Last Sunday, aka Valentine’s Day, I attended “The Empowering,” curated by Danielle Scott, at 150 Bay St for an art lap or two before we continued the February holiday festivities. An “art lap” is when you do a lap around a gallery and look at the art. Context clues, people. Usually at least 2 laps are necessary to get a good feel for the show and I’m glad to report I got those reps IN.
It’s clear I had too much fun last weekend with Galentine’s/Valentine’s and the mental clarity I prefer to have when reflecting upon and writing about such things isn’t there, but I’d like to tell you a little bit about it because my overall memory of it is “woo!”
We had some cocktails at home before so the spirit of “woo!” was already high as we arrived, exited our Uber, and ascended the stairs.
I then did my best to tone down the “woo!” slightly because this was a solemn and thoughtful social justice exhibition and I needed to respect that. And there was some really great art which I will share with you now.
I stood and looked at this one for a long time because it’s large and there are a lot of different details.
It’s still so strange to see art or photos or any type of media with people wearing masks and realizing this is every day life now. To the extent that seeing folks WITHOUT masks is kind of jarring.
This eagle and toy soldiers really spoke to me. Because there’s an eagle and that’s a bird but also because I loved the colors. It looks like a sunset.
Of course this is my fav because birds. And also…BONES.
Hey hi just going to do a quick recap of the Self Love Soiree I attended on Saturday because self love is very important especially during these valentines times.
LIKE VERY IMPORTANT.
I’ve written about this before but I think Valentine’s Day is a great time to reflect on loving yourself. Wait have I written about this before? I know I’ve written about loving your friends on Valentine’s Day. Also important!
Either way, love yourself. Just do it. It feels great. It’s totally worth it. And in the world today there are actually a ton of opportunities for self love and self care and it’s now socially acceptable to take a break and take a breath and also to admire yourself so LET’S DO IT.
The night before the Self Love Soiree I returned to drinking after a dry January so it was VERY DIFFICULT to get going but I eventually got out of bed. After a cold brew and a green juice at The Cottage on Monticello I was happily on my way to Deep Space/The Hive for the Soiree.
Yes, I do go there every weekend I guess. My boyfriend referred to it as my “community center.” MAYBE IT IS. It’s great because I can walk there and there’s always fun stuff there! I don’t know how it could get any better. I’m not ashamed.
Unfortunately I was still very hungover so I didn’t get a lot of pics. But I’ll share with you what I did!
I was excited to get a pair of conversation heart earrings from Aly Cupcake/Aly’s Little Things. THEY ARE SO COOL. There’s nothing I love more than cute jewelry with bad words on it. That’s not a lie.
She also had some really awesome pink/red/romantic looking earrings with Cupids and actual anatomical hearts on them that were SO COOL. Truthfully I really wanted these but technically I’m still in “No Shop Q1” so I’m not supposed to buy clothes or accessories.
I know I cheated with buying the convo heart earrings but they were like $10 so I think that’s a minimal shopping footprint.
Had to support a local business, you guys.
I really enjoyed checking out the display that find & revive set up. I realize I’m a broken record with this but the space looks so different at every event and I think that is so cool. I MEAN IT IS MY COMMUNITY CENTER, PEOPLE.
They had lots of reds and purples and animal print and it was all very romantic and lovely. Honestly I couldn’t even go near it because I would have been too tempted to buy.
I can’t wait until April 1.
This Saturday 2/13/21, find & revive will be back with a pop up at the Galentine’s event at Monroe’s in Hoboken so check THAT out. (I will)
Tainable, Kaze Jewels, and Dalia Handcrafts were also in attendance as vendors. I didn’t get to take the closest look at them on Saturday but I checked them out on Instagram and they all have great stuff so I hope to see them again when I can buy…EVERYTHING.
On my way out I got distracted by some books and I came across two advance copies of books I’ve been wanting to read! Like they’re released now but these copies were advance at one time and now very affordable because the person that had them originally was giving them away. Because books are expensive!
One of them is Detransition, Baby and it’s the next book for Roxanne Gay’s online book club The Audacious Book Club SO THIS WORKED OUT PERFECTLY. I can tell you more about the book club another time but it’s really incredibly great and you should also subscribe to her newsletter The Audacity BECAUSE WHY NOT.
So that was the Self Love Soiree! I loved myself so much that I needed a nap after. A long one.
As far as my community center, there is a Galentine’s event there this weekend they’re hosting along with JC Women’s Collaborative that looks very fun so if you’re a gal and you have pals that are gals you should check it out.
Tuesday night I had the pleasure of popping by the opening for Graff is a State of Mind at Outlander Gallery. I was PUMPED because it’s right down the street from me, at 126 Monticello. Monticello KEEPS. GETTING. BETTER, you guys. First, Last Place Winners came around, then Baonanas, and now Outlander Gallery!
