Events

How to Do GO Brooklyn: The Neighborhood Guide

by Kyle Chayka on September 6, 2012

Along with the first flushes of the fall art season, this weekend is also host to the opening of GO Brooklyn, a sprawling event organized by the Brooklyn Museum that sees local artists opening their studios from Saturday, September 8 to Sunday, September 9 daily from 11 AM to 7 PM.

The open showcase includes over 1,700 artists (that’s right, 1700!) spread all across Brooklyn, and viewers will be able to vote on their favorite artists by checking in via text messaging and using GO’s mobile app. After checking in to at least five studios, visitors can nominate three artists to include in an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum.

Below, Hyperallergic has collected a broad spectrum of studios to visit, ranging across four main Brooklyn neighborhoods. No matter where you’re at, you’ll be able to find five or so artists to check out, and hopefully a few to vote for.

Don’t miss GO’s map to find the areas with the biggest concentrations of artists. Happy hunting!

As an added bonus, Hyperallergic has created an event on Google+ where you can upload your photos — or check out and comment on photos from our editors, writers, and other readers.

Be sure to add +Hyperallergic to your circles on Google+ so we can invite you to the event, and than you’ll be able to post your photos directly to the Google+ event on your iPhone or on your Android with party mode).

Williamsburg 

1. Hai-Hsin Huang

Hai-Hsin Huang (courtesy gobrooklynart.org)

Address: 155 Hope St., #R

The Work: Huang’s paintings, picturing archetypal, anonymous pink figures in surreal scenes, are bracing commentaries on mass media and cultural homogenization, not least because of their garish colors. The works are funny as well as poignant. In one, a brass band makes its way through a bride’s dressing room; in another, an awkward child sits stiffly in Santa’s lap, two more strange twins waiting behind him.

2. Rob Swainston 

Address: 475 Kent Ave, #1007

The Work: Swainston runs the collaborative printshop Prints of Darkness from his studio, which also houses his large-scale installation work. His elaborately composed prints expose bits and pieces of the city’s architectural makeup, combining them into complex images.

3. Yolim Khoo 

Yolim Khoo (courtesy gobrooklynart.org)

Address: 140 Metropolitan Ave, Floor 1

The Work: Khoo creates tiny dioramas that dramatize environmental issues. His “Car Glut” series shows miniature cars parked in forest surroundings. The vehicles are slowly becoming engulfed by foliage and overtaken, once again, by the natural world. He’ll also show a new series, “Planetoids,” at his studio.

4. Ryan Leitner 

Address: 300 Graham Ave, #3C

The Work: Leitner’s photography shows the human body in contortions. A grimier version of Ryan McGinley, Leitner shoots the requisite New York City scenesters but twists them into wry, funny portraits of youth. Don’t miss a certain smiley-face tattoo.

5. Gregg Louis

Address: 155 Hope St., #3R

The Work: Louis turns wigs into monsters, creating weird human-animal hybrids out of glossy, curly, or shaggy hair. His sculptures and photographs of model UFOs are also cute.

Greenpoint

1. Christopher Clary

 

Address: 87 Richardson St., #300J

The Work: Clary’s blown-up versions of pornographic profile photos found online appear in real life enclosed in trompe l’oeil vintage Mac OS windows. The works show men “using photography to define themselves,” as the artist says. Despite the powerful message, these pieces aren’t for the faint of heart.

2. Mads Lynnerup 

Address: 99 Commercial St., #35

The Work: Though Lynnerup is actually against the competition element of the GO Brooklyn event, he’s still participating — and asking visitors to vote for him so he can turn the museum into a democratic exhibition space. The artist’s text pieces are particularly cutting — I like the printed sign reading, “If you see anything interesting please let someone know immediately!”

3. Phillip Stearns

Address: 1013 Grand St., 4C, #4

The Work: Known for his Year of the Glitch tumblelog, Stearns uses his work to explore deconstruction and reconfiguration. He stretches his technological equipment and materials to its limits, but the results are often beautiful — check out his glitch textiles, rugs created from fractured digital files.

4. Leon Reid IV

Address: 99 Commercial St.

The Work: Leon Reid is one of Brooklyn’s best-known public artists. His urban interventions pop up in unexpected places, responding to the micro-sites of the streets and building walls. Chances are you’ve seen his welded metal installations around, so why not check out where they all come from?

Park Slope

1. Phaedra Matrocola 

Phaedra Matrocola (courtesy gobrooklynart.org)

Address: 689 Sackett St.

The Work: Mastrocola’s sculptures remind us quite a bit of Giacometti, with humanoid and animal figures elongated into strange proportions. Her bicycle piece is oddly poignant.

2. Dan Ford 

Address: 123 5th Ave, #2

The Work: Ford paints miniature landscapes on discarded materials. The transcendental mountain vista painted on a Coors Light can is particularly excellent.

3. Katya Grokhovsky 

Address: 728 Sackett St., #3L

The Work: Through performance and painting, Grokhovsky dissects what it is to be a woman. Her grotesque watercolor distortions of pin-ups are worth checking out.

4. Jonathan Fabricant 

Address: 385 10th St.

The Work: Jonathan Fabricant’s block relief prints take on the daily life of the New York and Brooklyn streets he experiences every day, turning pedestrians into stylized, graphic images. Don’t miss his series of pedestrians strolling down urban sidewalks.

