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False Aristocracy of Lena Marquise.

One-eyed big fuzzy Matt has been proudly holding the title of showroom cat for some time now. And as a true artsy cat, he’s indifferent to the excessive display of affection by showroom visitors. He strolls by some strange new element in his kingdom full of art and peculiar artifacts--you--and with a genial nod of his head indicates that he might, if it occurs to him, bite. Meow.

With precision and ease, Matt jumps first on a vintage green glossy chair and then to a windowsill next to a tall white birdcage with plastic white bunnies in it. A blue-eyed girl with painted tears falling down her cheeks looks him closely in that one remaining eye and with one fingertip touches his nose.

Sunday afternoon rays of light are falling on Lena’s beautiful serene face; then to taxidermy on the walls; the light is merging with the crystals of a candlestick on the table, transforming the crystals into colorful lights.  Above a comfortable couch hangs white fur with red wine spilled all over it and a large kitchen knife stabbed in the middle. Lena is sitting on the couch, her hands folded in her lap. She holds her head with an elegance that makes girls and boys feel embarrassed by their own clumsiness in her presence.

Mademoiselle Lena, burlesque dancer. Lena Marquise. Miss False Aristocrat. She is one of the most artsy people you will encounter in the neighborhood. When she tells me about the latest art show she’s been to, or an artist she met, or about a particular piece of clothing she has discovered, or a painting she has just framed, I feel a flow of pure joy.

Lena loves installations. Not just installations that play with light and video, but arranging objects in their space. This passion inevitably leads her not only to create her own art, but to curate her own shows.  And the curator skin probably fits her the best. She’s got a nose for what’s fresh and innovative, for people bursting with creativity, and for inspiring spaces. Piece by piece, has been creating a unique showroom in her apartment in Bushwick.

What art does she want to get her hands on? Who are the people who inspire her most in Brooklyn? Which upcoming art shows are not to be missed? Lena will tell you herself every Wednesday here on Bushwick Daily, where her new column starts tomorrow. Don’t miss it!



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