'Bushwick Bohemia' Carves Slice of 'Hamptons Bohemia' Art Fair

By Meredith Hoffman on July 11, 2013 8:19am 

Slideshow
 "Bushwick Bohemia" includes works by eight artists from Bushwick or nearby.
'Bushwick Bohemia'
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BUSHWICK — A pristine sculpture field by a polo club in "one of the most posh neighborhoods of the Hamptons" is staking out its claim in the "bohemian" world — and the artists of Bushwick's warehouses are helping lead the way.

"Hampton Bohemia" — this summer's annual ArtHamptons fair inspired by the Hamptons' "historic arts tradition"  — features a special "Bushwick Bohemia" show highlighting the starving artists Bushwick has but will soon lose, the exhibit's curator said.

"Bushwick is now being touted and marketed as this artist utopia and this kind of marketing will eventually lead to Bushwick being [gentrified]...The [real estate] market is going to come in and probably displace most of the artists there, so the show is interpreting this cycle," said curator Andrew Gori, who noted the message spoke directly to the Bridgehampton show's attendees who might also own or buy real estate in Bushwick.

"It's interesting to take a show with this idea and bring it outside the city to a place that also has the reputation for housing a lot of people who own real estate and are a part of that process," said Gori, whose "Bushwick Bohemia" exhibit is just a small part of the renowned festival featuring 70 galleries from around the world.

This year's fair, in a 50,000-square-foot "museum-like modular structure" within the 95-acre sculpture fields of Bridgehampton's Nova's Ark, celebrates the Hamptons' historical draw for writers and artists including Jackson Pollock, John Steinbeck and Winslow Homer. A whole "Hamptons Bohemia" book has been published on the creative scene there, which Gori said he hoped to juxtapose with that of Bushwick.

"It's remembering a time in the Hamptons nostalgically that did involve numerous poets and artists who did develop artistic landscape of the area and who have retained it in a certain degree," Gori said of the "Hamptons Bohemia" theme. "We’re contrasting two different artist worlds."

The fair is also a time for Hamptons residents "to find the right art treasures to complete their summer house art collection," ArtHamptons' announcement says.

And to some "Bushwick Bohemia" artists showing at the high-profile event, those buyers and North Brooklyn artists are actually a "lifeline for each other."

"Collectors move out there and create large, beautiful summer homes and fill them with bold art as it's a chance for them to go big in comparison to a smaller New York apartment," said artist Sarah Bereza, whose colorful but unsettling painting "The Bather" will be on display. "Artists in Brooklyn also have an attitude of going big or going home when it comes to creating art.  We need each other in this way."

Gori — who said Bereza and one artist from Lower Manhattan were part of the Bushwick group to help "map out the progression" of displacement in the show — said that the show first and foremost examined what happened when a location was dubbed creative and unconventional.

"There is this marketing of a Bushwick bohemia which is in part true and really exciting," he said, "but which will eventually be used for an aim that will dispose of the bohemia."

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