We had quite the snowstorm here in New York on the same day I had to travel to Brooklyn for an Art Opening. Lovely. As much as the snow and wind created an unfortunate commuting experience, it did also make for an opportunity to take some nice photos. Pedro’s Mexican Restaurant, located at 73 Jay Street, at the corner of Front Street, is illuminated by exterior lights that change color in rotation, and I stood still just long enough to snap this photo just as the lights were turning Pink! Excellent.
As the world becomes more and more competitive, it’s easy to lose sight of one’s goals and aspirations. This maze-inspired piece references the difficulty of navigating life, especially in a city like New York.
Presented by the New York Department of Transportation’s Art Program and the DUMBO Improvement Project. Photographed on Front Street just east of Adams Street in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
In September of 2103, NYC-based design firm Sagmeister & Walsh was commissioned by the DUMBO Improvement District in partnership with Two Trees Management Co and the NYCDOT Urban Art Program to paint two 80 foot long murals on the walls of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway underpass, on Jay Street in Dumbo. The firm collaborated with renowned Japanese illustrator Yuko Shimizu and created two large typographic messages to sit on the facing walls. A fierce Octopus and its tentacles form ‘Yes!’ on one side, and a graphic black and white version (not shown) covers the opposite wall. Both murals were hand painted by Coby Kennedy.
Artist Mary Sweeney’s Honeybees reflect her fascination with insects. These two meticulously rendered Mandalas produce a complex aura that alludes to the mystery surrounding the disappearance of beehives, and how their disease imperils all life on Earth. The lacelike rendering of the stilled bodies rekindles their steady droning, if only in the memory of the viewer.
Last Thursday, Stephen Romano Gallery lured me away from my familiar haunts in the Chelsea Gallery District all the way to DUMBO, Brooklyn for its new group exhibition, Mysterium Cosmographicum, featuring works from over 30 international artists on the theme of the artist’s relationship to the cosmos. Seriously, how could you stay away from that? I’d been invited to the opening reception by one of my favorite local artists, Eric Richardson (I am proud to own two of his paintings in my collection) but I was super excited once I got to the gallery to see both Colin Christian and Kris Kuksi, two other fantastic artists whose work I always like to support, participating in the show.
Mysterium Cosmographicum presents a selection of works that demonstrate the variety of responses to the notion of the divine cosmos. I noticed a lot of Outer Space-themed art, and also a lot of art with religious iconography on display and I think the two are not mutually exclusive.
Included in the list of internationally active artists with work in this exhibit are Shonagh Adelman (Brooklyn), Steven Baines (Brooklyn), Dan Barry (Austin TX), Jana Brike (Latvia), Paul Campbell (Brooklyn), Judy Chappus (Windosr, Ontario), El Gato Chimney (Italy), Mahwish Chishty (Pakistan/Chicago), Colin Christian (Tampa), Edward Robin Coronel (Austin), Matthew Dutton (Chattanooga TN), Sonya Fu (Hong Kong), James Gallagher (Brooklyn), Limor Gasko (Brooklyn), Teiji Hayama (Switzerland), Alessia Iannetti (Italy), Jumaadi (Australia), Lu Ke (Brooklyn), Tine Kindermann (New York), Pavel Kraus (Brooklyn), Kris Kuksi (Kansas), So Youn Lee (Los Angeles), Joel Lorand (paris), Rene Lynch (Brooklyn), Abby Martin (Washington), Heiko Müller (Germany), Matt Nolen (Brooklyn), Peca (Barcelona), Eric Richardson (New York), Ray Robinson (LaHavre), Gromyko Semper (Manila), Masae Shimoichi (Tokyo), Martin Wittfooth (Brooklyn), and K.B. Yung (Portland ORE).
Here are more of my favorite pieces from the show:
The show also includes cosmographic euphemera from throughout history such as plates from Andreas Cellarius’ Harmonia Macrocosmica from 1660 and several works by America’s earliest visionary artist Charles Dellschau (1830 – 1923). The exhibition features several vintage astronomical vernacular photographs, space pulp paintings from the 1960’s, hand-drawn star maps from 1800’s, works by visionary artists William Blayney (1918 – 1985), A. Fiorelo (dates unknown), Romeyn De Hooghe (1645 – 1708), Darcilio Lima (1944 – 1991) and William Mortensen (1897–1965).
