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.

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.

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.

last place winners grand opening.

I woke up this morning still jazzed as hell from the Last Place Winners grand opening party.

IT WAS BAD ASS.

THERE WAS BANANA PUDDING.

Maybe I was annoyingly excited about the banana pudding and upset people when I screamed, “OH MY GOSH THERE IS BANANA PUDDING?!” And I’m sorry for that but…I was just excited.

AND IT WAS INCREDIBLE.

Beyond the banana pudding, the Last Place Winners grand opening party was great because this store is great. The walls are painted vibrant AF blue, red, and yellow. And you know if it’s vibrant and bright and intensely colored…IT IS MY MOST FAVORITE THING EVER.

So I walked in and went right into “staring intently at colors” mode. As I was admiring the colors, I noticed that the racks holding the clothes were constructed from trees and ropes! I lost my mind, I found it so cool. Pretty sure they were birch (a thin-leaved deciduous hardwood tree of the genus Betula) trees? I love a tree like it’s my family but I’m not good at identifying trees so sorry if I’m wrong about this one. I don’t know, google it or something.

The tree racks were kick ass and then the clothes hanging ON the racks were also kick ass. My boyfriend got a white “Fuck Trump 2020” hoodie. Looks great on him, I have to say. They had some other awesome hoodies and T-shirts, and also some shorts made out of unusual fabric for shorts (like…wool?) that I found very amusing.

Most of the clothes were men’s clothes, but they had one rack of women’s clothes by Brittany Jeanne (also a Deep Space Gallery artist!) These clothes were all made out of the most interesting fabrics and offbeat combinations of said fabrics. Our collective favorite women’s piece was a denim vest with a sequin virgin mary looking gal on the back and it was lined around the edges with a VERY SILKY SOFT black fur that I think was rabbit but could have been something more exotic. Edited: The vest was actually made by Renee Flowers, Lastplacewinners Head Tailor!

Clothes for the gals.

Ugh. Beautiful.

The man of the hour makes a speech!

At one point I was able to speak to the man in charge, I believe his name was Kip (I had a lot of vodka lemonades and I’m bad at names and also at journalism even though I am a classically trained journalist). He spoke about why he created the birch tree racks and added the astro turf grass to the floor (at one point I screamed, “OH MY GOSH THERE IS GRASS ON THE FLOOR!” Def the most annoying person there. Sorry again). And the reason was…nature! He said since we all grew up in an urban environment he wanted to change it up and bring some nature to Jersey City.

Again with my vodka lemonade-ed annoying ass, I exclaimed, “Oh my gosh I grew up in NATURE so I definitely appreciate having some nature down the street from me now!” And he was like…cool. Jkjk he was super nice and I love his store forever and ever and thank him for his hospitality. And the city-nature.

One of the BEST things in this store and at this party was they had a bunch of cool crocheted hats around! At first I thought they were knit, because I personally knit and wanted to feel validated, but then my pal Norm set me straight and was like “Nah, crochet.” And I took a closer look and was like, “Damn, you’re right.”

So these awesome fucking handmade hats were all around and some dudes were rocking them and they were beautiful AF pieces of art. I was trying to figure out who made them, and if they were there, but I couldn’t locate an answer. I’m going to have to go back to get one I love them so much.

Next door to the Last Place Winners grand opening party and store was a really cool furniture store. For some reason they let us come in and browse and take pictures of ourselves. I made a friend to talk about Philadelphia with. I love Philadelphia and everyone around here is always rude about Philadelphia. But I love it and I made a Philadelphia appreciating friend so there.

Overall I haven’t had like a “real Friday night” in a long time and this party was perfect. It was in a cool store, there were snacks, we made new friends, there was a DJ, we mingled among lovely clothing and accessories, and the place isn’t very far from my home, which always makes me happy since my new home is by…nothing.

Cool pals on the town!

Last Place Winners is located at 225 Monticello Ave in McGinley Sq (Jersey City, NJ). It’s awesome and you should go. I’m def going back for one of those hats so I’ll see you there.

