These are dark times, there’s no denying it. From political unrest and environmental crisis to smaller gripes like seasonal allergies and MTA woes, it’s easy to get bogged down in this concrete jungle we call home. But Buket Savci, this week’s featured artist, is here with a salve in her magnificently colorful and fantastically buoyant works. Buket’s paintings, along with Jacob Hicks’, will be the inaugural works at Wrong Side of the River (67 West Street, Suite 312) now through May 3. Their exhibition, Wonderland, is a welcome balm to our times and a stunning exercise in collaborative creativity. Below, we get to know Buket and her work, but most importantly her contagious and relentless optimism.
Greenpointers: How long have you been in Brooklyn?
Buket Savci: I live and work in Brooklyn; I’ve been in Bushwick for a little over three years. Before that I lived in Astoria for almost 10 years. But I’ve had my studio in Greenpoint since I received my MFA from New York Academy of Art in 2012. I also studied painting at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
I am so glad to hear you enjoy our title for the show. I have been working on these series of paintings for a few years now, which are about the fleeting moments of pure joy and happiness. I create paintings addressing the ephemerality of happiness while using objects like balloons as a metaphor for our short lived contentment.
I really enjoy using saturated vivid colors, and I think everything else is so negative and dark so at least my paintings should be colorful and fun. That’s why I use the colors that makes me happy, and I enjoy including humor in my art. But actually I am not that joyful. Life is not easy and I had my share of traumas. Unfortunately a few years ago I had a major depression and even my psychiatrist was constantly telling me that my art will save me. Painting is my passion, and it is this wonderland where anything can happen, so I choose to make it fun and colorful like a playground.
There is this profound quote from a Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet; he asks to Abidin Dino, who was a famous Turkish artist. “Could you make a painting of happiness?” So all these led me to question what is real happiness, when and how we feel real joy, and how do I express this through painting.
Painting lets me live these fleeting moments in detail and throughly over a course of weeks even months. I want to create a niche of fantasy, where both the figures and I as the painter can be just like a child — innocent and playful, carefree and bold. A visual playground far away from all the darkness enclosing us outside and inside, blossomed through sincerity and trust.
Steve Wasterval isn’t from here, but you may be led to believe otherwise given the authenticity and love behind each of his New York paintings. In a culture where the definition of art can often seem haughty, where the medium itself is ever-shifting, there is something beautifully traditional and startlingly contemporary about Steve’s acrylic paintings: They simultaneously represent impressionism from the days of yore while also reflecting the evolving city he adores and inhabits. Steve is participating in Greenpoint Open Studios June 2–3, so if you long to see his paintings in person after reading his interview, you’ll soon have the chance!
Greenpointers: On your site you say you make art for “real” New Yorkers. Are you a real New Yorker?
Steve Wasterval: I do say that — and no I am not. Unfortunately, I’m from Texas so I am one of those people that moved from the south or midwest and are forever trying to earn our local status. My wife is from here though, and so is her family (her grandparents were born and raised in Greenpoint on Berry Street) so I’d like to think I’m native by marriage. Plus nobody can top me when it comes to love for the city! You may think you love her more cause you’re a Yankees fan, or know where to get the best slice or whatever, but I paint her everyday. She’s all mine in that way, no one loves her the way I do.
It’s hard to mistake an original by Pinky Weber. With their striking colors and iconic motifs, Pinky’s works look beautiful in varying mediums — as murals on brick buildings or even as square images on Instagram. Greenpointers spoke with the artist, the first in our May Thursday Spotlights to also be participating in the upcoming Greenpoint Open Studio. She’ll be featured in the neighborhood-wide event on June 2–3 — look out for her enjoyable and comical pieces next month! Til then, learn more about her perspective on street art, women in the field, and — above all — donuts in our engaging interview below.
Greenpointers: How long have you been in Brooklyn?
Pink Weber: I’m originally from San Francisco, but first moved to New York City in 2010 to attend Parsons The New School for Design. After a few years of Manhattan life under my belt, I decided Brooklyn was where I needed to be. I moved to Greenpoint in 2013 and haven’t looked back since!
