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ART, ART, ART WEEK

ART, ART, ART WEEK
The Spring/Break Art Show is known for stuffing eye-popping installations into a corporate building located right in the heart of Times Square. Spring/Break Art Show is back for its' seventh edition from  March 6 to March 12, occurring during the same week as the Armory Art Show. Participants will address the fair’s “Stranger Comes to Town” theme, which is based on the quote attributed to Tolstoy, “ All great literature is one of two stories: a hero goes on a journey; a stranger comes to town.” Founded by Andrew Gori and Ambre Kelly in 2009, Spring/Break Art Show offers free experimental exhibition spaces for independent curators to showcase works by emerging artists.  Pressing topics insinuating debate in current times are found, such as; migration and the xenophobia it can produce, as well as homophobia, racism, sexism, and assimilation. The exhibition  encourages interactive exploration of over 130 booths in search of understanding if there is such a thing as a stranger at all. Here were our favorite rooms
 
"The Wrong Place"
This pink-hued gel light filled installation is nearly impossible to miss. The immersive four-rooms easily double as a visual playground, or an alternative dimension. The instillation contains bright pink lighting ( with frames of equally bright text sculptures and wood panel paintings), floor to ceiling poles, and a concrete cast of dog toys spread around. The room teleports viewers to a place of statement, vulnerability, and contemplation. 
Anna Kustera presents a series of wood-painted, wall-mounted sculptures that are meant to resemble colorful shelves of identical books, bearing titles like "NIGHT SWEATS" and "NATURAL DISASTER." Colorful text paintings nearby violently shout tabloid headlines such as, "TRAMPLED BY ELEPHANT"," POISONED BY SPIDER" or "EATEN BY SHARK." The purple and red rods are meant to simultaneously invoke the viewer of both prison bars and stripper poles.
"When Darkness Loves Us"
With this immersive space, we explore our impulses towards public versus private rituals of mourning and our cultural traditions with tragedy. Maggie Dunlap's installation dives into society’s infatuation with the high-profile cultural crimes, contemplating how these obsessions feed a fascination that allows us to empathetically participate in privately condolences over a tragedy of others while privately indulging in a fantasy of being in the proximity of extreme acts of violence. We examine through these public reflections of loss, our need to grieve collectively over the inexplicable while tapping against a forbidden danger that both bewilders, yet suprins and bewilders us. Juxtaposed in a contrasting space, located at the opposing wall of the room, is a representation of a mode of private mourning and meditative reflection in the face of loss and trauma as encapsulated by the work of Linda Friedman Schmidt who transforms the loss of historical horrors into personal narrative portraits. 

 

When Darkness Loves Us create a room for death to transform into something more than just an abstract tragedy we must dread for the while that we are alive. The Bennett Sisters told Office, "The idea of death is universal. It’s literally the only thing in life we know is going to happen. It can be left unsaid, but it’s collective. There’s something about coming together and having a collective celebration and also a meditation on how hard it is to grapple with it. It’s this existential crisis that we all have to face, but if we all talk about it, what kind of positive forms of expression can come out of that? It’s about catharsis in a lot of ways, and acceptance."

(Hotel) XX

Setting out to depict every aspect of the way women experience hotels, Cesarine has integrated the work of over 20 female-identifying artists in a set of rooms at Spring/Break art show. Everything that catches your eye in (Hotel) XX holds an intimate story being told through an artistic platform about all the bad and good stuff that happens behind closed doors in the unfamiliar space of a hotel room; from the plush, old-school handgun that lies on the bedside table to the polaroids of erotic sex scenes. The mystery of what occurs beyond the closed doors in hotels; whether dark, erotic or dangerous, is all captured.

Majkut wanted to create the framework for the exhibit of women’s intimate experiences staying in hotels. "There’s a massive theme revolving around intimacy––whether that translates to the intimacy of an erotic scenario, or it plays out with doing something very mundane like lying in bed naked on the phone. Pretty much everything in the room is artwork, from the furniture, to the rug on the floor, to the camera made of porcelain. And they all touch on the different things that take place in rooms by the guests, and the mystery and the intimacy that occurs in private spaces."
Pictured below is a neon light with a vintage leather suitcase. Inside you find lingerie, a leather whip, and a June 1970 issue of Playboy.

Staged on Piers 92 & 94, The Armory Show offers a 15 site-responsive works installed throughout the two piers. Since founding in 1994, The Armory Show is New York City’s premier art fair and a leading cultural destination for discovering and collecting the world’s most important 20th- and 21st-century art. The Armory Show features presentations by leading international galleries, innovative artist commissions and dynamic public programs. The Armory Show has served as a haven for connection within the art world, inspiring discussion, discovery and support in the visual arts.

Patrick Jacobs’s (1971) super realistic, miniature sculptures are confounding. You view them through round glass lenses built intro gallery walls like portholes. Lighted from within give the illusion of an unusually dimensional and vivid, fisheye photographs of real scenes. In fact, they are elaborate, three-dimensional constructions resembling miniature dioramas with hidden electric lights to give them a glow essence. Mr. Jacobs achieves his magic naturalism composing mainly of artificial materials such as paper, plastic acrylic gel, hair and metal.

“Pink Forest” (2018), by Patrick Jacobs at Pierogi’s booth
Through Berndnaut Smilde's 'The Fourth Wall' project, the artist stages 'live' images on a theatrical set. Ephemeral clouds will appear automatically and at random times throughout the duration of the fair, dissipating as mysteriously as they were formed.
JR states that his mission in art “is always to raise questions, not bring answers.”  The 25-foot-tall photographs of two men, five women, a young boy, and a baby are enlargements of photographs from the archives of Ellis Island. Hidden in plain sight, JR replaced the immigrants’ faces with those of present-day refugees he met on the Syria-Jordan border. So Close (2018), the photographic mural, is the centerpiece of the art fair this year. Anyone riding along the West Side Highway this week will catch a sight of it, and it’s the first thing art show goers will see upon arriving at the The Armory Show on Pier 94—a glimpse of immigrants in a line, waiting.

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