Actually I don’t know if it’s even new or just new to me…Hold please, I’m gonna check the google machine.
Well, I didn’t really find definitive info, but it looks like they had a first show in September, according to when posts on their Instagram started. So let’s say it’s new!
Also, this event seems to have been more sponsored/created/curated by an outside force called JC 100’s Mural Co, with Outlander Gallery providing the venue. Love a collab! But I don’t know much about JC 100’s Mural Co either. Maybe I should have talked to people and asked questions like a real journalist.
Too bad I’m too awkward.
Too bad blogs aren’t journalism.
Moving on, let’s look at the art!
Oh wait, first, the caveat that comes with the art pics is, I don’t know if they had any of those little packet/catalog thingies with the prices and names of the artists, but I do know that I couldn’t find one. There also weren’t really any signs indicating the specific artist for each piece, but it could be that I’m blind. Additionally I am a professional LIKER of art but I am not an art PROFESSIONAL so I’m not so good at identifying the artist of a piece simply by its style.
So what I’m saying is, if you know who the artists are please let me know and I will credit them accordingly.
Yes, do my work FOR me, thx.
Really moving on, here comes the art.
These fangy guys were my favorite. My boyfriend said these are by @kidzero and I hope he didn’t just make that up. JK I checked his Instagram and there are fangy guys on there. Whew.
I like this one because it’s an NJ license plate. I believe the paintings above are by Distort (@distoart) (I believe it strongly, because it says “Distort” on the painting) and the license plate may be too.
Oh wait I guess I know this one too. These guys with their sleepy eyes crack me up, and the glass work is really pretty. They’re made by Keith VanPelt, co-founder of Deep Space Gallery. ANOTHER FAV PLACE OF MINE.
Guys perhaps I doubted myself unjustly, because I know who made this one too and it was Boone. I swear I didn’t set this up to play out this way. I just write as I go. Anyway I love the colors of this obviously. Boone has a whole apartment of beautiful, vibrant, exciting pieces like this and he was opening it up to visitors on Sundays in the fall! I went once quickly and meant to go back for a more in-depth exploration of his space but I never made it to another event. Hopefully he does it again when the weather is nice/the world comes alive again.
Here’s a grumpy looking dog. This is a dog and a style I enjoy because I’m obsessive with anything anthropomorphic. Give me more. I’ve seen more work similar to this guy around the town and it’s by Steven Cartoccio.
I love that this has Homer and rainbows. I really couldn’t ask for more.
Not quite sure what these are supposed to be and I feel really dumb for not getting it. Maybe condoms? They have a condom shape? I’m confused. I still like it because I feel like it means something…even though the meaning is unclear to me. And I love this style of old cartoon looking guys.
Keep in mind it’s hard for me to admit I don’t understand what something means so you’re welcome for being vulnerable in front of you. Now we’re true friends. Edit: These are candles. I’m an idiot.
This one I like because of the palm tree, a palm tree, a paaaalm treee…anyone? No? Okay.
That’s Outlander Gallery! And the Graff is a State of Mind show! It’s still going on until 2/1/21 so go check it out. Or don’t. I’m not the boss of you.
I’m now in the midst of a personal two week quarantine but the last fun social thing I did out in the public was check out the JC Women’s Collaborative Holiday Bazaar at The Hive Goods.
The Hive Goods is the downstairs shop at one of my favorite local galleries, Deep Space. This was the first time I was there specifically for shopping and not only for art-gawking. And I was ready to shop my face off.
Like many women (I hope I’m not the only one?) I have an issue when it’s gift buying time in which I buy gifts for myself instead of for others. OR gifts for myself in addtion to the gifts I’m getting for others. It’s just the way it goes. I love stuff just as much as the next real work-from-home housewife of New Jersey. It’s just the way it is. And I’m not sorry.
So there was a TON of stuff there that I would have LOVED to buy for myself, or even the majority of my female relatives. But the problem was, I already got the gifts for the other gals so I was mostly looking for something for my dad and brother who are both THE HARDEST TO SHOP FOR.
(I hope) they read this, so I won’t reveal what exactly I got for them but I did find a small thing or two for each of them!
But mostly I got things for myself.
Here’s a bit about some of the vendors!:
the hive goods.
As I said I’ve never gone over to 77 Corneilson just for shopping so I was very excited. Because shopping!
The most exciting thing to be done was go up to the roof and socially distance myself and fill up a bag with stuff in the bins up there for TEN DOLLARS.
Xtina, matriarch of The Hive Goods, sources and sells vintage and consignment items, and also hosts clothing swaps in the shop. So there were BINS ON BINS.
There was so much stuff! I got two little clutch purses in wild colors BECAUSE WHY NOT.
