For a working-class industrial area, North Brooklyn has played an outsized influence on American sculpture. The great Western artist Fredrick Remington cast many of his iconic western sculptures at the Roman Bronze works on Green Street in Greenpoint.
The famous Wall Street Bull and the Iwo Jima Memorial were also cast on India Street at the Bedi-Makki Art Foundry. As if those two accomplishments were not enough, there is still more. One of the giants of abstract metal sculpture, and one of the greatest American sculptors ever, David Smith, lived in Williamsburg and mastered his technique on a pier in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
He was born in Indiana in 1906. Perhaps, metal was in his blood. He was, ironically, the great-grandson of a blacksmith, and the artist even as a child had a fascination for heavy industry saying, “we used to play on trains and around factories. I played there just as I played in nature, on hills and creeks.”
Smith attended college for a year, but dropped out in 1925, to work at the Studebaker automobile factory in South Bend, Indiana where Smith learned soldering and spot-welding techniques that he would later use to create his sculptures.
Smith came to New York City in 1926 and he soon met his first wife, the sculptor Dorothy Dehner. Smith enrolled in The Art Students League, where he studied painting and drawing over the next five years. Smith and Dehner settled in North Brooklyn because as artists they could not afford to live in Manhattan.
Though Smith never received formal sculptural training, one of the instructors at the Art Students League, Jan Matulka, encouraged him to start adding three-dimensional elements to his paintings. Matulka also introduced Smith to the abstract art of innovators such as Picasso and Kandinsky.
Smith was on the verge of an artistic revolution at the start of the 1930s. Wanting to master metal work, he set up his workshop in the Brooklyn Navy Pier in New York in 1933, sharing the space not with artists, but with professional welders and others who worked with metals.
At that time, most sculptors worked in a bronze foundry, a marble quarry or a conventional studio. At the Navy pier, Smith mastered the technical aspects of cutting and welding different kinds of metal. In the unlikeliest of places, Smith became the first American artist to make welded metal sculpture. Continue reading →
We’re approaching summer, and that means it’s time to get your dance on (and your drink on) outdoors. For North Brooklyn, the days of seeing live bands play in the belly of the decaying McCarren Park pool or along the Williamsburg waterfront have been dead for about a decade. Luckily there’s a handful of local venues picking up the torch, where you can groove to some sick jams al fresco. Read on for our top picks. Continue reading →
For all you Halloweeners out there, here are our top picks for some fine spine chillin’ in North Brooklyn. Whether you’re in the mood to dance the night away with DJs, see rad costumed cover bands, freak out at scary movies, compete in a costume contest, take a zombie terrarium class or participate in a basement seance, our neighborhood has truly an abundance of choice this year.
⟫⌇⧘⧚⧛⧙⌇⟫ WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26 ⟪⌇⧘⧚⧛⧙⌇⟪
GIF-O-Ween at Brooklyn Bazaar Sponsored by GIPHY and presented by Animation Block Party, GIFOWEEN is a Halloween-themed animation loop contest! This party will feature the official launch of GIPHY PRESENTS: GIF DANCE PARTY, a fully immersive dance environment that allows you to finally become dance partners with all your favorite online characters at once! Brooklyn Bazaar | 150 Greenpoint Ave. 8pm-12am, FREE, Costumes highly encouraged RSVP on Facebook
This month is definitely going to be a lot more pleasant—and less harsh—than all the changes September brought. Until the 22nd, the sun will be in the sign of peace, love, and harmony—giving us all those fun, romantic vibes. Mercury and Jupiter will be visiting Libra, putting love on everyone’s minds. Love wins when Libra is in the house. Then the sun moves into Scorpio on the 22nd, making everything much more intense.
A powerful supermoon emerges into Libra on October 16—giving us romantic energy and partnership vines, and then there is a new moon in Scorpio on the 30th, giving us spooky and ethereal vibes. This will definitely make for a rather interesting and mystical Halloween—be on the look out for anything unusual.
