This Week’s Must-see Art Events: Waacking, Eating, Tweeting, Painting

by Michael Anthony Farley and Rea McNamara on August 10, 2015 Events

Conor Backman, "Ship/Bottle/Puzzle," 2015. Oil on canvas over panel in artist’s frame, modified paint can, rear-painted plexiglass.

Conor Backman, “Ship/Bottle/Puzzle,” 2015. Oil on canvas over panel in artist’s frame, modified paint can, rear-painted plexiglass.

This week, work up a sweat learning the art of “waacking” at Otion Front Studio from dancer Coco Motion. Then, reward yourself with dinner and a movie at Postmasters Gallery. Are you the kind of person who Instagrams your food? If so, you might learn a little something about social media and our capacity for connection from AFC friend Molly Soda. Her show SAME opens Thursday night at Stream.

But really, the weekend is all about painting, painting, painting. It kicks off Friday night with paintings on cardboard and paintings of plastic at Trestle Gallery. From a Conor Backman solo show upstate to an all-painting exhibition of 50 artists in Bed-Stuy, there’s painting everywhere on Saturday. There’s so much paint happening, cans of it are starting to bulge out of canvases.

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Otion Front Studios

1196 Myrtle Ave
Brooklyn, NY
7 p.m. - 9 p.m.Website

Waacking with Coco Motion

Bushwick performance/art/education space Otion Front Studio is hosting a class on “waacking” by Coco Motion. With roots in L.A.’s disco culture, the vogue-related technique of controlled-flailing arms became a staple of queer POC subcultures, countless Vines, and even mainstream reality TV shows. For those unfamiliar with the dance, there will be a bit of history included—along with a great workout.

Artists Space Books and Talks

55 Walker St.
New York, NY
8:00 p.m.Website

Ora Clementi: crys cole & James Rushford / Vito Ricci

Ora Clementi, the ongoing collaborative project between Canadian sound artist and improviser crys cole and Australian composer-performer James Rushford, create dream-like, minimal soundscapes. In listening to their recently released first LP, Cover You Will Softer Me, distributed via the formidable experimental label Penultimate Press, the abstract sounds are cinematic yet restrained in scope, and include the use of contact mics, Farfisa, percussion, wind and keyboard instruments, and various field recordings. Currently on a small U.S. tour this week, Clementi shares the bill in this ISSUE Project Room-curated event with electronic composer Vito Ricci, the downtown cult figure recently experiencing a resurgence of interest via this year’s Music From Memory vinyl reissue of the I Was Crossing A Bridge compilation. If you’re seeking chilled out feels, this is for you.


Postmasters Gallery

54 Franklin St
New York, NY
6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Website

The Glorious Twelfth: A Food and Film Pairing

Hugh the Hunter, Hugh Hayden and Zack Heinzerling’s short film, portrays Hayden as an estate tweeds-wearing member of highland gentry on the hunt for an elusive red grouse. The film, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, is a storybook retelling of the artist’s long-time preoccupation with birds and eating. So it’s appropriate that on the historic first day of the British grouse-shooting season, Hayden stages yet another one of his dinner parties, this time in collaboration with Ghetto Gastro and D’Artagnan. Definitely come hungry: the press releases promises a “chicken ‘n’ waffles” remix of the roasted grouse, but with “bread sauce and game chips.”


Stream Gallery

1196 Myrtle Ave
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m. Website

Molly Soda: SAME

Molly Soda is a true friend of AFC, so much so, that she’s one of our “calendar pandas.” We’re excited for her exhibition on Thursday at Stream Gallery, right off the Myrtle-Broadway JMZ. In an era when the Richard Princes of the world spend their time leaving bizarre, sometimes troll-y comments on women’s social media accounts, it can overshadow other uses of commenting—like empathy.

