Eat Your Art Out in Bushwick

Installation views, Storefront Ten Eyck, BR: Jerry Blackman, “How to Disappear a Tiger: Genealogy of the White Tigers of Siegfried and Roy,” 2014, mixed media

Installation views, Storefront Ten Eyck, BR: Jerry Blackman, “How to Disappear a Tiger: Genealogy of the White Tigers of Siegfried and Roy,” 2014, mixed media

Read this article published on Bushwick Daily

Seeing art is like drinking a bold glass of red wine—it’s never too early in the day to enjoy. 

So I’m not biased or anything, but Storefront Ten Eyck never disappoints. Nothing is better than perusing a warehouse stock-full of art so engaging you have to take a few laps around this stadium-gallery. Perusing the space on a Sunday afternoon was much quieter than maneuvering your way through its packed openings—this solitude was a refreshing way to really spend time with the art, which is necessary when viewing the current exhibition showcasing 2014 Yale MFA sculptors (on view through May 18). 

Erin Henry, “Whale Oil Beef Hooked,” 2014, mixed media

Erin Henry, “Whale Oil Beef Hooked,” 2014, mixed media

Grad students these days are creating art—in a big way. Sculptures in this show are not just 3D, they are overtaking your space dramatically. Erin Henry’s “Whale Oil Beef Hooked” has written on a chalk board the terse statement, “It’s deja vu all over again—O.K. No Crime Never Killed.” This internal monologue is written backwards and can be read correctly on a transverse mirror. After staring at yourself reading the parallel sayings over and over, backwards forwards, walking to the other side of the chalkboard is no longer deja vu, but a plot twist. The board, additionally accompanied by an abject leg and bucket, states, “It’s deja vu all over again—You’re Not O.K. No Body.” Maybe this is a “Memento” situation where the protagonist continually forgets his actions and subsequently re-commits the same crime unknowingly over and over again. Regardless of the conclusion, Henry’s sculpture leaves room for viewers to enjoy his noir-esque world. 

storefrontteneyck

Lauren Halsey, “Ida n Glenda,” 2014, mixed media, 127″ x 72″ x 80”

Lauren Halsey’s “Ida n Glenda” is an invitation to enter a small corridor filled with paraphernalia reminiscent of child-hood playtime. Halsey’s play-zone is somewhere between Disney and Chucky— by emphasizing the overabundance of saturated colors and textures, and personifying inanimate objects, Halsey channels idyllic remembrances of yesteryears into hyperdrive. Mixed media installations abound, weaving through the multifarious art on view at Storefront is so sensationally dizzying it’s like a time-warp to your first thrilling night out as a freshman co-ed—you knew it had to be the best night of your life because you woke up in your party clothes, at your friends house, in the next state over. 

Lauren Halsey, “Ida n Glenda,” 2014, mixed media, 127″ x 72″ x 80”

Lauren Halsey, “Ida n Glenda,” 2014, mixed media, 127″ x 72″ x 80”

No, I’m not saying you have channel your inner-freshman to enjoy this show. What expanded-installation art does is tunnel your thoughts to unexpected places by taking your mind on newfound journeys. Similar to a constellation of stars, disparate objects interconnect to create a collective mixed-media installation to engage viewer participation.

For brunch I channeled my inner grad-student. Burdened by a never-ending workload, yet still starry-eyed for the light at the end of the tunnel (aka The ‘Real’ world), students prefer thrills over frills—great food, great price, and please, 86 all the gimmicks. My crew and I walked a brisk 10 minutes north to a local spot with good eats—Harefield Road. Sure we had to wait, but what’s a brunch spot if it’s not the place to be with some food on the side. Luckily for us, Harefield has great ambience and delicious food and drinks to match. 

I sipped a mimosa at the oak-finished bar and despite the cool breeze blowing from the al fresco patio, the warm décor and cheerful bustle was a welcoming siesta for our post-art highs. Complete with a great cocktail and wine list and over 15 beers on draft, Harefield Road pairs its extensive spirits with a brunch menu that has a bite for everyone. At a frugal $12—which includes bottomless coffee or a mimosa—you can even enjoy your meal without breaking the bank. I ordered an omelet stoked full of fresh veggies, while my friends dined on salmon toast and eggs benedict. For three people, a bill of $43 is pocket change, because let’s face it, maxing out the credit card should be saved for those Saturday nights on-the-town.

As I sipped my Rose (priced at a $7 steal), and the boys guzzled all-you-can-drink coffee, we collectively shared thoughts about the college-angst that filled the Yale MFA sculpture exhibit at Storefront. The remark of the afternoon? “Hey, if you want to throw down on a warehouse, I’m totally in.” This coming from a fellow twenty-something right out of college. I guess he has yet to lose the quaint optimism of a fresh-faced student.

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