A very personal guide to a few of my favorite things in the world of art and design in New York recently! Hopefully, some of these will be new to you and you will enjoy them as much as I do. I'll be updating as we go along, so do check back in!
DIMITRIS PAPAIOANNOU AT BAM
Photo from Dimitris Papaioannou
Brooklyn Academy of Music arts center is actually made up of three locations with extensive programming across film, dance, and theatre. It's one of my favorite art/performance centers in New York: historical and contemporary, with chill Brooklyn vibes. A choreographer I've long wanted to see live - Greek choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou - is presenting The Great Tamer November 14 - 17 which I'm very excited for, but do check out their programming for the rest of the season!
PUPPET SLAM AT LA MAMA
Photo of my friend Maiko Kikuchi's work for La MaMa Puppet Slam
La MaMa is one of those small experimental venues that makes the Lower East Side just oh-so-special (since the 1960s!). For the last 8 years, I've been going there for puppet shows, off broadway shows, beatboxing battles, and more! This weekend (Nov. 16 - 17) is the Puppet Slam, sure to be endlessly inventive.
ANIMATION NIGHTS NEW YORK
Photo courtesy of Animation Nights New York
Taking place in the back of a Williamsburg bar in a hidden, often steamy room (accessible through the bar bathroom ), this free monthly screening has become one of my favorite hole-in-the-wall activities. They curate a program of animated films, many created with traditional hands-on techniques, from animators all around the world. These films never fail to surprise and inspire me and knock me off my feet laughing.
DRAWING AT FRICK COLLECTION
I admit, I'm shocked it took me over 8 years to make it to the Frick Collection. But aside from being a beautiful mansion on the Upper East Side, my favorite part was by far drawing in the Garden Court. On first Fridays of the month as well as select Wednesdays, Frick provides drawing materials for free for anyone to sketch. Not just any ol' drawing materials but nice graphite pencils, kneaded erasers, sepia toned papers, and gallery stools. Seriously lovely.
ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN FILM FESTIVAL
Photo by Topaz Pauls of Pianodrome
I'm a little obsessed with the niche film festivals in New York; some of my personal favorites are the New York Asian Film Festival (July), the Dance on Camera Festival (July), and coming up October 16th - 20th - the Architecture and Design film festival. All of the films have to do with architecture in some way, but can range from a portrait of a Bjarke Ingels residential building, to a project of a concert hall made of junkyard pianos, to examining the role of the architect in the design of prisons or addressing homelessness.
OPEN HOUSE NEW YORK
Photo by Albert Vecerka for Open House New York of the Brooklyn Army Terminal.
Another organization I just love is Open House New York. One October weekend a year (this year October 18 - 20th), 300+ sites (many not usually open to the public) open their doors for tours and visits. What is truly astounding is the breadth of the doors that open - from personal homes and private collections, to sanitation departments, Michelin-star restaturants, historical houses, theatre prop companies, garden rooftops, and factories of all kinds. Throughout the year, Open House New York also hosts all kinds of tours and talks. OHNY is truly a gem in this city!
TOMOKAZU MATSUYAMA AT BOWERY HOUSTON WALL
Photo from Hypebeast
One of the most amazing walls in all of New York is the Bowery Houston wall, where an ever - rotating selection of artists take over 1,300 square feet. Right now, Brooklyn-based Japanese artist Tomokazu Matsuyama has taken it over (12 days and nights of stenciling, spraying, painting) and his team has created an astounding piece that has to be appreciated up close. I'm serious, go!
JR AT BROOKLYN MUSEUM
Photo from Flaunt of JR's Chronicles of New York
The largest retrospective yet of French artist JR's work has just opened at the Brooklyn Museum. One of my favorite artists, and one whose vision has obviously touched so many people around the world - I was thrilled to see this show. One of the biggest reveals is JR's Chronicles of New York, a gigantic digital mural, or "living painting" where thousands of New Yorkers, each individually photographed and interviewed last year, are seamlessly woven together into a portrait of the city created from each individual's perspective of themselves.