Just Do Art, Week of March 20, 2014
- Tag, he’s it: Stephen “ESPO” Powers’ collection of collaborative urban murals is celebrated, at the Strand’s March 25 book launch. COURTESY OF PRINCETON ARCHITECTUAL PRESS
BOOK LAUNCH: A LOVE LETTER TO THE CITY
Even when working as “ESPO” and tagging late 1990s-era NYC with graffiti, the artful mark Stephen Powers was leaving on public spaces seemed to be just as much a product of genuine affection as expansive ego. These days, the indelible impressions he leaves around the world are legal and by invitation. His new book is a collection of collaborative rooftop and wall murals, featuring “visual jingles, often poignant affirmations and confessions” that deliver a message designed with a particular neighborhood’s unique occupants in mind. Those featured communities are as far away as Dublin, Belfast and Johannesburg, and as close to home as Brooklyn and Coney Island.
To celebrate the release of “A Love Letter to the City,” Powers is doing more than just showing up at the Strand for a meet and greet. He’s also currently painting a mural on the exterior wall — and several of his small paintings will be displayed around the inside of the store.
Tues., March 25, from 7-8pm. At Strand Book Store (828 Broadway, corner of E. 12th St.). Free, with purchase of the book or a gift card. For event info, visit strandbooks.com or call 212-473-1452. For info on the book, visit papress.com.
- The Greenwich Village Orchestra’s next concert is March 30, at Washington Irving High School Auditorium. PHOTO BY DA PING LUO
GREENWICH VILLAGE ORCHESTRA
Under the baton of Music Director Barbara Yahr, the Greenwich Village Orchestra’s March 30 concert concentrates on works by 20th century masters. Originally the slow movement of his string quartet. Barber’s cathartic “Adagio for Strings” will strike a chord with film fans, likely to recognize its use in “Platoon.” Elsewhere in the program, Prokofiev’s “Symphony #5” was, the GVO tells us, a wartime work (1944) intended by the composer to function as “a hymn to free and happy Man, to his mighty powers, his pure and noble spirit.” For these selections, the Orchestra is joined by renowned violinist Hye-Jin Kim (the 2009 Concert Artists Guild Competition winner).
Sun., March 30, from 3-5pm. At Washington Irving High School Auditorium (40 Irving Place). Suggested Donation: $15, $10 for students/seniors. Visit gvo.org or call 212-932-0732.
- Julie Atlas Muz, Jonny Dixon, Mat Fraser and Jess Mabel Jones (see “Beauty and the Beast”). PHOTO BY SIN BOZKURT
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
For all his huffing, puffing and implications of a dangerous nature just waiting to wreak havoc once unleashed, most versions of “Beauty and the Beast” keep their beastly character’s dark impulses at arm’s length — which makes it ripe for an interpretation that replaces the chaste relationship with more skin than what’s on display at your average Downtown burlesque show. Real life husband and wife Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz are perfectly cast in this explicit take on the classic tale of opposites drawn towards each other.
Song, dance, puppetry and frankly staged acts of physical intimacy are used to look at disability, sexuality and romantic love. For more info on what makes the two leads tick and click, check out julieatlasmuz.com and matfraser.co.uk. After that, you’ll understand more about why the March 29 performance is part of “Access All Areas: Live Art and Disability” — a free, daylong event looking at some of the radical approaches to representations of disability being taken by contemporary performance artists, particularly in the UK.
March 20–23, 26–30 at 8pm. At Abrons Arts Center (466 Grand St., at Pitt St.). For tickets ($35), call 212-352-3101 or visit abronsartscenter.org. Also visit thisisliveart.co.uk.
— BY SCOTT STIFFLER