This week Bushwick will be hit by a slew of exciting new exhibitions all across the neighborhood, clearly rejoicing in the coming of crawl-worthy weather. While entirely different from one another, there are many trends that you’ll see this week as you go from gallery to gallery as themes of portraiture, self-realization, grand myth, and confrontation grace center stage. From exhibitions that examine process and the act of repetition, to the exploration of grand myths between the virtual space of the internet and real life, to a repositioning the importance of self-portrait in our current selfie-taking culture, gallery-goers will be able to experience works that not only promote self-reflection but resonate on a much more universal level.
While the title of this exhibition may speak for itself, Bushwick’s Community Darkroom’s new show investigates the role of self-portraiture since the proliferation of the “selfie” in contemporary culture. In a society that has fully embraced the instant gratification that comes from posting a “selfie with your bestie” across the interwebs, where does the self-portrait with its long and well-established legacy of reflection and contemplation go? Is there still a place for the revered practice of introspection, allegory and critique of the artist’s self as well as his or her environment when rarely does the selfie-taker pause to think about what he or she is doing?
TSA is back with a show that pays special attention to one of an artists most useful practices: repetition. Van Gogh had his sunflowers, Hirst has his dots, and Koons has, well… In any case, the utilitarian practice of formal repetition is given its due with this group show curated by Lindsey Landfried and featuring work by Kim Beck, Megan Cotts, Corey Escoto, Brian Giniewski, Crystal Gregory, Kate McGraw, Anna Mikolay, Helen O’Leary, Alex Paik, and Lilly Zuckerman. True to their artists collective identity, TSA presents their artists with a distinct self-awareness, as the artists themselves not only acknowledge their patterns and habits, but revel in it.
What some could consider an “artist’s artist,” the late Afranio Metelli avidly absorbed the many styles, movements, and cultures that he came across in his long and prolific life. Born and raised in Italy, his early artistic practices were clearly influenced by the great italian masters that came before him, while his later travels to France, Mexico City, and California had equally meaningful influence on his work. Covering five decades of his career, Odyssey and Odes takes the viewer through the artist’s constantly shifting aesthetic within his oeuvre of works on paper.
Described fittingly as “thoughtful but not fussy,” the drawings of Patrick Barth posses a simultaneous formality and familiarity. Informed by a skilled draftsmanship, Barth’s precise and defined linear style in then affected by a pure whimsicality as he introduces old photographs and other elements to create his compositions. The result of this combination is like that of an odd dream; you might feel right at home even surrounded by elements you know can’t be real.
The photographs in this group show curated by Ruben Natal-San Miguel all delve into the extremely personal and intimate relationships artists can build with their work and their process. Whether the closeness derives from their personal drive to create, the pursuit of a specific shot, or even the subject itself, the artist’s obsession is often both the disease and the cure.
After a long and prolific career of never integrating people into his work, photographer Oliver Wasow finally does so in his new exhibition, Studio Visits. Wasow’s unique process involves his photographed subject, a green screen, and lots of post-production. Integrating the quotidien dress of his contemporary subjects with backgrounds reminiscent of vintage studio photography and Hudson River School landscapes, Wasow creates a strikingly realistic yet completely surreal effect in his compositions. Despite the faked setting, Wasow still captures a remarkable genuineness in his subjects that keeps drawing you in.
Material Disruption opens Friday at Loft 594, featuring the gallery’s affiliated artists who all share the defining characteristic of being process artists. Loft 594 will also host two related panel discussions on Saturday, April 5th from 4:15–6:30 PM. The first panel (4:15-5:15 PM) will go over Process Versus Concept, exploring the spectrum between what an artist likes to make and the images they want to create. The second panel, Bushwicked: Art Our Way (5:30-6:30 PM) will bring together local gallerists, artists and writers to discuss trends specific to Bushwick.
In this new solo endeavor, the multi-faceted artist Matthew HIllock presents work that brings the digitally-based URL in direct confrontation with aptly described “IRL” (in real life) elements creating new narratives from familiar sources. Inspired by mythologies across cultures, Hillock’s explains his goal is to “introduc[e] my cursor to humanity’s empty screen of hypocritical struggle and never ending myth.” In true post-internet art form, Hillock’s compositions are a result of the flattening and all-accepting ubiquitous nature of today’s web.
Just as our beloved epics tend to center around one hero- oftentimes tragic or doomed – the artists in Parallel Art Space’s new group show all feature a central and crucial material focus as the crux of their work. From Vincent Como’s repetitious folds acted onto the black paper that is both the foundation of his working process and the resultant product in his composition, to the reverential way Raymond E. Mingst presents religious relics in various points of decay, showing the effect of handling and time have had the object; the artists all focus on this tragic component of the sometimes tumultuous journeys the subject and materials must undergo.