Art Rx

Two weeks have gone by since Hurricane Sandy, but the storm is still very much with us in New York City — both physically and emotionally. The doctor knows it’s hard for people to go ahead with their usual fun plans when others are suffering; at the same time, if all you do is volunteer, you’ll end up exhausted.

So the doctor has just the prescription: a whole handful of arts-related fundraisers and hurricane relief events. This way, you can go see or even buy some art and feel good about it. Events are happening in Fort Greene, Williamsburg, and Dumbo, Brooklyn, as well as in downtown Manhattan and Queens, so you should be able to find at least one that suits your tastes. Help yourself while you help others. Now’s the time to pull together, New York.

From the Downtown Collection: the Rimbaud mask used by David Wojnarowicz in his photographic series “Rimbaud in New York” (courtesy Fales Library & Special Collections)

Brooklyn Loves Brooklyn

When: Tuesday, November 13, 6:30–10:30 pm ($10 or more donation required)
Where: Irondale Center (85 South Oxford Street, Fort Greene, Brooklyn)

Some 25 Brooklyn arts organizations have teamed up for this Hurricane Sandy benefit, which was also co-organized by a host of local politicians including Congressman-Elect Hakeem Jeffries and Councilwoman Letitia James. The show will be performance heavy, with organizations offering 10-minute snippets of dance, theater, music, readings, and more. We’re particularly excited to see what Franklin Furnace, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, and BOMB magazine drum up.

 Art for Occupy

When: Opens Wednesday, November 14, 6–9 pm
Where: 7 Dunham Place (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Williamsburg newcomer 109 Gallery and textile design studio REED are kicking off a hurricane benefit exhibition. The artists involved tend to fall under the label of “emerging,” which means you might even be able to afford some of it! And since half of all proceeds will go to Occupy Sandy and Printed Matter, you’ll be able to feel good about yourself every time you gaze at that new piece hanging on your wall.

Help Dumbo Rebuild

When: Wednesday, November 14, 6–10 pm (tickets start at $25)
Where: Galapagos Art Space (16 Main Street, Dumbo, Brooklyn)

The waterfront neighborhood of Dumbo was another one hit hard by flooding from Hurricane Sandy, and then of course there was the Nor’easter, which pushed back the date of this Help Dumbo Rebuild fundraiser. The event will finally happen on Wednesday night, and includes art-world favorites Smack Mellon and Galapagos Art Space. No word yet on entertainment or performances, but with Galapagos hosting, we’re not really worried.

The Downtown Scene

When: Thursday, November 15, 6–8 pm
Where: The Humanities Initiative at NYU (20 Cooper Square, 5th floor, East Village, Manhattan)

We’ve written about the marvel that is the Downtown Collection at NYU before, and on Thursday night, you get a chance to see highlights from it. Think zines, flyers, personal papers from artists and activists, and more, all presented by the force behind the collection, Marvin Taylor. Journalist Cynthia Carr will also be on hand to talk about her much-praised recent book on Downtown artist and activist David Wojnarowicz.

 Fictional Photography

When: Friday, November 16, 7 pm ($5 suggested donation)
Where: 155 Freeman Street (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

Well this sounds fascinating: Triple Canopy hosts a number of artists, as well as one writer, in an exploration of photography in fiction. That means a reading of passages that describe photography, consider it as a subject, or “adopt photographic strategies of framing, staging, or manipulation,” according to the event description. What happens when photography is freed from its relationship to truth and exists entirely in the realm of the fictional?

A spread from the Wooster Collective’s “Graphite” (image via

Yard Sale/Book Launch/Benefit

When: Friday, November 16, 7–9 pm & Saturday, November 17, 11 am–5 pm (RSVP: events[email protected])
Where: 101 Crosby Street (Soho, Manhattan)

This weekend event hosted by Wooster Collective has a little bit of something for everyone: a book launch for Wooster’s latest published venture, Graphite; a sale of multiples, original artwork, ephemera, and what have you by tons of street artists, including Space Invader and Faile; and a portion of the proceeds go to local Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Another chance to buy art and feel really damn good about it.

Tokyo Avant-Garde

When: Opens Saturday, November 18
Where: Museum of Modern Art (11 West 53rd Street, Midtown, Manhattan)

MoMA’s new exhibition Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde continues an exploration of Japan’s aesthetic history that has been furthered by exhibitions like Japan Society’s Bye Bye Kitty!!! and Deco Japan. The show documents the period during which Tokyo transformed, moving past the wreckage of World War II and becoming an international cultural center. This interdisciplinary show explores the energy of that tumultuous moment. —KC

Help the Rockaways

When: Sunday, November 18, 12–4 pm
Where: Queens Museum of Art (New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens)

In solidarity with what’s likely the most storm-ravaged part of its borough, the Rockaways, the Queens Museum of Art is hosting a fundraiser on Sunday that sounds pretty great. Artist Duke Riley will tend bar, artist-activist Tania Bruguera will tell fortunes, and artist Ellen Harvey will paint visitor portraits, among many other programs and offerings. All proceeds will go to the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance.

*   *   *

With contribution by Kyle Chayka

comments (0)