The Portrait is Political Opening Wednesday, April 24 at BRIC, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through May 12.
Portraits have become one of the most ubiquitous forms of imagery in our society. While their origins lie in fine art, today’s portraits can take any form, but the most common is surely the selfie. Some might argue the vast proliferation of selfies and such has diluted the significance of this form, but I’m more inclined to believe it has opened up the opportunity to start thinking more purposefully about portraiture; one must, to cut through the churn. The Portrait is Political, a “suite” of exhibitions opening at BRIC this week, seeks to reassert the power of depicting people in art. Jaishri Abichandani immortalizes Brooklyn’s South Asian feminists in paint, Texas Isaiah creates collaborative works with his subjects, and Liz Collins curates a sprawling spread of portraits from over 35 queer artists. More →
Brown Privilege Comedy Thursday, March 21 at Friends and Lovers, 8:30 pm: FREE (donation suggested)
The 39th edition of Saurin Choksi and DJ Sareen’s Brown Privilege Comedy returns to Crown Heights bar Friends and Lovers tonight. As always, the show spotlights some of the best comedians of color the city has to offer, with nary a token white person to be found. This time, they’re bringing along Gibran Saleem, Aminah Imani, Ayanna Dookie, Kevin Iso, and Alex English. After all the jokes have concluded, stick around—DJ Sareen takes the stage and the show becomes a dance party.More →
It’s a shame you can’t consume paintings with more than just your eyes, as the works on view at Food For Thought, opening Thursday at Soho gallery Louis K. Meisel, certainly look good enough to eat. That’s not a metaphor: they’re artistic renderings of food, from sugary, cellophane-wrapped confections to simple still lives of walnuts or onions. The edible item isn’t always front and center in this stuffed show—some pieces are intricate retro renderings of the signs outside of diners, bars, or burger joints; others are painted nudes where the subject just happens to be holding an apple. Either way, the food is there. Sometimes you have to look for it, sometimes it’s so prominent you’ll start feeling peckish.More →
The books you read in school growing up (and maybe even now) were most likely written by (white) men, save for a few exceptions. There were plenty of opportunities to discuss this work, usually mandatory, but most of the time this involved parsing through the analytical layers of it all, marveling at what a multifaceted creation had come into existence at the hands of these men. Wednesday’s Drunk Education is a little different. Notable literary men will be the central topic, yes, but they’ll be roasted by three women writers (Rolling Stone’s Brittany Spanos, Observer’s Helen Holmes, and freelancer Becca Schuh) until nothing is left but some charred remains.More →
It’s the new year, and most of us are probably reflecting on what we did over the last 365 days and what we can do to at least be marginally better. Rather than dream up a more perfect being, artist Logan T. Sibrel prefers to focus more on the flaws and complications of being alive, making drawings depicting people who are acting difficult, awkward, aroused, and sometimes all three at once. Deemed “a serious joke,” his mixture of words and images are reminiscent of a sort of existential comic book. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to finally think of a resolution, or maybe just to ditch the concept entirely.More →
Close Your Eyes Opening Thursday, December 13 at The Storefront Project, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through January 6.
Looking at Nat Girsberger’s collages, on view at the Lower East Side’s Storefront Project starting Thursday, is a good way to get lost in a kind of psychedelic fantasy land. Outer space, nature, animals, and human figures intermingle in landscapes with colors that seem brighter than what one would typically encounter in reality. In a time where the news feels more and more anxiety-inducing every day, it’s important to have little moments of escape, where we’re not filled with dread and instead perhaps wondering about the inner life of a deer standing among very large mushrooms standing on a vivid path that seems to be leading into the sun.
Are you into arts, crafts, or sharing primal screams with your fellow progressives? From now until Election Day you can go to Protest Factory and watch a crew of prominent writers and artists make protests signs. Among those who will be reading, speaking, and rallying are punk poet Richard Hell, photographers Nan Goldin and Ryan McGinley, musician and performance artist Kembra Pfahler, writers Michael Cunningham and Eileen Myles, and visual artists Marilyn Minter, Barbara Kruger and Laurie Simmons. More →
White Lies Opening Thursday, October 11 at Derek Eller Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 11.
For better or for worse, we can all agree something there’s no shortage of in today’s world is information. From partisan pundits to much-maligned “fake news” to legitimate educational content, it’s hard to tune it all out completely, even if you try. This is evident in the work of painter Despina Stokou. What initially looks like colorful abstract work is revealed to be artistic, chaotic renderings of words: Twitter posts, political commentary, hashtags, and the multifaceted feelings of people living in America today. But of course, some of these painted-on phrases have become hard to understand, quite literally erased by broad strokes of white. Sound familiar?More →
It’s no secret that the city is filled with all sorts of microorganisms—yes, even the kind you’d rather not think about. They’re there! Rather than focus on just the unsettling spores, a uniquely scientific new installation at the Storefront for Art and Architecture seeks to reimagine the city and the many neighborhoods and cultures it contains using the framework of the “human microbiome.” This posits that each city in the world, and each subculture or pocket within them, has their own “gut biome,” just like human beings do. The installation (by Kevin Slavin, Elizabeth Hénaff, and the collective The Living) normalizes the idea that there are microorganisms everywhere in a city, collecting them through wood in the exhibition space’s facade as well “bio-receptive wooden tiles” scattered throughout the city. This wood is then displayed and analyzed, simultaneously art and scientific specimen.More →
Did you know there is a recently-excavated mass grave in Athens, Greece with contents dating back to 7 B.C., including “eighty shackled skeletons” with great teeth? Artist and current resident at the International Studio and Curatorial Program Hikaru Fujii does, and he’s spent a lot of time documenting and learning about this curious piece of history. The result of this work will be on view in The Primary Fact, the artist’s first solo exhibition in the U.S. It features predominantly video and photography, focusing on the “inconclusive scientific viewpoints” that have emerged about the grave, its contents, and its history. In addition to displaying actual imagery from the Athenian grave, Fujii also assembled a group of Greek men to recreate the choreographic moment of mass execution (presumably due to a political coup) that led to this grave in the first place. More →