GP: You’re a donut enthusiast! Are you a Peter Pan loyalist or do you have other favorites?
PW: Yes! I love donuts so much that my first mural was a 20×30 foot donut mural in Bushwick, which I painted as a collab with Christian Hooker. I’m pretty loyal to my gals in the green and pink uniforms over at Peter Pan, but occasionally dabble in the donuts at Dough Donuts. Continue reading →
The art fairs are coming. Those, and some noir films, art-that’s-not-at-fairs-but-that’s-still-art, and Cinco de Mayo celebraciónes. Below is your weekly roundup, Greenpointers!
The Other Art Fair Brooklyn Expo Center | 72 Noble Street May 3–6 | Times vary Tickets info, $13.50–$30
The Other Art Fair is returning to Brooklyn, popping up May 3–6 at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint. This is the third edition of this Other Art Fair, New York’s leading market for a new generation of art buyers that runs biannually in the spring and fall. 130 artists will be featured this spring, and nearly 60% of them are women.
Moniker Art Fair Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse | 73 West Street May 3–6 | Times vary Tickets info, $15–$28
Moniker Art Fair comes to the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse. Here you will find some of the most talked-about artists, galleries, and collectors from the finer side of the street art movement and its related subcultures.
Change of Art 122 Waterbury Street May 3 | 7–9 PM Tickets info, $20 admission that includes open bar
JP PR’s ChangeofArt exclusive art pop-up will showcase artwork from three NYC-based photographers, and two NYC-based visual artists (painters), centered around the theme of “Brooklyn.” Come for the art, stay for the all-inclusive booze!
“American Jesus” Art During the Occupation Gallery | 119 Ingraham St May 4–27 | Times vary More info, Free
“American Jesus,”Art During the Occupation Gallery’s first solo exhibition of the work of Chris Bors, is titled after the Bad Religion song and presents new paintings using bold graphics and text commenting on our current political climate, commodification, trash culture, and personal obsessions.
Cinco de Mayo Screening of Desperado Nitehawk Cinema | 136 Metropolitan Avenue May 5–6 | 11:15 AM More info
Nitehawk in Williamsburg will host its annual Cinco de Mayo screening during brunch on May 5 and 6, showingDesperadowith a live performance by Las Flores mariachi band during the pre-show. Movies, Mayo, and Mariachi — can’t go wrong!
Encore Screening of INCALL Film Noir Cinema | 122 Meserole Avenue May 6 | 8 PM More info, $10
FilmNoir Cinema in Greenpoint is having an encore screening of INCALL, an indie cult horror film. The film has been called “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer meets Brokeback Mountain.” After the film there will be a Q&A with the director. See the film‘s trailer and buy tickets here!
UP & UP 1969 Gallery | 103 Allen Street, New York, NY Now–June 10 More info Greenpointer (and previous Thursday Spotlight friend) Aaron Zulpo is celebrating his first major exhibition in New York City, consisting of eight new narrative paintings and the debut of oil pastels on paper. If you dare to cross over the East River, you won’t be disappointed in Aaron’s proficiency, artistic ambition and long-standing interest in architecture and sequential art through the composition of his paintings.
Call for neighborhood galleries! Sign up by Monday 3/26 to participate in the next Greenpoint Gallery Night: Friday, April 20th, 6-9pm. Email Scott Chasse of Calico at [email protected] to get on the list.
Twice a year, neighborhood galleries stay open late on a Friday evening for this voluntarily organized gallery crawl. Visit www.greenpointgalleries.org to learn more.
This open call exhibition is curated by Shawn James and tonight’s selected Best in Show artist wins $200 and a solo exhibition. This show is one night only, across two floors of the gallery, and features a lineup of local bands and musicians including Joe Krzyzewski, Jim Saint-Amour, Hanford Reach, Hoag & the Weasel, Castle Black.
Guy Nelson is a Midwesterner, who grew up surrounded by nature. For this reason, he doesn’t romanticize the natural world as a place of transcendence, but sees it as a familiar environment that functions as a kind of Rorschach test; the longer you stare and wonder, the more your mind makes of the twisting branches in the long shadows of a late fall day.
