~ANTHEM of the SUN . . bring on the solar flares !!!!

Bring on the sunshine !!
Bring on the heat !!
Bring on the . . SOLAR FLARES !!

‘ANTHEM of the SUN’
a group show organized by PALI KASHI
opened SAT FEB 20, 2016
and runs thru MARCH 20, 2016
CANADA – 333 BROOME ST, Lower East Side, NYC

more info: ‘Anthem of the Sun’ – CANADA

PIX FROM THE OPENING – SAT FEB 20, 2016


ANDY CAHILL, with work in the show . . at the opening & just . . be-KAWS !!!!!!!!!!!
be-cause . . KAWS bought some of his work !!


unknown guest beside . . one of Andy Cahill’s 2 paintings in the show.
ANDY CAHILL, ‘LAMP PREY’, 2015
acrylic & crayon on bleached linen. 24 x 24 in.

all I can say is: if CRACK is WHACK – then, what do you call this ?!!
and, can SWIZZ BEATS & The Dean Collection . . be far behind ?


PHILIP H. ASHLEY, ‘untitled’, 2016
brass, steel & hydrocal on wooden support. 19 x 16 in.


MAIA RUTH LEE . . . seems to be everywhere – that’s really happening.


MAIA RUTH LEE, ‘Economy of language’, 2016
heat sensitive fabric on electric heat blanket. 67 x 50.5 x 2.5 in.


on the wall: PALI KASHI, ‘Untitled’, 2016


PALI KASHI . . . ‘Untitled’, 2016
acrylic medium on lucite frame. 38 x 21.5 x 1.5 in.


ELIZABETH FERRY, ‘Just Her’, 2014
styrofoam, hydrocal, pigment, assorted minerals, flowers. 96 x 48 x 12 in.


detail, ELIZABETH FERRY, ‘Just Her’.


JERRY the MARBLE FAUN, ‘Prospect’, 2016
alabaster & salvaged barbells. 14 x 19.5 x 10 in.


BEN DOWELL, ‘Untitled’, 2014.
oil on canvas. 72 x 72 in.


IAN COOPER, ‘Screening (Greynbow)’, 2015
screen printed & hand-dyed cotton jersey, felt, vinyl, bias tape, aluminum, thread, powdercoated steel, painted lumber, MDF, & PVC with hardware.
67 x 61 x 52 in.


IAN COOPER, ‘Screening’, reverse . .


detail, IAN COOPER, ‘screening’.


AINE VONNEGUT, ‘On the Earth, in Hell and in Heaven’, 2016.
iron box, plastic, polymer clay, wire, aluminum foil & water.
18 x 18 x 18 in.


detail, AINE VONNEGUT, ‘On the Earth . .’


detail, AINE VONNEFGUT, ‘On the Earth . .’


AINE VONNEGUT.


PETER SUTHERLAND, basking in the high octane energy, of the newbies – inside !!

great night.
heat-ful, as opposed to hate-ful, lol.
just the way we like it – with the volume turned . . hardcore & full up.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~SPRING/BREAK 2016: TOP 3 PICKS!!

OK !!
my very short list . . for the 3 best indie artist and / or curator booths . . at SPRING/BREAK 2016:

1. ANDY MISTER
2. ALEX SEWELL
3. JON LUTZ

1. ANDY MISTER aka @helensaidthis


SWIZZ BEATZ / @therealswizz checks out paintings by . . ANDY MISTER
note: ANDY MISTER – was recently featured on artlovers – !!


artworks by: JULIET JACOBSON, SARA GREENBERGER RAFFERTY & JUDITH HEISLER
PHOTOS via Instagram . . @helensaidthis

2. ALEX SEWELL aka @see_well & ‘OBJECT TRAP’
features: NICHOLAS CUEVA, PAUL GAGNER & JESSICA LANGLEY


shaped canvases by – JESS LANGLEY
image via Instagram . . @see_well

3. JON LUTZ presents . . ‘MATTHEW F. FISHER – TEN YEARS’


painting by – MATTHEW F. FISHER
image courtesy: JON LUTZ

Happy Hunting !!




