john g. slaby’s slow summer macadam at deep space gallery.

This past weekend we attended the opening for John G. Slaby’s show “Slow Summer Macadam” at Deep Space Gallery and it was the highlight of our Saturday night.

I’ll go ahead and say it: Saturday was the best day of our collective lives in 4 years. Things are looking up! It was also a beautiful day weather-wise in the northeast. People were out and about, and they were PUMPED. An art opening was the perfect place to be!

And the art was GREAT. I’m no profesh and my opinion does not matter but as a casual art observer I was INTO IT.

skies.

Almost all of the pieces I really enjoyed had some aspect of a colorful sky in them. Like a super bright cloudless blue or a post-sunset twilight pink/purple. The paint colors for the skies took me to A PLACE.

animals.

Many of the pieces of art had animals! You know how I feel about animals, you guys. So each of the following pieces of art will come with an unsolicited personal story about an animal or two. You’re welcome.

Bats!

This one with the bats was my most favorite in the whole show. I LOVE THESE BATS. Maybe it’s because I’m still feeling a residual “spooky time of the year” feeling. It’s a good feeling to feel.

Part of the theme of the show was this nostalgia regarding growing up in a rural/suburban kind of place and being out and about with pals getting into trouble or wishing there was maybe just a tiny bit of trouble to get into but it was too boring for even that to happen. I guess that’s my personal interpretation of that kind of nostalgia. BUT part of being outside when the night falls and you’re hoping for some (good) trouble is that the bats start to come out! Like they’re flying around in their super fun erratic way and you’re like, “THE NIGHT HAS ARRIVEDDDDD!”

Also I just learned a bit about bats in a webinar I attended a couple of weeks ago that Wild Bird Fund put on. Completely unrelated to art but I learned some cool stuff about bats and what “torpor” means and what to do if you find a sleepy/injured/acting weird bat to help it. So like, I’m flying high on bats right now.

Bird nest and mouse!

My second favorite painting was this one of a “School” sign featuring a huge mess a bird made just by living there and a cute little mouse looking on in the bottom corner.

I just love how the bird nest is all haphazard and the bird(s) just went to the bathroom all over the whole thing. Because that’s what birds do. I love birds but they’re a huge mess.

It’s a super mundane every day thing, the bird mess on a public building, and I found a weird comfort in looking at that. Kind of like when I see pigeons roosting (also making a HUGE mess) under the awnings over top of bodega windows. Birds are just hanging out and watching us and making a mess. That’s their life.

The tiny mouse peeking in also made me glad. I currently have a mouse in my house and for now he’s my friend. He hasn’t eaten anything or chewed anything or even made a mess so I’m not mad at him. I also only see him once a week or so. Anyway I love the mouse. Yes, I knowingly live with a mouse. I SAID he stays out of the way. Deal with it.

The last of the animal friend paintings I noticed was this one that includes a TON of animal friends looking on.

I talked to Slaby a little about the animals and how much I loved them and he mentioned he included them because animals are always around and observing us. And he’s right! I love that. I don’t know what else to say besides, “I love that.” Hopefully that’s enough. Even in a city the animals are always around.

This painting looked like it had raccoons in it and I was like, “I have two raccoons that live on my roof and hang out on my fire escape!” Then I realized that sounds weird. Maybe. But then the artist was like, “Yeah raccoons are cool, they’re so BAD.” But like good bad because they are HILARIOUS and ADORABLE. I said the “hilarious and adorable” part inside my head but I feel we were on the same page regarding general raccoon bad-assery and I was pleased.

scary catholic.

“Scary Catholic” is a genre of art I invented and some of Slaby’s art in this show fit the description. Maybe I didn’t invent it. I don’t know. Google it.

There was a small section of “Scary Catholic” that looked different from the other art. I believe he said it was inspired by a childhood of Catholic school and altar boy duties.

The artist graciously welcomes chatting next to the Scary Catholic.

One of the pieces was a rosary made out of skateboard wheels, YOU KNOW I loved that.

But “Scary Catholic” is scary because Catholicism is scary to me. Religion in general is terrifying but Catholicism does a good job of making stuff look super creepy and sometimes bloody. But also very richly colored! Which makes it art!

This leather jacket is so badass but I’m still scared of the Jesus. Or whoever.

influence.

I’m totally going to paraphrase because I had a few drinks and didn’t write this down, but another topic Slaby was kind enough to discuss with us was the concept of influence and how certain ideas/cultures end up in places that seem unlikely. He talked about growing up near Wilkes-Barre, PA in the 90s before the internet as we know it now, and how it took “someone visiting their cousin in the city and then bringing it back” for him and his friends to learn more about skateboarding culture.

This was relatable, as I also lived in the middle of nowhere with limited outside influence and I remember the first time I made friends with kids from Bergen County at Rutgers and I was like “Where are they GETTING these clothes because I NEED them” <Goes to Garden State Plaza for the first time in 2004 and buys all of Bebe>. I mean skateboarding and North Jersey Mall Culture are two completely different things but like, I GET it. It has to come from somewhere, when you’re from nowhere. And that was a mind blowing thing to make art about.

macadam.

I should have asked about this as well but I had no idea what “macadam” meant. I googled it just now and it says “Because of the historic use of macadam as a road surface, roads in some parts of the United States (as parts of Pennsylvania) are often referred to as macadam, even though they might be made of asphalt or concrete.” So I guess that makes sense. There was one piece that was very… road inspired. PS Pennsylvania is HAVING A MOMENT right now.

