This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001


fanfaire nyc

The High School of Art and Design
245 East 56th St.
Saturday, February 8, and Sunday, February 9, $5-$15 per day, $10-$20 two-day pass, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Fanfaire NYC takes place this weekend, a two-day festival celebrating cartooning, animation, graphic design, architecture, and fashion. An annual benefit for the High School of Art and Design, the multidimensional fest features more than 125 artists and vendors, talks and panels, workshops, costume contests, video games, movie screenings, and portfolio reviews. This year’s guests range from artists and professors to cosplayers and editors, from character designers and executives to writers and high school alum, including Neal Adams, Abe Audish, Bob Camp, Klaus Janson, Chip Kidd, Geoff Spear, and David Mazzucchelli. Founded in 1936, the High School of Art and Design, which is a public school, has boasted such graduates as Adams, Tony Bennett, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Art Spiegelman, Amy Heckerling, and Steven Meisel. Below are only some of the highlights:

Saturday, February 8
Graphic Design & Illustration Portfolio Review, with Joann Hill and Cryssy Cheung, Library, sixth floor, advance registration required, 10:00 am

Careers in Animation, with Bob Camp, Sachio Cook, Chrissy Fellmeth, and Abe Audish, moderated by Kiara Arias and Jaydan Hyman, Black Box, LL2, 10:30

Tracing Is Not a Crime, with Neal Adams, moderated by Josh Adams, Classroom 1, sixth floor, 10:30

My Life in Ink, with tattoo artist Keith “BANG BANG” McCurdy, Black Box, LL2, 12:00

Breaking into Comics and Other Tales, with Klaus Janson, moderated by Chris Allo, Black Box, LL2, 1:30

Storytelling in Comics with David Mazzucchelli, Classroom 1, sixth floor, 3:00

Mythconceptions — Behind the Scenes of George O’Connor’s Olympians, with George O’Connor, Black Box, LL2, 4:30

Sunday, February 9
Ink Flow: Learning to Ink Like Neal Adams, with Neal Adams, moderated by Josh Adams, Classroom 1, sixth floor, 10:00 am

Freelance isn’t Free — How to Build Yourself as an Artist and Run a Business, with Lucinda Lewis, Chrissy Fellmeth, Nik Virella, and Cristian S. Aluas, moderated by Miss Kill Joy, Auditorium, LL2, 12:00

Cosplay Competition: People's Choice Masquerade, Auditorium, LL2, 2:00 - 5:00

Inside the Art of Sequential Visual Storytelling, with Carl Potts, Black Box, LL2, 2:30

Children’s Books: More than Drawing Cute Bunnies, with Joann Hill, Classroom 3, sixth floor, 3:00

DYNAMIC DUO: The art of last impressions, slide presentation, discussion, and book signing, with Chip Kidd, Geoff Spear, and Charles Kochman, Black Box, LL2, 4:00 - 6:00


Common will sit down for a fireside chat as part of Brooklyn Museum First Saturday program this week

Common will sit down for a fireside chat as part of Brooklyn Museum First Saturday program this week

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, February 1, free (some events require advance tickets), 5:00 - 11:00

The Brooklyn Museum has a wide-ranging program with several surprises for its annual Black History Month edition of its free First Saturday gathering. There will be live performances by Topaz Jones, Niles Luther, NVR Sleep (Rodney Hazard, Mikey, Fab Roc, and ClassicNewWave), and Bri Blvck; an Ancestral Healing sound bath from HealHaus, with intention-setting by Omar Davis and a sound bath facilitated by Phyllicia Bonanno; a screening of Billy Gerard Frank’s 2019 short film Second Eulogy: Mind the Gap, followed by a talkback with artist and activist Renee Cox, artist Christopher Udemezue, and Frank, moderated by writer and curator Ebony L. Haynes; a Scholar Talk with Niama Safia Sandy on race, power, nationalism, and imperialism; a curator tour of “Jacques-Louis David Meets Kehinde Wiley” led by Lisa Small and Eugenie Tsai; teen apprentice pop-up gallery talks focusing on works by Black artists in the American Art galleries; a hands-on art workshop where participants can make an urban garden, inspired by Kehinde Wiley; a poetry reading with Osyris Antham, Chanice Hughes-Greenberg, and Cyrée Jarelle Johnson; and “Real People: A Fireside Chat with Common,” a conversation with artist, actor, and activist Common (Lonnie Rashid Lynn), moderated by Peloton cycling instructor Tunde Oyeneyin. In addition, the galleries will be open late so you can check out “Jacques-Louis David Meets Kehinde Wiley,” “Out of Place: A Feminist Look at the Collection,” “One: Xu Bing,” “JR: Chronicles,” and more.


