An Only-In-New-York Type Of Art Show
In the fall of 2010, the artist and Brooklyn native RAE was messing around in his studio, which at the time was in a residential building in Midwood, and some sort of "art experiment" involving a microwave went awry. There was an explosion. There was paint everywhere. There were alarmed tenants. There were tenants who couldn't care less. There were tenants who didn't really notice.
But whatever, the landlord had had enough–noise complaints had been leveled against the artist for some time–and, with the help of a burly "nephew", RAE was escorted from the building. Security deposit: gone. Access to his storage space in the basement: denied. It wasn't until four years later, on August 4, 2014, that RAE was able to reenter the space, during the chaos caused by a sudden, mass evacuation ordered because of cracks in the building's facade, discovered by a construction crew working next door.
RAE retrieved his almost-forgotten belongings, including a metal trunk filled with sketches, rolled-up canvases, and other ephemera from that era, all of which provided the creative inspiration for RAE's latest exhibition, Trunk Work.
What Is The Story About RAE's Trunk Work?
Or so the story goes. It's sometimes difficult to distinguish between actual facts and creative license, or conceptual art, here. But what IS true is this: Trunk Work features a bunch of excellent new art by RAE, both his freewheeling, almost-collage-y paintings, and his sculptural pieces into which he incorporates items such as a "reclaimed air humidifier", plastic typewriter keys, and a toolbox.
Where Is RAE's Trunk Work?
It's held in an abandoned butcher's basement in Chinatown, the air still vaguely greasy, the memory of meat lingering deep in the walls. Given RAE's penchant for repurposing the unloved and discarded, it's kind of perfect. And, like his great Word of Mouth show in that Avenue C bodega in 2013, the attention to detail within the space here is astonishing.
What You'll Find at RAE's Trunk Work
There are also pieces of "evidence" on display to support RAE's tale, such as a note from his former landlord, the stereo set-up that caused so many his problems (a battered cassette player with makeshift "bullhorn" speakers, now playing the Biz Markie classic, The Biz Never Sleeps), and random things like a Honus Wagner baseball card (?).
More Information on RAE's Trunk Work
RAE's Trunk Work is running through April 19, Thursdays through Sundays, from 1:00 until 7:00 p.m. The address in 94 1/2 Bayard Street, across from Columbus Park, to the left of the produce.