Queens Arts Festival to Feature Live Body-Painting

By Jeanmarie Evelly on June 5, 2014 8:47am 

 Danny Quirk is one of several artists participating in the Emerging Artists Festival in Long Island City on Friday. He is known for his anatomical body paintings.
Danny Quirk is one of several artists participating in the Emerging Artists Festival in Long Island City on Friday. He is known for his anatomical body paintings.
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Courtesy Conception Events

LONG ISLAND CITY — An arts festival taking place in Queens this weekend will make use of some unusual canvases — such as Vespa scooters and human bodies.

The Emerging Artists Festival will kick off Friday at venues around Long Island City, featuring a street artist who will decorate a Vespa scooter and another artist, known for his anatomical paintings — depictions of muscles, bones and other human insides — who will live-paint on a person's skin.

"We have all kinds of exciting things," said Rachel Wilkins, co-founder of Conception Events, which is organizing the festival, featuring the works of dozens of artists.

One highlight will be a live-painting event by artist Danny Quirk, who became known for his anatomically accurate body paintings, depicting what lies beneath a person's skin, after photos of his work went viral when they were shared on the popular Facebook page "I F--king Love Science."

Quirk — who also painted a group of nearly nude models last year as part of a promotion for the Body Worlds: Pulse exhibit at Discovery Times Square — will be doing a live-painting at the Space Gallery, 29-09 39th Ave. starting at 8:30 p.m.

Another event will take place at 8 p.m. at Vespa Queens, a new Vespa showroom at 37-43 Crescent St., where street artist Optimo NYC will paint one of the shop's motor scooters.

The festival will also include an "art clash," to take place between 8 and 10 p.m. at the Nesva Hotel at 39-12 29th St., where groups of artists will have one hour each to complete a painting based on the word "conception."

"We thought that would be quite an interesting subject," Wilkins said, saying the "clash" will feature eight artists from several different genres. "We have abstract, we have surrealist, we have fine artists, so we're really excited to see what comes out of that."

The festivities will wrap up with an after-party at Dutch Kills Centraal, at 38-40 29th St., starting at 9:15 p.m. featuring live acoustic music and drink specials for festival-goers.

Wristbands for the festival cost $5, and will be available for purchase at the Nesva Hotel starting at 7 p.m. Though most of the action takes place Friday night, the artists' works will be on display at the participating venues through June 13.

Wilkins and co-founder Mike Wolf started Conception Events in 2011, organizing art shows around the city, predominantly in TriBeCa. This is the group's first event in Long Island City.

"We just kind of felt a pull to the art scene there," she said, saying the neighborhood has the highest concentration of art galleries, art institutions and studio space in the city. "It was kind of a no-brainer."

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