In our age of digital hyper connectivity, we often feel isolated – our smartphones a barrier rather than a bridge to “the real thing.” Our viewing experience of art is distorted by online renditions of works, too – after all they are physical objects meant to be seen in person.
Similarly, in a world of mass consumerism that leaves our closets filled with “stuff” we feel empty – even paralyzed by our belongings with no connection to what these items mean, if they have meaning at all. Can an appreciation for artwork undo this affliction? Or is art just more stuff?
The portraits of Williamsburg artist Pilita Garcia, whose faces are perhaps turned away from, but lit by, artificial lights from digital devices – seem to call back to a time before social media, selfies and online advertising. Perhaps they long for “the real world” – but a different world where the value of objects – how they are made and where they come from - is important, a reflection of the artist’s own world view.
Pilita’s painting exhibition titled Rowan’s Sphere will open at Picture Farm (338 Wythe Ave) this Friday March 7th, from 6-9pm.
Watch the below video, produced by the show’s curator Todd Stewart and read our interview with Pilita – then put your computer to sleep (don’t worry it can be alone for a little while) and go see some artwork in real life.
We chatted with Pilita about her work and why making artwork is more important than making “stuff.” Continue reading →
After winding your way up the grey, industrial stairwell of the warehouse building which houses her studio, Allison Maletz’s large-scale, watercolored “Nana” towers over you in warm greeting. A bright teal tracksuit tucks around her comfortable curves while retro shades, now considered a stylish shape, are perched confidently on her nose; a familiar tan purse hangs from one hand while the other casually grips a leg. Perhaps the leg of a deer? It is not entirely clear, but it is undoubtedly disconcerting.
Much of Maletz’s work overtly highlights the familial, familiar and affectionate but dissonant and sometimes vaguely menacing threads are woven throughout her work. The effect is startling and occasionally mesmerizing, especially given Maletz’s technique and approach. Using old and new photographs of friends and family, Maletz revives the insipid, infusing these relatively prosaic images with her own perspective. Her paintings provide fresh interpretations of photographic portraits, which often leave the subjects posing easily or awkwardly but steadily returning the gaze of the viewer. In her iterations, subjects are often depicted against a perfectly white background, allowing the vibrant and mottled aspect of the watercolor, the intricate patterns within neckties, sweaters or camouflage, and the complexity of her facial expressions emerge without competition.
Check out the opening of Maletz’s latest show with her studio mate, David Pettibone, Interdependent, this Thursday, September 20th from 7 – 9pm at YASHAR Gallery, located at 276 Greenpoint Ave (between Newel and Jewel), curated by Elizabeth Lamb. Continue reading →
From the gnarled trees of Ithaca’s woods, to the warm, round edges of a Parisian apartment building, to the power plant smokestacks as seen from a Greenpoint warehouse rooftop, neighborhood resident Christopher Schade brings the outside in with a series of “plein air” paintings that he then reinvents in the interior of his studio. The petite and realistic paintings serve as “anchors,” from which larger and boldly reimagined iterations can drift while remaining relatively tethered to original representation of reality.
During a preview visit to his studio this weekend, Schade described his interest in “obstruction as a strategy,” an approach which gives both depth and humor to these traditional landscapes. A tree trunk becomes the focus on a piece, while the compelling majesty of Notre Dame recedes and rests in the background. These unusual and unexpected choices create a rich palate of shapes and shadow that Schade seizes and explores in his larger works. Using the original plein air as a base, Schade’s colorist perspective dominates his central pieces, as he toys with light and dimension, leaving these versions dangling on the edge of abstraction. Matching the central piece to the original plein air becomes something of a game, and a challenging one at that! Continue reading →
A petite, bright white studio overlooking the trees of Eagle Street is the clean, calm home to Zoe Pettijohn Schade’s intricate and phenomenally executed gouache paintings.
The tin-ceiled building was previously used as a display space for J Josephs Sons Furniture on Manhattan Avenue; patches of remarkable, however weathered, wallpaper in the staircase hallway hint at a more glamorous past. These bits of history unwittingly revealed appropriately echo the retrospective and layered nature of Pettijohn Schade’s work.
This past weekend Jen and I had the opportunity to visit Pettijohn Schade’s studio for a preview of what she will be showing at this weekend’s GO Brooklyn Art Festival. Her multi-layered paintings immediately conjure a mid-century aesthetic but are in fact, both directly and indirectly inspired from patterns and shapes anonymously executed in the 1670s which she discovered during her travels in France. Clearly motivated by the long, rich, and somewhat mystifying history of these ancient paintings, Pettijohn Schade has respected and wrangled these patterns to make them her own. Continue reading →
Wagmag is a non-profit Brooklyn Art Guide that promotes art venues and exhibitions in Brooklyn, including Greenpoint. Tonight is their yearly benefit at The Boiler (191 North 14th) from 7-9pm. Tickets are $20 to attend or $200 to enter the artwork drawing. This is a great chance for collectors to get in on amazing Brooklyn artwork on the major cheap. By donating $200 you are guaranteed artwork. There is a raffle drawing which determines which order ticket holders make their selection. I hope I get to chose first!
There is some amazing artwork in the raffle. My money is on: Ward Shelley, Scott Chasse, Brian Leo, Daniel Zeller, Peggy Cyphers, Mark Masyga, Robert Walden & Lisa Levy.
