Deconstruction 90: 8th Grade Art Exhibition

“To deconstruct is to destroy a framework. “

June 2nd we celebrated the final thesis art exhibition featuring works of 8th Grade Students of Achievement First Brownsville Middle School.

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Their projects are based on New Jim Crow and our prison system, Immigration, photography about neighborhoods in Brooklyn evolving over time, and right now they are working on audio/sound pieces based on their idea of home.

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To deconstruct is to destroy a framework. For scholars finding their way through the education system in Brownsville, Brooklyn, frameworks are often forces of restriction, oppression, suffocation, alienation, perpetuation and, at times, ruination. Some of these frameworks were put into place consciously and strategically to keep power dynamics in place which have benefited some and subjugated others. Others have been developed as by-products of social ills and were created insidiously beneath the surface of social consciousness.

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Thoughts from Krystal Seli:

When the night was over I thought, to myself, I wish I had something like this when I was in high school. Walking into the gallery, I saw honest and raw pieces of art from young adults who had been given then opportunity to share their thoughts about everything from feminism to sexual orientation to beauty standards. They were asked questions like, “How does One’s Home affect One’s Identity?” and “How is suicide perceived in the eyes of society?”. The students answered in kind with music, painting, film and poetry, collectively sharing an immersive window into the life, thoughts and feelings of a New York teenager, which I could see, were not far from my own. I left the show asking some of those questions to myself and wondered if I had the opportunity to answer as my younger self, what I would say and how would I say it.

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About the author:

Krystal Seli

Over the years, I’ve worked many a job for some amazing non-profits. Some of my favorite jobs have been copywriting for The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, guest services hosting at the California Academy of Science in San Francisco as well as teaching at Children’s Fairyland in Oakland. When I’m not volunteering at The Living Gallery, I make weird theater with my friends. My favorite food in the whole world is a Filipino dish called Kare Kare, a dish my Grandma makes with Oxtail and a whole jar of peanut butter.

“WE ARE GOING TO DIE” Masked Event, Monday Feb 8th

Join us on Monday Feb 8th 7-10pm at The Living Gallery for a special evening of performances, wearable art, installations and music! The event is free, and guests are urged to wear their own masks, masks will also  be available at the event.

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 The goal of the event, and designs by artist Nyssa Frank , is to remind people that we are all mortal, and animals, and in this world together. Nyssa alters clothing, painting words such as “Death Means Nothing to Death,”  “I am a homo sapien” or “Who Am I” to express this goal. She also creates jewelry, mostly body parts, to illuminate both on the absurdity, and beauty of our human body.

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Performers for the evening include: Bethany Sick Din, Veronica Torres, Ursula KennedyThe Sewer Gators Each performer is epic in his/her own way, engaging the audience in a mesmerizing, and introspective entanglement!!

 

The Sewer Gators

Constructed by Mike Garcia, The Swere Gators is a band that spews sewer funk and sewer punk
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Bethany Sick Din

Sick Din is the music personae of the multimedia artist Bethany Dinsick.  Bethany Dinsick is a self taught musician, video artist, experimental dancer, performance artist, painter, costume maker, and sculptor from Baltimore currently living in Brooklyn. www.bethanydinsick.com

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 Ursula Kennedy

URSULA KENNEDY is cathartic howling wading through the treacherous squalls of love and oblivion, accompanied by contrapuntal, distorted guitar pulses. Artist Martha Ursula Moszczynski might bestow an epic dance performance during this event as well!

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Veronica Torres

Torres is the lead singer in the band Pill. Her words and performances vibrate on a very honest and mind curling plane, making you dance and listen and become inspired.

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Femella Presents: “Female Business Owners”

Femella is  a new series of interviews dedicated to women: their multifaceted, diverse and epic accomplishments!  The goal is to celebrate these women, while enabling awareness of each other through a non-competitive lens. Femella is the Latin origin of the word Female. It is actually not related to the word male, which comes from the Latin word masculus.

Thus Femella stands on its own. No comparison or competition. 

To be a part of this project  please email us at thelivinggallery@gmail.com

For the first batch of interviews I reached out to epic women to discuss the Positive and Negative aspects of being a Female Business Owner:

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BRITTANY FERNACKER

My name is Brittany Fernbacker and I am the creator of Occult Kitten Collection. I was inspired to create OKC out of my deep love of magic and traveling the world. Growing up as a kid in New York City can leave you feeling like you grew up in the fast lane and it wasn´t until the first time I traveled to England back in 2011 that I felt time and space open up before me. I remember feeling completely spirited away, in awe, as if I opened my eyes for the first time. In 2012 I went on to back pack my entire way through 7 countries by myself using only CouchSurfers.com and car pooling on a very restricted budget. My life was never the same after this experience. I radically changed my views about myself, my beliefs and the world.

