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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Alejandro Almanza Pereda’s Escape Plan


Our third and, sadly, final New York Close Up film on artist Alejandro Almanza Pereda premieres today. Though the urge to make Return of the Jedi references was very hard to resist, we fully embraced another, slightly more obscure piece of pop culture: John Carpenter’s 1981 classic Escape From New York. Check out the full video to see what I mean:

WATCH: Alejandro Almanza Escapes from New York

And even though this episode’s a bit longer than the norm, as usual there’s some great stuff we couldn’t include. In particular the sometimes tortured backstory behind Alejandro’s underwater photography project that’s highlighted in the film.  Dramatic above-water highs alternate with equally dramatic under-the-surface lows. It would have made a great extreme sports movie; but, alas, we’ll have to make due with a choice selection of photos and interview material.


Alejandro Almanza Pereda setting up a camera in his Hunter College studio (Manhattan, 12.21.15).  Production still from the series ART21 New York Close Up. © ART21, Inc. 2015. Cinematography by Andrew Whitlatch.

ALEJANDRO ALMANZA PEREDA: I had an idea of this project back in 2007. I was in Mexico City at the time.  I got a grant for making underwater sculpture from the National Fund for the Arts in Mexico. My idea was to just to kinda experiment with materials and objects underwater and to see how they behave and create these kinda structures. Like my older work, kinda counterbalancing [objects], but in a different environment.

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