♎ LIBRA ♎
This is your month, Libra—at least for most of it until the 22nd. You are in your element, which means you should go bold. Everyone is attracted to you this month—and it’s largely due to your confidence and charm—you feel independent and in control, and that’s attractive to others. Venus in your money zone until the 18th, which means you should expect some extra cash this month—whether it’s from freelance or an unexpected birthday gift. However, also keep in mind that the full moon on the 16th is in your relationship house—making you commit to a partnership—which could be romantic and/or financial.
Be mindful of tensions at home, whether with a roommate, partner, or family member. Be diplomatic—which is a strength of yours. The new moon on the 30th also indicates a time for your job to become a focus on your mind—especially if you want a promotion.
Suggestion: Buy a pumpkin at The Garden (921 Manhattan Ave.) & carve it into something adorable and/or scary—like a ghost cat.
♏ SCORPIO ♏
You are absolutely dazzling this month—your sultry nature is magnetizing. Until the 18th, Venus is in your sign, making you feel extra passionate. Then, on the 22nd, the sun will land in your sign, making you focus on your goals and passions—this is your time to be ambitious and put yourself out there. This month is also a time for you to heal and rest, as the sun will go through Libra and your 12th house of subconscious healing. This calls for you to work through any emotional issues with have with yourself and others, and attempt to fix them. Otherwise, these problems, like relationship insecurities, will only keep popping up. This is also a time to end toxic relationships, jobs, and other aspects of your life holding you back.
This month will also prove to be busy in your social life, which is a good thing even if you feel tired, since you need all the support from your friends that you can get.
Suggestion: Buy a banging new record—or an old favorite like T.Rex’s “Electric Warrior” at Rough Trade (64 N 9th Street)—and throw a dance party.
♐ SAGITTARIUS ♐
You are a social butterfly this month. Everyone in your life is looking to you for fun and support—and luckily for you, you’re good at both of these things. You want to be there for everyone, but make sure to schedule in enough relaxation time so your work isn’t affected by everything you’re doing. Mars lands in Capricorn, which is your income zone all month, which means you’ll be busy with your career—whether that means you took on more work or are trying to get your name out there more. Venus moves into Saturn and align in Sagittarius on the 29th, which means good news on the job front is on the way.
Venus comes into your 12th house until the 18th and you’ll rock the rose-colored glasses—which means you’re about to get more attention—and it’s not always attention you want though. Let yourself have freedom, but also don’t get overwhelmed by everything. The new moon on the 30th will remind you of the importance of boundaries and saying no—because a burned out Sag is a sad Sag.
Suggestion: Get a “Hey Ladies” cocktail over at Hail Mary (68 Greenpoint Ave.) and have a spooky date with someone special.
♑ CAPRICORN ♑
You’re on this month, to say the least. Until the 22nd, the sun moves alongside Jupiter, putting you in your ambitious zone. Since Mars is sailing through Capricorn all month, this only intensifies how determined you are when it comes to your career. Beware of keeping a healthy work-life balance, though. Be sure to plan a few social events in the beginning of the month to keep you balanced. Venus is visiting you until the 18th, indicating you feel a little restless in your romantic life. Keep your options open if you can. If you have a partner, make sure to do new things and have a separate life, in order to keep the mystery alive. On the 29th, Saturn meets with Venus, making it a very romantic night.
This is a month for you to open up to others and focus on your relationships. The sun joins Jupiter in Libra and your ninth house of honesty until October 22. You want everything to feel real, which is partially why you also are hit with the travel bug this month—you want to explore. That being said, Venus is in your career house until the 18th, meaning that you have obligations you need to be present for.
The sun will be in Scorpio for a month on the 22nd, which makes your professional life a priority for you. The Scorpio new moon on the 30th could bring brings a huge development for you—and it’s a good one. Make sure to keep your stress levels at bay, since you’re clearly working overtime. This is not a time for you to not be on you’re A-game.