I really liked the texture!

And I guess you do need asphalt/concrete/macadam for the skateboarding. As I’ve said before I’m a skateboarding admirer to the core but I don’t REALLY know anything about it.

So that was the show! I also got these really fun skull stickers. Not part of the show, but now part of my life.

John G. Slaby’s Slow Summer Macadam is at Deep Space Gallery until 11/29. Slide into their DMs on Instagram at @deepspacejc to set up a time to visit and GET UR BUTT THERE.

philadelphia day trip.

I love Philadelphia so last week when I took the day off I forced my boyfriend to come with me on a Philadelphia day trip.

I LOVE BROTHERLY LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

Philadelphia is great but I’m not quite sure why I love it so much. I just think it’s really great! Okay…already said it was “great.”

Well…it’s great.

As a kid I grew up closer to Philadelphia than NYC. So even though I lived in New Jersey, “the city” to me meant Philadelphia. We didn’t call it “the city,” we called it “Philly,” which now sounds very grating for whatever reason and causes pain in my ears when I hear it. So I make sure to fully pronounce “Philadelphia” when speaking about it.

Not sure if you’re aware but in the southern and western parts of NJ things are pretty different. A good different! It’s part of what makes New Jersey the best, our ability to absolutely kill it in every category. Especially, but not limited to, completely different and even opposite categories.

But this is about a Philadelphia day trip.

So here we go.

30th st. station.

I’m absolutely obsessed with riding the rails, so yes I will begin with the train station.

But even before the train station I would like to discuss Amtrak. Amtrak is one of my top 10 favorite things in the actual universe. I am that pleased with it. Riding Amtrak feels glamorous and relaxing and comfortable and efficient, all in one.

The journey from Newark Penn Station, in Newark, to 30th St. Station, in Philadelphia, takes about an hour and 10 minutes via regular-ass Amtrak. If you’re rich AF or your company is paying for it, you can ball out with an Acela ticket and it will take UNDER AN HOUR. This is a journey that traverses 88 miles!

It is the perfect mode of transportation.

Newark Penn Station is overall a garbage fire. But they do their best. It’s a cool old building and it always smells like delicious popcorn, so they have that going for them.

30th St Station is certainly an upgrade in comparison. It’s ALSO in a cool old building but is better maintained and has more space and cool old building features and even has a FOOD COURT.

reading terminal.

Speaking of food courts, on this particular day trip to Philadelphia I went to Reading Terminal for the first time. I don’t know why I’ve never gone but I do know that it reminded me of Grand Central Market in LA. Like it was essentially the exact same place.

So what I wanna know is…WHO COPIED WHO? Not that I really care. Just for my records.

Either way there was a ton of delicious food. When we entered, in my mind I had this idea that we were walking around and looking at the food and then we would collectively make a decision of what foods to try and we would get them and share them.

I don’t know where I got this idea from because this isn’t something that we have ever really done. I also did not express this idea outside of my own mind so I shouldn’t have been surprised when it didn’t happen.

Because of this I ended up just getting a donut. Out of all of the delicious food…I got a donut at Beiler’s Donuts. It was a FANTASTIC donut. But I feel like I kinda blew it and should go back. Not blew it in choosing the donut but blew it in ONLY choosing the donut.

It was a veritable smorgasbord (orgasbord-orgasbord) after all.

I will never stop trying to make this a relevant and popular cultural reference PLEASE GET ON BOARD ALREADY.

wawa.

Wawa is a 100% necessary stop on any trip to South Jersey/Philadelphia. It’s not up for debate. You must go. I don’t even care what you say. I’m not even listening.

During this time of fear and terror, it was interesting to go to another city and state and see how they’re dealing with the fear and terror there. Just for science.

As we approached Wawa I wondered how we would be served. We were going for coffee, and usually at Wawa you serve yourself. I didn’t know if that would be the case or if THEY would serve us our coffee. I JUST DIDN’T KNOW. I got myself all freaked out and hyped up about it. It was super fun.

Then we walked in…and it was the same! It was still self-serve! I didn’t have to speak to a person and go through the pain of not being able to hear them and not being able to see their mouth move and having to ask them at least 3 times what they said until they got super angry and thought I was messing with them.

Because that’s what happens every time I have to talk to a person in a store. And it is not a good time.

I helped myself to the make it yourself coffee and checked out and only then did I realize that by all the coffee dispensing machines and containers and accoutrement they had boxes of those little donut wax paper things. And those things were there because you were supposed to use them as a sanitary barrier while touching the coffee dispensing machines and containers and accoutrement. Ugh I’m a stupid tourist and I blew it.

the rail park.

The Rail Park was god damn beautiful and a special highlight of the trip for me. I really loved it. We were lucky that it was such a disgustingly perfect October day as well. Clear blue sky, friendly temperature, leaves in their cute fall outfits, all the stuff.

I really love the High Line in NYC, it’s my fav NYC park, so I was super excited to check out The Rail Park because it looked similar. And it was! But it was still its own thing too, of course.

The park had these really cool giant swings to sit on…AND TAKE PHOTOS FOR INSTAGRAM.

But also to sit on and rest and enjoy the sun. I mean it.