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I became completely enchanted with how a sense of adventure guided by a deeper connection with my magical self could carry me to places I never dreamt of being possible. I´ve gone on to live in-between NYC and London for over 2 years and now am currently living in Brazil for the past 10 months actively creating my business. I think I´ve been hoarding since I was a child, so it was no surprise to me that I began collecting treasures and adornments from my travels. The collections I offer are inspired by the particular place I´m visiting and their occult traditions, which I then make available through my shop on Instagram and Storenvy. I truly wanted to bring this sense of wonder and beauty I saw to everyone. Opening my business as a woman has been the most rewarding experience of my life because I know all the hardships it took to get to this point. I´ve been mocked, questioned relentlessly and filled with doubt by many because they believe its nothing but fantasy to read Tarot, sell crystals and travel the world. In the end though, it only empowers me more to live my dream, share my truths and hope it inspires others to do the same.

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RACHEL NELSON
Secret Project Robot– Director and co-founder 2004 to present
Happyfun Hideaway co-owner 2013- present
Flowers for All Occasions Gallery co-owner… 2015 to present
I think a major benefit to being a female business owner is that it gives you a specific status as being a female business owner…No one would ever say how does it feel to be a male business owner, and from that status you are able to present a platform that
fits outside of specific boxes.  Running spaces as a women has made it possible to not conform to certain ideas of DIY, for instance male dominated spaces often have narratives of punk rock or indy, whereas, as a woman I feel free to say my space is just a space that tries to be inclusive.
Limitations of ownership stem mostly from a world in which the rest of the world is shocked and sometimes tries to divert your success, so many reps ask, “oh are you the owner,” “Oh cool you are a business woman…” LOL,  I never feel like a business woman I feel lucky that I have been supported by a community… I guess sometimes I wonder if men think that they made a community and women feel like they have contributed to one. I imagine it is a bit of both, but as a female I feel fortunate that my world isn’t limited by perceptions of white male success. I can fail freely as much as I can succeed freely…

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CHANTAL SAVARESSE

My name is Chantal Savaresse and i’m the owner of Tomahawk Salon in Bushwhack, Brooklyn. I’ve had my own business for close to 20 years.

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First as a yoga and massage therapist in both Europe and the United States. I started by running a studio out of my flat in Prague, Czech Republic 1996-2001. I offered small and private yoga lessons to ex pats and worked with The American Health Clinic as a massage therapist. After 9/11 I returned home to NYC and worked freelance as a massage therapist in the Upper West Side. I decided to open a brick and mortar store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn the fall of 2005. I called my shop Femme Fatale focused on vintage and noir style clothing. It was the sexy, experimental part of me. I sold bullet bras, 60’s schoolgirl dresses, lipstick vibrators, prim and polished nostalgia. My mon helped me 3-4 days a week while I continued to see my clients. In 2009 i shuttered my shop to focus on opening a hair salon. I went back to school for barbering and within a year I was ready for Tomahawk Salon. We opened in 2010 in The Loom with just 2 stylist me and Kristin. By 2011 I was ready to let go of my old career as a therapist and move forward full steam with Tomahawk.

In the short time we outgrew our space took over another storefront and expanded. Our location was a bit of a hardship we lacked autonomy and had a municipal waste plant directly across from us. In 2013 we closed down in The Loom and moved down the street. Today I employ 4-5 women. Tomahawk isn’t just my shop but also the ladies that help me day in and day out. I guess thats the biggest difference I started solo and the greatest gift has been running the salon with these ladies. My journey hasn’t been difficult. I always knew I had to create the world I wanted to be a part of and working for someone wasn’t for me. I need the flexible to call my own shots, listen loudly to my music, to be my own boss lady. It’s never good enough, the shit hits the fan  often but at the end of the day i’m pretty damn happy. 

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DAILISHA EVE RODRIGUEZ 
My name is Dailisha Eve Rodriguez. My business is Hey There Beautiful Inc. 
The positive aspects of being a business owner are having the freedom of choosing upcoming projects. It is fun to see something go from an idea to the outcome. Furthermore, people make being a business owner fun.

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Meeting new dynamic people with different views, opinions and backgrounds is such a treat. For me, there are no negative aspect of being a business owner. I only see the opportunity to make things better and grow from the lessons I learn on a day to day basis. There are no problems in the world, only opportunities!

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NATALIE FRAGOLA

Business: Obra Obscura : textiles, pattern, design.

There are many challenges running a business and maybe even more being a female business owner. After a couple 9-5’s within the fashion industry, I knew I was not meant for that world. However, I did not know what world I was meant to be in. It is very empowering to say “fuck it…I am just gonna start somewhere and just see where it leads me.” Male or female that is positive.