~LUKE MURPHY . . UNHAPPY USERS – OPENING PIX

LUKE MURPHY – ‘UNHAPPY USERS’
opened FEB 20, 2016
5 the show runs thru MARCH 20, 2016
CANADA, 333 BROOME ST – LOWER EAST SIDE, NYC

more: background
https://www.canadanewyork.com/exhibitions/2016/unhappy-users/

PIX FROM THE OPENING, SAT FEB 20, 2016


LUKE MURPHY, and TYSON REEDER, at the opening.


ROB HULT, SYRETTE, and SAM WILSON.
Nicholas Hult and Sam Wilson, along with 2 others – are co-onwer/directors of Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery.
Syrette Lew is a contemporary furniture/jewelry/lamps/interiors designer – her studio is quite lovely, cutting edge and very chic, it’s called . . Moving Mountains.
see: MOVING MOUNTAINS – mvngmtns.com


artist MELISSA BROWN, of the famed underground artist casino betting, performance games.


ERIC MONTY . . been a fixture on the Lower East Side hood, from way back in the day, Pen & Brush (1989), Rivington School and Gas Station.


OLIVIA PLATO, a British visual anthropologist currently here on a visit, she told me my thrift shop, Jersey City Heights (!!) rescued, $2 hand-woven bag – was actually quite a nice piece of authentic folk art, and that it was made by the KOGUI & ARHUACO indigenous peoples of Columbia, South Amercia – awhose culture is old, very old .. Pre-Columbian.
she knew because she had just spent 4 years living & studying among them.
how profoundly & powerfully interesting, is the world we move through, even without (formal) Shamans, is all I can say.
or: some ‘unhappy’ user donated this – and I found it.
go figure !! the ultimate soul sister DIY . . lost and found !!

talking about . . ‘thrift’ shops and ‘ancients’ bye the way . . does ‘Spring Break 2016’ – ring a bell, a faux ‘thrift ship’ . . bell.
if you follow the art scene, you’ll get the reference. if not, don’t worry about it.
it’s not that . . important.


I knew my hand-woven & very sturdy bucket bag was special, but I didn’t know it came from such ancient native roots. well, it found a good home. someone must have received it as a souvenir, I read these bags are the now the ‘symbol’ of Columbia, and being clueless – they donated it to the local Salvation Army, where I picked it up for all of $2 brand new. at least they didn’t just chuck it.

it’s kind of funnie, profound, and karmic . . . because Luke’s show has a lot of ‘weaving’ in it. both metaphorically, the web !! digital social media etc etc, and technically . . the interlocked coding of the LED lights, the inter-wovenness of the ‘found’ keyboard tunnel . . . but also literally, in a design . . to be revealed !!


Luke Murphy’s paintings on canvas cascade down the ‘west’ wall of the gorgeous double height front room of the new Canada gallery. yes, it’s the first time I’ve been there.
west wall, yes . . they had a seeking, rushing, profound depth to them. philosophical cries out – for civilization, and human-ness amongst the seemingly random scribbles. and symbols. and gestures, and color darts.
in short, code . . very human: bio vs gesture vs symbol vs past vs future.

communication, and transition – are key words I would use to describe the heart and soul of Luke’s work. I’ve been following his work with great passion & devotion . . every since I just happened to back into his first solo exhibit at a very nascent Canada gallery, on Lower Broadway, in Tribeca – in the basement of a Josh Harris / Pseudo experimental project building, must have been – sometime in early 2000.


Luke is a very multi-talented, uber complicated kind of guy. a big technical whiz, a big thinker.
his shows are always very, vastly different, he’s also really really into graphic design, and cutting edge communication. as well as . . the mysteries of our deep past, thoughts about the infrastructure of the deep future / cosmos.


LUKE MURPHY, ‘I Need 2 Always Make Back-Ups’, 2015.
acrylic on canvas. 84 x 72 in.


LUKE MURPHY, ‘User Explains Selfie to Other User-Friend’, 2015.
acrylic on canvas. 70 x 58 in.


