In Praise of Other Worlds: Your Curated Art Crawl

Janet Biggs

I could pull a cheap trick here and talk about V-Day, but I think we’ve exhausted ourselves whining over PDA and the unoriginality of expensive flowers paired with shitty chocolate. For those of you who want to step back because the coming stockpile of engagement announcements on Facebook is like the end of the world, ease up—we still have the ends of the earth. See what I did there?

In celebration of invented, alternate universes in which we can find solace in solitude, here’s what you should check out in the coming weeks. I’ve never taken an art history class. Trust me?

Janet Biggs: Somewhere Beyond Nowhere at Smack Mellon

Selected for the Arctic Circle residency program in 2009, Biggs was brought to Svalbard, an archipelago between Norway and the North Pole, where there’s midnight sun, polar winter, and a population just short of 3,000. Somewhere Beyond Nowhere, befittingly installed in a darkened room, pours forth the extremity of isolation with a two-channel video installation. Referencing the failed (and tragic) expeditions of nineteenth century polar explorers, in addition to notes from her own journal, Biggs accompanies the visual magnitude of place/space with wistful narration, underlining the “destabilizing” force of nature and solitude. This one’s for wanderers. Part of the Brooklyn/Montreal Exchange; through February 24.

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This Friday: David M. Cook at Mishka


David M. Cook is the architect of a mischievous microcosm. Amicable and unassuming, he hardly seems the “type” to consistently and skillfully crank out such a lewd labyrinth of work, but the cheeky hedonism comes all too naturally. Based in Brooklyn but originally from Louisville, Kentucky, David (who also answers to Bonethrower) uses no shortage of fine lines to design a world that is equal parts modern mysticism and memento mori—at the end of the day, it all sinks in like a psychotropic drug.

Making room for where peepshow meets purgatory, Mikhail Bortnik and Greg Rivera of global streetwear brand Mishka are kicking off 2013 with a show of David’s new, never-before-seen work. With a foolproof history of integrating fashion and music (Danny Brown was in their Spring 2012 lookbook and they released Das Racist’s Shut Up, Dude mixtape with Greedhead in 2010—need I say more?), the brand has defined itself with an unapologetically chromatic display of presence, which is to say that David fits right in. To kick things up at the show, Mishka is releasing a limited edition Мишка X Bonethrower t-shirt. If you’re familiar with David’s aesthetic, you know they’ll sell out fast; if you’re not, now you do. Don’t miss the opening this Friday, January 25th, from 7-10pm. Guard your pretty little loins.

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Red Bull Curates Exhibition Tonight!


Colin Young-Wolff/Red Bull Media House

Red Bull has come up with a really cool art competition – turn a standard Red Bull refrigerator and turn it into a work of art. Or, as Red Bull puts it: “The medium? A Red Bull refrigerator (covered in canvas). The mission: Create.” And create they did!

Elizabeth Harper/Red Bull Media House

25 New York artists gathered at Villain on Sunday, September 9 to create and fulfill this “mission.” Of these 25 works of art, only 3 will be coined winners. And these winners will be revealed tonight, September 13!

So what are they competing for – what’s the grand prize? A chance to show at the “Scope art fair during December’s Art Basel in Miami Beach, the biggest international art event on the calendar.”

Again, the event takes place TONIGHT, September 13 at Villain at 9:00 PM. Go and enjoy the art!

Decorating the D

Image c/o The New York Times

Thursday seven art installations were unveiled at various Brooklyn subway stations along the D line. According to the New York Times,

Almost all of the new works…are laminated glass windscreens that edge subway platforms above ground.”

To see these “laminated glass windscreens”, check out all of the beautiful art exhibitions in this slide show, c/o the New York Times: Beautifying the D Line. Seriously, take a look.

Amongst these installations includes a very cool gate created by Christopher Russell, a Manhattan sculptor:

Mr. Russell was entrusted with designing bronze gates, 7 feet high and 6 feet wide, at the Ninth Avenue Station in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. The gates depict honeybees crawling on hives, and the posts of adjacent fences will have honeybees resting on 17 finials shaped like flower heads.

The gates are expected to be presented in the fall after the station, an Arts and Crafts-style copper-roofed structure built in 1916, has been fully renovated. Although the gates are operable, riders will not pass through them, but will simply admire them (or tremble in their presence).”

For more on this story, including the inspiration and process behind Russell’s work, visit the New York Times article in its entirety here: A Sculptor Creates a Stop on the Bee Train.

If you happen to hop on the D train and pass one of these installations, comment below!

