Just when we thought spring was upon us, another late snow and chilly temperatures make us all want to curl up with a good book and a hot toddy. Before you don your Snuggie and slippers, check out these five art events this week that are sure to heat you up and give you reason to brave the last dreary days of winter in anticipation for warmer days ahead! (more…)
Bushwick’s beloved Beat Nite returned to the neighborhood last Friday night in its eighth iteration, supplying an eclectic mix of art ranging from grafitti-inspired art, abstract painting, to full-blown installation and performance. Entitled The Limited Edition, this “nite” boasted an artfully and well-curated selection of ten participating galleries between the Jefferson, Dekalb, and Myrtle Avenue stops. According to Beat Nite curator and Outlet Fine Art co-founder Julian Jimarez-Howard, his goal this time around was to be more selective in choosing the participants in order to make the gallery crawl a manageable size for attendees, and to highlight certain newer galleries on the tour in order to build excitement and momentum into these new spaces.
Biannual Bushwick gallery stroll produced by Norte Maar is coming back this Friday, February 15, 6-10PM!! This time, Beat Nite is coming in a limited edition of 10 participating art spaces/galleries, many of which you probably don’t know. Take this awesome opportunity to check out the spaces curated by Julian Jimarez-Howard from Outlet Fine Art that will include:
You make an eye contact with the person passing by. You can’t tell if it’s a man or a woman, mostly because of the scarf wrapped around his/her head. You tilt your head a little as if to say, “I feel you, good Bushwickian of unknown gender, I’m freezing too!!” But the good news is that you’re already outside and you probably feel like real social interaction after days of hibernation in your Bushwick apartment. So take the freezing stranger with you and check out these awesome events for this weekend!! Maybe you’ll meet a Bushwick Polar Bear….
By Katarina Hybenova
Bizarre ethos, synthesizers, weird gadgets obtained via eBay, girls, UFOs, experimental process. Electronic band Paradise Club is celebrating their freshly released album in all their Bushwick weirdness this Thursday, August 16 at 8pm at Brooklyn Fire Proof. The night named after their album Soundtrack to a Car on Fire, will feature 4 other bands of a similar experimental mindset (Water Brain, Rarefaction, H.Honne Wells and Fall of Another Year).
You probably saw Paradise Club performing in AIRPLANE, Factory Fresh or Bar Matchless last Thursday. The band is also preparing a collaboration with Jason Andrew and Norte Maar on an installment of Cage Transmitted series. Before we see Paradise Club in action, we used this opportunity to chat with the members of the band, Eric Trosko and Kiowa Hammons, about their creative process, their inspiration for the album, and mainly why cars on fire…
How did it all begin? When did you realize you’re a band, not just two guys making sounds?
Eric: We have been making music together and with other people for a number of years now. There was just a point where it was just us two left and we decided to let machines do the work that would have been done by other members. This really freed things up and allowed us to engage in the kind of experimentation and discovery that we had always wanted to. This is when Paradise Club really came into being in the springtime of 2011.
Kiowa: It felt like we were both struggling to incorporate more chaotic elements and performance art practices into the music we were making, and the decision to just start from scratch with a new name, line-up, and instrumentation really opened up the possibilities for a new sound. There can be a lot of clichés associated with branding a collaboration as a “band”—mostly associated with the celebritization of musical groups brought on by rock and pop, and that’s not where we wanted to go with this project. But I think we’ve sort of achieved a good balance between what essentially makes a “band”—which is people making music together, with trying to create something more bizarre and unique by bringing in the elements of more art based practices; such as performative actions, visual art, weird manifestos, etc…, while still incorporating a band ethos into the music. This helps to connect the sounds to people as somewhat structured songs with ideas, motifs, and emotions embedded in.
I like to think of bands as little mini-cults—a group of people who believe in certain ideas spend a concentrated amount of time building on said ideas and create different ways to express them, then the group start preaching these ideas to the people in the hopes that they’ll believe in them to. The interaction of ideas and energy grow into a collective unconscious, channeled through sounds, and then you have something.
I’d like to think of our music achieving a visceral effect similar to the distortion of sound when under water, or the audio physicality of a good nitrous oxide trip….
How would you describe your music?
