Halfway through the first of three sold-out shows that constitute the American debut of FKA twigs’ “Congregata” stage show last night (May 17), a group of dancers from New York City’s long-standing ballroom drag and voguing scene took over the stage at Sunset Park’s Brooklyn Hangar. Naturally this burst of energy kicked off with a bit of shade: “Did twigs say she was coming to New York?” their ringleader asked, incredulously. Adorned in varying states of glittering glamour ranging from full drag to low-cut onesies and corsets, these male dancers served up impressive aerial spins and drops, battles driven by hand performance, and plenty of catwalk realness. It was a respite from the show’s stunning high-wire eroticism, and yet the voguing break served to underline the most intoxicating element of twigs’ music: a sense of longing. The crowd still wanted to go deeper with twigs.
If you’re living in New York, you probably spent yesterday and today curled up with a novel — or, if you don’t have the attention span for literature that’s quite so extensive, perhaps you curled up with a Chipotle Cup. You’re also probably wondering, after so many curled up hours, why a massive chunk of the state was shut down for what was not nearly as much snow as was expected from Winter Storm Juno. You’re probably upset that you couldn’t gleefully make snow-people and have snowball fights without somehow feeling like you were dishonoring the utter gravity of reporters’, mayors’, etceteras’ warnings. For those who obeyed and stayed indoors, you can vicariously experience all the literal ups and downs of snowstorm reporting through the miracle of the Internet. We all know there’s nothing better than watching strangers fall on their asses in the snow.
For decades, New York City has been a place for artists, dreamers, families full of hope, and those still stumbling to find their way. Photographer Peter Liepke, whose work we discovered on Faith is Torment, wanted to capture the feeling of arriving in the city for the first time and the awe the landscape inspires. His series Above & Beyond, currently on view at Gallery 270 until January 17, might be his most personal yet:
After growing up in suburban Minnesota as an artist, like many before me, and many more who will continually arrive in NYC each day, we embrace the challenge of wanting to broaden our lives by moving into a bigger arena. For this series I wanted to go back and attempt to remember my feelings or first impressions upon arriving in NYC as an outsider for the first time well over twenty years ago.
What makes Liepke’s work so striking is his platinum/palladium and gum bichromate processing. The techniques add an otherworldly feeling to a city that embraces so many different people every day.
There’s nothing more to be said about NYC’s general scrubbing-up and watering-down that took place during the Giuliani and Bloomberg years. We’ve all generally accepted that New York (Manhattan in particular) is headed toward upperclass oblivion. And these new (somewhat NSFW) photos by Arlene Gottfried, taken during the ’70s and ’80s (and compiled in her book Sometimes Overwhelming), show a New York that is just generally more interesting than anything you’ll see on, say, Humans of New York.