Stephen Romano Gallery is a new addition to the DUMBO arts community, having opened its doors in April of 2014 with the favorably received inaugural exhibition, Welcome To The Dreamtime.
Mysterium Cosmographicum will be on Exhibit Through August 30th, 2014 at Stephen Romano Gallery, Located at 111 Front Street, Suite 208, DUMBO, Brooklyn.
Art By Matthew Dutton
With her compelling use of bright, fluorescent colors and her mix of both hard (steel, plexiglass) and soft (fabric, felt, pleather, elastic) materials, artist Susan Stainman creates minimalist sculptures that maintain an original feel while hinting at other influences. In her new exhibit, Color All The Way Through at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, Stainman reveals her work’s roots in late 20th Century American Art, Craft and Architecture along with her fondness for childlike creative impulses. It’s a fun show.
Existing in the realm that merges contemporary art with design (any of Stainman’s works would look great placed among the furnishings in a modern decor-filled home), pieces like Three Triangles, with its bright, reflective, angular surfaces recall the neon and glass works of Keith Sonnier.
Stainman’s incorporation of sewn fabric may or may not be an homage to Louise Bourgeois, but it’s pleasing to imagine that reference, intentional or otherwise. Her desire to explore the texture and tactility of fabrics is certainly exciting.
This cluster of ruched fabric “bowls” fitted with bright plexiglass windows is a centerpiece of the A.I.R. show and reminded me very much of the sculptures of Charles Clary from his show at Nancy Margolis in January of this year.
Circular Plexiglass Group #2, Close Up
Susan Stainman has participated in nearly a dozen group shows but Color All The Way Through is her first solo exhibit. It is worth the trip to DUMBO to check it out. Visit Susan’s website at This Link.
Susan Stainman’s Color All The Way Through will be on Exhibit Through June 22nd, 2014 at A.I.R. Gallery, 111 Front Street #228, DUMBO, Brooklyn.
It’s always fun to stumble upon public works of art. When I saw photos on the web of Tom Fruin’s Watertower – which looked like a Mondrian painting in the sky to me – I knew I had to see this gorgeous sculpture in person.
According to the artist’s website, Fruin, who often works with “reclaimed and discarded materials, has composed Watertower from roughly one thousand scraps of plexiglas. It includes such details as interior and exterior access ladders and an operable roof hatch. The locally-sourced plexi came from all over New York City — from the floors of Chinatown sign shops, to the closed DUMBO studio of artist Dennis Oppenheim, to Astoria’s demolition salvage warehouse Build It Green! NYC. Illuminated by the sun during the day and by Ardunio-controlled light sequences designed by Ryan Holsopple at night, this beacon of light is a tribute to the iconic New York water tower and a symbol of the vibrancy of Brooklyn. Watertower opened June 7th, 2012 with daily light shows beginning at dusk and continuing to morning.”
Geoffrey and I headed out to Brooklyn early yesterday evening with an idea to catch the sculpture both in natural daylight and perhaps also after dusk, since it is illuminated from within by artificial lighting and obviously looks amazing. We took the 8th Avenue line from Manhattan to the first stop into Brooklyn (High Street – Brooklyn Bridge) and walked north toward the water as Cadman Plaza turns into Washington Street, and Washington then Ts off into Plymouth street, where you’ll find the beautiful, riverside oasis known as Brooklyn Bridge Park, just adjacent to the Manhattan Bridge.
Viewed from the ground, the Water Tower can be best seen from the park, but be aware that you won’t be able to get as close to it as you would think by these photos, which were taken with a zoom lens. And because the Tower is on top of a building, it disappears as you get closer. But it’s totally worth the price of a round trip subway ride and there are tons of cool little boutiques and restaurants, as well a thriving gallery scene, in that neighborhood, so why not make it destination trip one day this summer?
Tom Fruin’s Watertower will be on display until June of 2013. Situated on the rooftop of 20 Jay Street, the sculpture is viewable from the parks and streets of Dumbo, the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, FDR Drive and Lower Manhattan.
Photo Courtesy of TomFruin.Com
Note: In 2014, Fruin installed second glass water Tower at 334 Furman Street in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
I took these photos on July 22nd, 2018, while stand near Pier 6 and facing east. This tower will also be lit up at night!