Recap: “Our Ladies of Infamy and Grandeur” at Fourth Arts Block

Posted on: July 3rd, 2012 at 10:23 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

Credit: Lori Greenberg

The East Village boasts more than a few creative saints as well as some ladies of infamy…and now a few of them are immortalized on East 4th Street. Last week, we attended the Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc) opening of “Our Ladies of Infamy and Grandeur,” an exhibit of gilded paintings by Graham Preston. The works, which are currently on display at the FAB Cafe, honor “the exploits, undertakings and legends of lost cultural heroines from the historical Five Points Neighborhood.”

A huge crowd turned out for one of the few not-sweltering evenings, with folks spilling onto much of East 4th Street.

This image has been archived or removed.

Credit: Lori Greenberg

Preston came up with the concept while talking with his friend and mentor, the artist Tom Sanford. Sanford, by the way, created the “Saints of the Lower East Side” murals currently on the scaffolding across the street from the cafe. Both exhibits were curated for FABnyc by one of Boogie’s favorite art world locals, Keith Schweitzer. Working with FABnyc and Murals around New York (MaNY), Schweitzer has been arranging legal walls for both street artists and gallery veterans, redefining the conventional definition of an art gallery.

This image has been archived or removed.

Credit: Lori Greenberg

The indoor and outdoor scenes were equally vibrant. After getting an education from Preston inside the cafe about some of the ladies of the Five Points, we went back outside to take another look at “The Saints of the Lower East Side.” General consensus was that the seven “saints” – Martin Wong, Joey Ramone, Miguel Piñero, Ellen Stewart, Charlie Parker, Arthur Fellig (Weegee) and Allen Ginsberg – were strong representatives of the neighborhood’s modern cultural history. Many viewers hoped that the combined exhibits would prompt viewers and passersby to discover – or rediscover – both the neighborhood and these icons.

Along the way, we also got a few cool bits of trivia about “Saints” from curator Schweitzer. In the frame depicting Joey Ramone, above his head are the letters “SWM.” This, we learned, stands for “Stately Wayne Manor,” a fictional punk band that plays CBGB in Jonathan Lethem’s novel “The Fortress of Solitude.” It was also pointed out that in the same panel of Joey, his name appears at the top of his t-shirt on the Ramones logo. The actual logo, designed by punk icon Arturo Vega, has Johnny’s name at the top. (Being die-hard Ramones fans, we were kicking ourselves a bit for not noticing that immediately!)

This image has been archived or removed.

Credit: Lori Greenberg

Both exhibits run through September 5th, 2012.

Recent Stories

Displaced Chinatown Business Returns Months After Devastating Fire

Four months after a deadly fire knocked out 78 Mulberry Street, one of its businesses returned to the scene. Ewa Trading Company reopened in its former Chinatown home earlier this week. The store had spent some of the interim displacement period selling from a shuttered Vietnamese restaurant a few paces north. The two-alarm fire broke […]

EDC Sues Essex Restaurant for Back Rent over Former Essex Market Lease

Three years removed from its relocation across Rivington Street, the city filed suit against the Essex restaurant for alleged unpaid rent. The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) sued Essex for nearly $60,000 in unpaid back rent on the former Essex Market building it previously occupied, according to the lawsuit filed Monday. The city entity claims that […]

Exile on Orchard Street: Tenement Museum Recreates Exhibits During Renovations

The Tenement Museum is amidst a preservation project at 97 Orchard Street, but will continue its programming with replicas not too far away. The 1863-era tenement this past Sunday embarked on “vital” restoration work to preserve its walls, floors, roof, as well as the installation of a new HVAC system that will provide improved climate […]

Former Home of Stanton Social on the LES Hits Market for $5.9M

Stanton Social has been in the grave for nearly four years. Now, its former home is back on the market. The two-story building – located at 99 Stanton Street in Hell Square – carries an asking price of $5.9 million. B6 Real Estate Advisors is listed as the exclusive brokerage for the property, which has […]

DOT to Pave Pock-Marked Pell Street; Sheds Removed

Pell Street is finally on deck for a resurfacing, forcing numerous Chinatown businesses to dismantle their street shed annexes. Those who operate outdoor dining sheds along Pell Street received notice this week from the Department of Transportation to dismantle structure ahead of scheduled street repaving. This small neighborhood street – which once terminated at Division – […]