5. Stephanie Chambers

Stephanie Chambers (courtesy gobrooklynart.org)

Address: 255 18th St., #15

The Work: Chambers is chiefly interested in “exploring nature as decoration,” and it shows in her paintings that mingle animals and plants with patterns made up of the same. In one painting, butterflies and vines entangle a grinning skull.

Bushwick & East Williamsburg

1. Jennifer Morgan 

Address: 119 Ingraham St., #421A

The Work: Morgan’s paintings are beautifully rendered (her way with hair is pretty staggering), but her portraiture is also abstract, with swaths of faces blurred and smudged and other areas cast in strange colors. The incongruous combination makes for striking work.

2. Lisa Levy 

Lisa Levy (courtesy gobrooklynart.org)

Address: 304 Boerum St., Buzzer 13

The Work: Levy bases her wry text paintings on psychotherapy sessions she holds with patients, turning their anxieties into catchy one-liners.

3. Michael Scoggins

Address: 117 Grattan St., #117

The Work: Scoggins’ drawings might look like they were done by elementary school students with their wobbly lines and shaky artist signatures, but they riff on social and artistic issues like no child we’ve ever seen. One piece reads, 25 times in a row, “I will not act like white trash.”

4. JR Larson 

Address: 566 Johnson Ave, #21

The Work: Larson’s sculptures are made from organic materials, presenting swooping, natural shapes created from wood, wicker, netting, and fabric. The artist describes the pieces as “relics,” a fitting term considering their timeless quality.

5. Dennis McNett 

Dennis McNett is known for his graphically rich environments.

Address: 41 Varick Ave, #415

The Work: A master of the detailed large-scale animal and psychedelic print, McNett is a forerunner of the woodblock wheatpaste awesthetic that is ubiquitous in street art. His work effortlessly melds graphic culture with installation, sculture and the culture of cool.

5. Gregory Forstner

Address: 41 Varick Ave, #316

The Work: Forstner is a German artist who paints creepy anti-hero images that evoke the bygone world of Max Beckmann with a heavy dash of surrealism. This is a psychic universe drenched in melancholia but what makes Forstner’s work fascinating is that the figures appear to probe (or act out?) why it all went wrong.

DUMBO & Red Hook

1. Ghost of a Dream 

Ghost of a Dream (courtesy gobrooklynart.org)

Address: Smack Mellon, 92 Plymouth St., #7

The Work: Artist duo Ghost of a Dream collages materials usually found in the trash — fragments of romance novels, lottery tickets, and religious tracts — into abstract patterns that comment on consumption and the eternal hope that tomorrow will be better.

2. Susan Heller

Susan Heller (courtesy gobrooklynart.org)

Address: 183 Lorraine St., Floor 3

The Work: Heller’s ceramics take on curvy, organic forms with openings and apertures that more like mouths than flower vases. They’re irresistibly alien.

3. Bernie DeChant

Address: 246 Creamer St., #3

The Work: Bernie DeChant’s photography captures striking moments in daily life, from a child scuba diving with a broken arm to a ball game happening right across the fence from a quiet graveyard.

4. Miya Ando 

Address: 10 Jay St., #209

The Work: The descendant of a Japanese swordmaker, Ando’s work has a Zen simplicity. Her minimalist paintings are soft gradients of blues and grays that are sure to hypnotize.

5. Spring Hofeldt 

Address: 183 Lorraine St., #2

The Work: Hofeldt’s paintings might be photorealistic, but their subject matter partakes a little of fantasy. The artist has a quiet sense of humor, depicting toy animals staring at eachother and two goldfish mouthing in separate jars.

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  • anthony cudahy

    there’s some good work in crown heights as well, just sayin’ :P

    • anthony cudahy

      and that’s not just dumb, sort of self promotion. i’d recommend eric wiley’s studio in crown heights to anyone reading… sort of boy painter genius!

      • http://hragv.com Hrag Vartanian

        Good to know. Thanks!!!

        • http://twitter.com/jilnotjill Jillian Steinhauer

          GREAT to know, since Crown Heights is where I’ll be! Thanks, Anthony.

  • b. cox

    Brooklyn is roughly 50% Black, but not a single Black artist is on this list. Nor is the ENTIRE section of Bedstuy or even Crown Heights (whic is mostly Black)??? Well isn’t that just fascinating.

    • http://hragv.com Hrag Vartanian

      So, for instance, are you suggestion Leon Reid IV is not black or are you simply commenting without knowing what you’re talking about?

    • http://hragv.com Hrag Vartanian

      I guess you don’t consider, for instance, Leon Reid IV as black? Or are you simply an uninformed commenter? You may also be interested to know that Brooklyn, according to statistics, is 34% black.

      • b. cox

        Sorry, they totally named one: BK’s most popular public artist, gotcha. Add Caribbeans to your statistical search buddy. Fact remains, ENTIRE SECTIONS were just not at all mentioned. If you were looking for them, like the group of 15 people behind me when I posted this, you would see the lack thereof.

        But overall, great job BK Museum! :-D

        • http://hragv.com Hrag Vartanian

          There were 1,800 studios/artists and the list was definitely selective. It concentrated on the better known art neighborhoods, though you may be pleased to know we did send a writer to Crown Heights and others to other neighborhoods. It was really the tone of your remark that was off putting. And honestly, we’d love for you to suggest some people, like another commenter did. We would love to include as many people as possible, but as you can imagine with 1,800 studios that was very very hard.

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