Meet Arielle Avenia

1) Please state your name and a brief description of the amazing things that you do!

My name is Arielle, I currently have a full time job as a sculpture fabricator and designer for Sean Kenney, who is a fantastic Lego artist.

I have been running the project Aftermath Supplies at the Silent Barn with my friend and co-conspirator Devin Lilly. Aftermath Supplies is a center for recycled art materials– all the items in our “shop” are sourced from donations and salvage.

Arielle

We did that for a year, and now the Aftermath Space is transitioning into a space for sewing and screen printing. We decided that we are not shop keeps and are much more interested in interacting with materials rather than just storing them. We’ll teach some classes, have open studio hours, and provide services for folks using recycled materials.

I can’t wait to print show posters!!! And I’m still excited about diverting usable materials from the waste stream. Anything that is donated to us and is unused will be put out in the Free Shelf outside of the shop instead of selling it. We should be open for creating and commissioning in mid May.

aftermath free shelf

I also do sewing work for Kae Burke, co-owner of House of Yes and main proprietor of Make Fun Studios, when she gets big projects. She’s about to start costuming for a 90’s punk space rock opera, so that will be really fun.

I’m in the process of preparing drawings for two different and somewhat gigantic mural jobs for Paint the Town, started by Nicolina , but that is kind of on the fence.

Currently, I’m part of a group show called “Resonance” at Headscapes, a warehouse in Long Island City at 26-19 Jackson Ave. I helped with the installation in the front room: The Bank of Mutual Interest, it kind of looks like a mix of a botanica and a really nice check cashing place. We practice money magic through gifts of currency, cleansing currency, and “canceling” current. There is fake money on display and work from a few different artists that are studies to be possibly made into “artbacks”- artist made currency. The closing party is on April 27th, everyone should come check it out!

I also just started working at the farmers market in Fort Greene.
So… things are a little insane. PHEW. I’m sure that I’m forgetting a few things, too. I wish sleep was optional!

When… If… I ever have time again, I really enjoy making costumes for special events and have been getting into quilt work (all from recycled materials, obviously!) I love textiles and I’m psyched to get back to my knitting machine to make some crazy sweaters for next winter.

Arielle Avenia New Quilt

2) How do you balance your creative life with the need to sustain yourself monetarily?

I free-lanced for the longest time, never had a job in NYC longer than 4 months. So I realized to pay the bills I had to become really good at being a worker and was doing pretty much any job that was offered to me. I’d save as much money as I could before quitting ’cause the work was shitty or depressing or getting fired because my boss was probably an unpleasant person or maybe the job would just end. A few times that coincided with meeting some great people and getting sucked into working on an amazing thing with them, and going full speed ahead since there was no work to get in the way… that felt great. But now I have a full time job doing fun and creative Lego model building. It’s totally sustainable to my mental health and just a great work environment in general!

Recently, I just took a month an a half to visit Florida to learn some tailoring from my 85 year old grandmother and to experience New Orleans during Mardi Gras. So I guess I’m still doing the same stuff, just have more money to do it with now.

In general I do a lot of things I love and they also happen to pay me, so I feel lucky, but I also worked really hard to get to that place.

3) How does it feel to work within a complex and extremely prolific collective that is Silent Barn?

Sometimes it can be extremely frustrating to make yourself heard among a collection of ~60 people. But it’s also fantastic because there are people who deal with the things that I’m not interested in or capable of facilitating. For example:  booking shows with obscure female screamo bands from the other side of the US, finding someone to reroute the electrical wiring so that we have enough power in our studio, and finding a trash company that will take all of our weird huge art trash. So the collective is really inspiring in that way.  People have taken it upon themselves to care about things like that on a volunteer basis and they do an amazing job! Meanwhile, I’m tinkering around in my little office sorting bags of beads or taping tinsel onto the ceiling ’cause apparently that what I care about.

It’s also second home, I can go there at any hour and there’s gonna be someone that I want to talk to or someone that was hunting me down anyway to fix their pants or whatever. And in general, I’m pretty honored to know all those people and that they like my art enough and trust me enough to give me actual physical real estate there. I’ve met some great people through running Aftermath Supplies the last year and there are always shows that bring new faces around, you never know who will show up.

4) What do you think are some of the negative elements that surround the current Bushwick art community?

