Photo Essays

From Giant Steel Angels to Titillating Collages, Favorites from Gowanus Open Studios 2015

Works of art (or "Not Art"?) in the hallway of 62 18th Street during Gowanus Open Studios (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)
A work of art (or “Not Art”?) in the hallway of 62 18th Street during Gowanus Open Studios (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

As the neighborhood reeled from the news that hundreds of artists are being forced to leave one of its biggest studio complexes, Gowanus became a hotbed of activity this past weekend during Gowanus Open Studios (GOS). With over 300 artists opening up their workspaces, the annual event’s 19th edition drew crowds to all corners of the Superfund neighborhood to see studios, galleries, ephemeral installations, and performances — though if you were wondering about the guy who swam the entire length of the Gowanus Canal on Saturday morning, that was not performance art.

In addition to visiting many studios over the course of the weekend, I had the privilege (once again) of organizing a curator-led tour on behalf of Arts Gowanus (the nonprofit that organizes GOS). Between the artists I discovered on my tour and the spaces I visited before and after, I saw an incredible range of work this weekend, from the maximalist mixed-media pieces of Leeza Meksin in her studio behind Ortega y Gasset Projects to the spare found-materials sculptures of Kimberly Mayhorn in the TI Art Studios. One particularly prevalent trend seemed to be the inventive and unconventional use of materials, including Carrie Rubinstein‘s paper room installation at Rhombus Space, Katrina Majkut‘s finely cross-stitched still lifes of birth control products at Brooklyn Art Space, and Maeve Broome‘s dazzling marbled clothing designs at the Textile Arts Center.

How the loss of the artists being pushed out of the buildings on 9th Street — who adorned their exteriors with highly visible protest messages during a rally on Saturday — will affect future editions of GOS remains to be seen. However, the sad news seems to have galvanized attention and interest this year, bringing visitors to the area’s studios and art spaces all weekend long.

