The New Museum Debuts Collectors’ Dream Show, “The Keeper”

The Keeper|Dentaduras |Arthur Bispo do Rosario

The Keeper|Dentaduras |Arthur Bispo do Rosario

On Wednesday, the New Museum debuted, The Keeper, an exhibition dedicated to artist-collectors and quirky collections of all sorts. Carefully curated items fill the first four floors of the museum, featuring thousands of obscure objects, materials, photos and paintings; presented with obsessive aplomb.

Head curator Massimliano Gioni described the exhibit as a giant collaborative project that pays tribute to collectors and challenges the idea of ownership and value. “We ask what it means to hold on to something and what it means to lose something or someone,” said Gioni. “We ask what it means to care for an image and how and why we project emotions on certain objects.”

Among the varied collections are a series of famed novelist Vladimir Nabokov’s butterfly illustrations/classifications, 126 mixed-medium model houses discarded by Austrian insurance clerk Peter Fritz, and ancient artifacts from the National Museum of Beirut that survived a fire during the Lebanese Civil War.

Also featured in the collection is artist-collector Ydessa Hendeles’ Partners (The Teddy Project). Showcased as the centerpiece of the exhibit, Partners is an installation of 3,000 family-album photographs of people and their teddy bears. Some of the (now) antique teddy bears are on view, enclosed in glass cases alongside an image of the original owner.

The Keeper|Partners (The Teddy Bear Project by Ydessa Hendeles

The Keeper|Partners (The Teddy Bear Project by Ydessa Hendeles

The Keeper pays tribute to the individuals who were motivated to create and compulsively safeguard both fascinating and mundane objects. Of course, when deciding how to display collections, the curators themselves often take on the role of the artist.  Viewed as an overwhelming whole, the exhibition explores today’s ongoing dialogue around the questions of “outsider art” — “What is art?” and “What defines someone as an artist?”

The Keeper is on view through September 25th.

Essex Street Market Dresses Up Exterior With Mural by Gera Lozano

Image from ESMVA

Photo by Gera Lozano

The 76 year old Essex Street Market building received a bright and colorful face lift over the weekend.

The 200 sq. ft. mural on Essex is by Brooklyn-based artist Gera Lozano. A refreshing addition to the busy street landscape, the wall is a vibrant, multi-colored graphic mix of green leaves, a tropical tree and specialty goods and produce sprawled across the once blank brick canvas. Aside from the colossal public mural, Lozano also completed five canvases within the market that can be found over the entryways and above vendors’ stalls.

More images of the mural are featured below.


Weekend Kid’s Pick

Free, kid-focused exhibits at the National Museum of the American Indian

This weekend get out of the heat for a few hours and take the kids to The National Museum of the American Indian (1 Bowling Green, between State and Whitehall streets). “Infinity of Nations: Art and History in the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian” includes a  range of art by natives of North, Central and South America and is part of a permanent exhibition including approximately 700 pieces spanning thousands of years. Children will see headdresses, 2,000-year-old duck decoys created by peoples in the Great Basin, elaborate masks from the Northwest Coast, and Olmec and Mayan carvings.

The exhibition is free and the museum is open 10-5 daily.

Weekend Kid’s Pick

Kids learn to draw at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art

Your child can learn to draw anything…starting from a butt. This Saturday, The SoHo Gallery for Digital Art (138 Sullivan Street) is launching “Everything Butt Art at the ZOO,” which is an interactive activity book and iPad app that teaches children the core principles of step-by-step drawing… with a twist…every drawing originates from the outline of a butt. Saturday’s launch party from 2 to 5pm will include an art exhibit, story time & drawing demonstrations, interactive activity stations and balloon art.  The event is free and suitable for all ages.