In just the past 3 weeks, I believe I've been to 19 openings and visited somewhere around 30 galleries and completed one one-on-one artist studio visit.
I'm accumulating so many art cards, press releases and gallery photos on my Cannon Powershot Digital Elph, that maybe I should call in a professional organizer-- maybe one like the creator of my fave piece of the entire past year-- found entirely by accident while walking the streets of Williamsburg.
Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Emcee C.M., (AKA Colin McMullan) and his interactive "Neighborhood Junk Drawer," a part of the just recently completed Conflux Festival.
I laughed my ass off with this one.
Truly, deeply, I love it.
And apparently the neighborhood does as well.
Buried inconspicuously into the plywood fence around yet another "abandoned lot," the drawer fits perfectly and can be slid in and out quite easily.
The items in the drawer are finding nice new homes throughout Williamsburg.
People give and take-- a nice yin and yang.
Let's check out a few of the current contents:
Need an extra spoon?
Here's your opportunity.
If anyone knows Michele, you might want to tell her where her I.D. has ended up.
For more info on Colin's hilarious undertakings, I implore you to check out his website.
He's got to be one of the best things I've ever seen in art today in terms of humor and true creativity.
Check out his "moving" movies and "corner library" pieces as well.
Anyway, so, though I'm finding it a bit difficult as of late to keep up with regular highlights on the blog, I wanted to share with my readers as best I could some of the top Billyburg choices for viewing over the next week.
First up, a group show I mentioned a few posts back, "The Fall Season," at Jack the Pelican Presents.
I'm including for my readers what I consider to be the two best works in the show.
This work at left created by Chinese artist Li Wei is a photo that is so immersed in peril, I can barely describe or look at, given its subject material.
There's such panic and rapidity of motion through this work.
In many ways this classic horor movie staged piece reminded me of artist Charlie White's prefabricated alternative realities shot in an almost documentary format.
But instead of a pitifyingly tragic creature like "Joshua," Mr. Wei inserts this figure that's eternally between a rock and true impossibility into each of his pieces.
Fatalistic, and definitely nightmarish.
It's not often that a piece brings such a lack of control into focus-- something I think more artists should focus on, rather than trying to FORCE viewers into a fairly unhealthy lectured-to environment.
This just needs no explanation, and is what it is.
Moving to the next piece, and this just took my breath away.
Artist Graham Guerra here does a nice dissection of the modern human-- in terms of the realities of sexual "freedom," modern technology, brutal physicality and looming skies of doom all around us.
A show with a very nice take on where we currently find ourselves.
I believe the press release stated just that-- how the burgeoning gentrification of Williamsburg/Greenpoint puts it all into play, of how "the walls are literally crumbling around them."
It says a lot about the times of excess that we find ourselves in.
We are now in a retro Gordon Gecko-Dynasty laden reality on one side; "Mean Streets" redeveloping on the other.
Who will win out in the end?
Falling can be literal-- and certainly is at the forefront in each of these works-- but can also be figurative as well.
For the rapid rate of condo-ization mixed with abandoned lots around Roebling and Driggs, we are failing to keep development in check, yet with each new construction, we lose a piece of history and ourselves.
The back and forth of luxury condos being built directly next to public housing is truly maniacal-- and seems so forced.
I like that Jack the Pelican is trying its own version of a commentary on the situation it now finds itself in.
By the way, I also felt that the syringe and champagne glass are a great juxtaposition to include.
The exhibit runs until October 7th.
For more information, go to:http://www.jackthepelicanpresents.com/
Changing gears here, how about we get ourselves a nice cup of tea?
After all, it was 4pm on a Sunday afternoon from whence this visit came.
(again, hint to readers, Williamsburg galleries are open on Sundays. You CAN sleep in and still get up to see some great work)
Above, "Park Seed Mystery," acrylic on canvas
Take a look at this beautiful, glorious light infused piece by Wanda Taylor Remington at Ch'i Gallery on Grand Street.
Her stunningly beautiful exhibit, "Tall Tales and Love Songs," achieves so much in terms of bringing the viewer into her pieces, letting you experience such tranquility and lush detail.
Gorgeous flow and color here-- it brings to mind the most detailed tapestries of the orient, and/or a floral arrangement that I could find in the sunniest of sun rooms.
I liked this work because it was so simple and decorative, almost like a late summer's garden in England.
When did art stop being about beauty, anyway?
This is a nice throwback.
I believe Ms. Remington's pieces also have such a calm nature to them, and she reflects that her grandchildren have been a great inspiration to her as well.
Though the art at Ch'i certainly tends towards the conservative, and my own personal tastes usually do not, I just loved every bit of this show.
Take a look at this closeup of the intricacies and patterns at play...
For more information, go to:
The exhibit is up through October 8th.
Next, let's go to the Hogar Collection gallery, and some nice paper sculptures with unique color combinations.
This is artist Michelle Forsyth's first solo exhibition in New York.
In many ways, almost an origami-like abstraction; in others, I feel like this could be a trophy on a pedestal, or more aptly, the Golden Snitch that flies through Quiddich games, tempting the persuer onwards, always onwards.
Victory certainly awaits Ms. Forsyth, and rightfully so.
Her pattern making and earth tone combinations are a great team here-- and in many ways, the dimpling of the piece reminds me of a soccer ball.
Perhaps the World Cup is still on my memory's surface, but I really liked the angles achieved here.
I also loved the mosaic tile inlay patterns in the wall prints.
Fantastic detail here.
Once again, let's just say I enjoyed this exhibit as well, because-- lo and behold-- it brought beauty back into art.
Now, don't yell at me just yet for stating that art "should be about beauty," because I know it serves a much greater place in today's world and rightfully so.... but truthfully, well-made "statement" art is getting harder and harder to come by.
And I also have noticed how many of the pieces I've reviewed over the past 10 months have been primarily "statement" based.
But honest to god, what is wrong with art that is well-made, requires great trade skill, is colorful, sensual, lovely, quaint, eye-catching and there's that word again-- beautiful?
I say, NOTHING.
None of these works addressed societal ills, abandonment, protest, complacency, or the far-reaches of iced over hearts, but man, did my face light up when I saw them.
For more information, please visit:
The exhibit will be up until October 15th.
I found Hogar to be quite a charming little space, very off the beaten path, but well worth the venture.
A day in Williamsburg can certainly be life-affirming, in terms of getting one back into what art is all about-- seeing as much as possible, and learning as much as possible from your experieces.
On a much different note is artist Mark Stillwell's takeover of Front Room.
Now, I won't say much here-- because I've seen exhibits similar to this before, but any man who can make a living, breathing, darling robot out of a box of KOTEX has truly won my heart.
Maybe I've lowered my standards, (I always vow to not like "garbarge art") given that this has about as much to do with my previous choices as liver and strawberries, but hey, diversity is the spice of life.
As much as the previous artists I've mentioned in this post have been about letting go of control, intricacies of pattern and a sheer forray into beauty, this exhibit is all about fun.
Take a look at just a few of the whimsical creatures and world of miniatures that Stilwell has created.
Even his name (Stilwell, like the main Beach Road) conjures up imagery of fantastic weekends spent at Astroland amusement park at Coney Island.
If you go, check out the water bottle centipede-- it's truly creepy.
Now, if only little American boys grew up with Excellence, by L'Oreal, army tanks of mass destruction, the world just might be a better place.
After all-- how much harm can it do?
Make your hair have extra shine, body, and brilliance?
I say sign me up for this brigade pronto!
And who wouldn't want to go for one more ride on the Wonder Wheel before Thor Equities changes the Coney Island we've all loved through the ages for good?
For more information, go to: