Category Archives: Art

Glass Rifle to Release Limited-Edition Single “Foebic/Cutters” on 100m Records

We’re excited to bring you some news about Glass Rifle, a British-American three-piece based in Williamsburg and comprised of guitarist PJ Norman, drummer Dan Colby, and bassist Ryan Francini. Along with Jay Braun, the band recently recorded and mixed their first single, “Foebic/Cutters,” at Melody Lanes Recording Company. The two tracks were mastered by Grammy award winner Warren Russell-Smith, and the single will be released October 20, 2010 on 100m Records.

In the meantime, check out the hot limited-edition run of 300 letterpressed, hand-numbered CDs, designed by our friends at Letter From Brooklyn:

Check out those grommets! For more info on the release or the “bespoke letterpress,” email the band via their website or head to letterfrombrooklyn.com.

-Drew

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bk Art – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Almost every morning on the way to the Nevins stop on the 2/3/4/5, I pass by this totally out of place building that looks like it was transplanted from some village in the Swiss Alps:

Tree Grows in BK - FULL BUILDING

But when you take a closer look at the details, it just gets even weirder:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

How is that tree growing out of the chimney? I guess Jeff Goldblum had it right in Jurassic Park, when his character Dr. Ian Malcolm muses: “I’m simply saying that life, uh… finds a way.”

Also, what is the deal with that cat? Whoever owns this building is an odd one.

-Drew

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ev Art – “Mountain” Bikes

We ran across this sculpture of bicycles late Tuesday night on E. 3rd St.:

"Mountain" Bikes

-ev2bk

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Jam of the Day – The Compass and the Wires

Until January 4, 2010, you can view the “Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection Exhibit” at the MOMA. The exhibit includes over 300 selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation’s “extraordinary collection of over 2,500 contemporary works on paper,” the largest gift of drawings that the museum has ever received. Although the Times didn’t exactly give it a glowing review, “Compass in Hand” is certainly worth checking out, even if only this small online slide show.

But if you’re looking for a different sort of directional indicator, don’t fret. Brooklyn-based electro-pop/synth group Red Wire Black Wire has the remedy in the form of the title track from their EP Compass, which was released by Tough Customer Records back in November. They have a pretty extensive tour schedule, slated to start in September, coinciding with the release of their first full-length, Robots & Roses that will take them all over the U.S. and even to Russia. They will be back in the bk at The Studio @ Webster Hall on October 23. Check out their first official video, for “Compass,” below and mark your fall calendars.

Red Wire Black Wire – Compass:

-Drew

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Jam of the Day – Community Gardens and Landmines

In local urban-greening news, an ambitious gardening project has recently opened in Greenpoint. The 6,000 square-foot Eagle Street rooftop farm was created by farmers Annie Novack and Ben Flanner along with GoodeGreen, a green roof design and installation firm. Located on the roof of a former bagel factory, the farm just began yielding its first crops including salad greens, tomatoes, and spring onions. This summer, they will be holding gardening workshops most Sundays and you can also stop by to purchase produce. They have even begun supplying some local restaurants with greens for salads. This weekend they will be hosting a few events including “Solstice Sunset Yoga” on the longest day of the year, this Sunday, June 21st, for a donation of $20.

Community gardens are a fixture in both the EV and in BK. One of my favorites is the Sixth Street and Avenue B Community Garden. The restoration of this lush, green space began back in 1982 and the garden has been a vital part of the local community ever since. Many of the East Village gardens feature art of all kinds, but this garden was once home to one of the most notorious public art pieces in the area, a five-story “Tower of Toys” created by local artist Eddie Boros that was torn-down last year. Although the looming tower is gone, the garden is open every Saturday and Sunday from 1-6 p.m. and hosts many events including lectures, musical performances, films, and children’s workshops. It’s definitely worth checking out!

The More Gardens! Coalition is a grass-roots organization creating and protecting community gardens all over NYC. Formed over a decade ago in 1998, they describe themselves as “a group of community people, gardeners, and environmental and social justice activists who promote the development and preservation of community gardens as well as the cultivation of fallow land in New York City.” They have an extensive list of community gardens in all 5 boroughs, so click here to check out some gardens near you.

On a larger scale, the New York Restoration Project (NYRP), founded by actress and singer Bette Midler in 1995, is also focused on cleaning up and transforming abandoned open spaces into community gardens. The NYRP has already transformed dozens of abandoned or misused lots, they currently have 57 community gardens throughout the five boroughs. In 2007, the NYRP launched the MillionTreesNYC Project with Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Parks Department. The goal of the MillionTreesNYC project is to plant one million trees in one decade (as of today they are up to 238,791 new trees, according to their website.) The NYRP mailers and site point out that “the average New York City resident produces almost one and a half tons of carbon in a single year.” But there is some good news: one broad-leaf tree can take in and purify a little more that half your carbon output for one year in the course of it’s 100-year lifespan. So I guess the point is if you plant two trees a year, every year, you’re even with Mother Nature. So get on it! To join, donate, or volunteer with the NYRP, click here.

