Post tagged with


A Tale of Two Kitties

8282078912_bc8550f3dd_cAnthony Pappalardo Hello Kitty book launch at Openhouse Gallery.

While Art Basel has officially reached it’s saturation point with corporate sponsored parties eclipsing the actual art fair, I was able to pick up on three major art trends during my week there. There were an abundance of sculptures featuring shiny spheres at the fair–and also decorating many hotel lobbies — rap lyrics recreated on canvases are trending, but the biggest buzz was the emergence of memes and animated gifs as art.

When I spotted Blake Boston–the person who accidentally became the popular meme Scumbag Steve–smoking a cigarette playing the door man at the Hole gallery his latest track, my trend spotting suspecions were confirmed. Scumbag Steve was accompanied by his friend Christopher Torres, the creator of the 2012 Meme of the Year, Nyan Cat. Nyan Cat began as an animated gif based on Torres’ own cat, and eventually spawned a YouTube video that’s garnered over almost 90 million views.

Last Thursday night, New York Art Department launched four days of programming, headquartered at The Hole gallery, based on Torres’ gif titled #NYANCATCITY. #NYANCATCITY wasn’t just a celebration of Torres’ creation. The events ranged from panel discussions on cats and the internet, a zine fair, and actual kitten adoptions. The opening party featured a Nyan Cat pop-up shop as well as an interactive station featuring the latest Nyan Cat game, Space Party. Projected onto a white gallery wall, attendees were encouraged to play the game–an app available through iTunes and Google Play–by steering the character with Sphero, a glowing ball. As people sipped vodka and navigated Nyan Cat through space, another cat themed event was opening on Broome street.

8282075700_b12935d794_cSuzanne Rozdeba Sucklord at Hello Kitty book launch, Openhouse Gallery.

Several artists and designers including Betsey Johnson and Paul Frank teamed up with the Openhouse Gallery for the “Hello Kitty, Hello Art!” book launch. Compiled by Roger Gastman, the book features reinterpretations of the iconic Sanrio characters, with contributions by RISK, POSE, Adam Wallacavage, Paul Frank, and several other popular artists. Read more…

Gallery or Restaurant? The Hole Swirls Both Together

DIOR BEAUTY Celebrates 50 Years of Dior Vernis with Artist Holton RowerDavid X Prutting/ The Hole’s dinner for Dior Vernis.

After blurring the line between art and landscaping, The Hole is now bending the boundaries between art and food. Last night, the Bowery gallery held a dinner party that introduced attendees to the medium of “pour painting,” and this summer, The Local has learned, it will open a pop-up “artist cafe,” cheekily dubbed Hole Foods.

The pop-up cafe is in part the vision of The Hole’s founder, Kathy Grayson, who described herself as an arm-chair restaurant critic and food blogger. “I had never seen an artist-designed restaurant, only restaurants with a few sad paintings on the walls,” she told The Local. “I thought that the artists I represent are all interdisciplinary and are capable of doing not just painting and drawing but sculpture, video, design, installation, furniture, you name it.”

On Wednesday, the Meatball Factory temporarily closed on 14th Street and Second Avenue so that Brooklyn-based artist Joe Grillo could install a mural on its walls, ceilings, and floors. Read more…

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 

With Seed Money from Playboy, Monet’s Garden Blooms on Bowery

Photos: Tim Schreier

It’s The Hole’s most ambitious installation yet: With funding from an unlikely patron – Playboy – the Bowery gallery has transformed into a fecund, fragrant landscape complete with a bridge and lily pond in the back corner. The indoor recreation of Monet’s garden in Giverny was partly inspired by performance artist and longtime East Villager, Kembra Pfahler, best known as the lead singer of the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black.

At a preview of the exhibit earlier today, Ms. Pfahler, looking vaguely occult in black eye makeup and a hood, sprinkled potpourri over a cluster of flowers that had been transplanted from Long Island. “I’ll learn to water them,” she promised, “because I do not know a thing about plants. Being in this garden last night was the first time I’ve been around plants like this.”

Not exactly true: in August 2011, Ms. Pfahler traveled to Giverny, France, to be photographed by E.V. Day in Monet’s famous garden estate, where the photographer best known for exploding couture was enjoying a residency. Read more…

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

Screen shot 2012-02-16 at 2.15.11 PM

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.

Read more…