March 13, 2010
Hiding Gallery is an exciting new art space showcasing some of the freshest visuals Brooklyn has to offer. Today, local photographer Francesca Tallone gives us a firsthand account of her participation in one of HG's recent shows.
There’s a weird neighborhood hole at the intersection of Williamsburg, Bushwick and Bed Stuy that some residents refer to as the Vortex – I like to call it WiBeCka – that contains what may be the newest D.I.Y. gallery in New York, and it’s in Joe Jagos’ living room. Hiding Gallery, so called due to the fact that it’s hidden from the world by virtue of being in a home and having no street access, opened its second art show on Friday, January 29th. NO HANDS featured 10 photographers culled from Jagos’ group of friends and, at 23 images, managed to make his windowless living room feel pretty much like any old gallery you’d stumble into wandering around on W20th. That is, if any old gallery had a DJ booth, a makeshift rope swing, and, when it’s not cold as a witch’s teat outside, an enormous trampoline up on the roof.
As far as themes go, NO HANDS is pretty general, but that also means open to loose interpretation: risk, triumph, taboo behavior, long insomniac nights, basic stupidity. As another aspect of Hiding Gallery’s allure is the fact that all shows take place for one night only, many of those themes presented themselves at this condensed opening/closing party. Before long, the pile of coats in the corner was taller than me, and guests had discovered the little room high above the crowd that requires ascending a wall-mounted metal pipe ladder to enter. Poorly spotted individuals swung through the crowd on a ceiling-mounted rope of questionable sturdiness. And so on, and so forth.
Arriving early afforded me the opportunity to get a good, unobstructed look at the artwork, which was a very smart idea. The multitude of perspectives and experiences shown, as well as the abundance of different photographic styles, made the show dynamic; photojournalism mixed with documentary and fine art photography made for a refreshingly varied visual experience.
I’m a huge fan of visual puns and running themes between images, so seeing Jagos’ larger-than-life fluffy white kittens installed next to Laura Finlay’s home documentary of ladies and their dogs made me happy. And the three images that greeted visitors upon entering the space seemed unlikely and yet strangely obvious in their grouping: a huge color photo of a pair of hands wrapped around a pair of legs, one of which has a house arrest anklet wrapped around it; a photo of a pair of ubiquitous tan work boots; and, completing that diptych, a gorgeous image by Roger Kisby of a lightning storm illuminating a group of kids sitting on their bmx bikes in a ramp park, watching.
If you missed this show, you will be stoked to learn that the 3rd exhibit coming up at Hiding is slated for 21 May 2010. HANGIN’ OUT IN MY PARENTS’ BASEMENT is another show curated by Jagos and Conrad Keely, and will feature artwork by a slew of musicians from across the country. Says Jagos of the show: “In order to re-create the days of slacking off in your parents’ basement making adolescent works of art, the gallery will be covered in wood panels and the roof trampoline will be re-opened for the summer.” Roof trampoline! I am so lining up for that at the first inkling of spring.
Photos by Francesca Tallone and Joe Jagos