Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bushwick Night with Montauk Chaser

Halfway through our Montauk trip I am compelled to come back
to the city for the Bushwick Open Studios.  My videos are showing
at the Paper Box, courtesy of the fabulous organization
Art For Progress, led by Frank Jackson and Allyson Jacobs.

The band "Redheadphone" plays June 1 at the Paper Box, kind of jazzy, edgy, folky, funky.

The BOS sponsors put out a humongous publication
with maps for six separate "zones" where art will be happening.

My event is in Zone 01, the best zone of all.
The Paper Box is number 18, situated at 17 Meadow Street.
I am accompanied by my artist friend Susan Luss, seen above on the left in front of my projection
of "Animated Abstraction 1:  The Movie" with our new friend, 
a medical student here to catch up with the "scene."  

On the street we see a very responsible Bushwicker cleaning up after his dog.

The Bushwick streets are not only amazingly clean but also full of art.
It seems like another city altogether, a strange fantasy world outside of time.
Artists have been colonizing the former warehouses of the area for a while now - 
it's maybe NYC's final frontier for artists, until developers follow on their heels
and price them out.  But maybe since there's a glut of empty condos and rentals in Brooklyn
already, it'll take a while.

We drop by AMO Studios
where we see hanging hair sculptures.
I didn't get the name of the artist who did these, and their website doesn't help me find it.
The website does say this, however:
"Through use of their own material vernacular, the artists in this exhibition aim to capture the range of mutability of the contemporary world, informed by physical surroundings, their fragments and remnants, their journey into a new kind of world, and back again."
Translation:  the artists make stuff where and when they feel like making it.

We also visit the studio of Craig Foisy who takes Super 8 films and
manipulates them in various ways.  This image originates from one second's worth of film.
He also makes cute earrings from the Super 8 film.

photo from looper8 website

Back at the Paper Box, the first band, El Pueblo, is on
with their reggae/soul sound.  I'm not a fan of reggae, but this
particular fusion really rocks.
Their mist machine makes me envious - I want one, too! 

Rain threatens in the outside garden area, so a plastic ceiling is raised
over my "Animated Abstraction 2:  The Movie."
Rain wouldn't be good, but spirals of mist would be awesome.

Speaking of mist, when I get back to Montauk on Saturday, the waves are huge...

...the beach is shrouded,
and where is Frank?  Did he travel through the mist to Avalon?

Here he is, appearing out of the fog...
...messing with his beach cigar.

Last semester my Pratt seminar class and I went to see the work of artist Doug Wheeler
showing at David Zwirner in Chelsea. 

 Using a particular kind of light, Wheeler creates
an misty-looking arena that appears to go on forever.
During our class discussion, I wondered if nature couldn't do it better -
I think we decided it was apples and oranges, sort of.
A good 'compare/contrast' problem, anyway:  
beach-in-mist vs. Wheeler's "Infinity Environment."

The next day is sunny and warm, the waves still big, probably the remnants of a tropical
storm that has recently hit the southern US coastline.

Frank and I visit Montauk Point again...

...where he'd made a painting on Thursday.

Frank's paintings from this trip were supported by a 
Faculty Development Grant from Pratt Institute.

On the high side of the point we notice that the hoodoos
(the eroded outcroppings of the shoreline)
had been walking, too, just like the Dunes.
Or maybe stumbling and falling would be more accurate.

The following is a photo Frank took one year ago, May,
of Andrew, Jennifer and I in 1890's garb for his Sorolla painting project.

Here is a photo taken this summer, June.

Here are the two overlapped:

Massive chunks of dirt and rocks have fallen off the hoodoos in the past year.

The area above is between the two arrows which mark
the remnants of an old tarmac road. 

You can still see a fragment of it hanging precariously on the far side.

Up in the grass we discover a faerie ring of mushrooms,
so I make a big wish.

Speaking of round things, we get about an hour of the full moon before clouds take over.
So much for planning the vacation around the waxing moon.

The next day, our last, is gray and cold, and I didn't bring the right clothes!
We spend an hour shopping for another sweatshirt for me, but everything has
"Montauk" and other fun stuff written all over it.  I'm not big on message-bearing clothes, 
and I refuse to pay $40 for something I'll only wear once!

So there! I say with chattering teeth.
But I do get a cool visor out of it.

Frank is happy to walk the beach - rain, snow, sleet or hail...

...but the cold gray weather makes it easier to leave Montauk...

...and head back into the cold gray city Tuesday morning.

Until next time!

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