Brett Amory’s ‘This Land is Not for Sale’ Exhibit is a Breathing Commentary on LES Gentrification

Posted on: October 20th, 2015 at 10:25 am by
Brett Amory. Photo: Lori Greenberg.

Brett Amory. Photo: Lori Greenberg.

Can artists prevail where politics and protests haven’t?

Brett Amory’s new exhibit, “This Land is Not for Sale: Forgotten, Past and Foreseeable Futures,” is a thought-provoking form of visual protest against rapid gentrification and a changing New York City.

Photo: Lori Greenberg.

Photo: Lori Greenberg.

The California-based Amory is known for his “Waiting” series of paintings, which depicted haunted and lonely scenes of London and San Francisco. Turning his focus to the Lower East Side, his new works capture a disappearing neighborhood, representing now-shuttered iconic landmarks (CBGB, Mars Bar), along with surviving sites that remain open for now (Block Drug Stores, Yonah Schimmel Knishery, Economy Candy, Katz’s), but seem anachronistic among an ever-expanding series of generic high rises and chain stores.

Viewers enter the Jonathan LeVine Gallery through a faux-construction scaffolded entrance representing the city being “sledgehammered into gentrification.” A small diamond-shaped glass window, set in to the entrance area, allows viewers to peer at a miniature model depicting the aftermath of the recent East Village gas explosion on Second Avenue.

Photo: Lori Greenberg.

Photo: Lori Greenberg.

Later tonight, there will be a panel “bringing together some of the legendary figures and activists of the Lower East Side to explore gentrification.” Moderated by author Alan Kaufman, the panel will include Brett Amory; Lincoln Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of The Villager; Clayton Patterson, LES-based photographer and activist; Jose “Cochise,” the founder and former leader of the notorious Satan’s Sinner Nomads (the last gang to fly colors in LES) and author of the forthcoming Street Gangs of the Lower East Side; and Lorcan Otway, the Director of Theater 80 on St. Mark’s.

“This Land is Not For Sale” is currently running through November 14.

The free panel discussion, open to the public, will take place tonight at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, 557C West 23 St, at 6:30pm. More information can be found here.

Recent Stories

Lindsey Thornburg is Moving Her Orchard Street Boutique to Chelsea

The two-year tenure of Lindsey Thornburg at 21 Orchard Street is coming to an end. The eponymous store owner is moving to an “appointment only atelier in Chelsea” in the coming days. When asked why she was relocating, Thornburg mentioned how she wanted “to be closer to the garment district.” Makes sense. And thus concludes […]

How About the ‘Bluestockings’ Facelift on Allen Street

Check out the Bluestockings facelift on Allen Street. The faded canopy of the last several years was deposed last week in favor of something more “loud.” This slight makeover was expected, albeit more than a year in the making. The eighteen-year-old “feminist bookstore” – one of the last in the country – raised $37,630 in […]

Pala Pizza Seized After 11 Years on Allen Street

Death paid a visit to Pala this week in the form of City Marshals. The eleven-year-old pizzeria was seized and returned to the landlord on Tuesday. As for the restaurant itself, the furnishings and interior are still intact. Packed up for the night never to reopen. The Pala pizzeria opened on this upper stretch of […]

‘Facebook Muralist’ David Choe is up Next at the Bowery Graffiti Wall

A muralist who made a mint through his series of murals at the Facebook HQ in the early 2000s was picked to succeed the five-month reign of PichiAvo at the Bowery Graffiti Wall. Goldman Properties, owner of the four-story canvas (and the land on which it sits), announced yesterday that Korean-American artist David Choe will […]

Essex Street Market Seeks Restaurants and Vendors for its New Essex Crossing HQ

When the Essex Street Market debuts inside the “Gateway” of Essex Crossing next year, it’ll do so with eleven new vendors and two additional restaurants. Yep, it’s turning into another trendy food hall. The catch here is that the identity of these future ventures are not yet known, as the city must still choose. That […]