Eric: 2 synthesizers, 2 vocalists, 1 guitar, 1 saxophone.
Kiowa: This is like trying to describe a mugger for a police sketch or something…so far I think we’ve kind of hidden behind naming the music and musicians that have influenced us rather than trying to put the actual sounds into words. I’d like to think of our music achieving a visceral effect similar to the distortion of sound when under water, or the audio physicality of a good nitrous oxide trip. Eric a while back just started calling it “Soft Skull”, I think it is good to have a new way to describe something new.
We are a Bushwick band. These streets with their once desolate warehouse and factory canyons and its whore lined streets are our inspiration. 12 years ago burning cars were as common as overpriced cafes are now. “Soundtrack to a Car on Fire” is a fairy tale of an apocalypse long past.
What is the favorite music instrument/gadget you are using?
Eric: I don’t really have a favorite. I have the most experience with guitar but it really only plays a minor role at the moment. The Minimoog is really the backbone of our sound on this release. It is the starting point of everything we do. I am hoping to incorporate more instruments in the future.
Kiowa: For me it’s the saxophone. I find that the tone of the instrument can both blend in with the atonal nuances as well as punctuate the more chaotic noises of the music in interesting ways. Plus I enjoy the physical challenge of the instrument; particularly its connection to human breath. There reaches a point with these songs that I feel like I’m going to pass out, and that’s when I know that we are playing at our best.
Can you describe your 1st album? What influenced its creation the most?
Eric: It is the best results of our experimental process. We wanted to entertain ideas that are largely out of favor and fit them into the form of a pop song. Basically most of the music we hear today sounds like it is made for pussies; we are inspired by our opposition to this. The pop song format with all its convention is still the best way to advance the anti-pussy agenda. We try to keep it real and tactile. Real sound, real pain, real joy, real love, real dreams, no pussies…
Kiowa: The album is sort of a layer cake of different noises and atonal drones stacked and blended together to make something akin to a song. Sort of like looking at a cartoon rendition of the earth’s soil: you have the inner and outer cores, the mantle and the crust, with some dinosaur fossils, oil, and dirt; all crushed and fused together—now just think of this diagram as an audio experience…Lyrically, we tend to write songs about what we know: girls, political strife, and UFO’s.
There wasn’t any one particular thing that influenced the making of the album, beyond just coming to a point where we had been playing these songs awhile, and the order of the songs fit, so it was like “when are we going to record this stuff?” Plus we were able to work with our friend and master sound guru, Lou Sherman, so the pieces just fell into place.
Basically most of the music we hear today sounds like it is made for pussies; we are inspired by our opposition to this. The pop song format with all its convention is still the best way to advance the anti-pussy agenda. We try to keep it real and tactile. Real sound, real pain, real joy, real love, real dreams, no pussies…
You are very close to visual arts. In fact Eric, you are a painter as well. Do you see the connection between your music and your art?
Eric: No matter what I am making it is always the same approach. Musical sound is just another material to work with. What I like about working with musical sound is it exists in time, space, and can even be felt, yet it remains invisible. I think of our songs more as places that can be visited rater that something to just listen to. I like the collaboration of music rather than just toiling away alone in an art studio.
Kiowa: Looking at music and being in a band as more of an artistic project, similar to creating a painting or sculpture but with sounds, seemed like a better outlook to produce the music that we were trying to create.
Why the name “Soundtrack to a Car on Fire”
Eric: We are a Bushwick band. These streets with their once desolate warehouses and factory canyons and its whore-lined streets are our inspiration. 12 years ago burning cars were as common as overpriced cafes are now. “Soundtrack to a Car on Fire” is a fairy tale of an apocalypse long past.
Kiowa: When a car burns it takes some time as the metal slowly melts and its flammable guts ignite. In my mind’s eye I can picture the act of a car (or any object for that matter) burning with a certain rhythm pattern; with the sight of the flames flickering and the thing itself slowly smoldering… creating a sort of visual opera. Our music has that kind of beat to it—long intervals of entropic destruction leading to a dead simmer and stillness—leaving only junk and ash and fumes for someone to sweep up.
