BWAC Art Present Adds Native Shade To Purple Hook
Red Hook is fast turning into worthy of its surname, with many attractions that have hooked New Yorkers and tourists alike to this historic Brooklyn seaside enclave. The neighborhood has the texture of a rusty Montauk, bathed by the waters of the lower bay and vistas of low-slung factories, cobble stone streets and docks that stretch out practically close enough to grasp the raised arm of the Statue of Liberty.
Historic fishermen nonetheless cast their traces with the sturdiness of rent-controlled tenants. Longshoremen long for higher days. IKEA and Fairway function tent pole merchants beside all those beachy bars and seafaring watering holes. The water taxi makes a pit cease in the candy spot between Governor’s Island, Purple Hook and the Statue of Liberty herself.
In such faraway locations of lower rents and overwhelmed paths artists normally dwell, as nicely. And since 1978, the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (“BWAC”) has been curating spectacular artwork exhibits that includes local and outdoors artists that have drawn the attention of savvy collectors and sellers scouting new talent. A quarter of 1,000,000 people have visited these exhibitions since 1978.
Back in 1978, BWAC was comprised of just sixteen artists. Before Hurricane Sandy turned Crimson Hook into the city of Atlantis, over 400 hundred artists showcased their work within the gorgeous 25,000 square foot, Civil Struggle-period warehouse, reconfigured into galley space, on the pier overlooking the water at the very tip of Van Brunt Avenue.
Red Hook has since recovered, however half of those artists, who lost their homes and their work, fled to drier floor. In the present day the group is again up to 300 artists, in response to BWAC’s co-president and longtime leader, John Strohbeen.
And thrice a year (spring, summer and fall), the BWAC art present opens to massive crowds of Purple Hook aficionados and people making maiden voyages to this blue collar beach of ruddy-faced males, millennials with their younger households and hipsters priced out of Williamsburg.
This summer’s present, which opened on Saturday, features quite a few impressively eclectic and arrestingly black shiny stone island jacket visible pieces in each possible inventive medium — paintings, sculpture, photography, collage, mixed and multimedia — displaying the form of range that makes BWAC the vanguard of Brooklyn’s artwork scene.
To the extent that there is a running theme, the city of recent York, with its iconic landmarks and indelibly impressionistic neighborhoods, is re-imagined in the gallery house even as the Statue of Liberty lingers like a postcard within the framed window. The busy brick walls enhance the city motifs of latest York’s gritty streets and infinite cool.
Jeff Watts’ images is a valentine to a brand new York noir the place rainy streets and the spider-internet cables on the Brooklyn Bridge forged shadows worthy of Gotham City. Marybeth Zeman’s images is much less painterly however brings a gentle authenticity to otherwise acquainted landmarks of town. The Brooklyn Bridge and neighboring vessels are given impressionistic panache within the purple-hued paintings of Tiziana Mazziotto, and her expressionistic side can also be on display with blended media slabs of copper and gold paint that give the canvases the look of heavy trade.
A complete wall devoted to Razi Mizrahi’s giant industrial collages of artifacts found on the streets of town — plumbing pipes and steel beams, piano keys and rusty chains, e-book pages and house paint — re-purposed and renewed on one in all her canvases makes for a intelligent and captivating re-invention of urban life.
The show is well definitely worth the trip to Purple Hook, and worthy of this enchanting setting, with a wonderful, sharp-eyed curatorial consistency. It’s free and open to the general public, weekends till August 14th, from 1-6 pm.