A painting in progress in Paul Gagner's studio at 62 18th Street
A painting in progress in Paul Gagner’s studio at 62 18th Street
Paintings of satiric book covers in Paul Gagner's studio at 62 18th Street
Paintings of satiric book covers in Paul Gagner’s studio at 62 18th Street (click to enlarge)
Photographs by Maureen Drennan at 62 18th Street
Photographs by Maureen Drennan at 62 18th Street (click to enlarge)
Articulated steel sculptures by Alexandra Limpert at 62 18th Street
Articulated steel sculptures by Alexandra Limpert at 62 18th Street
Large steel sculptures by Alexandra Limpert at 62 18th Street
Large steel sculptures by Alexandra Limpert at 62 18th Street
Paintings by Charlotte Corini at 62 18th Street
Paintings by Charlotte Corini at 62 18th Street
Sculptures of beds coated in salt (left) and beeswax (right) by Ayden L.M. Grout
Sculptures of beds coated in salt (left) and beeswax (right) by Ayden L.M. Grout
Cross stitch renderings of women's birth control and sexual health products by Katrina Majkut at Brooklyn Art Space (400 3rd Avenue)
Cross-stitch renderings of women’s birth control and sexual health products by Katrina Majkut at Brooklyn Art Space (400 3rd Avenue) (click to enlarge)
Works by Adrienne Tarver at Brooklyn Art Space (400 3rd Avenue)
Works by Adrienne Tarver at Brooklyn Art Space (400 3rd Avenue)
Paintings by Karen Mainenti at Brooklyn Art Space (400 3rd Avenue)
Paintings of lipstick color names by Karen Mainenti at Brooklyn Art Space (400 3rd Avenue)
Collages by Karen Mainenti at Brooklyn Art Space (400 3rd Avenue)
Collages by Karen Mainenti at Brooklyn Art Space (400 3rd Avenue) (click to enlarge)
Paintings and sculptures by Crys Yin at Brooklyn Art Space (400 3rd Avenue)
Paintings and sculptures by Crys Yin at Brooklyn Art Space (400 3rd Avenue) (click to enlarge)
Crys Yin, "Space Gets Lonely, Don’t Leave All the People You Live With" (2015) in her studio at Brooklyn Art Space
Crys Yin, “Space Gets Lonely, Don’t Leave All the People You Live With” (2015) in her studio at Brooklyn Art Space
A chalk mural on the exterior of one of the buildings on 9th Street from which artists are being evicted
A chalk mural on the exterior of one of the buildings on 9th Street from which artists are being evicted
A mirror sculpture etched with the case number for Trayvon Martin's murder, by Kimberly Mayhorn, in her studio at 183 Lorraine Street
A mirror sculpture etched with the case number for Trayvon Martin’s murder, by Kimberly Mayhorn, in her studio at 183 Lorraine Street
A new sculpture by Kimberly Mayhorn in her studio at 183 Lorraine Street
A new sculpture by Kimberly Mayhorn in her studio at 183 Lorraine Street
Works by Alexa Williams in her studio at 183 Lorraine Street
Works by Alexa Williams in her studio at 183 Lorraine Street
A new triptych by Alexa Williams in her studio at 183 Lorraine Street
A new triptych by Alexa Williams in her studio at 183 Lorraine Street (click to enlarge)
Carrie Rubinstein's room-filling installation "Retrofit" (2015) in Rhombus Space gallery at 183 Lorraine Street
Carrie Rubinstein’s room-filling installation “Retrofit” (2015) in Rhombus Space gallery at 183 Lorraine Street (click to enlarge)
A detail of Carrie Rubinstein's installation "Retrofit" (2015) at 183 Lorraine Street
A detail of Carrie Rubinstein’s installation “Retrofit” (2015) at 183 Lorraine Street
Glass-blowing demonstrations at Brooklyn Glass (142 13th Street)
Glass-blowing demonstrations at Brooklyn Glass (142 13th Street)
Glass sculptures made on-site — with Kate Hush's neon piece "She-Devil" (2015) in the foreground — displayed at Brooklyn Glass
Glass sculptures made on-site — with Kate Hush’s neon piece “She-Devil” (2015) in the foreground — displayed at Brooklyn Glass
Works by Leeza Meksin in her studio at 363 3rd Avenue
Works by Leeza Meksin in her studio at 363 3rd Avenue
Materials in Leeza Meksin's studio at 363 3rd Avenue
Materials in Leeza Meksin’s studio at 363 3rd Avenue
A mixed-media work by Leeza Meksin in her studio at 363 3rd Avenue
A mixed-media work by Leeza Meksin in her studio at 363 3rd Avenue
Works by Eleanna Anagnos on display in her studio at 363 3rd Avenue
Works by Eleanna Anagnos on display in her studio at 363 3rd Avenue
Works by Eleanna Anagnos on display in her studio at 363 3rd Avenue
Works by Eleanna Anagnos on display in her studio at 363 3rd Avenue
Eleanna Anagnos, "Sweet Talker" (2015), in her studio at 363 3rd Avenue
Eleanna Anagnos, “Sweet Talker” (2015), in her studio at 363 3rd Avenue
Works by Maeve Broome in her studio at the Textile Arts Center (505 Carroll Street) during Gowanus Open Studios
Works by Maeve Broome in her studio at the Textile Arts Center (505 Carroll Street)
Marbled paper works by Maeve Broome in her studio at the Textile Arts Center (505 Carroll Street) during Gowanus Open Studios
Marbled paper works by Maeve Broome in her studio at the Textile Arts Center (505 Carroll Street)
Juliet Hone, "Knitted NY Coffee Cup" at the Textile Arts Center
Juliet Hone, “Knitted NY Coffee Cup” at the Textile Arts Center

Gowanus Open Studios 2015 took place throughout Gowanus, Brooklyn, October 16–18.

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