NYC: October 2009 Archives

Marc Schubert [installation view]

Matthew Hansel Coronation 2008 oil, acrylic and ink on canvas 96" x 94"


Matthew Hansel Flag 7 ink and acrylic on nylon flag 2' x 3' [installation view]

Mark Hansel Flag 2 2009 ink and acrylic on nylon flag 2' x 3' [installation view]

A dynamic five-month-long exhibition project in downtown Brooklyn includes a number of street-level art installations under the umbrella, "395 Flatbush Avenue Ext.". Two of the galleries, "space E" and "Space F", display a mix of paintings, works on paper, installations and sculpture, much of it created specifically for these rooms.

The images of prime work by Marc Schubert and Matthew Hansel shown above are only a tease.

Kadar Brock [installation view]

Daniel Heidkamp [installation view]

Possibly the best show title of the year, "Too Big To Fail: Big Paintings", described another room, "Space C", filled with works which, in both their size and quality, seek to demonstrate the validity in the visual arts of that newly-immortalized national mantra.

Kadar Brock's diptych, seen in the first image above these two paragraphs, was definitely big, and didn't fail to please. The painting of the very big fenced-in shaggy yellow dog is by the curator of this particular space, Daniel Heidkamp.

"395 Flatbush Avenue Ext." is a collaboration between New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA), Your Art Here and Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. Five or six empty shops along 395 Flatbush Avenue Extension have been filled with exceptionally fresh art worth a detour, even a trip from the far reaches of the City's sleepier boroughs (Brooklyn's growing cultural importance makes me increasingly confident in including Manhattan in that description).

Although it may not be so important in an enterprise projected to continue for months, there seems to be some confusion, at least for me, about official opening dates of this temporary cultural station set up near the Fulton Street Mall. There was a preview the evening of October 6th, and then the very public mashup of the County Affair [Kings, that is] this past Sunday, but there will also be a reception for "Too Big to Fail" tomorrow, Friday from 6 to 8, and I assume all of the other spaces will be open as well.

Otherwise the public hours are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 7 over the next five months.

The structure of the whole project has some of the aspects of "let's put on a show", but the art is not improvised (okay, maybe the County Affair was, and to its credit!). The commitment of both artists and organizers to openness, accessibility, and connection with the community where it is settling in for the next five months appears to be completely genuine. It works for me and I hope it works for everyone.

An extraordinarily-generous Joshua Smith was kept very busy at the Affair all day Sunday delivering on his offer of $1 water-color portraits.

Offset Projects is a group show of inexpensive artist-designed posters produced by the non-profit founded by artist Matthew Spiegelman.

The awesome staff of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts has set up an office within one of the storefronts adjacent to all the fun. It's over to the left, near the local Applebee's at the south corner of the block.

asking the Mayor what right he has to even be on the platform

Green Party candidate Reverend Billy Talen was at the mayoral debate last night. He hadn't been invited to participate as a candidate, since our fake-democratic system only gives full recognition office seekers who have attracted serious money from corporate interests expecting payoffs - or very serious money from themselves in the case of one of the two politicos running this fall.

Our current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, the super rich guy, had been barred from seeking a third term by two city-wide referendums, but he managed to do a cynical end run around them by manipulating a vote by the members of the City Council (very "interested" parties themselves) which we were told took precedence over the popular will. Almost like how spending $10,000 a minute on your mayoral campaign gives a candidate precedence over mere mortals.

When Bloomberg began to speak Talen interrupted him, shouting, "What are you doing here? We voted for term limits!" [video here]

More from Billy himself here.

[image from Rev. Billy's campaign site]

Anti-war protesters demonstrate in Times Square October 7, 2001 in New York City. Thousands of marchers participated in the rally on the same day that the US and Britain commenced air strikes against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. [Huffington Post caption]

It could have gone much differently.

I was in the streets eight years ago today, but with a characteristic mid-western idealism continually renewed without any justification, I didn't believe we were actually going to war. It was just so stupid and wrong, so eighteenth century.

Today some of us mourn the eight years (and still counting) of the wars without end begun by George W. Bush and embraced by Barack Hussein Obama.

They are all Obama's wars.

Woodrow Wilson's war, announced as the "war to end all wars", lasted 19 months. Our participation in the Second World War lasted a little over three years and eight months. Our current series of insane, counter-intuitive, self-destructive, illegitimate, racist, imperial, immoral, and finally perpetually self-propagating wars, waged under the rubric, "Operation Enduring Freedom", have been programmed from the very beginning to go on forever.

[image, otherwise uncredited, from Huffington Post]

This page is an archive of entries in the NYC category from October 2009.

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