Outsider Art

RAE-This-May-Come-as-a-Shock

On exhibit through April 19 at 34 1/2 Bayard Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown, RAE’s brilliantly idiocyncratic Trunk Work celebrates the retrieval and contents of RAE‘s trunk from his former Brooklyn studio, while chronicling the events related to its loss and rescue. Graphically and conceptually engaging, Trunk Work wittily defines the mood and culture of the Brooklyn environs that housed RAE‘s trunk, as it showcases a range of RAE’s rescued and new works.

For four years, you couldn’t gain access to your trunk. What exactly was inside it?

Various artworks, notebooks, sketches, implements and a range of personal items.

rae-close-up

How did you lose access to it?

I had been maintaining a studio in a Flatlands, Brooklyn apartment building. But as a result of tenant complaints, I was forcibly removed. Barred from entering the building, I had no way to retrieve my trunk.

rae-neighbor-note

rae-audio-system

What kinds of complaints might these tenants have had?

They didn’t like my taste in music; they complained that it was too loud. And the noise from my art practice bothered some. Finally, when a microwave I was using to melt some materials exploded, the landlord decided that he’d had enough of me.

RAE-found-objects

How did you finally retrieve your trunk?

This past August, cracks were discovered in the building’s facade and the entire building was evacuated. Amidst the chaos of it all, I was able to retrieve my trunk from what was once my studio.

We’re so glad you did! What a story! And what an amazing recreation of it all!

In true RAE fashion, Trunk Work is far more than an art exhibit; it is a totally immersive experience. Set in a Chinatown basement at 94 1/2 Bayard Street, right off Mulberry, it continues through April 19, Thursday-Sunday (except for Easter) from 1-6pm.

Photos 1-3 and 5 by Lois Stavsky; 4 by Dani Reyes Mozeson

{ 0 comments }

RAE BK in Africa

Brooklyn-based RAE — whose folksy sculptures, stickers, paste-ups and paintings on NYC streets always delight us — recently returned from Ethiopia.  And we had some questions for him:

What took you to Ethiopia?

I had connected with the non-profit organization H2 Empower Inc that had recently completed construction of the first community library in the town of Hosanna.

"RAE in Ethiopia"

What was your role there?

I worked with kids building sculptures out of found objects and painting the walls outside.

"RAE street art"

Those of us who follow you on Instagram had the opportunity to witness an exhibit, as well – with goats in attendance!

Yes, we staged an exhibit in the living room of the home of a local family we met in town.

"RAE in Ethiopia"

How did it all culminate?

We successfully raised funds to furnish an empty, unused wing of the Alemu Woldehanna Community Library with tables, chairs and a computer station.  That financial goal has been met, and the furniture making will soon be in production.

" RAE street art in Ethiopia"

Who will be involved in the next step?

The students at the nearby School For The Deaf in Hosanna, Ethiopia will be making the furniture.

"RAE stickers in Ethiopia"

It all sounds great! Welcome home!

Photos courtesy of the artist

{ 1 comment }