America Is Hard To See Now through February 24 at HERE Arts Center, 8:30 pm: $35-45
Do you ever have an idea and sort of less-than-halfway execute that idea, and then spend a really long time procrastinating doing any more work on it and then find out that someone has beat you to the punch but in a way that seems really interesting and cool so you can’t help but appreciate it? Whether you have or you haven’t, that very thing happened to me with this new play. In college, I started writing a play about a trailer park community of sex offenders with nowhere else to live, based on the real manifestations of this phenomenon. I never finished it, or even came close, because writing plot is hard. Life Jacket Theater Company did, and they even traveled to Florida’s Miracle Village and interviewed its residents to create their show. Add in a helping of methodist hymns and theatricality, and you’ve got the recipe for a play that seems truly nuanced and exciting, particularly in today’s tumultuous time of #metoo reckonings. More →
“America” ONE YEAR OF RESISTANCE artwork by Touba Alipour
One Year of Resistance Opening Tuesday, January 16 at The Untitled Space, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through February 4.
Though it feels like several eternities, it’s been about a year since Trump was inaugurated. A large array of artists have been asked to channel their rage and other such emotions into their work, resulting in the wide spread that is One Year of Resistance, a group show at The Untitled Space in Tribeca. This gallery is no stranger to art that responds to the current political climate; the month of the 2017 inauguration they presented group exhibition Uprise / Angry Women. For One Year of Resistance, which serves as a follow-up to Angry Women, curator and gallery director Indira Cesarine has asked over 80 artists of all genders to contribute work inspired by “the controversial policies and practices of our current president.” The work ranges from literal depictions of Trump to more symbolic renderings of #resistance. Can you believe it’s only been a year? More →
Fire Signs Present: Sociable Sagittarians Wednesday, November 29 at Artichoke Pizza, 9 pm: FREE
Artichoke Pizza is known far and wide for serving up very large, very rich, very cream-laden slices of pizza to late-night revelers and hungry lunch-searchers alike. But when they opened a Bushwick location in the old Northeast Kingdom space not too long ago, they also began hosting events and shows in their basement. One such monthly show is a woman-centric variety show helmed by Fire Signs Present, a duo (of fire signs, of course) comprised of performers Meg McDermott and Nancy Pop. Each month, they book women and femme comedians, storytellers, musicians, and anything in between, typically who belong to the astrological sign of the month, but not always. (Full disclosure: I performed at last month’s Scorpio show. Fellow Scorpio Risings…hello.) This time around, it is all about Sagittarius folk, specifically Hannah Abney, Thoughtress, Brittany Sherrod, and Aston Hollins McClanahan. Plus, there is free prosecco. More →
Thomas Paine In Violence Now through November 18 at HERE Arts Center, 8:30 pm: $25
While Paul Pinto may be known by some for his work as a performer in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, he is also a highly interesting composer in his own right. In collaboration with director Rick Burkhardt, he has whipped up an electro-acoustic opera centering around founding father Thomas Paine and a surreal, dreamlike radio station from another planet. Paine, played by vocalist Joan La Barbara, is attempting to deliver various messages on economic justice while a raucous chorus of sound unfolds around him. The show in particular concerns Paine’s 1797 pamphlet Agrarian Justice, considered a precursor of basic income theory and planted seeds for ideas such as Social Security and taxing those who owned land in order to provide for those who did not.
Omg Random Opening Tuesday, September 5 at Benson’s NYC, 7 pm. On view through September 19.
Some art shows are tightly curated, conceptually driven projects that claim to elegantly tackle a Big Theme. Others are just selections of nice-looking stuff. Both types of curation are valid, but sometimes you want to give your lil’ old brain a break and just look at some fun, colorful works of art. Luckily, it appears that the aptly-titled Omg Random, opening tonight in the Lower East Side, will deliver all this and a bag of chips. But probably a bag of chips in painting form.
The show consists of work by Mary Houlihan, Max Rosen, and Rosie Morales. They will be showing paintings, mixed media works, collages, and more. Some of you may know Mary as a comedian, but she also makes very fun paintings. I once commissioned her to make a custom dog painting that really turned out great. I have not commissioned dog paintings from the other artists, but they seem top-notch as well. And if you like what you see, prints will be available for sale at the opening.
Sweety’s, a curatorial initiative “dedicated to the labor of black and brown artists,” will be taking over the Lower East Side’s Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space until the end of July, using their time to stage live talk show interviews with artists and “Spanish-speaking cultural producers.” They’ve partnered with four unique artists, who will be interviewed by Sweety’s and given space for a week to show their work. Once those weeks have concluded, the four members of Sweety’s will be creating a collaborative installation.
The residency begins with Cecilia Gentili, a performer, storyteller, and advocate for trans women of color, and continues with illustrator Raul Gonzalez III, poet and AIDS activist Emanuel Xavier, and visual artist Elia Alba. As the Manhattan art world continues to largely fulfill its reputation of being upper-class, cis, and white, ventures like Sweety’s are a breath of fresh air.
Tribeca’s Roxy Hotel has re-launched its much-loved cellar theater Roxy Cinema with new concessions and a big slate of summer programming — including free midnight screenings and events with indie acts like TV Baby and Beach Fossils.
The cinema, which specializes in “first-run, independent, classic, art-house and foreign film, both played on digital and 35mm,” is one of the few locations in New York where you can enjoy good beer, wine, and even champagne during a movie. Cocktails are also reportedly on the way. They’re also beefing up their snacks-and-candy concessions.
Masterpiece Classic: Women in Art Wednesday, February 8 at UCB Chelsea, 8 pm: $7
It is generally agreed upon that art is Good. However, the art world is where things get a little more polarized. This new character-based show by comedian and actress Hallie Haas takes on the type of people who consider themselves high and mighty creators, the type of people who take themselves reeeeeeally seriously. The premise is that Laura Linney, of course, has gathered together seven of the most sophisticated and acclaimed women artists for an evening that feels a lot like a certain public access television show. Only probably a lot weirder. Especially considering Haas will be playing every character. This spoof on PBS classics feels especially timely, considering I just got an email asking me to sign an online petition so that Donald Trump doesn’t get rid of PBS Kids. Please, think of the children. And the art.
Aganetha Dyck, An Inconvenient Proposal, 2007, Porcelain figure, beeswax, honeycomb, Courtesy of the artist and Michael Gibson Gallery, London, ON (image courtesy of apexart)
It’s generally understood that nature, while vast and occasionally intimidating, can be very beautiful. But how much of this has been intentionally placed and crafted? Is a bee’s honeycomb pleasing to the eye by accident or is there something more to it? Tribeca gallery apexart’s latest exhibition Animal Intent, organized and curated by Emily Falvey, puts animals in the spotlight alongside human artists, framing them as “collaborators” who can potentially assist in the purposeful creative act of making art, a practice normally framed as a very “human” endeavor.
Emergence: Emerging Artists in New York Opening Tuesday January 17 at The Living Gallery, 6 pm to 9 pm. One night only.
The term “emerging artist” has been a bit of a buzzword for quite some time now. To some, it means someone who has literally just started creating, to others, it is someone who’s been on the scene for a couple years but hasn’t won any fancy awards. And sometimes it’s somewhere in between. But this art show really owns the title in a way that’s clear: simply, Emergence is showing work by New York artists who have never shown their work in a gallery before. There will be over 20 artists covering the gallery in their work, whether it be painting and sculpture, performance, or even fashion pieces. Come one, come all, and witness the emergence.