And it’s just always nice to be among plants. I can’t say it enough but it brings me peace. These parks that are built on old elevated railroad stuff are literally PARKS IN THE SKY and I feel so happy about their existence.

The Rail Park is a must see. I didn’t want to pick a favorite but fine you talked me into it this was my favorite.

vintage/consignment stores.

We walked A LOT. The thing is, I really, REALLY like to walk. I don’t care how far it is, I’ll walk there.

Every city I go to I view as a “walking city.” And I’m like, we’ll walk. When I’m making the plan I’m thinking, “What is the route to walk there?” I don’t really pay attention to public transportation and maybe I should. I just love walking so much and it seems so natural. But sometimes it’s too far to walk, which is rare for me but whatevs.

I’m starting this section by saying that because I honestly don’t know how we got to any of these stores. We walked, yes. I personally enjoyed the walking, yes. I had to try to keep my boyfriend from losing his mind when he felt like we were needlessly wandering…also yes. It was tough.

But we did make it to Philly AIDS Thrift, Retrospect, and Raxx Vintage Emporium.

Philly AIDS Thrift was recommended to me by a friend and it was super cool. It was a giant cavern of all kinds of different stuff, and it was a fun maze to walk through. I didn’t take any pictures because I’ve gotten in trouble taking pictures in vintage stores in the past and if there’s one thing I hate it’s getting in trouble.

I first went to Retrospect a couple of years ago on a trip with friends and got a white rabbit coat there. IT IS BEAUTIFUL. This time I just browsed there.

But speaking of fur coats, I got a new light brown faux fur coat at Raxx Vintage. ALSO BEAUTIFUL. Also speaking of getting yelled at, I thought I was getting yelled at when I was trying the coat on. But the employee was just helpfully telling me that anything I tried on needed to go on a special rack to be sanitized. Whew. Not in trouble.

I’m no professional but personally I think vintage and consignment shopping in Philadelphia is better than in NYC, Jersey City, or even Asbury Park, because the prices are overall more reasonable for the same quality of stuff. Yes of course I’ll still shop for vintage/consignment in Jersey City because JC is my entire heart and soul but I would like to return to Philadelphia for a vintage shopping specific trip. Please join me!

america.

There’s all kinds of American history shit in Philadelphia and that’s fun to walk past and think about for a minute.

We took a stroll by the Liberty Bell and peeked into its window. When we were kids the Liberty Bell lived free and wild, out in the fresh air. Now the poor Liberty Bell is trapped in a glass case of emotion, doomed to breathe in the hot stifling breath of panting tourists for all eternity.

I’ve heard the spotted lantern fly population in Philadelphia was pretty bad this past summer, but luckily we only saw one and it was on the wall of the Liberty Bell’s shack of misery.

franklin square park.

As we approached Franklin Square Park we heard loud music playing and when we got closer we realized it was the Rocky theme.

This seemed to fit the scene, as it is Philadelphia, so we walked deeper into the park and saw that it was a fountain performing a water dance to the beat of the Rocky theme.

Fountain performances crack me up because they are silly and ridiculous but also delightful. I was glad to see it and would highly recommend it.

This was fun too.

south fellini

I really REALLY wanted to go to South Fellini. It was one of my main reasons for organizing a Philadelphia trip! But I’m a moron and didn’t realize they’re closed on Thursday and we went on a Thursday.

Ugh.

I stalk them on Instagram (@southfellini) and they really encompass what Philadelphia IS…in my mind. And that is a fun place that doesn’t take itself too seriously but is still proud and has a ton of entertaining and fantastic regional words, accents, and mannerisms along with some of the silliest and most adored sports mascots of all time.

I freaking love Philadelphia and one day I WILL make it to South Fellini and get a whole outfit of JAWN MERCH.

the navy yard.

Although we didn’t make it to south Fellini we DID make it to The Navy Yard and got to see some outdoor art they collaborated with artist Kid Hazo on.

It was called “Where the Wild Jawns Are” (hehehe jawnssss) and I was so glad I got to see it. Again, I stalk this store hard on Instagram and they posted this a while back and I was like I need to see this shit in person and will travel to another city to do so.

The “wild jawns” are part of M.I.M.O.S.A which is 1- the best name of all time for a collection of public art and 2- had some really pretty art. The Navy Yard was incredibly far from the rest of our life and there was a lot of walking between the art and it seemed a little desolate but it was worth the journey.

There was also a ton of insanely gorgeous fall foliage in The Navy Yard so we got in our leaf peeping for the day.

Oh! And there were also big ass boats! Like unbelievably big. They didn’t look real. They looked like they were painted onto the sky. I’m not making this up.

second district brewing.

The final stop on our trip was Second District Brewing. It was just a random brewery I picked because it was on the way back to the train station from the Navy Yard, but it was great! We sat in the sun outside and drank beer and there were pumpkins and we reflected on our day.

It was a nice little brewery. They also have food but we didn’t get any because we were tired and full, but next time I would try it.

random art.

Philadelphia, like most cities, is a city with art. Luckily there is a lot of public art that you can see while you walk around! Here’s just a quick sampling of some of that public art.

I wanted to do a full-on public art walk kinda thing but it was exhausting to try to plan so I gave up. Maybe in the spring we can go back and I’ll have more energy to map it out.

random thoughts.