Rising real estate prices? Bad or generally mediocre art? Probably lack of spaces to show a variety of art work (spaces dedicated to art rather than music) or curators to facilitate such shows.

But to be honest, I kind of feel like I’m in a bubble with all of my stuff going on- maybe everyone else is too and that’s a negative thing. I think it’s also weird that people move to Bushwick to “be an artist”, you can live wherever you want and make art.

5) Recognizing the evolution of art communities such as the East Village, Dumbo, Chelsea and Williamsburg, how do you foresee Bushwick’s future? Do you see it following a similar path, or creating a path of it’s own?

It seems like there is a formula in place with those other parts of town.. the artists move in where it’s cheap ’cause we’re poor and accidentally make things more things interesting, then all these flip-flop-wearing random want to go where it’s “cool”, the end. And, well, a few months ago there were some vacant lots at the end of my block and now there are these mammoth ugly grey buildings that will add at least 150 people… and that’s one block. Friends are getting evicted, DIY spaces are closing, condos are being built, I don’t know.

Then there is the whole rezoning of big parts of Bushwick to allow for high-rise buildings, which a lot of the community was in a uproar about. I don’t know what else to say- words are powerful and I can only really relate what I’ve seen and not try to speculate but it’s not looking that good. If and when all of Bushwick becomes a Starbucks Disneyland Outfitters, what can you do? Artists have a history of having to move their community and adapt when the prices get too high- we do it well and that part won’t change.

6) With all the publicity that Bushwick is getting, what do you think is being unsaid?

I’m not an expert on this stuff. I think the point has been made by many people that Bushwick is an old neighborhood just like any other place in NYC and people becoming displaces because of gentrification is real. I’m sure some families have been really screwed by the influx of 20-somethings rushing to live here, but on the flip side, I think there are many folks who own buildings and businesses that have greatly benefitted.

7) How do you envision yourself influencing the future?

Through the current efforts and projects and communities and individuals I put stock into at the timebank.

8) How does it feel to know that the artwork you make will outlive you?

Assuming that it does, I guess I feel OK about that. I’ve made a LOT of stuff so it’s pretty possible that after I die there will be some stuff hanging around.

I’ve been less interested in visual objects and more interested in wearable/tactile pieces, installations, temporary art, facilitation/co-ordination/mutual-aid based projects than anything else for the last 4 years. So that way, through working with people I meet, making things to interact and live with and actively enjoy and create memories around, I think that is how my work will outlive me.

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REVIEW: The Peripheral World: Lost and Wandering Thoughts Inspired by “Rubberneck” at Lorimoto Gallery

Written by Conor O’Brien, Living Gallery

Images are taken from the “Rubberneck” exhibition at Lorimoto Gallery, featuring works by Caroline Larsen, David Livingston, and Kenjiro Kitade, on display until March 23rd. Larsen creates paintings of burning vehicles in a distinctive, pixelated style. Kitade makes ceramic sculptures of nightmarish, vaguely humanoid beings. Video documents Livingston’s performance series “Big Dick,” in which the artist wears cartoonishly engorged, fabric genitalia in various public settings.

Caroline Larsen

Caroline Larsen

How much our experience is clamped into some form; how much we are directed down certain streets, in certain directions, toward certain destinations; how much even where we look, where we turn our gaze, toward what we focus our attention has been predetermined. Can we even fathom the extent of it? Great pains have been taken to ensure wandering is limited. Wandering in every sense: physical wandering and mental wandering are intimately connected. True wandering cannot and does not exist. At all times a person must be made to feel they are going somewhere, even (especially) if they have nowhere to go. For this reason, the brush is cleared, the wilderness is mowed down, the stars are read and from them new borders are woven westward, streets are painted with lines and arrows, stop signs, traffic lights, one way, do not cross, a blinking geometric mechanism that spins you in circles and makes certain you and your thoughts never stray far from its gravitational hold.

Kenjiro Kitade

Kenjiro Kitade

A person must always be made to feel they are accomplishing something; in every task there must be the element of progress. From the moment we exit the dreamstate, all of our energy is expended in the expectation of some goal. To feel a release of energy, however slight, that is not leashed to purpose, which floats off directionless and dissolves into a void, is to feel lost. And feeling lost is forbidden, not just by some external force: it is forbidden to ourselves by ourselves. We cannot imagine a feeling more deeply horrible than that; it produces our most troubling nightmares. This feeling is poignant, of course, because we sense it at the core of every task we undertake: that everything we do is just a distraction, obscuring something horrifying yet purifying that we simultaneously avoid direct contact with and try to access by indirect means.

