Point Green Studio presents Tümbiverse, a new group exhibition that explores the many ways that artists create otherworldly spaces for new expression. Michael Bianchino is a painter and sculptor who builds technicolor portals that allow for total immersion and self exploration. Known as Tümbox, these tumor boomboxes are Bianchino’s “post human, neurological response to an array of intergalactic feelings including devotion, love, galactic cannibalism, and chaos magic.”Read More
Crushed, the first annual Brooklyn Dirty Book Fair, is a platform for independent publishers of erotic and pornographic material and artists working with sex. Curated by Matthew Leifheit, the fair will feature two small-scale exhibitions, a selection of publications and prints for sale, a program of performances and readings, live nude classical and jazz musicians, smutty film screenings, and an orgy afterparty.Read More
"Basically I’ve been experimenting with how you can use art to create community. Rather than going to a community as an artist, how can your art create ephemeral communities where people join in? It’s interesting because music has always been a part of my work whether it’s noise or punk rock, rap or now, trap. I really enjoy collaborating."Read More
New York City’s 60th annual Puerto Rican Day Parade is this Sunday, June 11th. Nearly two million people come out to witness the giant event which celebrates Puerto Rican heritage and honors those who have made a lasting impact on the culture. This year, the parade’s organizers have chosen to emphasize unity in these divisive times. The 2017 parade theme is “Un Pueblo, Muchas Voces (One Nation, Many Voices).”
In honor of the NYC Puerto Rican community, Point Green Zine’s weekend guide for the first week of June includes happenings that feature PR institutions, artists and musicians for the best events leading up to the parade.
FRIDAY, JUNE 8th
Femme Nation @ Taller Boricua Gallery
12 - 6pm
1680 Lexington Avenue, NYC 10029
Taller Boricua first began as the Puerto Rican Workshop in 1969 in El Barrio. It helped fuel the Nuyorican Movement and today continues its legacy of providing a platform for marginalized artists who have typically been ignored by the mainstream art world. The gallery’s current show, Femme Nation, features Lizzy Alejandro, Sandra Ayala and Maria Extevez. The three artists use photography to explore themes of femininity, sexuality, and motherhood. Femme Nation was curated by L.C. Stephenberg and runs through June 30.
The Whitney Biennial
10:30am - 10pm
99 Gansevoort Street, NYC 10014
The Whitney Biennial is one of the foremost exhibitions in contemporary art. It closes this Sunday so check it out on Friday before the weekend crowd descends. This year’s roster features many Hispanic and female artists, including Sofia Maldonaldo. See her piece in Occupy Museums’ Debtfair ahead of the opening of her solo show at Point Green on Saturday.
Friday Night Poetry Slam @ Nuyorican Poets Cafe
236 East 3rd Street, NYC 10009
The Nuyorican Poets Cafe began in 1973 in the East Village living room of poet and writer Miguel Algarin. It soon began a haven for marginalized writers, visual artists, and musicians of color. Today the cafe continues to use performance as a means of social empowerment and is especially known for spoken word and poetry events. This week marks the perfect moment to check out the Friday Night Poetry Slam or head over on Sunday night for some post parade revelry.
SATURDAY, JUNE 10TH
Fem Trap @ Point Green
5 - 9pm
260 Java Street, BK 11222
Puerto Rican artist Sofia Maldonado returns to her graffiti and skater roots with Fem Trap, her solo show at Point Green, a new gallery in Brooklyn. The exhibition is an exploration of young Hispanic female trap musicians and features new drawings, a visual playlist, skate decks, and a special pop-up shop stocked with special edition merch. Fem Trap opens Saturday and runs through June 30.
33rd New York Salsa Festival @ Barclays Center
620 Atlantic Avenue, BK 11217
After checking out the ladies of trap at Sofia’s show, keep the music going at the New York Salsa Festival which is part of the annual programming of the Puerto Rican Day parade. This year’s lineup features Eddie Palmieri, Tito Nieves, Grupo Niche, Fruko y Sus Tesos, Tito Rojas, DLG, Eddie Santiago, Frankie Negron, Domingo Quiñones, and Nuyorican legend, Willie Colón.
SUNDAY, JUNE 11TH
Puerto Rican Day Parade
11am - 5pm
Fifth Avenue from 44th to 86th, NYC
Don’t miss the main event of the weekend! Dubbed “America’s largest cultural celebration,” the parade is a choice way to set off summer in the city vibes. Since its 1958 debut, the Puerto Rican Day Parade has attracted massive crowds so get to Fifth Avenue early to secure your spot. This year’s edition marks the 60th anniversary of the event so it’s bound to be one for the books and the Snaps.
By Christina Di Biase
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, born 1972 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, unveils truth through what is an inherently distorted medium. Film, appearing observational and objective, also holds a sense of romanticism that is difficult to avoid. Film naturally dances a line between fiction and reality. Visual imagery is powerful in that it expresses things that language cannot. Muñoz utilizes this dynamic in powerful short films that focus on the revealed histories of Puerto Rican landscapes.
“La Cueva Negra” (The Black Cave, 2013) is a vision of Puerto Rico’s sacred past and complicated present. The film is non-linear, with segmented narratives that are a balance between spoken word and quiet visuals. Two young boys adventuring through jungle interact with every part of their environment, while simultaneously noting the forgotten cars, graffiti, and what else has been left behind. The boys play on the ground of El Paso del Indio, a religious burial site in Puerto Rico, uncovered through road development. A sense of reflection is invoked regarding the history and myth of the land. The tension between the material present and a discovered knowledge of the past creates the crux of the film. It forces the viewer to think about how we interact with our landscapes and the history they hold. That interaction of past and present creates a new history of it's own.
