Julie Torres and her friends mingling with a backdrop of art (photos via my mobile phone) (click to enlarge)

Artists have been having informal apartment shows as long as anyone can remember but in the last few years there has been a growing trend in New York (particularly Brooklyn) of quirky apartment art exhibits that I hope continues to grow.

A birthday party apartment art show with a checklist, talk about awesome (click to enlarge)

Last night, I stopped by Julie Torres‘s apartment, you’ll remember her as the watercolor “street” artist, for a birthday celebration that included a lovely small show of all her artist friends. Torres not only curated the salon style display but carefully prepared a checklist, which made the experience of looking fun and enjoyable.

When I saw Torres’s apartment a few weeks ago, it was packed full of her own art, and yesterday her small pad off the Bedford strip was transformed into a great little exhibition. While there were none of her own works on display there were pieces by artists Randall Wilcox, Malado Baldwin, Amy Lincoln, Brooke MoyseGreg Haberny and dozens of others in Torres’s social circle.

Another wall of art (click to enlarge)

As an art fan and critic, I found the show useful to see who is connected to who and how issues of influence may play out (I never really thought of the possible connections between Baldwin’s and Torres’s work but now I see that there may be an affinity beyond their love of loose color).

DIY continues to be popular in New York for whatever reason (recession, our longing for the handmade … ) and I hope more artists will embrace the idea of informal exhibitions so that the rest of us can see what they are looking at and thinking about. Not everything needs to be polished and prepared months in advance to be interesting.

Right now seems like the perfect time to remind everyone that star curator Hans Ulrich Obrist’s first exhibitions were in his kitchen.

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

7 replies on “Apartment Shows, A Trend I Hope Keeps Growing”

  1. This is such an encouraging post. It is so wonderful that artists can continue to have means to exhibit their works without the restriction or constraints of galleries and museums. It is so democratic and grass-root like. I love the idea so very much.
    I personally embrace the idea of DIY where we no long just rely on the institutionalized channel to get our works and message out, but that we are able to make up, utilize and create our own way of going about it.
    Thank you for such encouraging new!

        1. is this John Avelluto? if so i met you yesterday at your amazing centotto show. that would be funny..

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