David Livingston

David Livingston

We can accept anything as long as it has some explanation, but we will not allow senselessness, pointlessness, or uselessness, at least not for too long. There is a grace period where the senseless thing captures our fascination (in this case, the usual response is laughter), but beyond that it is excruciating, and then there must be an attempt to return it to the horizon of our understanding, to obscure it with explanation. Everything that we can see, we are allowed to see. If there was anything we weren’t allowed to see or weren’t allowed to discover, then we wouldn’t see it and we wouldn’t discover it. Or there would at least be extensive damage control after it was discovered (though perhaps even this is merely theatrics). A new discovery is always brought back into an existing framework of thought; it is always explained in a way that reaffirms (again and again and again) an existing belief system. Again, this is not necessarily done by some oppressive outside being: once we internalize a belief, value, or moral system to the extent that it determines the purpose towards which we expend energy, we will be quick to explain to ourselves how everything exists within the context of these systems to never have the feeling of wasted energy/ being lost.

Caroline Larson

Caroline Larsen

What does the scene of a car crash reveal to us? What is the meaning of the phenomenon of “rubbernecking,” so universal and seemingly necessary? When we approach the dissonance of a car wreck, we can not help ourselves: we have to look. As children we face the scene directly and with unashamed curiosity. As adults, it is usually indirect: in the peripheries of our vision where all manner of spectacle is secretly indulged. The car crash is an absolute absurdity to us: a violent waste of energy, an attack on the apparatus of sense to which we are harnessed. All the more so because it is “accidental,” because there is no ideology attached to the violence. Why are we permitted to see something so dangerously contradictory? In some countries, there are efforts to hide car accidents from onlookers, yet this cannot be done all the time and most likely wouldn’t be even if it were possible. It is necessary at times, for those who are concerned with such things, to let people witness the whole system in action. Immediately after the car crash, the system’s invisible dimensions announce themselves and descend upon the contradictory, senseless thing in order to contextualize it, in other words restore order to the situation. Such states of emergency or transgression are necessary in order for these invisible dimensions to make themselves known, to flex themselves, and we are allowed to view the initial scene of senseless violence because we are then able to witness the system at work, the restoration of peace and safety. The car accident, which in itself has no purpose or ideology, is then implicitly recontextualized as a warning, a warning to anyone who would transgress the system. It is made to serve as a reminder of how much we depend on this system for our safety and comfort; a reminder that what lies beyond the system is chaos and violence, and woe to those who wish to wander (physically or mentally) outside it.

Kenjiro Kitade

Kenjiro Kitade

Kenjiro Kitade

Kenjiro Kitade

The bottom falls out and we feel lucidly that we are falling, in the suffocating grip of vertigo. We feel, more acutely than ever, the contraction of the muscles, the harmony of the organs, the rush of blood to the heart and brain, the electrical flare of the neurons and nerve-endings that produce thought, that create the world, the full orgasmic release of energy: but to what end? where does it go? The whole exhausted edifice has shrivelled up, flaccid, detumescent. We have sunk below the surface. We have wandered too far. Even the solid reliability of our own bodies has suddenly dissolved somewhere. But where? We are for the moment conscious of the costumes, the sets, the whole noisy, colorful theater that obscures our blindness. The unacknowledged world we quarantined to our peripheral vision has descended upon us without warning. Our cataracts have disappeared and we are now facing the Peripheral World fully for the first time since our birth. Pause for a moment and glimpse the horrifying boundlessness of experience. For once let us look the situation square in the face, before the lucidity abates and we are deposited back into the solid world. Now we have a chance to build up from scratch new forms, new societies, new systems. Newer and better. Not that they are “better” in any objective sense, but they are better simply because they are new, because they are different, because they necessitated the destruction of the old forms, old societies, old systems, because this whole process keeps the world in a state of perpetual momentum and upheaval and revolt.

