If you want irony you’re best advised to stay in Williamsburg, on the other hand if you’re seeking legitimacy and a kind of jaundiced slacker attitude that comes with skinny kids wearing dog collars without one iota of irony you’re best served to drop by Bushwick. Assuming the occasional article about crackheads stabbing innocent people in the forehead with screwdrivers doesn’t scare you a ride by this growing outpost will inevitably embolden you and leave you feeling that despite all the hoopla of NY lately being a cultural deathbed this quixotic tribe of artistic collectives will have you wondering otherwise.
It’s a late Sunday afternoon and despite the fact that the fourth annual Bushwick Open Studios is coming to a close the crowds keep flocking to the courtyard of English Kills Art gallery. As much as the gallery has grown to mythical status and some sort of epicenter of the local art world here, (alongside Norte Maar’ and Factory Fresh) it’s obvious the owner, Chris- who is currently chewing on a gob of tobacco and spitting it wherever he sees fit- doesn’t really care. In his own words he pays no attention to what the Chelsea scene (the predominant art scene in NY) is about and prefers to show who he likes and believes in. Of course part of me wonders if this is false machismo, attitude or squarely the reason why the breakaway gallery is commanding so much respect and allegiance these days.
To my left are a motley pair of film makers- David Pierce and Gary Cullen (DJ Mayonnaise Hands-) who are visibly getting toasted and getting a hoot of displaying to me some local BMX bike rider who kept jumping over the wheelchair that they were filming in. (which you too can see on the next page kids.) They keep pointing to the loop and to the idea that in the end they don’t really ‘give a shit’ about the media and as much they recognize they need it – they find the media to be a bunch of parasites worthy of hearty parody. An attitude that in a nutshell displays and affects the local scene and why it may just be the latest hotbed of creativity in town- strictly because no one is trying to be a media hero/whore...yet.
Of course it’s no irony that the girl that’s been hosting their latest foray into decadence and this years Bushwich Open art Studios is the one and only Brooklyn Grifter (Kari Ferrell)– by now validated and mythologized over and over by Gawker, who’s sole business it seems these days is to parody everything that comes near its sight