[gowanus artists day 2]

Topic: Around Town
I made it! I actually managed to visit all 20 studios on the tour. Day 2 involved giant superhero collages made entirely from torn-up bits of the New York Times; a very funny exhibition by a Russian artist who seemed deeply bothered that people were laughing at his very serious work, which included a coffee table consisting of two legs sticking up out of a pile of sand to hold a glass disc; and an opportunity to take a felt-tip pen and trace your own section of an active ant farm being projected onto the wall. At the latter studio, I caught two artists having an earnest discussion over whether they should subscribe to ArtForum now that they’re not in school anymore.

Overall, the show was mixed, but with a tremendous amount of very good art in it. Compared to other shows around town, like the DUMBO festival, this one seems to have a higher proportion of artists over 30 who didn’t just graduate from art school, which gives a lot of the work a maturity that isn’t available to younger artists. Some of the older artists were dull daubers — there were, here and there, sailboats in the sunset — but their presence gave the show an inclusive feel, steering it away from art-school pretention. And I enjoyed the intermingling of craft and art. The tour included a stained-glass shop, several pottery workshops, even some jewelry and knitted wool. The feeling was similar to that of small arty towns, places like Point Reyes Station in California or certain little towns in the Hudson Valley.

I will definitely be back next year if I can make it.