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Friday Night at Orgy Park

It was nighttime, I was picking up the keys for

It was nighttime, I was picking up the keys for

Studio 10

from Annelie McGavin at 

Mama Joy's

. I spoke with

Ben Godward

and then to his friend Steve Mykietyn. "You should stay at Steve's place." Ben said, "He has an art gallery in his home." He then turned to Steve, "They're staying at my studio tonight" and filled him in on the rest of

Trust Fall

.

"Sure. You'd sleep one night?" Steve asked.

"And document it. How does next Tuesday sound?"

"Ok. Let me give you my number."

I took it down and said "I'll find you on the internet."

"It's tough to do that. My name is spelled phonetically."

He was right. It was hard to find him there.

However, the three dimensional aspect of our meeting allowed us to reconnect in Cafe Ghia almost a week later. We had a drink and he took us to his home/gallery called Orgy Park. The show is called Kelly's Eye Club and it is a well-curated, long-gestated, international-and-local-artist-featuring group exhibition without a theme.

It is also one of those excellent shows that sneaks up on you. Something that won't be done justice with a press release or hype or any of that other bullshit that I sometimes have to wade through in the search for something transcendent.

I use the word "bullshit" lovingly.

I asked Steve about his curating method for the show, "It was about finding a piece that the artist was comfortable showing. It was really fortunate that we got such good work."

Yeah, I hear you but what did that method produce? What's being shown?

As soon as you walk in, there's an idyllic painting by Erika Langstroth of centaurs, green color fields, and what looks like a tornado coming. Centaurs aren't exactly idyllic creatures so there is a subtext (which I want to tie to North Brooklyn but won't here) (and there's that tornado, which are making a come back). Immediately to the right of the opener is a large painting of two female wrestlers engaged in a hold that looks painful or passionate. The thing about it though, is that Catherine Lepp painted them so subtly that they look like they're in a free fall, plummeting to somewhere but unwilling to give up the fight.

The other pieces that really fill out first floor room (though there are many) include one by Rachel Fainter, a classical nude on a bicycle covered in clematis vines, be-smirked or vandalized with a wide clowning smile. Another is a painting by Zuriel Waters, a Picasso-like nude-self-portrait with breasts. Mr. Waters was one of the first artists to be invited into the show.

On another note, I had breakfast with Steve under that painting. It holds up to cowboy coffee and kale mornings. I can't wait to revisit it in the evening.

"So that was the first floor," Steve Mykietyn said to me while I pointed a camera at him in his garden, "I didn't necessarily care for figurative work. But it's important. It reminds us of what makes humans human. Conceptual work is an idea stripped down which can be beautiful, but it doesn't give full voice to the complexities of being human."

Downstairs, to the proper gallery space, I saw two pieces similar in idea and execution coming from two artists across the pond from one another. Alexander Duke and Miguel Martin have horror affiliated creations playing with (supposed) innocence. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein see-saws with a little girl in Martin's piece, Freddy Krueger and Ronald McDonald wrestle in the nude, smiling.

A strange idea sparked in my head, Ronald McDonald and McDonald's food is an abomination stitched together from death and obsession much like Frankenstein's monster. A truer picture of American horror than Freddy Krueger. The way Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a disturbed Prometheus bringing fire to people, was it worth it to give the people what they wanted before they knew that they desired it?

Are fast food and fire and Greek myths and American myths really drawn from this? I'm curious as to whether or not you see simple pop art, or if their proximity and suggestions add to something larger? It may be a reach, but it's been turning over in my head since I walked down the steps.

I do know that Freddy Krueger is as much of an imagination creation as an innocent child. Remember Freddy Krueger started off in a nursery rhyme. A sing song voice coming from the top of the see-saw maybe? I didn't asked the curator because we moved on to an amazing collage by ROBY One.

A small sculpture by Ben Godward featuring lava slides of eye candy, a large bucket and children's toys for sandcastles. It reminded me of a prehistoric stump broken off during a lighting storm. The sculpture was mimicked by a table covered in beer from the opening.

Two very phallic pieces hung near one another, a penis by Adam Parker Smith and a wrench with it's own lighting system by Andrew Russel Thomas. Let's not talk about the phallic imagery by the artists who use their middle names. But for now, you are unable to unthink that.

Finally a toilet with color changing lights and fog was in the downstairs bathroom. It's art, and as with much art you only have to flush.

The closing party for Kelly's Eye Club will be held at Orgy Park on September 21st from 8pm-10pm. Orgy Park is located at 237 Jefferson Street (between Knickerbocker and Wilson) Apartment 1b.

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