Dog Days Group Exhibition opens Friday 7/13

July 13th–August 12th
Opening July 13th, 6–9pm

Dharman Abdullah
Tom Bob
Alta Buden
Stephan Fowlkes
Nathaniel Galka
Andrés García-Peña
Hannah Haworth
Andres LaTorre
Anna Ortiz
Charles Papillo
Anthony Puopolo
Aimee Wilder

As the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, the dog star, appears above us, these sultry days seem endless. One brilliant author put it: "These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after." Come celebrate the madness with us as we present a group show that is a constellation of small bright stars: new works by fresh faces you won’t be sorry you saw.

This show will be a part of Williamsburg Every 2nd Fridays and was just featured on NY1 News!

Alta Buden Power Lions, 8.5" x11", cut paper

Alta Buden
Power Lions, 8.5" x11", cut paper

Nathaniel Galka We are about to be on Cloud 9, 30x30", oil on canvas

Nathaniel Galka
We are about to be on Cloud 9, 30x30", oil on canvas

Anna Ortiz Untitled , 8"x10" oil on panel

Anna Ortiz
Untitled , 8"x10" oil on panel

If you haven't stopped by to see our show "Volver", maybe art writer Azhar Chougle can convince you.

"Volver" is up until July 8th, so please stop in!

"This month, Williamsburg has many a show devoted to rusting metals and sinking vessels, an apt reflection of the current state of affairs in the neighborhood's galleries. From lackluster group shows to underwhelming solo experiments, I perfected the art of the brisk about-turn out the door. 

There was one exception, however. "VOLVER" at Gitana Rosa (extended to June 30th) wasn't a mishmash of disparate voices and didn't showcase artists selling clueless constructions. Four artists combine magnificent craftsmanship with potent, relevant cultural gravity. From Andrés García-Peña's comical yet profound Occupy Wall Street tribute to Heidi Taillefer's unsettling, provocative and loaded portrayals, the show is a focused and sharp collection of work in which the artists pay heed not only to the importance of fine technique, but imparting their own backgrounds and experiences onto larger social and political landscapes. 

All is not lost in Williamsburg, for there are two institutions that are definitely worth a visit. The Brooklyn Art Library is showcasing theSketchbook Project, an incredible collection of sketchbooks from artists all around the world, free for anyone to browse by theme, artist or region. 

And The City Reliquary is as odd as ever, a treasure-trove of New York history as seen through its geology, tokens and mechanically gyrating burlesque women."  -Azhar Chougle

New Prints for Sale

Check these out! New signed limited edition prints by Andrés García-Peña.

" Venganza y las Torres del Parque" Hahnemuhle Fine Art Archival Photo Rag Paper image size 20" x 26" - paper size 22" x 28" (signed and numbered limited edition of 75) - $300 smaller version 12" x 16" - paper size 14" x 18" (signed and numbered limited edition of 100) - $125

"Venganza y las Torres" oil, acrylic and gold leaf on canvas 40 X 30 inches 2011 "Ole Taxi" Hahnemuhle Fine Art Archival Photo Rag Paper image size 18.5" x 20" - paper size 20.5" x 22" (signed and numbered limited edition of 75) - $250 smaller version 11.5" x 12" - paper size 13.5" x 14" (signed and numbered limited edition of 100) - $100

"Ole Taxi" oil, acrylic and gold leaf on canvas 24 X26 inches inches 2010

Opening Reception Last Night a Success

We opened the gallery doors last night for Andrés García-Peña's show, "Revenge of the Bulls." The event took place in conjunction with the Williamsburg Gallery Association's "Every Second Friday" gallery crawl, during which participating Williamsburg galleries collectively throw openings.

Andrés was on hand to meet and greet guests. His twelve paintings pop with bright, lush colors and depictions of bulls and bullfighters. One of our younger guests last night, a little boy checking out the show with his parents, asked: "Why are the bulls killing the bullfighters?" Which leads us to assume that while Williamsburg's younger denizens have access to an array of incredible and unusual experiences, bullfights are not among them!

Images of the show below. Thanks to all who came out last night and it made the event a great success!

