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Art This Week: A Brewery Gallery, Forgeries, and Another Stonewall Show

(image via Howl Happening)

We the People
Opening Wednesday, June 19 at Howl! Happening, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through July 21.

Some people go to prestigious and expensive schools to learn how to make art, throwing piles of cash at nice supplies in the process. Guy Woodard, on the other hand, honed his craft using a cheap ballpoint pen while incarcerated. The former counterfeiter and forger is opening a solo show of intricate ink drawings at Howl Happening in the East Village starting tonight. In addition to his drawings, which explore both political events and the ins and outs of everyday black life, the exhibition also features a selection of Woodard-created forgeries, including one of Trayvon Martin’s Howard University diploma.

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Giblet: Actual Pig in the City

Babe: Pig in the City is showing in Prospect Park next month. But you don’t have to wait that long to see an urban ungulate. There’s a piglet named Giblet roaming the streets of the East Village and beyond.

He seems to enjoy strolls around Tompkins Square Park, getting his head stuck in Cheerios boxes, and crossing the street with elegance and poise. More →

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HBO’s Wigstock Doc Remembers a Time ‘When Drag Was Punk Rock’

Kevin Aviance performing at Wigstock 2018. (Photo courtesy of HBO)

“A lot of people don’t study their history,” bemoans New York drag pioneer Flotilla Debarge in Wig, the new documentary from Chris Moukarbel premiering tonight on HBO. The film charts the birth, ebb, and recent renaissance of the annual Wigstock drag festival, which had its heyday in New York in the 1980s and ’90s. By the time the festival disappeared in 2001—the final official Wigstock took place in early September of that year, just before the landscape and spirit of the city changed irrevocably—its attendees numbered in the thousands. It had become a scene staple. Wig is a colorful love letter to its subject matter, a suggestion that much of our contemporary drag moment remains indebted to the trailblazers of Wigstock. But in 2019, Moukarbel seems to argue, too few of us know about it. More →

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Dancing in Bodega Bags? These Artist-Activists Call It Trashion

Dancers from the Artichoke Dance Company perform at Gowanus Visions. (Photos: Laura Lee Huttenbach)

On the promenade in front of the Gowanus Canal on Saturday, 16 people wearing costumes made of single-use plastic bags performed a dance routine. On the canal, an EPA Superfund site, a mother and her two children paddled around in a red canoe  and lifejackets belonging to the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club.  A storyteller by the name Sweet Aminata recounted her first impressions of the Gowanus Canal when she moved to the neighborhood 27 years ago. “I can recall the smell,” she said. “A thick stench that followed you down the block.” More →

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Delicious Diversity at the Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Fest

For the 19th year, the Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, and Empanadas Festival brought its namesake treats– and other celebrations of the Lower East Side’s Chinese, Jewish, and Puerto Rican traditions– to the Eldridge Street Synagogue. Watch our video for a look at Sunday’s lion dancing, bomba drumming, and a pretty fierce mahjong match.

Video by Doreen Wang

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New Book Is Letting the Bodega Cat Out of the Bag

(Cover image courtesy of POW! Kids Books)

New York archetypes are not rare in fiction — from the (allegedly) starving Lower East Side artist to the millennial nanny thrust among Upper East Side wealth. However, a children’s book coming out this fall is putting the spotlight on New York literature’s forgotten felines: bodega cats! (noun, sing.: those fuzzy creatures that sit on newspaper piles and Arizona iced tea packages at your local Latinx/Hispanic grocery.) More →

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In a Bushwick Basement, an Inclusive Art Gallery That’s Literally Homegrown

(Photos: Amanda Feinman)

Just blocks from the Knickerbocker / Myrtle M stop, El Sótano Art Space occupies the bottom floor of a residential building. Not much goes on on its quiet street; a small market draws groups of neighbors to the corner, but that’s about it. The gallery’s storefront, to the extent that there is one, is a label on a buzzer. To get down the stairs and into its exhibition space, you have to ring number 1. More →

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Performance Picks: A Twin Peaks Pageant, Neverland Burlesque, and More

THURSDAY

(image via Charlie Bardey / Facebook)

Stacy
Thursday, June 13 at Rebecca’s, 8 pm: FREE

Who is Stacy? I personally don’t know, but comedians Marissa Goldman, Caroline Doyle, and Charlie Bardey might, considering the trio hosts a show boasting that name every month at cozy, colorfully-lit Bushwick bar Rebecca’s. Apparently, this Stacy has recently embarked upon an archaeological dig, but it was not so successful, and she’s feeling a bit downtrodden. (Who wouldn’t, if they were promised dinosaurs and didn’t discover any?) The three hosts have gathered an evening of laughs to serve as the antidote, which will be delivered by Rachel Pegram, Pat Regan, Tim Platt, Jolie Darrow, and Rufat Agayev, with an additional dose of drag from Chola Spears.

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Debut Designer Willie Norris Believes in ‘Queer Capital,’ Not Rainbow Capitalism

Willie Norris (Photo: @heathersten)

In high school, Norris designed costumes for every theatrical production, and dreamed of being a fashion designer. And he dreamed of getting out of his homophobic community in Gloucester, Mass., where he desperately “tried to be anything but gay.” As the song goes, you can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes… More →