Suggestion: Check out the smoked salmon benedict for brunch over at Anella (222 Franklin St.) with your BFF.
♓ PISCES ♓
This month is all about the deeper meaning for you. The sun joins Jupiter in your esoteric house until the 22nd, which are also joined by Mercury from the 7th on. Basically, you’re really going to get to know the people around you this month, and you’ll be forming new bonds with people—or getting closer to those you already know. Keep in mind, however, not to get codependent with someone. It’s easy to do so, but never healthy. Your career is about to get revamped on the new moon on the 16th as Aries is in your house of income. All of your hard work be coming to fruition. That being said, be careful with those around you at work, you don’t want to be ruthless.
Suggestion: Time to get mussels for lunch and catch up with a friend over at Esme (999 Manhattan Ave.). Great for a rainy day.
♈ ARIES ♈
October is super relationship-focused for you, to the point that you may be totally lost in your relationship. Your partnership is growing into something special and exclusive, especially since the sun moves on to Scorpio on the 22nd. Love is definitely in the air for you, whether you’re with someone new or old. However, you still need to focus on your job and career, especially as Mars is drifting through Capricorn, which is your 10th house of success all month. Aim high—because if you don’t, you won’t get what you want. Your hard work will pay off at the new moon on the 16th—there will be a change for you coming on the 29th, both in your home life and career.
Suggestion: Get a group together and eat order a pizza at Adelina’s (159 Greenpoint Ave.)—maybe after an unofficial workshop.
♉ TAURUS ♉
You need to slow down this month, and really evaluate what you want in all aspects of your life, since you’ve been on “go” for awhile. The full moon on the 16th lands in your 12th house of endings, which means you should let go of all your relationships that just aren’t working out—even if it’s super hard. Sometimes these relationships aren’t going to end forever, but morph into something else. That being said, your month is full of social events and opportunities, so take hold of them.
Suggestion: Delight in a delicious macaroon at Bakeri (105 Freeman Street).
♊ GEMINI ♊
October is the month of love for you. Libra is brining out the flirt in you, and because Mars ins in your seductive 8th house all month, you are basically just pure magic. Venus also slides into your commitment zone on the 18th, making a relationship super serious for you. That being said, the 22nd brings your health into picture. You need to start paying attention to your body, especially when you’re so busy with other people.
You are a hermit this month, and that’s not a bad thing. You seek solitude in many ways, but there are going to be many moments of socialization this month too. A lot of friends from out of town may decide to visit you, which will make your home life and social life combine. But don’t think this means your romantic life is on the down low. It’s not. Mars is in Capricorn all month, which basically means your seventh house of relationships is on fire. You’ll be busy with dates, which means you may definitely find yourself enthralled by someone at the end of the month.
Suggestion: Check out the East River Ferry rides from the base of India Street and do some writing/journaling on the ride.
♌ LEO ♌
Guess what? This month is for you. You are keeping busy in really great ways. Whether it’s drinks with friends, new hot dates, or taking a writing class, you are really upping your game. The full moon comes in your house of publishing on the 16th, which indicates a boost in your passions and career. This full moon also makes you want to travel—so do it. Plan a short trip somewhere.
Venus heads into Sagittarius from the 18th, which means your romantic life is about to take a seductive turn. But don’t forget about your job, because you need that money.
Suggestion: Go to the Brooklyn Night Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave.) on the weekend with a few friends and check out the live music.
♍ VIRGO ♍
October is going to be a successful month for you, as the sun will be in your money zone until the 22nd. This also means you should be networking as much as you can, since a dream opportunity may land in your lap. When it comes to your love life, Mars and Capricorn align in your fifth house of fame, self-expression, and romance. This means you’re going to be attracting many people, so don’t be surprised if you get a lot of attention and offers. The new moon on the 30th indicates you may team up with someone in a deeper way—a friend may also need your support by the end of the month.
Suggestion: Get your art on and go to PS1 MOMA (22-25 Jackson Ave., LIC) for a quiet day by yourself.