Photography by Meryl Meisler
Writing by James Panero
Exhibition: October 1 – 30, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 1st, 4 – 6pm
Gallery Talk & Podcast: Saturday, October 1st, 5pm
Address: 55 Meadow St. #310, Brooklyn, NY (L train to Grand Street)
Gallery hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 1 – 5 and by appointment
Websites: stoutprojects.net jamespanero.com merylmeisler.com
During BOS weekend Meryl will be at STOUT PROJECTS:
Saturday October 1, 3 – 6pm, Sunday October 2, 2:30 – 5pm
New York is unsentimental. It pushes and pulls, attracts and repels. The only constant is change.
Bushwick Chronicle recognizes Bushwick as a historically significant arctic community now in need of documentation. Over the summer of 2016 through a series of open calls, Meryl and James invited the artists, gallerists, journalists, and organizers of Bushwick to gather for group portraits inspired by Nina Leen’s 1950 portrait of the Abstract Expressionists in “The Irascibles” and Art Kane’s 1958 portrait of Jazz Musicians in “A Great Day in Harlem.” These photographs were taken with a medium format camera using black-and-white film, returning Meryl to her analogue roots and printing in the darkroom. The exhibition of these new photographs is now paired with Meryl’s illustrative painted photographs of Bushwick from the 1980s on, and James’s writing on the neighborhood drawn from his "Gallery Chronicle" in The New Criterion.
New York is unsentimental. It pushes and pulls, attracts and repels. The only constant is change. For artists these dynamics can be particularly extreme, both inspiring and challenging. For a short time in the long history of this neighborhood, Bushwick, Brooklyn became a place for artists to live, work, and exhibit together. Emerging after the 2008 recession on the periphery of the city’s cultural center, the arts of Bushwick came to be identified with self-creation: a sudden flowering nurtured by a network of self-made institutions, from apartment galleries to non-profit collaborations. Just as in Montparnasse a century ago, no one style dominated the neighborhood’s artistic scene. Instead a spirit of collaboration and DIY experimentation defined it.
As with other historical arts neighborhoods, from Montmartre to Tenth Street, Bushwick will one day cease to be a place of artistic relevance—not necessarily as artists are pushed out, but as non-artists push in. History is often lost in such transitions, which is why the Bushwick community now rightly regards documentation as among its important, lasting self-creations.
BIZARRE Assorted Madness & The Unexpected
Photos by Meryl Meisler, Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire & Gregory Baubeau
Bizarre Black Box Gallery
Exhibition: October 1, 2016 – January 1, 2017
Bizarre BOS Opening Party: Saturday, October 1st, 7pm – 4am
Address: 12 Jefferson St., Brooklyn, NY (J/M/Z trains to Myrtle/Broadway)
Gallery hours: Monday through Friday 4pm – 4am, Saturday & Sunday 11am – 4am
During BOS weekend Meryl will be at Bizarre:
Saturday October 1, 11am - 2pm and 7pm - midnight, Sunday October 2, 11:30 am – 2pm
Inspiration may come in bizarre ways, when you least expect it.
Inspiration came to Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, a French filmmaker, while location scouting in NYC. He fell in love with a boarded up building in Bushwick, then squatted in it until he owned it. Inspiration returned when Jean met up with Gregory Baubeau, a friend from the film industry. They decided to turn the building into a bar. Inspired by wild tales of Café Bizarre, a bygone legendary Greenwich Village club, Bizarre opened in January 2013. While researching the neighborhood, Jean discovered Meryl Meisler's photos of 1980s Bushwick.
Jean met Meryl at her exhibits at The Living Gallery during Bushwick Open Studios (BOS) 2012 and 2013 and invited her to exhibit at Bizarre. At first Meryl was reticent about exhibiting in the basement of a bar, then inspiration hit like a lighting bolt as she eyed a Disco ball hanging in Bizarre's restroom – this would be the perfect place to show her never seen Disco and Bushwick photographs together. Bizarre exhibited Meryl's iconic photographs from the '70s & '80s and published her monographs A Tale of Two Cities Disco Era Bushwick (2014) and Purgatory & Paradise SASSY ‘70s Suburbia & The City (2015), receiving international acclaim.
What else goes on at Bizarre? Get a glimpse of acrobats, artists, burlesque, circus, drag kings and queens, exhibitionists, fire spinners, magicians, musicians, poets, patrons and performers through Meryl, Jean and Gregory's lens.
Think the best of times are gone? Welcome to Bizarre –get inspired!
BIZARRE BOS OPENING PARTY Saturday, October 1, 2016, 7pm – 4am
She’s witnessed both the neighborhood’s (Bushwick) dark days and its new era, and how street art played a role through it all
COMPLEX – Khal 09/14/16 (movie interview and article)
SASSY Women In 1970s New York Purgatory
FLASHBAK – Paul Sorene 09/06/16
The Bushwick Documentation Project recorded June 4, 2016 in Bushwick Brooklyn
James Kalm Report (Video) 06/14/16
this photo project is a way to link Bushwick to a long line of neighborhoods where the art scene once flourished, changed, and in some cases, disappeared
BUSHWICK DAILY – Magdalena Was 06/03/16
the project seems to anticipate a future in which the current Bushwick art scene will have ascended to near-mythic status
HYPERALLERGIC – Carey Dunne 06/02/16
Group Portrait of the "Very Magical" Art Scene
BEDFORD+BOWERY – Joe Ambrosio 06/03/16
disquieting humor of urbane sophistication in dialogue with middle-class Jewish values ...
a fascinating document of a lost time and a delivery vehicle for its intoxicating, riotous sweetness
The New Criterion – James Paneo 04/01/16
|Meryl Meisler is a photographer who taught art in the Bushwick schools from 1981-1994. Carrying a point & shoot camera to capture what she saw going to, from, and during work, Meryl created the largest known photographic documentation of Bushwick during the era. Upon retiring from the NYC public schools she began releasing large bodies of previously unseen work. Her monographs A Tale of Two Cities Disco Era Bushwick (Bizarre, 2014) and Purgatory & Paradise SASSY ‘70s Suburbia & The City (Bizarre, 2015) received international acclaim. Meryl is represented by Steven Kasher Gallery