LUKE MURPHY, ‘Users Color Theory – No blue’, 2016.
acrylic on canvas, 58 x 72 in.


Luke told me the ‘N’ is a symbol or bookmark for: “any number’ . . . in an equation or theory, or code. nice calligraphy hand skills, bye the bye.
he also told me ‘N’ could stand for NANCY, and still mean the same thing, lol – and . . why, not ?


and then we ‘transition’ through the gallery, through time, and through plastic space – in his tunnel of ‘found’and, looks like discarded . . keyboards. warped, and interlocked, frozen into a greater whole. yes they are quite literally . . WOVEN.
and, yes they are metaphors. and, yes, tunnel of love – did come to mind.
and yes . . the sure to come days of purely mental telepathic or somehow otherwise transmitted comunication, as in: no keyboard . . keyboards are obsolete and used for re-cycled building materials ?
did associate . . too.


everybody was captivated walking through this. that’s why I’m saying, go see it.
it’s an . . ‘experience’.
but, damn I wonder if it’s . . for sale ?
Damien Hirst, look out . . and you don’t need a haz mat team to maintain it.


like I said, w-o-v-e-n.
ancient pre-Columbian skills meet future obsolete . . now !! that is a trip though the looking glass, or what ?
it’s almost a keyboard weaving / time travel machine.
if you push it, and you can. ‘transition’ is at your finger tips.


the back room was home to an array of varying, small animated LED light boxes, each plugged into the electric sockets on the bottom of the walls.


LUKE MURPHY, ‘You Win!!!’, 2016.
LED matrix panels, Rasberry Pi microcontroller, software. 20 x 20 in.
edition 1/3.
absurdist and strange – this one was about . . 2 guesses !!
weaving !! how comforting, especially . . with that little smiley face.
animated infra structure, hard working code, graphic design interface, pattern, design, and – not to forget . . human/bio humor smack dab – in the middle of a world of increasing computerization & robots, even artificial intelligence ?


straight angle . . weaving.
as simple and basic as you can get.


wa-wa-weaving.


LUKE MURPHY, ‘Emojies$EverXoX’, 2016.
LED matrix panels, Rasberry Pi microcontroller, sofware. 5 x 20 in. edition 1/7.
love & kisses – the most basic human code.


LUKE MURPHY, ‘Departure’, 2016.
LED matrix panels, Rasberry Pi microcontroller, software
20 x 20 in.
jump on that plane.


LUKE MURPHY, ‘What Color’, 2016.
LED matrix panels, Rasberry Pi microcontroller, software.
25 x 20 in.
‘EN JE’ . . . ?
wtf.
that’s my BEST FRIEND, ERIN JENSEN’S . . USER HANDLE on IG !!
fer real !!


LUKE MURPHY, ‘Bad pixel’, 2016
LED matrix panels, Rasberry Pi microcontroller, softwarw
20 x 20 in.

ha ha the . . ‘bad pixel’.
you get it – right ? the unhappy user – comes to mind.
well, and even in traditional weaving, as opposed to weaving by lights, colors, and code . . . there are always small mistakes . . dropped stitches, color errors, etc etc, and to soothe the distraught weaver – it’s considered . . a sign of god.
it’s called . . God’s hand.
only God is perfect. to err is human. our early Shakers & Quakers and the pilgrims they sprung from used to insert ‘manufactured’ errors, on purpose – because pride was sinful.
maybe our computers & phones & hard drives are just like us.
and way – more than we give them credit for.

sometimes even our various digital devices skip a beat, run out of memory, degrade, de-charge, break down, or just plain fade way.
yes, and thus: the unhappy user . . feels like an . . old time ‘loser’.
lol – light up my imagination & chart the path . . Luke Murphy.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~ART FAIR WEEK – in NYC: the insider’s . . short list !!

here’s your best, real shot . . .
at what’s best – in NYC this week !!
it’s the galleries, and not the fairs . . that are driving the baby, this year.

and, the 6 TOP PICKS, ARE !!

