Now What’s Happening Tonight

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Published August 26, 2009

A lot of skateboarders make art, and a lot of artists skateboard. There is an entire generation of New York artists that grew up skating in Washington Square with a collective bibliography of skate culture in the sub-landscape of their work. (See, prominently: Korine, Harmony.)

Skateboarding, like art, has become somewhat institutionalized since its freewheeling early days, but that doesn’t mean either have lost its DIY practitioners. Tonight is the opening of the aggressively-or-optimistically titled Now What at 201 Mulberry St, a show of young New York artists put together by 23-year-old multimedia artist Jack Greer and pro skater (and artist) Alex Olson, who rides for Quiksilver. In fact, the space is a pop-up Quiksilver and Autumn skate shop, made up of three rooms: one for retail, one housing a skate ramp, and the third will be the gallery space.

Olson, who is from L.A., befriended Greer and the two put together Now What by tapping some members of Greer’s Still House collective (Brendan Lynch, Louis Eisner, Isaac Brest, Alex Perweiler) and other resourceful young New York artists of their ilk, like Evan Robarts, Tom Forkin, and the maker of ironic oversized buttons and zines, Patrick Griffin.

“The title of the show speaks to the position that we are in as young artists,” says Greer. “These are artists who are recently ‘out of school’ and going into the professional world, and still trying to find a way to make work.”  And they’re finding their way. Besides having a piece in the show, Perweiler
is designing and editing a book for another Still House mate, Grear Patterson, to be published by O.H.W.O.W. in the coming months, and he is curating a Still House show that opens November 21 at Rental Gallery. He and his fellow artists feed off and try to one-up each other as much as the
skaters in the park. Perweiler says, “I’m excited about the Now What show because it’s a good mix of friends who work and look at each others’ art on a daily basis.” Adds Greer, “We’re scamming ways to print photos with expired school IDs and carrying boxes of materials around the city … just figuring it out along the way.”

Now What, curated by Alex Olson & Jack Greer, opens tonight from 6-10 PM at the Quiksilver Autumn pop-up store at Openhouse Gallery, 201 Mulberry St.