Antony Gormley

Antony Gormley, rendering of New York Clearing (© the artist)

Who: Antony Gormley
What: Artist talk at Parsons School of Design addressing the question “What is sculpture good for?”
Where: The New School, the Auditorium, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall, 66 West Twelfth St.
When: Tuesday, February 4, free with advance registration, 6:00
Why: On February 4, British sculptor Antony Gormley will be at Parsons School of Design to discuss his latest work, New York Clearing, which will be on view in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 3 from February 5 to March 27. The “drawing in space,” consisting of eighteen kilometers of looping and coiling square aluminum tubing, is part of the global project CONNECT, BTS, organized by K-pop sensation BTS. “It’s a truth universally acknowledged that creativity can transcend the boundaries of language, culture, and history,” the superstar boy group explains on the official website. “Art embodies a will to respond to the world, and to communicate that response to others; it is always there, no matter what the era, moving with or despite the times. . . . CONNECT, BTS reaches for a collective experience that might be only the beginning of new communication between art, music, and people.” Curated by Daehyung Lee, CONNECT, BTS also includes Danish artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen’s Catharsis in London, the performance series Rituals of Care curated by Stephanie Rosenthal and Noémie Solomon in Berlin, and Argentine artist Tomás Saraceno’s Aerocene Pacha in Buenos Aires, as well as a yet-to-be-named work in Seoul. “Art only becomes art when it is shared,” the London-born Gormley, whose Event Horizon dazzled and frightened people in Madison Square Park nearly ten years ago, has said. Admission to the February 4 discussion is free with advance registration.


(photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Twenty giant seesaws offer illuminating rides in the Garment District (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Winter Garden, Garment District
Broadway between 37th & 38th Sts.
Through February 1, free,

If the winter doldrums are getting you down, if the cold and dark are wearing on your nerves, the Garment District Alliance and the New York City Department of Transportation’s Seasonal Streets Program have just the thing to break the monotony: a seesaw. Through February 1, Impulse will continue on Broadway between Thirty-Seventh & Thirty-Eighth Sts., twenty giant teeter-totters equipped with motion-detector LED lights and sound (the subtle sound design is by Mitchell Akiyama, with electronics by Robocut Studio) that come together in happy-making union.

Designed by Lateral Office and CS Design in collaboration with EGP Group and fabricated by Generique Design, the installation brings the playground fixture to a usually busy urban environment, but the street is cut off to vehicular traffic so up to four people at a time can “ride, take a free ride / Take their place / Have their seat / It’s for free.” Just be fair to your fellow teeterboarders who might be waiting patiently as you go up and down, up and down, amid relaxing light and sound, as well as plenty of laughter.


Gallery Korea of the Korean Cultural Center New York
460 Park Ave. between Fifty-Seventh & Fifty-Eighth Sts., sixth floor
Monday - Friday through January 31, free

To celebrate its fortieth anniversary, the Korean Cultural Center New York is hosting the three-part exhibition “Nam June Paik: The Maestro of Time,” which continues at Gallery Korea weekdays through January 31. The free show also honors the fourteenth anniversary of the death of the Father of Video Art, who passed away on January 29, 2006, in Miami when he was seventy-three. The centerpiece is Paik’s massive M200/Video Wall, a barrage of eighty-six television monitors blasting colorful sounds and images that Paik created for the bicentennial of the passing of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who died in Vienna in 1791 at the age of thirty-five. The video sculpture, which Paik referred to as “moving wall paintings,” predicted the age of digital information bombardment as pictures and snippets of performances fly by, from the Korean American artist’s friends and collaborators Joseph Beuys, Merce Cunningham, and John Cage to David Bowie and a man dressed as Mozart. As Paik said way back in 1965, “The cathode-ray tube will someday replace the canvas.”

(photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Nam June Paik’s Video Chandelier No. 4 is part of Korean Cultural Center New York celebration and tribute (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Tucked away in a corner of the gallery is Paik’s Video Chandelier No. 4, a low-hanging chandelier dangling from what appears to be the top of a tree that has small video monitors in its leaves instead of fruit, strikingly linking technology to nature. Also on view is a series of black-and-white photographs by Jae-young Choi of one of Paik’s avant-garde gut performances, in which the man who coined the term “electronic superhighway” staged a shamanistic ritual on his birthday in 1990, paying tribute to Beuys. Gallery Korea is open 9:00 to 5:00 Monday to Friday but will stay open till 8:00 on January 29.

member: POPE.L, 1978-2001

Pope. L. Eating the Wall Street Journal (3rd Version). Sculpture Center, New York, NY. 2000, Digital c-print on gold fiber silk paper. 6 by 9 in. 15.24 by 22.86 cm. © Pope. L. Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell – Innes  &  Nash, New York.

