Wet Art in Brooklyn

What started as a short trip for lunch in Williamsburg transformed itself into two-day visit in artist studios around the neighborhood.

Nothing in the horizon suggested the major happenings that took place inside of the nearby walls. Williamsburg seemed quite quiet from the porch view of the great French restaurant where we sat. It was only when we walked to an abandoned area of the neighborhood, next to a gas farm, that we noticed a small green sign calling us to visit an open studio under the title “Go Brooklyn”. It was the emptiness of the area that made the sign so clear and without many other attractions, we decided to follow.

We walked the stairs of the old gas farm and another view of Manhattan and Williamsburg spread in front of us in two directions.

The two tornados that happened earlier the day didn’t tip us off that the weather would break again. We first walked into the studio of 3 artists: Peter Gynd, Sarah G. Sharp and Parsley Steinweiss. Each of them exhibits very different works, and the discussion was extremely interesting. I especially noticed the differences about the way in which the 3 artists related to their work, and talked about it, and how much the presentation was aligned with their pieces. They were all enjoyable and showed significancy, but the work of Sarah was touched me to most, aesthetically and conceptually. Her work has deep ties to her upbringing, with modern applications reflecting the experiences of her adult life.

Parsley’s work explored how different mediums, when brought together face to face, can create art in their resulting points of view, for example when a 4×5 camera is up close with a computer monitor, creating a mass of brightly colored pixels that look as if they are in another dimension.

Peter’s work was a creative exploration against the historical context of the Hudson Bay Point Blanket by showcasing the blanket in various scenarios. In one, he has the blanket wrapped around him in a Ghandi-like position. In another, he depicts himself as a Roman with the blanket draped over his shoulder.

Down the hall I met Rebecca Graves, who traveled extensively, including 10 years spent on a boat. Her work was influenced extensively by traditional Japanese aesthetics, but her subjects were current and and deal with modern life. Her pieces were similar to woodblock prints, but she showcased elements and symbols on them that, when placed together, had an eery sense of indifference, mixed with an impending sense of doom, such as the silouhette of a clearly Western girl dancing along, not noticing the two jets above her, which were not very different from those that flew into the towers on 9/11.

We left Rebbeca’s studio too early, as we wished to run away from the rain that started pouring slowly outside. On the way I found a photo op of others looking for a piece of roof.

After the rain stopped, on the way to the L train, we saw another green sign calling us to go up, and so we did. It was surprisingly comforting to hear Hebrew in the beautiful space of Pessi Margulies. Her work left me speechless. Her drawing, sketching, and sculpture work yield so much emotions to the materials, bringing life to everything she touched. Regardless of the medium, her work was delicate, yet so strong. This was a great finale for a great art tour in Williamsburg.

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