By Katarina Hybenova
Welcome, dear August. You emerged at our doors requesting a cup of warm beverage because “It’s raining cats and dogs out there.” Oh well, there there, August. Here is a coffee, but beware, it’s little bit bitter, as something’s telling me that summer is going down the hill from your arrival…. Despite or maybe because of that we have some awesome art shows going on in the neighborhood this week. From experimental video to recycled sculpture and roof festivities, here is what we recommend:
The “little hangar”- how Ben Sutton called the Bushwick outpost of SoHo-based Kesting/Ray on Boerum Street, is hosting its second art show. Kesting/Ray is promising an exceptional group show featuring four MFA graduates from University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Mark Farris, Hannah Holshouser, Paul Howe, Gabriel Serpa, and Harry Swartz-Turfle.
On Thursday night you have a unique chance to see the entire Season 4, that is 11 episodes of Acid Rain. Acid Rain is a cable access/web show of Jerstin Crosby who on a monthly basis (co)curates innovative video and film works by emerging artists. According to Jerstin, Season 4 in particular was acutely dark, brooding just below the surface, in ways that were often surprising, ambitious, and humorous. Let’s see it!
AIRPLANE, a friendly gallery run out of a basement on Jefferson Street is opening a lovely summer art show this Saturday. Curated by excellent Rico Gatson, Grounded, is both indoor and outdoor sculpture group show. Found, recycled and other ‘humble’ material is the medium, and we are excited to see some 3D Bushwick works.
Do my eyes see a proper Bushwick apartment art happening? It seems so. Furthermore, Summer Babe sounds so summerly, it makes me want to run in the ocean, and send August on a break…. At Heavy Refuge, or 77 Irving Ave. #1R, you will see a big group art show (featuring among others excellent Dave Bates, Iris Jaffe, Lindsay Dye, Brent Owens, Adam Parker-Smith, or William Powhida), and you will hear Savage Severe playing records. At 9pm Joseph Bradshaw and Jamie Townsend will read. And here is a big surprise! Frankie Rose, recently hyper-popular amazing musician will perform at 10pm.
The long version Bushwick Open Studios 2012. The world has changed in a generative way and they are on the forefront of defining a new American culture.
By Sean Alday
I think I’m going to write a story about how the common thread tying the show together was ‘ego.’
An artist without an ego is a corpse.
The thing that struck me as I wandered from place to place during Bushwick Open Studios was the field day Freudian psychologists would have with the percolating ego in every direction. Some obvious, some subtle, some well-intentioned, some well-executed and some none of the above.
Let’s start with the low hanging fruit as many of us are still holding on to our printed maps. It was large, as Jason Andrew pointed out it was almost the size of the New York Times. There were over 500 studios and galleries this weekend.
“The size is warranted.”
That was my first thought. Until I looked inside.
Something had gone awry with the design. The first page made sense, even if it was a tad sloppy. My only critique would be to have limited the existing text to one page. Following that were two pages filled with what looked like a whole bunch of nothing, two full pages promoting “Seeking Spaces” and several pages of promotion.
Finally a map appears. This is what many will see first when they arrive off of the L train at the Morgan Stop and it’s telling them that four air-conditioned stops ago is where the weekend began. Except for many of them the weekend began at No Name. Which is to say 56 Bogart.
After you make your way into the building a smorgasbord of art madness ensues. Everyone is talking about everything. There are four floors and a basement. You kind of want to take your clothes off. The galleries on the first floor stop you from going through with it. But you kind of want to all weekend. The older gallery directors are wiry and spry. You can feel them reflecting a lot of energy, they are usually artists themselves. The younger gallery directors are bursting with similar energy. The world has changed in a generative way and they are all on the forefront of defining a new American culture.
Peter Hopkins is filming a Bollywood Soap Opera with several of Emtee’s alter egos. Brendan Carney is considering his printmaking business with you. Marco Antonini will talk you through NURTUREart’s maze of videos. John Holt will draw you to C.C.C.P. by both of you haven taken a chance. Nathaniel Lieb will explain that life is fairly simple to complicate.
Once you’ve talked to a few people and get a sense of where to go, you may have spent two to three hours in 56 Bogart. So you might wander down to 117 Grattan where Austin Thomas had curated a show in Sharon Butler’s new studio. Good pieces by Larry Greenberg were found here. I spoke with a friend for a few moments and then wandered around the room, three drawings of incense smoke stood out for the artist’s choice of color. Next to her studio was Jae Song showing dual projections of a conversation between reflections. A building with open spaces on each floor, this will become de rigueur for your explorations.
