Tag Archives: 190 Bowery

Brett Amory’s This Land is Not for Sale: Forgotten, Past and Foreseeable Futures at Jonathan Levine

CBGB By Brett Amory (All Photos By Gail)

Creating haunting representations of iconic LES storefronts, California-based artist Brett Amory puts a surrealist spin on paintings done in the classic style of Edward Hopper.

Economy Candy
Economy Candy

Jonathan LeVine is currently hosting Amory’s third solo show at the gallery, entitled This Land Is Not For Sale: Forgotten, Past and Foreseeable Futures, and it is pretty sweet.

Economy Candy Detail
Economy Candy, Detail

In This Land is Not For Sale, Amory paints a visually gorgeous protest against the transformation of New York’s famed Lower East Side into a gentrified wasteland — something that you will hear NYC natives and long-time residents moan about on a weekly basis, as one landmark neighborhood treasure after another gets bulldozed to make way for a Starbucks or faceless chain store.

Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery
Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery

Brett Amory first earned international critical acclaim for his Waiting series: urban settings such as London and San Francisco portrayed as lonely abstracted landscapes of vanishing human assertion.

Cup & Saucer
Cup & Saucer

Pyramid Club
Pyramid Club, Still Located on Avenue A

This new series offers viewers an insider’s historical road map of East Village radical underground sensibility, from ABC NO RIO and The Nuyorican Poets Cafe to the headquarters of The Catholic Worker, The Pyramid Club and even Moshe’s Bakery.

Amory not only captures the breathtaking physical presence of these neighborhood landmarks but also movingly conveys the sense of the artist as witness. By delivering a painterly personal testimony and protest against the disappearance of these businesses, his work is an example of painting as real-time archaeological retrieval.

190 Bowery
Germania Bank at 190 Bowery

The artist’s foremost achievement in paintings, drawings and installations has been to document evolving personal, existential and political credo into masterfully rendered, aesthetically transcendent works of fine art with broad cosmopolitan appeal. In This Land Is Not For Sale he gives his most pointed evidence yet of his urgent need to merge his personal and social consciousness with the unsparing aesthetic demands of his art.


This one is my absolute favorite.

Katz's Deli
Katz Deli

Old School Flyers

In conjunction with the exhibition, Amory has installed a faux construction site underpass leading to the gallery to parody the constant sledgehammering of gentrification. The show will also include the documentary ‘Captured’, the story of LES legendary photographer Clayton Patterson, as well as a display of LES posters and other neighborhood marginalia.

Mars Bar
Mars Bar

Brett Amory and Fan
Brett Amory chats with a fan at last week’s Opening Reception

Brett Amory’s This Land is Not for Sale: Forgotten, Past and Foreseeable Futures will be on Exhibit Through November 14th, 2015, at Jonathan Levine Gallery, Located at 557C West 23rd Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Brett Amory Signage
Levine Exterior

Block Drugs
Block Drugs

Inside The Germania Bank Building at 190 Bowery

190 Bowery
All Photos By Gail

When we showed up outside the former Germania Bank Building at around 6:30 PM on Saturday, May 16th, fully expecting to be admitted to Vito Schnabel’s First Show Last Show one-night-only art event taking place inside this mysterious landmark, we found the sidewalks adjacent to the corner of Bowery and Spring clogged with disappointed scenesters who already knew what we were yet to be told: that the much hyped-up-the-ass event had been cancelled.

Fortunately, we had been at Frieze all day and were too exhausted to give much of a shit. Plus, there were other things going on — this being New York City — and we ended up having a pretty fun night on our own.

Front Door

The following Monday, I read online that those wishing to view the exhibit could email Schnabel’s office and request an appointment for the hours of Noon to 6 PM, Monday through Friday, with Monday May 25th being closed for the holiday. Pretty non-user-friendly hours for anyone with a day job, but I sent off my request for “5 PM on Friday May 22nd” and then promptly forgot all about it, until I saw an email in my box at 10 PM on Thursday, saying that I had an appointment for 2:15 PM the next day. Let’s just say, I made it work. And Geoffrey came along with me, because a once-in-a-lifetime experience like this really needs to be shared.

Misc Graffiti

For those of you who don’t live in NYC, and therefore don’t know the legend of this iconic building, 190 Bowery was originally built in 1898 to house Germania Bank. The century old building is known for its neo-Renaissance detailing, such as the arched windows and ornate outer facade, which, for as long as I can remember, has been covered in graffiti and street art.

Hands with Tongues

Art By City Kitty

This is, I think, the main reason that everyone who has walked past it assumed that the building was long abandoned. Who imagined that this was once NYC’s largest private residence?

Exterior Wheatpastes

Photographer Jay Maisel bought the building in the mid 1960s and has lived in it with his family ever since. In the decades that I’ve lived in NYC, the building has appeared lifeless and was perpetually shuttered, shrouded in deep mystery — until Masiel sold the place last year to real estate developer Aby Rosen, and it suddenly started making the local news. Rosen’s plans to lease it out as office space or turn it into Condos has made everyone who aches for the preservation of old New York a bit sick to their stomachs. It was Rosen, along with Julian Schnabel’s son, Vito who hosted the show.

Art By Dylan Egon
Art By Dylan Egon

Here’s what we saw once we got inside.

Main Room View from Door

This large room was used by the Maisel family as a basketball court, hence the yellow and black tape on the floor.

Basketball Court Detail

The hoop formerly hung above the door, but has now been taken down. The floor is a mix of natural polished wood and its original ceramic tile mosaic. The wood “court surface,” I imagine, was added to facilitate game play, but maybe not. The largest pieces of art in the show were in this room.

Art By Joe Bradley
Untitled (Diptych) By Joe Bradley

The above painting was installed at the top of a small fight of stairs that lead, well, nowhere, really.



But doesn’t this look like some kind of vault? I think so.

Staircase Finish

The interior’s original finishes and fixtures look like they haven’t been updated in fifty years: like the owners moved in and lived in the building “as is.” That tells such a rich story right there.

Post Continues After The Jump!

Continue reading Inside The Germania Bank Building at 190 Bowery

More Of Mr. OneTeas’ Wack Donald’s Project: Yoda and Pooh Bear

Mr OneTeas Yoda and Pooh Bear
Photo By Gail

Mr. OneTeas Wack Donalds-ized version of Yoda and Winnie the Pooh were found still clinging to the exterior of the former Germania Bank located at 190 Bowery (Corner of Spring Street), which was the private residence of photographer Jay Maisel for the past 5 decades before being sold to developer Aby Rosen, despite claims that the building had been Buffed of its Graffiti, in preparation for being turned into the World’s Largest Starbucks.