This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Depression Filmmaking, Magic Painting, an Actual Discussion on Gentrification

by Whitney Kimball on January 26, 2015 Events

Jessica Labatte, Imitators. 2010, 20x24 inches

Jessica Labatte, Imitators. 2010, 20×24 inches

Once the sidewalks are shoveled, we have no excuse. Firstly, Brooklyn Independent Media has rounded up a bunch of city politicians and urban planners to discuss gentrification. You can probably expect some political theatre, but still, good! We can submit questions via hashtag.

In other crucial events this week, AFC’s Paddy Johnson has co-curated a show on visual illusions; artists imagine the perfect millenium market; and as usual, this comes with a big side of painting’s painting.


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Everywhere (in the Northeast)


We’re expecting most events to get cancelled tonight, but listing just in case the desire overwhelms you. Otherwise, tune into the snowcam!

The New School

55 West 13th Street, Room I202
Seminars 5-9 PM Website

Who Is Silencing Whom?

Scholars are retrospectively labelling Charlie Hebdo cartoons “provocative and fearless”, when before the tragedy I think most people might have written them off as simplistic and polarizing. But the fear of retribution will have much larger impact. Self-censorship will be addressed by Jennifer Camper, Marguerite Dabaie, Chelsea Haines, Ben Katchor, Svetlana Mintcheva, Eddy Portnoy, Rhoda Rosen, Ari Roth, Bayeté Ross Smith, and Madiha Tahir, ending in an hourlong public forum.


Gladstone Gallery

515 West 24th Street
6-8 PMWebsite

Beautiful Monsters

This recommendation is based almost solely on this Pieter Brueghel the Elder drawing “The Beekeepers and the Birdnester”. A show loosely themed about monsters features obscured portraits. I’m not really sure how Jack Goldstein fits the “monsters” umbrella, but whatever. Disclaimer: all artists listed are men.

Light Industry

155 Freeman Street
7:30 PM Website

Workers Film and Photo League + Busby Berkeley

Another contribution to cultural awareness from Light Industry; this week, Depression-era newsreel footage, like the National Hunger March, is contrasted with the opulent 1930s fantasy films of Busby Berkeley (“We’re in the Money”). This looks so good.

And if the snow stops you from making this one, you can watch the Berkeley film “Gold Diggers 1933” the Amazon instant play.



647 Fulton Street at Rockwell Place
7-9 PMWebsite

Brooklyn for Sale: The Price of Gentrification, A Community Town Hall

Thank God it’s not another gentrification panel on awareness-raising; this time, Brooklyn Independent Media has collected a bunch of people with power to discuss the issue, like New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer who will be making the opening remarks. All of these people are experts or empowered to make change:

  • Sharon Zukin (Sociology Professor, Brooklyn College)
  • Robert Cornegy (City Council Member, 36th District) Neil deMause (Journalist/Author of The Brooklyn Wars: The Stories Behind the Remaking of New York’s Most Populous Borough)
  • Ron Shiffman (Urban Planner/ Founder of the PRATT Center for Community Development)
  • Jherelle Benn (Community Organizer, Flatbush Tenant Coalition)
  • Juan Ramos(Chair of the Broadway Triangle Community Coalition)

Send your questions to #BHeard


Air Circulation

160 Randolph Street
7-9 PM Website


Why are artists inherently interested in making something that vaguely resembles something else? This seems like an especially relevant question given the phenomenon of illusionistic abstraction that seemed to proliferate in the years after 9/11. At least, I remember hearing Eileen Quinlin mentioning a connection between the tragedy and the abstraction in work several years ago in a lecture in undergrad; it made sense at a time when a lot of people were at a loss for words.

Artists include Thomas Albdorf, Dave Hardy, Jessica Labatte, Danielle Mysliwiec, Marsha Owett, and Aaron Williams.

Co-curated by Paddy Johnson and Marsha Owett. (We are biased).

Munch Gallery

245 Broome Street
7-9 PM Website

Scooter LaForge “Travels With Johnny”

A painter’s painter who often creates iconic cool people and monsters, reminiscent of Bjarne Melgaard. This show, though, takes a more personal turn; it’s based on a road trip, with memories and ephemera in what looks like thick paint. “I put my heart and soul in these paintings,” LaForge writes. You don’t hear that often in New York.



Center 548

548 West 22nd Street
Friday-Sunday 11-8Website

The Outsider Art Fair

I always discover a few new favorites at the Outsider Art Fair; Judith Scott’s work was shown there long before getting a Brooklyn Museum retrospective. The gems might be found amongst a lot of paintings on skateboards, but if you can afford the $20 one-day pass, then go.



66 Knickerbocker Ave
Performance 5-8Website

In Conjunction with 'Sing’s Millennium Mart'

Several artists have imagined the organic gentrification bodega of the future: Sing’s Millennium Mart.

With Simone Frazier, [artist/curator Seung-Min Lee] will create a vertical garden and indoor greenscape of edible plants, for a 24/7 tossed salad bar. Jonathan Butt and Lee design generative, nurturing retail fixtures and with Ted Mineo, cast prototypes for the staple goods of tomorrow. In addition, Mores McWreath creates masks to keep your favorite old junk foods ever-green.

Heh heh.

Artists participating include: Daniel Bozhkov, Allison Brainard, Nicholas Buffon, Sean J Patrick Carney, Kiran Chandra, Ana Fabrega, Danyel Ferrari, Sameer Kapoor, Devin Kenny, Dominika Ksel, Jaeeun Lee, Mores McWreath, Irvin Morazan, Sahra Motalebi, Clifford Owens, Andre Springer, and Jennifer Sullivan. Full schedule of performances TBA as well as additional performers.



124 South 3rd Street
5 PMWebsite

Living Stars

Directors Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat came up with a fresh idea for a documentary: a bunch of people simply dancing to pop music. “I’ve never seen anything that gave me more hope for equality and tolerance than a young man in his kitchen in full drag grinding it to “Toxic” in front of his entire family,” writes LA Weekly’s Amy Nicholson. The movie inspired a great review, generally a good sign.

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