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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dj Buddy Beaverhausen Goes to Art World

John Azelvandre
The Gowanus Artists Studio Tour took place this weekend, at the juncture of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens. "[A]ccessible by foot, bike, kayak, LIRR, bus and subway," explains their website and, my kayak still in storage, I took the subway, arriving at the very spot where, previously, I caught the shuttle to Ikea. Who knew?

I began my excursion into the world of Art, stumbling across green balloons tied to a 9th Street fence featuring a discrete sign essentially saying "Gowanis Art Tour Here," so I entered a courtyard that led into an apartment, where I was greeted by artist Leah Schrager [http://leahschrager.com/], an attractive and pleasant young woman who not only graciously talked to me about her exhibited art adorning the walls, she went on her computer to look up where my friend, John Azelvandre, could be found along with his work. I was curious about her influences, and Leah named Laurel Nakadate and Frances Stark. (Look 'em up, honeys.)

7th Street quarters.
I then proceeded to 7th Street and this building, where bohemians and swells (and I) converged. Lots of people carrying their doggies around. For the life of me, I did not realize dogs like art, but obviously it must be the case.

Weaving my way up and down three flights of stairs, along corridors, and through various rooms, I viewed the participating artists' works.  I was particularly impressed by a woman who painted pictures based on family scrapbook photos from the '60s. Buying might be an issue, though, if you need to explain to guests that the images are of someone else's mom, dad and little brother. Could come across as kind of weird.

Finally, I discovered John, perused his artwork, which I love for its austere simplicity and Cubist style. However, John told me he felt more aligned with German Expressionism. He also said, when I asked about artistic influences, that he was a fan of Egon Schiele (though stopped short of calling him an influence) and of trees. Winter trees with their bare branches are a leitmotif throughout John's paintings.

I asked about the geometrical look of his artwork, and John explained that the images he paints reflect living in New York. Mr Azelvandre moved to the City in '89, and said his images reveal the gridlocked nature of the city, the man-made structure of things, and the juxtaposition of that with trees representing a vestige of nature.

John added he's been more than casually interested in art and painting since childhood, and has been working in this particular style he's mastered over the past five years.

It was great to see John surrounded by his life's passion. And, as I left, into the sunny, warm Octoberry day, I indeed felt the uplift that the visual arts can instill in us.

About this last pic, John, an avid and accomplished shuttlebug, asked for a look of my iPhone picture, then said, "Hmm, kind of blurry. Can we take it again?"

We did. Now, where's the shuttle to Ikea again?

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