Bushwick Open Studios — the neighborhood-wide gallery event for Brooklyn’s increasingly fertile art scene — was in full swing last weekend. People who live in Bushwick got the rare chance to see a lot of art without taking the subway, and people who reside in other parts of the city had permission to visit that mythologized land that’s supposedly home to New York’s edgiest young artists.Bushwick can sometimes feel dominated by turgidly DIY art. There are legitimate homages to arte povera among the Bushwick painters who use spray cans and the sculptors who use Styrofoam in their work, but it’s hard to blame viewers who get inured to this, and by the end of the day, you’re almost begging for something grander.
In this context, the wall-size oil paintings of E. Thurston Belmer are a breath of fresh air. Check out a selection of his big, dark, ambitious work, full of solemn references to Rembrandt and Tulp, after the jump.