Monday, April 15, 2013

Battle Ground at Proteus Gowanus

Should you find yourself in Brooklyn over the next several months, I hope you will stop by Proteus Gowanus, the unique artist space at Union and Nevins Streets, just spitting distance from the Gowanus Canal.  Their year-long exhibition theme is Battle and the current incarnation of that theme is called Battle Ground.

Bettle Ground features work by Paul Benney, Peter Bonner, Sasha Chavchavadze, Eymund Diegel, Robert Gould, Katarina Jerinic, Andrew Keating, Christina Kelly, V. Komar & A. Melamid, Angela Kramer, Robyn Love, Eva Melas, Duke Riley, and Robert Sullivan.

I have two pieces in the exhibition.  One is Give Me Your Hand Old Revolutionary, pictured below.  It takes its name from the first line of Walt Whitman's poem about the Battle of Brooklyn titled Centenarian's Story.  Each letter is spelled out with a black cockade.  Black cockcades were one of the (few) ways that the Rebel soldiers could be identified.

The other piece consists of six DIY Cockcade Kits, which are for sale in the gift shop.  Everything you need to create your own rebellious cockcade!  

One thing that I love about Proteus Gowanus is that it was born out of a belief that artists can and should be supportive of each other, not just exist in this bizarre world of competition that the prevailing art market seems to encourage.  It is a very practical response to the question of how do we really make this art making thing work?  At the same time, it is idealistic because of the exact same reason.  I love that there is room for my DIY kits and for the more conceptual work.

All the artists in the exhibition have a lot to offer.  Here is a piece by Eva Melas, who collects discarded coffee cups off the street and refashions them into art (click on the photo to see the text better).

Battle Ground will be on view until June 30th.  Stop by and see it!

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