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The number one negative thing to me as a female trying to build my business is equal pay. I also rely heavily on social media, networking, and events to get new clients and advertise my services. Unfortunately all those outlets and opportunities are superficial. People love good looking people, sex still sells, and I feel torn on how to get my foot in the door if it is not for sheer talent and respect. I desire to show my work and not my face and see if I can still win over clients, acquire projects and get more press. In order to not get wrapped in the whirlwind of negativity and inequality, I find that having a good mentor, surrounding my self with strong, like-minded, and inspiring women is extremely rewarding. Female strength is very enduring and yet still very nurturing.

(photo by Joe Miller )

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JOI SANCHEZ

My name is Joi Sanchez. My business is Art LovHer LLC. An artist co-operative that focuses on supporting independent artists in the creation of autonomous platforms of visibility and economic opportunity. With a primary focus on women, queer, and black/brown identified artists, we have existed for almost 4 years in New York City.

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As a woman who owns a business, the greatest challenge by far is being taken seriously by my male counterparts without being a “typical female”.  I operate heavily in hip hop culture which is heavily dominated by men. Even the most enlightened men, often unconsciously, challenge the validity of a woman operating in this culture. However, I found that when you are about your business and focused, following up, being a woman in this field can be a great advantage as well. You are something unexpected. You often have outside the box ideas that pique interests. People will often [try to] steal your ideas without giving you credit. If you’re doing a good job, it will be noticed even if you never hear the compliments. Once you gain the respect of male counterparts, they listen and take your feedback into consideration this changing the culture. My advice is have patience, stay focused, and don’t listen to the haters.

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BLUE JUNE

The Broom Closet : Magical Cleaning Products & Cleaning Service in Bushwick/Bedstuy

When you’re starting a small business you tend to lean on those that have experience in entrepreneurship.  Not everyone is ready to take on the risk of advocating a magically minded maid and the pitching process is a challenge when speaking to certain men about the concept of my company.

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In our first year we have locked in our market and are growing each day which is a great deal due to the endorsements we receive.  When other small businesses show you support by recommending your services, it’s the best platform you can ask for.  When I started out I read over and over how female business leaders fail to support one another.  I’ve been amazed and so grateful for the supportive women who have been down this road that still play an enormous roll in the growth of my company.

product line available at Catland Books

 

We will continue to interview more women based on this theme as well, so please contact thelivinggallery@gmail.com if you’re interested!

“Tight in a Bud” A Solo Exhibition by Cheryl Georgette @ Alt Space

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”― Anaïs Nin

Alt Space is pleased to present “Tight in a Bud,” Cheryl Georgette’s first solo exhibition featuring innovative live music photography, collage, and mixed media. Edited using analog techniques and developed in a dark room, these portraits depicts the raw energy of live performance.

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Alt Space Brooklyn
41 Montrose Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11206
Opening Reception Oct. 9th 7pm-9pm
The show will run from Oct. 9th to Oct. 23rd

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Meet Artist Liene Bosque

I first met Liene Bosquê while she was working on her installation Suspended Memories at Point of Contact Gallery in The Nancy Cantor Warehouse at Syracuse University. She took time out of the installation to talk to my graphics and communications class about her work as an artist. Bosquê is a Brooklyn-based artist originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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She started her training in Brazil where she majored in architecture and also received a BFA.  She then went on, spending time on a specialized program in Portugal before moving to Chicago to work on her MFA in Fiber and Material Arts. She didn’t do a lot of gallery exhibitions during graduate school, only starting after she moved to New York.

When she first came to New York, she obtained several residencies, that allotted her free studio space for 2 years. Afterwards, she moved to 56 Bogart, but was located in the center of the building with no windows or natural light. The second year, she moved into a shared space with 3 other artists and tall windows. 56 Bogart is a large 4-story warehouse that was remodeled in 2005 and converted into artist lofts and gallery spaces.

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Liene’s work focuses a lot on mold making, her favorite medium, but she is always experimenting with different mediums and techniques that she incorporates with her work. In regards to mold making for her sculptures, she spotlights the idea of the positive and the negative where in the mold is a negative space and the object after its creation, becomes positive space. She is also interested in how the materials experience multiple state changes during the mold making process. For example, with plaster, it comes as a powder, then water is added to create a liquid, and after it dries in the mold, it becomes a solid.

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When working in these different mediums, space often becomes an issue. For her project at Syracuse University, she needed to rent out a kiln from a Williamsburg ceramic studio to complete her vision for modified Syracuse China plates. Afterwards, the installations are often stored at her studio space in crates piled high up to the ceiling. Because of the site-specific nature of many of her works, they don’t always transition well into a different space. There is more of a powerful relation to the space for some pieces. Other times only certain aspects can be used, but the works can have a life outside of the original space being reincorporated into new installations. Sculpture does not sell as easily as other works either, so mainly, her work is made for the sake of making, with grants and residencies supplementing her income. Periodically, collectors have purchased work, mainly in Lisbon and Sao Paulo.

