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Last weekend was the annual Bushwick Open Studios. It’s right in my backyard, since I live on the near borderline between Brooklyn and Queens. My residence is in Queens. Fortunately, the area of Queens where I live is close enough to hop on a bus to Bushwick. Although BOS reeks of gentrification, I’m lucky to live close to an art event. I’ve done BOS three times. The first time was in 2012. That was a complete mess. The second and third scored much better, 2016 being the best one over at OUTPOST. The opening party at OUTPOST was amazing. One reason was because they had open bar with free Finback beer.

This year I could only venture in baby steps. Usually for BOS I’ll take a whole day to explore. I had tickets to see The National for both nights over at Forest Hills Stadium that same weekend. Therefore I couldn’t take in as much. Hopefully next year there will be more opportunities to explore.

 

 

The first stop on BOS 2018 was this mobile gallery. It was run by Japanese transplants. (You can check out Shihorks on Tumblr.) They were taking names of people who stopped by, and offering to include the first names into an open art piece they were doing. My name is all the way on top. After thanking them, I went inside the check to check out the rest.

 

 

Walked around some more. Walked inside which I guessed used to be a former factory converted into either artist studios and/or lofts. Saw some nude body painting, and stumbled across a robot. The robot was part of something called Toaster Unplugged.

 

 

Walking around some more, you can still see some of the anti-Trump sentiment in the Bushwick area.

 

 

Last stop before going to Forest Hills was something I haven’t seen since leaving the Midwest. A fake beach. Having grown up on the East Coast with natural beaches, I always turned up my nose at this concept. Guess it shouldn’t be surprised that a fake beach with a bar hit Bushwick. Wyckoff Beer Garden were part of BOS too.

 

 

 

 

Until next year.

 

 

All photographs taken by Michele Witchipoo 2018. 

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The next day after the opening reception of the Made In Ridgewood exhibit at OUTPOST Artists Resources, decided to spend Sunday checking out the rest of Bushwick Open Studios 2016. After all, BOS is in my backyard.

This year, 2016, Bushwick Open Studios was moved from summer to fall. Rumor had it that BOS was attracting too much of the “frat party” crowd. Therefore it was moved to late September. In a way, can’t say I blame them. Although the tourists have already discovered part of Bushwick. Which means the clock is ticking. At this point it’s just a matter of time. Gentrification really does suck.

My first stop was this tiny flea market on Wyckoff Avenue between Dekalb and Jefferson. I was greeted by this sight:

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What is Floraissance anyway? Whatever it is, there’s already haters. Floraissance resistance? Bushwick, Brooklyn Oct. 1st, 2016. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Didn’t stay too long in this flea market. Having always been a fan of thrift shop curios, there were some things that caught my eye. Didn’t buy anything basically because I have too many items in my home already. Met this lady who has this neat shop on Etsy called Neocronomicharm. The jewelry is right up my alley.

Continuing along Wyckoff. Here was my first official sighting of a BOS showing. Inside a parked car. Nearby that overpriced gourmet market Hana Natural. Hana’s is the only place in Bushwick where its mark-up is more pricey than anything in Manhattan.

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Art exhibit inside a parked car during Bushwick Open Studios 2016. Oct. 1st, 2016. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Due to being busy, I didn’t bother looking up any BOS guides online. My first stop was the popular Cobra Club. Used to spend a lot of time there, meeting the usual dysfunctional characters. One time me and a friend heckled this host doing some lame trivia night. Turns out we knew all the correct answers, but what was the point? So we said “peanut butter” to every question asked. At one point the host requested not to answer anymore questions with “peanut butter” but that only prompted us even more. This was nothing compared to one night in early November 2014. The host doing trivia that night presented a question about The Sex Pistols. Sex Pistols!?! How corny can you get? I was already in a foul mood, so I yelled from the back of the place “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE SEX PISTOLS!?!” The millennial host stood there in silence for about a minute, then dropped the question completely, moving onto a different subject. While it wasn’t fair to assume he didn’t know what he was talking about, it was still a cheesy trivia question regardless.