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.

Have you attended the Greenville Art Walk? Did you have more luck seeing art than I did? What are your Greenville Art Walk tips? Thanksssss.

You can find more info about the next Greenville Art Walk on 3/1/2020 here.

the gigantic miniature show at deep space gallery.

On Sunday I went to the re-launch of the Gigantic Minature Show at Deep Space Gallery and it was BAD. ASS.

You may be aware that I love Deep Space Gallery. It is legit the best. I was feeling sad because I haven’t been able to make it to a show or opening there since the fall! It was an outrage! I missed it a lot! So I was glad to go back and see what they’ve been up to.

The Gigantic Minature Show at Deep Space Gallery is something they’ve been doing yearly for the last couple of years and personally I think it’s great. It’s a bunch of smaller pieces by a bunch of artists and the work fills up the walls in the gallery and in the entry area and all the little nooks all over the place and everything is for sale and it’s really cool.

Part of what’s cool about this show, and Deep Space Gallery overall, is that the pieces are small and affordable and everyone gets a chance to own a piece of art and be a collector! To use one of my favorite words/ideas/concepts of the modern world – it “democratizes” art. THANK YOU FOR DEMOCRATIZING ART, DEEP SPACE. YOU DA MAN.

As usual the space of deep was very welcoming and they had wine and snacks from Frankie. The eponymous Frankie herself was even there! She’s a little doggy that prefers to experience the world while riding in a tote bag and it’s adorable.

I made oatmeal raisin cookies and brought some to share, and I was PUMPED to see that people enjoyed them! Baking is relaxing and also makes other people glad so I think it’s a win-win on that hobby.

Live footage of cookies.

There’s been some trouble in shan land as far as having a cold for like two weeks so it took a lot of riling myself up to get out of the house on Sunday and I was really glad I went. Did you know that “malaise” is a cold symptom? Because I feel MALAISED AF.

Now for some art! And my personal opinions of said art at the Gigantic Miniature Show at Deep Space Gallery.

Norm Kirby – @normkirby

These are some cool hanging wire sculptures. I’m not super into any of these particular depicted images but I really like the wire stuff he makes and I thought these were displayed in an interesting way by the window. I liked the reflections!

Talita Cabral and Alex Tea – @taacabral_ and @alextea.alextea

I like this one because it has elements of nature AND IT IS GOOOOOLD.

Alexis Kandra – @kandra_art

Alexis Kandra has a whole wall of these cute little animal paintings of all kinds of animals, real and mythical. I of course love the unicorns and the phoenixes but the blue parakeet is my most fav. You can’t really tell in this photo but most of them have a little gold detail as well.

Catherine Hart – @catherinewhart

This gal has many pieces around the town and I enjoy them all. THE BRIGHT COLORSSSSS.

Keith Garcia – @bel_biv_devoe_1

I love what this dude does but I don’t really know why. I can’t put my finger on why I love it and that’s kind of mysterious to me and makes me love it more. Maybe it’s something about the MAC machines? I did think money grew in MAC machines as a kid. And that it was unlimited. I still wish that was true every day.

He also made this lazy looking rodent-like painting and I know why I like this one. BECAUSE IT’S AN ANIMAL MAKING A LAZY FACE AND IT’S BRIGHT GREEN.

Ekaterina Popova – @katerinaspopova

HEY HI COOL LAST NAME IT’S LIKE MINE BUT WITH MORE FUN AT THE END! Also I adore this dreamy color palette. It’s always all about the colors for me. Did I already say that? Too bad.

Ru8icon1 – @ru8icon1

I love some ru8icon1! The one on the top was called “Vega” which I believe refers to a Chevy Vega which was my moms first car that she talks about kind of strangely a lot. But it spoke to me.

Macauley Norman – @macauleynorman

This was killin me and made me lol. I stared at it, and thought about it, and was like “Is that the lady from that Netflix documentary?!” And it was. And I laughed. Thank you for this laughter, Macauley Norman.

