The Spring/Break Art Show in NYC is a Riotous Affair of Small Galleries and Independent Curators Representing Unknown, Emerging, and Mid Career Artists. What a Blast!

Jeremy Olson/ To Scale: friends and neighbors. Oil on Panel. I met the artist!

It’s the season of Art Shows in NYC right now, and the title Spring/Break certainly heralds a dizzying collection of art including installation, interactive, and video work from about 130 international curators. The show is housed in unused, unusual, and sometimes historic buildings in the city at no cost to exhibitors.

In its ninth year to NYC, the show is located on the 11th and 12th floors (formerly leased to Ralph Lauren, I was told) at the Atlantic Production Center, 625 Madison Avenue. This year’s theme is “In Excess.”

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Two of artist David Frye’s acrylic paintings.

Chatting it up with the curators and artists is the best part. The Spring/Break show is new to me, so I asked lots of questions. For instance, What is an independent curator?  I arrived at booth 1036 on the 10th floor and spoke to Mary Gagler who was representing artist David Frye and his “Golden Calf” acrylic paintings in sculptural frames (above). They had painted their small space in a dramatic red color to look like paneling.

She explained that independent curators might own a gallery, work for a gallery or non profit, or free lance. Curators (many of them were also artists showing their work) act as a kind of jack-of all-trades marketing reps.

Many exhibitors got quite elaborate with the design of their space. Curator Lauren Hirshfield recreated a small dining room to showcase her artist’s porcelain ceramics, but the pieces were simply glazed, and though beautiful, got lost in the presentation.

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These ceramic pieces got lost in the presentation!

Curator and artist Jeila Gueramian had just one day to install her huge, plush, crochet/ sculptural pieces that overflowed beyond her space into the elevator hallway. Fortunately, she has her daughter to help during the week.

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Close up of one of Jelia’s huge installations. Lots of crochet.

On my way up to the show in the elevator, a young woman exclaimed, “You gotta check out the artist known as Super Future Kid (Steffi Homa)!  I did. And entered a real gingerbread house comprised of 2500 pounds of salt and gallons of pastel paint replete with toad stools and a foot bridge over a stream of pink water and paintings of colorful, cartoonish creatures.

One of my favorite pieces was a huge ( 90 x 120 inches) installation entitled “Unfolding,” by artists Ori Carino and Lee Quinones.  It consisted of two layers of stretched silk with spray paint, airbrush, and acrylic paint. Illuminated from behind, it was stunning.

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“Unfolding” Spray paint, airbrush, acrylic paint on synthetic silk.

Many of the artists have sold work. Scooter LaForge’s beastly banquet table of hand glazed/fired commercial dinner plates with gold inlay were selling well at $500 a piece. Entitled, “Please Don’t Eat The Animals,” you were asked to “Gorge yourself on the excesses of humanity’s cruelty to animals.” I have vegan friends who would approve.

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Please Don’t Feed the Animals!

Before I realized it, I had already spent two and a half hours and never even left the 10th floor. I ran in to three new friends who had just arrived, and after a brief hello, made my way to the 11th floor to squeeze in a quick walk around as sensory overload had taken over, and I just couldn’t ingest another visual bite.

The show runs from March 3rd to the 9th.

(But I have to get in one more.)

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Krista Klingbeil uses a pastry bag to pipe in silica paste on the surfaces of her paintings.

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