I got a skirt.
A picture frame that I put this year’s Xmas card in!
Also a print of a peacock because I need to surround myself with feathered friends THANKS.
I got even MORE stuff but I can’t tell because that stuff was gifts.
I DID get some gifts. OKAY?!
a petal to peddle.
These wreaths were BEAUTIFUL and the first kiosk you saw when you approached the building.
I follow A Petal to Peddle on Instagram but for whatever reason I’ve never seen their stuff in real life and it was SO PRETTY.
And smelled so nice. LIKE PINE.
These items were all wanted by me and me alone so I couldn’t get any because I was supposed to be getting GIFTS. But next time it’s game on.
Tia Planta is the plant aunt you’ve always wanted and it clearly says it in her name and therefore cannot be denied.
Even though plants meet certain death as my wards, I LOVE PLANTS AND TO BE AMONG THEM.
The Hive Goods was completely transformed for this bazaar and I love to see the different ways a space can be used. It gets me pumped up. Who knows why. But I think the best new and innovative use of a space I already know and love was putting a forest of plants on top of the pool table.
It just looked totally awesome.
I didn’t get any plants because I wasn’t in a position to carry them around on my Saturday activities but that didn’t mean I didn’t WANT to.
Tia Planta also currently has a pop up kiosk in McGinley Sq and after I’m done with my self quar for Xmas I plan to head over.
It’s no secret that I love some pottery. Or maybe I’ve never talked about it. I don’t remember.
Artesana Pottery was SUPER cool and unique and each piece is the literal definition of one of a kind. I know that because the gal in charge of the pottery told me it was so.
This great gal ALSO gave us some coquito and it was INCREDIBLE. Super into coquito these days and 10/10 would Artesana Coquito(TM) again.
I did end up getting something for myself here and it was this hand dish with SPIDERS on it to save for Halloween decor next year.
She also had a number of pieces with generic birds and also OWLS and I was VERY TEMPTED.
I do follow her on Instagram so I can always order there. When it’s socially appropriate to buy things for myself again.
slow burn alters.
Slow Burn Alters was recently created by a gal of all trades, master of most of them, who also does some art, beautiful (and heartbreaking in a good way) poetry I’ve come across on the internets, and community reach out via a group called Locality Giveback.
As for the alters, they were nicely put together and packaged – a perfect gift for a pal or fam member who is in touch with the spiritual side of themselves.
My pal got one and we opened it up back at her house and it had a tiny little baby candle with a holder and a crystal and a sage thingy and it was so mini and compact and also perfectly suited for its purpose and was therefore swoon-worthy. Even though I personally am not spiritual at all and unsure of its purpose…I still felt like it HAD to have checked all the boxes for a rad spiritual moment at home or on the go.
JC Women’s Collaborative is a group I’ve been seeing around the town and they seemed fun and not mean and I’ve been meaning to go to one of their events! One time they had one in Lincoln Park in the fall and I couldn’t find them and I gave up and just laid on a blanket and watched their Instagram stories. As we existed in parallel universes in the same park…
So I was glad I found my way to this event! They ran the show and were super welcoming. They gave out fun Jersey City masks (“fun” because anything with “Jersey City” written on it is VERY FUN to me), hand sanitizer, coffee, and overall “vibes.”
They even gave me some cups for our coquito when I know I was being very annoying asking for them. TRUE HEROES!
In addition to hosting this bazaar, they also hosted a super fun and festive Zoom holiday party on Thursday and it was worth the hangover I had after 2 glasses of wine and one beer.
I GOT 8/10 ON THE TRIVIA.
Just had to tell someone.
Not a vendor, but The Flow Initiative was at the event collecting period products. I’ve had a long saga with these period products. I got an IUD a few years ago and didn’t know I wouldn’t get a period anymore but I don’t AND I LOVE IT. But, I had all these tampons. Like three boxes. Just collecting dust.
I have been meaning to bring them to JaneDO, and to the last show at Deep Space to pass off to Xtina.
They were in a bag by my door. I forgot them like 5 times in a month-long period. I think eventually they got thrown away.
I had to go buy more before the event.
BUT I GOT THEM SOME TAMPONS TO CONTINUE CHANGING THE WORLD BY GETTING PERIOD PRODUCTS FOR THOSE THAT NEED THEM.
And I’m glad.
The JC Women’s Collaborative Holiday Bazaar at The Hive Goods was obviously badass. There were additional vendors but I didn’t even really get to spend time with them all. I hope they do it again just because and I can buy stuff for ME. maybe in the spring?
Well, The Hive Goods is also doing it again! It’s tomorrow (12/20) so I can’t go since I have to quar, but YOU should go. It’s 1-6pm at 77 Corneilson Ave in Jersey City.