I feel really bad for Trenton because Trenton is a garbage city and there’s nothing to do there, so Trenton’s closest city is Philadelphia and not itself. They have a sad little bridge that says “Trenton Makes the World Takes” which used to be true during the Industrial Revolution but isn’t anymore. It always makes me feel bad when the Amtrak goes by, and that is a traditional milestone that I see on every Philadelphia train trip. Feeling bad for Trenton feels like home.

Unlike Trenton, I get really excited when the train goes past New Brunswick, home of my alma mater Rutgers University. R-U RAH RAH. Before you get to New Brunswick you’re in the woods and then bam you burst out over the Raritan River. Badass.

Okay, my only random thoughts were more things about the train ride.

Oh wait! We did get lunch at some deli with ENORMOUS portions but it wasn’t my favorite. But they DID have HUGE slices of cake and I should have gotten one.

Where are your go-to Philadelphia trip spots? What foods should I eat next time? I feel like I wasn’t sufficiently food-focused and that was an issue. Thx.

distort “reaching for the steal”at deep space gallery.

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Jersey City’s own Distort at Deep Space Gallery. I attended the opening last night and it was freakin fantastic. But TECHNICALLY the opening is all weekend so you should prob get your ass over there.

I was incredibly beyond excited to get back to a semi-normal-feeling Deep Space weekend opening. Like, it was the evening and people were THERE and we could look at art and also CHAT. I realized that perhaps IT WAS THE CHATTING I’D MISSED MOST.

I’ve been to a few of their openings in normal times and one or two during post covid times. Or like WITHIN covid times. The times we live in. And during covid times they have done a great job of keeping it to only a certain number of people inside, making sure they wear masks and sanitize their hands, and overall just following the basic rules that keep us all alive.

And I applaud them!

This time around, because it was a local artist more people know about and I think they expect more people, they are more strictly observing a reservation policy just to keep things organized. So email them at deepspacejc@gmail.com or DM them on Instagram at @deepspacejc to make one! RUN DON’T WALK!

As always the artist was in attendance so we could ask him questions but this time I was too busy catching up with some pals I haven’t seen in a while. We’re hoping to maybe go back for a bit on Sunday and I can ask my questions then. Oh shit better make a reservation…

As for the show…LOVED IT. I guess I always “love” everything I write about but just know I don’t write about things I don’t love unless they really, really outrage me.

It’s true that I love bright, loud, vibrant colors, but the slightly muted colors of Distort’s work also appeal to me. They gray tones combined with blues/greens/purples actually remind me of my best bird pal the pigeon, in the best way. Like they look gray but when you look close at some of them you can see the greenish-purple sheen of their feathers.

AND IT IS BEAUTIFUL.

I also like the use of cityscapes in the background or foreground or randomly in the paintings. I think I recognized Philadelphia? Maybe I just thought I saw it because it’s in my mind because I’m going there next week? Something to ask if we go back on Sunday. Still need to make a reservation.

Wait JK I lied about that. There is a live Zoom tour by Distort at 3:10pm on Sunday October 4. That’s where I got “Sunday” from. Jeez I need to start writing shit down. You can register at thejcast.com/jcast-live

I believe that some of the work is on a canvas of a kind of metal, and some of it is etched to make designs with some of it also being painted. It’s cool! I like the combination of the two and can’t remember seeing it anywhere else, besides other times I’ve seen this type of work by Distort around the town.

There were also fun/exciting/mind blowing 3D elements around both of the rooms.

The walls were painted to look like exposed brick and then some kind of plastery(?) material was used to make it look like parts of the wall were soft or liquidy or like curtains or something and got pulled to the side to expose the exposed brick parts of the wall.

AND since it is OFFICIALLY SPOOKY SEASON it was a nice spooky touch to have a creepy hand reaching out of one wall.

And some creepy heads coming out of another.

These probably weren’t nods to spooky season and were likely meant to convey something else but they made me happy either way.

This one made me unhappy because it’s “a little kid getting a gun on Xmas morning” kinda vibe. I think maybe it was supposed to make me unhappy. But I’m terrified…TERRIFIED of guns so gun arts always make me very nervous. I feel as if the gun is able to jump out and kill me. Which is perfectly rational, you guys. Guns are awful.

This one I loved because I made a little joke about the woman crying and holding her shoes in it and was like, “This is me on a Saturday night at Rutgers.”

Har har I think only I thought it was funny. Very good piece, either way.

Oooo this was a very fun and interactive tiny hall/tunnel made of mirrors to look into. VERY FUN. VERY INTERACTIVE.

And of course, lady lib. LADY LIB 4EVA. LADY LIB IN EVERY ART SHOW EVER. LADY LIB 4 PREZ.

Also be sure to browse the shop downstairs when you walk in! They have a ton of records, housewares, jewelry, and clothes. A WHOLE BUNCH OF COOL STUFF.

They’ve just done a bit of reorganization in the shop and it looks great!

The opening weekend for Distort “Reaching for the Steal” at Deep Space Gallery continues today Oct 3 12pm-11pm and tomorrow Oct 4 12pm-8pm. RSVP AND GO TO THERE.

kyle orlando – always nervous at deep space gallery.

Last week I had a ladies night with my pals that set me up for a weekend-party-shan-spiral I’ve only just recovered from. BUT I was fortunately able to make it to Kyle Orlando – Always Nervous at Deep Space Gallery.

The show was great and I was glad I saw it, albeit only for a quick moment while I stood there, exhausted, and stared at the art and smiled softly. As I thought about how sleepy I was and almost fell asleep right there. And it was my own fault. Because alcohol is a depressant.

