On Tuesday, June 26, 2012, Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc) will present Our Ladies of Infamy and Grandeur by artist Graham Preston. The exhibition of five gilded paintings will honor the exploits, undertakings and legends of lost cultural heroines from the historical Five Points neighborhood.
Preston arrived at the concept for this series through numerous conversations with his friend and mentor, Tom Sanford. Additionally, in the artist's words, "I came up with the concept for this series of paintings while reading 'The Blackest Bird' by NYC author Joel Rose. I wanted to explore the lore of our embellished history of the settling of Manhattan [. . .] The implied iconography in my paintings calls our attention to narratives which, in some cases, have managed to live on through time as mere sentiments found within a few sentences in a couple of book [. . .] I wanted to make small paintings which glorify small events by rather insignificant and even infamous individuals within the context of our written histories."
Graham Preston is a hopeless dreamer, a fancy dancer, and a hipless wonder. His penniless investments, unintentional con-work and no good do goodings have naturally manifested themselves in a conspiracy against him and, as a result, have convinced him to spend his life in the pursuit of the fine arts. He is an award-winning painter and scholar. He has studied under such greats as Nat Bard, Lisa Cecere, Tom Sanford, Josh Jordan, and Julie Heffernan.
A concurrent outdoor exhibition, "Saints of the Lower East Side" by artist Tom Sanford, will be on view across the street from the Fab Café & East Village Visitors Center at the 70 East 4th Street Cultural Center until September 5th. The work will consist of an array of large gilded paintings intended as an homage to the cultural icons who lived and worked on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. This exhibition is funded, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.