Next stop seems to be Brooklyn Fireproof. Off the top of my head Holly Shen Claves, Matthew Brennan, Sarah Nelson Wright and Gili Levy were hosting people. The bar was ready for happy hour and the chefs were preparing to enter their zone.
The serendipity of curiosity worked well this weekend. If you’ve stepped into the unexpected places on your route then you’re starting to get a sense of how many artists are in this neighborhood. If you think about how much energy is going in to every single thing to make this happen, the map fades away and you are on your way.
You arrive at The Active Space on 566 Johnson. First of all there is the gallery itself. Deborah Brown made a huge leap in the past year. It felt like the world she painted became less romantic and more urgent. The landscapes matured in the right way and devolved in sublime manners. Looking at the card table makes you realize that her projects are all over. Remember to congratulate Ashley Zelinskie on her curation of this excellent show.
Katarina Hybenova is exhibiting the “Vegan Pizza Party” and the title piece is like a sculpture of a flashing .gif file. Turn around James George has taken pictures of the way a computer might see you. The studios around are fun and full of different kinds of approaches to art from J.R. Larson’s wooden bones on canvas to Cathy Choi’s tasteful resin on canvas works. This building is sunny and the name reflects what it feels like.
There’s the Onderdonk House up the road on Flushing. The Sculpture Garden show is in the expansive backyard. You can get a view of the skyline from the top of the hill and remember that you’re in New York City. There’s a home at the bottom of the hill built in 1709 where a band called Pass Kontrol is the real live session band for an ensemble of performances that can include you.
Head to 1717 Troutman for a wild session of studio hopping. Glass portraits, video, music, and paintings to say the least. Don’t forget to swing into galleries Parallel Art Space and Regina Rex. It was my first time in the building and I felt it. There was good energy touched with enough anarchy and bohemianism to keep the galleries from resting on their laurels. By the way, I’ve seen Rob de Oude’s small works before, but I was blown away by the large pieces in his and Enrico Gomez’s shared studio. There was a wall showcasing the evolution of the simultaneously-linear-and-swirling pieces.
From there I went to Wyckoff Avenue. If you’re hungry there are two good options: wait for a table at the Northeast Kingdom or wait at the tortilla factory and restaurant. Afterwards, it may be time for an iced coffee. Just to top off the great weather (including the quick rain shower on Sunday) stop by the Wyckoff Starr where Paul Rome and Roarke Menzies were set up on the sidewalk doling out coffee and water. If you go inside have a Grasshopper.
There is a studio belonging to an interesting artist named Myles Bennett. His painted canvases hung like shawls without a mannequin. This place reminded me of why it’s good to talk to the artist. He made these pieces to be worn, there was a look book, and there were canvases stitched into abstract figures of what it would look like to wear them.
Down to Norte Maar for original collages of Pass Kontrol posters by Oliver Ralli. Two that stuck out were a Warhol and Basquiat imagined conversation and a “Cut a hit record with Pass Kontrol” flier from Bushwick Open Studios past.
When I wasn’t running around I was around the corner at my space 950 Hart Gallery for our final gallery exhibition. We made a lot of new friends, sold some prints and wrote the showing artist’s names on the wall.
Down to Starr Street and stop at quite a few places along the way. The first stop was the huge warehouse with Julie Torres’s cooperative show ALLTOGETHERNOW and another several rooms of art. I could not figure out who was behind each room but there was always something around the corner. Mind your eyes and loose clothing; sculptures are coming out of the wall. From there it was off to the building that houses the Bushwick Starr. A collective that showed work featuring Christina De Roos and sculptures made with tenacity out of milk cartons and canvas. I even spotted a former roommate in one of the photographs. I recognized him looking right at home naked in the midst of a throng of moving people.
I stopped at Olivia Swisher’s home. She stood at the refrigerator with the door wide open when I walked in. I was puzzled. She offered me a beer and a series of poems by Chiara Di Lello written on eggs and milk cartons and packages of butter. I read everything in her fridge.
