Billion Dollar Art, Baby!

Jussi Pylkkanen of Christie’s offers another animated performance on Tuesday night (gif via

In case you hadn’t heard, this week the major international auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s both flexed their muscles to decide once again who is the Master of the Universe. Well, maybe not the universe, but definitely the hoity toity high-falutin’ New York Secondary Art Market. Cruising in just over one billion dollars in total sales combined, the auction results made all of our heads spin. In order to bring us back down to earth, we’ve scoured all the exciting art events to find our own Billion Dollar Art (if we’re talking monopoly money, that is!) This weekend, come for a breath of fresh air and new blood that comes from a round of art openings in ah, yes…Bushwick.

Eric Mack, “Hard.” Photo courtesy of SIGNAL

#1 This is the Prism the Spider Dreams of as it Weaves its Web @ Signal (FRI 7-10PM)

SIGNAL takes the current temperature of the art world with this new group exhibition, showing us what’s happening amongst a circle of painters all tied to curator Benjamin Horn. The show is in a sense autobiographical, as Benjamin charts through these artists the development of his own artistic practice. Gallery owners Kyle Clairmont, Jacques, Mckenzie Ursch and Alexander Johns feel this show captures something of the state of contemporary painting, recent developments in the way young artists are approaching a very historically weighted medium.

#2 Level Up @ Morgan Avenue Underground (SAT 8PM, Pay what you can donation)

Celebrating all things gaming, this Saturday’s exhibition and performance brings together artists, performers, and music together for a one-night video game extravaganza! While iconic and emblematic of many a Bushwickian childhood, what will be the fate of this beloved medium? Whether kitsch or nostalgia, critique or homage, the artists and performers that have come together for this event will definitely make you approach these classics in a whole new way.

#3 Soundings for Fathoms @ Parallel Art Space (SAT 6-9PM)

The four artists – Ruby Palmer, Christopher Patch, Benjamin Pritchard, and Michael Voss – included in Parallel’s new show all push the boundaries and edges of their work, both literally and figuratively. Just as a ship’s crew would “sound for fathoms” in the depths below, each artist presented here is at a deep point of excavation into their own working process. Without putting their finger on any one style, each artist explores the depths of the differences between referentiality and materiality, figuration and abstraction, addition and negation.

Noah Loesberg, Modular Bracket, 2003 (photo courtesy of Robert Henry Contemporary)

#4 Material Handling by Noah Loesberg @ Robert Henry Contemporary (FRI 6-9PM)

Addressing the commonplace and the everyday with an astute and clean minimalism, Noah Loesberg’s work captures elements of our environment that might go unnoticed. For this exhibition Loesberg will mount two site-specific installations in the gallery, working with the shape and environment of the space. Primarily dealing with two-dimensional works, this will be the gallery’s first foray into site-specific and experiential installation.


Associated Gallery’s “Transitions” Exhibition (courtesy of Associated)


#5 Transitions v. 1 @ Associated (FRI 7-10PM)

As the exhibition title suggests, Associated’s new show deals with the moment between phases, transitions from one point to the next. Whether taking on the theme literally – as with the choice of mediums – or interpreting it from a metaphysical standpoint, the group of artists deals with the gray zone of change and transition – that intangible in between moment where little is assured and much is up in the air.

MTAA, 2013 (photo courtesy Auxillary Projects)

#6 Desk Mod #4: Station IOI or Some Thoughts on Isolation, Observation and Ice” by MTAA @ Auxillary Projects (FRI 7-10PM)

After what some might call a long summer break, Auxillary Projects will celebrate its glorious comeback this Friday with a live collaborative performance by MTAA. Spurred by the recent publicizing of the Edward Snowden case, and the population’s increasing awareness of issues surrounding surveillance and military forces, MTAA will explore the elements of isolation, observation, and ice, in order to emulate a cold war aesthetic.

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