Monthly Archives: March 2010

Greenpoint Food Market: Spring Awakening: April 10th

I am both dreading and anticipating the next food market. It’s growing ever so gradually every month and we will have more vendors this time around than we can fit. We’ll figure it out somehow but I’m scared. Very scared. Either way, please do spread the word, bring your friends and lovers. Announcement below, read the full list of vendors here.

Greetings friends of Greenpoint Food Market!

We hope you are staying high and dry during Spring’s glorious love showers and celebrating the season for renewal, growth, and life.

April 10th, we will present the next market with uncontainable excitement as we present SPRING AWAKENING. Join us for a hippiefied day of flowers, patchouli, butterflies and eat some vegan granola bars!

This just might be our BIGGEST market day yet, the church will be PACKED with all sorts of goodies from ice cream to pork buns, vegan pate to bacon marmalade. People’s Champs will be performing between 2 – 3pm, mixing jazz, soul, funk, hip-hop, dub and samba to create new hybrids. Fellow Greenpointer Cowboy Mark will be at the makeshift dj booth pumpin’ some beats.

It is PIVOTAL that we see you at GFM on April 10th. We thrive on your curiosity, your hunger, your tastebuds, and your support. Please go on and SPREAD the love to all your friends and family. Join our FACEBOOK group if you haven’t done so already, an event invite has been set up there as well.

Thank you and see you then!

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Armory Arts Week: Scope

It’s been nearly a month since Armory Arts Week but I’ve still got Scope and Armory I want to cover. So if you’re sick of hearing about it, TOUGH.

I absolutely adore Scope for not making me dedicate a full day to view the fair in whole. I was in and out of that place in a swift hour. Don’t even get me started with Armory, I will get to that next. Scope gets brownie points for getting closest to “a small community vibe”. Most works I saw were catchy and slightly gimmicky, cool for the sake of being cool, but there was a lightness and vibrancy there that I didn’t get at the other fairs. There were lesser known galleries, underground, alternative, second tier galleries, which is why the delightful tinge of community was prevalent (in my opinion). Highlights:

George Jenne at Civilan Art Projects

Bully head boy scout toting an ass beater and mean patches, tongue sticking out spouting sickly but cute coughs out of its mouth.

Hector de Gregorio at Opus Art

Sexy, gaudy, sadistic, fetishist, religious, fashionable, fantasty induced photographs that are highly choreographed and intoxicating.

Christian Schrader at Berlin Art Projects

Baroque meets pop meets self-portrait indulgences. His other paintings are equally witty and hysterical. The pure skill in color, light, and application is worth a look.

Grimanesa Amoros at Hardcore Art

Nipple pyramid. Because you can never have enough.

Daniel Glaser/Magdalena Kunz

Talking Heads. Literally. White sculptures with talking heads projected onto the head of the sculpture transform them to the most eerie superreal surreal living monument.

Robert Yoder

Modern reconstructions, collage style.

Juliana Beasley at Station Independent Projects

I love these photographs by Beasley. Momentary, unbecoming, timely, unawares, warped, detritus, uncanny,goofy, somber, poignant, 90’s. Check out the Rockaways series on her website. Diane Arbus but funnier, and more awkward.

Oona Ratcliffe at Gallery Nine 5

Greenpoint’s own Ratcliffe paints in colors so lush, shapes so disillusional, you would’ve never guessed there are messages to be said in her works.

Peter Cole at Aureus Contemporary

Horses on round platform shelves, playing with balls, preparing for jump off, burdened with piles of baggage. It’s glorified kitsch.

Elena Monzo at Bonelli ArteContemporanea

Clownish, choppy, Egon Schiele figures sliced and collaged, more cheery and colorful, performative.

Tadashi Moriyama at Bonelli ArteContemporanea

First saw these works last year during Bushwick Open Studios. Super tedious and labor intensive. Topographic, obsessive, repetitive, patterns, apocalyptic, WWIII.

