Denim for days. WORTHLESSSTUDIOS held their annual gala this Saturday replete with disco tunes by DJ Nicky Siano (of Studio54 fame), denim à la Levi’s as a fitting sponsor, drinks from Boxed Water, Brooklyn Best, Brooklyn Brewery, Mezcal Rosaluna, Rosenthal Wine, and even espresso martinis with coffee from La Colombe. The industrial Bushwick space on Knickerbocker Avenue—tucked in amidst artist studio buildings off the L—is a fitting location for their Artist Residencies in sculpture and film photography. The evening brought collectors, gallerists, patrons, and artists to their headquarters unveiling in a private view the completed installations by their inaugural roster of recipients.
This young non-profit was brought to life by the artist Neil Hamamoto. During the event he was introduced by his friend-from-art-school, frequent collaboration and expert fabricator Free Tripp. Their passion for public sculpture and large-scale installation has allowed these can-doers to support artists in leveling up the scale of their sculptures. The residency provides the hard-to-come-by requisite space and materials, funding, and structural advice to learn on the fly through executing one’s vision.
Each of the five inaugural AIRs had a unique perspective on how to approach sculpture which predominantly leaned towards installation. Mark Wilson, Jr constructed a mise-en-scene converting a commercial truck into a guerilla-style liberation army vehicle one might find at home in the New Museum. Alicia Mersy considers the social impacts of conflict camouflaged as nostalgic fun, where viewers enter a fully contained trampoline experiencing the roller coaster of ups-and-downs within their own bodies that perhaps track with the text messages projected on the ceiling the grappling with families divided by their children supporting opposing factions in current conflicts around the world.
Karina Sharif’s bold form appeared to flower with armatures of repeating circular forms, though tiptoed towards the border of design with its lighting component. Jannick Deslauriers utilizes woven materials to achieve an ethereal ghostly quality for a complex of transparent surreal hanging forms reminiscent of webbed hospital beds and medical devices.
It seems this program has already secured support from curators and gallerists from within the art world, notably Artsy’s Jordan Huelskamp is on the board, and attendees included Kickstarter CEO and Benefit Committee Member Everette Taylor, Trotter&Sholer founder Jenna Ferrey, HATCH gallery Co-Founder Giovanna Traversa, Zwirner’s Daria Harper, painter Caleb Hahne Quintana, as well as art advisors Elisabeth Johs (event Partner) and Maria Vogel (Benefit Committee Member).
Artists in attendance unaffiliated with the residency or evening’s auction fundraiser included fiber artist Azzah Sultan, painter Demit Omphroy, and sculptor Alexander Edwards, amongst others. Even graduate students from RISD traveled down to support this sculptural program, including architect Isabella Ruggiero wearing a Sui Generis coat (by Aleza Epstein) and sustainable apparel designer Isabel Jane Marvel rocking upcycled felted insulation jeans of her own design.
Actors, models, fashion designers, collectors, writers, and emerging artists all shared the dance floor for feel good disco throwbacks and rubbed elbows at the bar, after thoroughly engaging with the debuted artworks. The evening had a lot of heart from the residency’s leadership, a creative culinary vision complete with a deconstructed yet active dessert installation, and just enough polish to make it a memorable event all around.
Consider donating to this organization if you want to support a diverse range of on-going artists producing sculptural installations in Brooklyn. Pop by to see these completed sculptures now on view through December 17, 2023 (Wednesday through Sunday 3pm-8pm) at WORTHLESSSTUDIO located at 7 Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn.
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Carson Woś is a researcher, writer, and arts administrator. Her research interests include fiber art, global feminisms, and architectural sustainability, and she is a contributor to Cultbytes and Artspiel. Currently, the Development Officer for The Immigrant Artist Biennial and Partnerships Director at Seminal. Woś has held previous positions at Artnet, Hampton Court Palace, Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA PS1, and Creative Capital. Woś holds an MA in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture from Bard Graduate Center, and an MA (Hons) in Art History from University of St Andrews in Scotland. l Linkedin l