Performance was reality at an L.E.S. wedding

Emily Maple throws the bouquet after her wedding at Empirical Nonsense Gallery NYC 1.26.19
Emily Maple and Steve Freed kiss at their wedding at Empirical Nonsense Gallery on the Lower East Side last month. At right, officiant Tracy Mendez applauds. Crouching on the floor in black cap with beard is artist Scooter LaForge. Photos by Bob Krasner

BY BOB KRASNER | Performance art, as defined by Google: “An art form that combines visual art with dramatic performance.”

How perfect, then, that Scooter LaForge’s closing party for his solo show at Empirical Nonsense featured an actual wedding in front of his painting “Genesis, Day 6.”

After performance-art pieces — arranged by LaForge — by Jorge Clar and Helixx C. Armageddon, it was announced that Stanley Love and his dance troupe would not be performing as scheduled. Instead, the surprised crowd got the newly ordained Tracy Mendez uniting Emily Maple and Steven Freed in holy matrimony.

From left, officiant Tracy Mendez, Emily Maple and Steve Freed after Maple and Freed’s wedding at Empirical Nonsense gallery on Rivington St.

Vows were exchanged, the bouquet was tossed and cake was had by all. Art lovers turned to each other and asked, “Was that for real?” The bride and groom, wearing limited-edition “I Just Came Here Looking For a Husband/Wife” T-shirts created by their artist friend Ayana Evans, assured everyone that it was.

The pair — who are clinical psychologists — are looking forward to a more traditional family affair in Grand Cayman. But it will be hard to beat the uniqueness of getting hitched in a Lower East Side storefront art gallery on Rivington St.

Emily Maple throws the bouquet after her wedding at Empirical Nonsense gallery. Her T-shirt is by performance artist Ayana Evans.

Despite the fact that Maple and Freed did not know most of the nuptial witnesses, they knew it was an exceptional event.

“It was a really special day,” said the bride. “We felt very loved.”

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