Friday, June 08, 2012

Bushwick's Self-Awareness and The Telethon for the 1%

A while back I had been asked to comment on how the Bushwick scene differed from the Williamsburg scene in which our gallery had begun. I was quoted here as saying the Bushwick scene seems more "self-conscious," but since then I've wondered whether I should have said "self-aware."
To be honest, I'm still not sure. 
Holland Cotter pens a thoughtful and thorough response to New York's latest artist-driven scene in today's New York Times. In it he echoes the thoughts I have about why Bushwick feels different from Williamsburg and why it's confusing as to whether the scene feels self-aware or self-conscious:
But what does frontier mean anyway? Does it — should it — mean something about the kind of art being produced? It meant that in SoHo in the 1960s and ’70s, with the emergence of new media (video, installation, sound art), and in the East Village of the 1980s, which could claim an apocalyptically minded post-punk aesthetic, not to mention Neo-Geo.

But since then art has professionalized and industrialized. Schools pump out artists; artists pump out vast amounts of art. The market, as embodied in art fairs, has become a bulk operation, favoring the smooth-selling tried and true — painting, sculpture — over experiment. An ancient avant-garde model of the artist as creature of high ideals, messy habits and no expectations has been revised to accommodate competitiveness, personal polish and an agenda for professional success.

To what degree those elements shape artists’ lives in Bushwick today I can’t say. More than once during a recent gallery and studio walkabout I had the sensation of being in a giant M.F.A. graduate show, with all the cautious, self-conscious formalism and too-tight ideas that implies. At the same time, the general atmosphere was school-like in a good, utopian way: people working side by side, artists enjoying other artists, Manhattan a mere mirage in the wide Bushwick sky.
We'll be looking back at Manhattan from Bushwick this weekend. First, as Mr. Cotter notes in his article, one of our artists, Sarah Peters, is in a group show opening up at the always-smart Regina Rex. The reception is 7-10 PM tomorrow evening.
Also on Saturday, FIPCA (I still have no idea what that stands for) is hosting the first-ever, star-studded (seriously, check out this list) Telethon for the 1%:
On Saturday June 9th, 2012, FIPCA will present the first ever Telethon for the 1%. Help us help America by helping to put America’s top back on top. Proceeds will benefit those who need it most, those whose tireless efforts have made America the shining pile of success that it is today. We believe that the 1% are hurting and if you’ve been reading the news, you know times have been tough for them [...]

FIPCA believes that helping the 1% will keep their golden shower trickling down.  Give us your money to give to them to give to back to you.

Tune in from 10am to 10pm on for an unforgettable roster of entertainment live from the stage of Momenta Art in Brooklyn, New York. Luminaries of the art and entertainment world will be waiting by the phones to take your money.
Yours truly will be presenting from 8:15 to 8:30 pm. Tune in...and be prepared to dig deep to support this worthy cause! The yacht you save could be yours (to get a job washing dishes on, guarantee...there are 300 resumes ahead of manage your expectations...I mean really...).


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