BOS Day 3: 1717 Troutman & beyond

DAY1DAY2:56Bogart • DAY2:Part2DAY2:EveningDAY3HOLYBOS!

1 7 1 7 • T R O U T M A N

Day three. When I awoke, my legs felt like they ended with two bloody stumps after foolishly wearing heels ALL DAY during the previous day’s artwalk. After a quick shoot at Holy BOS Brunch, I paused by home and I did the unthinkable, I left my DSLR behind, armed with only my iphone (& instagram) and set forth in hopes of free food and of course, more art. To my delight, I happened upon some of the most incredible works I’d seen all weekend.

PS All photos take with i P H O N E

You think he's excited? Imagine my face when I found out this chocolatier's loft was full of organic, vegan chocolate samples.

Greeted happily by the nice guy at Broolyn Salsa, I got my snack on and thanks to their generous “volunteer” discount, left refreshed with 6 salsas to go

 Just when the salsa jars were starting to weigh me down, I came across one of the most beautiful lofts I’ve seen to date; a corner space, full of windows – half of which were trickled – with ivy with great art to match. After chatting with the cool kids behind the space (four college graduates who recently joined the building) they kindly offered to hold onto my salsa and recommended braving yet another flight of stairs, for some “crazy” sculptures on the floor above. I should also mention they plan on having events at their space, that I, for one, hope to attend.

Art in the loft of Brendan Siltman, Emil Martrosian, Erika Ceruzzi, Peter Linden & Zoe Field

The iphone really does not do Andy Aidekman’s work justice. The darling artist (who is also a recent transplant) told me about a hard time she was going through, and each time she was sad, she’d make a drip. Well, that pain turned into an elegant chandelier of drips, adorning her corner workspace otherwise filled with experimental film photography.


and then … John O’Reilly happened

Sculptures that are as grotesque as they are sensuous, as captivating as a car crash, porcelain smooth realism in forms only found in nightmares.


I had walked past John O’Reilly twice before I was told the artist was sitting in the middle of the vast shared studio with his dog (who’s often a subject in his work), calming observing yet nearly unnoticed himself. I couldn’t help but approach him and he kindly showed me around his work, telling me about his process and learning leaving me bewildered yet rueful that i didn’t record the conversation.

The piece above, life size and in progress, enchanted viewers not only for it’s raw, lustful subject but it’s rare look at an artists process and craftsmanship. Still as the dead, but with such motion with hands crawling out of her back, gripping her thighs, her chest, her neck – this piece wowed me all the way ; )

and now, for some “cuddle” art

Fully satisfied, I thanked John O’Reilly, picked up my salsa from downstairs and exchanged tumblrs with the artists, and hung up my BOS hat.

On the way to the L train to meet up with a friend in the city, I charmed to see that the beloved Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos had it’s roll up door open and showing soft canvas work and a video installation. & it was really good!

Awesome spine painting at the local taqueria

I wish I could have seen more of the video but alas, I had to catch a train. While waiting to here those magic words “The next L TRAIN is NOW arriving on the MANHATTAN BOUND track”, in walks this guy. Ironically enough, I had just been obsessly revisiting ol MJ a few weeks back.

See you next year, y’all!

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BOS Day 2: WOW Performance Art Showcase

DAY1DAY2:56Bogart • DAY2:Part2DAY2:EveningDAY3HOLYBOS!

The show begins with a mysterious girl with a bat dress. She turns her back to the audience and spreads her wings. (edited with photoshop gone wrong. eyesore or awesome?)

After 3 loft buildings, up & down 12 flights of stairs and hoofing it across town for miles in heels, the opportunity to sit down on a plushy velvet sofa with a gin and tonic was enough to wow me.

When they say variety show, they weren’t kidding. The show featured bits of all things performance art, from trapeze to ventriloquism, from stripping to inspirational, to recipe listing to none other than Marilyn Monroe. & they weren’t afraid to remind you, this is performance art. Oh, did I mention there were also zombies?

But don’t listen to me, feel like you were there with these animated gifs.