With Liene’s work, due to the lack of salability, she mainly works with non-profit galleries and museums. Periodically, she is invited by curators who have done studio visits or seen her work through her artist residencies, but this may take some time for them to reach out to her, sometimes over a year. For the most part, she is constantly submitting for exhibition opportunities as well as writing grants and applying for residencies at least twice a month.  When asked how much time is spent doing applications, she stated “more than the fun part of making stuff…about 50/50 doing art and doing administration.” After a moment, she corrected herself “60 percent work and 40 percent art.” Bosquê is responsible for managing all of her own administrative work, personal marketing through facebook and other social media, and updating her website. This sometimes leaves her with little time to experiment with new mold making processes, the downfall of a DIY approach, a necessity nonetheless.

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For the most part, non-profits or artist run spaces do not offer any stipend or supplement expenses, but commercial galleries will on occasion. One of her biggest hurdles is transporting her work, which can become very costly. She also needs to hire helpers with certain projects. She pondered whether “it is worth it to pay to work” in the case of her art. She tries to avoid shows with no budget, unless they’re particularly important and/or she is using light and easy to commute works that can go on the subway or fit in a cab.

Bosquê supplements her income by teaching sculpture classes part time at a local arts center in Brooklyn. Her part time work allows her to have more studio time to work on what she loves doing, making art. One of the most interesting points she brought up in our interview was the lack of community that she experienced at 56 Bogart. While there are many artists and gallery spaces, she never has the opportunity to interact with her studio neighbors except at big events like Bushwick Open Studios. The downfall of that though, is that when there are big events at the warehouse, she is usually there showing off her own studio space, and is unable to leave to check out anything else.

One area that she has found a strong sense of community with is New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). NYFA offers an Immigrant Artist Mentoring program, where she started out since she was an immigrant from Brazil, and worked her way up to becoming a mentor to other immigrant artists. She has really enjoyed the experience working with artists who are coming to live and work in the US for the first time and also help for them to continue doing art even though their transition might be tough. Bosquê continues to enjoy making art, helping others make their own art, and tackling any challenge that she may face.

Image credit: Point of Contact Gallery

By Anna Kovach

Native Bushwick: A Bushwick Art Crit Event

The most recent Bushwick Art Crit Group, which took place at Brooklyn FireProof’s  ‘Temporary Storage’ gallery space, was host to the theme #nativeBushwick. Founder Christopher Stout states that “Even before Bushwick was a media darling neighborhood, there were a lot of REALLY AMAZING artists in our community! [Native Bushwick is about] celebrating and learning about the work of artists who are notably born in Bushwick!”

The four presenters for Summer Session ONE were Danielle De Jesus, Noel Hennelly, Jendog Lonewolf, Bianca Perez, and Anthony Rosado.

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Anthony went first and discussed his collage work and discussed how windows and skin colors are a major theme in his works.  He states that “whiteness and eurocentricity wrap around the earth for a fabrication of normalcy.” He also discusses one piece entitled Flesh Tint in reference to the paint color which shows a collage of two European white men with white thumb prints on top of the image and states that that color is “not my flesh tint,” and that the picture represents people “planning for a future of whiteness.”

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Next, Noel Hennelly, who was a 3rd generation Bushwick native talked about her tint pieces and how she interprets changes in the city as waves of different cultural institutions move into the area. She considers the bleakness of the urban landscape that she experienced growing up but also how there is “hidden life and possibility in the bleak urban desert.” She also gets a lot of inspiration from the Spanish poet Garcia Lorca, and in the diverse way she gains inspiration, there are just as many facets to her work. She paints over her own photographs incorporating animals as totems that turn into “beautiful morphologies.” She ends her talk reminiscing about the values and concepts of an‘ideal landscape,’ which for her is Switzerland. Happily she states, “The sound of music backdrop is a real place!”

Jendog Lonewolf took the state after Hennnelly, starting out with an insight into her life as a “teaching, touring, hip hop photographer, moment catcher, ghetto ambassador.” She works in photography and has several interesting ongoing series including one focusing simply on trash piles in NYC and another just of people’s feet.  She’s also done photo work in Sri Lanka after the war. She then also picks up the theme of gentrification in Bushwick. “I’m not against change, just destruction,” she says as she leads into a performance piece on gentrification called “Brooklyn Beats.” She ends the performance with a plug to her online presence @ilovejendog.

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“I hate public speaking,” says Bianca Perez, who had her photography on the screen. All of her pieces were untitled images that focused on themes of alienation and the concept of jamais vu, being a stranger in an unfamiliar landscape.  She focuses her lens on physical structures and how buildings function when gentrification becomes a space issue. “A driving force of change is space, and natives feel imposed upon,” she laments upon the construction of new buildings. Her camera angles suggest a witness/voyeur viewpoint and she does not do any form of photo editing on her pieces. When thinking about living space, she often ponders the question ‘what is it like to live near a river or a cottage in the woods?’ When looking at her work, one must consider ‘what is it like to take over someone else’s space at the cause of gentrification?’

