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Art This Week: Miss Meatface and Many Group Shows

(image via The Untitled Space / Facebook)

Miss Meatface
Opening Tuesday, July 2 at The Untitled Space, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through July 13.

No, “Miss Meatface” does not refer to the latest right-wing woman to adopt the “carnivore diet,” that frightening all-beef culinary regime embraced by the likes of Jordan Peterson; it refers to the artist Kat Toronto, who creates bizarre and entrancing “performance-based photography” under the name Miss Meatface, which resemble stills from some surreal, experimental, BDSM-laced film you want to immediately consume in full. In addition to an exhibition of recent creations by Miss Meatface, Tuesday’s reception will also feature a zine signing and an artist talk between Meatface and The Untitled Space’s director, Indira Cesarine.

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Art This Week: Photography After Stonewall, IRL Investigation, Jojo Abot

(image by John Paul Evans, via Soho Photo Gallery / Facebook)

Photography After Stonewall
Opening Tuesday, June 4 at Soho Photo Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 29.

As I’m sure you’ve heard (and if you haven’t, you might want to broaden the types of media you consume), it’s the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots this year, and it’s Pride month. Events commemorating this historic milestone can be found pretty much everywhere you look, including at the Soho Photo Gallery, which will be showing creative photography works from 23 living artists making work about queerness today. The pieces on view include portraits, abstract works, documentations of romance and love, images that have more of an editorial flair, and more.

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Art This Week: A Mexican Collaboration and the Perils of Cross-Border Travel

Ahmad Hammoud, Passport for the Stateless, 2016, Color-printed paper booklet, 4.9 × 3.5 in

Occupational Hazards
Opening Wednesday, May 29 at apexart, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through July 27.

The central concept of apexart’s latest exhibition is pieces of art that have been “lost, damaged, or destroyed when shipped through the Middle East,” a theme that seems so specific it might seem like it could only result in a meager showcase. As the show contains over a dozen artists from all over the world, particularly those with ties to places like Iran, Kuwait, and Palestine, it is apparent that art in international transit can meet this fate more frequently than one might surmise. This can encompass more mundane wear and tear from the everyday bumpiness of travel and the customs process, or it can have more complicated, insidious origins, such as the time artist Ahmad Hammound’s passport-esque creation got torn up and marked with red pen for daring to remotely resemble a travel document. More →

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Art This Week: Extinct Fish and Playable Simulations

(image via Rubber Factory)

fish mystery in the shift horizon
Opening Wednesday, May 22 at Rubber Factory, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 23.

The natural world is so vast and multifaceted it can seem like an impossible task to quantify it all. In fact, sometimes it is, and the scientific inability to identify a species’s baseline population size (known as “shifting baseline syndrome”) is one of the driving factors behind Catalina Ouyang’s latest show of sculptures and videos, which also draws from notions of diaspora and mistranslation. Huge, curious, jade-colored creatures populate the gallery space, looking simultaneously like cows, humans, fish, and some other fantastical creation entirely. They’re based off the Chinese paddlefish and baiji, creatures that are now extinct but once had a shifting baseline. The opening reception on Wednesday will not only feature Ouyang’s sculptures and videos, but also a durational performance among the aquatic creatures.

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Art This Week: Incarceration Meditations, Awkward Domesticity, and More

(image courtesy of Rachel Margolin)

Broken Heaven
Opening Tuesday, May 14 at 7 Franklin Place, 6 pm to 10 pm. One night only.

Art exhibitions featuring people who are formerly or currently incarcerated have been fairly common, but it would be unproductive to shoehorn them into a category. After all, no one goes about remarking about how there are too many art exhibitions featuring people who live in houses. If you’ve yet to go to an art show that draws from the profound and traumatic experience of incarceration on creators, or even if you have, head to Tribeca tonight for a show by the formerly incarcerated artist Pingo, who will be showing his work to the public for one night before a stint at this year’s Art Basel Miami. Pingo’s work is abstract and textural, recalling Jackson Pollock and utilizing shocks of colorful paint to convey a landscape of emotion. Not only that, but the exhibition will also include ice sculptures.

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Art This Week: Lines, Cut Paper, and Low-Tech Glitches

thecatamites, Magic Wand, 2016, Video game, Dimensions variable (still) (image via apexart)

Dire Jank
Opening Wednesday, March 20 at apexart, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 19. 

It’s usually considered good and impressive for something digitally created to look flawless, almost like it wasn’t created by humans to begin with. Usually this process is time-consuming; it almost always involves some sort of expensive software, or equipment, or graduate degrees. Dire Jank, an exhibition of games, videos, and digital art curated by Porpentine Charity Heartscape, celebrates pretty much everything that isn’t that. Pixelated images, old Photo Booth filters, outdated Flash games, glitches, and more are put on a pedestal here, valued more than the glossy, hyper-realistic creations that modern technology can create. 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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Weekend Art Openings: African Masks, Tiny Sculptures, and The Apocalypse

(image courtesy of Salon 94 Bowery)

Flash of the Spirit
Opening Friday, November 9 at Salon Bowery 94, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 21.

Lyle Ashton Harris’s photos, on view at Salon 94 Bowery starting this Friday, contain much colorful, vivid imagery, but few human faces. Instead, the faces in the bodies he captures are covered by elaborate, striking masks sourced from a variety of places, including several African masks from his uncle’s collection. These images are actually self-portraits, but you might not know it. And that’s kind of the point: throughout history, people putting on masks has been equated with them transforming into someone (or something) else, whether that be an improved version of oneself or a way to avoid accountability. Harris has been making work dealing with queerness, Blackness, and the self in the context of diaspora for decades, and this is a chance to see what he’s up to now. More →

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A Future Without Cisgender Men, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image via Lorene Bouboushian / Facebook)

This Is It
Wednesday, September 26 at The Glove, 8:30 pm: $8

If you were planning on going to a show tonight and being rowdy and inattentive, I’d advise you not to come to The Glove. “I will pick you up and slide you down the stairs if you are shitty,” notes Lorene Bouboushian, the host for the evening of performance art, and you’d best heed their warning. So, get your respectful and enthusiastic self to Bushwick to see some weird and wonderful work by noise-drag performer Reagan Holiday, queer Latinx performance artist Sierra Ortega, multidisciplinary artist Rina Espiritu, and a butt-tastic collaboration between Lily Chambers and Hannah Kallenbach. More →

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At Cuomo’s ‘Marijuana Listening Session,’ High Hopes For Legalization

(photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

When Governor Cuomo’s office announced a series of statewide “marijuana listening sessions” to get community feedback when drafting legislation for legal adult use, many rushed to make jokes; the name conjured images of stoned people jamming to records. But recreational cannabis use was one of the last things on the minds of those at last night’s Manhattan session. Rather, the two-hour event at BMCC’s Tribeca Performing Arts Center was rife with dialogue surrounding the potentials and risks this type of historic legalization could bring, and how New York might be able to get it right. More →