At a round-table discussion at Smack Mellon gallery, convened on July 27 by Hyperallergic and the gallery, the issue of the distinction between propaganda and art was in focus.
What differentiates propaganda from art? Join Hyperallergic and Smack Mellon on Wednesday, July 27, at 7pm for a conversation.
People who encountered a vending machine dispensing free compliments in the Meatpacking District or a group of women knitting and unraveling white aprons in Union Square over the weekend might have considered them part of New York City’s continually anomalous street life, or felt an odd pang of déjà vu.
Let’s begin with the obvious: to attempt a comprehensive exhibition of contemporary art from across Brooklyn would be not only impossible but foolish, a kind of Tower of Babel of artistic practice. And so the Brooklyn Museum’s eagerly awaited Crossing Brooklyn is not a sweeping survey but a tight, thematic show, focused mostly on one specific type of art making manifest throughout the borough.
Expectation and experience seldom end up at the same destination, especially when you walk down a subway platform and see a sign that reads “To Breuckelen” and realize — no, no, the MTA hasn’t sold the L line back to the Dutch to save money; rather, you are seeing a sign hung by artist Daniel Bejar (not that one) as part of his Get Lost! installation.
There are many an artist who dedicate themselves to subverting the commodification of their own work and the current exhibition at Nurture Art, Is This Free?, addresses the topic with a three-part summer exhibition.
Despite Bushwick Basel’s tongue-in-cheek name, the title suits this new art fair, as it is an art fair, albeit a very, very small one. Bushwick Basel, which consisted this year of 11 local galleries, is the kind of fair you could imagine Nada or Pulse being like when they first began — a fair that features fresh work made by young artists, presented by small galleries in a somewhat casual fashion. Standing in Bushwick Basel, you can also imagine this fair growing exponentially, if it continues in subsequent years.
A liver shot in boxing is a short, quick body punch delivered to the liver with a left hook. The effect can be devastating. (Bernard Hopkins knocked out Oscar De La Hoya with such a shot.) Unfortunately, the tool is often overlooked in today’s prizefights, as boxers prefer headhunting with right-hand crosses aimed at the opponent’s chin. What does the liver shot have to do with Nuture Art’s new show, Systemic Risk? Not much. The exhibition, unlike the body punch, exists in the realm of ideas; it’s a cerebral affair.
My weekday exploration of Art in Odd Places had required a careful eye for small acts of ritual, the theme of the 2011 edition of the annual art event that takes place along 14th Street and in Union Square. Two Saturdays ago the art was impossible to miss, even if it was still in unexpected places.