twitter. “I feel like there is a real invisibility in the hipster world of everybody else who lives in New York City– it’s like, ‘Well I don’t see them at the bars,’ but for real, there’s a lot of kids.” Touché.
But now I’ll have no excuse about wondering where to recruit children for dastardly deeds, because they’ll be all in one place: Powrplnt just landed an IRL place of its very own in Bushwick, the organization’s first permanent space. “We’ll be starting the first round of classes in January, when the kids get back to school,” Angelina explained. But first up, there’s a fundraising event tonight (featuring the inimitable Junglepussy, believe it or not) and some very orange walls to get rid of immediately after. “On Monday, I’m definitely gonna start painting it white,” Angelina said.