Antonio Santin at Wilde Gallery

At first I missed these oil on canvas paintings as large printed photographs that have been painted over, they’re that photo-realistic. But it goes beyond that diminutive field and casts an eerie, dramatic, and nostalgic glow to all the figures that makes them quite ephemeral and dreamy. The gallerist informed me the artist studied sculpture and incorporates them in his emphatic use of line and shadow that give the figures an illusion of floating. I love them.

Frank Sinatra at Symbolic Collection

Sinatra likes clowns.

Greg Lamarche at Anonymous Gallery

Hands down favorite at Scope. The artist beautifully manipulates and arranges printed materials into collages. Shapes as words, words as shapes, blasts of color within a serene setting, thoughtful additive and deductive gestures. The best was the table where mounds of cut up scraps were scattered and spilled to the floor. The gallery was selling dime bags of scraps for $10. I should have bought it just to say “I bought an artwork at the fairs, it’s a dimebag of paper scraps for $10”. Genius.

Hendrik Kerstens at Witzenhausen Gallery

The mocking high seriousness in these photographs are hysterical. The artist photographs his daughter in in bleak backgrounds, poised and lit a la old school Dutch portrait paintings. The series depicts her donning a variety of headgear, from bubble wrap and napkins to plastic bag and cafeteria lady caps. Her piercing gaze tells you she’s serious business, her attire tells you otherwise.

Jen Davis

Titled “Conform” I initially thought it was quick dry humor. Then I browsed through the artist’s website and found the works to be a bit torn and somber.

Ryan Brennan

The artist calls these sculptures Cinemallage, which is quite cheesy but highly entertaining. In his own words “Housed within each collage is a video player displaying chapters of an imaginative tale of a young mans journey through a future utopian fantasy world where he learns how the power of imagination can make a change in the world around him. This story employs the naïve language of fairytale as a vehicle to engage several real issues in today’s society evoking hope and community in a trying time of uncertain future.”

I”ve concluding this fair was most easiest to digest in terms of size and content. That could serve as a backhanded compliment. Take it or leave it.

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A Room of Her Own

Speaking of apartments and solitude, artist Wenjie Yang is currently working on an ongoing series of photographs depicting women in their homes. Virginia Woolfe preposterously demanded a space where writing and thinking could be done, for women, outside of man. A Room of Her Own celebrates this independence, which in today’s time is an absolute given, with no doubts, ifs or buts about it. As Yang states, the series “is meant to show the complexity of an independent woman’s life: her moments of reflections,  her moments of joy, her moments of sadness, her moments of contentment, her moments of anger, her moments of liberation in her own space, etc….  Having your own “room,” is like having your own universe, where everything in this space is under your power.  For a women, this can be a very empowering experience. This project is meant to capture the different depths of such a life.”

Formally speaking, the artist incorporates solemnity with reflection, solitude with sobriety, figure with space. When she came over to photograph me, the first thing she asked was what I wore to bed. Of course I whipped out my lingerie which I haven’t worn in years and just doesn’t fit the way it used to. She directed me spots where mirrors and windows cast doubles and reflections of myself and without being told I went into a state of singularity, not to be mistaken with some kind of lonely depression. It was a kind of celebratory experience, that yes, I do have a place of my own where I can sleep, pee, and work in peace (albeit with slight interruptions from roommates) and am not confound to a delimiting formula. It was quite invigorating and greatly appreciate the aesthetic of these images. The subtlety and vibrancy of color does not distract from the expressions of these women’s faces and figures. The body here is as much a room as her physical dwelling.

If you’d be interested to participate, shoot me an email.

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An Apt of My Own

old room in gnpt that i loved.

FINALLY.