On Bushwick Basel, that was a name game and many people fell for it hook, line and sinker. But let me say that I enjoyed visiting NURTUREart, AIRPLANE, Studio 10, and Storefront Bushwick’s booth in that order. Norte Maar’s booth had a collage that summed up everything that I felt: “I am having such a good summer.”
Up to Wilson, past Miles and Cain’s Tavern. Two drinking spots with unique flavors that both appeal to me. I stopped at Storefront Bushwick to see what was happening. In the project space I saw celestial patterns by Paula Overbay and two new pieces by Matthew Mahler. This made me reflective as one of his older, angular pieces hung in my gallery. He is cornering his style, this is a part of the artist’s hunt.
From there I went to the arena that spoke to me more than anything else this weekend. It began in English Kills. First of all, Chris Harding puts on some of the best new exhibitions in this city. This show was no exception. David Pappaceno’s sculptures were arranged to give you a center of gravity and the bases were excellently arranged. The wall was a mind warp of colorful patterns and frames enclosing drawings similar to the sculptures. And don’t miss the paintings in the next room. Influences that are maturing shine through the originality of the compositions.
Across the street Don Pablo Pedro sat cross legged and conducted a court of Bacchus. His work is quite good. I hope that you didn’t miss the Dirty Little Cunt.
Next door I found myself in awe of Jim Herbert’s enormous paintings. I climbed to the second level for a different perspective. I can’t wait to see what he unveils for the next solo show. These pieces need light and their own company.
From there you’ll stroll up to Bush Gardens for a view of Centotto’s “Charting the Not” curated by Paul D’Agostino. Here you’ll run into Austin Thomas’s work and Gili Levy’s for the fourth or fifth time. Next door is Tim Kent’s studio. There was a piece entitled “Leviathan” made with charcoal and paper that I had been wanting to see for a long time. This studio did not disappoint. It’s hard to appreciate the masterful technique of his paintings of European Homes online. It’s instant gratification in person.
After all of that, I was a bit tired and went home to nurse a whiskey bottle and feel good about the world.
If the trend continues I’ll have to be fitter than Jason Andrew and his dog combined to see everything next year. In the meantime I’m keeping my eye on you Bushwick. Stay classy.
Text by Sean Alday
Photos by Therese Maher
Before leaving for brunch at AIRPLANE, the only details provided to me were that the chefs are amazing and they were playing host to The Egg. I arrived late and found myself in good company with the bartender and co-founder of AIRPLANE Liz Atzberger. She offered me a shot of a small batch bourbon: Corsair Triple Smoke. I carried my sipping whiskey and walked around the sun drenched backyard to get a feel from the guests on how the event went.
I could overhear people talking under floppy hats about the amuse-bouche, a Deviled Egg Trio paired with a Bloody Mary Infusion made from heirloom tomatoes. The other dish that had people abuzz was a surprise Honey-Ricotta Souffle that came out as the first tantalizing course.
Chef Michael Kogan, Sous Chef Lars Kremer, Sommelier John Avelluto, the Dumbwaiter Paul D’Agostino, and a committed group of volunteers and friends fielded many appreciative comments and compliments to the chef. A special appreciation is in order to the Dumbwaiter for holding an umbrella up against the sun.
Upon sampling the second and third courses I could identify with the excited tongues and full bellies. A slow cooked egg en cocotte and flavorful hangar steak stood out above the rest. As though the artisan whiskey wasn’t enough to sate my appetite, it blended perfectly with the hangar steak that must have been carefully marinated to achieve its tenderness.
As the sun set I sat with Liz, Lars, Chef Mike, and John to ask about the event and how it began.
Liz: We had a few dinner events here before officially opening the gallery. As a way of solidifying our dinner aesthetic, if you will.
Lars: Food is something I’ve always wanted to have here. I usually make a specialty snack for the openings. Liz makes a signature drink for the shows.
John: I’ve been in food service for most of my life. I worked with my father in Little Italy bussing tables for extra money when I was a kid. After a while, he opened two restaurants and I worked with him to pay for college. Now I own a wine bar [The Owl’s Head] and Chef Mike [they met as undergrads at Brooklyn College] is our consulting chef there. Lars and I were introduced to each other by Paul D’Agostino due to our mutual participation in the visual arts and food culture and so we all worked together for a few months to put this on.