WOW Performance Art Showcase was held at the House of Yes and hosted by Kae Burke, featuring performers such as The Love Show!, Anya Sapozhnikova, Angela Butch, Peter Daniel Strauss, Jan Manke, Megan Hornaday, Benn Mendoza, Ammo, Sherry Aliberti’s Cocoon Project, Akil Vishus Davis, Carla Rhodes, Julia & Heather, Keiko Matsuyama and Joanna Levinger and more.

diamonds ...

... are a girl best dead.

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BOS Day 2: Further Lofting

C A B I N • I N • A • L O F T

From 56 Bogart, we stopped by to visit with the lovely Adam Frezza & Terri Chiao. Their loft is not simply just a home and a gallery, but a bed and breakfast, featuring two adorable “cabins” one that serves as their room, and the other for guests. I was dying to check it out, though you’ll have to see it yourself as I didn’t take any pictures specifically of said cabins. Take my word for it, their home was warm and welcoming, as was the fine couple.

Breakfast art: ink prints from fried eggs

5 3 8 • J O H N S O N

Several blocks deeper in industrial Bushwick, we crawled over to 538 Johnson - the home and workspace of featured artist Ryan Brennan as well as my friend from Portland, Johnny Tragedy. Beyond pretty pictures, I was pleased to find the work was as refreshingly raw and chaotic as the hallways of the building.

Sexy or disturbing? Or maybe a fine balance of both.

↓↓If only we all had our cabinets clearly labeled below a piano skeleton fish

What more does a living room need than a stage and a great structure such as this? ^^

Ah Ryan Brennan, you had me at this piece. & then you continued to amaze!

In case you missed the sunset, it was exquisite from their giant rooftop.

Someone's handy with scissors at studio 405.

Johnny Tragedy does not disappoint.

♥A R T • B U S H W I C K

Onward still...

Dear Creepy Industrial Avenues, may you always stay so charming.

DAY1DAY2:56Bogart • DAY2:Part2DAY2:EveningDAY3HOLYBOS!

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BOS Day 2: 56 Bogart

DAY1DAY2:56Bogart • DAY2:Part2DAY2:EveningDAY3HOLYBOS!

5 6 • B O G A R T

Saturday is easily the most celebrated day in the three day festival. The Morgan L was flooded with street venders, hipsters, bewildered manhattanites and camera clickers alike, funneling up into 56 Bogart – four stories of artist studios, including those of featured artists Carol Salmanson and the Void Wave. Though my BOS experience began at Seeking Space the night before, followed by a quick shoot in the morning for Cosmic Yoga at Holy BOS!, it wasn’t until after a hearty breakfast at Tina’s that a friend & I ventured down the street to 56 Bogart to officially get art walkin.

Below is a small collection of the work that I found of interest / photos that came out well. Click on the image to view larger size.

*Feel free to identify the artists / works! Send me a link, photo, screengrab, carrier pigeon here.*

Giant chicken wire portraits by Seung Mo Park

beyond two dimensions, juan miguel palacios makes layered paintings, feigning realism to a dreamlike effect.

*Feel free to identify the artists / works! Send me a link, photo, screengrab, carrier pigeon here.*

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BOS Day 1: Seeking Space

DAY1DAY2:56Bogart • DAY2:Part2DAY2:EveningDAY3HOLYBOS!

Seeking Space opening party featured work of over 30 local artist with work spanning the gallery, halls, in the cafe & even a few stores in the Loom. The party was well attended, entertained by a live pianist in the cafe, DJs in the gallery and room to chill in the back patio.

The Living Gallery, tucked in the heart of the first floor of the Loom, presented Defying Devastation: Bushwick in the 80s photographs by Meryl Meisler and stories from Vanessa Martir. A small room with a huge impact showed many photographs of Bushwick in the 80s, long before most of us called this town home. Meryl, whom I was introduced to by fellow BOS artist Carol Salmanson, was an absolute delight, and told an astonishing story about how she came to know a woman who was actually in one of her photographs when she was in a child. See Lili Rusing’s article on Meryl Meisler here. 


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Holy BOS!

DAY1DAY2:56Bogart • DAY2:Part2DAY2:EveningDAY3HOLYBOS!

