The Armory Art Show is the largest art fair in the city, so, you know, it’s kind of a big deal. As the Daily News reports, this year was the first year that Bronx galleries and studios have gotten a chance to participate. So, of course, I had to take it upon myself to check out some of the venues. I’m going to preface this post by letting you know that I have a horrible sense of direction, which is exacerbated by the fact that I refuse to ask for directions in the city I live in.
Upon arriving to Studio Building I, at 250 E. 139th St. I was greeted with a sign that said to enter through the tire shop. It was real WTF moment, like this how people get killed type situation. Alas, I threw caution to the wind and with the assistance of a mechanic, found my way upstairs to the studio. There was such a wonderful/stark contrast between the grimy and industrious car repair shop and the bright artist studio right above it.
The artists working in Studio Building I include: Daze, Juanita Lanzo, Matthew Burcaw, and John Ahearn. It was actually very cool to see the behind the scenes space where the artists labor away to get the polished products we eventually come across in galleries. Among some of the works-in-progress were sculptures ( similar to the ones found in Parkchester) and large, vibrant floral-quasi-sexual paintings. I didn’t take any pictures here since the projects were still being worked on.
My next and final stop was Studio Building II at the Bronx Art Space, which I previously visited to see the Work Office exhibit. The latest artwork on display is part of an exhibit called Vital Signs. My personal favorite piece was Artist’s Books w/ DVD by Matthew Burcaw. Curator Linda Cunningham’s studio was also open for viewing. It was a great representation of what I’ve always thought of the artist’s process to be, if that makes any sense at all. When I work on my stories for example, I’ve got my notebooks open around me, any other relevant material is also nearby, pencils, my computer, probably a can of Pepsi. So I feel like her studio was a more advanced, cooler sort of version of that….again, if that makes any sense whatsoever.
There were a bunch of other exhibits going on that I didn’t get a chance to see. I am glad, though, that the Bronx art world was able to showcase itself as part of such an important event