Ted Southern

Last Friday I had the pleasure of meeting artist and designer Ted Southern at Eyebeam Atelier in Chelsea with regardsto our upcoming exhibit ‘Blueprints’. He is currentlyworking on developing space gloves for NASA.

tedsouthern_fingers.jpg

development in glove fingers, in chronological order from top left

Ted is primarily a fine artist working around the human body, movement and science. Towards the end of his MA, he entered NASA’s astronaut glove challenge and came in second place, outperforming current Phase VI spacesuit technology. This landed him a partnership with spacesuit technician Nikolay Moiseev, an internship at Eyebeam Atelier with NASA funding.

Courtesy of Space.com

Courtesy of Space.com

Our meeting was so much fun! I put my hand in this cool wee machine that is like space inside.  You slip your hand into a space glove and then the machine is turned on, and you feel the pressure that one might experience in space. And it gets very bloody hard to move!

Astronauts have to go through serious muscle building, particularly around the hands and wrists before an expedition so that they can function properly once they are up. It is truly incredible the sheer amount of information you have to take into account while designing space apparel.

A big thank you to Ted for having me! Its going to be great to show his work in Blueprints.

Amy Helfand

Hey! Its Hannah here, I am currently co-curating "Blueprints " with Aaron Valentin. I want to share with you some of the exciting studio visits I've been doing for the show. First of all, I went to meet popular rug designer Amy Helfand in her Red Hook studio

Amy was so lovely to meet. We had a great day beach-combing together and discussing her studio practice.

Despite a solid background in fine art, Amy’s beautiful rugs are her main product. These are all hand knotted by artisans from the anti child labour project ‘Good Weave‘ in Tibet. Amy works using many different techniques in designing her rugs; digital collage, sculpture, photography and drawing are all part of her day to day design process. Much of her inspiration is drawn from nature and abstracting it’s forms and colours.

She has recently done some work inspired by prayer flags after a visit to Tibet

Isn’t her studio just stunning??! It’s located right on the Red Hook harbour, with a great view…

I am so, so excited to have Amy be a part of ‘Blueprints’, we open on the 14th (7-10) so come down and check it out for some really super work! I’ll post details soon : )

HUNG Hijinks with Tom Billings

Tom Billings, one of Gitana Rosa's artists currently featured in the on-going show "Hung: Checking Out the Contemporary Male," stopped by last week and hilarity ensued. Witness Exhibit A, his piece in the show, titled "Happy Valentine's Day":

We're not sure what got into Tom -- maybe it was a misguided sense of competition with the other work on display -- but he suddenly decided to derobe and flash his, ahem, other piece.  Exhibit B:

That's Vanessa Liberati, Gitana Rosa's owner, pointing at the obvious. Standing next to her is poor Tim Wood, another of the gallery's artists (and yes, that's his real name). Perhaps no other man in Williamsburg has ever been faced with so much real and artistically rendered schlong in one night.

Tom seemed unconcerned. Hence, Exhibit C:

Any regrets, Tom?

We'll take the above as a no. It's not always so exciting after hours here at Gitana Rosa Gallery...or is it?

Carolyn Weltman's small prints

Carolyn Weltman's small prints

And another one of Weltman's prints, "Fight Boy Getting Ready" (a limited edition print), reflected in the gallery's front window.

And another one of Weltman's prints, "Fight Boy Getting Ready" (a limited edition print), reflected in the gallery's front window.

Vanessa and Tim, with a now fully clothed Tom, contemplate just how far they've been willing to go to expose great art.

Pics from Last Night's Trunk Show

Last night the ladies came out in full force to check out Michelle's beautiful jewelry and Sofia's natural skincare products at our Delicate Raymond + Victory Garden Trunk Show. (Michelle, pictured third from left; Sofia, first from left.) A whole lot of Hangar Vodka, coupled with good company, made for a fun night. Thanks to everyone who made it out!

Delicate Raymond & Victory Garden Trunk Show


Delicate Raymond Jewelry (http://delicateraymond.com/) and Victory Garden NYC (http://victorygardennyc.com/wp/blog ) are joining for a fall holiday preview trunk show showcasing natural skin care products and vintage inspired jewelry hosted at Gitana Rosa Gallery on Wednesday September 29 from 7-9pm.