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Last, Danielle De Jesus talks about her photography and personal fight against gentrification in her family home.  She’s been doing photography since 2008 and seeks to document “the Bushwick I know and love so much” while also reflecting on life in Bushwick prior to the influx of gentrification as well as ideas focusing on nostalgia, home, and place.  She has had a particularly tough experience with gentrification, in that her mother’s landlord tried to buy them out. She stood her ground and was able to help her mother keep her home.  After sharing a private photo of her family gathering at Christmas with someone, she did not receive the comments she was expecting.  The photo showed her family smoking and drinking and playing with the kids, and the viewer felt it could be shameful to represent one’s family this way, but De Jesus strongly disagrees. She ends with reiterating how important it is “to share your story how you want to.”

Bushwick Art Crit Group is a monthly gathering that is free and open to the public.

More information here: bushwickartcritgroup.com

Artist information:

http://danielledejesus.com/

http://www.noelhennelly.com/

http://www.ilovejendog.com/

Bianca Perez on instagram: @yung_plath

Anthony Rosado on instagram: @anthonywash.rosado

BOS 2015 By Anna Kovach

Here is one woman’s view of BOS 2015! We’d love to hear yours as well! Contact us at thelivinggallery@gmail.com to submit! 

     Bushwick Open Studios 2015, was once again a full body experience. Friday night started out with the launch party and Seeking Spaces exhibition at Be Electric on Willoughby Ave, and a line that stretched down the block. Seeking Spaces was a multimedia art immersion with sculptures, video art, along side more traditional works by over 60 artists . Pine Box Rock Shop graciously hosted the open bar with beer donated from Brooklyn Brewery and a small 2nd floor room in the space was host to a digital photo booth by The Bosco that not only printed 4 small pictures, but also animated them into a looping gif file.

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Saturday was the busiest day by far, with swaths of visitors pouring into the various Bushwick train stops.  Community Day took place at The Maria Hernandez Park on Knickerbocker Ave and featured musical acts, live painting, circus performances, and also tables for local community organizations.

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The Bushwick Collective Block Party was also going on, just down the road between Troutman Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue. Local street artists were doing performances of live painting for new mural pieces in the neighborhood (one of its main attractions). 17-17 Troutman is a large building full of artist studios and one of the most popular stops for visitors. Each floor has lots of studios to wander in and out of, where you can see many different types of artists and makers.

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House of Yes also had a reopening celebration, with performances of all types throughout the day. 56 Bogart was also another time consuming place to visit, again with each floor of a large warehouse housing studio spaces and galleries. Live performances by Matthew Silver and friends went on outside. Local darlings Roberta’s Pizza hosted an outdoor Art Party where one could drink, nosh on pizza, and wander through a maze of art under a large tent.Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 9.43.27 AM

While there were just as many studios and galleries open on Sunday, the lack of the block party drew in less crowds. The spaces thatwere open felt much more low key and relaxed in the knowledge that it was the last day in a long art intensive weekend. Bushwick Open Studios is one of NYC’s largest arts events and each year outdoes itself. Between Friday and Sunday, I walked close to 20 miles.

BYO ART AT The Living Gallery

BYO ART AT The Living Gallery

I was able to volunteer for The Living Gallery 2 days in a row to assist artists hanging their work on Friday evening and to promote the gallery on Saturday at Community Day. Bushwick’s street cred in the art scene is starting to rival that of galleries in Manhattan. I look forward to seeing how it develops over the coming years.

 

My name is Anthony Rosado

1) Please tell us a bit about yourself, where you’re from and what you’re passionate about!

My name is Anthony Rosado and I am a Queer Afro-Puerto Rican born, bred, and living in Bushwick, Brooklyn. This neighborhood is my passion. It has been and still is my only connection to my Puerto Rican-ness. As a second generation Nuyorican, I spent my high school and college years accessing every resource possible in effort to learn my native language and cultural history. Following my graduation from Trinity College in Hartford, CT I moved back home to Bushwick. The careers I accessed post-college privileged me to afford to live in this rent-spiking neighborhood.

 

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As I create and curate in my community, I engage with native domestic businesses, community organizations, and new arts collectives to bridge connections within our community. I have faith that through unity and solidarity we will be able to comprehend negative effects of gentrification, ideally working together to dismantle outcomes like the physical relocation of native residents, tax breaks for luxury homes, and the erasure of the hirstory of a culture that worked hard to culminate the Bushwick we communally inhabit.

