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Archive for the ‘Only in NYC’ Category

Scene from The Armory Show, March 2020. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

The last fair I hit up during NY Art Week was the motherload of them all – The Armory Show. For those who don’t know, The Armory Show is kinda-sorta a big deal in the fine art scene.

This was also the very last large scale event I attended before NYC was gripped with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Like everyone else, I’m on edge. Here’s some observations about the art fairs attended in regards to Covid19. Tiny precautions were taken at VOLTA NY, no precautions were seen at all during Art On Paper, and there were a few attendees who wore protective gear at The Armory Show. Some were seen wearing the disposable surgical masks. One stylist lady had on both googles and the blue disposable mask, complete with high heels.

The tone at The Armory Show was slightly quieter, maybe a little sober. It was on a Saturday night, but absolutely more serious and upscale than the other two fairs combined.

Meet my Betsey Johnson backpack. I’ve named it Bobby Matsumoto. Photo taken at The Armory Show, March 2020.

At one part I did participate in a photographer’s project. Stepped into a booth, where the photographer was taking Polaroids of fair attendees. He kept the one he took of me. Never had a chance to see it, because the Polaroid was still being developed. The guy did take one pic of my backpack, at my request. That photo he wasn’t too keen to keep, so it’s my memento of The Armory Show.

Becoming tired, I decided this would be my last art fair that weekend. Without further ado, here’s the rest of the photos from The Armory Show 2020.

Scenes from The Armory Show, March 2020. Photo by Michele Witchipoo
Scenes from The Armory Show, March 2020. Photo by Michele Witchipoo

Hope you enjoyed this post. This wraps up the three part series.

Fingers crossed for next year.

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Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit New York hardcore, there was NY Art Week 2020. Again, I had my VIP pass. It seemed like a good idea at the time – but worrying about Covid-19 has got me on edge. I suppose NY Art Week was NYC’s last hurrah before Coronavirus gripped the big apple. In the meantime, enjoy both these photos and videos from Art On Paper 2020.

Do have to say, Art On Paper‘s 2020 fair was on point. Of the four years I’ve been attending Art On Paper, this one was the best yet. There were fresh showings of art not seen before. The vibe was definitely party mode. The crowd did not wear any preventive masks, wore gloves, nor was there any hand santizers to be found. (There was some santizer seen on a few table over at VOLTA) Social distancing was not yet put into effect.

From Art On Paper 2020 opening party.

Thought I saw legendary rock photographer Bob Gruen walk by. Turns out, he had one of his most iconic photographs on display. It was Deborah Harry, on silkscreen, limited edition of ten prints available. Printed by Gary Lichtenstein, with sparking diamond dust added.

The Bob Gruen print was on display over at the Alpha 137 Gallery. When I was snapping a pic of the photograph, the gallery took a photo of me. It ended up on their Instagram account.

Me at Art On Paper, March 2020.

NY Art Week 2020 coverage will wrap up with the next post: The Armory Show.

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Before the novel corona virus gripped NYC, I attended a few fairs during NY Art Week.

Now I’m sort of regretting attending any of these events. Covid-19 is deadly, and I’m now on edge. So if you’re reading this, please take being quarantined seriously.

Anyway, let’s go back to a more carefree time, which was only a few weeks ago.

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In 2017, I had the opportunity to attend both VOLTA and The Armory Show. This year I managed to get a comp ticket for the VOLTA opening night. VOLTA is a slightly edgier or trendier than The Armory Show. In 2020 it was held in a somewhat smaller space. A bonus was the open bar.

Please pardon me. I had details of many artists and galleries shown at Volta. The current pandemic has thrown everything off. In the meantime, please enjoy these photos.

Hand santizer available on a booth table. VOLTA 2020. March 2020.

Although exhibitors weren’t wearing faces or masks, there were hand sanitizers available on dealer tables.

Artists and dealers traveled internationally. I met this lady from Japan, who encouraged me to visit her country. She showed the work of one artist, whose paintings take a year to complete. Many of the art came from Asian countries: China, Korea and Japan.

One booth had paintings that depicted NYC street life. First glance it looked like large scale photographs. Closer inspection showed it was life like paintings. Impressive.

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Next Thursday will be the closing party at SAGE Restaurant for the group art exhibit. The opening party last month was very successful. I have two pieces on display as part of the show. Come check it out, Feb. 27th, 2020.

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Tomorrow night will be the opening of another art exhibit. This one is a group art show, and I’ll have two pieces in the show. The opening party hours are from 8-10 pm at SAGE restaurant, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The restaurant has an art gallery in the back.

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From the Facebook invite: Ringing in the new year with some Killer artwork from some of the best artist New York has to offer.

