After meeting and writing about "Art Thoughtz" youtube sensation Hennessy Youngman at Art Fag City's awkwardly awesome Rob Pruitt Award Gala back in February, and at the tail end of last month upon hearing his weird decision to curate a show in a walk-in closet sized gallery called Family Business on 21st Street in Chelsea, next door to the Gagosian, I mentioned in a post HENNESSY YOUNGMAN OPEN CALL @ FAMILY BUSINESS that I had decided to participate in the weirdness.
The show was titled Itsa Small Small World and had been hypothesized by the artist / curator himself that it would most likely be a "shit show", or a "clusterfuck."
He announced the show's existence on youtube and invited the public to come and drop off work.
Any work would be accepted for three days, but you would have to sign a waver that made it clear that you understood your work might be altered, damaged, or destroyed. I got there within the first hour of them accepting work and the tiny gallery was already almost full. They ended up stopping accepting work by the end of the first day.
I had no idea how he was going to fit all of the work into such a a small space. My guess was he would cut "small small" pieces out of each work and collage them together into one larger whole. Luckily when I arrived at the opening a few days later I found my piece fully in tact.
At this point only a small crowd had started to gather.
Art was on every surface, including the sidewalk out front.
Pig face or no, bare tits facing a public street will usually stop me in my tracks.
One piece of art overlapped another, and the space itself only held about 8 people walking in a U formation from the entrance to the exit, which was the same door. People queued up and luckily since I got there just as it was opening I got a good few minutes to try to take it all in before being shuffled out.
A few of the pieces used electricity. Hennessy mentioned in the video they only had one outlet, and with power strips and extension cords some artists took full advantage.
Half Gallery owner Bill Powers was just in front of me in line. I recognized him from being a judge on Bravo's Work Of Art.
Oh shit, I see my piece up there, it's tiny and pretty hidden, but I see it.
But like I said, I'm easily distracted.
So much work to take in, and none of it labeled. The main goal at this point is searching "Where's Waldo Style" for your own needle in this haystack, or your own shit in this shit stack.
I'm getting closer, I can see it, one of the sketches from my Sketch365 Experiment framed up near the ceiling.
There is Jack, of Jack and Jill fame falling down and breaking his crown, just to the right of the rolled up sign and below the gray plate that says useless.
Back on the street the crowd has started to build, Bill Powers is on a bike.
The man of the hour arrives with jumpsuit and Spider-Man cap.
Some people came in costume. Fake it till you make it I guess.
A Pee Wee Herman doll hangs out.
People on the highline were stopping to view the curiosity.
I invited artist Ray Fiero and his wife Christy to come and enjoy the spectacle of it all. At this point the line was too long and moving too slow to really get in and see it.
party opening had completely taken over the street by this point. Everyone was openly drinking beer cans , and smoking weed on the street. Quite the scene, and no cops, amazing.
As it started getting dark they brought out the flood lights.
My buddy, and fellow artist as well as the founder of Vandal Expressionism Joseph Meloy whom also had a piece in this show assisted with the rest of the photos as my camera was fucking up. He's like 6 ft 5 so he has a slightly higher vantage point, in a crowd like this, that's a good thing.
Meloy takes a self portrait in front of the crowd at Family Business.
Being that Joseph had a very slick little camera I asked him to do a quick photo shoot of me in front of the crowd as well.
Fun until you almost get hit. It must have been a pretty intense WTF moment for any car that accidentally turned off the West Side Highway onto 21st St. to realize they would have to drive through a mass of humanity.
View from the entrance to the gallery looking toward the street.
Art world painting legend Marilyn Minter talks with the White Rhino himself art critic Jerry Saltz.
Hennessy gets a rose, he did ask for them in his video.
Joseph Meloy meets Jerry Saltz.
Before I left I decided to rain ArtSucks pins down on the crowd and see what would happen. Ever hear of an "artist swarm"? Thanks to Joseph Meloy for the great photos and shooting this video.
THE TURNOUT PROJECTION: Just after dropping off the work a few days prior to the opening I took a few photos on the street. I projected that the turnout would be huge and did this quick photoshop mock-up "artist rendering" style of how crowded I imagined the sidewalk would become on the actual opening night.
Over the course of the opening I took photos from a similar vantage point.
To be able to compare them later with my projection.
What I didn't account for was the lack of police enforcement. I assumed the crowd would be restricted to sidewalk loitering.
Instead it not only was down the sidewalk but over the entire street and onto the adjacent sidewalk.
ABOVE: REAL LIFE TURN OUT.
ABOVE: FAKE PROJECTION OF TURN OUT.
After the show closed a few weeks later, on the 17th I made it back to Family Business to pick-up my pieces.
I had actually submitted two pieces to be hung next to each other not realizing they were only accepting one piece per artist, so they only hung one of them.
To my happy surprise neither piece was damaged. The frames were a little covered in dust, but otherwise unharmed.
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