New York’s largest open studios event, Bushwick Open Studios, took place for its 10th year in a row last weekend and has become an integral part of New York’s art scene. Run by volunteer organization Arts in Bushwick, it celebrates the neighborhood’s local art scene, now one of New York’s established art districts for contemporary and emerging art. Hundreds of artists opened up their studios to showcase their work and give us a taste of where art is heading.
One of the most interesting themes in the showcased artwork was a nod to feminism in both imagery and craft. Alicia Ross’ exhibition “Distress of Uncertainty” presented incomplete images of the female body using embroidery, a technique traditionally associated with women and therefore historically classified purely as a craft and not as an art form. Artist Kelly McCafferty showed work with techniques such as stitches, knits and weaves, as well as a pink color spectrum, this too traditionally attributed to women and therefore often looked down on. Another artist that worked with the female perspective was Hiba Schahbaz who uses the female body to rework imagery developed by men to tell the stories of antiquity.
All in all, this year’s BOS was definitely a quieter affair than previous years, something that the organizers deliberately tried to achieve. Instead of the crowded feeling of being at an art fair or a hipster happening of unknown purpose, the focus this year was on the artists and their work. The result was a much more professional event without in any way making it commercial or highbrow. A welcomed return to the core of the festival!