Recap: “Our Ladies of Infamy and Grandeur” at Fourth Arts Block

Posted on: July 3rd, 2012 at 10:23 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

Credit: Lori Greenberg

The East Village boasts more than a few creative saints as well as some ladies of infamy…and now a few of them are immortalized on East 4th Street. Last week, we attended the Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc) opening of “Our Ladies of Infamy and Grandeur,” an exhibit of gilded paintings by Graham Preston. The works, which are currently on display at the FAB Cafe, honor “the exploits, undertakings and legends of lost cultural heroines from the historical Five Points Neighborhood.”

A huge crowd turned out for one of the few not-sweltering evenings, with folks spilling onto much of East 4th Street.

This image has been archived or removed.

Credit: Lori Greenberg

Preston came up with the concept while talking with his friend and mentor, the artist Tom Sanford. Sanford, by the way, created the “Saints of the Lower East Side” murals currently on the scaffolding across the street from the cafe. Both exhibits were curated for FABnyc by one of Boogie’s favorite art world locals, Keith Schweitzer. Working with FABnyc and Murals around New York (MaNY), Schweitzer has been arranging legal walls for both street artists and gallery veterans, redefining the conventional definition of an art gallery.

This image has been archived or removed.

Credit: Lori Greenberg

The indoor and outdoor scenes were equally vibrant. After getting an education from Preston inside the cafe about some of the ladies of the Five Points, we went back outside to take another look at “The Saints of the Lower East Side.” General consensus was that the seven “saints” – Martin Wong, Joey Ramone, Miguel Piñero, Ellen Stewart, Charlie Parker, Arthur Fellig (Weegee) and Allen Ginsberg – were strong representatives of the neighborhood’s modern cultural history. Many viewers hoped that the combined exhibits would prompt viewers and passersby to discover – or rediscover – both the neighborhood and these icons.

Along the way, we also got a few cool bits of trivia about “Saints” from curator Schweitzer. In the frame depicting Joey Ramone, above his head are the letters “SWM.” This, we learned, stands for “Stately Wayne Manor,” a fictional punk band that plays CBGB in Jonathan Lethem’s novel “The Fortress of Solitude.” It was also pointed out that in the same panel of Joey, his name appears at the top of his t-shirt on the Ramones logo. The actual logo, designed by punk icon Arturo Vega, has Johnny’s name at the top. (Being die-hard Ramones fans, we were kicking ourselves a bit for not noticing that immediately!)

This image has been archived or removed.

Credit: Lori Greenberg

Both exhibits run through September 5th, 2012.

Recent Stories

Queens Man Arrested in Connection with Stabbing Death of Grubhub Delivery Worker on LES

Police announced Friday night the arrest of the suspect wanted in connection with the murder of a Grubhub deliveryman last week. Joseph Sandoval, 23, from Jamaica, Queens, was collared Thursday and charged with one count of murder in the stabbing death of Sala Miah. As reported, Miah had taken a post-shift break in Sara D. […]

NYPD Sergeant Injured as High Motorcyle Driver Rams Through Delancey Street Checkpoint

An evasive motorcycle driver, allegedly high on drugs, was arrested Saturday night after striking a female police officer on Delancey Street. The accident transpired at about 10:00pm at a checkpoint in the intersection of Suffolk Street by the Williamsburg Bridge. Police said the officer, a sergeant, attempted to stop the motorcycle while coming off the […]

Lower East Side Residents Sue the City to Stop Outdoor Dining Sheds

A group of New York City residents filed a lawsuit last week attempting to block the Open Restaurants program, initiated during the pandemic, from becoming permanent. The 22 claimants cite quality-of-life concerns with the clogged streetscapes, and allegations that the Department of Transportation – the agency responsible for the street shanties – mishandled its review […]

Police Chase, Shoot at Man Armed with 2 Knives on the Bowery

Police this morning shot at an alleged robbery suspect who resisted arrest and threatened officers with two knives. It began at 8:00am when police received the first call about an emotionally disturbed man who threatened a woman with a glass bottle outside 80 East Third Street, and attempted to steal money. He then fled south […]

The ‘Basic Necessities’ of Broome Street

Six months ago, Basic Necessities became part of Broome Street. Conceived by artist Michelle Repiso, the multimedia project tackles “three individuals and the mechanisms they used to sustain their humanity while incarcerated.” Now, with an Artist Corps Grant, Repiso is taking it one step further with community engagement. Tomorrow, the artist will be crowdsourcing participants’ […]