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Will post more details as it unfolds. My work will be shown at both MF Gallery and Trans-Cen-Der Art Group (TAG).

First: If you’re a fan of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, then check out the art tribute at MF Gallery, Aug 3rd in Brooklyn, NY.

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Flyer for the RHPS Opening Party Aug. 3rd, 2019.

The other event will be at Trans-Cen-Der Art Group (TAG), an artist networking and community group located in Bushwick, Brooklyn. I will have a ten minute talk about my art, as slides of my work are shown.

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Trans-Cen-Der Art Group (TAG)

Details forthcoming about both events to be posted on this blog.

Instagram:

MF Gallery

Trans-Cen-Der

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First off. I know this particular blog post is late. This exhibit happened all the way back in Jan. 6 to February 10th, 2018. Why am I posting about this now? This year is halfway over. Fall is already around the corner. Guess I’m getting 2018 out of the way.

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Industrial Culture Handbook. Published by RE/Search Books.

As a huge fan of the RE/Search book series, I discovered bands, underground personalities, subcultures, tattooing, occultism, tribal culture, strange films, sado-masochism, subversive literature, etc. RE/Search had a huge influence on me during my late teens and early 20s. It was through one of the RE/Search titles, Industrial Culture Handbook‘. It was purchased at the zine shop See/Hear maybe sometime back in 1990 or 1992. That’s when I first read about Mark Pauline. (You can read about See/Hear in this post. Better yet, now you can download the PDF version from this site, although I strongly encourage you to purchase the book.)

Mark Pauline is the founder, director and member of Survival Research Laboratories. SRL for short. He specializes in creating confrontational  industrial mechanics. The robotic movements of these creations could be considered performance art, even if occasionally unpredictable.  In January 2018, the Marlborough Contemporary gallery located in Chelsea, NYC showcased his work. As stated in a press release: “…is pleased (and slightly nervous) to present Inconsiderate Fantasies of Negative Acceleration Characterized by Sacrifices of a Non-Consensual Nature by the legendary Survival Research Laboratories. The exhibition, the first solo presentation by SRL in a commercial gallery, comprises eight kinetic sculptures dating from 1986 to the present, along with video documentation of past performances in which these machines were engaged.”

I’ve always wanted to witness an SLR event. After all these years here was my chance.

 

 

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The opening event took place on a sub-zero freezing Saturday night. The exhibit was part retrospective, part demonstrative. There was a robot moving around directionless in one area. Another machine featuring decaying animal corpses spun the carcasses inside the transparent globes

 

Here’s a YouTube clip I complied from all the smartphone footage filmed from opening night. I was experimenting with some free video maker, so you’ll have to excuse the cheesy soundtrack.

Here’s a more professional video of SRL/Mark Pauline demostrating these machines:

Some more articles about Mark Pauline and SRL: 

New York Times

Hyperallegic

Vice Magazine 

Office Magazine

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All photos by Michele Witchipoo unless otherwise stated. 

 

 

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Immediately after the 2016 presidential election, there was a huge outcry. Which prompted someone on Facebook to do an art show titled “Nasty Women.” It shortly turned into an open call for artwork, proceeds going towards Planned Parenthood. The submissions came in fast furious to the point where the curators had to end the deadline earlier than expected.

The space where the show took place was at Knockdown Center, located in Maspeth, Queens, NYC.

I was one of the many artists who contributed work for this show. My piece was a print titled #trumpsucksballs. It was originally designed for my greeting card line. (Still available for order for $3.00, plus $1.00 S&H = $4.00 if ordering online. Comes with orange envelope. Send payment to psychobunnycomix@aol.com and specify you want the #trumpsucksball greeting card.)

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Not all the art was anti-Trump related. Overall it had a feminist voice with or without Trump. The show itself was titled Nasty Women.

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A few days before the opening reception, me and a friend went together to drop off our work. That Saturday it was the first snow of NYC in 2017.

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Artist Beata Slazak Zalewski of Ridgewood, Queens. On our way to Knockdown Center to drop off art for the Nasty Women exhibition. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Jan. 2017.

Finally we arrived at Knockdown Center from out of the freezing snow. It gave us a chance to witness the display being put together. Various people were building large scale letters that spelled out NASTY WOMEN. The idea was that the art was to be hung on these letters. As the art gradually sold, the letters would be revealed.

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Knockdown Center. Maspeth, Queens, NYC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Jan. 2017. 

While we were standing there, we felt a slight buzz. The type of buzz when you know something is going to be magical.

A few days before opening night, the Nasty Women event was getting tons of press.

Opening night arrived. The turnout was larger than expected. People came from all over NYC for the reception, despite the remote location of Knockdown Center in Maspeth, Queens. My print sold within the first hour of the show. By the time I arrived, it was gone. Luckily someone snapped this photo for me. To whoever brought my print, thank you.

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As seen at Knockdown Center for the Nasty Women art exhibition. Sold. Illustration by Michele Witchipoo. Photo by Beata Zalewski. Jan. 2017. 

