Apparently open studios are pretty common in New York, particularly during the summer. It’s a time in which artist essentially welcome the public into their solitary space to display their work, have the opportunity to intermingle with those who are admires of the arts, talk about where they find their inspirations, how their art was made and for us viewers to catch a glimpse of their creative environment. Over the weekend, Bushwick held their annual collaborative festival and there was something that completely shocked me about having briefly attended the event.
We use to live 8 blocks away from Bushwick and it’s a neighborhood that gets a lot of bad rap mostly in part because of its high poverty rate, low income population, it’s residents belonging mostly to broken families and of course there’s always the pervasive crime. In spite of all the neighborhood’s inherent characteristics, I was absolutely amazed to discover the countless artistic people who either live or have their private art studios in Bushwick.
On top of all that, their small to medium size fully renovated studios are in the very same buildings which I’ve walked by on a daily basis and the only reason I would have never known of their existence is because of the completely abandoned facade that they each have. Talk about not judging a book by its cover.
Luis Martin, a Mexican-American artist originally from LA but who now lives in Brooklyn because this is where he feels he “needs to be” was by far the most impressive artist I met. Granted I was unable to see all of the participating artist but from the handful I visited, Luis’ Surrealist work stood out by a large amount. We chatted for a couple minutes and despite the many more inquires I might have had about his work and overall artistic approach, there was only so much time one could take from a guy who’s work everyone seemed to be impressed with and who they wanted to personally congratulate for what he had produced and allowed us to see.
Awesome guy who happen to have his family in the studio to offer moral support for artistic endeavor. If given the opportunity, I wouldn’t be against have the chance to visit his studio again to take more shots of him doing what he does best with a canvas and a paint brush.