The waning days of winter have a peculiar effect on the restless art stragglers who just manage to flee the stuffiness of their lofts for the kick off of open studio season. Like a support group in the bitter cold, eye spy what joe and jane have been up to cooped up during this desolate Bushwick winter.
The Bushwick open studios started with a lonesome untapped cities tweet –
“Is this controversial art exhibit by @FuchsProjects too much too soon after the murder of a Hasidic landlord?”
— Untapped Cities (@untappedcities) February 28, 2014
In spite of everyone’s worsening mood and depressed circumstance, the ironic shill “too much too soon” didn’t make it into the list of 150 journalist cliches –
— Federated Media (@FMP) February 28, 2014
And so the attendees launch themselves into a morbid orbit of grizzly wax, bits of bone, uncanny juxtapositions, oil paintings on strips of cardboard whose chemicals will eventually rot them off the walls. They congregate on what looks to be the porch from a particularly depressing Faulkner novel and mill about cartoonsie interpretations of the Nagasaki bombing.
And yet, from a whittled thumb and east asian motif carpets etched in warped plywood to a set of colorful splashes even among the most morbid shapes, subtle juxtapositions do launch much needed relevance and yearning into an arts dialog largely catering to collectors and the overtly ambitious. This assembly encountered in the February dark calls attention to the tacked-on existence underpinning these rickety installations. A bit of self-conscious morbidity can’t hurt when the week saw attempts to resuscitate a notion of blackness from the tragically hip put-to-Bed-Stuy. Naturally for that discussion everyone came out swinging, including the landed gentri-(purely as prefix, we understand), slinging their Brooklyn growing up stories – “when I used to run around the way…” until some nasties found a way to end it with spray paint.