Gallery Goer: LES Opening Night Edition

LES Opening Night Art + Fashion

Last night, art lovers and fashionistas joined forces for Lower East Side Opening Night: Art + Fashion. The event, under the auspices of the LES Business Improvement District, drew nearly  30 participating galleries and more than a dozen boutiques which held opening receptions, staying open until 9 p.m. While the receptions weren’t quite as wine-soaked as last year’s, the atmosphere was buzzy nonetheless and the streets were full of artists, gallery goers and their friends who came to enjoy a night out in galleries and boutiques.

My LES – Joseph Meloy

This weekly feature spotlights a wide variety of people who live and work on the Lower East Side. If you know someone you would like to suggest be featured in “My LES,” please email us here.

What do you do?

I am an artist and an exotic dancer.  Actually I am not an exotic dancer, but I am an artist.  Really!  (Joseph currently has his first collection of work showing at Le Salon D’Art on Stanton Street – make sure to go by and check it out.)

How long have you lived on the LES?

I was born and raised in the LES (4th generation LES, no less!).  In recent years, I have split my residency between the LES and Downtown Brooklyn.

Good Morning!

Broome Street, near Elizabeth — Olek is at it again.

Partly cloudy and 43 today. 54 and cloudy tomorrow. Rain showers on Sunday with a high of 55. Lots going on this weekend, including “Canned Ham” at Dixon Place tonight, “First Saturdays” for Families at the New Museum tomorrow and “Deer Tick” at the Bowery Ballroom Sunday. Don’t forget to consult Ken Beasley’s Weekend Music Picks and our new Kids Page for the Weekend Kids Pick. Have a fun, relaxing weekend!

LES Gallery Walking Tours This Week

With so many new galleries popping up on the Lower East Side, it can be hard to keep track of this emerging art “scene”.  A great way to sample what’s showing these days is a gallery walking tour.  Our friends at The Educational Alliance will be hosting two tours this week – Thursday afternoon at 3pm and Saturday at 3pm. You will be able to discover a few new galleries, see the most recent exhibits and meet gallery directors.  The 2-hour tour will be led by Rich Garr, artist/ educator, and director of walking tours at Gotham SideWalks. It starts at Educational Alliance and ends near the New Museum on the Bowery. The best part?  Mention you found it on The Lo-Down and get a special discount!

Featured Artist Mark La Rosa



This month's Featured Artist is photographer Mark La Rosa. We have always been big fans of his series of photographs taken along the East River.  It's hard to believe a geographic entity with such a bad reputation could elicit such beautiful and stirring images.  Mark writes:

photographs of the East River were taken near my home on the Lower East Side
mainly during the fall and winter of 2000. This work comes from a search for
unplanned beauty in everyday life, and is an appreciation of sanctuary,
abstract moments in the environment, time and change.  The monotone palette expresses a simplified relationship
with the water and ultimately accentuates the inherent beauty of places and
things that people often don’t consider beautiful -  such as the East River.

Mark La Rosa is a
photographer and artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY.  His work has been exhibited in the U.S.
and abroad, and published in several magazines and books, including Here is New
York, Interior Design, Time, City New York, Architecture, and others.  He studied photography at the
International Center of Photography in New York, and is currently on the
faculty of the New York School of Interior Design.

Visit our photo gallery featuring this East River series.

If you know an artist you would like us to consider for our Featured Artist series, please contact us at

ARTS WATCH – Genesis Breyer P-Orridge Back In The Limelight; Bars As Art Spaces

The New York Post features a story about "Unlikely Art Spaces" featuring the local Gallery Bar and others that use their art spaces as bars and use their bars as art space.

Gpo_30years-1 Invisible Exports will host the opening for their exhibition, "Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: 30 Years of Being Cut Up" tomorrow night at their gallery at 14A Orchard Street.  The show is a 30-year
retrospective devoted to the work of the legendary underground
musician, visual artist, performer and provocateur Genesis Breyer
. Check out NY Magazine's recent profile of the artist, who is still undergoing work on his current "long-term project" which involves turning himself in to his late wife,
Jacqueline Breyer.  The exhibition will run through October 18th.

Art Watch

An opening of interest that caught our eye:
Greene Contemporary's solo exhibition of new work by Hanna Cole, titled Instant Sublime. The press release notes:

Hanna Cole's work explores the distracted American state of mind. In Instant Sublime, she investigates the disconnect between an individual's physical presence and emotional state during a single instant in time. In the chaos of urban life, driving is one of the few remaining acts of
ritual and solitude. Drawing from personal experience, Cole uses
different views from inside a car as a metaphor for the relationship
between interior life and the world outside.

Her show
opens tonight and continues through Sunday August 2, 2009.

New York Magazine reports Ugo Rondinone's now-famous (or infamous?) "HELL, YES!" sign on the New Museum will be staying up on the building a little longer, at least for another year, apparently.  It was previously scheduled to be taken down this month but was  "recently purchased for the museum by a group of image-conscious trustees".  How does the community feel about the sign?  At least one response has been painted on the bottom of the light post across the street from the museum for some time now:

Videos from the Hood

Here are two recent videos in which the LES neighborhood is the star (or at least has a cameo).  They both, of course, tout clothing labels but they reflect the roots of the neighborhood skate and graffiti scene that has now become profitable for some.

We found this one on Animal and features a “Day in the Life” of skate legend Mark Gonzalez (shot for Four Star Clothing). He stops by the Open Road Rooftop, which we featured recently in our story about New Design High School.

We found this neighborhood vid at  Frank151.  It features the store Sneaktip (next to Frank’s Chop Shop)
and local Craig Hackey, who “gives the viewer a good little look into
the retail culture that Frank helped to pioneer in Downtown New York”.