From this close attention, Nelson has created a world of blurred demons and shadowy creatures, myths that emanate from the mouths of old hunters, whether to scare children or just to keep their minds busy while waiting in the brush. Myths in his work speak to a greater truth of the natural world; it is a place both unsentimental and mysterious, where life and death pass with very little care for human context. There is a grim undertone to Nelson’s oft-repeated motifs that, like their subject, tantalizingly suggest meaning before disappearing through the trees like a morning’s mist.
Saturday, December 2nd, Byron Westbrook premieres Interval/Forum, his third and final piece as a 2017 ISSUE Artist-In-Residence. The work completes a series of conceptual environments that collaborate with audience perception and participation, making use of the theatrical setting of Irondale Arts Center to focus and expand the perception of audience presence as a dynamic performance element.
The piece experiments with an audience situated in a large stage setting that contains sound design and periodic lighting changes. The installation-as-performance environment incorporates the filmic cut and fade techniques of coordinated light and sound framing gestures used in Interval/Habitat (at ISSUE’s 22 Boerum Theater in April, 2017), while utilizing the color washes and audience illumination explored in Threshold Variations (at Abrons Art Center in September, 2017). The cohesion between these techniques aims to shift the social orientation of space dynamically between levels of “incidental” and “focused.” Sound is approached as architectural, using found sound, sound effects, white noise and contemporary music to create illusory audio design in the space, functioning in conjunction with technical lighting.
The piece places an emphasis on both visual and social “afterimages” where there is a cognitive and collective response to abrupt scene changes, allowing room for emergent audience response to the unpredictability of the environment.
The performance-as-installation runs from 8 to 10pm. Attendees are encouraged to arrive at any time during the duration of the piece, as well as move throughout the space, enter, and exit freely.
Event listings submissions may be sent to Art [at] Greenpointers.com
The Other Art Fair returns for its second US edition to Greenpoint’s own Brooklyn Expo Center (72 Noble St) this week on November 9-12. Presented by Saatchi Art, the fair showcases work by 120 talented emerging artists from Brooklyn and beyond, each hand picked by a committee of art world experts.
Art lovers can visit the fair with confidence that they are buying from the very best and most promising emerging artists in a unique and immersive experience. With artwork prices starting at just $75 there is something for everyone! Alongside the exhibiting artists, visitors can discover exciting an unusual features including live hand poked tattoos by Brooklyn’s Bluestone Babe, The Guardian virtual reality, an engaging talks program by Saatchi Art and a hidden secret bar…
Kate McQuillen greets me from the driveway of her charming and noteworthy Greenpoint house, directing me into the garage where her fluorescent printmaking studio is set up. Her companion Kassie, a sterling herding dog, is attentively surveying the area and happy to have another to look after. The inherent New York City ankle weights have already slipped away, leaving us to speak candidly in Kate’s kaleidoscopic space. While we talk, the garage door remains open and Kate periodically greets her neighbors passing by. I feel as if I have crossed a portal into an alternate dimension, or at least am no longer in the city.
Greenpointers: When were you first exposed to art as a child?
Kate McQuillen: My dad studied painting in graduate school, and during my childhood worked as a graphic designer in Boston. We always had an art studio in the house, which allowed me the opportunity to experiment with literal cut and paste tools like transfer paper. I’d imagine this is what initially pushed me into printmaking. I think of printmaking processes as the perfect place between design tools and fine art tools. I always had a lot of interest in drawing, but was never super into oil paint. I think my new work is taking on a form reminiscent of paintings, but I can still use the printmaking tools I’ve grown to know and love.Continue reading →
Much of Greenpoint’s magic and mystery lies off the beaten path… beyond Manhattan Avenue, the “other side” of McGuinness, in the shadow of the BQE… this is where the artists thrive, where you’re free to make and create. Ultimately, it’s these nooks and crannies that make Greenpoint such a creative center.
Don’t be afraid to make the trip and meet these GOS artists!