Post image for Post-Pickle Surprise: Tracing the Influence of Tom Rubnitz at Anthology Film Archives

Even if you don’t know the name of the director or the glitter-covered club kid stars, you’re probably familiar with Tom Rubnitz’s viral video “Pickle Surprise.” With over two million views and counting, the Internet granted the East Village filmmaker a prolonged afterlife. (He died in 1992 due to complications from AIDS.) After inadvertently connecting with a new generation of YouTube viewers, what is the legacy of Rubnitz’s fast-paced, TV-drenched brand of cinematic camp on today’s filmmakers and artists?

This question was explored on Sunday, August 14 in a whirlwind of videos and films at the Anthology Film Archives, courtesy of a screening organized by Dirty Looks’ Bradford Nordeen. The videos ran the gamut from literal reinterpretations to subtle references to Rubnitz’s films. Barry Morse’s “Ookie Cookie” combined tropes from “Pickle Surprise” and its sequel “Strawberry Shortcut” into an obsessively direct tribute to Rubnitz’s queer psychedelic vision while Brice Dellsperger’s “Body Double 34” featured transgender models on magazine covers maddeningly lip-synching dialogue from My Own Private Idaho. Overall, Rubnitz’s lineage appeared in the form of copious drag queens, shocks of color, media-soaked imagery and an over-the-top hallucinatory style.

Post image for AFC’s Fall Forecast: Goth Art Everywhere

Winter is coming. As the nights grow longer, shadows seem to creep into the city’s innumerable white boxes.

Our prediction for what the Fall/Winter 2016 look will be in New York: goth as fuck.

Artists, galleries, and institutions across the city seem to be embracing the macabre, gloomy, and achromatic in the months leading up to Halloween (by far, the art world’s most important holiday). We’re looking forward to aesthetic darkness, existential angst, and an embrace of the occult. Is this otherworldly tragic election season to blame for our state of mourning? We’re not sure, but let’s hope some fall weather shows up in time for us to break out our all-black wardrobes.

We’ve rated New York’s darkest upcoming art shows from “one tube of black lipstick” for “somewhat bleak” to “five tubes of black lipstick” for “this gallery is essentially a food court full of crying mall goths.” Our picks, arranged by opening date:

Post image for Pink and Naked as a Pig, Donald Trump (Sculpture) Delights and Terrifies New Yorkers

Thursday morning, the Internet began flooding with reports of a UFO sighting in Union Square. Onlookers gawked at this UFO (unidentified fat object), with its furious brow, bulbous translucent flesh, and teeny-tiny weenie. They took plenty of pictures and shared them online because, why, the sculpture looked a lot like a naked Donald Trump. Because that’s what the UFO sculpture depicts: a naked Donald Trump.

Post image for Black Is and Black Ain’t in Pace Gallery’s “Blackness in Abstraction”

“Black is and black ain’t.” Walking through Pace Gallery’s current exhibition Blackness in Abstraction, I began to think about that title line from Marlon Riggs’s final film—taken from the prologue of Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man. Even more than the pervasive “Black is beautiful,” this curiously ambiguous phrase hints at the multitude of meanings, voices, and questions surrounding blackness in the exhibition.