Written by Jenny An. Photographs by kerosene rose

I’d spent a lot of time trying to figure out the proper pronunciation for “BOS” but after attending Holy BOS, I have single-handedly decided, it has to be “boss.”

Like the best parts of the seemingly infinite number of galleries to peruse (okay, around 400), Holy BOS killed it when it was site and moment-specific. Which makes a lot of sense. Bushwick Open Studios isn’t about art, it’s about getting people together around art.

And so, whether it was a film festival splattered by colored light coming from the stained-glass windows of Bobby Redd church on Sunday night. A packed basement performance on Saturday afternoon by DMZL ritual art that was part Greek myth, part science fiction and part costumes Madonna would have killed for during her pointy-bra phase. A side room filled with guitars, percussion and other instruments for spontaneous jam sessions with Good Friend Electric—and an adorable Dalmatian.

Holy BOS was about art lovers being together.

Henry Glucroft, co-owner of Little Skips and Sabrina Yasmine Smith founder of blog Art Gypsy Tales curated the event around the space and the theme of abstraction. “Everything is really site specific,” Smith says. “In many ways this is a big art piece.” And more than a thousand attendees agreed.

The vets of the local art scene drew upon the artists they knew and loved to exhibit. While much less gallery than the art-a-palooza complex of 56 Bogart, it offered a canvas for artists including James Keul and Abel Macias–literally, with painted walls and the like.

Phoenix took over an outside yard and constructed The Desert Forest. From the outside, it looked like plastic strips immaculately strung up but as soon as you and your shoe-less feet walked across a rocky barrier, it was 2,500 square feet of disorientation and bliss. Foam and fake fur caressed your feet. The white sheets felt like walking through a downpour, without the wet but with all the lack of visibility. Makes a lot of sense that it’ll be traveling to Burning Man later this summer.

The communing was made literal at Andrew Ohanesian’s beer-confessional piece Mandies. A bar inside what looks like a confessional. Oh yeah, there was a nice cold keg in there.

And the party didn’t stop at free beer. There were two nights of music and lights shows from Ryan Uzilevsky on Friday and Saturday. “It was art in all forms. Vibrating energies from performers and the audience,” Smith says eloquently. Or you could rephrase it as: It was a sweet art party in a motherfucking church. Good times, guaranteed.

The only wonder is how Glucroft and Smith made it to the next mornings’ yoga and brunch on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

It’s pat to say, “You had to have been there,” but if that’ll get it mentally bookmarked if it happens again (Glucroft and Smith haven’t made promises either way, yet), I’m saying it right now.

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Into the Wave: Pt 2 with Adam F & Terri

Into the Void Wave, continued. Read Pt1: Jeff & Adam C here.

Through cosmic forces, artsts Adam CollignonCasey OpstadAdam Frezza, Terri Chiao, Tara Pelletier & Jeffrey Kurosaki find themselves newly united, separately but together as a happy art family forming the Void Wave at 56 Bogart, #3M.

I met up with Adam F & Terri at Swallow Cafe, who had been out of town during interview Pt1. They have been collaborating since September of last year after meeting during karaoke. Inspired by lifestyle, hand-crafting, architecture and experimenting with breakfast, they invite you to play with their food for Bushwick Open Studios and make prints from pancakes in their loft cabin. Sounds pretty amazing, don’t it?

Tell me about your work in your own words.
Adam F: We collaborate a lot, you probably saw the small framed plant portraits. Terri is an architect and she had built a small model for a greenhouse / treehouse study to help give an idea of what that might be like, we made handcrafted miniature plants. We have ideas to make larger plants to make installations so you have this room of playful mysterious handmade plants. That’s one project.

We are also working independently on different projects, I’m making a little panel series of projects. I’m a nanny for a six year old boy so we watch a lot of cartoons together so a lot of background imagery is stuff I focus on cuz I start to space out after too many cartoons. So I find some inspiration in some of the things that are going on in the background is like a small little study of portraits of nature.

Paintings by Adam Frezza. Photo provided by artist.

