Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc) presents "Saints of the Lower East Side" by artist Tom Sanford, the latest in a series of exhibitions produced through FABnyc's public art program, ArtUp. The outdoor exhibition features seven painted portraits mounted 14 feet above street level on a scaffolding bridge at the 70 East 4th Street Cultural Center. ArtUp is generously supported by the 70 East 4th Street Cultural Center, future home of Downtown Art and Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company. Project management services for this exhibition have been provided by Jason Patrick Voegele of Republic Worldwide.
This exhibition is Tom Sanford's first outdoor public art project. The array of large gilded paintings are intended as an homage to cultural icons who lived and worked on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. In the artist words, "These seven individuals [Martin Wong, Joey Ramone, Miguel Piñero, Ellen Stewart, Charlie Parker, Arthur Fellig and Allen Ginsberg], along with hundreds more, make the Lower East Side the crucible of the American avant-garde and a neighborhood that captivates my imagination as a New York artist."
A reception for the artist will be held on June 26th, 2012 at 6pm at FAB Café. An indoor installation of artwork by Graham Preston, who worked closely with Sanford on the scaffolding bridge exhibition, will be presented inside of FAB Café during the reception. Both exhibitions will remain on view through September 5th, 2012. The indoor exhibition, entitled "Our Ladies of Infamy and Grandeur," consists of a series of paintings honoring the exploits, undertakings, and legends of lost cultural heroines from the historical Five Points.
Tom Sanford is a New York-based artist whose work has been exhibited internationally. His paintings-which range from historical works depicting celebrity assassinations, to portraits of cultural icons such gangsta rappers and Mao Zedong-elaborate cosmologies weaved together from Hollywood movies and reflect a deep ambivalence about the American cultural condition. He is currently preparing for an exhibition of drawings that will open this New Years Eve at BravinLee Programs in the Chelsea district of New York City.
This exhibit is the latest in a series of temporary art installations in atypical locations in the Lower East Side through FABnyc's ArtUp program, which is produced in collaboration with MaNY Project and directed by Keith Schweitzer.
Through ArtUp, FABnyc seeks to reinvigorate underutilized spaces through public art and community partnerships. The exhibit is funded, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.