Despite trivia nights, I still like Cobra a lot. This year Cobra has a music photography exhibit in the back room. This is where Cobra usually has bands perform, karaoke (another thing I hate), burlesque and yoga. The photographer was Jeanette D. Moses.

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Photography by Jeanette D. Moses. Cobra Club, Bushwick Brooklyn at Cobra Club during Bushwick Open Studios 2016. Oct. 1st, 2016.

Having only stayed in Cobra Club for a few minutes, I moved on to the next few sightings. Such as the street art and wall murals. Just as I snapped the below photo, someone approached me claiming to be a talent scout. She complemented me on my hair, said I had a “good vibe”, then took a few photos of me. This doesn’t matter as I’m not photogenic anyway. Was this a scam? Regardless, I suspect she was turned off once I revealed my true age.

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Bushwick street art. Wyckoff Avenue. Oct. 1st, 2016. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Continuing onward. Checking out more street art and wall murals.

Then I saw this:

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A tour guide giving tourists a lecture about street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn during Bushwick Open Studios 2016. Oct. 1st, 2016. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

A tour guide giving guided walks discussing street art to tourists. A fricken’ tour guide. In Bushwick, Brooklyn. Hey, guess everyone has to make a living. Still prompted me to post this on Facebook from my smartphone:

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Saw some more street mural art.

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Street art mural in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Oct. 1st, 2016. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

A reminder of where I was:

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Switching gears, I decided to check out the studios 1717 Troutman Street. I found this tiny place on Cypress Avenue called Mextasis Se Habla Arte Mexicano.

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Mextasis Se Habla Arte Mexicano gallery during Bushwick Open Studios 2016. Oct. 1st, 2016.

Once arriving at 1717 Troutman, it was kinda like BOS jackpot. Every studio was buzzing with activity. Exhaustion was starting to come down, so I only stayed on the third floor.

Artist Jaclyn Brown uses dogs and cats in her paintings.

It was time to head back home, passing by the empty PBR cans as if they were hipster crumb trails (as my friend kindly stated). Despite my snarky commentary, this year’s BOS was a good one. Definitely way too many things to see for two days. Till next year, unless I get priced out thanks to the glory of gentrification.

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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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This time there’s not just one, but two Psycho Bunny pics of the week.

The first one is about Bushwick Open Studios 2016. For those who don’t know, Bushwick Open Studios, otherwise known as BOS is an annual event where artists from the Bushwick, Brooklyn area open their studios to the public. There were a lot of good work seen this year. Such as the Made In Ridgewood exhibit. Although I had plenty of snark for tourists who wouldn’t been caught dead in the same area fifteen – twenty years ago, there was amazing work in all mediums by various artists. Despite seeing some guy give walking tours about Bushwick street murals.

Psycho Bunny came by to check out some art – but he was really there for the open bar.

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Psycho Bunny checking out art while looking for the open bar. Based on the comic by Michele Witchipoo. Oct. 3rd, 2016. 

The second one is about the upcoming New York Comic Con. Whatever few friends he had, one of them was nice enough to get a little something. Only Psycho Bunny being the drunk that he is, is not amused.

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Psycho Bunny gets a gift from someone who attended NYCC. Only being a drunk rabbit, he’s not amused. Based on the comic by Michele Witchipoo. Oct. 3rd, 2016. 

Now for some promotional chatter. I’ll be at MICE in a few weeks. So if you’re in the area, come by to buy a comic. I’ll be table C99. Also check out the Facebook pages for both Psycho Bunny and WitchesBrewPress.

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This just in. I will be participating in the 2016 Bushwick Open Studios (BOS) event with the Ridgewood Artist Coalition (RAC) over at OUTPOST Artist Resources from October 1 – 15 2016, from 12:00 pm to  6:00 pm. This will be a group art exhibit featuring many artists from the Ridgewood, Queens area of NYC, displaying work in various mediums.

Opening night details can be found on this OUTPOST page, from noon to 7 pm.

