On a recent Sunday afternoon in a Bushwick art studio, I took my top off, changed into a paper-thin, full-body Tyvek suit, and took a seat in front of a tall, blond man twirling a pair of surgical scissors. He cut off the top of the disposable suit and then wrapped my chest with clear tape, effectively pinning my arms to my sides. “This is starting to get a little too Dexter,” he said, before covering my neck with alginate.
Vaginal Davis is undeniably one of the most prolific artists to come out of the ’70s punk scene. The black, inter-sex born, self-declared outsider artist is nothing short of a queer icon. And even though she’s from Los Angeles (South Central, to be precise), she has a special place in New York City, where she’s had a serious impact on contemporary underground culture– the Bushwick drag scene is particularly indebted to her, as Davis is one of the founding mothers of “terrorist drag.”
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.
More ch-ch-ch-changes on Astor Place, where last week the beloved cube went away for a while. What did we spy on our way into work today but this gleaming Keith Haring sculpture outside of 51 Astor Place. Apparently the lobby’s Jeff Koons rabbit wasn’t blingy enough.
Last week we noted that a gigantic tire that served as a ferris wheel during the ’64 World’s Fair now resides outside of Detroit — turns out, it’s not the only New York monument that can be seen (in slightly altered form) in Michigan.