Ori Carino, Lea Thenari & Friends in New York Pop Up: “NYC Out Of USA”

Can you get more New York meta than having a group art show on Manhatttan’s Lower East Side in an empty storefront – with a sculpture by Ori Carino and Benjamin Armas on the sidewalk out front?

Benjamin Armas & Ori Carino. . (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The bricks in the sculpture of a mini façade that is common to the East Village are actually made from the bricks of a destroyed East Village building. All of the duo’s collaborative sculptures are – a tribute to the history and the people of this neighborhood as well as a commentary on the ravaging/restorative effects of gentrification.

Ori sees both sides of the gentrification equation and speaks colorfully about it while balancing on the curb next to an overflowing garbage can as an ambulance with it’s lights and siren’s ablaze cruises by you, interrupting his autobiographical data flow only at it’s ear piercing peak of 7 seconds as it rumbles down Avenue A. Born in a loft on Houston Street in the 80s, raised by 2 New York artists, and a graffiti writer starting at age 12, his insights are well considered.

Ori Carino. . (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Benjamin speaks to the natural choice of murals they use to adorn these façades when deciding what to paint on these mini- facades, owing their stylistic influences to time spent studying with Pema Rinzin, the Tibetan painter, and their own studies of Buddism.

“It’s a story it’s a narrative sometimes of our experiences and everyday moments with buildings and life that we try document,” he says. “This is one of the first paintings that we made where we were trying to capture our relationship to Buddhist religion,” he says.

Jordan Kleinman. . (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“NYC Out of USA” is the name of the pop up show in this former bicycle shop just closed possibly because of high rent prices, and Ori co-curated it with artist Leah Tinari whose canvasses of painted graffiti in bathrooms and delis using latex, spray, and oilstick are only surpassed in LES realness by her customized fashion accessories.

Painted sign language hands announce the show on the awning, a somewhat cryptic advertisement of a name that may refer to a number of activist chants against US imperialism around the world over the last decades (“US Out of El Salvador,” for example). In this case, it is almost like the artist community is considering applying for citizenship elsewhere before an impending fascist state.

Oh, but people have been saying that for years, haven’t they?

Ori Carino. . (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Karmimadeebora McMillan shows us her first three of twenty five “Miss Merri Mack” figures that she has begun to exhibit. The dual sided mobiles feature the character she borrowed from common negatively stereotyped visual images of black folk in US history. “These figures you see a lot in the South,” she says. “People used to have them in their yards.” Influenced by an image on an old sign gifted to her back in Charlotte, she named the character after a children’s song she and her friends sang while playing jump rope.

Karmic McMillan. . (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Only as an adult she learned that the name Merrimac in the song referred to a slave ship, fairly cementing her abiding love for the character she had baptized with the name. The flip side of her mobiles contain fictional scenes that combine natural pastoral views with figures borrowed from a FBI propaganda comic book distributed about the Black Panther’s during the campaign to turn public sentiment against the activists fighting for empowerment and equality.

“They sent these out to 100,000 white families to scare them,” she says. “So I take these characters and I put them with her,” Mima says, “It’s really violent and crazy and I just can’t stop,” she says with a rich joyful laugh that tells you there will be many more of these pieces coming.

Ken Haratsuka. . (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The show is full of gems like a large carved stone piece by Ken Haratsuka, an important figure in the New York Street Art movement since the 80s when he made his marks literally in the streets of New York. A temporary exhibit, you’ll continue to hear more about some of these artists regardless, but it closes tomorrow so stop by Avenue A and 3rd Street if you are in the neighborhood.

Leah Tinari. . (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Leah Tinari. . (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Leah Tinari. . (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Benjamin Armas & Ori Carino. . (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Benjamin Armas & Ori Carino. . (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Benjamin Armas & Ori Carino. . (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Benjamin Armas & Ori Carino. . (photo © Jaime Rojo)

  NYC OUT OF USA is a Pop-Up exhibition at the old bicycle shop on 3rd Street and Avenue A in The East Village. The exhibition will stay open until tomorrow Sunday, July 1st. Category: ArtistsTags: Benjamin Armas > Brooklyn Street Art > Jaime Rojo > Jordan Kleinman > Karmic McMillan > Ken Haratsuka > Leah Tinari > Ori Carino > Steven P. Harrington



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