Pope.L, Eating the Wall Street Journal (3rd Version), digital c-print on gold fiber silk paper, Sculpture Center, New York, 2000 (© Pope. L. / courtesy of the artist and Mitchell – Innes & Nash, New York)

MoMA, Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
Through February 1, $14-$25 (sixteen and under free)

The first thing you must do when you go to MoMA is check out whether there is a backpack hanging on the wall at the end of the “member: Pope.L 1978–2001” exhibition; if it’s not there, it means that Newark-born Conceptual artist William Pope.L is somewhere in the galleries, either performing on a yellow square near the front, doodling on the walls, or interacting with visitors. Since the late 1970s, Pope.L has been holding interventions and live performances that expose racism, classism, poverty, homelessness, and other societal ills. “I am a fisherman of social absurdity, if you will,” he has said. “I am more provocateur than activist. My focus is to politicize disenfranchisement, to make it neut, to reinvent what’s beneath us, to remind us where we all come from.” The show, which continues through February 1, features photographs, film footage, and paraphernalia from many of his Crawls and acts of resistance, in which he takes to the streets in unusual ways as a form of protest.

(photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Pope.L has been adding doodles to the walls during run of show at MoMA (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

In Thunderbird Immolation, he doused himself with cheap wine and surrounded himself with matches, evoking the Buddhist ritual of self-immolation but here calling into question the marketing of cheap alcohol in poor minority communities. For The Great White Way and Snow Crawl, Pope.L put on a Superman suit. For Member a.k.a. Schlong Journey, he donned business attire and had a long white cardboard tube with a stuffed white bunny on the end protruding from his crotch, as if it were an enormous phallus, as he walked around Harlem, revealing issues of black masculinity and white supremacy. For Sweet Desire a.k.a. Burial Piece, he buried himself in the ground standing up, only his shoulders and head visible, and looked at a melting bowl of ice cream that he could not bend his head over and eat, emphasizing “have-not-ness.” And for Eating the Wall Street Journal, Pope.L built a tall toilet throne which he climbed up to and then, while sitting on the bowl, read, then tore up, chewed, and spat out pages of the newspaper because of its promise of individual wealth.

Pope.L. The Great White Way, 22 miles, 9 years, 1 street. 2000-09. Performance. © Pope. L. Courtesy of the artists and Mitchell – Innes & Nash, New York.

Pope.L, The Great White Way, 22 miles, 9 years, 1 street, 2000-09 (© Pope.L / courtesy of the artists and Mitchell – Innes & Nash, New York)

In a back room, you can watch several of his experimental performances, including Eracism, Aunt Jenny Chronicles, and Egg Eating Contest; be sure to look behind the screen for a bonus. The Black Factory Archive consists of items donated by people from around the country that they consider black objects. “The Black Factory is an industry that runs on our prejudices,” Pope.L wrote of the project. “We harvest all your confusions, questions, and conundrums, and transform them into the greatest gift of all: possibility!” And in ATM Piece, he chained himself to the front door of a midtown bank, wearing only a skirt made out of bills. Throughout the galleries, you’ll also see small rectangles cut out of the wall; “Typically what cannot be seen is what we most like to see,” he says of the work, Hole Theory. On January 26 at 2:00, MoMA’s Creativity Lab will host a discussion on Pope.L with Brooklyn-based artist Steffani Jemison and MoMA curatorial assistant Danielle Jackson that examines Pope.L’s influence.

(photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Pope.L exhibitions at MoMA and the Whitney are filled with hidden surprises (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Member is part of “Pope.L: Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration,” a collaboration between MoMA, the Public Art Fund, and the Whitney. On September 21, PAF staged Conquest, in which blindfolded volunteers from across the diversity spectrum crawled from the West Village through Washington Square Park and ultimately to Union Square Park. Groups of five, from people in wheelchairs to pregnant women, from the elderly to the blind and deaf and men and women with prosthetic limbs, as well as able-bodied participants, crawled one block each, raising ideas of physical privilege. And Pope.L’s Choir is on view at the Whitney through March 8 in the free main-floor space, a thousand-gallon tank surrounded by microphones that fills up with water sourced from the Hudson after he poured in some water from Flint, Michigan, then empties out via a pipe system as snippets of gospel music and other sounds can be heard. Around the gallery are such phrases as “NGGR WATER,” “HLLOW WTR,” and “NDVSBL WTR,” evoking Jim Crow, segregated drinking fountains, and the lead crisis in Flint. “I think there’s a kind of arrogance in using this kind of material in this quantity,” he says on the audioguide to Choir. ”I think that in some ways, I’m expressing a kind of privilege in being able to do this. There’s a kind of edge to that in the work.” That statement applies directly to member at MoMA and Pope.L’s entire career as well.


year of the rat

Multiple venues
January 25 - February 20

Gōng xǐ fā cái! New York City is ready to celebrate the Year of the Rat with special events all over town. People born in the Year of the Rat, the first zodiac sign, are clever and resourceful and have the potential to be wealthy and prosperous. Below are some of the highlights happening here in the five boroughs during the next several weeks of Chinese New Year.

Saturday, January 25
New Year’s Day Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival, Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Grand Street at Chrystie St., free, 11:00 am – 3:30 pm

Lunar New Year Celebration, with family-friendly arts and crafts, mask-making workshop, lantern making, zodiac animal origami, compost activities, face painting ($5), winter tree tour, plant sale, zodiac-themed storytelling, lion dance performance, and more, Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., free, 12 noon - 4:00

Sunday, January 26
Sunday, February 16 & 23

Shadow Theater Workshops: The Art of Chinese New Year, with artists from Chinese Theatre Works, China Institute, 40 Rector St., $20, 2:00 pm

Saturday, February 1
Lunar New Year Family Festival, with “Sounds of the New Year” featuring the pipa and the erhu, “Whirling, Twirling Ribbons” workshop, lion dance performance, food, storytelling, face painting, zodiac arts and crafts, a gallery hunt, more, Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St., $12, 10:00 - 1:00 and 2:00 - 5:00

Lunar New Year Chinese Temple Bazaar, with food, live performances, activities, and more, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., $5, 11:00 & 2:00

Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Rat, Lunar New Year Parade, Sesame Street Puppeteers Featuring Alan Muraoka, Integrating Identity with Vincent Chong, Festive Feast with Emily Mock, Luminous Lanterns with China Institute, Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony & Bubble Tea Gatherings, Hand-Pulled Noodle Demonstration, Creative Calligraphy with Zhou Bin, Metal Mouse Masterpieces with the Rubin Museum of Art, Hero Rats with Lydia DesRoche, Fierce Dragon Creations, Luminous Lanterns with China Institute, more, Met Fifth Ave., free with museum admission (some events require advance tickets), 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Family Day: Moon over Manhattan, with Bo Law Kung Fu: Lion Dance and Kung Fu demonstration, Rabbit Days and Dumplings, arts & crafts, and more, Asia Society, 725 Park Ave., $5-$12, 1:00 - 5:00

Lunar New Year, with music and dance, martial arts, theater, a lion parade, and more, presented with the New York Chinese Cultural Center, Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey St., free, 2:00 – 3:15

year of the rat 2

Sunday, February 2
Chinese New Year Family Festival, with lion dances, dumpling and paper-lantern workshops, storytelling, a puppet show, live music, more, China Institute, 40 Rector St., general admission free, some programs $20 in advance, 12:00 – 4:00 pm

Wednesday, February 5
Classic Films for the New Year: Eat Drink Man Woman (Ang Lee, 1994), China Institute, 40 Rector St., $5, 6:30 pm

Friday, February 7
Lunar New Year Night Market, with food and drinks, live performances, art and culture, lion dance, vendors, and more, Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St., $99 (includes one-year MoCA membership), 6:00 - 10:00

Saturday, February 8
Super Saturday Lion Dances, throughout Chinatown, free

Sunday, February 9
Twenty-first annual New York City Lunar New Year Parade & Festival, with cultural booths in the park and a parade with floats, antique cars, live performances, and much more from China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and other nations, Chinatown, Sara D. Roosevelt Park, and Columbus Park, free, 11:00 am - 3:30 pm

Peking Opera in Lunar New Year Presented by Qi Shufang Peking Opera Company, Queens Public Library, 41-17 Main Street, Flushing, free, 2:00

Thursday, February 13 & 20
MOCAKIDS Storytime! New Year’s Traditions, Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St., $5, 4:00