Michelle Zimmerman founder and owner of Delicate Raymond Jewelry incorporates intricate vintage wear offset by romantic hints of blush gems, or mixing semi precious stones with locally sourced gold and silver, the collection is a reflection of a rich family tradition blended with cultural influences captured from moments spent abroad.

Sophia Brittan is the founder and owner of Victory Garden NYC. While looking for her future location for selling her brand of local ice cream, she is selling carefully-sourced, natural skin care products made by local farmers. Sophia believes that health and beauty are integrative, and while you might enjoy a scoop of wholesome ice cream, your skin might need a treat too.

Victory Garden NYC will preview products such as, Lotion Bars in Rose and Lavender (Ingredients: Coconut Oil, CT Beeswax, Mango Butter, Cocoa Butter, Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Fragrance (phthalate-free), Vitamin E), and Lip Balms in Rose and Neroli (Ingredients: Beeswax, Natural Essential Oils, Organic Shea Butter)

Delicate Raymond will have her holiday preview collection and Delicate Raymond’s signature monograms will be available for special order.

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For press inquiries please contact Evy Gonzales at evygonzales@yahoo.com / 917.554.5063

Hung Write Up

Here is a post written by Daniel Maidman, one of the artists exhibiting work in our current show HUNG.

Well, here's a bit of a format switch-up for you. I bumbled my way (with the generous help of Fedele Spadafora) into a group show of male nudes at Gitana Rosa Gallery in Brooklyn on September 10th, and the show opened last Friday, the 17th, at 7 p.m. I've somehow gotten a reputation as that one guy who can write words, so the gallery owner, Vanessa Liberati, asked if I would write a page of text about the show for the thing in the lobby where galleries tend to put a page of text about shows.

So this post, also at the request of the extremely clever, attractive, effective, charming, and well-dressed Vanessa, is that page of text. The show opened, as I said, at 7 p.m. on Friday. When did I get to see the pieces and sit down and write the text? 6:35 p.m. This bit of writing amounts to about 10 minutes; it doesn't have the extravagant 45 minutes I usually lavish on my well-thought-through blog posts, and I'm worried it might not be up to my standards. It's definitely more art-speaky.

Let me make a deal with you - if you can scrape off the art-speak and find there's something worthwhile in there, let me know, and I'll feel free to post this kind of thing once in a while if it comes up in the future. If, on the other hand, you feel I'm abusing, for self-promotion, the time you give this blog, let me know that too, and I will apologize to future gallery-owners under the heading the readers have spoken.

So here's the text, with the amusing name of the show first:

HUNG: CHECKING OUT THE CONTEMPORARY MALE
Daniel Maidman
Let’s agree, for a minute, that we can see a point to the nude as a subject for art. Straight out of the gate, then, we will be biased toward the female nude. Naked, or nearly-naked, women surround us: in our advertising, our television, our Internet. Our perception of women and their bodies is extraordinarily integrated – or fragmented, depending on your point of view. Either way, this perception reflects constant exposure.
The male nude still produces a shock of the forbidden, of the unknown; in fact, it produces the same shock that the female nude produced a century ago. This is a surprising effect, but as you browse around HUNG: Checking Out the Contemporary Male, odds are better than even that you will find yourself thinking – Holy crap, this is a lot of penis in one room.
And this brings up an interesting question: just what is it that makes the male nude special and distinct, that makes it different from the female nude?
I would offer you two loci of difference, one physical and one pertaining to gender and the spirit. The physical difference is the penis and the hair. Hips and waists, asses and faces – all of these can make a transit between the sexes with their forms more or less intact. But when you spot the penis and the hairy chest, you can only be looking at a man. Body hair and penises dominate this show, denoting the specificity of male nudity and producing the initial sense of shock. They define the playing field – they piss on the tree, so to speak.
More subtly, the second locus of difference is the concept of masculinity. This is more elusive, more difficult to define. We know more or less what we mean by the feminine, but we have lost that clear sense of the masculine, the unselfconscious, swaggering, strong masculine, which characterizes, for instance, the men of Rubens and Velazquez.
It is in respect to identifying and expressing this sense of masculinity that I think that HUNG goes beyond being merely a stunt-show, a concept-album, and enters into the realm of artistic synthesis and progression. A variety of ideas and approaches to the problem is expressed here.
We have visions of girlish waifs, of S&M musclemen, of ambivalent hipsters. Several pieces ironically regurgitate old ideas of the overpowering masculine, and it seems the artists have surprised themselves with the sympathy they found with these ideas once they tried them on for size. Other pieces identify masculinity and homoeroticism, both as a lived experience and as a fantasy ideal. Some pieces see masculinity as a threat, others as a joke. And some of the pieces see masculinity as simply one part of a personality, a kind of background condition out of which individuality emerges.
All of these pieces, in tackling a subject that still makes us cringe, work hard to reclaim a lost territory, a part of our humanity which has gone wanting on the contemporary American scene. I hope that in exploring the show, you will find yourself reawakened to slumbering resonances, enriched in your appreciation of yourself and the people around you, men and women alike, without whose differences from one another, life would be much poorer and more boring.