1 & 2. CANADA GALLERY has a double-header:

1. LUKE MURPHY rocks the main space . .
his luminous, at once both gestural & philosophic . . paintings look amazing, cascading along the west wall – in the two story double height gallery front room. and then, you walk through a computer keyboard ‘time’ tunnel – into the magical LED mini, wired light boxes in the back room. their animated flickers can’t be caught by an ordinary camera, one of the reasons why I’m saying: go see this, as a priority.
besides the creative acumen & digital world wit on display.
this show is an . . experience. you gotta be there.

LUKE MURPHY, ‘UNHAPPY USERS’, CANADA, 333 BROOME ST. FEB 20 – MARCH 20, 2016
more: info & exhibit photos

2. and then, in the new annex next door . . .
CANADA is showcasing a whole bunch of rockin’ newbie . . rollers.
called ‘ANTHEM of the SUN’ the show, which was organized by PALI KASHI, lives up to it’s title.
I went for Luke’s show, was amazed . . & then stepped next door, and promptly fell down the maddest, baddest Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole, ever.
and so will you !!


‘ANTHEM of the SUN’, ORGANIZED by PALI KASHI, CANADA, 333 BROOME ST. FEB 20 – MARCH 20, 2016
more: info & exhibit photos

3. while you are on Broome St, head next door for the young painter HEIDI HAHN’S solo show at JACK HANLEY GALLERY, where she’s rockin’ . . heartbreak !!
tell me . . about it !!


HEIDI HAHN – ‘BENT IDLE’, JACK HANLEY GALLERY, 327 BROOME ST. FEB 12 – MARCH 13, 2016
more: info & exhibit photos

4. for ‘BABY’ BLUE CHIP LOVERS, do NOT miss:
GREGORY CREWDSON & his ‘CATHEDRAL of the PINES’ . . at GAGOSIAN on W. 21st St in Chelsea.
Gregory, and his amazing band of merry pranksters, an almost cinematic, totally dedicated behind-the-scenes photo set crew – are rockin’ heartbreak, melancholy, and the . . ‘je ne sais quois’.


GREGORY CREWDSON, ‘CATHEDRAL of the PINES’, GAGOSIAN GALLERY, NYC . W 21st ST. JAN 28 – MARCH 12, 2016
more: info & exhibit photos

5. for best out-of-towner, pop-up . . .
and, maybe even also file, under: love that ‘baby’ blue chip art market – that’s why I’m here crew !!
BILL BRADY is doing a . . TOMOO GOKITA POP-UP !!
72 FRANKLIN ST – JOHNSON TRADING . . in TRIBECA.
FRI MARCH 4 / 6-8 PM, and . . TOMOO WILL BE THERE !!


TOMOO GOKITA PAINTING on PAPER,’Family’ – image via @billbrady
TOMOO puts cutting edge, radical, hyper-twisted ‘realism’, and . . of course, supreme black & white- all in the same, stunned . . breath.

6. and then, if you want to get real down & dirty, go see . . the real Bushwick & Brooklyn & street art – from the ground up . . only weekend hrs.
go see ‘CASH4SMELLS’ at the subversive / co-operative new storefront project, studio space & gallery – they call: DRESS SHOP !! 322 TROUTMAN ST, Brooklyn.
& where the works on the walls – can be had for $100 a pop.


CASH4SMELLS, DRESS SHOP – 322 TROUTMAN, BUSHWICK, BROOKLYN – up thru MARCH 12
PHOTO: @andro.nyc
more: info & photos – DressShop tumblr

ready, set, GO.




~ANNIE HALL by DREW MILLWARD, CHICAGO – by way of GALERIE F

this is . . supposed to be NEW YORK CITY’S – BIG WEEK ?!!

so, how come the best NYC image . . is coming to us – straight outta CHICAGO ?!!