The time has come when I get to pack my shit and move into an apartment to live all by myself. I’ve been waiting for this moment for years and it’s finally happening. I made the decision to move out of a gigantic, beautiful loft in Greenpoint for various different reasons, most pressing excuse being I couldn’t tolerate living with other people any longer. NO MORE. DONE. No personal grudges against my roommate or anything (ahem), I’ve just come to a point in my life where I’m working/dealing/collaborating/meeting with people 24/7 that when I am home I do not want to consider anyone else but me and my dog. I want to run around naked fist pumping to crystal castles, not washing anyone else’s dirty dishes, and not compensating space in the fridge or closet for no one else’s possessions but my own. Everything is where I left them last and ultimately, most importantly, I have COMPLETE control over my environment. That’s what happens as you age, you become a neurotic control freak. Interesting.

old apt

So the last couple weeks I’ve been bustin’ my balls looking for apartments in Greenpoint, LES and EV and have been pullin’ my hair, stressin’ my shit and freakin’ out that I would never be able to afford a decent sized apt to live alone. I came close at many moments. There was the jr. 1br on 6th St btw 1st and 2nd ave for $1300 where the bath tub was in the living room next to the kitchen sink and the tiny toilet stall had a heat pipe that made the room a sauna. Good location though. There was the perfect 1br on Franklin and India that was on the ground floor with full access to the communal backyard. Tiny kitchen but spacious rooms. It was taken right under my nose, those bastards. After many nights tossin’ n’ turnin’, shedding tears of frustration, helplessness, and fatigue, I FINALLY confirmed the cutest most PERFECTEST apartment ever. It’s a small studio (I’m guessing 550 sq ft) at the corner of McGorlick Park (20 steps to dog run), behind Variety Cafe (walk into the building to the scent of coffee), across the street from supermarket and pet shop. Original details abound, with walls layered with paint, built in kitchen cabinets and closet, fold out ironing board, and the best, most fantastically charming part, a staircase leading out the window to my very own grassy private back yard. STOKED.

I’ve been OBSESSING about this apt the last couple days. The lack of sleep, the abundance of stress, and that special time of the month, not to mention not having cooked or baked in over a month, all combined to plague me with a cold. Nonetheless I’ve been studying websites and books on how to live in and create the most beautiful, functional, charming, quirky, colorful, welcoming small apartment ever. Here’s where I’m looking:

– I drool over sneak peeks at design sponge for hours. HOURS. This is my favorite.

– Apartment Therapy features tiny apartment contests every year and there are LOADS of pictures there. This is my favorite.

– My co-worker brought this amazing book that I’ve been diligently studying.  It’s in Japanese and features tiny apartments in Paris. I can’t find any links to it, but publisher is Shufunotomosha. You can get it at the Japanese book store on 42nd St. I’m being vague, but I haven’t been there yet, just explore and find it.

– Here’s a bunch of links about tiny spaces under 400 sq ft.

– Here are some tips on making your small apt bigger.

– Here’s a 25 year old’s tiny apartment that’s been making its round on the interweb.

– And here’s a blog called tiny ass apartment. Pretty self-explanatory.

I’ll be spending the next couple weeks painting my walls (not all, just one or two in deep orange and marigold) as well as my cabinet and closet. I’ll be buying more plants to hang and place on my fireplace sill as well as veggie seeds for the backyard. I’ll be shopping for a coat rack, desk chair, step stool, kitchenware, curtains, frames, pillows, and functional, beautiful tchotchkes to aestheticize my place with. I never ever grew up in a decent looking home and it means so much to me, having the opportunity to make my home, MY HOME. Look out for finished product soon.

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Reader: March 22, 2010

SXSW review. Interesting to think performances are the only means of financial sustainability for a band now that albums are near extinct.

This is unfortunately irrelevant to me.

– Improv Chat Roulette. He needs to do more of these.