Crest Fest 2012 Happening Saturday

This year’s Crest Fest is upon us!  The festivities run from 1pm to 7pm on Saturday, June 30th.  The event will take place at Crest Hardware, located at 558 Metropolitan Avenue and will be filled with art, life music, food, drinks and local vendors.  Details and more information can be found by visiting the website.

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For $1 Million Jay-Z, Devendra Banhardt, and Jeff Koons Will Paint NYC’s Watertowers

Courtesy Word Above the Street

You probably get Kickstarter requests on a daily basis from friends asking for support. But it’s not every day that you come across one trying to change the city’s skyline. That’s what The Water Tank Project is trying to do. For a million dollars, the Project “will transform the skyline by converting water tanks across all five boroughs into works of art on the subject of water.” There are some big names involved, including Jeff Koons, Jay Z, Devendra Banhart, and Bruce Weber. The exhibit plans to be up for twelve weeks next summer.

“We want New York City to look up again, to dream big, to feel proud, to create, to share, to believe, to take action,” the press release states. Unlike much of the city’s art, this exhibit will be free and accessible to all. Brooklyn-based artist Mary Jordan is behind the project.

Not only is the project about public art, but it also aims to promote a deeper message about the high quality of New York City’s water and how the city should play a “role as a world leader setting new standards for sustainability.”

Sounds pretty good, right? The project needs your help getting off the ground, so head on over to Kickstarter to check out the details for yourself.

New Year, New You: Places to Expand Your Skill Set Beyond Being Able to Pick Out Really Great Brunch Spots

image c/o Curves, Patterns, and Pins

2012 is supposed to be a big year with possibly some big changes, namely the predicted apocalypse and train wreck of a presidential election. So why not make a change in your life by trying something that you haven’t done before? After all, if the earth is going to end this year, now would be time to pick up something that you’ve always want to try. Check out these great spots that teach classes that you’ll actually want to take:

3rd WardThis multifaceted art space has been a mecca to young creative people in Brooklyn with its eclectic mix of classes ranging from personal interest (Bike Maintenance, Rooftop Beekeeping 101) to professional development (Online Marketing Strategies, Setting Up E-Commerce Sites) and much, much more. Get inspired by checking out their “New Year Resolutions” classes that include Introduction to Upholstery, Learn the Guitar, and Intro to Web Design: HTML/CSS. The courses are pricey, but this would be a great way to spend your extra holiday cash, especially if it leads to a new career path!

The Brooklyn Kitchen This foodie-haven is known for its wide array of classes that can teach you everything you need to know about the culinary world, and a few things that you don’t really need to know (but it’s pretty cool if you do). Their class calendar is almost filled up for the month of January, but there are still a few good classes with space in the beginning of February that cover topics like baking savory pies and brewing your own beer. Who knows- maybe one of those will turn out to be your life calling. The world always needs more pie and beer, amirite?

The Society for the Advancement of Social Studies (SASS)Do you enjoy drinking alcohol, clever humor, and learning about history? Well friend, it’s high time you started waving your nerd flag proudly by attending one of this group’s educational and entertaining lectures. On the first Tuesday of each month, the brains behind SASS present a lecture at Public Assembly on “a different historic topic that you probably knew at one point but don’t remember anymore.” The best part? There will be themed drinks specials, so you can leave feeling smart and buzzed. There next lecture is TONIGHT, JANUARY 3rd at 7pm on the apocalypse and other fun doomsday topics. For more information, check out the event page here.

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Brooklyn Spaces: Chronicaling Weird Shit Before it Gets Condemed/Gentrified

Death by Audio. Photo by Maximus Comissar

You know how there was that one time? That your friend dragged you to that random warehouse party you’re pretty sure was somewhere in Bushwick but can’t be positive because your recollection of how you got there or how you left is kind of hazy? But all you know is that when you were there there was a zip line, and maybe some fire eaters, and quite possibly a trailer? As we all know, Brooklyn is full of “underground” spaces like that — everything from night clubs to DIY classes to make-you-own-liquor factories. And as anyone who’s lived here long enough knows, these places are so transient once you’ve been to a place once you maybe have a 50-50 chance of ever finding it again.

Well one woman, long time Williamsburg resident Oriana Leckert, has taken it upon herself to chronicle them, one crazy space at a time. You should really check out her blog, Brooklyn Spaces, which chronicles the many many many creative ways Brooklynites are, well using their space. Full of gorgeous photos and in-depth profiles on the history of each space, her site will let you see what you’ve been missing, or maybe evern finally figure out the name of that place you stumbled into in a drunken late-night stupor.

We sat down with her to see what she’s seen, what she loves, and what her website is all about.

Breuckelen Distilling Co. Photo By Maximus Comissar

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