In June 2014 artist-musician Grey Gersten (a.k.a. Eternal Lips) exhibited Custom Melodies—an interactive music exhibition in which participants collaborated with the artist to create custom songs at Mmuseumm. During the 12-night exhibition, Gersten—surrounded by a myriad of instruments—wrote, performed, and recorded over 110 biographical songs creating roughly 7 hours of new music.
Both the exhibition and its companion piece (Eternal Lips self-titled debut EP with guest vocals from Sharon Van Etten and TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone) were featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, Interview Magazine, Vice’s NOISEY, SPIN, Gizmodo and other publications. Time Out NY ranked Custom Melodies #1 on its "Things To Do" list, declaring, “It’s safe to say that there hasn’t been anything like this event in...well...ever.”
This week, Gersten launched Custom Melodies, an interactive, multimedia, web-art piece that allows users to experience the music, art, and writings created at the Custom Melodies exhibition. Each of the 110 songs has its own webpage with excerpts from the “Custom Melody Application” that provide a deeper understanding of each individual’s song.
Cat Raynor, Harrison Curley, Gerardo Virtri, Ashley Thompson, Brielle Mordant,Terrible Children
January 12 - January 26 2016
A play on “L’Enfant Terrible,” the exhibition explores misconceptions of the millennial generation as perceived by the so-called “Worst-Generation-Ever”. Accused of being materialistic, narcissistic, and obsessed with self-perpetuation; Millennials are simultaneously entrepreneurs, producers, and leaders. Thus, a duality has formed in thinking about the Millennial, revealing patterns of behavior not only ascribed to Millenials but to “les Enfants Terribles” of preceding generations.
This show briefly surveys the millennial condition: works question our upbringings, our relationship to a social-media dominated world, and our relationships to our bodies, be they internal or external. Terrible children, here, run amuck - seeking direction within the art historical canon of terrible children before them like Tracey Emin, De Kooning, and Wolfgang Tillimans, in order to break out and define their own rules.
Terrible Children showcases the talents of seven emerging artists all of whom have shown and worked internationally and throughout the United States.
Gerardo Virtri’s minimal stone forms anchor the space, gesturing to the gallery as the domestic sphere.
Cat Raynor and Harrison Curley both display the body: Raynors’ innards are ethereal, abstracted splashes of color, while Curley’s ritualistic practice focuses on the distortion of the body underneath the hyper-saturation of advertising. Curley’s work astutely parodies the “Spring Break” activities and persona observed in his native Florida. Maxime La’s photographs, in contrast, gesture to the California, while maintaining distance and cold anonymity.
Abrasive and blaring, Ashley Thompson expertly dismantles her upbringing by referencing 50’s and 60’s Chinese communist propaganda, creating a parallel between her home life as a Chinese-American child and the repressive regime her own mother experienced.
Susannah Benjamin photographer, copes with female social dynamics in her revealing work.
Rise, a mixed-media painter, mitigates a growing tension between a digital and material world. In a chaotic crossover between physical and digital manipulation Rise pulls canon art images from the internet, distorting these images first digitally, then via paint.
Playing with limitations of the body and technology, Zach Krall’s tactile photographs are printed on latex and brutally stretched to create a haunting display of bodily distortion.
Finally, Brielle Mordant’s “It’s Complicated” neon sign appropriates a phrase well known by Millenials as one of the original relationship options on Facebook as well as a perpetual state of being.
Having recently graduated from top universities and liberal arts colleges, CurleySussmanRise projects consists of three individual artists and curators who are dedicating their young lives to the exploration of art. The organizers have worked for numerous cultural and artistic institutions including: The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Huntington, Elizabeth Dee, and MoMA. The group founded independently to collaborate in their first ever curated show, with the intent to showcase artists who are like themselves, raw unsigned talent.
Chinatown Soup has flourished as a space dedicated to fostering young talent and creativity on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Situated on the edge of Chinatown, Soup (for short), has created a community of continuous collaboration, and positivity, working intimately with the Lower East Side arts community, the inhabitants of Chinatown, and young creatives. CurleySussmanRise projects is incredibly grateful for Soups’ encouragement and gracious hospitality in hosting Terrible Children!
Vexta, The Wildness Beneath
November 18 2015
Observation is the basis of science and that the purpose of science is to research the quantitative relationships that exist between physical phenomenon. -Galileo
We are a physical phenomenon of the earth, the natural and the constructed, we do not exist in isolation but are in fact are intrinsically connected to everything around us.
In The Wildness Beneath, Vexta acts as a cultural anthropologist and looks at the signs and signifiers within the modern world to analyze and understand what it is that makes us human. Artists, scientists and philosophers have long been investigating our world through observation, theory and experimentation, Vexta continues these investigations with an inquiring mind asking the question: ‘where is our essential wildness?’
For this new body of work Vexta begins by looking at current scientific investigations and specific imagery encountered by chance. She collects figurative images of women and carefully chosen text from modern throw away publications and gives them a new context in collage form, feeding them through her psychedelic colored vision, the discarded now has a fresh, reconstructed meaning, an advertisement is disarmed and the female form is re-empowered and returned to wildness. Words are re-assembled into poetry, modern language used to sell us things, instead used to express the wild calls of the soul. Throughout these points of study, her signature neon saturated geometric shards are boldly used to symbolize the subatomic elements that make up all matter. The Wildness Beneath is not only a call to return to the wildness of nature but also unravels the wildness that dwells within each of us.