The artwork was flying off the letters as the crowd grew. At one point I saw a determined woman purchasing five separate pieces of art. The event itself raised 35K for Planned Parenthood. When the exhibition ended, all of the work donated had completely sold.

The entire weekend at Knockdown Center was dedicated to raising funds for organizations that would be unfortunately affected by the upcoming Trump administration. What seems to be the beginning of the Resistance art movement, there’s other upcoming Nasty Women events happening all over the world. Check here if you would like to be involved.

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Attendee at the Nasty Women art exhibition at Knockdown Center. Queens, NY. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Jan. 2017.

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This past weekend was the opening reception for the Made In Ridgewood exhibit, held at OUTPOST Artists Resources for Bushwick Open Studios 2016. There was a large turn out for the opening night. OUTPOST and Ridgewood Artists Coalition got together, gathering local artists from the Ridgewood,Queens area of NYC.

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Reverend Mother by Michele Witchipoo as seen in the Made In Ridgewood (Ridgewood Artists Coalition) group art exhibit at OUTPOST Artists Resources for Bushwick Open Studios 2016. Pen and ink on illustration board.

My work was part of this group art show, debuting this new piece. There were various mediums and styles ranging from painting, sculpture, video, photography and interactive. Of course it helped that open bar was courtesy of Finback brewery, another local Ridgewood establishment. It should be noted that Finback makes some very good beers. So if craft beers are your thing, definitely check it out.

Artists were: Yasmeen Abdullah, Kate Bae, Bill Bartholomew, Ethan Boisvert, Michele Borg (Michele Witchipoo), Daniel Boventer, Mengwen Cao, Campy Dicks, Liliana Dirks-Goodman, Nathalie Di Sciascia, Elizabeth Donsky, Rachel Dove , Danielle Draik, Pablo García, Ida Gavois, Tim Gowan, Huisi He, Georgia Hinaris, Ji Hoon Kim , An Hu, Daniel Iliescu , Liz Johnson (Spadiode), Sandra Koponen, Molly Lambe , Connor Lawson, Deanna Lee, Stephen Lewis, Christina Massey, Varvara Mikushkina, David Nakabayashi, Sharilyn Neidhardt, James Peay, Joshua Pelletier, Kyle Andrew Phillips, Gabriela Rassi , Elizabeth Riley, George Rosa, Christopher Rose , Rebecca Rubinstein, Isabelle Schneider, Sara Schraeter, Farshid Shafiey, Vered Snear, Jeanette Spicer, Kelli Thompson, Jimmy Valdez Osaku, Allison Wade, Tyson Washburn, Chenli Ye, Beata Zalewski, Alex Drewchin, Greg Fox, Winslow Laroche, Jonah Rosenberg, Andrew Sutherland, Caterina Verde, David Wightman, Magin Schantz, and Libby Mislan.

If you missed the opening reception, you can still check the exhibit until October 15th.

Thanks to OUTPOST Artist Resources and Emily Heinz for putting this together.

Next post: Bushwick Open Studios 2016 in photos.

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Tomorrow is the Made In Ridgewood group art exhibit at OUTPOST Artists Resources for Bushwick Open Studios 2016 (BOS). The opening reception will be from 6pm – 9pm. The exhibit itself will be up from Oct. 1st – Oct. 15th, 2016. Made In Ridgewood came out of the Ridgewood Artists Coalition, a collective of local artists. This event is also listed on the Hyperallergic guide to BOS 2016. I will among one of many artists showing work at the show.

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Photo: Image courtesy of NUTUREart. “Boots in Balls” Campy Dicks 2016

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One of the cats living at OUTPOST Artist Resources. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Sept. 2016. 

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Not only did I have a table at the second annual White Plains comic con, but also had three of my large scale illustration work on display at Catland. For the weekend of June 3-5 2016, there was a group art exhibit at Catland Books, in conjunction with the Bushwick Arts Festival. This worked well for me, since I live close to this area.

Of course, in the lieu of everything, something was forgotten, and I had forgotten to price my own artwork for this show. Especially since these in particular is work I would like to re-home. Aka, sell to make room for new projects I’m working on. Didn’t realize this up until Sunday, when I finally dropped in to check out the exhibit. Eh. At least it looked good framed.

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On display at Catland Books, June 3-5 2016 for the Bushwick Arts Festival. Three of my large scale illustrations from my 2012 Prometheus series. Artist Michele Witchipoo. Photo taken June 5th, 2016. 

 

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The first time I ever visited the infamous Mars Bar, it was sometime during the ’90s. It was your typical run-down dive bar. It also had the only bathroom I was hesitant to use – and in the Lower East Side area of NYC, that’s saying a lot.

I went back a few more times, but I wouldn’t say I was a regular. Back then, my hang outs of choice was Max Fish (original location), Coney Island High and Mother’s. Later on, I would visit The Raven Cafe and this small gay bar across the street from Raven called The Cock. In the late ’90s, The Cock would have this outrageous party ever Saturday night titled ‘What Would You Do For $100?’ Trust me, at that particular party, I’ve seen what people would do for $100, but that’s for another blog post.