Most importantly, the passion driving my creative and curatorial forces are youth. Specifically, Bushwick youth. They are inherently the future and it is up to us to remind them of their value. Furbished streets, homes, and businesses in response to the presence of a white community within Bushwick will reduce feelings of value for youth who’ve lived in our community pre-furbishment. On top of the Eurocentric education we had to learn, Bushwick was for me (and I’m sure it is for native Bushwick youth today), and still is, the sanctuary that holds my connection to my Puerto Rican-ness.

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I believe through conversation, honesty, and love we will cultivate a New Age for Bushwick that considers and offers to resources & aide to all members of our community.

2) What do you think some of the positive things are that exist in Bushwick right now? (art, humans, events, organizations)

My abuela is still here, living on the same corner I grew up on: Wyckoff & Greene.

I have met incredible organizers & artists who are down for bridging the community (The entire Make The Road NY staff, Julian Padilla, Bianca Perez, JenDog LoneWolf, Danielle De Jesus, Jazo Brooklyn of Bushwick Vendors Market, Jordan Melendrez, Nyssa Frank, Lindsay Cornelio, Kunal Gupta, Christopher Stout, Sarah Quintor, and many more names I can’t remember at the moment). These humyns affirm my hope for the New Age of Bushwick.

Summer is time for the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Although Puerto Rican communities who attend the annual event have depleted by the hundreds in the past eight years, those remaining still engage with the Parade.

Summer in Bushwick is the most positive. It is time when people are out, able to encounter one another and bridge connections. Our connections encourage access to all spaces, native & new, in Bushwick.

3) What are some important things that people who just moved into Bushwick should be aware of? 

In effort to raise my own awareness on changes that happen within our community, I ask myself “What do I not see?” Much of our perception of place is considering that which we see day by day. When visiting new galleries & cafes & restaurants, what do you not see?

If I do not see native members of our community and/or or black & brown bodies in either of these spaces, I ask myself “Is this space inclusive in its efforts to invite all of the community it resides in?”

 

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To raise my awareness further, I ask myself “What is the hirstory of the community I live in and directly affect?” I then seek to learn it.

Most importantly, I ask myself “Does my existence harm more than help the community I live in?” I think about the ways I engage with and fight for my community.

I love Bushwick. Ask most native residents and we will tell tales of a Bushwick not too long ago, that was enriched with black & brown bodies unable to afford rent elsewhere, so they made it home.

4) What advice would you tell someone who has lived in Bushwick his/her whole life and feels anger toward the newer residents?

I would tell her/him, “I understand. I feel you. The reality is we can not go back. We can not kick them out. We can not relocate families who have been moved out, and find the ways to aid them in affording the current Bushwick prices (We can do this, of course. But it would not be fast enough.). There are now apps to find apartments, and Vogue has deemed our community 7/15 ‘Coolest Places to Go in the World’.

As condos pop up by Myrtle-Wyckoff and luxury homes with tax breaks name themselves ‘Colony 1209’, we need allies.

I believe if you take the time to consider their lack of knowledge of the way Bushwick was before the day they moved in, then they will consider your feelings. If we share our stories, they will inevitably gain knowledge of what Bushwick was and a glimmer could spark in their eye.

This glimmer is not similar to the one they had when they decided to move to Bushwick. This glimmer shines light upon a New Age of Bushwick, one where we work together to make sure the remaining families, community centers, and native businesses are not gentrified from their home.

I know it is scary. If we are vulnerable to them about our experiences, I believe they will gain courage enough to vulnerably confirm their privileges with those who are similarly privileged. This affirmation of privileges will increase their awareness on they ways they directly impact our community.

I believe through patience, a deep breath, and inherent love for each humyn, we can really listen to one another.

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Listening will incite a revolution of natives & allies. One aiming to dismantle the negative effects of gentrification and live up to the now popular slogan “Bushwick is a Movement!” Listening will also lead to more conversation, which will expand all our knowledge on the many restaurants, galleries, community centers, and all other spaces in Bushwick we have access to.

Have patience. I have love for you, and I am here for you.”

5) What advice would you tell someone who just moved here and wants to be a part of the community, both old and new?

I would encourage them to ask their selves the questions I ask myself (response 3).

I would encourage them to support native domestic business.

I would encourage them to encourage new businesses to hire native residents, so we can return to a flow of capital from the community for residents within the community.

I would encourage them to get to know their neighbors; to have patience with residents who feel animosity; to make a large effort (in light of the negative effects of gentrification) via baking cookies or inviting neighbors to a barbeque.

I would encourage them to learn Spanish. There are free classes at Make The Road NY and many other organizations in Bushwick.