What are some of your favorite cartoons?
Adam F: Adventure Time and The Amazing World of Gum Ball. I think [cartoons] are brilliant, cuz obviously adults are making the cartoons so they are entertaining themselves as much as they are, children.

And you, Terri?
Terri: A lot of my work tends to focus on inhabitation and housing. I guess trained as an architect it’s something that I have a different skill set in, so lately I’ve been working on a lot of conceptual houses that I’ve been making little models of.

We have two little houses we have built in a loft space that going to be open for BOS. We’re trying alternative ways of occupying them. Right now, we’re having one of them being a bed & breakfast.

I’ve been focusing a lot on the form of a house, or of like structures that have roofs that you can occupy so I’ve also been building little models of them, and making paintings of them. Ultimately the goal is to build more, like full scale ones you can live in.

[ For an amazing place to stay in Bushwick >>> check out their loft cabin! ]

A cabin in a loft. Photo provided by artist.

You work with a lot of natural elements, right? 
Terri: Yeah, a lot of natural materials. Recently we’ve trying to only use hand tools, so not using mechanical tools like power drills. So now we’re also experimenting with using different kinds of Japanese saws, and different materials you can cut by hand. [ ] It’s just much more precise detail to help you work in a natural way. It was a little bit also because we had guests now, and we can’t use power tools all the time, so there is elements of practicality as it’s less dust, less noisy.

Adam F: Also, when Terri build the cabins, she used an [utility] knife to cut the wood and also a circular saw to cut the lumber. When you look at the full form structure it’s like she basically built a house with a utility knife.

I’ve always loved architecture but when I think of being an architect, I think of a big firm, pooling over blue prints in an office all day. Your work strikes me as far more inspiring, can you tell me more about how you came to do these projects?
Terri: I think that I went into architecture school knowing that I was interested in the intersections of that and a lot of other disciplines, including art, design, writing. [ ] So coming out there, I worked for a little while, I realized that was not at all what I wanted to do. I couldn’t imagine spending some of “the best years” of my life in an architecture office so this thing came around because I think for a lot of young architects, designing your home is a point where you can experiment and have relative control over it.

When I moved back to brooklyn after grad school, I had a chance to do that with the loft. [ ] A lot of it is realizing I didn’t have to work in an office and there were opportunities to do something different. 

How long have you been collaborating?
Adam F: Since September, we also have a project where we have small sketchbooks that we trade back and forth. We always have one at any given time, and they are filled with different patterns that we come up with. Some are better than others, but eventually we’d like to turn them into tapestries, pillowcases, clothing, something that’s more tactile.

Terri: Did we talk about the pancake prints?
Adam F: Oh no, we didn’t!
Terri: So a lot of our work is focused around domestic things, like utensils, house plants, and one of the other things we’re inspired by is daily rituals, like breakfast. One project we have is a print making project, we make pancakes on a griddle and then ink them and print them on paper.

Adam F: Use the pancake like a stamp and then each pancake is completely different than the last so we have a series of I think are beautiful little prints.

During Bushwick Open Studios on Saturday, I think we’ll be inking some fried eggs in the cabins. [ ] Every time we cook an egg there’s all these pits and weird kinda moments, so we thought why not ink it and see how it looks on paper.

I’m guessing you cook the eggs over hard … 
Adam F: Yeah, though it might be nice to have a little yellow smear going on …

That’s crazy. How long have you been in Bushwick?
Terri: I’ve been here about three & a half years.
Adam F: I had a studio on Forest in the English Kills building five years ago. But I have an apartment in Chelsea so I would commute. And after meeting Terri, I’m doing that commute again.

Morning in the treehouse. Photo by Andreas Serna

How did you guys meet?
Adam F: Karaoke.

Really? That’s so cute. Did you meet through a song?
Adam F: Pretty much. She and a friend were singing ‘I swear’ by All for One, you know that one? And my inebriated ear at the time was like ‘they’re flat, I’m gonna go help’ and I just grabbed the microphone and started belting it out. And I couldn’t help but notice she was beautiful at the same time.