“The Walls of SAGE”
is a group show featuring artwork and Photography
from these talented artists.

SELF INDULGENCE
CRYSTAL LANTIGUA
SUBTEXTURE
MICHAEL DIETRICH
ANTHONY WHITE
MICHELE WITCHIPOO
J LAWRENCE BRANDT
KELLY BARBIERI
ZERO
JOHNNY V
BRETT WINGATE
STEFANIE GIERS
ROBERT BARRY
SOL
DARRYL LAVARE
VINNIE LI

Come down and have a drink and some great THAI food while you check out some amazing artwork & photography.

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Another decade is about to wrap up. Lately I’ve been reminiscing about the oddest things. These memories are usually induced by something completely random. As with the case prior to this post. Tonight I wasn’t in the mood to go out. As I’m scrolling through Facebook, somebody on my feed posts an sex article. It was published on the Vice website. The content was really about why people get attached to someone after sexual relations. Particularly to those not normally considered. I read the entire article. What caught my attention was certain hormones released during mating, male v. female. As the rest of the article went on, I was reminded of an incident during the ’90s.

Around mid-’90’s, I worked six months at some fetish/sex shop. It was located in the West Village. When applying, I was informed that out of all the applicants, I gave the impression of being a sane person. All the others who applied seemed unbalanced. My mental stability got me hired. I took the job because it meant no dress code. I didn’t have to take out my nose ring, continue dying my hair that shade of Manic Panic Vampire Red, etc. Perfect for me! That’s all I cared about. So much for priorities. The pay was shit, off the books, and the hours long. I could, however, play whatever music I liked. My selections ranged from RuPaul to My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. Got a crash course about fetishes 101. After that gig ended, I had knowledge about dark human sexuality.

One night, a friend dropped by my store. For her, the party never ended. She was always looking for an excuse to hang out at places like Coney Island High. In hindsight, we both may have graduated high school, but we still had that mentality. Eternal teenagers. We might as well been like Dante and Randal from Clerks. Anyway. She came by after she was finished her shift working at some vintage clothing store. Tagging with along was her co-worker. He was a generic ’90s sub-cultural male. The guy quietly observed his surroundings. Fetish wear, BDSM outfits, whips, floggers, bondage items, and trashy lingerie was sold in the front of the store. Sex toys and porn was displayed in the back.

As both the friend and her co-worker walked in, the store was unpacking newly arrived merchandise. I was in the back, nonchalantly arranging the latest products as if they were grocery items. Three months into this job, and comfortably numb. While the boxes were being unpacked, I picked up one of the new items. It was one of those weird pheromone colognes.  The sample bottle was placed on the counter along with assorted vibrators, lubes, and penis pumps. My friend and I look at the cologne bottle. The cologne looked cheap. The owner was hardly around. There were no customers in the store. This being the ’90s, we weren’t constantly video monitored. It was safe for me to loudly mock the product.  My friend makes some kind of sarcastic quip. I think my friend’s co-worker might have also made a snarky comment. As a joke, I sprayed the cologne all over the back room. Whoa – it totally stunk! We started laughing, cause we were that immature. After the initial gagging wore off, it was time to close up for the night. When the shop gate was pulled down, all three of us head over to the East Village to hang. As we usually did.

That night was nothing new. There might have been a party at the Flamingo East. Along the way, my friend and her co-worker started to get chummier. A few hours in, those two, who never had romantic intentions, mysteriously started to make out. I was used to my friend’s romantic shenanigans. Every week there was a new hookup. I was apathetic to her conquests. Just like how I was detached selling butt plugs.

At one point, my friend’s co-worker mentioned that pheromone cologne back at my job. He wondered loudly if the cologne had something to do with the impromptu tongue dance. They went back to smooching. It didn’t get any further than that.

The next day the friend’s coworker had second thoughts. He more or less disappeared. 

In recent years, millennials have given this practice a name. It’s now known as “ghosting.”

My friend also blamed the previous night on that cheap cologne. It’ll get you laid, but it won’t make the person stay.

Taking note, I stayed away from the cologne itself. While the product did sell, it also stunk. The store re-ordered poppers, the Sta-Hard creams and Anal-Ease, but not the cologne.

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Hit the fast forward button to 2019. Curiosity getting the best of me, I decided to look up pheromone colognes. Just to see if they were still on the market. Well hot dang. Pheromone products are more popular than ever. It’s an advertised ingredient in many items. There’s fragrances marketed for men and women. Even Dial got in on the act. They have a men’s pheromone infused body wash. If I was a guy, I would be buying cases of this stuff.

.But then I saw this. For those who are fans of the film Anchorman. Sex Panther cologne. ‘Cause 60% of the time it works. Every time. And it stings the nostrils.

