This past March, Bushwick Art Crit Group had its inaugural meeting led by local artist and organizer Christopher Stout in the gallery of Brooklyn Fire Proof East. On Wednesday, May 16, the gallery was again filled with artists and art lovers for a unique event within the Crit Group. 16 artists had 3 minutes each to introduce the audience to their work and what they will be showing during Bushwick Open Studios, followed by a 3 minute Q&A per artist.
A very exciting aspect of the event was being able to see the wide range of subject matter, material, and level of expertise that the artists in Bushwick represent. If any trend were to be observed, it was figurative work – but even in that regard, the material and execution of the figure varied quite a bit from artist to artist. Emily Wolfer is working on a series of Facebook Portraits where she aims to make one charcoal drawing of each of her 400+ Facebook friends. Lila Freeman makes flat portraits of friends and family which nod their heads to modernism. Tubby Lambergini creates humorous yet lusciously realistic portraits of porn stars. And yours truly makes paintings of friends and family in party scenes with psychedelic drippy paint.
Aside from strictly visual arts, the night highlighted some less conventional artists in the neighborhood. There was a preview of the Bushwick Film Festival, the new Mellow Pages Library at 56 Bogart, and a snippet of Meenakshi Thirukode‘s interactive game that she plans to organize during BOS. There were also presentations by two artists who came from architectural/design/photography backgrounds, Susan Surface (who happens to also be a competitive bull rider) and Benjamin Jay Shand, who will present new photographs of industrial spaces. Lucia Rollow, who runs the Bushwick Community Darkroom and is part of Arts in Bushwick, will be presenting photographs after a bit of an artistic hiatus. Sarah Reynolds will showcase new abstract drawings, while Wendy Klemperer will exhibit her beautifully primal sculptures of animal behavior. Eric Diehl and Sam Bornstein will both show somewhat surrealist paintings. Andrew Robinson will have on view his ceramic combines and Chizuco Sophia Yw can be found by her playfully painted studio doors.