But I was there! And I loved it!

I always love it. Deep Space is one of my top 5 fav places in JC and that says a lot because I love 94% of the stuff in this gosh darn town.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to chat with the artist because I was a walking zombie but he was there for questions, and if I had been able to speak I would have said, “What kinda cat is this?”

The cat appears to be like a leopard or a cheetah or a jaguar? But then there’s some confusing thing with panthers where some of them have spots? And “panther” means the same as one of the other things? And “puma” is in there somewhere? I get confused with these cats. Maybe he’s just a generic kind of cartoon cat created for art purposes only that doesn’t have a species? Which like, is totally fine. I’ll allow it.

The “Always Nervous” cat, as I would like to refer to him, is a fun animal to have on hand and have him get into all sorts of shenanigans and that’s what I felt like each piece of art was.

“Mr. Always Nervous Cat Jumps Over a Rainbow.”

“Mr. Always Nervous Cat Hangs From a Tree in a (hopefully?) Playful Way.”

“Mr. Always Nervous Cat IS America.”

“Mr. Always Nervous Cat Can Also be Pink and Hey Shanimal I Know You LOVE Pink.” Ugh I do. I loved this one best.

“Mr. Always Nervous Cat in Marker on a Tote Bag and That’s Cool AF.” Okay jk I liked the tote bags best.

These silly titles I used are not what these paintings are called but what I took from them and that’s something very positive. LOVED IT. It’s interesting to see the same thing but in a bunch of totally different ways, in different colors with different things around it. You know, the same but…DIFFERENT.

Additionally if I had been alive that day I would have asked Kyle Orlando, “Hey why is it called ‘Always Nervous’?” Because I am mostly always nervous and relate to that on a personal level. I’m sure I could look it up or ask the nice folks at Deep Space. Or even ask Kyle Orlando because you can find him on Instagram at @klando.

Hey how about maybe you go ask him?! I’m feeling shy.

Overall I loved this show. Of course, I already said that. But I’d like to say it more. I thought the gallery looked really cool with all these Mr. Nervous Cats around. Also I hadn’t been there in the day time for a while so it looked really pretty with the sun shining in and when I looked out the back window it looked like I was in the forest somewhere and not even in Jersey City. I never noticed that. Weird!

The next show at Deep Space is a big one and everyone is very freakin pumped about it. It’s called Reaching for the Steal and has work by Jersey City’s own Distort.

Opening weekend is next weekend! Oct. 2 4-11pm, Oct. 3 12-11pm, and Oct. 4 12-8pm.

They’re social distancing pros at Deep Space so email deepspaceJC@gmail.com or slide into the DMs – @deepspacejc to set up a time to go.

I’LL SEE YOU THERE FOLKS. AND I WON’T BE TIRED THIS TIME.

waiting for sunshine at deep space gallery.

YOU GUYS. Not only was I excited to actually leave my house for a destination other than JC Bourbon Street, but I was excited to get back to checking out the bad ass art at Deep Space Gallery. On a Saturday afternoon…late afternoon, because I was late…I attended the opening for Waiting for Sunshine at Deep Space Gallery, showcasing art by Rebecca Johnson and Macauley Norman. I apologize for not posting about it until now, but my brain has just been really tired.

Before you get all FREAKED OUT, this was a socially distanced opening and all of the precautions were taken. Frankly they straight up EXCELLED at the precautions. There was hand sanitizer and masks and you signed in on a little sign-in sheet and only a certain number of people were allowed inside at a time.

SO JUST CALM DOWN.

The best part was that we got back to art! I really, really missed going out and looking at art with my pals, and I especially missed going to Deep Space because it’s my favorite place to go look at art with my pals.

The gallery looked beautiful! It actually was really cool to see everything without other people in the way. I mean, I do like other people but sometimes they’re in the way. Actually, I’m lying. As a rule I DO NOT like other people. Either way there was lots of space for me to roam around and look at the art!

You may be aware that I REALLY LIKE BRIGHT COLORS and they held no punches on the bright colors with this one. Both artists’ works were vibrant and resplendent, some were even glittering and sparkling! Also there was yarn.

I love yarn.

macauley norman.

I always like to chat with Macauley when I run into him at Deep Space and this opening was no different! Always good for a chat, that guy.

His art was also good! As I mentioned, there was yarn. He brought the yarn.

A few months ago I attended a store opening and they had some hats there I thought were knit and someone corrected me and was like, “They are CROCHETED,” and I googled it and they were right. So I was really embarrassed. They weren’t mean or anything, I just hate not knowing things. So when I was asking Macauley about his work involving yarn I was like, “Is that crochet?” When it actually seemed quite obviously knit but I no longer trust my own brain.

Anyway he confirmed that it was knit and I thought it was a badass method of mixing media. And I was also glad I was right this time. In my mind.

Along with the knitting/weaving, many of the pieces had spiders in them! I also really like spiders but I realize I’m in the minority. Macauley talked to me about how he was a little worried that the spiders would be off-putting for some…which was a good point.

But I say SPIDER AWAY. Because they also knit. They’re knitters of nature! They knit webs, you guys.

Another fun part of some of his work was friendship bracelets! I’m telling you, the medias were really mixin.

rebecca johnson.