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Defying Devastation: Bushwick in the 80s

The first night of Bushwick Open Studios saw many thrilling openings, but a highlight among them was Defying Devastation: Bushwick in the 80s at The Living Gallery at 1087 Flushing Avenue. The show features photographs by Meryl Meisler, accompanied by stories from Vanessa Martir, who grew up in a bleaker era of Bushwick as seen in Meryl’s photos.

I recently spoke with Meryl as she installed Defying Devastation at The Living Gallery. The self-described “habitual photographer” documented the devastation she saw on her way to and from work when she began teaching art here in 1981. At the time, Bushwick was a poor and crime-ridden neighborhood, with many abandoned buildings literally in ruins. “Coming to Bushwick from my background – growing up in Long Island and living in the City – when I arrived here I had certainly never seen anything like it in my life. It was very different from the world I had been photographing.”

However, it wasn’t the desolation and violence of Bushwick that Meryl was interested in documenting, as much as the beauty among the ruins. “You do not see photos of crackheads. I did not photograph people who were really high and seemed dangerous. I did not go into buildings that were condemned. I did not step on the crack vials… I guess looking back, I photographed things that I found uplifting. Why I even chose to stay and work here, and what I enjoyed about it very much was the human spirit. The beauty that I did see – in the light on the buildings, and the people, and things coming up out of nowhere – things that I found personal delight and curiosity in is what I recorded.”

In 2011, thirty years after she began photographing Bushwick, Meryl displayed them in a show at Soho Photo Gallery. An online feature about the show prompted writer Vanessa Martir to get in touch Meryl after Vanessa recognized herself in one of the photos. As Meryl tells the story, Vanessa had been talking to a class of students from Bushwick High School about how much Bushwick had changed since her childhood, when the teacher recommended that she check out the Bushwick Daily feature of Meryl’s show. “So she’s watching this audiovisual slideshow and there’s she is! That’s her! [Meryl points to a photograph of a young girl playing jump rope.] It just blew her mind. It totally threw her for a loop.”

When Meryl and Vanessa met they felt an immediate connection over their shared histories. “We hit it off immediately. Because my pictures tell her story. Her stories tell my pictures.” It wasn’t long after they met that they decided to put on a collaborative show featuring Meryl’s photos and Vanessa’s stories.

Nyssa Frank, the owner of The Living Gallery, loved the idea so much that she agreed to host Meryl and Vanessa’s show for Bushwick Open Studios before her gallery had even opened. “They exemplify everything I want to do. I really want to bridge this gap between the “us and them” mentality, in the sense of young white people coming in and living in Bushwick, the gentrification that’s happening… I really want to celebrate the community and give the community a platform.”

The Living Gallery is hosting several events throughout the weekend for Bushwick Open Studios. Tonight, Vanessa will perform a reading of her stories inspired by her childhood in Bushwick and Meryl will do a gallery talk. Other BOS weekend events include live salsa music with a performance by the PS123 Ballroom Dancers, Latin, African and Hip-hop dance by El Puente, DJ sets by Bushwick’s own Wilson Meredith, and a bike tour of local farms culminating with a beer and food tasting at the Gallery.

You can check out Defying Devastation: Bushwick in the 80s during BOS weekend and through June 25. For more information, visit or

All photographs by Meryl Meisler. Written by Lili Rusing (@lilirusing).

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Into the Void Wave, Pt1: Jeff & Adam C

Through cosmic forces, artsts Adam CollignonCasey OpstadAdam FrezzaTerri Chiao, Tara Pelletier & Jeffrey Kurosaki find themselves newly united, separately but together as a happy art family forming the Void Wave at 56 Bogart, #3M.

The story of the Void Wave begins about year ago with Adam Collignon, a multi-media “Suspension Master” from St. Louis who shared a studio in 56 Bogart along with Casey and two others. When the other two artists moved back to their respective home-states, Adam and Casey moved on from the “insanely cluttered” studio to #3M.

Casey, Tara and collaborators Terri & Adam F. weren’t able to make it so I chatted with Adam C. (aka Studio Dad) and Jeff (who collaborates with Tara) about analogue and digital worlds, potential record mix tapes and dancing like a crazy freak. Part Two with Terri & Adam F. coming soon!

