Just Do Art

Stephen Hall’s “Oh Say Can You See,” from the “Conflict of Interest” exhibition at Westbeth Gallery. | Image courtesy of the artist

BY SCOTT STIFFLER | Take one loaded phrase, task six artists with taking it on, and the results will range from politically charged to ecologically aware to totally trippy. Such is the case with the works on display at the upcoming Westbeth Gallery exhibition, “Conflict of Interest.” Provoking their audience to “question what is going on in the world right now and what kind of world are we leaving to future generations,” the aritsts provide insights and answers via their various disciplines, including painting, photography, digital manipulation and installation. The roster of big thinkers and definite doers is as follows: Welsh-born, coastal-raised punk rocker, and sculpture tutor Illtyd Barrett; conservationist/naturalist Mozart Dedeaux; Aidan “Let’s skip the nonsense of trying to navigate a narration of my life” Grant; Scotland-born New Yorker and painter Stephen Hall; British-born photographer Steve Joester; builder, filmmaker, and self-proclaimed “man about town”Robert Ross. Samantha Hall curates. You’re invited to the opening reception, 6-9pm on Sat., Nov. 3. The exhibition runs from Nov. 3-24, with viewing hours of 1-6pm, Wed.-Sun. At Westbeth Gallery (55 Bethune St., btw. Washington & West Sts.). For info, visit westbethorg.

“Last night I was on my way home from a Halloween party,” wrote frequent arts contributor Trav S.D., in a recent social media post, “and was at the Mets Stadium [Citi Field] stop on the 7 train. I looked out the window and beheld an unexpected and wondrous sight: a circus tent! Mexico’s Circo Hermanos Vazquez is in town and will be there until November 26, and then, after that, in the Bronx [Terminal Market, Harlem River North lot], through December 16. This looks very much like my cup of tea and is not far from my house so I’m bound to check it out.” Knowing a good story when we see the seeds of it, we vowed to secure tickets for Trav, whose review you’ll read in the coming weeks. Meantime, for tickets of your own, visit circovazquez.com, send an email to info@circovazquez.com, or call 877-829-7839.

Trav S.D. (second from right), a frequent contributor to this publication’s arts section, shows he can do theatre, as well as write about it. See for yourself when you see “The Resistible Rise of JR Brinkley.” | Photo by Arthur Cornelius

One wonders where Trav found the time to socialize, what with his lead role in a Sun., Oct. 28, 6:45pm play we’ve got tickets to — the last performance, in fact, as it’s part of FringeNYC, the sprawling performance festival that’s been playing throughout the month of October. Shameless plug: Mr. S.D.’s starring role is in Untitled Theater Company No. 61’s The Resistible Rise of JR Brinkley.” Written and directed by Edward Einhorn, it’s the tale of a 1920s con man who gets rich, has success as a star of modern media, and becomes a successful elected. A flimflammer in a position of political power? Bless these creative types and their outlandish ideas! Elsewhere during FringeNYC’s waning days, these shows caught our eye: Brooklyn’s own Kal Mansoor writes, performs, and produces “A Brief History of Colonization,” which has its final show at 5:15pm on Sat., Oct. 27. Rick Allen Wilson directs this tale of a British-Indian comedian who “attempts to make a Hollywood movie about India’s colonial past and is forced to revisit his own.” There are Fri.-Sun. shows, Oct. 26-28, for “Ants,” a wordless performance piece combining clowning, animation, dance, and more, in order to “conduct a dialogue with cultural icons and the world of ants.” For tickets to these shows and info on many, many more, visit fringenyc.org.

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