Sean Alday: This seems like a large production, how did you go about it?
Lars: The planning for this event was so far in advance that the production went as smoothly as possible. The event and menu was a way to break through social media interaction. We based the menu on how people reacted to five different questions and got a variety of answers.
From that initial feedback, Chef Mike and John created the menu and wine pairings.
John: As each course went out, I posted it on the event page on Facebook. They had no idea what they were getting until it came out. We were all able to react in real time.
Liz: People were checking the page throughout the meal. As well as posting their own pictures of the food as it came out.
John: They said it felt a little awkward at first, being on their phone at the table, but it really caught on and that was an enjoyable part of it too.
Mike: That was basically the point though. Getting the feedback in real time and, for John and myself, approaching it like an art project. People were asking me questions as it went on.
SA: Did you get to answer the questions?
Mike: Yes but not as often as I would have liked. I was more preoccupied with preparing the next dish. I had Lars backing me so I had a few moments to interact. It was fun.
SA: What were the reactions to the initial questions like?
Mike: I was looking forward to the answers that would give me room to play around with the menu. As a chef, I wanted to make sure that everyone left happy.
John: From an artistic perspective, you do look forward to throwing some curveballs.
Liz: People got into it. I had an intense conversation with Larry Greenberg about this dinner, and then I met him here for the first time. That was what we were striving for, the online interactions becoming real interactions.
Lars: That and having great food and drinks. It feels like a success when everyone leaves with a full belly and a smile.
Liz: And roses.
[box]The Egg was a social media-driven gourmet food experience in which the participants interact and inspire the cuisine. It was held at AIRPLANE gallery, 70 Jefferson St., Brooklyn on Saturday, May 19.[/box]
By Katarina Hybenova
It’s been subject to whispering and rumours for a couple of weeks now. This year’s Bushwick Open Studios will bring much news. A smart phone app for better orientation; more studios and art spaces than ever; the L train running (!); and Bushwick’s first very own art fair.
This week is again smashingly awesome in Bushwick, and we have 5 super-fun events to prove it. Ranging from porn to theater, we are very positive you will love these… Let’s enjoy this beautiful bohemia while it lasts!
Brooklyn Fire Proof one of the oldest multi-functional venues in Bushwick is bringing a film screening of Lost Bohemia. The film tracks the eviction of the photographer Editta Sherman and other artist who lived and worked in the studios above Carnegie Hall. The film screening is followed by the Q&A with the director Josef Astor.
A cult Bushwick band Passkontrol has previously presented an apocalyptical musical play at The Bushwick Starr titled New Hope City. The play was a huge success! Currently, Passkontrol is preparing a short film of the same name. On Friday and Saturday, the band will read the screenplay to the film at The Bushwick Starr. After the reading, Passkontrol will play their hits and new songs (wohoo!) followed by DJs pee-jays and purple haze.
Guys, we need you all to meditate on sunny, dry weather on Friday. Why? Because we plan on chilling at the outdoor opening of a sculpture exhibition at the Onderdonk Farm House. Sculpture Garden will really something to look for. Curated by the famous ladies Deborah Brown and Leslie Heller, the line up of artists is very interesting, and promises of the loveliest art events of the year! Oddly enough, we are still meeting quite a lot of people who haven’t been to the Onderdonk Farm House. Guys, it’s an absolute must. This unlikely occurence of a a beautiful, gentle white 17th century Dutch farm between the warehouses at Flushing Ave is virtually unbelievable. But it’s true!
The Lowbrow Society in conjunction with 950 Hart Gallery, an awesome chill gallery at a Bushwick loft is bringing you an art show on the verge of ehm… porn. The group exhibition deals with a variety of mediums and NSFW taboos from voyeurism, to female power through sexual liberation, to gender exploration, and everything in-between. In addition to all this there will be cool DJs, a photo booth, and all the proceeds collected through the suggested donation will go to support Planned Parenthood.
Liz Ainslie is a great abstract painter whose colors and shapes will mold your soul. Opened in October 2011, AIRPLANE belongs to the legacy of new awesome artist-run Bushwick galleries. This is their first solo show!