Heading over the Williamsburg Bridge, have you noticed the colorful oval tiles, an art installation that covers the rafters on your way down towards Manhattan? It is one of my favorite pieces of public art, not only because of how happy it makes me as I whiz down, but because of the intrigue the work inspires and how bold the artist is, not only in his color choice, but it makes you wonder, “how the hell did he do that?”
When I walked by Black and White Gallery on Driggs this past week, I spotted those eye catching ovals. Was he so audacious as to tape them to the outside of a gallery?
Of course I barged in and met Peter Brock, who was installing his first solo exhibition in the space.
The Most Exciting Part About An Old Brick opens tonight, Friday April 20th from 6-9pm, and he is giving out presents!
As a recovering art student I am reticent to even begin this review. My few brief and mostly booze muddled years at the museum school taught me a few things. First, that I am incapable of retaining any information about art history or theory, and second that the combination of vodka and mountain dew does wonderful and terrible things to the body.
This is the review of a layperson, or maybe just a drunk.
There’s my caveat.
Ward Shelley’s Unreliable Narrator exhibit at Pierogi consisted of maybe a dozen paintings; all could be described as text based system diagrams. Each piece teased out minute and often-obscure details of systems from pop cultural groups to North American history to the knock on effects of the industrial revolution.
Example: the interrelated web that ties nerds to geeks to greasers to hipsters to metal-heads all leading back to some pre-human ancestor like Karl Marx.
It was mostly over my head.
That said it was beautiful and informative and I could have easily consumed an infinite supply of their free beer trying to dredge up those neural pathways I carved all those years ago in high school history, civics, or art history class.
From a purely aesthetic standpoint the pieces were exquisite. It was apparent that many hours of thought and planning had gone into the execution, the text being connected by colored pathways that interlaced and crossed and re-crossed tracing ancestry and dependency to create genetic river systems complete with oxbow lakes and dead ends.
The works were simultaneously gorgeous, entertaining, and informative.
Ward Shelley @ Pierogi Unreliable Narrator
17 February – 18 March, 2012
177 North 9th St
Greenpointers Gallery Tour Participating Galleries:
• Booklyn (37 Greenpoint Ave, 4th Fl) AWKHOLD #2: Exhibition + Edition Release Artwork by Sam Kalda, Annemieke Beemster Leverenz, Andrew Liang, Aimee Lusty, Becca McCharen, Asa Osbourne, Jan Razauskus, Jason Roy, Ryan Jacob Smith, Crystal Stokowski, Christine Tillman, and Erin Womack. With guest curator Jason Kachadourian, More info
• Brouwerij Lane (78 Greenpoint Ave) Cars & Drivers Artwork by Subtexture, More info
• Camel Art Space (722 Metropolitan Ave) First Truth Artwork by: Gina Beavers, Megan Hays, Sara Hubbs, Janelle Iglesias, Sara Jones, Siobhan McBride and Danielle Mysiliwiec, More info
• Camel Artspace (722 Metropolitan Ave) PROJECT Space: Yuka Otani, More info
• Causey Contemporary (92 Wythe Ave) Mesmer Eyes Artwork by Kathy Goodell, More info
• TheCeeflat Gallery (988 Manhattan Ave) I am Human Artwork by Mandy Gor & Kevin Corcoran, More info
• Eat (124 Meserole Ave) Pottery and Tea: Reviving Ancient Traditions Artwork by: Arla Bascom & Jordan Colón
• Forgotten City (67 West St #220) Forgotten City Artwork by: Noah Sparkes, Alison Corrie, Morgan Sheasby, Ryan Crozier-Piguet, Nicole Fulmer, Shawn Foulis
• Fowler Arts Collective (67 West St #216) Buy Local Artwork by: Susan Fang, Maria Rajewski, Samuel Stabler, Brian Willmont, More info
• From The Source (69 West St) Through Archtypes Artwork by: Alison Corrie, Allison Maletz, Matthew Trvyge Tung
• James Dinerstein (1205 Manhattan Avenue, Room 1-2-4) Newtown Creek Series Artwork by James Dinerstein, More info
• Janet Kurnatowski (205 Norman Ave) Morphed Artwork by James O Clark, Sandra Casti, Frosty Myers, Gelah Penn, Heidi Pollard, Kris Scheifele, Rebecca Smith, More info
• The Mark Bar (1025 Manhattan Ave) Fear Machines & Sundries Artwork by Joshua Kibuka
• the one well (165 Greenpoint Ave) unexpected party Artwork by Dana L. Crossan • Pierogi (177 North 9th St) Unreliable Narrator Artwork by Ward Shelly, More info
• OWS Space Team @ HyperallergicHQ (181 N11th St, #302) Lapsed Logic Artwork by Ingrid Burrington
• R Bar (451 Meeker) Personal Space Photography by Fabian Palencia, More info
• Round Robin Collective @ Arts@Renaissance (2 Kingsland Ave, Garden Level) Hospitality Installations by Amanda Browder, “Prismatic Vortex,” Caroline Burghardt, “DIY Blizzard,” Kyla Ernst-Alper, “breathe….,” Kerry Laitala’s film performance at 7pm, More info