It’s back! The Gigantic Miniature Show at Deep Space Gallery!
This show is always exciting and fun because there is a TON of art from a TON of artists and it’s all over the place and kind of a free for all in the most beautiful and delightful way.
I’ve said this before but I love this show in particular because it features affordable pieces of art and allows anyone to be a collector, or get gifts for a collector pal because it’s so close to the holidays. I’m super into the concept of democratizing stuff and making it available to everyone. By “stuff” I mean literally everything. All the good things in life. Everyone deserves a little luxury and a lot of fun. And that’s what I feel like this show is all about.
I’m no art professional and really just an art layman (laySHAN) but I think art is best when it’s out in the world for a ton of people to enjoy, existing in a fluid state and not trapped and locked away in some rich dude’s house.
But I digress.
So on to the art! I’m going to show you some of my favs and also you should go check it out. The Gigantic Miniature Show will be display and for sale (even to us commoners) at Deep Space Gallery until January 31, 2021.
Rebecca Johnson, @frankiebinx on Instagram, made these wooden looking plate looking pieces and they’re great. The top one features her pup Frankie, I believe. That one says “sunshine,” and another one says “medicine.” For some reason I can’t unscramble the letters well when they’re in a circle like that so I challenge you to figure out what the other 2 say because I have no idea.
Dylan Egon put a big one of these up next to the Jersey City Medical Centee toward the beginning of our pandemic reality and I always loved it. When BLM started picking up speed in the late spring he added the BLM flag to it. And I guess to three of these small ones too!
As a food and a thing I’m generally opposed to Hot Fries, but as a beaded piece of art I’m fully on board. Hot Fries cheers, in which you each take a fry and cross it like swords, to Molly Craig.
<I don’t know who this is plz halp>
I enjoyed this because it made me think of the passage of time but like when time feels like it takes forever and you’re stuck in a bad moment and it sucks. Kind of like 2020. And the title of this is… “2020.”
All I know is that this one has a scorpion and I love it.
All I know is that this one has a hummingbird, and I love it.
robots will kill.
These pieces from Robots Will Kill are great in that they are all of a fun little robot pal doing a fun little robot pal thing out on the world. The top left has three little birds and is there more my most fav. It’s very important that we respect robots as a thing because they will one day be our overlords and we need to get on their good side as soon as we can.
This gal always makes little animal squares like these and of course I love them because they have ANIMALS. Last year there was a dragon one and also a black Pegasus one I liked. This year I liked the tigers.
I’ve seen this artist’s work on the street and thought it was old ads that were still in really good shape and I was like how are they in this good of shape?!
I’m an idiot. This is modern street art. Probably from like our current decade. Not old ads. Just FYI.
These bearsss are ev-ry-whereeeee
But they are! Ive seen these bears by Sean Lugo around JC and I’ve also seen them in Philadelphia. And that equals everywhere. I love that about them, don’t get me wrong. I love that they’re everywhere. Keep it up, bears.
Keith Garcia, @bel_biv_devoe_1 on Instagram, is another consistent fav. As I was typing “consistent” it tried to auto correct it to “concise” and it made me think about why I like this art and the reason why is because IT IS CONCISE. The squares and the angles and the color palettes. And I love the MAC machine ones most because when I was a kid I would try to get my mom to buy me stuff and she’d be line “I have no money” and I’d be like “Just go to the MAC machine!” Because I thought it had unlimited money. I mean MAC machines DO have unlimited money right?
Gigi Chen makes some of my most favorite things OF ALL TIME because she almost always puts a bird on it, at least from what I’ve seen. These were a little out of my price range but they’re the kind of thing I would def buy if I could ESPECIALLY THE PIGEON OBVIOUSLY.
We went to Kyle’s show “Always Nervous” at Deep Space back in September and it was really fun. I know you’re like “ugh shan again with the animals,” but all of the pieces have this same cat figure doing cat figure things. And he’s a fun funny little guy. That’s all I really have to say about it but just know that I enjoy this cat figure and its shenanigans a great deal.
Norm is a Jersey City legend. Not a lie. My favorite things he does are the drawings of local places. I also really like the wire skulls. Update: The skulls aren’t made with wire but with a 3D penusing plastic which makes me like them MORE.
Some colors from Casey Bolding I must have enjoyed. I think I like them more as a group than as individuals. Maybe they’re supposed to be together?
I like that these works by Leandro Comrie look kind of creepy and I really like the little ghost guys in the middle on the right. Nothing like little ghosts guys to entertain me.
I can’t believe I didn’t get a pic of any of his stuff because I love it! But here is a screenshot from his Instagram of the one I liked best, this Mona Lisa gal.
That’s the show! DM Deep Space Gallery on Instagram at @deepspacejc to go check it out!
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.
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.
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.
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” 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.