I would encourage them to refrain from exotifying the name of Bushwick further. If your organization, collective, or magazine uses the word “Bushwick”, please make clear the ways in which your organization, collective, or magazine engages with all members of the Bushwick community. What does it do for the community of Bushwick? Let the name be more than cultural capitol. It will pain me to see Bushwick as cool as Williamsburg and the Lower East Side, which also experienced a mass depletion of native Latin@ & Black residents.

I would encourage them to consider Bushwick before the population of Latins & Black peoples. Italian peoples fully populated Bushwick pre-1940s, however they fled as soon as the community’s population of black & brown bodies increased. Prior to the Italians, the Dutch were native to Bushwick. The land we live on has strong hirstory, wherever we are in the world.

I encourage the value of the importance and relevance of all our ancestors’ hirstories.

I encourage you to consider inherently having love for each humyn you encounter.

6) Tell us about some of your own projects, past and future!!

I curated a live performance, visual, & multimedia art series in November 2014 at Make The Road NY on Grove & Knickerbocker. It is titled Universal Humyn Love and will return to Make The Road NY late June 2015 (exact date soon to be posted on my website).

I am curating an Artist Lecture Series at Brooklyn Fireproof on June 17 in collaboration with Bushwick Art Crit Group. The series will present work by Native Bushwick Visual Artists.

I am curating a live performance, visual, & multimedia art series in collaboration with 7 artists at Loisaida Center in the Lower East Side early June (exact date soon to be posted on my website).

I am performing a solo curated by Jaamil Kosoko of ‘Dancing While Black’ for Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance’s ‘Boogie Down Series’ at 8pm on May 1st and 2nd.

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I am in the process of continuing to collaborate. Please stay in touch through my website:

http://www.anthonywashrosado.com

Circle and Line: Response to “Vivo Vitro Silico Sitru” at American Medium

by Conor O’Brien

Images are taken from Zak Davis’ exhibition, “Vivo Vitro Silico Sitru,” at American Medium, which is on display until Feb. 12th. Information on the exhibition and gallery can be found here

Gray Candle I, Zake Davis, 2015

Gray Candle I, Zake Davis, 2015

Rainwet soil beckons a luminous line from the sky. So intense and sudden, and so suddenly evaporated, it leaves a visual echo upon innereyelids; a red vein glimmering in darkness, the first bloodconsecrated separation. It is the crease where flesh first splits with mud; mud still clinging in obstinate streaks, in rolling lines from eyevertices that cleave cheeks, a chiaroscuro of being and oblivion. It is the deep, mudblack furrow from which shivering senses sprout: the body girds itself, retreats into manageable proportion and clenches to shape, moves toward separateness articulated. More than an awakening, it is the first that waking is felt as other than sleep, life other than dream.

Gray Candle Pair, Zak Davis, 2015

Gray Candle Pair, Zak Davis, 2015

Blue Candle Pair, Zak Davis, 2015

Blue Candle Pair, Zak Davis, 2015

Through the dimness of newborn sight we follow this bright diameter–linear division of the round and freeflowing, lightsource driving nothingness into a separate hemisphere, foretaste of future machinery–in exodus out of the dark.This diameter produces a fire that shaves forest, disrobes earth, and bares fields to meekly curl with grain and grass, shy fantasies of past abundance. The same fire by which we are spliced into shadow and light, two bodies defining each other–the one a skyward tangent, the other earthbound and pointing toward Night.

t-foam, Zak Davis, 2015

t-foam, Zak Davis, 2015

Wellspring, Zak Davis, 2015

Wellspring, Zak Davis, 2015

From intestinal oblivion a cloven tongue emerges, presses its shape against the cold pane of Night, and, clicking, licks the air. At once it is the Articulator, the cradle of speech, where dark, guttural noise is assembled into syllabic sense; as well as the Perceiver, the seat of taste, smell, and sight, whose million buds sip the atmosphere, whose belly licks the soily Earth. It is an ovoid rotating on its axis between twin natures, Perception and Articulation, incubating until a thin crack splits its surface. The chaotic mass within the ovoid is blanketed with the outterworldly, shapedefining light that filters through this opening, a luminous line bisecting the circular sky.

Wellspring, Zak Davis, 2015

Meet Danielle De Jesus, born and raised in Bushwick Brooklyn

1) Please tell us who you are, where you’re from and what you do!

My name is Danielle De Jesus. I was born and raised in Bushwick Brooklyn in what is known as Killerhull (Woodhull hospital) by locals. I am an artist working in various mediums including photography, painting and Etch a sketching.

DanielleDejesus_TLG4

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2) Please tell us about your mother’s fight for her home, along with any advice for someone who might be in a similar position.