This article is on point in so many ways but also slightly irritatingly stereotyped. My mother doesn’t speak a word of English and I attend my sister’s parent teacher conferences, interpreting for mother, taking on the authoritative role. This program of providing interpreters is super helpful and is a sure way to bridge the communication gap. It only highlights the Asian population which has soared to 70% to Stuyvesant, the much coveted ridiculously competitive public high school, and highlights how students/children are challenged by parents who are OBSESSED with their children striving to be THE BEST, blinded by this idea of turning their children into obsessive math problem solvers. These Asian parents are disillusioned by equating happiness and success to nothing more than pure wealth, straight up neglecting social, physical, and mental growth of their children. Hence these Asian smarty pants are more often than not puny, geeky, anti-social, awkward, and boring. I know plenty established professionals who are Asian, went to the best universities and graduated at the top of their class, own some company or another making shit loads of money and THEY ARE MISERABLE. They don’t know how to interact with their peers without coming off as some social delinquent, they are SO confused by having achieved great success, and not knowing what the next step might possibly be. They’ve been brainwashed to believe this was the top, endlessly striving to be the most successful and drowning in a sea of wealth. And once they reach that top, they are clueless as to how to go forward. It’s the end from there folks. And those special Saturday schools and private academies are all useless money sapping phonies. I worked in them for few years and they are all so deceiving and does little other than creating massive amounts of unproductive pressure. This quote is hysterical and totally inappropriate: “Those trying to solve the frustrating shortage of black and Hispanic students who score high enough on Stuyvesant’s entrance exam might start by taking a look at whatever magic happens in those Chinatown Saturday schools.”

– Visitors react to Marina. I look forward to goosebumping myself.

– Scarface Pretty Tony

– Who has time for deep discussions? It would be fun to end every conversation you have with “Is this a deep discussion?” What the hell qualifies a deep conversation? Taking about weather can be profoundly deep, if I say so myself.

On Ken Price and Josef Albers: “Its overarching theme is that abstraction is reality-based, distilled from lived experience, and actualized through highly personal approaches to process and materials. It’s a lesson in life as much as art.”

– “Reperformance is the new concept, the new idea! Otherwise it will be dead as an art form.” Perhaps performance art be not distinguished in ethical sense from dance, theater, opera, music. The concept is written, and can be performance and number of times.

Greenpoint Food Market‘s very own Bacon Marmalade, featured by Food, Curated.

Powhida‘s #class at Winkleman gets a review on NYT, shout out to Amanda! The more on Powhida.

Serenading the homeburger.

Ruth Bourdain, on twitter. And his/her interview. LOVE THIS SHIT!

– Cinema 16 runs an amazing series of events with film and live performance, resurrecting the communal film experience throughout spaces in Brooklyn. They recently had an event at Coco66 which I unfortunately missed, but I would not second guess supporting their kickstarter drive so they can continue to develop their series.

– Is this really his logo? barf.

– I’m sorry I missed the ridiculous but inevitably hysterical Art Handler Olympics.

Is this for real? This is like me looking for an assistant to enter all the gallery shows I need to see into a excel sheet not paying him/her to do the gruntwork required to blogging and organizing events. hmmm…

Hipsters on food stamps buying organic ground beef and triple creme. I swear to god some of these well endowed unemployed folks are spoiled brats!

– Walking in to Skin Fruit with a flaccid dick.

Bad Times for Good Art.

art21 is looking for freelance bloggers. oooOOoooo. But, does it pay? Question of the day.

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The Swan’s Rag

In the mail the other day I received a package. Inside the package was a splendid little book, a chapbook to be specific. A thin book hand bound with blue string, it donned the stamped words “The Swan’s Rag: issue one” on the cover. Skimming through on the first round I was greeted by a collection of black and white images of skinny naked boys; eyes patched, underwear sliding down, poised like a greedy kitty, mounting a bike, and playing cards on a tiled floor with matching tiled socks. These images were sexy, nostalgic, contemplative, smutty in a smart way, and served as accompaniments to a series of poems written by a group of poets as compiled by Dirty Swan Projects.

Dirty Swan Projects was created by my most dearest of them all, Evan Kennedy. He is the the most profound, delicate, wittily deranged, hysterically intellectual goofball friend I know. He is also the ONLY poet I know. Call me biased but his series of poems, especially the chapbook he created titled Us Them Poems are the most beautiful and imaginative poems I’ve ever read. Although I actually rarely read poems. I fear their autonomy and hybridity.

