Cold and rainy weather, obscenely bad public train service, great art!
Okay, the train service in Brooklyn was really bad this weekend. Talk to the artists community in the Gowanus Canal section of Brooklyn, who had worked so hard to publicize a large constellation of open studios (AGHAST) this weekend. As if a shrinking economy isn’t bad enough, the trains/shuttle bus service to an area already poorly served by public transportation was so bad that some artists were forced to stuff themselves with the piles of the crackers and cheese they had set out for guests and drown their sorrows in Makers Mark – by 3 p.m. Saturday… Not mentioning any names out of respect for their mothers.
Similarly, just traveling to Bed Stuy we had to take a train to a shuttle bus to a train and endure 3 hours of precious life under flourescent light just to get around the People’s Republic of Brooklyn on Saturday night. Grumpiness subsided when entering the warm gallery and shooting to the back yard to score a beer. In the grey heart of urban cold darkness this show is a bright surprise that warms you up, although my phone pics are bad.
In the street art-to-gallery transition of the urban art/street art/graffiti art continuum you never know for sure if an artist can make the jump. Peru Ana Ana Peru did the jump in flying colors.
Most followers of the current street art events can readily recount some missteps by some and total train wrecks by others – but we love you and try to be positive. Anyway, bad news travels faster than helicopters after a balloon boy these days, so we wouldn’t need to report it, would we?
Blissfully, Peru Ana Ana Peru gave a jolt to the happy crowd on Saturday at Brooklynite – and it was tongue-in-cheek to cheek in the gallery space. From the “Goat Check” with pinatas hanging on a clothes bar, to the video screens embedded in the already multi-media canvasses, to the formal portraits with faces scratched out with a pen-knife, pieces brought sly smiles among even the smart-alecs in attendance.
Adding to the excitement was a story circulating that their film entry into an International Film Festival competition had just been awarded first prize that day. Certainly their love for film was evident.
Overall it was a fun, snarky, witty, surreal, sexy, colorful show – aptly combining their various interests and moving them forward.
That night BSA received a nice vinyl piece by Street Artist Billi Kid:
A freshly silkscreened over stencil portrait of much loved street art photographer Elisha Cook Jr.
At first glance we thought it was a tribute to Chris Stain’s work, and certainly there are similarities between this and Stain’s depictions of the working people. But stencillists do have individual styles, and closer inspection reveals this to be true.
Says Mr. Kid, “Elisha Cook Jr. (AKA Allan Ludwig) and I have collaborated quite a bit on the streets as well as inside. He is one of my favorite photographers,” says Billi.
In fact you can see Elisha behind the wheel of one of Billi Kids’ favorite pink convertibles below:
Speaking of Chris Stain, he was busy putting up a piece Saturday night at “Art In General”
The fundraiser was to benefit the gallery and their artist in residence program. Art in General is nonprofit organization that assists artists with the production and presentation of new work. Also featured were works by Street Artists Cake and Cern.
The piece Chris did is of his son and his two friends from preschool last year. Says Stain, “I took the photo at the aquarium in Coney Island and adapted it to the urban landscape.”
Instead of aerosol (mostly because the fumes would have killed some of the guests who had just plunked down some bucks to support the place ) he used oil pastel and acrylic wash.
“I like this technique because it shows the texture of the wall, although it’s more labor intensive than spray paint,” said Chris. Luckily, he had some help from Kevin, Heather and Robin, and Art in General fed the crew. “It was good,” he said.
For more on the Peru Ana Ana Peru show see
PERU ANA ANA PERU COLORFUL ABSURDITIES AT BROOKLYNITE