Before Mars Bar closed down for good, it’s glory days were pretty much over. Last time I was there, must’ve been sometime in 2008 or 2009. There was barely anyone inside. In 2012, its doors shuttered. Now some overpriced bourgeois restaurant stands in its place. Like New York City needs another un-affordable eatery.

So fast forward to 2015. My friend who was a Mars bar regular informed me about an open call for art at the Whitebox Gallery. Quickly I grabbed some of my framed work to hang at the group show.

There was two parties at Whitebox. One was the installation party, in which mayhem was already in full bloom when I arrived. Free beer was flowing and music was blasting as the Mars bar reunion ensued. It wasn’t long when half-filled beer cans was being thrown at some of other attendants.

As for the exhibit itself. The opening party was called ‘Last Night At Mars Bar.’ It was part of a bigger exhibit called ‘The Last Party.’ The Last Party was curated by Anthony Haden-Guest and highlights NYC nightlife from 1975 to the early 90s.  Anthony Haden-Guest is a writer/cartoonist/art critic and has documented NYC underground downtown culture at its zenith. I was personally lucky to have gone to such places like Limelight, Tunnel, The World, and Danceteria. Especially when I was under-aged during the Danceteria days. Dancerteria was one of the first places I ever clubbed at, back when I was in high school. (I also went to Studio 54 when I was in junior high back in the early ’80s, and yes, that’s also another story within itself. I couldn’t, however get into Boy George’s birthday party over at Palladium, because I was under-aged. I did sneak into Palladium a year and half later, for another party. Once again, another story.)

My artwork as part of the group show at the 'Last Night At Mars Bar' July 2015.

My artwork as part of the group show at the ‘Last Night At Mars Bar’ July 2015.

Installation party at Whitebox Gallery for 'Last Night At Mars Bar' which was part of a bigger exhibit, 'The Last Party.' July 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Installation party at Whitebox Gallery for ‘Last Night At Mars Bar’ which was part of a bigger exhibit, ‘The Last Party.’ July 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Johnny Bizzare and 'ODP' - Old Dirty Puppet. July 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Johnny Bizzare and ‘ODP’ – Old Dirty Puppet. July 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Anyway, back to Mars Bar. You see, Whitebox is a non-profit gallery which focuses on ‘culturally relevant work.’ Yes, that dive bar has become ‘culturally relevant.’ Before the ‘Last Night At Mars Bar’ event, I visited Whitebox once before. It was a part of some Lower East Side art crawl festival. What was the theme – pizza? I can’t remember. Just a lot of free beer, and the night’s curator getting really upset when elderly old Chinese ladies dropped by to collect the discarded beer cans for recycling money. The female curator tried to shoo the ladies out, but since the ladies probably didn’t know any English, the curator was simply ignored. While the well dressed curator had this sour expression upon her expensively made-up face, someone in the crowd commented ‘Welcome to the real New York, lady.” The curator was not amused.

Whoever put this latest show together didn’t seem that bothered by the old Mars bar crew. In fact, the security guard was actually pretty chill. Meanwhile, the Mars Bars reunion was in full effect. East Village nostalgia.

At the installation party for 'Last Night At Mars Bar.' Photo taken by Michele Witchipoo, July 2015 at Whitebox Gallery.

At the installation party for ‘Last Night At Mars Bar.’ Photo taken by Michele Witchipoo, July 2015 at Whitebox Gallery.

Replica of Mars Bar window, at Whitebox Gallery. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, July 2015.

Replica of Mars Bar window, at Whitebox Gallery. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, July 2015.

The next night was the opening party. It pretty much picked up where the installation party left off. The show was the opening party was ‘Last Night At Mars Bar Variety Shit Show’ hosted by Johnny Bizzare. A band called The Sunnyside Social Club performed as well.

At the end of the opening party, a tad bit of sadness came over me. New York City has changed. Although there is less crime than back in the ’70s and ’80s, it’s organic creative chaos is gone. There’s still bits and pieces here and there but it’s more hipster contrived now. Nice, and safe, and guaranteed not to offend in the age of political correctness. Completely bland.

Hopefully this current state of NYC with its overpriced rents is a temporary thing.

Crowd outside Whitebox Gallery after the 'Last Night At Mars Bar' show. Whitebox Gallery. July 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Crowd outside Whitebox Gallery after the ‘Last Night At Mars Bar’ show. Whitebox Gallery. July 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

I watched the rest of the crowd sing merrily in the street, then head over to some watering hole nearby, in true Mars bar fashion. Since there were responsibilities to take care of the next day, this was my cue to head home. If you want to see the exhibit yourself, and you just happen to be in the NYC area, you have up until Aug. 23rd. At least I could now say I had my work shown in the infamous L.E.S.

Whitebox Gallery, created for 'Last Night At Mars Bar' show, July 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

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