The other fab artist in the Waiting for Sunshine show is Rebecca Johnson. She was there for chatting too! And has super cool newly hot pink hair, and two cute dogs. “Polite” dogs are welcome there! Only polite ones. No jerk dogs allowed. It’s the rules.

Polite dog, exhibit A.

I have seen Rebecca’s work before and really liked it. There are animals and ladies and flowers and colors…all the things I love most.

The best part is, SOME OF HER ART SPARKLES! I was super into her use of glitter on some past pieces, and the ones at this show had small reflective squares on them.

Upon closer examination, THESE WERE ACTUAL DISCO BALL MIRRORS. Can’t get better than that.

It’s my own conclusion that they’re from disco balls, I didn’t get to confirm with her. Just go with the disco ball thing, it’s fun.

Another thing I didn’t get to ask her about was some of the themes and what they meant for her when she created the art. I noticed a lot of birds (MY FAV) and some references to lungs. I’m personally always thinking about birds, but right now I think EVERYONE is probably thinking about lungs. A little bit, at least once a day. Like, “Can I still breathe? Okay, whew.”

In my mind the lungs were a nod to the scary COVID-19 world we live in right now. Maybe that’s not what they were intended to invoke, but I felt some degree of commiseration in viewing “lungs” as a topic.

She also had a piece that perhaps signified the other ways people can have trouble breathing that leads to death. Like from police brutality. Because a cop’s knee is on their neck. And they can’t breathe. I thought it was a beautiful tribute, and yet another important reminder to do better and fight to force others to do better as well.

waiting for sunshine.

This is a great show! A great reason to leave the house! An awesome local business that is excelling at social distancing and sanitation practices! What more could you ask for?!

Waiting for Sunshine will be on display until July 18. Deep Space Gallery is located at 77 Corneilson Ave in YOU GUESSED IT, the beautiful Jersey City, NJ. Reservations can be made by sending a DM (hawt.) to @deepspacejc on Instagram or emailing deepspacejc@gmail.com

Check it out!

This isn’t in the show but it’s down the street and worth a peek as well! I feel like it fits in with the overall vibe?

freemans alley.

Today is this Friday, but LAST Friday I went to dinner at Freemans which is at the end of Freemans Alley and it was FAN FREAKIN TASTIC.

Sometimes with work we go to ridiculously expensive dinners because we get this “fun” budget for “team bonding,” and since we’re in NYC and we’re “too cool for school, we go to a delicious dinner instead of like, “playing laser tag.”

AND THIS WAS ONE OF THOSE TIMES.

But one time with the LA office I went to the Magic Castle and another time we went to the Dessert Cart which had a basketball game or something going on in the background. Those are tales for another time.

First I will speak about Freemans Alley. I did not even know it existed but it’s my new favorite thing and I need to go back and take more pictures of it. Preferably on a warmer day.

There was art in the alley! Street art!

And I recognized that some of the art was by Jersey City artists! And I was like “omg Jersey City!” And my co-workers just kept walking and were like, “Okok whatever let’s go eat the food.”

By Jersey City’s Dylan Egon 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Okay, okay.

It was well worth it to keep walking and go eat the food because it was DELISH AF YOU GUYS.

I mean this was a fancy pants restaurant that was expensive and we had to get a reservation like at least two weeks in advance SO THE FOOD BETTER BE DELISH AF.

And it was so don’t worry. For appetizers we had this artichoke dip that was seriously the greatest artichoke dip I’ve ever shoved in my mouth. They have artichoke dip at a lot of places and people make it when they have friends over and blah blah blah. But THIS was THE artichoke dip.

We also had dried “plums” stuffed with goat cheese wrapped in bacon. They were incredibly, incredibly good. But we laughed at them a little bit because they called them a nice fancy little name like “dried plums” when DRIED PLUMS ARE JUST PRUNES YOU GUYS. Prunes got a bad name somewhere along the way. JUSTICE FOR PRUNES.

Dried Plum (Prune)

For an entree I got the Seared Hamachi and it was FREAKIN INCRED. I love to eat fish meals but I’m not great at preparing them myself so whenever I go out for like a “nice” dinner I choose the fish option. This hamachi was so, so delicious and it had beans with it and it was just perfect. ILY HAMACHI.

Omg there was creamed kale too I don’t know how I almost forgot that. CREAMED. FREAKIN. KALE. LIKE PLZ GIVE ME THE RECIPE.

I ate until I felt sick but that’s never stopped me before so I ordered Bananas Foster for dessert. And it was good! I haven’t had Bananas Foster much in my life so I can’t really compare it to others Bananas Fosters and also I thought they were supposed to light it on fire but maybe that’s something else.

(not on fire)

During the whole meal I drank white wine which I haven’t had since December so maybe that also contributed to me feeling sick but it was sick in like A GOOD WAY.

The building and decor were really cool. There were a TON of taxidermy animals LIKE A TON. Taxidermy animals sometimes freak me out but I’ve been readying this book that talks about taxidermy so it felt familiar to me in a weird way. I also was enjoying trying to identify the birds and whether something was a deer or an elk or a reindeer. The jury is still out on the deer stuff but I did see a Great Blue Heron (hey, heron, heyyyyyyy).

After the meal we made our way back down Freemans Alley and emerged back into the real world. We ordered our company-sponsored (thank youuu) Lyfts and went home. The end.

