You may have noticed that Greenpoint now has two new murals—at 1043 and 1077 Manhattan Avenue—thanks to Boston native and muralist Alex Cook, who recently painted both out of love for the neighborhood (and crowd-sourced the funding himself to do it). “While I was working on both of them, I got tons of feedback from the neighbors,” Cook said. “It was universally pretty good.”
At 1043, Cook’s mural depicts a surreal, three dimensional space with a young tree and balancing and floating boulders. Down the block at 1077, a series of heads with broad foreheads and strong jaws seem to be floating in front of the wall, looking passers-by in the eye. “The thing that was compelling to me about these images was the three dimensionality of it and being able to make an image that feels real,” said Cook. “One of the things I love the most as an artist is being able to create a sense of wonder or something mysterious that stops you in your tracks and makes you have a moment of ‘I don’t know everything.'”
Greenpointers recently caught up with Cook to talk about his eighteen year career as a muralist, his creative process, and his love of north Brooklyn.
Too cold to go outside for a slice of pizza? Too cold to even think of going out to a gallery? Greenpointers has you covered on the art end with this list of eight brilliant artists who have studios in Greenpoint. Feast your eyes on:
It’s raining, and then it’s not. You don’t have shoes for this and your umbrella kind of half works, but you still want to hit the streets and see some art. We got you—just follow our Greenpoint Open Studios Walking Tour #1. Continue reading →
Transforming furniture is one of the things we love to do the most at Suite Pieces (located at 162 Huron Street)! We’re going to share with you how fun and easy it is to change the look of something you already own without the hassle of sanding and priming. We’ll be using one of our favorite product lines that we offer in the shop, Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan. By the time you do all that prep-work with traditional latex paint, you’re ready to call it quits and leave yet another unfinished project sitting around your apartment taking up precious, expensive square footage. When you use Chalk Paint® for your painting projects, you get instant gratification that keeps you going till it’s back in place ready for a photo op! Continue reading →
On a recent Friday night I visited two art shows that both opened on Greenpoint Ave. Both artists, Maj Anya DeBear and Roxanne Palmer mentioned that honesty was one driving force behind their recent artworks. While being true to oneself creatively in a hard to please art world is difficult to attain, the resulting satisfaction and confidence that came through made for two stand-out openings on either side of McGuinness Blvd. Continue reading →
In our age of digital hyper connectivity, we often feel isolated – our smartphones a barrier rather than a bridge to “the real thing.” Our viewing experience of art is distorted by online renditions of works, too – after all they are physical objects meant to be seen in person.
Similarly, in a world of mass consumerism that leaves our closets filled with “stuff” we feel empty – even paralyzed by our belongings with no connection to what these items mean, if they have meaning at all. Can an appreciation for artwork undo this affliction? Or is art just more stuff?
The portraits of Williamsburg artist Pilita Garcia, whose faces are perhaps turned away from, but lit by, artificial lights from digital devices – seem to call back to a time before social media, selfies and online advertising. Perhaps they long for “the real world” – but a different world where the value of objects – how they are made and where they come from – is important, a reflection of the artist’s own world view.
Pilita’s painting exhibition titled Rowan’s Sphere will open at Picture Farm (338 Wythe Ave) this Friday March 7th, from 6-9pm.
Watch the below video, produced by the show’s curator Todd Stewart and read our interview with Pilita – then put your computer to sleep (don’t worry it can be alone for a little while) and go see some artwork in real life.
We chatted with Pilita about her work and why making artwork is more important than making “stuff.” Continue reading →
After winding your way up the grey, industrial stairwell of the warehouse building which houses her studio, Allison Maletz’s large-scale, watercolored “Nana” towers over you in warm greeting. A bright teal tracksuit tucks around her comfortable curves while retro shades, now considered a stylish shape, are perched confidently on her nose; a familiar tan purse hangs from one hand while the other casually grips a leg. Perhaps the leg of a deer? It is not entirely clear, but it is undoubtedly disconcerting.
Much of Maletz’s work overtly highlights the familial, familiar and affectionate but dissonant and sometimes vaguely menacing threads are woven throughout her work. The effect is startling and occasionally mesmerizing, especially given Maletz’s technique and approach. Using old and new photographs of friends and family, Maletz revives the insipid, infusing these relatively prosaic images with her own perspective. Her paintings provide fresh interpretations of photographic portraits, which often leave the subjects posing easily or awkwardly but steadily returning the gaze of the viewer. In her iterations, subjects are often depicted against a perfectly white background, allowing the vibrant and mottled aspect of the watercolor, the intricate patterns within neckties, sweaters or camouflage, and the complexity of her facial expressions emerge without competition.
Check out the opening of Maletz’s latest show with her studio mate, David Pettibone, Interdependent, this Thursday, September 20th from 7 – 9pm at YASHAR Gallery, located at 276 Greenpoint Ave (between Newel and Jewel), curated by Elizabeth Lamb. Continue reading →
From the gnarled trees of Ithaca’s woods, to the warm, round edges of a Parisian apartment building, to the power plant smokestacks as seen from a Greenpoint warehouse rooftop, neighborhood resident Christopher Schade brings the outside in with a series of “plein air” paintings that he then reinvents in the interior of his studio. The petite and realistic paintings serve as “anchors,” from which larger and boldly reimagined iterations can drift while remaining relatively tethered to original representation of reality.
During a preview visit to his studio this weekend, Schade described his interest in “obstruction as a strategy,” an approach which gives both depth and humor to these traditional landscapes. A tree trunk becomes the focus on a piece, while the compelling majesty of Notre Dame recedes and rests in the background. These unusual and unexpected choices create a rich palate of shapes and shadow that Schade seizes and explores in his larger works. Using the original plein air as a base, Schade’s colorist perspective dominates his central pieces, as he toys with light and dimension, leaving these versions dangling on the edge of abstraction. Matching the central piece to the original plein air becomes something of a game, and a challenging one at that! Continue reading →
A petite, bright white studio overlooking the trees of Eagle Street is the clean, calm home to Zoe Pettijohn Schade’s intricate and phenomenally executed gouache paintings.
The tin-ceiled building was previously used as a display space for J Josephs Sons Furniture on Manhattan Avenue; patches of remarkable, however weathered, wallpaper in the staircase hallway hint at a more glamorous past. These bits of history unwittingly revealed appropriately echo the retrospective and layered nature of Pettijohn Schade’s work.
This past weekend Jen and I had the opportunity to visit Pettijohn Schade’s studio for a preview of what she will be showing at this weekend’s GO Brooklyn Art Festival. Her multi-layered paintings immediately conjure a mid-century aesthetic but are in fact, both directly and indirectly inspired from patterns and shapes anonymously executed in the 1670s which she discovered during her travels in France. Clearly motivated by the long, rich, and somewhat mystifying history of these ancient paintings, Pettijohn Schade has respected and wrangled these patterns to make them her own. Continue reading →