Yes, it’s that time of year again: the time when Bushwick becomes a giant, artistic playground (even more than it is the rest of the year), and there’s a found trash sculpture or an hyperrealist painting — and probably booze (or at least food) — everywhere you look. It’s Bushwick Open Studios! And the MTA even says the L train will be running! (We’ll believe it when we set foot on Morgan Avenue) What more could we ask for?
This year’s BOS is bigger than it’s ever been before, with over 500 studios, shows and events happening. That’s a lot of art. To help you stay focused and find your way through the madness, the doctor is prescribing her very own guide of things to see and do. And if you need some visual help finding these places when you’re out and about, you can pick up a old-fashioned paper map (how 2011) or download the brand-spanking-new iPhone app, which looks like a solid bet.
Before you get too drunk, start off your weekend with a free panel and discussion with a handful of art lawyers. Topics will include copyright and fair use, moral rights and consignment agreements. With all the buzz about Prince v Cariou in the air these days, it’s a good time to get your legal facts straight.
Friday, June 1, 5:15–7:30 pm
After you’ve had your dose of serious thinking, head over to Truck Yeah’s mobile meet up for a mini-festival of art, food, fashion, and music. This event includes a simulated War Wagon that biker gangs use when they’re in trouble, a part of Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project … and kimchi tacos.
Friday, June 1, 4–8 pm, Saturday, June 2, 2–8 pm
Named after the church in which it is held, Holy BOS! is another one of those wide-ranging events that take place inside the larger smorgasbord of Bushwick Open Studios. Featuring musical performances, a film festival, art ritual theater and a gospel brunch.
Friday, June 1, 8 pm–2 am, Saturday, June 2, 12 pm–2 am, Sunday, June 3, 12–11:30 pm
Remember those old-fashioned maps we were talking about? Well you can get one here! And remember those copious drinks we mentioned? Grab one of those, too.
Saturday, June 2, 11 am–2 pm
Stop-and-frisk is one of the NYPD’s most controversial and notorious practices. We’re willing to be that this improv, interactive street-theater performance addressing stop-and-frisk will be thought-provoking — and hopefully entertaining, too.
Saturday, June 2, 12 pm–7 pm
If there’s one thing people in the Bushwick art scene love to talk about these days, it’s the art scene in Bushwick. Peter Boswijck leads a 24-hour conversation about it — at which point, the topic just might be exhausted (until next year).
Saturday, June 2, sunset–Sunday, June 3, sunset
If you find yourself longing for some performing (not performance) arts amid all the visual art, House of Yes is hosting an over-the-top, glittery and glamorous show of burlesque dancers, aerialists, contortionists and more — including “avant-garde fashion fascists”?? If you go, report back and let us know what those are.
Saturday, June 2, 9 pm
This event is a combination of many great things: a walking tour exploring the idea of boundaries and borders, where the stops are site-specific performances around the neighborhood. Plus there’s a rooftop party afterwards, a perfect way to wind down the weekend.
Sunday, June 3, 4–7 pm
Our Studio Picks
De Oude’s colorful oils seem to blend Op Art, geometric abstraction and woven textiles, and Gomez is a curator and critic whose own art we’re eager to see.
This is a good chance to see new work by some Bushwick standbys, including large, other-worldly drawings by Brehm and clever, crafted wood carvings and paintings by Owens.
Holoweski works in a wide range of mediums — painting, sculpture, stop-motion animation — to make haunting work about the promises and failures of the American middle class.
Ainslie will be hosting a group show in her space but her paintings are the real reasons we’re showing up. She uses the language of early 20th C. painting but creates something lovely and new, like a visual poem. They are strong but challenging compositions that will win you over. —HV
A great mix of pop and graffiti, his work offers up his brightly colored visions to your eyes to enjoy and explore. He will be moving to LA soon so this may be your last chance to see his studio in New York. His chicha posters, created in Peru, are pretty damn awesome. —HV
Walking into Robinson’s studio is like walking into a toy store. Clay, painted and ceramic objects of all types surround you and they are often chock full of historic and contemporary references. Some are playful, others more austere, but they are always fascinating to behold. —HV
Our Exhibition Picks
The New Aesthetic is everywhere these days, so why not at BOS? This show features nine artists commenting on the New Aesthetic but happily refusing to answer the question of whether or not it’s actually a thing.
Artist and blogger Sharon Butler is celebrating the fifth anniversary of her art blog, Two Coats of Paint, by having Pocket Utopia’s Austin Thomas curate a painting show. There’s no way this won’t be awesome.
We’re still taken with this 17th-century Dutch farmhouse, which is hosting a group exhibition of contemporary sculpture, curated by Bushwick local Deborah Brown and Lower East Side gallerist Lesley Heller. The work on view responds to the remarkable pastoral landscape of the house and its grounds.
Both Aminlari and Shiflett create subtle, delicate work: Aminlari sews and draws repetitively on paper, creating textured patterns that are also meditations on his cultural identity, while Shiflett has created a layered sculpture of handmade paper, cheesecloth and Styrofoam, among other materials.
A sculptural sound installation featuring 12 chrome-plated steel helmets that look like knight’s armor. Stick your face in them, and speakers plays vocal music.
Italian photographer Martinetto examines the loss of memory through pictures of his grandmother, who filled her home with reminder notes as her memory faded.
John Avelluto, Mary Carlson, Meg Hitchcock and Audra Wolowiec present artwork that has a relationship to the text and the written word. Hitchcock cuts letters from sacred texts and reassembles as passages from other sacred texts; Wolowiec presents her “Breathing Room,” an installation of plastic bags that seems to breath itself.
Oh, Bushwick, you crazy-ass place that pretends to be anti-establishment when it suits you. You land of apartment galleries galore, studios that are never open when they say they’re going to be open, people who pretend they live only 10 minutes from Union Square (when it’s really more like 30) and you skinny jeaned epicenter of hipsterdom … oh, how we love and hate you at the same time.
Now, y’all had to go and come up with an art fair! You just had to turn the most DIY event around into something aping the commercial scene, right? And you named it Basel? Oh, geez.
Sure, we’ll attend this — and there better be free champagne! —HV
With listings by Hrag Vartanian