Have you ever been to Freemans Alley? What do you think?! Do you want to join me when I go back? K cool.

artist talk with kati vilim and debra lynn manville

I attended an artist talk with Kati Vilim and Debra Lynn Manville at &co in Jersey City last night, and I got PUMPED AF about abstract art.

Our fab pals from Deep Space Gallery hosted the artist talk. Kati Vilim and Debra Lynn Manville, along with two other artists, are in a show at Deep Space Gallery RIGHT. NOW. The show is called “Circle the Square.” Look it up. I can’t do everything for you.

(JK here is the link)

Snacks!

You may or may not know that the last time I went to an artist talk hosted by Deep Space Gallery I felt excited and elated and exuberant during and after. BEFORE the talk I did not know what to expect. But during and after I was like WOO!

So this time around, for the artist talk with Kati Vilim and Debra Lynn Manville, I knew what was coming and I knew I was gonna LOVE IT. First of all, &co is a delightful space in which to spend an evening. It’s just adorable. Or maybe not “adorable” but like…I LOVE IT. Last night they had strawberry and cucumber infused water like can you even believe it?! It was delicious.

But most importantly, I really, really enjoy learning more about the artists’ process and how they made certain pieces and what they’re made out of and why they made them, even if they don’t really have a reason, and on and on and on. I could listen forever and really love their stories. During the talk I furiously wrote a ton of notes about things to look up later. Some of these things will pop up below HOPEFULLY. If I have time to look them up and don’t fall asleep on my couch before I do.

JK I never accidentally “fall asleep on the couch” that is for losers.

Now for the art!

kati vilim.

Both artists spoke about some art terms I didn’t know and was glad to learn because I miss going school and learning every single day and sometimes I cry about it.

Kati talked about non-representational art, non-referential art, and generative art.

My biggest takeaway from this was that generative art is made with the assistance of robots. And that’s sick as hell.

She also shared some thoughts about abstract art like, “Abstraction is part of our every day life,” and suggested that we look at abstract art without trying to figure it out and talk about it because, “When we verbalize an experience, we take the feeling away from that experience.” I am here for these vibes.

One of the really great (in my opinion) things she talked about was how art has its own language and anyone in the world that speaks any language can understand the language of art and feel the feeling the artist is hoping to convey. Awwww! It’s a small world…it’s an art world!

Okay sorry got too excited there.

Some of my favorite works she showed were made with an iPad, a mix of manual lines she drew and images that were generated with the help of a computer program. There were permutations involved (which is MATH) so it made me a little nervous and I felt shaken up when I heard the word “permutations” but it was okay don’t worry. It was generative art! With robots! I didn’t get any pics of those because I was in the zone staring at them and I’m not sorry.

debra lynn manville.

Up next was Debra. She had some interesting back stories for her art and told her tales in a funny and charmingly self deprecating way.

Much of her art in the show at Deep Space references the idea of a “Twin Flame,”and was inspired by a past relationship. Most of the pieces have doubles of the same image/figure.

In the beginning of her art career, she was making collages and moved on to painting. But she eventually experienced a spiritual awakening of sorts and started to have visions she couldn’t keep up with using that medium.

She looked to Instagram (MY FAV) for inspiration and to connect with other artists. “Instagram was a great place to talk to people and get the support of other artists,” OH HELL YEAH DEBRA. The @1milliondiamonds Instagram account was born from this need to connect and be inspired. And it’s a badass curatorial project if I ever saw one, you guys.

Debra also brought up the idea that art is a language, but took it one step further and suggested that art as a language is also separated into different dialects. She showed some examples from 1 million diamonds where similar artists consistently liked each other’s work. As in, they recognized the style as their language and gave it a like because they were like, “Yeah! We speak the same language!”

I thought that was super interesting because I love languages but this is like a language without words and then my head exploded.

detroit.

To me it’s worth mentioning that both artists spoke about Detroit. Kati did some work with ArtBlock, and Debra had a 3 month residency at Red Bull House of Arts.

I’ve only been to Detroit once but I love it forever and want to go back. And I just wanted to talk about it here and give it a little hug. K that’s it.

circle the square closing reception.

The closing reception for Circle the Square is this Saturday, 2/29 from 6-11pm. Deep Space Gallery is located at 77 Cornelison Ave in Jersey City. It’s a party and it’s fun and there’s art and fun people and also a DJ. You can also find some wares downstairs from Xtina. YOU REALLY CAN HAVE IT ALL. GO TO THERE.

Coming soon!

circle the square at deep space gallery.

Last night was a new opening at Deep Space Gallery YESSSSS. The show is called Circle the Square and it features work by Orlando Reyes, George Goodridge, Kati Vilim, and Debra Lynn Manville.

You guys know I love this place and there aren’t many ways to express my love in which I haven’t expressed it already BUT I was feeling some extra great vibes last night. I feel ew AF that I just said “vibes” but I guess that’s the only word for it unless I invent a new one. I saw some people I know and was glad to see them and talked to some nice new folks as well.

Part of what I really like about Deep Space Gallery, and I’ve said this before, is that it just always feels so welcoming and anyone that works there or goes there or is drinking a plastic cup of wine there is so friendly and open. It’s a magic place.

I wished that I could stay longer and drink wine because it felt like the electric possibility of making new pals was in the air. I don’t know WHY, I just FELT IT, okay? But I’m trying not to drink during the week so that didn’t happen. I’m sorry.

