… Half the night was already over and we had the daunting task of seeing the other spaces in the midst of all the buzz of Beat Nite with only a few hours left. Art hopping in Bushwick isn’t always easy. With no real density of art spots, you end up darting around the neighborhood by foot or train. Sure there are surprises along the way but all I could wonder as we wandering through seemingly abandoned blocks was “is this what Soho felt like decades ago when it was mostly abandoned buildings and industrial spaces?” On a map Bushwick always looks more compact than it feels like on the ground.
Sometime around February 14, an internet phenomenon erupted as Charles Hoey and Pete Smith announced they had found a lost game cartridge for the original Nintendo video game system (NES). This cartridge was an unlabeled video game version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famed novel The Great Gatsby. Depicted in chunky 8-bit pixels, a boomerang-hatted Nick Carraway dashes through a game world of flappers, bellhops and gangsters. It even came with a vintage advertisement and a game manual that looked straight out of the 80s. The trick? This game wasn’t found; it was made in 2010. Thus we are rushed into an era of digital nostalgia.
While most people’s Beat Nite started last Friday night, mine began the night before at Norte Maar, where artist Austin Thomas had bitch slapped surprised me with the bombshell that she took the liberty of designing the Hippie Potluck tshirts without me (“I understand, Austin, really, let me just find that voodoo doll I made of you…”) and Norte Maar and Storefront co-founder Jason Andrew decided that he wanted to try and drink me under the table. Thankfully for me, the second helped blunt the pain of the first. Needless to say, things ended up blurry that night. Ok, I think I blacked out, but those are details.
Anyone who attended high school in the Western world during the last few decades knows what Goth culture is. The one-room contemporary Flemish show in Andrea Rosen’s Gallery2 space, Flemish Masters, That’s Life, instantly transported me back to high school and my run-ins with the weirdly morose tribe of Siouxsie and the Banshees fans, who loved all things black, medieval and Renaissance — I wasn’t yet sophisticated enough to realize that they weren’t the same thing.
The Bushwick art community celebrated Beat Nite last Friday, and the all-night event was a great way to showcase all the good things going on in this burgeoning region of Brooklyn. Ten art spaces, ranging from more formal gallery spaces to converted living rooms, all stayed open late to welcome the roving bands of art fans interested in seeing a variety of visuals with a healthy mix of music, food and surprisingly mild weather.
Meg Hitchcock spent 135 hours gluing letters on the wall, floor and ceiling of the Famous Accountants gallery in Bushwick. She adhered them one-by one and side-by-side. They form a cord that twists around and eventually intertwines, it weaves itself into a thick rope of words, which spells out the entire Book of Revelation, the last book of the Christian New Testament, with letters cut out from an English translation of the Koran, the Islamic holy book. However, one also encounters a few insertions like a Hindu chant to Shiva, excerpts from the Koran, and other verbal flares. This rich and evocative pastiche draws attention to what all religions have in common — using words as portals into a mystical and uplifting subjective experience.
Count on Japanese software developers to bring us something so delightfully weird yet totally useful. Pose Maniacs is a website that serves as your very own personal figure drawing model, set to whatever pose you like for however long it takes. The site is even downloadable as an iPhone app.
Your day in poetically impossible tasks: New York-based illustrator James Gulliver Hancock pulls a Jason Polan in attempting to draw every building in our fair city, renderings townhouses and skyscrapers alike in day-glo colors and goofy, meandering lines equal parts charming and exact.
Andy Warhol’s artwork tends to elicit strong reactions, whether it’s love in the form of poster-buying, hate in the form of getting angry at gallery installations or boredom, displayed by just not going to Warhol exhibitions at all. I happen to like Warhol’s art, although until recently, I had only ever seen his prints and paintings. A new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, called Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures shows a new side to an artist who often gets pigeonholed as a screenprinter of soup cans.
Tomorrow, Hyperallergic will join WNYC, ARTnews Magazine and architecture and literary experts Mark Lamster and Bryan Waterman to live-tweet MoMA’s screening of the 485-minute duration classic, Empire (1964).
For a complete list of tweeps to follow for the exercise in duration art reporting, discussion, and good ol’ fashioned art geek fun, visit WNYC for the lowdown.
After seeing Lynn Maliszewski’s report from the Hermann Nitsch show at the Mike Weiss Gallery in Chelsea, I decided it was necessary that I attend at least part of the Action Painting by the veteran Viennese Actionist.
I giggled like a giddy seventh grader with a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day when I heard Hermann Nitsch, the forerunner of the Viennese Actionism movement, was showing in New York.
Since his earliest works in the 1960’s, Nitsch equalized the art-making process and spiritual ritual. The artist was head priest, facilitating an enlightened awareness through action. His earliest endeavors tarnished his reputation and led to complications with the police; alas, badass creativity knows no limitations.