Joe Lotto – @joe.lotto

I love this, for the colors, the simplicity, AND THE DOGS. I recommend following him on Instagram and watching his stories because he posts videos of him hand painting/lettering and it is mesmerizing/soothing to watch his steady hand forming perfect letters. It’s self care and you deserve it.

Last, I loved that they had a little “graveyard” set up of the description cards from sold pieces. It felt like a nice positive “wahoo good job!” to the artists. I liked it. I already said I loved it but I also liked it. Maybe “graveyard” seems too morbid but that’s what I’m calling it.

Close up of sold art “graveyard.”

The Gigangic Mjnkatjre show is at Deep Space Gallery until February 5! Go check it out!

AND THEN they have a new show opening on February 13! It’s gonna rock. I know it.

artist talk with ru8icon1

Omg I loved this artist talk.

As I usually do when I share my thoughts on art I will preface this by saying I’m no expert on art and pretty much just an onlooker but art is made for onlooking SO WHO’S THE EXPERT NOW?!

This talk was held at &co in downtown Jersey City, of which I have heard great things but have never experienced these things for myself. But It was in fact great! When you walk into the lobby it smells so nice. I can’t describe the smell besides that it smells like Kanibal and I love Kanibal so I instantly loved it here.

Lovin it at &co

It’s next door to Kanibal in the same building. DOES THIS WHOLE BUILDING SMELL LIKE THIS WHAT IS GOING ON?!

The gals at the desk downstairs and the desk upstairs greeting people were very friendly and since I always feel super awkward walking into new buildings I was grateful for this. I was also offered a day pass which I forgot to take DAMMIT so now I have to go back for another event or something to secure this day pass because it seemed like a super cool place to hang out and get some work done.

Cool wood door handle?!

But also there was art! They had a bunch of Ru8icon1’s art up there and also a mural he made of a goldfish that matches one of the paintings I saw at his show at Deep Space a couple of weeks ago. He said he just made the mural recently and I thought it looked BADASS.

Hi fishy.

They also had some other art around that I’ve seen at Deep Space I recognized like Keith Garcia and Kilroy Savage and I was glad to see it. It was like seeing some old pals and I liked that feeling. Maybe I know something about art?!

Keith Garcia

Speaking of pals the Deep Space crew was there to oversee things and be gracious hosts and also sell T-shirt’s and other sweet merch and I got a bright yellow T-shirt and I can’t wait to wear it.

Oh look the Deep Space crew are in this magazine too!

Snackies and wine/beer were provided by Frankie but I got there too late for the snackies and I was sad. I love the dips and bread things that Frankie does. Their bread for dipping is different than all bread anywhere else in town and I don’t know if it’s Australian or if it’s just special but either way I love it and I’m sad I missed out. It was my fault! For having a job. Where I work until 7pm. I’m sorry snackies. I did have a beer served in a can which is my 100% favorite way to be served beer so that was a real highlight.

Beer.

Now for the talk! Ru8icon1 took us through a fascinating and enlightening presentation and slideshow of some of his work over the last 5 years. I’m not being rude with these sassy adjectives it actually was really interesting and he was a skilled and comfortable/casual/conversational public speaker/storyteller and kept things moving at just the right pace so high fives to him.

First slide, gal with a goldfish balloon! I like the use of the goldfish obviously because I love animals and any reference to any animal in any piece of art. He even mentioned, “Animals are always a great stand in for people because we associate certain characteristics with them.” Like tigers are fierce, mice are meek, etc. AND I FELT SEEN AF.

Gal with goldfish balloon.

He talked a little bit about why he was inspired to use the goldfish in some of his work and mentioned that keeping and watching goldfish is peaceful. I thought about that for a second and was like omg I never thought about that. Looks like I need to get some goldfish in my house ASAP. He also spoke about goldfish as a metaphor, I believe something to do with growing to adapt to their environment. Which, also cool as hell, biologically for the goldfish and metaphorically for the rest of us.

