Photo: Joy Garnett. Found Art (Ingraham St. - Bushwick) Unmonumental 593
As we prepare to launch Theodore:Art in its new space at 56 Bogart Street in Bushwick Brooklyn, it's been encouraging to read articles in the art press, blogosphere and even in the mainstream media that anticipate the continued development and flowering of the "Bushwick art scene" with enthusiasm. Here are a few excerpts from recent articles starting with the latest and going back to June 2011:
The New Criterion: Gallery chronicle
by James Panero - January 2012
Manhattan is the center of the art world. So why schlep to the outer reaches of Brooklyn to see art? My wife has asked me that question more than once on a weekend night, standing on the platform of a subway line we didn’t know existed or waiting to buzz up to an apartment gallery beneath the shadow of a cement plant. So what brings us back weekend after weekend? It’s a good question, and to suggest that we find a pied-à-terre in Bushwick to avoid the hour-long commute back home is not the best response.
Nor does the answer have to do with the appearance of what we see in these out-of-the-way venues. Bushwick, the neighborhood that is now shorthand for New York’s alternative art scene, offers up realism and abstraction, sculpture and painting, all in equal measure. The group shows that make up the bulk of Bushwick’s exhibition program often range across several styles as if refusing to settle on a single look.
While Bushwick lacks a style, I have learned that it shares a substance, in that most of the things you see there are made to take home. Bushwick certainly did not create the commercial art market. It did not invent art that could be purchased, traded, moved, and hung on a living-room wall. Instead, Bushwick’s contribution has been to construct a commercial art scene of its own that is ad hoc and where almost anyone can participate. It offers up art that we can all purchase, trade, move, and hang on our own living-room walls.
Bushwick has gone against the grain, not by turning against the commodities of art, but by turning art into a commodity that is local, much like the many other do-it-yourself craftsmen and cottage industries that have helped this borough become a hub of innovation. By going local, Bushwick does not rail against the art establishment of museums, auction houses, mega-collectors, and celebrity Chelsea galleries. Instead it sets up a viable, alternative culture of arts patronage. Rather than produce large, high-tech, or conceptual work for museums and the rich, it offers up small objects for any wall and every budget. Here the prices asked for individual pieces—in the hundreds of dollars—could not even pay to keep the lights on in a Chelsea gallery. In Bushwick, with art clustered on row-house walls or presented in apartment galleries, the locals make it work. Bushwick’s vitality is in its collectability.
The L Magazine: 5 More Art World Trends to Watch for in 2012
Posted by Benjamin Sutton on Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM
In the current issue of The L Paddy Johnson does some expert crystal ball/calendar reading, and predicts five major art trends of which we're going to see more in 2012—including, crucially, polar bear art. Reading her predictions and looking at the season ahead got me thinking about some other trends that seem likely to shape the art world in New York and beyond this year, enough to fill a list...
More Bushwick (and Ridgewood)
This was a pervasive trend in 2011, often at the expense of Williamsburg, with art spaces like Nurture Art and Momenta Art heading east in search of more affordable real estate. That's going to keep happening in 2012; already I know of one long-time Williamsburg non-profit art space that will be moving to Bushwick (well, technically Ridgewood, actually) this year and I'm sure there will be others. And then there are the incoming Bushwick project spaces by Manhattan galleries Kesting Ray and Luhring Augustine, which adds some serious art world clout to the proudly indie art neighborhood. Look for other Manhattan galleries to do likewise.
Photo: Joy Garnett. Found Art (Bushwick) Unmonumental 587
by Paddy Johnson on November 23, 2011
The history of gallery migration in New York is by now well-known, even if its particulars are not. Often it starts with a single artist-friendly building, that becomes the hub for community and neighborhood development. This gets interesting when there are circumstances where the failure of manufacturing is the stimulus for the rise of arts. A case in point; back in 1971, dealers Leo Castelli, Andre Emmerich, Ileana Sonnabend and John Weber opened quarters at 420 West Broadway — a former paper warehouse they bought outright — thus opening Soho to the galleries of 57th Street. Chelsea’s early days have a similar history: the manager of 529 West 20th boasted in 1997 that “twenty-two galleries had signed up” to fill former storage space. In Dumbo, it was the long-running art support at St. Ann’s Warehouse that propelled the neighborhood to prominence.
Bushwick’s 56 Bogart St. is beginning to experience this same transformation. In the past nine months, the building has rented space to Momenta Art, Agape, Interstate Projects, Studio 10, Salon Bogart, and CCCP (Creative Curators Collective Project). NURTUREart recently moved to the building from its old location on Grand Street. Theodore:Art is slated to open next month. Both find the location across from the subway and the draw of Roberta’s Pizza compelling.
ABC NEWS: Brooklyn's Bushwick Becomes World-Class Arts Mecca
By VERENA DOBNIK
NEW YORK July 31, 2011 (AP)
Brooklyn's old Bushwick neighborhood has quickly become a new world-class arts mecca — with music, dance, sculpture and theater bursting from defunct warehouses and desolate streets where gangs still roam.
That hasn't kept artists away from the affordable, industrial spaces — ever more rare in a pricey city.
"This was a ghost town, with tumbleweeds blowing down the street five years ago," says Jay Leritz, co-owner of Yummus Hummus, a Middle Eastern-style cafe on a street filled with musician rehearsal and recording spaces.
"The streets were empty," says Leritz, "and that was the big attraction — the lack of rules, like your parents went away for the weekend and it's a free-for-all."
Born-in-Bushwick creations have reached Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other top venues in the United States and abroad — even the tallest building on earth, the 160-story Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
The NYTimes Real Estate Section: Living In | Bushwick, Brooklyn
The Vanguard Alights
By JAKE MOONEY
Published: July 15, 2011
THIS sprawling neighborhood in northern Brooklyn was one of the borough’s first European settlements, and has been known for many things over its long history: for its farms, then for its breweries and factories, then for the blight and crime that descended in the decades after those employers closed.
Pages from that history are always on display for the neighborhood’s more than 100,000 residents. There are the wide streets and orderly grid of an area that was tamed by development early on. There are the mansions, churches and social halls, looking worn now, from a bustling middle period. And there are weedy vacant lots under the elevated train tracks on Broadway, Bushwick’s southern boundary, which has never fully recovered from looting and rioting after the blackout of 1977.
There are ample signs, too, of a new era, at least on the neighborhood’s western edge, where artistic and relatively prosperous newcomers have colonized an industrial zone and begun settling into the residential blocks. Many are transplants from adjacent Williamsburg.
Artnet Magazine: Bushwick Art Scene
FOR LOVE OF THE GAME
by Emily Nathan, June 22, 2011
These days, art is all about the money. Art galleries, art fairs, even museum shows -- people might not approve, but they know it’s true. So it should come as no surprise, in the contrary world that is the young avant-garde, that right across the East River, in the heart of Bushwick, Brooklyn, is a tight community of art spaces run by hip, happy 30-somethings who live cheap, share cold beers at sunset and show art for love.
Of the eight leading galleries in that remote Brooklyn neighborhood -- English Kills, Centotto, Factory Fresh, Norte Maar, Storefront, Regina Rex, Famous Accountants, and new neighbor MomentaArt, a transplant from Williamsburg -- six are located within five square blocks of the Morgan stop on the L train. Collectively, they set the tone for what is certain to become a greenhouse for the freshest and newest in New York art. Williamsburg, move over: Bushwick is blooming.
Photo: Joy Garnett. Found Art (Thames St. - Bushwick) Unmonumental 592