By Terri Ciccone
After getting off the Morgan stop a few weekends ago, art lovers were greeted by a giant Paper Mache robot, lounging on a sidewalk. Inside 56 Bogart, a lady was rolling around in a sleeping bag, and “living sculptures” were posing in crazy outfits at the end of the hall. Partly due to the recent discovery of Bushwick by the New York Times as “a raw-edged art hub,” a certain level of edginess is expected to be seen in there. Some expect to be blown away by crazy avant-garde art or weird imagery, with which Bushwick artists rebel against the confines of gallery expectations and collectors in Chelsea. But sometimes you just see some damn good work, even if it may lean on more traditional concepts.
An example of this can be seen tonight at Little Skips, where Bushwick-based artist Michel Bellici will be showing her recent works. There will be no robots or sleeping bags (I mean, you never know), but Michel’s work is a breath of fresh air within the scene. Her pieces deal with one of the most beautiful and classic forms of all time – the human figure. The paintings, often headless are vivid and full of stretching, twisting, and swaying muscles. Michel cites an obsession with the human body and Gray’s Anatomy that began when she was just four, so it is no wonder the viewer can feel a great connection to the figures in the work. Each torso seems to gently twist and pull away from the canvas, born from an ethereal mix of colors in the background and submerged in some kind of cosmic space. It’s almost as if Michel hasn’t created these figures as much as she has uncovered them. “They [the figures] are already there,” she explained, “I just expose them.”
What makes these figures different than, say, your favorite Michelangelo sketch of anatomy is their ability to feel organic. In my opinion, this is due to Michel’s painting technique. Michel paints each body with her body, using only her hands as tools. “I’m physical, the body is physical and it’s all energy so why interrupt that with a brush?”
“I felt freer this time around,” said Michel of showing in Bushwick. “[Little Skips] is very different and that’s why I chose it. I’m already annoyed with the gallery air, it’s all that ‘bourgie art scene thing’ I was looking to get away from. And Linda [co-owner of Little Skips], well she’s the best energy so what could be better?” Between the energy of Michel’s paintings, and the energy found within Little Skips (we’re not just talking caffeine energy) the show will refresh any viewer. Bring your body to see some bodies tonight at Little Skips!
Michel Bellici art opening at Little Skips (with following Kickstarter Event to support a barista, Jonathan Murphy and his band’s Cave Days new album) is on Friday (tonight) at 6pm.