Take A Bite: NYC’s Art Scene in 2012

You have to agree that 2012 was kind of nuts and passed by in a blink of an eye. It is bizarre to think that I was still living in Berlin in the earlier half of it and then here I am flowing through New York City. And now it’s over. Berlin’s art scene is sporadic and can be a difficulty to navigate. So if you go to one area, you have to stay there. And there exists a wide spectrum from the institutional and academic exhibitions to the really esoteric secret spots. People use every space as an opportunity, even turning their own apartments into venues, and the graffiti scene there is just unbelievable. The city reverberates with energy and art, and despite the distance between locations, it is impossible to remain dissatisfied. Also art events do not close at 8 pm (as they do in NYC). They just don’t. 


Where’s the “Art” in NYC?


Every now and then I start feeling jaded with the art scene in New York, with the social climbing, the “who was there and who was seen where, whom you got your pictures taken with,” and it begins to feel like “art” has somehow been left out of it. There is an overwhelming sense of an ironic approach to art, which is so heavy and backwards. Like the modern artist is so afraid to express a feeling in IRL without an accompanied emoticon of a thumbs up. But, on the other hand, living here in NYC, we are in a thigh high playground of opportunities. We are granted with every neighborhood jam-packed with spaces. And new spaces are constantly popping up, storefronts are being opened, art shows are held in basements and pop-up stores. Artists are creating work on the net, curating their friends artwork, organizing shows, and being young. It’s a difficult time, but it is also a time to heave a deep sigh, look around, and keep plowing on. With enough care a person’s room can be just as good of an exhibition space as anything in Chelsea. So that being said, here are some of the highlights of the art scene in NYC in 2012:


The apocalypse did not happen (ok that’s arguable), we have yet to be sucked into a void of pixels, so this year has been kind of awesome (well, not Sandy, that’s just tragic) and there have been a lot of exciting things happening like art and fashion and music really breaking the imaginary line between them and engaging in collaborations. This can only lead to more exciting events in the new year and I hope that 2013 slurps us up and delivers some mega hardcore fantastic things. More happenings need to happen, more secret gatherings where art is not about being sold or bought, but it just sort of is, and if you catch it then it becomes a special, bonding, magical experience. Like Michael Alan’s living installation performance pieces at ABC No Rio and NOoSPHERE Art Space, which are a definite highlight of the year.


Michael Alan Living InstallationArtist Michael Alan (left) performing at NOoSPHERE Art Space with Sol Kjøk, Anna Christina Lorenzen, Desiree Cadman Mendoza, Garry Boake, Lola Rose, Rick Herron, and Jerry Rid in 2012. Photo: Joseph Meloy 


Next up (and staying on the Lower East Side): Envoy Enterprises opened a second location on Rivington street and opened with Desi Santiago (the man who masked fashion designer Alexander McQueens’ mannequins). They have so far put on a myriad of great shows from Superm’s Heaven/Hell collection to Martynka Wawrzyniak’s “Smell Me” exhibit where the artist collected and displayed her own scents through vials, candles, and a room doused in her aroma. They hosted the Duc magazine launch and have become a staple of Lower East Side outings.


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