I am an active member of the Con Artist Collective and enjoying documenting and making art all over New York City.
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New art added once a month!
Apologies if you are viewing this on a smartphone. The graphics are getting all skewered.
Trying to repair this.
When I first attended Manhattanhenge at the Tudor City overpass on 42nd Street, my first thought was, “Wow! This is insane!”. This was when you could still get a good spot on the railing if you showed up an hour early. These days you will be lucky to see anything without a tripod or selfie stick unless you arrive hours before at this prime Manhattanhenge viewing location. When Manhattanhenge fell on a weekend this year, people waited as much as eight hours on a day predicted to be cloudy! So, my other thought was how much crazier can it get here? What if there was a marching band and Manhattanhenge became a complete festival with people celebrating all things Manhattanhenge and Neil deGrasse Tyson, the American Museum of Natural History physicist who coined the name? Well, I wasn’t quite sure what I needed to do but I started with the idea of at least having a parade. I knew I wanted the legendary Brooklyn brass band The Hungry March Band to be THE band! Anything less would have been a compromise. I emailed them and a few messages back and forth and my artistic vision was one step closer to being realized! I couldn’t really believe it until the actual day that we scheduled this guerrilla art project to take place. My original idea was to not promote it so everyone would be taken by surprise. On the final official day of the 2015 Manhattanhenge date of July 13, we marched down Tudor City Place to mostly amateur photographers among a few professionals and at least two television camera crews trying to catch the ephemeral sunset. It turned out to be a cloudy day, so Manhattanhenge was a no show and most eyes and cameras were on us. There were a few newbies who still tried to catch the sunset, but most people were happy we were there to salvage all the waiting they did to try to photograph to no avail a solar phenomenon that was not to be that day. A lady remarked she even came down from her dwelling when she heard the music. Is this what my art hath wrought? Staging parades for a would-be solar event that has gotten too big for its own good? I don’t really care. The smiles from most everyone said it all and the fun memories that will live on from everyone there that day is all the validation I need. It was so much fun I almost want to do it again for the next year, but I have this personal practice in my ideas and art to never repeat anything. Still, like Manhattanhenge, you never know what can happen 😉
Sometime in 2012, a small church in Spain made headlines when an ancient fresco of Ecce Homo on its wall was botched in a well-meaning hand at restoration by an amateur artist. It inspired this piece where participants can attempt to repair or destroy an image of the fresco even more. If you are interested in looking up the original art by Elías García Martínez that inspired this piece of interactive art, check out the following link on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecce_Homo_%28El%C3%ADas_Garc%C3%ADa_Mart%C3%ADnez%29
The Con Artist Slapping Booth a.k.a. The Slapping Booth was conceived as a Kissing Booth for Beyond The Pale, a sort of anti-Valentine’s Day group art show that was scheduled for Valentine’s Day 2014 at the Con Artist Collective Gallery Space at 119 Ludlow St. After being told that the Kissing Booth idea was not in fitting with the show’s theme of exploring the dark side of love, I changed the idea to a Slapping Booth and it was instantly approved. However, the journey from idea to the actual operation of the booth was not without its problems. I ordered a pre-made cardboard booth because it was so inexpensive and you could personalize it. However, a storm delayed its delivery for over a week. I jerry-rigged a booth at the last minute using foamcore board, colored tape, store bought Valentine’s Day decorations and some two-by-four planks someone left in the Con Artist wood shop and dashed some paint on it. I slapped on a suit(a slapping suit!), put on a red tie and opened for business!
Business was slow at first. Most people were hesitant to slap me. Some said they could never do that to a stranger. Some said after talking to me that I seemed too nice to slap. I memorized some insults to help people get into the spirit, but I lacked practice and most of the insults were not effective except for one which was followed by a slap that took me by surprise(Thanks Audrey Ryan!). I expected as much and added a hugging feature to encourage at least some type of interaction. By the end of the night, I would say I received more slaps than hugs and interestingly, the hardest and most eager slaps came from people who I considered my friends. It did allow me to think that I should quite possibly work on an idea for a booth about interaction that involves touch. Of course, months later, Marina Abramovic started giving away hugs as rewards to people who backed her Kickstarter project. I am not saying she stole my idea, but one definitely needs to jump on an idea and execute it quickly or someone else gets the credit.
An idea that came out of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I began to seriously think about what artists would need to still be able to do their art in case of an emergency such as a natural disaster or a zombie apocalypse. The Artist Emergency Kit was born. Of course, the mischief maker in me went for the humorous tone and it became a stream of consciousness project referencing specific artists that a box kit was made for and a funny take on their work itself. See the new art kits make their New York City debut at the upcoming show #thinkinginsidethebox at Con Artist Collective Gallery at 119 Ludlow St. at the Opening Reception August 6. The Artist Emergency Kits were last seen at the Select Fair as part of Art Basel week at the 2013 Art Basel Miami Beach.
My first neon art piece! I originally intended this as a statement against the really bad neon art which seems to have taken over a lot of art fairs as of late, but the funniest thing happened–I am now even more interested in neon art more than ever! Hopefully this doesn’t mean that I will be making awful neon art from now on. Fluent French speakers may note the minor grammatical error in the language. It is part of the charm of the piece. ceci n’est pas une cliché is of course inspired by the Magritte masterpiece, The Treachery of Images known for its quotable quote “ceci n’est pas une pipe”.
This piece made its debut at the group show #UNDR1ROOF, a benefit art show and successful Kickstarter project by Lädy Millard that will transform a house in the Bronx into an artist residency.
I was trying to find a way to promote the new T-shirt design of my favorite New York band Mother Feather in a viral way by presenting it in an interesting photo. I have been playing around with cloning in Photoshop for a few years now and I came up with this. Don’t you hate it when ninjas ruin your walk in the park?
When I visited the Museum of Modern Art during Marina Abramović’s The Artist is Present, I was there for some other exhibit entirely, but Marina’s work has this way of staying in your consciousness whether you like it or not. I thought I didn’t know her work but after visiting the retrospective of her performance art in the MoMA’s upstairs gallery, I realized I knew more than I thought. I just didn’t realize it was her work. I art directed my project The Shortcake is Present and is re-performed by Strawbina Strawbramović and friends and is my ode to the Abramović legacy.
Fireflies in a Box was my unofficial art entry in the 2012 DUMBO Arts Festival. I have crashed the festival three times now. I suppose I could have submitted the work, but I came up with the idea only a week before and I actually love crashing the festival and using it as easy feedback to the art. If you haven’t already realized, it is a tribute of sorts to Fireflies on the Water by Yayoi Kusama previously on view at the Whitney Museum. My favorite reaction was the little girl who seemed disappointed and said it’s not real fireflies when asked by her parents what she saw inside. Then she said, “but the lights blink on and off like fireflies” and it’s like a light bulb went off in her head and she decided she liked it. I like when you can see that your art is making the gears turn in impressionable young minds.