It may be a stretch to say that portraiture is in the air — given that there are all of two exhibitions devoted to it in New York City right now, one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn — but their confluence can feel like the kind of Marxian (Groucho, not Karl) charge you get from watching a tradition-bound idiom seize up and explode.
As the official group exhibition of the Northside Art Festival, Many Conversations was a multilayered dialogue between 26 artists who either live or work in North Brooklyn. Curated by Peter Gynd, the show aimed to formally introduce the local community of artists to each other and to their audience, in order to create exchange and encourage interaction.
If Friday night is the night for gallery openings in Bushwick, then last Thursday in Chelsea was a type of artistic foreplay. You could tell that something was in the air by the density of Bushwick regulars in front of Chelsea’s Standpipe Gallery on West 25th Street. And indeed, a group show Fresh Paint From Bushwick, which features seven emerging Bushwick talents (Gina Beavers, Holly Coulis, Halsey Hathaway, Rachel LaBine, Kerry Law, Adam Simon and Josette Urso), was just opening that night.