There were Valentine’s Day cupcakes that I DID eat. Because there is no chance in the world that I wouldn’t eat treats that are made available to me.

Now for the art!

orlando reyes.

THE COLORSSSSSS. You know I never shut up about the colors and I’m going to keep going on loving the colors and not shutting up about them forever and ever until I die. And you can pry the colors from my cold dead hands.

So deal with it.

These were all different colors but they all went together well and looked bright and happy and there were a lot of circular shapes (Circle the Square at Deep Space Gallery).

My friend told me she told the artist that she thought they looked like placenta paintings. And in a way they kind of do.

Then things went off the rails and everyone was talking about lactation and I’m still not sure why.

But it was a grand time and I love the paintings. I’m not sure how these shapes are made. It seems like some kind of chemical reaction or something but that’s merely speculation.

george goodridge.

Ooooo yeahhhh these were shapes. Well the ones I liked best were 3D shapes on the wall and on a little pedestal table.

This shade of blue was so strikingly bright against the white wall I couldn’t stop staring at it. Just stood there and stared like a weirdo for probably too long.

This one made me think of a woman but also a peacock. Is it a woman? Is it a peacock? Lady peacocks don’t have the feathers like the peacocks you see in your mind, only the males do. So maybe she’s a lady human and also a male peacock. Honestly I can’t say. I AM an ornithologist though. In my dreams.

THESE LOOK LIKE RAINBOWS AND I WANT TO BE NEXT TO THEM.

kati vilim.

I liked these and I was trying to figure out how they were made because it looked like a thick tape and paint but I could be way off.

There were a couple that were other colors and not just gray and I don’t know why I didn’t get pictures of those. But I will say that these gray ones actually stood out because everything else was colorful! Sometimes I like gray. This was one of those times.

Also there was THIS one that said it was called “Confluence” and I was like “Heyyyy any Pittsburgh fans in the house?” And everyone was like, “Um what?” And I was like, “Sry nvm.” JK I actually only said that to myself in my head but I do love the golden triangle thx. And also this painting.

debra lynn manville.

To me this one looked like toucans. I don’t really know why but I do know that I love toucans and therefore I love this painting.

I have one thought about this one and that is “OMG YELLOW!” Just like, lovin yellow. Nbd.

All of these pieces were lovely and sturdily sized squares and would be perfect for a living room or like over your bed. I’m not professional at where things would look good in your house or whatever but I just think that would be fab if that’s what you’re into.

I’m so impressed with how different the space looks at every show that I go to. It’s not very big at all but they can do a lot of dynamic things with it….or maybe it just looks totally different because the art is different. But either way I’m impressed.

My exit from these openings is always quick and random because I feel awkward saying bye and it almost feels like a game now. Like, how can I best slip out unnoticed?! I think I did a good job last night. Don’t worry, I’ll be back.

Circle the Square at Deep Space Gallery is happening now! Until February 29. GO TO THERE. K THX.

greenville art walk.

On Sunday I decided to venture out into the world and check out the Greenville Art Walk. I wasn’t feeling great because Dry January had ended on Saturday but I wanted to make it happen.

The Greenville Art Walk is held once a month on Sunday, the first weekend of the month, in the Greenville neighborhood of Jersey City. This was my first time checking it out but I think they have done it a couple of times so far.

I’ll be honest, I’ve lived up on The Hill for almost a year and I haven’t walked down MLK south of Kearny Ave. I haven’t gone past the Dunkin Donuts. So this was my time to check it out!

I didn’t take good notes and need to look up the artists and I swear I will fill their info in soon. In the meantime if you know any of them let me know! Edit: Great news! I found the curator Atim Annette Oton on Instagram and she kindly gave me the artist info, hooray!

There were 7 stops on the Greenville Art Walk, but I got started late around 3:30pm so I wasn’t going to be able to make it to them all. I decided to walk to Martha’s Boutique first and work my way back.

Sadly Martha’s Boutique was closed up when I got there, so I didn’t get to go in.

I turned around to make my way back north, and I walked past Myrtle’s Marantha Market. There was art there! And she also had some veggie hot dogs to sample, which I enjoyed.

She gave me her business card and said to call her if I need anything. This is the nicest thing someone has done in weeks. Unfortunately I don’t call people. Maybe I’ll text her.

Artist Akil Roper (bottom)

Next up was Brick Street Realty and this spot had the most art of the walk. A representative from JCTC was there and she gave me a rundown of the art and artists. I didn’t take any notes and I regret that.

Artist Janhavi Firke
Artist Akil Roper
Artist Bryant Small

Two little girls that live upstairs were there enjoying the art and their Sunday and they told me about when HBO shot some scenes from Plot Against America there. They reported that they got free ice cream! But they also reported that they were keeping their bikes in the empty store and the HBO crew accidentally threw them out. Dammit!

Artist Fermin Mendoza
Artist Fermin Mendoza

Overall the Greenville Art Walk wasn’t much, but it was a start! It also “wasn’t much” because I started it 2.5 hours after it started, so that is my fault! I’m going to try going again (on time) next month so I’ll let you know if I find more art. My hopes are high!

Artist Heather Williams

On my travels along MLK I also came across this small business incubator that I have read about. None of the businesses were open, maybe because it was cold and drizzly, but I think when the weather turns nice it might be a bustling little place. I’ll definitely go back to see what’s up!

Oh I guess that’s why it wasn’t open.