Caroline Larson

Caroline Larsen

All photos on this post are © Conor O’Brien 2014

Gallery Location: 1623 Hancock St.
Hours: Sat & Sun 1-6pm
Contact: info[at]lorimoto[dot]com

REVIEW: Synthetic-Organic Delirium: Thoughts On and Around “For Thinkin’ Long and Dark” at English Kills Gallery

Written by Conor O’Brien, Living Gallery

Images taken from Brent Owens’ show “For Thinkin’ Long and Dark,” at English Kills Gallery until March 30th

"For Thinkin' Long N' Dark"

“For Thinkin’ Long N’ Dark”

In the shadow beneath everything there is this seething discomfort that pushes outward, forever toward the sun. The city relegates domains to nature, parks and sidewalks where grass and trees sprout seemingly from some organic core, but this is purely nostalgic. They are planted on top of the edifice, and while they bend theatrically toward sunlight beneath a shallow coat of soil, their stunted roots tickle numb pavement.

"Flamin' Dogs"

“Flamin’ Dogs”

A city park is a great potted plant, a safe expression of that groaning core muted under countless leagues of steel and hollowed earth, muted but not subdued. The city is humanity’s indulgence in confusion manifest. The impotent desire to escape nature and the body that ends only in a synthetic recreation of the body, and nostalgic oases of nature.

"A Tourist Everywhere I Go"

“A Tourist Everywhere I Go”

The buildings we filter through, where we live and conduct our daily rituals, are an expression of corporeality cast in brick, rubber, and steel; abstract and geometric, but still distinctly bodily. And in the hollow spaces, the tunnels, the pores, the moist and dark pockets of the city, organisms sprout and spawn.

"Pale Blue Finger"

“Pale Blue Finger”

This constant, intimate interaction of live flesh on blind stone produces a masochistic delirium: the desire to be split open and spilled over sunheated cement; to release upon rock and brick that throbbing pink core, inverted and all nerve-endings; to fill every dead crevice and corner with living, fertile material; absolute sensory pressed against absolute numbness, synthetic-organic fused: this is the experience of city life.

"Flesh Wreath

“Flesh Wreath

This urban pastiche of materials organic and synthetic comes through in Brent Owen’s work. All of Owen’s sculptures use wood as their base material: stumps, driftwood, branches form the core of each piece.

"Leviathan"

“Leviathan”

The synthetic-organic interplay comes through by various means: in some pieces the wood is carved and painted to resemble neon lights, and a neon effect is recreated by shining an outside light-source on the sculpture;

"Butcher's Block"

“Butcher’s Block”

Several pieces resemble large tapestries, one even extending past the wall and curving onto the floor in the manner of fabric;

"Nightbird"

“Nightbird”

Other pieces, while retaining the original shape of the stump or tree branch, are painted and decorated with various objects (eagle decals, hawaiian leis, toy eyeballs, jewelery, etc.) in such a way that the forms enter the realm of the surreal.

"Out of the Sky"

“Out of the Sky”

Even when the objects are not expressly representing the body or human figure as in the case of “Flamin’ Dogs” and “Flesh Wreath,” even when they remain abstract or free associative there is still something vaguely corporeal about them, with their wrinkled, veiny exteriors, protruding limbs, and gaping orifices. “Out of the Sky” resembles a giant heart or stomach; “Mystery Cave,” while resembling a normal tree stump on the outside, has a fleshy, pink, and bejeweled interior.

"Mystery Cave"

“Mystery Cave”

The mixture of (usually dead) organic material with synthetic material is present in most kinds of art, but in Owen’s work, this association has been foregrounded. The dead organic material is given a new corporeality, a revived organic form, in part by being brought into contact with inorganic material, especially those which are associated with the body, as in wreaths, jewelry, piercings, tattoos.

"The Misfit"

“The Misfit”

Piercings and tattoos are significant in Owen’s work partly because they call to mind an everyday microcosm of a larger synthetic-organic co-evolution: to fill skin and veins with ink, a synthetic blood; to open and expose the skin with metal jewelry.

"Beiber Loaf"

“Beiber Loaf”

When one pierces oneself, the skin first reacts negatively, becomes irritated, and retreats from the alien object. Then the skin heals and (unsuccessfully) attempts to fuse with the object, to adopt the object into its physiology.

"Wizard Stick 1, 2, and 3"

“Wizard Stick 1, 2, and 3”

The injection of new technology into daily life follows this path: the eyes grow fond of artificial light; the lungs acclimate to exhaust-laced air, the stomach, to digesting mass-produced chemicals; the spine contorts to fit the harsh geometry of its environment; the body, the blood is kept alive on electricity and synthetic medicine. In that great laboratory, the city, these newer, stranger permutations of the human form are spawned generation after generation; and the old generations, like Dr. Frankensteins, look with horror upon the unrecognizable creations they’ve reared into being: pierced with metal, filled with ink, and speaking a strange tongue, their brains throbbing with ideas fearless and unholy.