Fernald, Qin, Hello Velocity, Face to Interface
October 30 - November 8 2015
Just what is it that makes today's internet so different, so appealing? In collaboration with Chinatown Soup as part of Asia Contemporary Art Week, this exhibition will comprise related works on paper and sculptures by Fernald, Qin and Hello Velocity, a creative agency contracted by Tan for Silent.
Fernald’s Pop Effigies I-IV map indices of bodily presence as they traverse the digital netherworld.
Tan and Tan contribute an interactive installation that analogizes their web application Silent. Marketed by their digital-only agency Hello Velocity,
Qin contributes a time capsule-like sculpture created from dummy iPhones.
Edward Ubiera, Alyce Mark, Thomas Colligan, Daniel Zender, Siobhan Gallagher, and Jenny Harada,V for Victory
October 23, 2015 - October 25, 2015
Works to support The Big Lean storytelling initiative.
N. Soala, Hunger of Rust
13 October - 23 October 2015
"Hunger of Rust" is an exhibit by painter and mixed-media artist N. Soala in partnership with the 2nd Annual L.E.S. Art Drive to benefit The Bowery Mission.
“…we constantly suppress a frothy brew of cruelty, sadism, jealousy, and bodily smells.”
N. Soala’s illustrations contain a particular brand of nostalgia for a time when animation had the ability, however short-lived, to be coy and subversive on myriad levels without the burden of a world that’s infiltrated from all conceivable angles by digitized branding and corporate agendas. Raised on the animations of John Kricfalusi (aka John K) and Mike Judge, whose exaggerated forms, innuendo, and off-brand humor defined a generation of cartoons, Soala unleashes a stream-of-consciousness onto each work, carving out surrealistic dimensions that walk a fine line between crazy and mad. Like his predecessors, Soala has a gift for locating the beauty in the grotesque and for capturing just what it looks like to break down from the inside.
Oftentimes in our efforts to take control of our emotional and psychological faculties, anger is the sanest state there is, with jealousy, envy, and amusement all equal close seconds. Soala paints from a place of skepticism and acceptance, of joy and fear – dualities that are far from accidental. The artist’s characters all seem to exist on the verge of collapse, yet from this supposed madness comes a host of disparate narratives both violent and frail.
Ryan Scails, (Gardens) of Feeling and Fervor
Curated by Natasha Otrakji
18 September - 8 October 2015
(Gardens) of Feeling and Fervor is a No Home Gallery production and collaboration by artist Ryan Scails, curator Natasha Otrakji, and host Chinatown Soup.
For an interactive installation of sculpture and drawing by Ryan Scails, materials cheap, raw and recognizable, like concrete, fabric, buckets and wood, are assembled and ask to be activated. As artist, property owner and workingman, Scails constructs a private/public space intended for reflection on the human relationship to physical labor and wear. By applying hardware, he flirts with the concept of utility and interrupts our notions of design and perfection.
The show’s title is drawn from a chapter in “The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E.B. Dubois focused on the importance of the church as a social center. Scails inserts the term ‘(Gardens)’ to represent what he calls, “A place to consider how we treat the objects we've created to treat ourselves.”
There are vestiges of Rachel Whiteread’s cast sculptures, Diane Simpson’s garment structures or even Gordon Matta-Clark’s building carvings. Objects here are anthropomorphized, rugged, minimal and carefully suspended between form and function. There is as much engineering as there is storytelling, and as much urge to preserve as there is to reveal residue.
A series of three sinks, inspired by blues musician Robert Johnson, dual athlete Bo Jackson and folk hero John Henry, mythical role models for the artist, act as the backbone in this body of work. Planted on the ground, the sinks are made of buckets tightly hugged by chunks of cement and rope and filled with water that is changed periodically by Scails. The invitation to rinse one’s hands suggests a ritualistic, baptismal act, the ability to ‘rinse away time.’ The external support reminds us of earth, ruin and that these forms were extracted from something larger.
Supplemental pieces include semi-familiar relics like a broom bound to a dustpan, a glove with rivets, a sardine can, a sack of fish oil capsules, a pillow, an assortment of malleable paintings made of folded fabric with the illusion of purpose, and a schematic drawing plan for the sinks. The forms in this space are containers reflective of process and effort, to be tended and considered.
No Home Gallery is a nomadic art space that organizes educational and interactive experiences, exhibitions and happenings in various locations in New York City created collaboratively by unique teams of artists, curators and hosts.
