As a veteran of the old Bushwick scene (circa 2006), Bushwick Open Studios was the single great moment to meet and see a handful of artists in my neighborhood. The scene exploded, so did the rents and many artists (and curators like myself) got displaced. Now the Bushwick scene, just as it did so many years ago, reflects a fractured world. It’s an epic struggle. I don’t know how we all do it, but we do. In the face of all the struggles, we continue to find ways to inspire making work and mounting shows. It’s huge that the all-volunteer, non-hierarchical Arts in Bushwick gang continues to organize for the good of us all. So kick up your heels BOS is upon us!
And, as a veteran of the scene here are my top 5 picks for BOS2017 (Sept 23-24):
Two of my favorite artists combine there talents and skills to present their work while featuring a friend in fashion. Paulapart is an acoustic sculptor and painter. His sonic Om shell sculptures use a spiraling resonant chamber to transform sound with gracious curves. Emmaline Payette creates conversation about cultural systems, ecology, and “the declining state of our planet”. She works across mediums to create spaces where humans engage in ecological thinking. Emmaline uses found materials, like receipts and plastic shopping bags, to make art that questions the sustainability of our current cultural practices. And they’ve invited Jack Your Body Vintage, a vintage clothing brand by Daniella Sansotta featuring items from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s & 2000s. Jack Your Body stands for love, freedom, and self-expression, absent of hate.
Etty Yaniv is known for her epic swooping trashy installations of torn-paper and cut-plastics. Among a selection of her small scale collage paintings, you’ll see three fabric-based modular books she made for her recent exhibition at the State Silk Museum in Tbilisi, Georgia. I love it when artists open their studios to invite friends of similar affinities to show along with their work. Etty has also invited other artists to join her in her studio including Nancy Baker, Lisa Hein, Levan Mindiashvili and Sylvia Schwartz.
James remains one of the most innovative artists. His analog process merges photography and installation into vignettes bringing to mind the best of Man Ray and Joseph Kosuth. His studio is not on the beaten path, so expect a calm, quiet, crowd-free oasis with lots of new work to see. Work in progress, studio process, analog photographs about the photograph as object.
Music to My Eyes: a group show organized by Ellie Murphy
Including: Liz Atz, Joy Curtis, Rico Gatson, Ellen Hackl Fagan, Libby Hartle, Elisa Jensen, Lars Kremer, Alex Lee Harris, Bjoern Meyer-Ebrecht, Natalie Moore, Brooke Moyse, Kelly Parr, Seth David Rubin, Sol’Sax, Patrick Todd, Laura Watt
1733 Menahan Street
If you only have time to see one show, this is it. For those of us nostalgic for the days of old Bushwick when the scene was just percolating in artist studios and apartment galleries, this show features some of my favorite artists who continue, despite the odds, to inspire not only through their own work, but through their collaborative spirit. “Increasingly,” writes Ellie Murphy, “when I look at the work of my artist friends, colleagues and neighbors, I end up thinking about MUSIC.”
If you like painting as much as I do and you love Julie Torres as much as I do, then the stars will align in this cool show organized by Albert Weaver and Josh Mitchell. It’s a group show presenting “paintings about painting in a world where past, present, reality, concept, digital, and analog are incredibly intertwined.”