Recap: Groundbreak Featuring Abe Lincoln Jr., Jon Burgerman & Ellis Gallagher

By - Friday, December 16th, 2011

Last month the Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc) in Manhattan presented Groundbreak, the inaugural exhibit of public art for Artist Alley @ Extra Place. This exhibit is the latest in a series of temporary art installations in the East Village/Lower East Side through FABnyc’s ArtUp program. Featured artists Jon Burgerman, Ellis Gallagher, and Abe Lincoln Jr. used the concrete sidewalk as their blank canvas. Artist Alley @ Extra Place is tucked behind the former CBGB’s and surrounded by several galleries, including La MaMa E.T.C.’s La Galleria, Fuse Gallery, The Hole, and The Proposition to name a few. FABnyc recognizes Extra Place as a cultural marker in New York City’s Punk and No Wave scene and its potential as fertile ground for a new generation of creative exchange. Artist Alley @ Extra Place on the Lower East Side is currently display. Enter mid-block on East 1st Street between Bowery & 2nd Avenue. Jon Burgerman is an Englishman who is currently based in New York. Burgerman’s ceaseless expansions of distorted landscapes consist of characters that rendered in rich colors, smooth lines and bold gestures. In addition to his 2-dimensional work that continues to garner international acclaim, his and Jim Avignon’s band Anxieteam and enterprise Burgerplex also has its fans. Abe Lincoln Jr. is originally from San Francisco and has been based in New York for 20 years. The cute sarcasm of his work and its outdoor appliqué are depicted through a slew of playful and mischievous characters that are an extension of his angst on paper, stickers, canvas, board and buildings. In addition, he also produces artist multiples titled Globulon and Fugue State Records. Ellis Gallagher aka Ellis G is originally from the East Village and has been based in New York ever since. Although his works are predominantly shadow outlines of street objects under the night sky, Gallagher’s ephemeral work on the street has materialized into photographic reproductions, screen prints, sculptures and site specific installations off the street. Since 2008, FABnyc’s ArtUp reinvigorates underutilized spaces through public art and community partnerships. ArtUp transforms construction sites and vacant spaces in the East Village/Lower East Side into street-side galleries. Visit other ArtUp locations, including the ArtUp Scaffolding Bridge located in front of the future 70 East 4th Street Cultural Center and ArtUp Construction Containers, located at the corner of East 4th Street & Bowery, which host year round exhibitions. FABnyc also presents rotating exhibits in its FAB Café at 75 East 4th Street. Situated between the Bowery and 2nd Avenue, Extra Place was a former thru street that once connected East 1st Street to East 2nd Street. In the 1800s, it was an extra street that was leftover from The Minthorne’s family land. Around the 1900s, this small street became a Place where garages and speakeasies were found. In the late 70s through the 90s, Hilly Kristal’s Country Blue Grass and Blues venue, known as CBGB on the Bowery, became a hangout for New York City’s Punk, No Wave, beatnik, activist, video, pop and feminist art spheres. Two decades later, AvalonBay Communities, Inc., attracted by the neighborhood’s history and culture, began to develop Avalon Bowery Place, a mix of apartments and boutique retailers along the Bowery from East Houston Street to East 2nd Street. Being an integral part of Extra Place is an important aspect of Avalon Bowery Place’s identity. FABnyc’s ArtUp transforms Extra Place with artwork from the ground-up, reviving underutilized space through exhibitions and events to cultivate new community relationships between artists, residents, retailers and passersby. This exhibition has been curated by Joyce Manalo (FABnyc & ArtFWD) and Keith Schweitzer (MaNY & No Longer Empty), was presented by FABnyc’s ArtUp Program, and supported by AvalonBay Communities, Inc. Photo: Mike Pearce Text: Daniel Feral

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