My mother and I moved to Jefferson Street when I was 4 years old. I lived with her on Wilson ave from birth until then. It was during my senior year of high school in 2005 when we first started noticing the changes occurring. A few months later my neighbors and friends all began being bought out of the building and the surrounding buildings. $5,000 was what they settled for. Consisting primarily of very low income immigrant latinos, it seemed like a good deal at the time, but I refused to let my mom settle for it. I knew something was up, and I wasn’t going to let her give in so easy. Then after months of the slumlord calling and randomly showing up at our apartment asking when we were going to move, harassing us constantly, upping his offer, court dates and fighting, my mom was able to stay in her apt. With the help of the city and free legal aids, she is able to stay put. Although, still today, Mr. Slumlord calls occasionally asking if she has found a new place and offering a larger sum of cash, only to get the phone hung up on him.

DanielleDejesus_TLG

 

3) Could you tell us about the sign you made in your window and its effects? 

I once put up a lime green poster on my mother’s window that read “STOP GENTRIFICATION” and the definition of gentrification. For two months the slumlord could not rent the empty apartment that was next door. He then took my mom and I to court, where I made his lawyer look like a complete jackass, The judge decided that it was totally legal for the sign to be there as long as it was not on the front door of the building. My mom later made me take it down due to being overwhelmed with stress from the slumlord dirtbag.

 

4) What are your own personal struggles regarding gentrification right now? You described to me feeling somewhat torn regarding where you are currently living, could you elaborate on that?

Wow. This one is quite complicated for sure. I currently live in a building that would be considered a product of gentrification. Although my mom still lives in her apt, I myself have lived in three other locations in the past few years that would be considered gentrified. Before moving into my current location in Ridgewood, I lived in Bedstuy for about 4 months. Even though it was just 3 blocks away from the hospital I was born in, and 8 blocks from where I grew up, it was completely new to me. Growing up on my block, you knew which streets and areas to avoid, and this place was one of them so it was completely different to me. Living there I got to feel exactly what the new comers into my neighborhood must have felt. I was the enemy. Even my own people, Puerto Ricans of the area, side eyed me and snickered when I passed them. I felt so out of place and unwelcome, not to mention super unsafe. But speaking to some of the elders from the area, I realized that they were feeling exactly what my mother and I felt. It wasn’t  that we didn’t want to clean up the area, it wasn’t a racial thing, it was more of a comfort and cultural thing.

This was a place that was ours, where we knew every face within a 6 block radius and beyond, where we could knock on our neighbors door if we needed adobo or a roll of toilet paper, where we knew exactly where all of our spices were in the supermarket and could actually afford them. It was home. The problem was our environment changing and losing the culture that existed. Bodegas turning into swanky bars, supermarkets blaring english rock music instead of Salsa, Cops being called because we were “too loud”, not knowing who lives next door because they move so frequently, feeling uncomfortable in our own home, thrift shops where families would shop for their children because they couldn’t afford new clothes are now filled with over priced “Vintage” trash. I mean, how could there not be tension? It’s tough for me now though. I feel that I’m in this place where I can’t fit in with old Bushwick, but I’m supposed to. I’ve been told that I am “trying to be white” because I dress a certain way, skateboard, and have a decent job. I now find myself in this weird identity crisis because I know that I am Bushwick, everything about me IS Bushwick. I can turn the “hood” on real quick if I’m angry haha! But, I know that I am looked at otherwise. Most of my friends now are the new kids in town; artist, musicians, and one of my closest friend’s is an engineer. So I’m stuck in this place where I don’t know where I stand anymore…

DanielleDejesus_TLG_2

 

5) What advice would you give to someone who just moved into Bushwick, regarding being a positive member of the community?

I would advise you to keep your nose leveled. Don’t act like you’re better than those around you because I’ve seen it happen way too many times in the supermarket, even to my mom, and had to avoid smacking the shit out of someone. Be part of your community. Talk to the locals and befriend them. I mean that’s a street smart rule that goes way back to old Bushwick and probably any hood. Also, support your local shops that were there before you and any places that are already established with the community.

 

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6) What advice would you give to someone who has lived in Bushwick all their lives, regarding being a positive member of the community?

Know what you’re capable of doing. You can do ANYTHING that you put your mind to and are passionate about, trust me, absolutely anything. Think becoming the first latino president from Bushwick is impossible? Think again… Take advantage of every single resource you can. Free education is everywhere for us. Don’t think you can get into college? bullshit. Don’t think you can get into the college you dream of because your grades suck, give me a break! I got rejected from FIT 3 times before I got in. My grades were trash in H.S so FIT was not having it. I had to go to community college for a year, make connections with great mentors at the school even before I was accepted and even negotiate with the dean of the photography program before I was finally accepted my last try. Nothing is impossible and if you want to stay in Bushwick, hold your own. Educate yourself on what is happening, not only in Bushwick, but NYC in general. Stay focused on your goals regardless of how others see you and make things happen the way you intend them to.

7) Please share any last thoughts!! 

Thank you, The living gallery, for being so open to the community and making yourself a part of it by working with locals and opening your doors to us.