– By Sarah Bertness –
Daniel Benedict’s newly opened Bleecker Street Arts Club is breaking out of the traditional white box and bringing emerging artists and the city’s chic, creative set to the West Village. Reminiscent of Gertrude Stein’s famed Saturday night Salons on the banks of the Seine, the Arts Club is a social gathering space, hosting everything from dinner parties to Reiki sessions where guests can enjoy cocktails, canapés and conversation while admiring the carefully curated aesthetic filled with finds from around the art world. The two-floored and rooftop terraced art deco space is all about accessibility, selling everything from the obvious to the unexpected (like furniture for one), allowing seasoned art collectors and first-timers alike the opportunity to mix, mingle and fall in love with an artwork in this immersive, interactive and welcoming environment.
The first exhibition to grace the space isFlat Field, a group show curated by the Halsey McKay Gallery in East Hampton. With his Surrealist-esque Miro gone multi-media aesthetic, Brooklyn-based artist Joseph Hart’s Cyclops (2012) captured our eye. A graduate from the prestigious program at the Rhode Island School of Design, Hart’s work has been exhibited coast to coast and across the cultural capitols of Europe (Paris, Berlin and Copenhage, to name a few). Full of life and movement, the abstractions in his collaged compositions encourage the viewer’s mind to wander and fuel creativity. Personal and captivating, Hart’s work emits a modernity and meaning unique to the eye of the beholder. It’s art that gives and takes on sentiment. Lucky for us, we had the chance to talk to him about his inspiration for this exhibit.
Q: How would you describe your aesthetic?
A: Abrupt, awkward yet balanced, semi-formal, and harmonized. Like a dinner party that includes close friends, strangers and enemies.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Daughter, dandelions, dusk.
Q: Where is your favorite space to see art?
A: Depends on my mood, though looking at work in artists studios usually feels right.
Q: And your favorite place in general?
A: Ocean, lake, pond, pool; in water.
Q: If you could meet any artist (dead or alive) and have a coffee and a chat, who would it be?
A: Richard Pryor
Q: Anything you’d like to add?
A: I have a solo show of all new work opening on Saturday, August 3, at Halsey Mckay Gallery in East Hampton, NY. Come on out and celebrate with us.
Flat Field will be on show at the Bleecker Street Art Club through July 18th.
Sarah Bertness is a freelance writer covering the arts, music, fashion and culture. She has a love for all things avant-garde, late night rock and roll, wanderlust, and a good dose of fringe and gold sequins. You can follow her musings on Twitter @sarahbertness