It takes courage to make it through a busy Saturday night at the studio building 17-17 Troutman. A veritable maze of corridors where every door you open could take you down the next rabbit hole, the building houses several galleries as well as a number of artist studios, a print lab, and even a chocolatier’s atelier. While the wonders never cease at a building that seems to be filled with neverending twists and turns, the focus this past Saturday night was the art. People came out in droves, buzzing from room to room to see what lay around the next corner. Like last weekend’s great return of the Bushwick Art Scene, the crowd was excited for another art crawl, as each gallery offered something new and exciting with which to entice you. Are you ready to follow us through the maze? Read on!
#204 Bushwick Print Lab: Poster Child (on view through October 11th)
I was already brimming with anticipation for the exhibition openings that were already on my radar, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there are a couple of galleries that I didn’t hear about. I ducked my head into the Bushwick Print Lab to find their exhibition Poster Child on view. A salon-style show featuring the beautiful screen printed rock and roll concert and gigs posters of over 30 printmakers. Showing off what they do best, the show highlighted the artists whose work might be overlooked in a different setting. Music lovers: see anything that looks familiar??
#258 Harbor Gallery: Collide (on view through October 6th)
Just across the hallway, I visited my friends Alta and Katherine at Harbor Gallery for their new show, Collide – and collide I almost did into the very first piece of the show! Squeezing past a few other gallery goers, I nearly found myself tripping over a monumental site-specific installation by Amanda Wong. Instantly inserting itself into pretty much every conversation I overheard, it was by far the most talked about piece in the room. Each of the artists represented reworked disparate materials seamlessly into wondrous objects, both abject and gilded. Harbor has recently undergone some changes with their internal structure, and this was the first show since the changes – way to go, ladies! Masterfully done!
#220 Parallel Art Space: All-Over or Nothing (on view through October 6th)
Down the narrowing corridor and its flickering light, we followed the reverberating voices to find the next spot on our list, Parallel Art Space. The wonderful Enrico Gomez, the gallery’s co-owner, was greeting people at the entrance to the new show. Just like it sounds, the show All-Over or Nothing celebrates the aesthetic of all over painting, paintings that inhabit the entire canvas and could potentially go on indefinitely. Many of the pieces are absolutely mesmerizing and one could easily get caught up staring into the depths of the endless painting.
Bull and Ram (Stay tuned for upcoming projects)
Continuing to wind our way through the halls, we headed up to the third floor, but not before checking out Bull and Ram. Although they were not having an opening, people were hanging out in the space. Very friendly, but somewhat puzzled by why we were there, we looked at a few of the various studies and drawings hanging, awkwardly waved to our new friends, and casually made our exit. Rather than go back to the front stairs, we went up the back stairwell – no light, nobody around, and for the first time I felt like I was in the factory building pre-gallery era. We slowly felt our way up the stairs and made it to the third floor, past an amalgam of tested out spray painted designs and street art insignias before making our way back into the glaring light of the next hallway. (Definitely consider wandering these back corridors the next time you go to the building. You never know what you’ll find or who you’ll run into!)
#327 Ortega Y Gasset Projects: Goya Yoga and Bad as I Wanna Be (on view through September 22nd)
Although it opened earlier this month, the new Ortega Y Gasset Projects held a special “non-event” by Layet Johnson featuring Goya coconut water and yoga mats. By the time I got there, the yoga mats acted more like a pathway around the installations of Piper Brett from her show Bad as I Wanna Be. Characterized by large vagina photographs as well as an icon of Biggie Smalls, viewers were mostly concerned with one specific vagina on the ground. “Wait, do you think I’m allowed to walk on it?” one person mused to his friend. I never found out what he decided to do.
#329 Regina Rex: Dave Hardy: A House Without Gates (on view through October 20th)
Our last stop of the night was the always brilliant Regina Rex featuring the large sculptural works of Dave Hardy. His works consist of construction and fabrication materials, such as foam, glass, and cement, which he uses to construct haphazard structures, creating a somewhat dilapidated re-imagined urbanscape. The tension one feels as a pane of glass presses intently into a block of upholstery foam is akin to someone doing this to your own skin. Although the works are created using lifeless construction materials, the pieces possess a true human quality in their imperfection and hit an emotional core as they conjure up feelings of abuse, pain, or struggle.
No matter how many visits I make to the 1717 Troutman building, I am always fascinated, continually challenged and seeing new things, and never bored! We headed out the way we came, having made it out of the labyrinth in one piece – a few drinks fuller and definitely more inspired than when we got there.
The 17-17 Troutman building is located on the border between Bushwick, Brooklyn and Ridgewood, Queens, on Troutman St near Cypress Ave. Check out the galleries on the weekends 1-6PM.