The third annual Art Parade (organized by Deitch Projects, Creative Time and Paper Magazine) took place this past Saturday, September 8th in SoHo. One dazzling hour saw over 80 participants dressed in a variety of costumes made of materials like glitter, foam and body paint. What was so mesmerizing about the parade? Was it the glint of glitter sparkling in the sunlight? Being outnumbered by trannies? The unabashed nudity? Whatever it was, the sheer amount of spectacle during this event made it difficult to turn away. More photos after the jump.
Highlights included the Dazzle Dancers and a piece by New York artist Hrafnhildur Arnardottir (aka Shoplifter) called “Siameze Rapunzels: The World’s Longest Multi Human Hair Braid”. Shoplifter works primarily with hair, and has made several pieces to adorn Bjork. There was an appearance by the HeartsChallenger ice cream truck, in conjunction with Paper. The heavy, funerary mood of the girls of Karen Black was a great contrast to the Rainbow-Brite cheer of most other participants. Despite the zombie makeup and mini-Karen baby dolls strapped to their bodies, the theme of horror proved to also be appropriate fodder for good natured New York street fun.
Esther Kim for Art Observed
In an article in the New York Post, Suzanne Geiss, director of Deitch Projects said, “The idea grew out of the gallery’s programs, as an extension of our performance and installation projects.”
Taking art into the streets and allowing the work to interact with anyone and everyone is a concept that has yet to be seen in Chelsea, where streets full of white cube galleries are mostly quiet and proper. A venture into the art district last Thursday evening saw a cart on the corner of 25th Street as an alternative to the galleries, but Chelsea has yet to produce a full-scale exhibition such as the Art Parade.
While democratic enough, the Art Parade is akin to the concurrent shows at Fashion Week. Enlightening? No. Informative? For a studious few. Publicity inducing? To the maximum. It’s clear Jeffrey Deitch is just as intent on creating an image of himself and his gallery as a boisterous and colorful downtown fixture, as he is on propagating and selling contemporary art. But we all knew that before the cotton candy.