For artists, it can be hard to break into the closed system that is the fine art gallery. One artist-curator is circumventing that system altogether, staging a group show of unaffiliated artists at the Bowery Hotel in Manhattan. Titled Amateurs Only, the one-night only show curated by Brooke Wise and Yasmin Kaytmaz features the work of 12 international artists who deserve public attention, but haven’t yet signed their lives over to the white cube.
“We created the show on the premise that these diverse, unaffiliated artists needed a space to showcase their work. This non-white cube public venue, offers the opportunity for the work to be displayed in a more approachable context,” Wise tells The Creators Project.
The works are cheeky, tinged with post-internet irony, but explore a wide range of serious ideas like institutional critique, animal rights, personal identity construction, media theory, and more. Photographer and filmmaker Tyler Mitchell, for example, will show a film called Wish This Was Real. A still shows four black men in front of a cloudy, pastel background, holding and inspecting colorful water guns—a pretty picture that promises to probe the cultural importance and social standing of black people in america.
Other highlights include a painting of a person’s face affixed with pink dildos and wrapped in scotch tape by tattoo artist and photorealistic painter Kaiyu Huang, a.k.a., Normal Carrey; and Wise’s piece, Sorry, Canadian Angel, a sculpture dedicated to “Justin Bieber and his participation in cultural pollution.”
These artists might not have gallery representation or reserved spots on a museum wall, but they are certainly far from “amateur.” See more of the works below.