DREW MILLWARD . . . & GALERIE F, have collaborated on a poster/print for the LOGAN THEATRE presentation of . . ‘ANNIE HALL’ – ‘A NERVOUS ROMANCE’.
lol.
wonderful !!!

image via Instagram . . . @billycraven
see: GALERIE F, CHICAGO


‘THE BIG LEBOWSKI’ – by DREW MILLWARD
image via DREW MILLWARD

check out: DREWMILLWARD.COM – for more great, iconic & funnie !! images




~FRAGILE . . .

as they say . . . #mood


FRAGILE stickers . . .
image via Instagram . . @blank_stickers




~ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU . . ‘THE REVENANT’ & a look back to FALL 2003

‘THE REVENANT’, 2015
DIRECTOR: ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU, who also was a producer, and co-wrote the screenplay with MARK L. SMITH
Based in part on a novel by MICHAEL PUNKE

A FILM REVIEW – by NANCY SMITH, FEB 28, 2016

absolutely riveting.
talk about GREGORY CREWDSON and his ‘THE CATHEDRAL of the PINES’, this was the shocking . . DEATH & MANHUNT . . . under the tall, tall PINES.
the winter scenes add such a cold, cold visual, and cinematic heartbreak beauty – throughout.
I hope it sweeps the OSCARS tonight.

ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU . .
at the JULIAN SCHNABEL . . ‘New Indian Paintings & Selected Sculptures’ opening, at PaceWildenstien in Chelsea, NYC.
OCT 16, 2003.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH – first published in artnet, editor Walter Robinson.

I had the great luck to catch Director ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU in 2003, at a Julian Schnabel opening, way back in the Fall of 2003.
that’s 13 long, long years ago.
his film ’21 Grams’ had just opened in theaters, and ‘BABEL’ had just won the Best Film, Drama award at the Golden Globes, the very night before.

see: more pix from the Julian Schnabel, ‘Indians’ opening , NANCY SMITH – ART LOVERS NEW YORK, FALL 2003 on artnet.
http://www.artnet.com/Magazine/people/smith/smith12-19-03.asp#12

watch: ‘THE REVENANT’ – TRAILER
https://www.google.com/search?q=the+revenant+trailer+youtube&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8




~HEIDI HAHN . . via JORDAN CASTEEL

that’s what friends are . . for !!

JORDAN CASTEEL posted about her Yalie Grad Class of 2014 painter pal HEIDI HAHN, when Heidi recently opened a solo show at JACK HANLEY, and she just gave us news of the show’s sweet review by MARTHA SCHWENDENDER, in the NEW YORK TIMES this weekend !!

heartbreak ?
with friends like these, and a good many others – banish the thought.
though . . keep the paintings.
who can’t relate to a little melancholy ?
mojo comes and goes, for us all.


HEIDI HAHN . . . painting at JACK HANLEY, NEW YORK
image via Instagram . . @jordancasteel

read: MARTHA SCHWENDENER on HEIDI HAHN, NYT
–http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/26/arts/design/review-heidi-hahn-at-the-jack-hanley-gallery.html?_r=0

HEIDI HAHN, ‘BENT IDLE’
FEB 12 – MARCH 13, 2016
JACK HANLEY – 325 Broome St, Lower East Side, NYC




~NICHOLAS STEINDORF & DARREN WILL: where are they now ?


A LOOK BACK . . .
artist NICHOLAS STEINDORF and musician DARREN WILL – at SPRING BREAK, MARCH 2015 / NYC.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH

last year at this time, NICHOLAS STEINDORF was exhibiting a handful of short, intense and lyrical animated CGI video clips at SPRING BREAK ART FAIR. DARREN WILL composed the original soundtracks, that accompanied each clip.

this year, Darren’s band, MOTHXR, [mother] for whom he is the bassist . . is a having a big release party for their new album, ‘Centerfold’, tomorrow night at BABY’S ALL RIGHT, and . . they just scored a real nice review in FADER – link follows.
this time around, Nicholas collaborated with Darren to produce a ‘lyric video’ for one of new album’s songs: ‘She Can’t Tell’ – link follows.