The Swan’s Rag is the first in a series of chapbooks that Evan is working on. It is comprised of Undressed Slavs and Gay Poets. I will let him describe:

For The Swan’s Rag I wanted to unite images of undressed guys and poems. I had a difficult time getting work from gay poets that I liked, so I asked my friends whose work I like to invent a gay persona and “translate” his poems into English. This experiment helped them generate a suitable poem easier. I think everyone enjoyed figuring out how it is to be a gay poet through doing this. I think after all this we understand each other a little better. I think everyone understands what it’s like to be me, a gay poet in the straight boys’ club of contemporary poetry.

The Swan’s Rag is published under the aegis of Dirty Swan Projects, which aims to make lofi art object poetry books incorporating elements of the handmade and machinemade. The books were printed at home in Oakland and handbound and stamped.

I call this Issue One of The Swan’s Rag because the name is too good, and I’d like to keep a door open for me. One plan is to
reenvision The Swan’s Rag with every issue but keep it gay and poetry-centric. The next issue may take the form of a DIY gay punk zine focusing on gossip and interviews. This is a bit of an absurd task because there are so few gay male poets I’m interested in. There are many of these zines on the west coast, and I’d like to adopt that language along with the tone of gossip blogs like dlisted.com (calling everyone hot messes, etc) as an experiment. I want to see if I can wear that hat. The article I’m working on now is the possible degrees of separation between gay boys today and sleeping with Walt Whitman. I think it’s possible to sleep within your generation and maintain seven degrees of separation between yourself and Walt.

All that said I think you should buy this chapbook. It’s nothing you will have ever faced or read before. I want to know what you think about it. Is it dirty? Is it smutty? Is it surreal and contemplative? Is it garbage and disposable? Is it enticing and intoxicating? Is it degrading and unhealthy? Is it addictive and coveted?

I want to know your thoughts. Meanwhile I really recommend you read Us Them Poems. I’ll feature one of them later. Til then, here’s a teaser from The Swan’s Rag below:

I. Turn up your mustache but leave your collar free

Nay, turn up your collar but leave your belt unlatched.

Then let me consume the thicket of streets,

dark and sloping, that lead to your door

and the nonsense of the whole before arrangement turns us back

into parts, cast by stolen light.

(The poem continues in this beautifully lyrical way for three more parts.)

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Armory Arts Week: Independent

Independent Outcast

As I’ve mentioned in the first Armory Arts Week post, I found Independent to be less than inspiring. There was great anticipation and nothing but unconditional support for this alternative art fair, organized by Elizabeth Dee and her posse. I very much looked forward to the relief of a fair that didn’t reflect gaudy flea market environments and money hoarding monster gallerists and snotfaced gazers. I looked forward to an alternative that was nourishing, conceptual, collaborative and warm. A looked forward to the welcoming of community building and working togetherness which is much lacking in the art world, the cold and harsh art world.

The effort was there, no doubt about it. But alas, I walked out of Independent confused and disappointed, shivering with the brevity, exclusivity, and brashness I felt meandering through the floors of the coveted old Dia building. The biggest issue I had was the open arrangement. It’s an ingenious idea that should more or less make sense. But it was near impossible to navigate. Which work belonged to which artist belonged to which gallery was a constant puzzle I found no solution to. It a mumbo jumbo hectic arrangement where some wall labels pointed to nothing but a bare white wall and others where works bore no labels.

I’m convinced I just might not be educated enough, cool enough, hip enough, “in” enough to “get” this art fair. It’s definitely something that one needs to “get”. Another big issue I had were the works themselves. Nearly everything was black, white, metallic, mirrored, abstract, minimal, colorless, boxy, and square. It was a bleak and somber experience and I am so sorry to say I don’t miss it one bit.

The only pleasurable moment was when a dude stood inches away from Jeppe Hein’s mirror piece and literally started to pop his pimple. This is how oblivious art world people are to their surroundings (sometimes). And then there was a little kid who put his hands on the mirror stopping its rotation for a slight second. The gallerist jumped out of his chair (and his pants) and made the most inexplicable face and was scorning the boy under his breath for minutes on end. This kind of snotty energy is exactly what I hoped wouldn’t be present at Independent.

And I’m sure there may or may not be folks who will disapprove of my cold shoulder towards Independent. I welcome your perspective if only to please prove me wrong.

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