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Want Free Socks? A Man Named Skullphone Wants to Give Them to You

Screen shot 2012-04-19 at 4.07.51 PMDaniel Maurer

Thought the Hole’s indoor garden was wild? Fuse Gallery may just give it a run for its money when its latest exhibit, “XOS / SOX” opens May 2. Skullphone, the Los Angeles-based street artist last seen purdying up construction containers on East Fourth Street, is piling 1,000 “custom produced” socks in the gallery behind Lit lounge, for everyone to take. Street-art inspired footwear sure is a thing lately. Is this going to hurt business at Sock Man and Sox in the City? Dunno, but we’re definitely snagging a pair to toss in the drawer with those pink tiger-print aNYthing socks…

“XOS / SOX,” opening reception May 2, 7 p.m.; through May 30, Fuse Gallery, 93 Second Avenue, (212) 777-7988 

‘Nose Bleed’ at Lit

Anton_Perich_mapplethorpe-chelseany1971Fuse Gallery Anton Perhlich in Chelsea in 1979, one of the artists participating in the upcoming exhibit.

Normally, a nosebleed at Lit is just another Monday night. Starting on March 28, it’s art.

“Nose Bleed” is an upcoming exhibition at Fuse Gallery (in the back of Lit) of artists nurtured in the neighborhood. “Nosebleed takes its name from the prevailing motto of that sensibility, that we wouldn’t go up there (up being anything north of 14th Street ) because we’d get a nosebleed,” writes Erik Foss. The co-owner of the bar adds that to him and his cohorts, there is nothing more than “a void” outside of the neighborhood. “Downtown may have been colonized by money and gentrified into something way white and polite, but the attitude persists.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Foss’s own art is on display in SoHo at the Munch Gallery as part of a group show, “Night,” which opens tomorrow. Earlier this week, Ray LeMoine looked back at the illustrious 10-year history of Lit Lounge.

Video: Nick Zinner and Company Celebrate Ten Years of Lit

On Friday, Second Avenue lounge Lit celebrated its ten years as a gathering place and showcase for downtown’s musicians, artists, D.J.s, and plain ol’ cool kids. The Local managed to squeeze a video camera into the crowded house and spoke to owners Erik Foss and David Schwartz, along with Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (one of the night’s many star D.J.s) and Alli Pheteplace and Ryan Macdonald of the Bootblacks, who performed downstairs. Stay tuned this week as we look back on ten years of bands (everyone from Panthers to Japanther), art shows, and bathroom hijinks, and feel free to share your own Lit stories (if you can remember them?) in the comments.

Watch Retna Paint the Latest Mural at Houston and Bowery

Photos: Tim Schreier

Marquis Lewis, better known to the street-art world as Retna, has been painting one of his signature hieroglyphic works on the wall at Houston Street near Bowery for the past two days. Our photographer Tim Schreier stopped by yesterday afternoon and earlier today to document his progress. The artist was still at work when we last checked in with him at 6:45 p.m. this evening – we’ll show you his finished mural once it’s completed.

Fun fact: Retna recently participated in the Boneyard Art Project in Tucson, Arizona, for which artists such as Faile (creators of the previous Houston Street mural) and Erik Foss (the owner of Lit Lounge and Fuse Gallery on Second Avenue) made art out of decommissioned military aircraft.

Update: And Now, Retna’s Finished Mural at Houston and Bowery

Gallery Scene | ‘Raw Spaces,’ ‘Remnant Memories,’ and More

If you missed the opening of “Two Heads Are Better Than One” at The Hole earlier this week, don’t worry: there’s a shindig at Gathering of the Tribes tomorrow and three more openings next week. Here’s what’s new on the gallery scene.

Screen shot 2012-02-16 at 2.27.14 PM

Occupy Tribes Friday (Feb. 17 to March 4) Steve Cannon’s homegrown gallery soldiers on despite an eviction notice and lawsuit. Ama Birch curates an exhibition of artwork inspired by housing issues; proceeds from all sales will go toward Mr. Cannon’s legal bills. Opening reception Feb. 17, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Gathering of the Tribes, 285 East Third Street, 2nd Floor, (212) 674-3778

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Raw Spaces (Feb. 23 to March 31) Lisa Lebofsky’s first New York City solo show. The painter, who has studied art at the New York Academy of Art and SUNY New Paltz, depicts natural scenes using oil on sanded aluminum. Opening reception Feb. 23, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Milavec Hakimi Gallery, 51 Cooper Square, (817) 975-5488.


Remnant Memories (Feb. 24 to March 11) Graffiti artist John Matos, better known as Crash, presents aluminum pieces, watercolors, and silkscreens inspired by his salad days of painting murals on subway cars. Opening reception Feb. 24, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. TT Underground, 91 Second Avenue, lower level, (212) 673-5424.

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With Colossal Paintings, Erik Foss Frames 9/11 in the Context of ‘Avarice’

vossCourtesy of Erik Foss. The artist with the show’s centerpiece, “Rapture.”

Erik Foss, co-owner of East Village fixtures Lit Lounge and the adjoining Fuse Gallery, is known to the downtown art world mainly as a curator with an eye for musicians and counterculture types: when The Local last encountered the lanky 38-year-old he was hosting a reception for rocker-turned-artist David Yow. On September 11, he’ll open his first solo show in New York City as an artist, at Mallick Williams & Co. in Chelsea. If the date seems like an odd one for what should be a celebratory occasion, it isn’t — the exhibition, “Avarice,” is a reflection on the events of a decade ago. Read more…

David Yow Talks Art, and Why He Is Done With Music

IMG_2975Angelo Fabara David Yow

Fuse Gallery, behind Lit Lounge, has seen its share of musicians moonlighting as artists. Among others, the space has hosted artwork by the likes of Hank Williams III, Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers, Nick Zinner and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Conrad Keely of …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead.

Last night, David Yow held court at an opening reception that drew J.G. Thirlwell, the lead singer of industrial band Foetus, as well as other admirers of Mr. Yow’s bands, The Jesus Lizard and Scratch Acid. Mr. Yow, best known for vocals that alternate between mumbling and shrieking as well as onstage antics that at one point got him arrested for indecent exposure in Cincinnati, was polite and soft-spoken. He was dressed down (or perhaps up — he has been known to favor the shirtless look, after all) in a button-down shirt and spectacles.

When Erik Foss, the owner of Fuse Gallery, bought a painting titled “Go Figure,” depicting an erect penis, Mr. Yow texted his girlfriend, “I have tears in my eyes.” She responded, “I love you. Stop crying.”

The Local sat down with Mr. Yow to talk about his new calling.
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The Post-Punk Painter

You may remember David Yow as the shirtless and sudoriferous showman that fronted The Jesus Lizard (if not, think of him as the Iggy Pop of the grunge era). As Brooklyn Vegan points out, Mr. Yow is also an accomplished visual artist. His paintings and digital drawings will be on display at a reception tonight at Fuse Gallery, adjoining Lit.