This weekend was another incredibly popular edition of Bushwick Open Studios, where hundreds of local artists opened their doors to the public and filled the streets with installations and performances that were extravagantly detailed and borderline crazy. I'm lucky enough to live in the middle of it, so I wandered through the creative spaces of makers rich and poor, seeing the behind the scenes they normally keep secret. It was more than any one person could do alone, so instead of this being an exhaustive list I'll share my absolute favorites from what I encountered.
One very memorable studio visit was with Tim Okamura. His two connected rooms were packed with life size paintings of goddess like locals, with distinctly Brooklyn styling. They are beautiful and captivating and out of your league as they stare slightly down at your admiring gaze.
This room by Lulu Yee was childlike and masterful, decorated with playful creature sculptures and narrative pint sized crowns. When I looked over the photos today, I really appreciated how consistent she was with her youthful theme, going so far as to slop a bit of paint on the clean light socket and holding up an otherwise perfect display with a matching thumb tack.
I actually giggled when I walked into another studio and saw this breakfast sculpture by Paul Bergeron. The rough cut gesture is charming and expressively childlike, right down to the cartoon squiggle bacon on the plate.
Facing directly across was a self portrait by Brenda Goodman that came off as slightly humorous considering it's location, but also a bit sinister and sad. Lots of people were really taken by it and stepped up close to look at the texture of the food.
This pigeon by George Gilliland was a welcome sight after a few hours of intense looking. His hyper realistic lighting sensibility and velvety smooth coloration soaked up my gaze and restored my energy rather than taking any away. I stayed watching it for a few minutes.
There was also this wall of tintypes by Angela Ruby Jones. She uses an increasingly rare antique photography process that exposes an image directly onto a smooth metal plate. Her subjects sit still in front of an old fashioned 8x10 camera, creating timeless and ghost like portraits.
In a bright little corner of Andre Feliciano's studio there was a neat configuration of cameras melting in the sun. When I stopped to chat he threatened to add mine to his collection, so I scurried off to the next room.
My favorite works of the show were these groundscapes by Mark Ophirhory. They were dark, moody and perfectly captured the light quality of the woods at dusk. The evanescent purple hue featured in these paintings comes last after the sun has set, just moments before night falls. It was inspiring to see that subtle occasion studied so meticulously in three large pieces.
I also spent some time studio hopping with Emily Hartley-Skudder and along the way she showed me the tiny sculptures she had installed throughout the neighborhood. They're absolutely adorable and so smart they will make you laugh, like the miniature Mobil 1 Oil bottle she left in the garbage next to a full sized one. She visited every sculpture throughout the day to note their changes, anxiously watching pieces rearrange and disappear. It was like a little performance just for me, all about letting go.
Walking down Johnson Avenue I came across a curious white hallway that opened up onto a giant courtyard collective. The intricate chandelier and dome railing was made by The Smith Factory, a laser wood cutting studio showing off their machine to everyone who wandered through.
Below ground at Brooklyn Wildlife a crowd vibed to sitar rhythms and saucy feminist performances. The artist had booked a full day of local talent to perform in his industrial loft, which was intriguingly covered floor to ceiling with enlargements of his explicit nude photography.
There was art everywhere, even in line at the taco truck where a grotesque meat like body provided an unsettling distraction.
Those that didn't have a space here found a way to show their work. This ingenious group of artists rented a U-Haul and parked it on the busiest corner of the event. No studio, no problem. Step into my truck.
Also - exciting news guys. I've been scouted to show my landscape photography at a big RAW exhibition July 30th at The Wick. There's lots to do to get ready including a gallery walk through with the curator later this month. I'll bring my camera and show you the whole process of planning a show. Hope you can make it!
Have a great day everyone,