Art Fairs in NYC

If you’re into visual arts, then this week’s art fairs are like a second Christmas. Free Williamsburg will have a full roundup next week.
But, if you need a guide, I recommend checking out arguably one of the best New York art blogs/publications Art Fag City for recommendations. Panel discussions can be found here and gallery openings during the week are here.

Shows Not To Miss

Japanese experimental musician OORUTAICHI is in town this week. He’s playing some of NYC’s better venues Cake Shop, Glasslands, Zebulon and rounding things off at Issue Project Room.
Tonight is a great line up with Lights (Andy MacLeod project) and Drawlings (Paw Tracks) at the Cake Shop.

Artist Statement: Gregg Evans

Artist Statement is a new series where we feature the work of up-and-coming artists accompanied by their artist statement. We hope to have one person a week for you to check out.
First up, we have the photography work of Gregg Evans. A Brooklynite for several years, Evans work spans multiple mediums: photo, performance and video. However, it is photography that is his primary medium and first love. His recent book I Could Walk Away Now And You Wouldn’t Care. is available at Opening Ceremony, Dashwood Books and Spoonbill & Sugartown.
2006, 16″ x 20″, Film Negative, Digital C-Print. David and Keith. 6/06
As a stranger in a fellow gay man’s home, the opposition between foreign characteristics and familiar ones associated with their belongings is oddly comforting. I walk through the apartment, often led with a personal tour; ‚”Here is our bedroom… this is our bathroom. Isn’t the tub amazing?”, making observations. I find I generally want to touch things as I walk, though usually feel obligated not to. I can’t help but wonder what happens to the objects scattered around the house after their owner has moved passed them, after he is gone. Often, after one has died, families sell the belongings of their relative which they carry no emotional attachment to in order to pay back the debts of their estate. At the estate sale, what is the significance of this object to the person who buys it after it’s original owner has died? Once one is no longer physically surrounded by their collections, what becomes of one’s identity? When one is no longer a part of their home, do their objects still reveal a sense of who they once were? Or, upon disappearance, do one’s worldly possessions leave the visiting stranger with a name, and what that name once owned?
[While photographing, a close friend tells me his father took out a life insurance policy in his name after he came out of the closet. Framing the photograph, I release the shutter, wind up the end of the roll, and write his name on the outside. At that moment, I feel like his partner in crime.]
More info. here and here.

[Read more…]

Antennas of the Race: Psychic Ills vs. Excepter

Ezra Pound once referred to the artist as the ‚”antennae of the race.” He insinuated that the artist was able to sense a cultural zeitgeist, critique and present it to an audience prior to it becoming ubiquitous. More importantly, their ability to expose these cultural happenings is an integral contribution to keeping society in check. Antennas of the Race is a series of conversations between two creative camps ‚Äìvisual, music, or otherwise‚Äîthat share a common relationship. They are intended to provide a more revealing look at each’s process and attitude toward creativity.
For the inaugural conversation, we have two experimental music groups: Excepter and Psychic Ills. Known for providing captivating (and sometimes unconventional) live performances as well as challenging records, each group has navigated the competitive New York music scene and come to define the richness of its palette.
Further illustrating their bond, Psychic Ills and Excepter will play a show together at 92YTribeca tomorrow. The show begins at 8pm. In addition, Psychic Ills recently released Mirror Eye on the Social Registry.
FW: Many people in the experimental music scene seem to marry the visuals with a musical aesthetic; you may see this on multiple levels: during a performance or the end product of a record. How do you feel about being apart of this movement?
Excepter: We like to put on a performance and we go out of our way to make videos, so yeah, we’re definitely into the visual. Dance is to music like gesture is to speech; it gives the audience another way to understand what we’re getting across.
We would caution against identifying our visual bent as being part of a movement or scene. If anything, we stand against the influence of the 90s indie stance, which was very anti-image. If there is a common bond between bands, it’s usually a love of records from before our time.
Psychic Ills: There are a lot of bands–there’s probably a lot of ‘scenes’. We just do our thing. We’re not so aware of these qualifiers, but we’re into a lot of things music and non-music related.

[Read more…]

Poster Boy and Aakash Nihalani rework Monet, Smells of Appropriation and Publicity Stunt

C/O Dan Gould
My initial reaction to the MoMA installation at Atlantic Ave. was mixed. I concede that people are inundated with advertising, and this was an opportunity to offer people something more cultured. Still, the motivation seemed a little suspect.
Seeing Poster Boy and Aakash Nihalani, however, remix the works made me very excited about the installation. While the public display makes the work vulnerable to vandalism, it also provides for the images to be appropriated and enter the larger cultural dialogue. It, therefore, brings a new life to the pieces and provides for more social commentary.
C/O Doug Jaeger
What I don’t quite understand in this story is why Doug Jaeger, the advertising brains behind the original campaign, was photographed participating in the vandalism? The move reduces Poster Boy’s street art to a publicity stunt. This makes the project seem calculated and doesn’t bode well for the MoMA or Poster Boy.
Update: NY Mag has the scoop. MoMA denies authorizing the vandalism. CBS Outdoors believes otherwise.
Update: MoMA is now lashing out. Police are seeking Doug Jaeger for questioning.
Hat Tips: Vulture, PSFK