Some perfect music to enjoy while relaxing in your community garden this week are the two albums by Brooklyn-based artist St. Vincent. St. Vincent in the stage name of Annie Clark, an otherworldly vocalist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Before her solo career she was a member of The Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens’ touring band. Her debut album, Marry Me, came out in 2007. Her vocal style is an ethereal mix of Feist, Kate Bush, and Annie Lennox, with shades of Carly Simon. Join this to her off-center rhythms, mysterious lyrics, and melodic arrangements, and it all comes together to form a captivating sound that you won’t soon forget.

St. Vincent’s new album, Actor, was just released on May 5th. You can hear selections from Actor on “All Songs Considered” on NPR, which featured a concert by St. Vincent and her band (Evan Smith on woodwind, William Flynn on bass, Daniel Hart on violin, and Anthony Lamarca on drums) that was recorded live at the Black Cat in Washington, D.C.

She’ll be back in town next week on June 24th for her debut performance on The Late Show with David Letterman before embarking on a European tour. She will return stateside for her August 1st performance at the All Points West Festival.

St. Vincent – Landmines:

A big shout out to our SF correspondent JVM, for turning me on to St. Vincent in the first place!

-Melissa

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ev2bk Art – Columbia M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition 2009

Sheep - entrance to FLCA Near the end of May, we took a (very) belabored subway trip to the Fisher Landau Center for Art in Queens to see the 2009 M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition for Columbia University. According to the literature available as you enter into the former parachute harness factory (past the sheep), the museum is “devoted to the exhibition and study of the contemporary art collection of Emily Fisher Landau,” a collection that is in fact not kidding around, featuring “key works” by such artists as Matthew Barney, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol. She would also like you to be aware that she’s no joke as you enter, where on the far wall from the front desk hangs “Portrait of Emily Fisher Landau,” a 1984 acrylic and silkscreen work on canvas by Mr. Warhol.

Notwithstanding a tiny bit of pomp, the space is very large and does house a varied and interesting collection of more contemporary and recent art. And of course, for most of May it was also home to the Columbia 2009 M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition, which spanned the first three floors of the Center:

Postcard with sample pieces from all 26 participants

Postcard with sample pieces from all 26 participants

To start off with a disclaimer: as we arrived they had run out of the “map” indicating which artist had made what, so forgive the lack of specificity from the outset please.

The show, curated by Regine Basha and featuring works from 26 M.F.A. students, surprised me most in the students’ heavy focus on mixed-media installations and huge video works, such as these:

Video installation 1

Video installation 1

Video installation 2

Video installation 2

There were also some more bizarre, conceptual works such as the layers upon layers of images on photopaper that had been meticulously carved so that the varied appearance of the underlying layers in the cut-out areas combined in such a way as to evoke geographical relief maps of mountains or something similar. Or this:

Purple person on floor

Purple person on floor

But of course a number of the artists presented works in traditional media such as oil on canvas, or worked within those boundaries of frame and canvas in new ways, such as incorporating a sort of air-brush aesthetic/graffiti feel:

Airbrush aesthetic

Airbrush aesthetic

Finally, I have to give a big shoutout to my girl Zoe Nelson (whose work I did NOT need the “map” to find), who contributed three large canvases of vibrant color and compositional elegance:

Zoe Nelson - 3 pieces

Zoe Nelson - 3 pieces

Zoe Nelson #1 close up

Zoe Nelson #1 close up

Hopefully we’ll be seeing big things from Zoe and all the others in the future. And here’s some further information on the center in case you ever find yourself in Long Island City (is that possible?) looking for a contemporary art fix:

Fisher Landau Center for Art
38-27 30th Street
Long Island City, NY 11101
Tel.: 718.937.0727
Open Thursday-Monday from 12-5 PM
www.flcart.org

-Drew

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ev Art – Under Lots of Umbrellas

This weekend we were walking around in the East Village and noticed an entire building had been taken over by umbrellas:

Umbrella Building - Ave. C between 2nd and 3rd

Umbrella Building - Ave. C between 2nd and 3rd

You can see from the photo above that even the awning has been painted with an umbrella image; ditto the scaffolding (just out of sight in these photos). I’m not exactly sure what’s going on, but according to a sign on the side of the building, known as “The Umbrella Building,” this display has been an annual “exhibit” since 1994 to “show support for the Louisaida squatter movement.”

Interestingly, art and umbrellas together is nothing new to the East Village, which has been home to Umbrella Arts (located on East 9th) for many years. Maybe Umbrella Arts owners Mary Ann Fahey and Margaret Bodell can use this as some sort of publicity generator?

Well, it’s raining today, so I guess at least you’ll know where to find an umbrella when the downpour starts.

-ev2bk

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