How long have you lived in Bushwick?
JEFF: I’m from Oaho, Hawaii, then moved to Michigan for grad school then to New York. Tara & I moved out here about four years ago, we first lived in East NY, then moved to Bushwick.
ADAM: Two years, first moved to East Harlem, after two years, moved to Bushwick. I think Bushwick is fantastic. It’s more home-y.

Please, show me what you do. 
JEFF: This is Tara and me, we do video, sculpture and music. We’ll make a video, project it, and have live components we add to it. We also we write music, Tara writes poetry we combine them into a performance.

This is our record cutter, it cuts one record at a time and also plays them. It’s really lo-fi sounding. I just hook it up to my (i)phone, it sends an audio signal to the cutting head. The head directly transposes the vibrations to whatever material is being cut, usually a lacquer, but I’ve been using polycarbonate discs.  That’s what that is [pointing to weird white stringy stuff], it’s called like “Swarf”, it just catches it as it cuts.

We’re trying to make an addition [custom records], I guess they are sorta like picture discs, like documents for our projects.

Does cutting your own records lend to having a great control, or accessibility? Since you can do it whenever, could you make custom mix tape records?
JEFF: That could actually happen. The bad thing about producing records, it costs so much money to press a record cuz they have to make master plates. They won’t press one or five, it’s liberating in that we can make a record whenever we wanted to, and we can try to tweak the sound how we sorta want to sound. It’s limited in that it won’t ever get away from that crackley warped sound, it’s always gonna have those qualities to it. For us, it was really amazing, we can have our music be put on a record and experience it in that medium and not have to go through the conventional methods of producing that.

ADAM: I’m getting ready to sublet this space, so I kinda had to start cleaning it up. This is my painting. My work is kinda all over the place.

I’ve been working with this board for the past couple weeks, whenever I can come in. I just kinda try to balance the board in different ways.

When this space was empty, I was making dance videos. I thought how often do I have all of this space. I just want to dance like a crazy freak. So I put up this diagonal line, and this is a much more analogy to my life. I may have this idea of all this space, but there is always a line, something preventing me to be totally crazy in a space and always be aware. So me and Casey made these videos of me dancing, trying to avoid this line, interacting with this line.

You can see them on my vimeo page.

This is something I was doing with another board. I attached thermostat wire to the wall and wedged the board against the wall (being held just by the tension of the wire). It was a lot of trial and error.

As a new studio family, how’s it going?
ADAM: I think it’s working really well. I don’t think we’ve all had a real solid time working in the space, but I’m really glad it’s working the way it is. I really love everybody’s work, I respect everybody as people and that makes me really happy.

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Sneak Peek: Seeking Space

Enjoy this teaser photo essay of the installation of Seeking Space at The Loom.  Tonight is their opening party 7pm to midnight – please do stop by! Seeking Space will also be open throughout BOS weekend and will run through June 25th.

Seeking Space in their own words:
Seeking Space is the official visual arts group show for Bushwick Open Studios. Our goal is to showcase outstanding artists from the area who do not have the opportunity to exhibit in a studio space. The show is in its third year, and we are looking forward to working with the Loom to bring a diverse group of artists to BOS.

Alan Lugo, Bobby Walsh, Cait Oppermann, Cat Glennon, Elke Reva Sudin, Eva Wildes, Greg Frederick, Harold Hernandez, Heidi Howard, James Sera, James Skarbek, Jessica Slagle, Jillian Salik, Joe Salgo, John O’Toole, Jon Handel, Jose Castillo, Julia Sinelnikova, Kenneth Murphy, Lanny Hoang
Maiko / La Kombo Laboratory, Mark Nilsson, Minori Sanchiz-Fung, Nalani Latrish Williams, Paulo Rojas
Pia Coronel, Preston Spurlock, Rachael Bridge, Robert Servo, Sandra Codero, Solomon Siegel, Stephanie Kosinski, Sylvia Sewell and Yael Malka.

Opening party: Friday, June 1st, 7pm-12am
Also open Saturday and Sunday June 2nd and 3rd, 12pm-7pm.
The exhibition will run through June 25th.

The Loom is located at 1087 Flushing Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11237

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