"Mancave"

“Mancave”

All photos on this post are © Conor O’Brien 2014

Gallery Location: 114 Forrest St.
Hours: Sat & Sun 1-6pm
Contact: info(at)englishkillsartgallery(dot)com

AROUND TOWN: Lots of exhibition openings!

LOTS OF OPENINGS AROUND BUSHWICK TODAY!

“Glorious Creatures,” an exhibition featuring artworks
by Jeff Davis, Deborah Mesa-Pelly, and Michael Wetzel.

Reception 6p-9p
Honey Ramka
56 Bogart St.
(646) 401-4431

Adam Simon: Swipe
Reception 6p-9p
Studio10
56 Bogart Street
(718) 852-4396

“PAST/FORWARD”
Reception 6p-9p
Amos Eno Gallery
1087 Flushing Avenue, Suite 120
(718) 237-3001

AZETTAGH
Reception 7p-10p
OUTLET Fine Art
253 Wilson Ave
(915) 525-0410

Reva Castillenti | Corporeal Digest
Reception 6p-9p
et al projects
56 Bogart Street
(914) 498-8328

Things That Barely Exist by Pancho Westendarp
Reception 6p-9p
Robert Henry Contemporary
56 Bogart St
(718) 473-0819

X-istential
Reception 6p-10p
Loft 594 Gallery
594 Bushwick Avenue
2nd Floor
(305) 205-9722

and a performance at
Grace Exhibition Space
“BODY/MASS” Performances
by Faith Johnson, Nyugen E. Smith,
Geraldo Mercado and Thomas Albrecht
Curated by Samuel Burhoe (with Jill McDermid and Esther Neff)
Doors 9:00 Performances 9:30-11:00 pm
Donation suggested $5-15
840 Broadway, 2nd Floor

AROUND TOWN: Amos Eno Gallery Launch Party

Launch Party

Amos Eno Gallery

has moved to
The Loom, 1087 Flushing Ave, Suite 120, Brooklyn, NY 11237

and TODAY

they are having a Launch Party
starting at 6:00pm

to celebrate the new space and their 40th anniversary!

Contact: AmosEnoGallery@gmail.com

The text/image from their Facebook Event Page:

Amos Eno Gallery is hosting a party to celebrate their new home at The LOOM in the vibrant Bushwick art community on Saturday, January 18, 2014! The launch party will include the premiere of “I Shut My Eyes,” the second collaboration between Bushwick-based filmmaker Steven S. Harrington (crew, MGMT, “Alien Days”) and New York-based experimental music group Small Dream Ada. The event is sponsored by Société Perrier and will feature live music from Small Dream Ada’s co-founders Alaina Ferris and Tyler Gilmore, followed by the debut of the video for “I Shut My Eyes,” and concluding with a DJ set curated by Gilmore.

Launch Party

RSVP on their Facebook Event!

AROUND TOWN: Two Openings! One at BFP East and Auxiliary!

“Big Strokes and Tiny Lines”
Opening today at Brooklyn Fire Proof East

Location: 119 Ingraham Street, Brooklyn
Hours: http://brooklynfireproofeast.com/about/
Opening: 7:00pm and 10:00pm
Contact: events@brooklynfireproof.com

and

LISA LEVY: “Everyone is a Winner”
Opening today at Auxiliary Projects

Location: 2 St. Nicholas Avenue, Space 25, Bushwick, Brooklyn
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00pm to 6:00pm and By Appointment
Reception: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Contact: auxiliaryprojects@gmail.com

TONIGHT: Drink and Draw!

at The Living Gallery

from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

TONIGHT

Every Wednesday we have a Drink & Draw event!

We provide drawing materials: pencils, charcoal and paper
(Feel free to bring your own supplies if you like!)

We provide a model and drinks, and sometimes we have live music, or poetry as well!

If you would like to perform or model email us @ thelivinggallery@gmail.com

Drink and Draw 2013

RSVP on the Facebook Event!

PS: Don’t forget about Jennie Penny’s Drawing 101, happening from 4:00pm to 6:00pm today, too!