I’m especially pleased because I’ll be showing something fresh. This is part of a new series I’m working on. The series is still in process but I managed to get the first part in on time.

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Reverend Mother. Pen, ink, illustration board. 2016. Loosely based on Frank Herbert’s Dune series. Illustration by Michele Witchipoo.

The new series is loosely based on Frank Herbert’s Dune. For a little over a year and half stone, I’ve been getting back into the science fiction genre. (In fact, the 50th anniversary of Star Trek happened this past Wednesday as of this posting.) Particularly those of a Dystopian nature. Dystopia is very fitting into these times, especially with current world and political events. Also, I think Dystopia forces us to confront some very uncomfortable truths about humanity through fiction. Many times Dystopian fiction is very disturbingly prophetic.

Despite some slight reservations I have about how the women are depicted in the Dune series, it’s still one of the best sci-fi stories of all time. My introduction to Dune came during my early ’80s adolescence. The film adaption finally came to the big screen, which I was lucky enough to catch during it’s original theatrical release. The film was produced by flashy producer Dino De Laurentiis and directed by art house fave David Lynch. It wasn’t the greatest film adaption, but at least it supplied some sort of visualization. It had enough impact upon me to buy the paperback at a local Queens drugstore, with the movie poster as the book cover. Years later gave this copy away, which I came to regret. Since then I’ve re-brought the novel at Topos Bookstore.

Enough details. What drew me back to Dune once again was through personal conversations, and it’s correspondence to magick. There’s a brilliant quote that’s pretty well known. It goes like this:

‘I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.’

You can apply this passage not only as an occultist, but also as any sort of creative. Whether you’re an artist, a writer, a musician, actor, etc. This can apply to life in general. In order to accomplish anything, one must get over, or break away from whatever holds the person back. You will never discover your true Will if you allow fear to overtake you.

Revisiting Dune the second time around, the characters that appealed to me the most were the Reverend Mothers.  Otherwise known as the Bene Gesserit. The Bene Gesserit is a very powerful sisterhood that can be liken to witches. So I’ve gone back using symbolism such as alchemy and combined it with the likeness of the Reverend Mothers.

The above piece is for sale. If anyone wants to acquire, you can send me an email.

See you during Bushwick Open Studios.

 

 

 

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Two weeks ago I participated in a group art show, as part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015 festival. It was my second time being part of BOS, the first going back to 2012. The second time worked out better for me, and after the Ridgewood Represent show was over, this round I was able to walk around to catch some of the other events.

Bushwick Open Studios seems to get bigger and better every year. At first, I was hoping to check out the other two completing events: Special Edition NYCC or the indie-based Grand Comics Festival, also taking place in Brooklyn. However, BOS was interesting enough, with this year’s edition of ‘art trucks.’ In other words, people had trucks parted outside in the street showing art, as sort of a mobile gallery. Despite the hipster ratio, I still managed to enjoy myself.

The best part – while I was checking out the other events, someone gave me free art supplies! Can’t beat that.

Below are a few photos from BOS 2015.

Street art from Bushwick Open Studios 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art from Bushwick Open Studios 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Art installation from one of the many 'art trucks' parked outside in the streets of Bushwick, for Bushwick Open Studios 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Art installation from one of the many ‘art trucks’ parked outside in the streets of Bushwick, for Bushwick Open Studios 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Street performance art. Bushwick Open Studios 2015. Man inviting strangers to come look at his cellphone data, including pics and texts. Brave man. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Street performance art. Bushwick Open Studios 2015. Man inviting strangers to come look at his cellphone data, including pics and texts. Brave man. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art seen on Jefferson Street, as part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Street art seen on Jefferson Street, as part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

One of the many 'art' trucks parked on Jefferson Street, as part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