The State of DIY: An Interview with Todd Brooks of the Pendu Organization

Record Tables at Eye and Ear
If you look at the life cycle of any ‘scene’–Hippies in San Francisco, Krautrock in Cologne, Punk in D.C.–their rise is always met with a climax. In the aftermath they usually remain vital. The media just chooses to turn their heads to something ‘newer’–to another corner of the country waiting to be excavated. I don’t mean to overly romanticize this phenomena. But, I think over the last decade New York (and Brooklyn in particular) has received its generous helping of attention and praise. At some point you stop and think: Has the the wave of creativity finally crested?
I would actually like to revise this notion that creativity might be turning its gaze away from New York. What has been so interesting in the rise of the blogosphere is the ability to continue the documentation process that in an earlier age would have been less available. The ability to do so provides for multiple areas of the country like Portland, Austin, Baltimore and New York to coexist and continue to inform each other.
This brings me to the Eye and Ear festival that I attended in December. The Eye and Ear Festival is a biannual New York-centric music and record festival that brings together some of New York’s most interesting talent (Zs, Ducktails, Cult of Youth and Symbols) with many of the labels (ESP, Wierd Records) that continue to support them.
Such a festival obviously is a huge undertaking for anyone; however, for Todd Brooks and his Pendu Organization, it is one part of his vision for nurturing young creativity. In the future, he hopes to encompass visual and writing mediums as well as music. The following interview touches upon his vision and is a testament to creativity thriving in Brooklyn.
How did you come up with the idea for the festival?
There are so many great labels in NY right now, and I wanted to help shine a light and make those labels more accessible to the public. Even before the recession hit, there has been a noticeable downturn in record sales with an upturn in music downloads.¬† We live in an age where great record reviews in blogs and magazines send people straight to P2P downloads rather than sending them straight to their local record store or mail-order.¬† I’m not against MP3’s or the internet by any means, I think both are a great way for people to learn about new music, but it separates the music from the entire experience. A lot of hard work goes into packaging of DIY records and tapes which are put together often literally by hand.¬† These unique objects are every bit a part of the music.¬† A record or tape is an object to be looked at as well as listened to, thus fitting the title for the festival: Eye & Ear.¬† The record fair is meant to highlight the physical part of the music in an overly-digitalized world of JPEGs and MP3s.

[Read more…]

Takeshi Murata Talk at EAI Tonight

Takeshi Murata has been heralded as a video innovator by allowing for errors and glitches to transform the aesthetics of his work. Tonight, Murata will be speaking and screening his new work at EAI, another innovative art and technology organization dedicated to the preservation of media arts.
Hit up Facebook for more details.

WAGMAG Benefit Saturday

If you’ve ever been gallery hopping around Brooklyn, I’m sure you found that WAGMAG was your easy handy guide. To ensure this Williamsburg staple continues to provide you the most up-to-date information and reviews of the Brooklyn art scene, Front Room Gallery will be hosting a benefit on Saturday. While the event is free, tickets for the raffle will run about 200 a piece. Fortunately, everyone is guaranteed a piece of art.
Lists of participating artists and galleries are below. Front Room Gallery is located at 147 Roebling Street.
Works by:
Amanda Alic, Glen Baldridge, Rachel Beach, Carla Berger, Shawn Bishop Leo, John Bjerklie, Cynthia Blum, Tyra Bombetto, John Breiner, Ken Butler,Victoria Calabro, Sarah Ching-Yu Sun, Vincent Como, Ethan Crenson, Gregory Curry, Rosie Cutler, Peggy Cyphers, Chris Dam, Lisa Dilillo, Robert Egert, Mark Esper, Ben Evans, Peter Fox, Jason Glasser, Howard Gross, Eric Guzman, Meghan Hayes, Sean Hemmerle, Ingrid Hertfelder, Amy Hill, Mary Hrbacek, Sarah Hubbs, Jude Hughes, Peter Krebs, Yuliya Lanina, Brian Leo, Stephen Maine, Karen Marston, Mark Masyga, Nesta Mayo, Shane McAdams, Jackie Meier, Mark Millroy, Jeanne Mischo, Loren Munk, Aaron Namenwirth, Jacob Ouilette, Don Pablo Pedro, William Powhida, Ellen Rand, Ross Racine, Ron Ritcher, Dorothy Robinson, Todd Rosenbaum, Tom Rosenthal, Emily Roz, Sante Scardillo, Ray Sell, Skewville, Jeremy Slater, Patricia Smith, Deborah V. Spiroff, Rodger Stevens, STO, Mary Anne Strandell, Gwenn Thomas, James Turek, Chris Twomey, Joanne Ungar, Kathleen Vance, Don Voisine, David Welles, Alun Williams, Oliver Zabel, Daniel Zeller and more…
From the Galleries:
440 Gallery, A.M. Richard, AdHoc, Art 101, ArtMoving, Leo Kesting, Ch’i, Cinders, Dam Stuhltrager, English Kills, Figureworks, Front Room, Fuse Works, Janet Kurnatowski, Galerie OPEN, Grace, Hogar Collection, HQ, Jack the Pelican, Klaus Von Nichtssagend , Like the Spice, Lumenhouse, McCaig-Welles, Momenta, Nurture Art, Open Source, Parker’s Box, Pierogi, Pocket Utopia, Slate, Stripeman, Vertexlist, and more