Quentin Sprague, Tommy Shimko, Scott Furkay, SDJ, Sean Gallagher, Sean Gilder, Spencer Fujimoto, Rodney Smith, Ray Maté, Peter Pabon, Nicole Reber, Michael Cohen, Matt Kruz, Marie Duran-Yamamoto, Kevin Newcomb, Jay Riggio, Jason Lee, Irving George, Gerard Weber, EIDIA, Dominick Susca, Bogdan, Alex Corporan, Alex Raspa, Allen Ying, All Valid
Curated by Leila Samii and Sean Gallagher
25 August - 13 September 2015
Special thanks to Mighty Healthy, Shut NYC, Gnarmads, El Señor, 43 Magazine, Pabst Blue Ribbon
Skateboarding is an art, not a sport. New York is a city, not a mall.
Every day, skateboards whizzing past storefronts make the soundtrack to Orchard Street extra unique. Along this "Highway of Skate," skaters are constantly scouting places to bring their boards, but galleries are not typically among them.
As development in downtown New York changes the accessibility of public spaces, from benching the Chinatown Banks to skate-proofing the proposed Broome Street Park, skaters adapt to navigating new terrain and discovering the next best spots, whether it be a bent pole at a demolition site or a white wall at a gallery.
Chinatown Soup challenges the idea that skateboarding is offensive. Instead, we ask how skaters defy assumptions of rights and ownership to the city’s built and social infrastructure. A skateable exhibit invites us to reconsider New York skate culture through artwork, video, and sculptural installations by artists who skate and skaters who make art.
Neil White, BENDER
5 August - 12 August 2015
Our eyes tell our stories, but not always the obvious ones. "BENDER" explores Neil White's confrontation of identities produced by self-imposed constructions of reality. White's paintings drip with duality from color and form to intent and representation. What else would one expect from an artist working in finance and a homosexual raised by Mormons? Please join us for an evening of further consideration and surprises.
Boy Kong,Gitler &____, AsianGirl, Victoria Elle, Eric Jenkins-Sahlin, Ali Glatt, Chinese Man, Lawless
15 May - 30 June 2015
Chinatown Soup’s debut production "LAWLESS," is a multi-sensory retrospective that explores the youth gangs and counterculture of 1970’s Chinatown in conversation with archival materials from the Museum of Chinese in America.
Before street taggers were chalking homages to rent-hike casualties and community activist groups were demanding that Mayor de Blasio halt the corporate-condo craze, the blocks east of SoHo’s Cast-Iron District and below Canal Street were marked by blood spilled at the hands of the Ghost Shadows and a tenuous trust in “Mayor of Chinatown” Man Bun Lee.
How does lawlessness in Chinatown persist and shape the dynamics of an increasingly intermingled community? Challenging stereotypes about the neighborhood and its inhabitants begins with asking the right questions. While broader political and economic forces of a bankrupt New York leveraged crime to reshape immigrant communities in the 70’s, we're now contending with a culture of commerce. But to reckon with our present we must first immerse ourselves in a past culture of fear.
LAWLESS uses alternative artistic practices to intersect the politics of place and memory in this historically isolated and misrepresented space. Today, we witness the opening of New York's once “forbidden fortress” as government policies that champion “cleaning up” Chinatown allow for more top-down development and displacement. Here, gentrification meets an untold history that compels us to remember.
Watercolor and sketches by Boy Kong || Gitler &____ Digital installation by AsianGirl || Victoria Elle Video by Eric Jenkins-Sahlin Photography by Ali Glatt Sound mixing by Chinese Man
Special thanks to the MOCA Collections Staff, CartoDB, and Tiger Beer
Rose Salane, Walker Teiser, Michè Hobson, Tucker Elkins, Ry Fyan, Wade Oastes, Nick Atkins, Keanan Fox, Daniel Montaño, Lina McGinn, Raina Hammer, Vanessa Leiva, Dylan Kraus, In Bloom
26 April - 3 May 2015
A mixed media group show curated by Cooper Union students that takes visitors on a journey through space, place, and time to deconstruct notions of reality and consciousness through the production of an alternative visual and tactile experience.
Ann Catherine Carter, Casey Payne, Emilia Olsen, Eric Zindorf, India Salvor Menuez, Laszlo Thorsen-Nagel, Lucia Love, Nick Farhi, Rex Runyeon, Nostalgia In Reverse
20 April - 24 April 2015
An exhibition featuring nine local, emerging artists whose work explores disembodiment, the future of abstraction, and it's break from the past.
A Loving Copy
12 April - 19 April 2015
Tara McCauley, MAVENS
6 March - 22 March 2015
"Mavens", a photography exhibition by Tara McCauley, coincides with the New York release of "Deli Man," a documentary that features the family of "Mavens."
The photos explore the storied institution of the New York Jewish deli and Tara's family's history in the business, which dates back to the 1930s and endures today. Beginning with archival images of her great grandparents' Rialto Delicatessen in Times Square, the show traces Tara's maternal lineage through three generations of deli mavens across America, capturing the final days of Long Island's Woodro Kosher Restaurant and Delicatessen and the kitschy romanticization of Kenny and Ziggy's in Houston, Texas.
"DeliMan" stars Tara's cousin, Ziggy Gruber and will debut at Sunshine Cinema on the evening of March 6th. Chinatown Soup has partnered with Cohen Media Group to welcome attendees of the 7 pm showing to the Mavens opening reception.
Special thanks to the NYU Gallatin Jewish Studies fund for its generous support of this project.