MOTHXR – ‘CENTERFOLD’ ALBUM RELEASE PARTY
BABY’S ALL RIGHT, 146 BROADWAY, BROOKLYN, NY
FRI FEB 26, 2016 – DOORS OPEN at 8PM
+ SPECIAL GUESTS

read: the FADER REVIEW & SAMPLE MUSIC
https://www.thefader.com/2016/01/28/mothxr-she-cant-tell-single


totally dig the new album’s design, or what !!!!
esp that . . faux ‘commercial’ backdrop.
and, the retro, 70s ? – nylon windbreaker jacket.
cheesy, NOT !!
absolute – fab. just grabbed me – the moment I saw it.
‘vernacular’, I think that’s the moment’s big . . style: key.


the release poster . . so mellow/exciting. so throw-back. so Americano.
just so, exactly on the right/wrong sweet spot . . of cool.
great graphic. chalkbaord fonts, everything. right down to the shade of the lipstick, orange (!!)

watch: NICHOLAS STEINDORF’S ‘lyric animation’ . . for ‘She Can’t Tell’, MOTHXR . . YouTube

if you remember Nicholas’s clips for Spring Break 2015, as well as I do, you can take a real . . ride, forward.
pure visual poetry.
melodic intensity . . yours for the taking !!

a Steindorf sampling . . from last year:

PURPLE, 2015 – https://vimeo.com/121252050

(JACK GOLDSTEIN’S) KNIFE SEQUENCE, 2015 – https://vimeo.com/120108194

JAMES, TOBEY POND, 2015 -https://vimeo.com/119393358

ROSE, NEW YORK STATE, 2015 – https://vimeo.com/131001973

NICHOLAS STEINDORF . . is a big, & dynamic part . . of that YALE MFA GRAD class of 2014 – which is blowing up big in NYC, and deservedly so.
must have some . . helluva 2 years !!




~TOMMY MALEKOFF . . The Outdoor World

‘THE OUTDOOR WORLD’, 2016
A SHORT FILM BY – TOMMY MALEKOFF
FEATURING ORIGINAL MUSIC BY – JOE WILLIAMS
& running 10:17 minutes

FILM REVIEW – by NANCY SMITH, FEB 24, 2016

A singularly striking, but casually unwinding, almost freestyle cinematic ode – to MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE and also, to Black life . . .
as seen through the lens of a young New Yorker.
the word: vernacular – does come to mind.

TOMMY MALEKOFF leans into his subject, like a ski jumper leans into his skies.

‘The Outdoor World’ . . is a remarkable short film on MEMPHIS, of all places.
independently made by a young New Yorker, TOMMY MALEKOFF with a hand-held camera, and not much else. okay, and – with a lot of . . verve.
it also features . . an incredible, original sound track by JOE WILLIAMS aka DJ MOTION GRAPHICS. This singularly striking ‘travelogue’ with absolutely no words, but which is metaphor-rich, for your own taking !! is just transfixing – from frame one. it’s just the way TOMMY MALEKOFF, apparently a natural behind the camera, sees the world from his own very personal & straight-forward inquisitive . . vantage point. we are one with him, in his journey behind the lens, a young artist / explorer / producer just about to burst on the scene . . with no, or not much (!!) previous history or art world baggage to hold him back.

part of the magic spell of the film, besides just how strange vernacular Memphis can be . . . esp to a New Yorker, is the rhythm, the momentum, the framing & editing . . of the visuals – which pair up so nicely with the rhythm of the sound track, so completely, so sweetly. words ? who needs words. I might be wrong, but the closest I can come to describe the way the film moves, in words . . is, it’s the visual equivalent of house / wave / beach music.
it moves real casual, but it’s very transfixing. and then there’s the music.

in its own way, the film is also about . . BLACK LIFE.

as with most cutting edge art today – it’s also about indie low-key production, but big on both content, hand-lettered info graphics & real world digital photography . . in other words: small scale / big visions. DIY spirit, individual skills, and . . making your singular voice count, within the mass web of social media that surrounds us, bombards us 24/7 & then, focusing in on our own particular location-specific . . urban experience.

as for ‘graphics’ / sometimes called graphic design:
these 2 images are from Tommy’s website.
if ‘quiet beauty’ were a catalog, a style – this would be that, and that . . would be ok.
being right on the vibe – is hard to do.
don’t take it for granted, just how striking this singular home page . . is.