Soda shows how empathy circulates through reblogs and retweets, just through the simple act of commenting on the “sameness” between strangers. See tweet below on the importance of sharing our sameness with strangers:



Featuring work by Molly Soda, Brie Moreno, Sarah Cohen, Laurence Philomène and Noorann Matties


Trestle Gallery

168 7th Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Website

Necessary Construct

Curated by Rhia Hurt, this exhibition focuses on processes that literally or figuratively involve the deconstruction of materials. It promises to be a little prettier than that premise would have one believe. There’s a nice visual analogy between the painterly still lives of Amy Mahnick—which depict colorful plastic detritus alongside household objects—and the assemblages of Ryan Sarah Murphy, which are are best described as more minimal, restrained cousins of Jessica Stockholder’s small, wall-hanging works. There’s a lot of junk in the world, and it’s nice to see it being put to good use—this looks to be a show that will be as visually rewarding beyond functioning as commentary on production, consumption, and waste.

Artists: Katherine Keltner, Amy Mahnick, Ryan Sarah Murphy, Mary Negro, Denise Treizman, and Jannell Turner



1078 Dekalb Ave.
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Website

Strangers forming a group waiting to kiss

This show, curated by Salon Salon, features 50 paintings, each by a different artist. Their message: Painting isn’t dead. Painting is relevant. Painting is the best. Their argument for painting’s supremacy?

“The cave paintings at Maros predate the Venus of Willendorf by ~10,000 years.

The Mona Lisa is much hotter than the Venus of Willendorf.

You can’t hang the Venus of Willendorf above your couch.”

They make a convincing case. Also, check this show out because it’s Motel gallery’s first show. Long live the artist-run space!

Artists: Alex Constable, Alexandria Tarver, Andrew Jilka, Anja Salonen, Beatrice Adler-Bolton, Cody Goebl. Colin McElroy, Connor Stankard, Corey Bernstein, Dana Powell, Darryl Westly, Dylan Kraus, Edgie Alfonso, Esmé Shapiro, Frances Cocksedge, George Sanders, Holly Coulis, Isabel Legate, Jesse Moretti, Jessica Harrison, Jonny Gillette, Jonathan Small, Kellian Delice, Lali Foster, Lauren Rodriguez, Leander Copuozzo, Lillie West, Liz Guzman, Logan Criley, Loie Hollowell, Lorenzo Bueno, Matias Arganaraz, Nick Irzyk, Nora Normile, Olivia Drussin, Omari Douglin, Patrick Groth, Paul Wackers, Peter Zahor, Rachel Zaretsky, Raf Foster, Riley Duncan, Sara Rabin, Skylar Hughes, Steve Price, Tessa Perutz, Willie Stewart, Zach Marshall, Zev Rector


1329 Willoughby Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.Website

Lesser Deities of Summer

Next door to Transmitter, Underdonk is presenting its second exhibition, at its current location this time from curators Kari Adelaide and Max Razdow. If the lazy haze of summer has you waxing philosophical, check out new takes on the devotional object in contemporary practice. If Evie Falci’s work—which is something akin to craft-store mandalas—is any indication, there’s a certain enlightenment that can be attained from an obsessive, labor-intensive studio practice. Bedazzling as meditation? Sure beats hot yoga in August.


Jesse Bransford, Peter Clough, Christopher Davison, Lorenzo De Los Angeles (image), Evie Falci, Jennifer Gustavson, Liz Insogna, Alessandro Keegan, Jac Lahav, Tracy Molis, Ryan Schneider, Jennifer Sullivan, Bob Szantyr, Nick van Woert, Saya Woolfalk


727 Warren St
Hudson, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Conor Backman in Hudson

For fans of Conor Backman’s work, a nice weekend retreat to Hudson promises to be more than worth the train fare. Characteristically, this solo exhibition finds Backman musing on the materiality of painting and its relationship to reproducible images. Backman references the Hudson Valley’s history of bucolic water-centric landscapes by reproducing seascapes from art history with witty contemporary twists, whether it be reproductions based on low-resolution .JPEG images or reproductions penetrated by physical cans of house paint. While it remains to be seen if the house-paint cans come across as gimmicky, knowing how tastefully Backman has handled trompe l’oeil in the past, our expectations are high.

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