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.
It was a beautiful day last Saturday and I took the opportunity to wander the post-industrial warehouses of north Brooklyn with the mission to explore the studios taking part in the 2010 Greenpoint Open Studios. During my afternoon of wandering I only managed to visit 30% of the studios but I, nonetheless, saw a great range of work that gave me a feel for the area — painters appear to dominate the artistic life of this corner of Brooklyn.
While I came eager to see new work by new names, I also encountered some established figures, and I even came across a large white work by artist Joe Bradley leaned up against a wall — the work was on its way to the New Jersey Museum of Contemporary Art (NJMoCA) in Asbury Park, New Jersey, which is slated to open this month. During my visit to one sculptor’s studio, Stacy Fisher, I was told that recently the world-renowned playwright Edward Albee — of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” fame — showed up a few weeks earlier to buy one of her Hydrocal, wood, hardware and latex paint sculptures … a sign of things to come for this neighborhood with infamously bad public transportation options?