Sunday, October 14, 2012

DUMBO Art Fest, and the Painted People Freak Out!

I visit the DUMBO Arts Festival during its Sept. 28, 29, 30th run
and saw some pretty fabulous stuff.

My first stop is at Spring on Front Street, where I had shown
last November.

They are now showing a curated exhibition called "Living Arrangements."

(photo from Spring website)

Amy Eckert's "Vent"
Amy Eckert's quirky and unique photo-collages are mounted on shaped supports.

Amy Eckert's "Rogue Wave" 

The plaque on the wall suggests that Eckert's images 
"can reflect and shape one's inner states and sense of stability or equilibrium."

Mushroom House 1

Which is interesting, because the Painted People actually submitted several photos to this show, "Living Arrangements,"
depicting their adventures in a house in an area west of Minneapolis.
It's called the "Ensculptic House" although my sister and I called it the
 Mushroom House, and it was built, or formed, in the late sixties.
For a long while it was abandoned, unloved and unlocked, and the Painted People
took advantage of this occurrence by moving in temporarily,
thus creating a "Living Arrangement" that did indeed "reflect and shape [their] inner states
and sense of stability or equilibrium."

Mushroom House 2

Mushroom House 5

Mushroom House 6

Alas, the Painted People were not accepted into the Living Arrangements exhibition!
I had the hard task of giving them the bad news, and they were, not surprisingly, stunned and dejected.

Bailey, so happy above in "Mushroom House 6," so sad below.

Cal was so angry about being on the outside looking in, 
that he stood outside of Spring during the Festival and called out to the passing crowds
who, sadly, acted as if he weren't even there!

"The dog got in!" he bellowed, referring to Dawn Whitmore's "Ben" - below.  
"Why not us?" he cried poignantly into the unforgiving night.

Later, however, Red strummed a soothing guitar, and, hey, Jude took a bad thing and made it better,
as is his wont.

Later, I see this in one of the DUMBO buildings - 
with apparently no one taking credit for it, as I could find no label on the wall.

I hope that Cal didn't have anything to do with this!
Actually, I'm sure he didn't, because the Painted People live under a code of non-violence.
Recently they had a bit of a confrontation with the Purple People, who saw no harm, and potentially a lot of good, in a few firearms.  Guns don't kill The People, children do, 
they asserted in a rather unpleasant argument where dismemberment, headless bodies,
and numerous tortures were alluded to.  Where would they be without a few rifles? 
But Cal and Ronni made them see the error of their thinking when it came to children and guns,
and now the weapons have been put away.

For the time being.  

Back to the DUMBO Arts Festival.
At the 111 Front Street Building, one of the main gallery buildings,
Brooklyn Arts Council is showing Abby Goodman's "Wishing Tree"
where viewers get to write down their wishes on tags and hang them on the tree,
presumably so those wishes will come true.  Some wishes are for peace, hope, delight, love, clarity, confidence, creativity, to be successful in school, and to be a fish.
 By the time I get there, however,
the tags have all been spoken for, thus I am unable to make a wish!
I decide to let all the wishes speak for myself and for the Painted People.  
Except we'll pass on the fish wish, thanks.
The show is open through Feb. 8th, 2013, so I'm sure that the tag supply has been replenished.
Thanks to Courtney Wendroff and her associates for keeping the BAC walls lively.

I also visit Minus Space in that building where Mark Dagley's elegant paintings are displayed.
A review of this show at's "Critic's Pics" by Sam Sherman
uses the words "subtlety and visual intrigue."

Minus Space is known for its support of current abstract artists who are keeping the tradition not only alive but thriving.

I visit the Triangle Arts Association,
where my friend Carl Hazlewood, artist, curator and writer, is participating in their Open Studio event.
The TAA is celebrating its 30th Anniversary with the work of 30 international artists.

Out in the streets, amazing and spectacular video displays can be seen.  This one, called 
"Superhero" by Wildbytes, is an interactive projection mapping experience where
 viewers stand under a tent making movements which
are magically transferred to the wall in front of them.
They then fly and float, virtually and ecstatically.
You can see more of this project, this time in Spain,

Over under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, 
(from which DUMBO gets its name, as in Down Under the MBO, and 
which looks amazing even without fabulous projections, as the picture below shows,
 taken a while back on an average day in DUMBO),

"Codex Dynamic" is happening.
This project, curated by Leo Kuelbs and John Ensor Parker's 
deals with single channel projected and video mapping, and is projected 
under and on the Bridge Overpass.

Find out more about this project and see more images HERE.

Look what happens when Kuelbs and Parker point their magic wands, via vast banks of projectors!

On my way home from a full night of sights, I find that the F train isn't running, so I run up the hill and miraculously intercept a 67 bus which runs within a block of home.
As we plod up Flatbush Avenue I remember that tonight is one of the first nights that the 
new Barclay Center will be open, and thousands and people will be attending whatever blockbuster event this is.  Actually, it's Jay-Z - a sell-out crowd.
I sigh, thinking the traffic will be impenetrable.  A parking lot.  I might as well get out and walk.

Here are two images I took when the center was going up, when the unfinished stadium looked like a monstrous apparition,
a Borg spaceship, an invading insect, an abomination upon the landscape.

But now it has changed, and it looks somehow gritty yet, hmmm, graceful?
And the traffic is flowing surprisingly smoothly, no doubt due to the army of
traffic cops patrolling Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues.

More photos to follow when I get down there with my camera.
Frank's going to see Leonard Cohen there on December 20th.
And we both said we'd never set foot in this travesty of city planning...
Not that I'm totally for this place - the way that the neighborhoods were destroyed 
by the Ratner machine; the total disregard of community concerns ultimately shown by the politicians and architects; the cynical manipulation of...well, enough said.  
Now I'm just hoping that it won't be as bad as it could be.

No comments:

Post a Comment