Movie And Sports Exhibitions Shine At Chelsea Winter Shows

Devin Troy Strother's Space Jam exhibit at Marlborough Chelsea

It may not have the same sort blockbuster feel as the fall, but winter in the Chelsea gallery district offers plenty of smaller delights. Planning your visit can get overwhelming, so, as always, I recommend just showing up and walking across as many blocks as you can. A short walk from any of our Midtown East Apartments, specifically anywhere between 18th and 27th Streets, and 10th and 11th Avenues, works, though 21st, 24th and 25th are usually the most fruitful for random gallery-going–before you get too tired and need a drink and a snack. That said, I went to two openings recently that were exciting enough to single out and, if you're heading over that way anytime soon, are well worth popping in to check out: Devin Troy Strother's "Space Jam", and legendary director John Waters's "Beverly Hills John". Note however: the John Waters, no surprise if you know his work, is definitely for adults only.   

 John Waters' Beverly Hills John exhibit at Marianna Boesky Gallery

John Waters' "Beverly Hills John" at Marianne Boesky Gallery 

Let's start with the very-NSFW John Waters show at the Marianne Boesky Gallery on 24th Street, which is funny and raunchy and engaging. "Beverly Hills John" continues with Waters's trademark skewering of Hollywood, both the movies itself and the culture of celebrity-worship (which he extends into the art world as well). There are lots of clever, jokey pieces here, such as the self portrait with that too-common feline-ish plastic surgery, and the cover of the "National Brainiac", where Waters imagines a world in which intellectuals are treated like movie stars by the gossip rags. Waters also includes several "pushed-it-too-far" works which, depending on your temperament, will either offend you or make you smile. But the centerpiece here, and far more engrossing than you'd expect, is Kiddie Flamingoes, a 74-minute film for which Waters cleaned up the script of his notorious classic Pink Flamingos and shot it as a table read, starring an endearing gang of little kids. Through February 14. 

Devin Troy Strother's Space Jam exhibit at Marlborough Chelsea

Devin Troy Strother's Space Jam at Marlborough Chelsea

Much more family-friendly (unless you read the titles) is Devin Troy Strother's Space Jam, semi-inspired by the 1996 money-grab… errr, the 1996 movie, starring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. I say "semi" because although NBA icons from that era are most certainly in evidence–in addition to Jordan, there's a trio of Knicks from the SO-close-Championship year of 1994, Patrick Ewing, Anthony Mason, and John Starks, who hit the rim with a three at the buzzer in Game Six that would have won it all–there are no Looney Tunes in sight. The gallery itself, Marlborough Chelsea on 25th Street, has been decked out in, alternatively, garish purple outer-space carpeting, and as an actual court, with gym floor and regulation hoop. Spend a little time with each painting, and there's a lot to see here. Oh and don't miss Tony Matelli's underwear-clad sleepwalking man outside on the upstairs deck. Through February 14.                     

Devin Troy Strother's Space Jam exhibit at Marlborough Chelsea

Posted in manhattan living, Midtown East, NYC Events | Tagged