How to cook a rat
Last night in the basement of the Allegra La Viola gallery on the Lower East Side, about 20 brave eaters gathered over five courses dedicated to one ingredient, providing the ultimate locavore eating experience a New Yorker could have: rat.
To participate in the evening’s program, a work by artist Laura Ginn titled “Tomorrow We Will Feast Again on What We Catch,” they had each paid $100 to dine upon the ragged pests normally seen scurrying across subway rails and digging through garbage cans.
After attendees signed a generic liability waiver and agreed not to take photographs, the artist greeted them warmly, and watched with delight as the full spectacle of her outfit washed over them. The one-shoulder, knee-length cocktail dress was constructed entirely of two hundred rat pelts (tails and all), which she told The Observer she had tanned herself and stitched together over the course of two days. It was quite stylish, actually, with white fur at the top shading into gray fur at the bottom, a sort of murine ombre. Her toenails, peeking out from wooden platform sandals, were painted gray to match.
“I’m going to be on the cover of Vogue: the post-apocalypse issue,” she joked.
With tongue placed firmly in cheek, New York’s street artist Hanksy has built a career out of poking fun at the self-serious subversives in the gallery graffiti circuit. Even his name is a satirical homage to the British Banksy, with Hanksy being a shortened tag for “Tom Hanksy.”
Picking subjects more pop than political, Hanksy has focused his art on animals and celebrity mash-ups: like the hilarious Ferrell Cats, or the pun-y “Pie Hard” stencil in Bushwick.
If Banksy’s monkeys are telling us, “Laugh now, because one day we’ll be in charge,” than Hanksy’s message might be better summarized as, “Laugh now, because this is funny.”
As is the case with college basketball and root vegetables, HBO’s generation-defining television ‘Girls’—one of those wonderful things Western Society is quite simply blessed with—must take a break for part of the year. And yet, just because we don’t see them doesn’t necessarily mean they’re gone, that their machinations aren’t engaged in some degree of motion; that they are not, for lack of a better term, bloggable.
ART IS HARD
Andre Saraiva doesn’t just own the keys (and velvet rope) to Chinatown’s most impossibly hip club, Le Baron, but the Frenchman-about-town fancies himself an artist as well. To wit, his first major solo show—subtly titled Andrépolis—premiered last night at Bowery gallery The Hole. It has been characterized as an “urban phantasmagoria” by Purple Magazine‘s Olivier Zahm, who also explains that “the exhibition has a surprise at the end, a carousel for adults, for those who are not afraid to ride the wings of desire.”
And oh, does it ever.
If you happen to be walking on Broadway right before the clock strikes midnight, do not be alarmed when several major video screens turn into digital canvases. It’s just the first of the Times Square Arts installation series, which runs from 11:57-12 a.m. from May 1 – 31. And what better artist to kick off the premiere exhibit than Watermill Center founder and premier artist, director, and curator Robert Wilson?
Could this become any more wonderful and/or absurd? Apparently, yes.
Last week, French street artist Kidult took a fire extinguisher full of pink paint, and unleashed it on Marc Jacobs’ SoHo boutique last week, painting the word “ART” over the store. Marc Jacobs had some fun with it on social media, and then, commodtized the ostensible political message by turning a photo of his painted store—which is vandalism or art, depending on how you see it—into a $700 T-Shirt, with the caption “Art by Art Jacobs.” Kidult, the artist, was pissed, and made it known.
Gregor Samsa lead a good life, if a simple life. It’s only fitting that his time on earth be treasured by Carmichael Collective in their Bug Memorials, an ongoing project that will make you feel bad about calling that exterminator.
On Sunday, April 1, the white walls of Mark Miller Gallery on Orchard Street were covered with renderings of the imagined possibilities of the Low Line, a much-talked-about plan for an underground park in an abandoned trolley turnaround station below Delancey Street that will be lit by solar technology, if its creators can make it happen. The exhibit, which opened that night, also included a three-dimensional model of a cross section below Delancey Street, and a rather intimidating example of that fiber-optic solar technology.
For the Masses
Art may be deemed democratic in theory, but that doesn’t always hold as true in practice. Collectors ran up a $5.7 billion bill at Christie’s in 2011, a notable 14% higher than its 2010 sales. It appears that the affluent have turned to Picasso and Warhol now that Morgan and Goldman are no longer dutifully holding up their end of the bargain with returns from stocks or other investments.
Collecting art has always been earmarked for a select few, typically reserved for those who tend to their Arabian horses or oceanside estates on the weekends. But Indiewalls, a new startup venture, is looking to change the way people think about art.
This week a beating red heart stands 10 feet tall over Times Square, carefully nestled inside midtown’s own throbbing center of activity. This new edition to the bustling strip of theaters, restaurants and street performers is a sculpture called “BIG♥NYC.” At first glance, it might look unusual. But that may very well be because it is unusual.