These are, to me, preliminary notes, because I think there's a lot to be said about the category of the male nude, and also, I didn't really think this through when I wrote it.

Here are a few pieces from the show, mine first, because who's in charge here? That's right.

The Rest, Daniel Maidman, 2010, oil on canvas, 48"x36"

The Rest, Daniel Maidman, 2010, oil on canvas, 48"x36"

Mad Max, Melissa Carroll, 2010, oil on canvas, 60"x48"

Mad Max, Melissa Carroll, 2010, oil on canvas, 60"x48"

Self-portrait as Satyr, Adam Miller, graphite and chalk on paper, dimensions unknown by me

Self-portrait as Satyr, Adam Miller, graphite and chalk on paper, dimensions unknown by me

I can't seem to find Fedele's painting anywhere on the Web. Here are a couple of really mediocre snaps of the opening:

the whole room

the whole room

your humble narrator

your humble narrator

And finally, a happy ending to this little story - my piece sold! A couple came in, sat themselves down on a sofa facing my painting, looked at it for a good long while, chatted with me for a bit, and left. They seemed like pleasant folks, and I thought, "Well, you know, at least they're thinking about it." Then Vanessa came over and told me they had bought it. I had a chance to chat with the couple again - they came in at the end of the evening, and were very enthusiastic about the painting.

Let me tell you what this is like, a bit, from the perspective of an artist who is interested in selling work.

First of all, money is nice. My work is terribly expensive to make, and I'm glad to have it start to pay for itself. Getting the attention of Vanessa and my painter friends is nice too.

But what's really nice is to make something, out of nothing, which people you do not know would vote to make a part of their lives. And not with a vote that costs nothing; they had to work to make the money they are trading for my painting, and they like the painting enough that that's worth it for them. I kind of got teared up about it, as I do about all of my art sales. I think my work is beautiful, but who cares what I think? To have other people think it's beautiful enough (in whatever broad way you want to define beautiful) to live with, is very rewarding for me. This is why I am grateful to all of my collectors.

So those are my feelings.

ARS GRAPHIS closing, oil spill condoms and more

Our closing reception for Ars Graphis was a hit, though we're willing to admit the show's beautiful drawings were almost (almost) upstaged by a certain box of Oil Spill Condoms. Yes, the closing reception was also the launch party for the condoms, which are being sold by some bold, yet appropriately precautious, environmentalists raising money for Gulf relief. (Relief of any other kind is your own business.) See their website for more about how to "drill without the spill" here . Prophylactics notwithstanding, here are some of the oil-less images from the show:

"Untitled (Woman with Cigarette," Aaron Valentin

"Untitled (Woman with Cigarette," Aaron Valentin

"Three Graces," Adam Miller

"Three Graces," Adam Miller

Two untitled pieces, John Plunkett

"Ring around the Posy," Lisa Petker-Mintz

"Ring around the Posy," Lisa Petker-Mintz

"Jaunt," Alexandra Pacula

"Jaunt," Alexandra Pacula

"Coral," Sonomi Kobayashi

"Coral," Sonomi Kobayashi

Finally, an UPDATE ON OUR OPENING HOURS: for the rest of the summer (until Sept. 10), we will be open by appointment only.