Speaking of creatures there were also quite a few tigers and also roosters in the work he showed. One piece on a wall he showed us a photo of with two roosters back to back said “Acorda/Desperta” and he explained that both mean “wake up” in Portuguese and one is just regular wake up and the other is like “wake up!” In an existensial way or at least that’s how I interpreted it. Also I hope I wrote those words down correctly. Also I loved that one because birds and also two words that mean the same thing but different things. Wowza.

One thing I learned in this talk that I didn’t know about or think about before was the concept of “free walls.” FREE WALLIN YOU GUYS. JK that was rude.

But he talked about how these free walls are available where he resides in Barcelona and street artists can paint on them and then they just get painted over pretty regularly but it’s cool because people use them for practice and to hone their skills and for free. And making these free walls available keeps the street art in a spot where it’s ok to be and no one is bothered and people aren’t doing drastic maneuvers to get to these locations to try to paint stuff and they can just paint and practice in peace.

He showed some of the types of designs he started practicing on these free walls and they were mostly black and white and painted with rollers and in more of a loose style.

In the beginning.

As his style evolved he added more colors and it got a little less loose but it was still loose but in a good way. Loosey goosey, baby.

His current exhibition at Deep Space has a number of paintings that “take a static image and make it dynamic.” There are transparent layers of an object in action and they show different movements of the object. I think that describes it okay? So like a plane landing at the different stages or planes flying or a tiger (a tiger, yesssss) at different spots in the room and since it’s kind of transparent it’s understood to be the same object but just moving around. It’s a fun brain trick and I enjoy it.

This suit man is dynamic!

My most favorite part of his presentation was when he talked about his work with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program in North Philly – a “temporary mural laboratory” in the Kensington neighborhood. He mentioned it was something he had been thinking about and would have loved to do, and he happened to be in the right place at the right time to give his “elevator pitch” to the right gal and he was given the opportunity to live in the neighborhood with one of his collaborators for a summer and get to know the neighbors and make some organic, thought provoking, interesting street art based on his experiences. Dubbed #ktownlab, it looked like a really cool project and I was pumped AF that he shared it and his experiences with us.

#ktownlab work

He spoke about meeting people in the neighborhood, befriending the local “wheelie kids” (and painting an awesome mural of them in motion that was originally planned to be horses running on the side of a bodega), homeowners, and drug dealers. Even an art novice like me knows that art does have a way of bringing people together, and there seemed to be a ton of evidence of that in his stories about Kensington.

#ktownlab work

At the end during the Q&A period, he was asked what his ultimate “dream” is, and he talked about wanting to do the #ktownlab experiment in a ton of different neighborhoods that needed it across the world. I THINK THAT SOUNDS BADASS PLZ DO IT.

#ktownlab work near a “shooting gallery” and then I googled that and 😬

He also fielded a question about when his art gets painted over, and how he feels about that. He showed us quite a few paintings that he said were no longer there. A lot of the no longer there ones were in Jersey City, dammit! I should have asked if any still remain. Anyway part of what he said in his answer was “It’s the streets, it’s got its own life.” And I liked that. Also I didn’t like it at the same time because personally I like permanence and structure and being able to rely on shit and I wanted to go look at it but I did like his flippant, cool as a cucumber approach to it. And his acceptance of and apparent peace with inevitable change And I wished that I could accept change in such a way. Perhaps someday my friends.

The closing of his show at Deep Space gallery is tonight, 6pm-10pm, 77 Cornelison Ave in the Happiest Place on Earth (Jersey City!) and he’s going to do his talk/slideshow at 9pm. Don’t miss it! It’s cool!

Tonight! Do it!

I had never been to an “artist talk” like this before last night and I loved it! As I’ve said previously I often have trouble understanding art or making my own thoughts about it unless I have some context or a prompt about what the artist is trying to say, so it was super fun for me to look at his art and hear his ideas and really get my brain wheels turning.

Ugh I miss school so much. Someone pay for me to go to grad school. Thanks.

Do you like artist talks? Do you know of more I can attend?! Let me know!