L.E.S. ‘Art Slam’ is a hit

“Wave,” by Kathy Creutzburg, was one of the pieces in the show.
“Wave,” by Kathy Creutzburg, was one of the pieces in the show.

BY HEATHER DUBIN  |  Local artists on the Lower East Side presented new works and discussed technique at the Tompkins Square Library Gallery on Sat., Jan. 25.

The “Art Slam” featured eight artists from the Art Loisaida Foundation, a nonprofit, which originated as an artist collaborative in 1995.

Paintings and photographs lined the walls and a large blue-and-white steel sculpture took over a corner of the gallery for the exhibition, “Artists de Loisaida East of A South to Grand.” About 25 people ventured out in the cold to attend the talk.

Kris Enos, who works with large-format cameras from 1932 and 1937, explained the lighting and inspiration behind his photographs of women printed on metallic paper.

In one of his photos, a model was wearing an old belt buckle of his from the ’70s. Another was of a model lounging on a couch, gazing through a steel sculpture, “Wave,” created by his wife, Kathy Creutzburg, which was also in the show.

There were a few shots that varied in method, including a double-exposure.

“I found some expired film, used it, and some strange things happened, which I think are happy accidents,” he said.

Mike Rimbaud, a songwriter and painter, shared “Funkyshima,” a music video, influenced by the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, which he performed in a radiation suit and gloves. Meanwhile, Klay-James Enos, the son of Enos and Creutzburg, traced the historical connection between art and grids from 1435 to modern art.

Large beautiful color photographs of East Village community gardens at night were taken by George Hirose, and filled up half the length of one wall. Using a high-end digital camera, Hirose began shooting 10 minutes after twilight and worked quickly until dawn to capture his detailed photographs.

“I rely on the kindness of gardeners a lot. I promise I’ll leave it without any mess,” he said, with a smile. “The best part is meeting people and the community.”

Creutzburg, a sculptor, constructed “Wave” in five months for “Figment,” a sculpture garden on Governors Island in spring 2013.

“It’s an interactive sculpture, and had ropes on it – thousands of children climbed on it,” she said.

As for this show, Creutzburg was enthusiastic.

“I thought it was really great how we all worked together,” she said. “A lot of the East Village artists are collaborating in some way.”

Carolyn Ratcliffe, the artistic director of Art Loisaida Foundation, and co-founder of the collaborative, played a video of a dance performance that she did the photography for and that Elodie Lauten edited.

Since the collaborative’s beginnings, Ratcliffe has helped to represent more than 300 Lower East Side artists in exhibits throughout Manhattan.

“We focus on artists who live or work in this neighborhood to get people to recognize the contribution artists have made to this neighborhood,” she said. Ratcliffe noted that Creutzburg was in the first show they ever organized.

The exhibit is on view through Fri., Jan. 31, and is sponsored by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Art Loisaida Foundation, the New York Public Library’s Tompkins Square branch and Materials for the Arts.

There was a reception afterward at Michael Mut Gallery on Avenue C near Sixth St.