Saturday, May 4, 2019

Curt Hoppe's 'Downtown Portraits'

The work of Curt Hoppe, a longtime resident of the Bowery, is currently on view in two venues — Howl! Happening (above) and the Frank Bernaducci Gallery — in an exhibit titled "Downtown Portraits."

Here are more detail via the EVG inbox...

"Downtown Portraits" explores Hoppe’s work as a photographer and realist painter — penetrating layers of cultural history to reveal the changing faces of the neighborhood. The 105 photographs in the series will be shown at Howl! Happening, while 20 larger-than-life paintings will be shown at Frank Bernaducci Gallery.

Hoppe, a realist painter and photographer, has enjoyed a successful 40-year career driven by meaningful relationships with pioneering downtown creators. While many of the artists, writers, musicians, activists, and art entrepreneurs appearing in the photographs that make up the series at Howl! are now well known, this project is conceived not as a hall of fame but as personal homage.

Hoppe has been inspired not only by his subject's youthful achievements but also by their lifelong perseverance and creativity. These are definitely not images of beautiful young creatives, but rather visions of determined survivors who continue to influence our culture.

"I want this exhibition to be forward-looking," he says. "These artists found a way to survive and to thrive, and their wisdom continues to have a profound impact on today’s culture. We're cooler now than we were back then. Our lives are on our faces."

His project is not about vanity or celebrity or self-promotion, but rather, like a yearbook of friends one hung with, learned from, and created mischief with, the show traces the lines of connection of some of the most influential creators of our time including John and Charlie Ahearn, Penny Arcade, Patti Astor, Beth B, James Chance, Diego Cortez, Brett DePalma, Jane Dickson, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Richard Hambleton, John Holmstrom, Lady Pink, Arto Lindsay, Colette Lumíère, Tom Otterness, Walter Robinson, Marcia Resnick, and Robin Winters, among others.

[Photo from the Frank Bernaducci Gallery]

The exhibits are up through May 22. Find more info here.

Howl! Happening is at 6 E. First St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery. Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday

The Frank Bernaducci Gallery is at 525 W. 25th St. in Chelsea. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday

Previously on EV Grieve:
Bettie and the Ramones head back to the Bowery

Lower East Side artists now larger than life — on canvas

Q-and-A with Curt Hoppe: Living on the Bowery, finding inspiration and shooting Mr. Softee


Unknown said...

I wonder how many people who went to the EV Basquiat show went to see this one in Chelsea. Curt Hoppe, from the first wave of *punk* art in the 70's, is technically and conceptually head and shoulders above that awful pile of overpriced rubbish in the Brant Foundation.

The James Chance portrait is simply stunning.


anon said...

Also the Richard Hambleton portrait is amazing