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Where am I going with this post? I don’t even know myself. Memories are dangerous.

One of these days I’ll unwind more tales about my sex shop gig. Out of respect, I won’t reveal the name of the famous Broadway actress who I sold anal beads to. I will tell you of the time a customer raged into the store with a penis pump he brought the night before.  How he managed to burn the inside of the pump from fire engine red to pitch black – and how he demanded a refund. I’ll hold off for another time.

Below is a sketch done just for this blog post. Enjoy.

Human Sex Pheromones – Wikipedia Entry

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Sketch by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2019

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Back in July 2019, I was invited by co-curator Tim Gowan. It was an honor to give a talk discussing my work among other talented artists.

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The Trans-Cen-Der Art Group (TAG) is a networking and creative development community which through a monthly lecture series, provides artists a supportive place to share work, receive feedback and form creative opinions. The goal of Trans-Cen-Der is to support, strengthen, and enjoy the fellowship of artists. You can find out more about Trans-Cen-Der by checking out the Facebook page.

Trans-Cen-Der is held monthly Brooklyn Fire Proof, located in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. The lecture series is curated by artists Tim Gowan and Sharilyn Neidhardt. Tim Gowan also recently help put together the first annual Ridgewood Open Studios.

For July, the artists presenting were: Ethan Boisvert, Drew Droege, Klay-James Enos, Kerry Law, Evan Peltzman, and myself, Michele Witchipoo.

Below is a few photos artist Danielle Draik was kind enough to take and share.

Anyone interested in attending any of the lectures, you can check out Trans-Cen-Der on Facebook or Instagram.

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Heads up. Busy upcoming weekend in NYC. If you’re in the Ridgewood, Queens area, then check out the first ever Ridgewood Open Studios. I will have a painting on display as part of the Lorimoto Gallery group art exhibition.

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 All work exhibited is for sale.

Lorimoto Gallery: 1623 Hancock Street, Ridgewood Queens NY 11385

Opening reception: Oct. 4th, 2019, 6-9pm.

Ridgewood Open Studio Instagram

Lorimoto Gallery Instagram

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Two weekends ago was the annual Bushwick Open Studios. Since it’s inception, it’s become a big deal in the NYC art scene. Not as huge as getting a VIP pass to The Armory Show during NYC Art Week, but you get the idea.

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Although it was late September, the temperatures still felt like summer beach weather. Which made it perfect of House of Yes‘ block party. House of Yes had parties both outdoors and indoors, waving its admission fee as a thank you to the community.

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I didn’t have much time this year to check out a majority of the studios or events, but I managed to cram a little bit in. It should be noted that this upcoming weekend, it’s not only New York Comic Con 2019 (NYCC) but also the first year for Ridgewood Open Studios, the next door neighbor of Bushwick, Brooklyn. I have a Pro pass for both NYCC and a painting at Lorimoto Gallery, located in where else – Ridgewood, Queens. Lorimoto Gallery is having a group art show with local Ridgewood artists.

Here’s a few photos from the House of Yes party. Since it still felt like summer, I was thankful that the club had the AC on inside.

Back outdoors, there was drag/performance art. (IG: @only_atnight)

Walking around the immediate Jefferson Street area, I went up the stairs to a former factory space, now used as artists studios. Many of them welcomed the public.

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Walking around back outside, this sighting reminded me of footage from the 1960s. When Hippies traveled around in discarded, then refurbished school buses:

Last stop on the one day BOS tour:

Here’s some street art, dated September 2019:

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Till next year.

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https://hyperallergic.com/518718/9-highlights-from-bushwick-open-studios-2019/

https://patch.com/new-york/bushwick/bushwick-open-studios-what-you-need-know

https://hyperallergic.com/518278/bushwick-open-studios-2019/

https://fineartshippers.com/getting-ready-for-bushwick-open-studios-2019/

*Any artist who wants their work credited, please email me: Witchipoo@witchesbrewpress.net. My apologizes if I missed your name.

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If you’re in the NYC, and want to start your Labor Day weekend right, then check out this event out. It’s the closing party for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Showcasing work by various artists. I have a painting of Dr. Frank-n-Futer in this exhibit.

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Dr. Frank-N-Futer painting by Michele Witchipoo. On display and sale at MF Gallery. Aug. 2019.

The closing party is tonight, from 2pm – 10pm. Brooklyn, NY. Film showing, costumes, tattoos and beer. Most important, buy the art! See you there.

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Artist Michele Witchipoo in front of her painting of Dr. Frank-n-Futer. MF Gallery. August 2019. Rocky Horror Picture Show art tribute.

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