Through its gathering of alternative spaces and roving exhibitions, Other Places Art Fair offers insight into how artists adapt to new conditions, whether it be by flat file, pool, or truck.
ROME — Following the election of Rome’s first female mayor — Virginia Raggi of the populist Five Star Movement, who won a massive 67.2% in the second ballot — the city awaits solutions to the neglect which has led to overgrown parks, rubbish on the streets, large-scale homelessness of the city’s immigrant population, and poor cultural programming.
“It is rather inspiring,” writes Peter Schjeldahl in the New York Times, “that in an hour of political crisis this art (despite its makers’ eschewal of revolutionary postures) has arisen to make possible a project like 112 Greene Street.” The year is 1970. The place is Soho, until recently known as the South Houston Industrial District. Here an unemployed artist can buy a six-story cast-iron ex-rag-picking warehouse, and huge chunks of sheet-zinc cornice can lie abandoned on the sidewalk at a demolition site until another artist bribes the garbage men to drive them to his studio.
Walking past Open Space Gallery’s temporary space on Franklin Street I saw several anthropomorphic boxes lined against the walls, their hyper-simplicity too charming to dismiss. I walked inside where, as fortune would have it, artist Raphaela Riepl was manning the show, titled Adorable Steamed Sea Urchin. We spent some time discussing her work and creative process, and then I explored the exhibition’s crew of energetic sculptures. These coy creatures are the results of spontaneous outbursts of creative energy, a haphazard layering of whatever materials are available, laying strewn about her studio.