One of the many ‘art’ trucks parked on Jefferson Street, as part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Stun Sudo pop artist showing work inside truck. Will have gallery show Sept.12 in the Chelsea area of NYC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Stun Sudo pop artist showing work inside truck. Will have gallery show Sept.12 in the Chelsea area of NYC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Some people turned their own apartments into a studio gallery for the weekend. As part of Bushwick Open Studios 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Some people turned their own apartments into a studio gallery for the weekend. Like what artist Liam Alexander did. As part of Bushwick Open Studios 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Inside artist Liam Alexander's apartment, which was turned into a gallery for Bushwick Open Studios 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Inside artist Liam Alexander’s apartment, which was turned into a gallery for Bushwick Open Studios 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Inside artist Liam Alexander's apartment, which was turned into a gallery for Bushwick Open Studios 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Inside artist Liam Alexander’s apartment, which was turned into a gallery for Bushwick Open Studios 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

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Sign outside The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House. June 7th, 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Sign outside The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House. June 7th, 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

On June 6 and 7th, 2015, I took part of a group art show, as part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015 event. A new group, the Ridgewood Artists Coalition  (RAC) had a showing at the historic  Vander-Ende Onderdonk House.

Below are photos of some of the work from the group show:

Artist Michele Witchipoo's drawings, as part of the Ridgewood Represent! exhibit at The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, June 2015. Part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015.

Artist Michele Witchipoo’s drawings, as part of the Ridgewood Represent! exhibit at The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, June 2015. Part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015.

Artist Tim Gowan's paintings, as part of the Ridgewood Represent! exhibit at The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, June 2015. Part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015.

Artist Tim Gowan’s paintings, as part of the Ridgewood Represent! exhibit at The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, June 2015. Part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015.

Artist Isabelle Schneider's installation, as part of the Ridgewood Represent! exhibit at The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, June 2015. Part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015.

Artist Isabelle Schneider’s installation, as part of the Ridgewood Represent! exhibit at The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, June 2015. Part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015.

Artist Archana Santra's painting, as part of the Ridgewood Represent! exhibit at The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, June 2015. Part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015.

Artist Archana Santra’s painting, as part of the Ridgewood Represent! exhibit at The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, June 2015. Part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015.

Artist Emily Roff's painting, as part of the Ridgewood Represent! exhibit at The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, June 2015. Part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015.

Artist Emily Roff’s painting, as part of the Ridgewood Represent! exhibit at The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, June 2015. Part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015.

Artist Danielle - Draik's painting, as part of the Ridgewood Represent! exhibit at The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, June 2015. Part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015.

Artist Danielle – Draik’s painting, as part of the Ridgewood Represent! exhibit at The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, June 2015. Part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015.

Below is my personal favorite from the show:

Artist Alison Duignan's painting, as part of the Ridgewood Represent! exhibit at The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, June 2015. Part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015.

Artist Alison Duignan’s painting, as part of the Ridgewood Represent! exhibit at The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, June 2015. Part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015.

While the show was happening, I decided to explore the Vander-Ende Onderdonk House itself.

Outside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House, June 7th, 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Outside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House, June 7th, 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House has quite a history, becoming landmarked in 1995. A kind gentleman took me on a tour of the house, starting downstairs with the colonial kitchen.

Colonial kitchen downstairs inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Colonial kitchen downstairs inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Colonial kitchen downstairs inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

The hearth, as part of the colonial kitchen downstairs inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Oven inside the hearth. Colonial kitchen downstairs inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Oven inside the hearth. Colonial kitchen downstairs inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Colonial kitchen downstairs inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Colonial kitchen downstairs inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Colonial kitchen downstairs inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Colonial kitchen downstairs inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Heading back upstairs, there was rooms sectioning off different eras.

Plaque designating the history of the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Plaque designating the history of the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Victorian room inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Victorian room inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Dining room inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Dining room inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Display inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Display inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House.

Cash register inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House gift shop.

Cash register inside the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House gift shop.

Not shown was the tiny farm in the back of the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House, complete with small chicken coop.

The show received media coverage since it was part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015 event. Below is a link to one of the many news articles.

http://queenscourier.com/photos-hundreds-of-local-artists-participate-in-bushwick-open-studios/

Part two of the Bushwick Open Studios 2015 coverage arriving in the next blog post.

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