Muñoz’s films all share these themes. They are beautiful to look at, but also invoke a deeper narrative. She leaves room for the audience to process information, refraining from filling in every blank. The information she relays directly is not overwhelming. She engages with the real world by consistently using locals in her films. She avoids a contrived narrative by allowing for improvisation. Her subjects' genuine interaction with their familiar environment creates a sense of authenticity, accessing a deeper self that Muñoz uses as a tool for transformation. Through Muñoz's work, we learn that one's personality is shaped by their relationship to their environment.
By Christina Di Biase
Most American immigrants understand what it means to migrate for a chance at a better opportunity. Puerto Ricans, after gaining citizenship in 1917, flooded into New York City in the early to mid-20th century. The need to assimilate showcased itself in the Nuyorican art movement, which picked up speed in the 1960’s. A community of people, stuck between two cultures and identities, proclaimed themselves through poetry, literature, and visual arts. By creating their own hub of support and creative energy they thrived not only in their respective neighborhoods, but on a larger scale as well.
Miguel Piñero and Miguel Algarin co-founded of the Nuyorican Poet’s Café on the Lower East Side (Loisada). Initially operating out of Algarin’s apartment in 1973, the production became so populated that they moved to a local pub and then finally to their current building on East 3rd Street. The Lower East Side was largely a Puerto Rican and Dominican community in the 20th century before being of interest to real estate companies that made it into the “trendy” area it is today. The Nuyorican Poets Cafe was and is a space by the people for the people, a production that existed and thrived outside of the mainstream. There was an aroma of love and struggle that existed in unity within the cafe and within the movement. Communities of marginalized voices sparked a resistant and active arts community, which is what the Nuyorican movement was. Miguel Piñero wrote “A Lower East Side Poem” expressing this love and sadness. The influence of rap on the poem is apparent, also at the start of its popularity.
Miguel Piñero moved to the Lower East side from Puerto Rico at four years old. His father left at an early age and his family lived in poverty. He turned to theft at a young age-- first, to support his family, and later, because it was familiar. Affiliations with gangs and robberies led him from detention center to jailhouse, where he spent a lot of his young life. It is also where he wrote his play, “Short Eyes,” in 1974 as a part of a prison workshop, which would go on to Broadway and win “Best American Play” twice. His writing career was ignited in prison and continued to roar thereafter.
…there’s no other place that I can see
there’s no other town around that
brings you up or keeps you down
no food little heat sweeps by
fancy cars & pimps’ bars & juke saloons
& greasy spoons make my spirits fly
with my ashes scattered thru the
Lower East Side . . .
A thief, a junkie I’ve been
committed every known sin
Jews and Gentiles . . . Bums & Men
of style . . . run away child
police shooting wild . . .
mother’s futile wails . . . pushers
making sales . . . dope wheelers
& cocaine dealers . . . smoking pot
streets are hot & feed off those who bleed to death . . .
all that’s true
all that’s true
all that is true
but this ain’t no lie
when I ask that my ashes be scattered thru
the Lower East Side…
(A selection from Miguel Piñero’s poem “A Lower East Side Poem” )
Further uptown in East Harlem, known colloquially as El Barrio, rests another pocket of artists very active during the Nuyorican movement. Spanish Harlem still remains the largest population of Puerto Ricans in the city. One of the more popular destinations even today is El Museo, known for their celebration of Latin American and Caribbean cultures through visual arts. The museum was a fire station before its transition. Occupied by radical activists, it soon became a place where many fought for educational progress among the Latin community. The El Museo community fought for an integrated education, in a time where the primary focus was on white western cultures in classrooms. After continuous and persistent pressure, the board expanded programming by the late 60’s.
Rafael Montañez Ortiz, an artist, activist, and teacher, was appointed to create the materials for schools that highlighted Puerto Rican culture and history. He then transformed those materials into a museum that acted as an educational institution. In 1969, El Museo first functioned out of a local public school. It moved from brownstone to storefront over the years, before settling in its current location on 104th street and 5th avenue. The museum offers exhibitions, workshops, apprentice programs, library resources, and art project funding, all budgeted through the board of education.
The Nuyorican movement embodied the question of the creation of the self. Arts became a form of activism, amplifying their voices in a system that attempted to drown them out. It transcended ethnic groups and became a symbol of Latinx culture, but also a symbol of hope for any American immigrant who felt they were leaving their culture behind.
“Fem Trap” is a championing of the young hispanic female Youtube stars of the Trap genre, many of whom remain underrepresented. A large-scale mural detail of her abstraction will be displayed in the gallery space, along with a series of small drawings based on her anthropological investigation of the hispanic female Trap artist. In addition, Sofia Maldonado will create an interactive video installation, along with small run of limited edition goods such as skate decks, apparel, and other items. The items exude the synth-driven energy of the genre and the power of its performers.Read More
Point Green is proud to present it’s first show, PUSH ART, curated by “DJ SMOKE L.E.S.” chronicling the intersection of the art world with the skate world. “Push Art” presents seven artists from the old-school to the new—Lurker Lou, Paper Skaters, Silas Finch, Rodney Smith, Pat Hoblin, Ian Reid, and Jake Shellow—and seeks to act as a retrospective of the underground skate scene from photography to sculpture to painting.Read More