Spring Break, one of the true independent art shows, curated by Ambre Kelly and Andrew Gori, was back in a brand new location.

This time the show was in the heart of Times Square. The space was on the 22nd and 23nd floors of an office building that was turned into a wild art show! A non-profit art organization, Chashama, partnered this year with Spring Break and helped get the space for this wonderful art show. Chashama was selected as the 2017 beneficiary and was honored by Artsy benefit auction where portions of proceeds are donated to the organization. Through rethinking what art space means and the desire to provide artists with free space to present their work, they have worked with property owners across New York City, taking unused real estate spaces and transforming them into affordable places for artists to exhibit. This year, Spring Break took over the former office space at 4 Times Square, thanks to Chashama and The Durst Organization.


Now here’s some of the highlights from this year’s Spring Break:

The work of Cate Giordano, a former Pensacola, Floridian girl who now resides in Brooklyn, has always had a 3D style to her work. In the past, she did performance art portraying Elvis and Dolly Parton. This year she had a different approach with a theme called “TV Guide.” This installation is a meditation on how media affects our personal histories. Her realistic set of a Paper Mache refrigerator and living room with a TV set makes the surreal setting somewhat real. Cate has always pushed the boundaries with her art and always adds a humorous touch to all her work.


Next up is a real rock and roll art display. Tamara Santibanez examines subculture rebellion armed with a ballpoint pen. Her work is widely known  for her innovative combination of Chicano imagery  with fetish iconography. She recreates her autobiographical  bedroom, based on her memory, to look like a rock and roll dorm room with designs of rock t-shirts and posters of ACDC, The Clash, The Ramones and other punk rock icons. Her DIY punk rock influences are designed using mostly just a ball point pen. I guess she knows that the pen is mightier than the sword.


Hilliary Gabryel creates amazing sculptures of animals in vibrant colors. Her work is influenced by classical Greek architecture, and also a nod to Hollywood Cinema and $.99-cent stores, with a dash of kitsch and pop culture. One, titled “As Time Goes By,” is a group of plastic flamingos connected to an umbrella, spray-painted in gold, and another is “Accoutrements,” a lion sculpture that is ready to light up a room. Her work is so eye-catching that I was immediately drawn to it!


James Woodruff creates zany toy designs. His exhibit is called “The Toy Series,” which you can easily  see in his work. There are portraits of small tin toys, many of which are antiques that date back as far as the 1940’s. He grew up in Amsterdam and moved to NYC in 1970. His work is quite unique while fitting into the modern world.


Julie Tuyet Curtiss: “Reflections.” This is her first solo show. She is a French Vietnamese painter now living and working in Brooklyn, Her paintings are unlike traditional portraiture, as the faces of her subjects are deliberately omitted and strategically obscured with a hand. Her execution of gnarled fingernails, sharp pointy breasts and bodies composed of hair are very non-conventional images of traditional women. In her painting “Party Down,” she portrays two woman in BDSM gear who seem to have been caught in an act of sexual transgression. In “Reflections,” the concept serves as a mirror giving us a way to confront ideas and thoughts that might be disturbing or discomforting but might also recognize these unresolved feelings as what makes us feel alive and beautifully human.


Lucia Love an American artist living and working in Brooklyn who received her BFA from School of Visual Arts. She has a bizarre concept of life and her painting “Safe Bird” is anything but safe, as it depicts a woman being held captive by a giant Dr. Seuss-like bird. Her painting is most captivating in a very expressive and intense manner.


Jake Scharbach grew up in a small town in Washington State. He uses his work as symbols and signs in a collage-like manner. They are produced in a very dysfunctional way almost like a car accident, but he tells a very honest story of real life through his paintings.


Eric Helvie considers his art never to be about emotions but just acts of creativity. He creates language that is unique and vibrant. The work, titled “Pipe Smoker (Cyclops),” is done in enamel, acrylic and fleece on canvas.


And, finally, Rachael Frank, born and raised in Kentucky, has done paintings/films of environmental-themed projects with the title “Past Future Tense.” These include images of people wearing Rhino masks filmed in the forests, making statements about the survival of animals threatened with extinction and about our future by using art to make people think a little deeper about this world.


Well, that’s my overview of one of the best art fairs going in NYC!

  1. Joly MacFie says:

    Bruce! How did you miss Kosmo Vinyl and his Cisco Kid vs Trump prints?

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