IMAGES: TOMMYMALEKOFF.COM

TOMMY MALEKOFF, and ANDREW KASS . . at ‘The Outdoor World’ – 170 Suffolk St, Lower East Side, NYC screening.

TOMMY MALEKOFF & ANDREW KASS are key players i.e. big energy & innovative creative contributors . . among the informal swirl of the very downtown, very politically aware, ‘seed-like’ & ‘gonna be’ very influential . . openly subversive, indie rebel, creative, cutting-edge & mostly underground . . urban-based, and informally structured . . artist crew centered around curator / artist . . SEAN VEGEZZI, is the best I can put it.
you know, the guys of . . 15 WARREN ST, 170 SUFFOLK, and 34 JOEY.
again, very urban-based in outlook, as in rooted in the actual infra-structure of the city, or with regard to global politics. a general over-all dynamic, as opposed to say . . specifically sticker art, or street art per se, though the group shows I have seen obviously include a lot of street art just by the nature of how things roll indie in NYC. the key is, these guys grew up in the downtown area, and within the underground fringes of the downtown art scene, and they don’t wait for things to happen, they just throw up the shows – on their own, or hit up other indie pop-up venues, or subway stations, lol. and abandoned buildings, and let’s leave it at that.

TOMMY MALEKOFF . . seems to have been blessed, not only with a natural eye . . for the camera & in turn – indie filmmaking – but, also with the insight that it takes to inform the footage, and thus blow up a small film of 10 mins – into quite the entrancement.
quite the statement.
and, with no .. words.


JOE WILLIAMS aka DJ MOTION GRAPHICS, and of whose moniker . . we have no doubt.
motion graphics – is what this film is all about . . style-wise.
and JOE supplied the original film sound track – and it is pro, and it is brilliant.

I asked Tommy to tell me a little bit more about how the film’s music score came to be, & this is what he emailed me:

“For the score – I came to Joe with 3 songs:
‘Walking in Memphis’ by Marc Cohn, ‘Where is da Bud’ by 3 6 Mafia, and ‘I can’t help falling in love with you’, by Elvis.
Joe took the melodies from these songs and applied strings to them instead of lyrics to make a more orchestral, atmospheric sound that referenced popular songs from/about Memphis. He also used samples of noises from mosquitoes and ducks for parts of the song(s). Each segment of the video has a special song made up of these references.”


backtrack: 170 SUFFOLK appears to be a large, vacant one story floor-thru space, much like a garage. SEAN VEGEZZI and pals put up an incredible pop-up, group show there back in June, 2014.
and interestingly enough, TOMMY MALEKOFF was one the featured artists. no, he didn;t show a film, it was kind of the exact opposite of a film, he put subtle ‘trash / tracks’ throughout the space. I know – it sounds crazy, but it really gave the place some . . ‘spatial’ grit. trash from North Carolina. bye the way. Tommy seems to be into . . geography. cities.
it made the space ‘bounce’, transcend. added city infrastructure ‘narrative’ – does that say it better.
one day I have to post the pix.
maybe soon.


as if . . anything by this crew needs grit.
grit & hardcore thought – am I.
I’m up for as much grit as you can throw at me. anything, but the wall-to-wall mediocrity this town’s art scene has become, for the most part.


of course inside it is dark. it is quite huge, and wide open and beautiful. raw, but not dysfunctional, with a great bank of high windows at the back near the ceiling, bringing the city lights inside. there was just enough light to pick out ‘poster’ mages from the film.
football. hmm. the outdoor world, you just never know.


