Caroline Woolard Steps Up to the Mic


Artist Caroline Woolard speaking at the inaugural meeting of the New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative (Middle Collegiate Church, East Village, 4.28.15). Production still from the series, ART21 New York Close Up. Cinematography by Rafael Salazar. © ART21, Inc. 2015.

Today’s New York Close Up premiere—our first film with artist Caroline Woolard—is a little different. And that has everything to do with Caroline. Her work involving affordable space in New York City gave us an opportunity to explore issues that we have been hoping to tackle since the inception of the New York Close Up series. Her passion and humor and honesty around these issues help set the tone for a film that is definitely out of our documentary comfort zone.

So, in the spirit of a film that’s trying a lot of very non-ART21 things, we wanted to release the film a little differently with a brief statement from Caroline herself:

Why don’t more artists talk about the connection between art and real estate in their life and work? This is a video about how I’ve been able to survive in New York City since 2002, and why I am finally waking up to the power of organizing to stay put. As an artist living and working in New York City, I feel that I cannot stand aside and watch as developers and landlords price out each small business, community group, and cultural organization that makes our city inclusive, safe, and vibrant. I hope this video inspires the art students, arts graduates, and working artists who are not already involved in place-based organizing to get involved in local organizing for development without displacement. If you are based in New York City, I hope you will look into the Real Estate Investment Cooperative (NYCREIC) and its organizational stewards: 596 Acres, Spaceworks, Fourth Arts Block, #BlackLandMatters, and Brooklyn Law School’s Center for Urban Business and Entrepreneurship. NYCREIC exists to secure permanently affordable space for civic, cultural, and cooperative use. By leveraging the political power and patient investments of members, we aim to stabilize neighborhoods and build a resilient city.

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Watch “New York Close Up” in Tehran . . . 37 Times!


We’re happy and completely flattered to announce that the Rybon Art Center, in collaboration with the Cinematheque of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, is presenting a series of “New York Close Up” screenings. It’s happening July 13 through 16, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Cinematheque. They’re gonna show 37 episodes! Translated into Persian! And on July 14 at 6 p.m, filmmakers Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Mohamad Reza Jahanpanah and Amir Hossein Sanaei will have a post-screening discussion about their own experiences making documentaries about visual artists. It’s part of ART21’s “Access” series, an on-going international initiative where ART21 collaborates with local partners to screen ART21 programming across the world. So if you happen to be in the area, please check it out.

ADDITION: Turns out there’s going to be a couple of more talks in conjunction with the screenings. Pouriya Jahanshad and Hamed Jaberha discussing “Contemporary Art, Personal Narratives and The Political” on July 15. And Hamed again with Mohamad Parvizi discussing ”The Aesthetic of Contemporary Art” on July 16.

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Tooting Our Own Horn


Loyal New York Close Up fans, we wanted to let you know our second film on artist Abigail DeVille – Abigail DeVille’s Harlem Stories – is going to screen at this year’s Brooklyn Film Festival. Quite soon in fact. It’ll play this Saturday, May 30 at 10:30 PM at the Windmill Studios in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. And on Tuesday, June 2 at 6:00PM at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. So please, take the opportunity to see the film projected big and with a real live audience. And with other documentary shorts to boot.

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Diana Al-Hadid, Oh Wow!


A preview of some good things to come. New York Close Up artist Diana Al-Hadid has a stellar show now open at OHWOW gallery in Los Angeles. It’s her first solo show at the gallery and runs through May 16. We strongly advise that you check it out. And we’ve got a new film releasing on Diana in the next couple of weeks that follows the creation of that beautifully drippy, uncategorizable sculpture-painting-piece of architecture in the foreground of the above pic. We strongly advise that you check out the film as well. It’s coming soon!

UPDATE:  See the film here – Diana Al-Hadid Plays the Classics

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Team Charbigail’s Latest Collaboration

L_DSC9130CAPTION: Abigail DeVille, Prophetika, 2015, mixed media. Photo credit Sofia Berinstein.

Folks, quick post to let you know that New York Close Up artist Abigail DeVille & director Charlotte Brathwaite – AKA Team Charbigail – are at it again.  It’s an original theatre production called Prophetica: An Oratoria, playing Friday and Saturdays thru April 5 at legendary La MaMa in Manhattan.  It’s a little complicated so I’ll let the press release explain: “Part theatrical event, part visual art installation, part ritual ceremony, Prophetika: An Oratorio proposes a mythical cosmology of colliding reflections on freedom and a view of the current state of our world. Inspired by Harriet Tubman’s journey from enslavement to liberation; the cosmic philosophies and improvisational style of Sun Ra; Alice Coltrane’s consciousness rising devotional music and the mysterious invading black monoliths in Stanley Kubrick’s classic sci-fi film 2001: Space Odyssey. It unfolds as a countdown to tomorrow, a road map to human destiny, a quest for the infinite from within.”

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