Yale Fine Arts Students Showcase Sculptures in Bushwick

By Dana Varinsky on April 18, 2014 1:40pm 

BUSHWICK — A Bushwick gallery is playing host to a collection of sculptures created by Yale MFA students, with an exhibition opening Friday evening.

The show at the Storefront Ten Eyck gallery includes work by 11 masters degree students who are set to graduate from Yale University’s School of Art next month. It opens Friday at 6 p.m., and runs each weekend until May 18.

Deborah Brown, the owner of the Ten Eyck gallery, said she was approached by Jerry Blackman, one of the MFA students, who used to live in Bushwick and participated in the neighborhood’s art scene before moving to New Haven.

“It really fits with my mission to show emerging artists and give people a chance, a platform to show their work at the beginning of their careers,” Brown said.

Blackman, 29, said Yale artists often try to show their work in New York, but said the exhibition is one of the more curated and extensive shows the students have put on in recent years.

Blackman’s piece centers on the Siegfried and Roy magic show in which Roy Horn was attacked by a white tiger. He said he was fascinated by the event because it was a ruptured fantasy — everyone projected something onto the tiger and wanted it to be something it wasn't.

"His unchecked fantasy wound up literally biting him back," Blackman said.

His sculpture places a projection of a tiger inside a transposition chamber like the one that would have been used in the show.

“To me this show feels really fresh. It feels highly experimental and confident at the same time,” said Blackman, who does not expect to sell his pieces at the show, but said it's primarily a celebration of his and his classmates' work over the past two years.

“It’s sort of a nice way to get everyone in the same room with a spirit of community,” he said.

Oren Pinhassi, 29, an Israeli artist participating in the show, said having his work displayed in Bushwick feels more public than the thesis exhibitions and open studios that the artists hosted in New Haven, Conn.  

“The school at Yale is more of a community, and not a lot of people get a chance to see the shows there,” he said, adding that he plans on moving to New York after finishing the program.

“I’m hoping to meet people in New York that I would hopefully continue the conversation with once I move into the city,” he said.

Pinhassi added that the show has given him the chance to adapt his work to a new space.

“That’s for me the main thing — to see how people that never saw my work are experiencing it and reacting to it, what kind of conversation it generates,” he said. “For me it’s another step in a very long path that I chose and I’m just trying to remember to be patient and to do things according to my beliefs and ideology.”

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