DJ DONDERO, in front of one of the ‘film’ posters – featuring the MEMPHIS PYRAMID, what a strange tourist attraction.
and that’s just how the movie starts . .
the film’s outlook is curious, more than anything, I would say.
the ‘souvenir’ site, the ‘tourists’, mainstream America, America . . the Great Mall, speaks for itself. come up with your own metaphors, they are yours – free for the taking.
form the elevator ride down, to the crocs in the water. to the history of the place itself.
there was an info sheet hand-out, (it hosted the mega-fight between LENNON LEWIS vs MIKE TYSON in in 20020) – when you entered.


the projection screen was just off to the right, the back wall.


you can see the lights & buildings of the city’s night . . just outside, through the bank of large windows at the ceiling, just above the screen. very nice, lucky random draw-of-the-straw – real estate touch.


and then the film opens.
epic.


the film begins, with an aerial shot, and we descend via elevator into the Memphis Pyramid.

at first I thought, ok . . it’s going to be an ‘extreme urban infrastructure’ take down. a walk on the wild side, illegal high storied intrusion. but it was in fact, quite the opposite.
it was like finding a home movie souvenir, by a really smart kid. and then the music kicks in & you are off and running. entranced & wondering. wtf. this was no kid. this was a master at the vernacular. vernacular photography – look it up. not quite the same as ‘found’ photography . . because Mr. Malekoff is indeed the eye behind the camera of his very own footage. . with a pictorial style . . all his own, somewhere within the genre of ‘reality’ ‘souvenir’ and ‘documentary. it’s not fiction. it’s not made-up, but it is chosen & composed. and the vibe is very very cool, very chill. the direction, the easy scope, the unobtrusiveness, yet the telling . . of the average day to day, is not average at all. trust me, I’ve seen too many film projects in my lifetime – to know. the diff.
talent is rare, but when it spools – trust me, talent . . outs.


the croc.
the Outdoor World. Memphis – style !!


the big catfish . . ?
scale, size. animals. bio. haven’t I been hearing those very words, lately ?


the ‘tiny’ minnows.
we are minnows swimming in a sea of technology, social media & information overload.
we are on the other side of that glass. whose in the outdoor world, them or us ?
and hey, that’s just what I’ve been thinking . . who is really bio these days. we are . .
we are wired. we are . . wireless. we are computer merged. we are . . mutated.
and we are under assault by the nano life of the food chain. invisible particles. viruses. the icebergs are melting, but the viruses are growing.
everything is upside down.


the chicks, the cars. The Outdoor World – Memphis style.
the world was once so – easy. maybe that’s why souvenirs are so – pleasant.


LIL RON – the indoor / outdoor world ?!! (reference footage)
fab. bio. skills.
the dancing is called . . gangsta walking. it seems to be a form of ‘bio’ competition.
no wires, but wired !! but smooth wired. and nothing . . digital. well maybe the music recorded. it’s also referred to as ‘jooking’ . . it’s a dance native to Memphis.
Memphis must be such a special place. what’s in the water ?
besides crocs and catfish ? or maybe that’s it.
even, just the songs. the Memphis blues.


B. FRANK (reference footage)


LIL BUCK (reference footage)


back inside ‘The Outdoor World’ – at 170 SUFFOLK.


the hardcore party . . life.


sure to be a player. . .


in the outdoor world of NYC . . night life.


ASPEN and MOSIE.


yep.
‘The Outdoor World’ . . comes inside, and takes over . . your world.
if just for 10 mins.
you are knocked out of the water, taken deep down into the faux pyramid, and turned onto ‘jook’.
just a homemade ‘vignette’. not.
just another spectacular NYC night !! this crew never fails to knock it out of the park.
and they’re so chill – at it. the way they throw you – for a loop.
style. graphics. timing. curiosity. music. culture story-telling. slice of life documentary. the celebration of the great American vernacular. Memphis as seen by NYC.
the great American city adventure. cities are . .. us.

downtown indie filmmaker TOMMY MALEKOFF, and musician JOE WILLIAMS . . aced it.

READ MORE-SEE MORE: TOMMY MALEKOFF WEBSITE – ‘THE OUTDOOR WORLD’
http://www.tommymalekoff.com/the-outdoor-world.html

what a great title.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH

ps: @andrewkass & @doublebreed is a good place to start – if you want to follow these guys.