Friday, February 20, 2015

FLY Art Opening and B Day

One of my favorite artist / activists in the Lower East Side is Fly. Her Peops series, portraits of her friends in the Lower East Side, connects private lives with a subversive culture tale of anarchism, squatting, and a world making process of fashioning an alternate free universe in the Lower East Side. It is inspiring.

Father Frank by Fly

 pieces I have seen in all my years here.

At the time, I wrote:

Fly followed with a show of images from her Unreal Estate show, a slideshow of stories from her years as a squatter in the city, recalling houses which disappeared, were burnt down, a 1994 squatter riot at Cooper Union when Fr Frank was denied a chance to speak and squatters fought for the mic, rebelled, stood up for themselves, and shared their stories.  "After a riot you have to hang out and tell stories about how you hit a cop over and over again."  Looking around I saw my friend Jess, whose had her share of Critical Mass run ins with the NYPD, smiling in recognition.  The slide show combined comics, images of comrades such as Brad Will past, social history, and graffiti which first drew me to the East Village seen when I was a twelve year old kid living in the suburbs.  I can't wait for her oral history of the squatter movement to come out. 

"After you finish a riot, you gotta tell the story about what happened over and over,"explained Fly. 

Images in photos by Fly.

With all this in mind, I was super excited to hear about her opening last night.

Hey my Peoples !!
hope you can make it tomorrow night
please forward this around
x f

here is the info

Feb 19 - March 6
OPENING Thursday Feb 19 (also Fly’s B-Day!)
8 - 10 pm - - - food and spirits
Art on A Gallery
24 Ave A

Walking in the room after a cold ride from Brooklyn, it seemed like most all my friends in the Lower East Side were there.  So were walls full of color.

Jack and Peter and I talked about Kenny Scharf and the previous week’s show of Lower East Side art.
Fly and I talked about her Unreal Estate show, which I hope becomes a book some day soon.

1980 Lower East Side – Landlords - caption and work by FLY. 

Her shows are always are always full of people,  learning the history of this people’s movement.  She helps us see regular people can change history.  We can impact what kind of a world we want to live in.  We can create our own homes, our own communities.  Regular people can impact history, be free, and live pulsing lives.  But it is never easy.  We get caught in the highs and lows, peaks and valleys, struggles with people, ourselves, landlords, and friends.

"I love that one," i noted pointing at the "In my mind I want to punch you" image.
Fly told me that was inspired by someone special.  We laughed.  Its good to laugh.

The art, the splash of colors helps it feel alright.

So many peops were there. Elizabeth and I talked about people and gardens.

Fly peop portrait of Elizabeth.

Jennifer Blowdryer showed up and we posed for a shot or two.

Elizabeth Ruf-Maldonado
 was with Jennifer Waters, Benjamin Shepard and Fly. 

Walking out, I thanked Sarah Quinter for her wonderful work, connecting squatting and community building from the Lower East side to Bushwick. 

Sarah Quinter's wonderful paintings. 

And a few of my peops and I made our way up to 13th street to meet Babs and the Public Space Peops. We talked about our HPD action on Tuesday and upcoming rides to the gardens on March 21 and April 18th. There’s so much out there to do and enjoy.  Who knows, maybe we will stay long next time and #occupyHPD unless they take the gardens off the #HPDlist?

Thank you Lower East Side, FLY, and NYC. 

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