New York City

How to Steal A Mountain: Links You Need to See

Artistic processes are manifold, and hierarchizing the way we create is futile: but artist Oscar Santillon literally did climb to the top to make a recent work of art: he took a piece of England’s highest mountain. Said accomplishment will provide an incredibly impressive line on a resume, but it’s also angered Cumbria Tourism, who wants him to return it. Regardless of the ultimate decision about what happens to this inch of mountaintop, not many other people can put “Mountain Thief” on their list of qualifications. The only artistic feat that may be more impressive is an entire book of poems about Kanye West. Which exists, and is available for purchase on Amazon. Do with that what you will. … Read More

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Finger-Paint Portraits of Patrons From a Times Square Bar in ’80s New York

During the 1980s, Times Square in New York City was a radically different place. A center for sex and sleazy goings-on, the city was economically depressed, and crime rates hit an all-time high. One basement bar in Times Square became a center for artistic expression during one of New York’s darkest times, Tin Pan Alley.

Named after a section of the city where music publishers set up shop, former Tin Pan Alley bartender Cara Perlman created a series of finger-paint portraits of bar patrons — including now-renowned artists like Kiki Smith and Nan Goldin. … Read More

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Intimate Portraits of ’90s New York City Squatters

During her time as an art student in 1992, Ash Thayer was kicked out of her Brooklyn apartment and found herself living in the See Skwat on New York City’s Lower East Side. Thayer photographed her fellow squatters as they lived and worked to make the community more habitable, learning about demo, electrical work, and more in order to build a home. The images are now part of the fascinating book Kill City: Lower East Side Squatters 1992-2000, the “true untold story of New York’s legendary LES… Read More

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WORDLESS! Art Spiegelman and Phillip Johnston on the Birth of the Graphic Novel

On March 13, The Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University will present WORDLESS!, a performance by artist, theorist, and historian Art Spiegelman, and American composer Phillip Johnston. The show combines a score composed and performed by Johnston with images curated and discussed by Spiegelman, who will present a tour of early “graphic novels” by artists like Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward, and Milt Gross. WORDLESS! will also feature new work by Spiegelman made specifically for this project. … Read More

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The Autobiographical Haunted House of Artist Alex Da Corte

Philadelphia-based artist Alex Da Corte, who celebrates his first major museum solo exhibition at MASS MoCA in 2016, has taken over gallery Luxembourg & Dayan’s East 77th Street townhouse for his newest installation, Die Hexe (“The Witch,” but for the artist it means “death of symbol”). Da Corte’s haunted house tableau references everything from his grandmother (who was a dollhouse maker), to the building’s former residents (The Mamas & the Papas), to Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s decadent 1972 film, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. The artist also joins his personal history with that of the art world. Die Hexe features cleverly hidden nods to artists like Mike Kelley, Robert Gober, and Haim Steinbach, taking visitors “on a journey through surreal interiors where familiar imagery and obscure biographical references mingle, repeat, trade places, and morph into new provocations that invite reflections upon memory, impulse, the stability of knowledge, and what constitutes value in a work of art.” Die Hexe will be on view at Luxembourg & Dayan through April 11. … Read More

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Remembering the Cool Covers of Cult Cinema Magazine ‘Psychotronic Video’

What started as a hand-written, photocopied weekly fanzine became a time capsule of horror, exploitation, and weird cinema. Psychotronic Video, self-published and created by Michael J. Weldon, was born in the 1980s as “an alternate guide to movies on local TV stations.” The definition of “Psychotronic cinema” is long and varied, but one look at the covers of Weldon’s zine, several of which we spotted on Dangerous Minds this week, and you get the picture. Think grindhouse, drive-in, and science fiction matinée. Along with Weldon’s famous reviews were interviews with cult filmmakers like Larry Cohen, Timothy Carey, and Radley Metzger. The Psychotronic Encyclopedia Of Film was published in 1983, before Weldon even owned a VCR. There was a Psychotronic store in New York City’s East Village for a time, until high rents forced Weldon out. He’s since opened a Psychotronic store in Augusta, Georgia — but Psychotronic Video lives on amongst fans of collectible cult ephemera. Head to our gallery for monsters, shrieking women, and nods to the coolest cult films in cinema. … Read More

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Arcade Fire’s Win Butler Made Coffee: A Barista Weighs In

On Friday, February 13, Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler helped lead his team to a 59-51 victory in the NBA All-Star celebrity game, scoring eight points and snagging 12 rebounds. The next day — Valentine’s Day — he popped into La Colombe Torrefaction‘s new Hudson Square location, brewed his own Haitian coffee in a Chemex, and served it to customers in small, demitasse-sized takeaway cups. As a professional barista, the juxtaposition was surreal to observe, though the results were mostly ordinary.  … Read More

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Romantic Tree Carvings in New York City’s Forgotten Forests

It’s a time-honored tradition to carve a lover’s initials into a tree. And you’ll often see the names of bands and random teen lingo carved into bark. It’s a romantic record of gleefully reckless youth and idyllic young love. Artist Mary Reilly uses photography, powdered graphite, and lead graphite on paper to commemorate these “anonymous small crimes of passion.” Her exhibition at New York City’s Garvey|Simon Art Access, which closes today, memorializes the tree carvings found within the woods of Alley Pond Park, Queens. The gallery writes of her process: … Read More

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Rare Photos of the New York City Punk Scene in the ’70s and ’80s

The progenitors of punk probably never imagined themselves in photographs that would be selling at art auctions, but the New York City scene during the ‘70s and ’80s continues to prove irresistible. Allan Tannenbaum’s rare “punk portfolio” is up for auction — and the kind folks at artnet Auctions gave us a preview of the images. From 1973 to ’82, Tannenbaum was SoHo Weekly News’ chief photographer and photo editor, covering art, music, and political happenings, capturing New York City nightlife at underground clubs like the Mudd Club, CBGB, and Max’s Kansas City. All the familiar players are featured in Tannenbaum’s set, including a very sweaty Iggy Pop, Sid Vicious being dragged off by the police, and a chic Debbie… Read More

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Breathtaking Neon-Tinged Aerial Shots of New York City at Night

New York City has been photographed in many, many ways: from above, from below, from street level, its traffic often held in an extended exposure to create that famed river of lights. Yet these photos by Vincent Laforet, which came our way via Storehouse, manage to do something new, their tilt-shift perspectives leveling the playing field and re-contextualizing the funhouse lights of Times Square. Laforet captures the symmetry and chaos of the nighttime city, the neon and geometry of which bring to mind a kind of futuristic cityscape from Sim City rather than an actual, real-life thing. More of Laforet’s work, some of which does not look at all like this particular project, can be found at his website. … Read More

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