The best things we saw at Spring/Break Art Show

The annual art show runs through March 11.

Azikiwe Mohammed
Azikiwe Mohammed inside his installation at Spring/Break 2019.Jeanette D. Moses

The annual Spring/Break Art Show kicked off this week for its eighth year at a new venue on 866 United Nations Plaza. The show is known for its maze-like setup, and the organizers tend to stuff every corner with installations in a variety of mediums. It's a highly-Instagrammable affair, except rather than being curated by a large corporation like the Pop-Up "experiences" that have infiltrated major metropolitan areas, the spaces have been curated by independent curators and artists.

Participants were tasked with fulfilling the loose theme of “Fact and Fiction”. Many of the projects on view probe at the spaces between the subjective and objective—an area that most photographers are all too familiar with.

The show runs through Monday, March 11 and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $20. We swung by the annual show to find the very best photographic installations on view. Here’s what we loved.

Azikiwe Mohammed

Azikiwe Mohammed's multidisciplinary practice combines photography, painting, sculpture, found objects, and performance. In his work he addresses the experiences and needs of American people of color and creating spaces in which they can thrive. His work often focuses on the histories and futures of large groups of people, either through his self-created city of New Davonhaime (the name is a mashup of the five American cities with the highest number of African Americans) or through his alter-ego "Jimmy," the owner of Jimmy's Thrift of New Davonhaime and the keeper of the city's history.

At Spring/Break Mohammed has scaled the view back, but his varied talents are all on display within the three walls that make up the living room of a home that might be somewhere in New Davonhaime. His space is like a living self-portrait. But a portrait of who? Swing by and find out for yourself.

M. Henry Jones

M. Henry Jones
M. Henry Jones' 3D portraits jump off the wall—literally.Jeanette D. Moses

M. Henry Jones' funky photographic portraits will jump off the wall and grab your attention—literally. At Spring/Break the artist presents a series of 3D portraits that appear 3D without the use of silly glasses. The images are made with a technology called Fly Eye 3-D that Jones developed. The surface of the pictures appear to be covered in bubbles, but this is what makes the pictures pop. The final portraits are actually made with 2,644 individual pictures. As you move around a given picture the image will change. The effect is wild and something you definitely need to see in person.

Anne Spalter

Anne Spalter
Anne Spalter poses inside her exhibition at Spring/Break.Jeanette D. Moses

Anne Spalter has literally turned her world upside down at Spring/Break. Inspired by the absurdity that is our current state of affairs, Spalter has created a psychedelic space where the sky is on the ground and the ground is on the ceiling. Every surface is covered in abstractions made from photographs and video stills. Spalter has then digitally manipulated these images into intricate patterns that cover the space. It's an immersive experience complete with glowing LED lights, cloud-print bean bags and a squishy foam floor.

Perri Hoffman

Perri Hoffman
Perri Hoffman’s images are presented alongside performance artists reading the "news" in a robotic fashion.Jeanette D. Moses

Perri Hoffman's highly saturated images examine the tension between urban areas and the advertisements that blanket them. Cloud billboards framed by actual cloudy skies and RVs covered in mountainous escapes juxtaposed with the marks of suburban housing developments. At Spring/Break her images are presented alongside a piece of performance art. Inside the space you will see a reporter who seems to be reading the news in a robotic fashion. Stick around for long enough and you will discover that the "news" seems to just be a long string of "This just in, moments ago, it remains to be seen and there's more still to come.." on repeat forever. Sounds familiar doesn't it?

Unhee Park

Unhee Park
Unhee Park with a furry friend in her installation at Spring/Break.Jeanette D. Moses

Unhee Park's Host Project explores the fiction and reality that travelers often experience when spending a few nights inside a stranger's home through sites like Airbnb. These networks require users to upload images of their homes, but as many of us know, these representations aren't always accurate. Inside her booth Park recreates the experience of staying inside stranger's homes and the discrepancies between online presentation and IRL experience. There are also some real adorable cats to be found inside the space.

Alison Jackson

Alison Jackson gallery wall
Alison Jackson creates insane, but not improbable scenes in her series Mental Images.Jeanette D. Moses

Mental Images x Alison Jackson is a solo exhibition that places well known contemporary and historic figures in situations that seem a little off, but not entirely unrealistic. Marilyn Monroe undressing for JFK, Donald Trump getting frisky with Miss Mexico, The Queen walking a small pack of corgis down the street. At first glance it appears that these frames must be photoshopped, but they are in fact real photographs. Jackson uses carefully cast body doubles to create her wild frames and forces viewers to ask "What if.."

Justin Bettman

Justin Bettman NYC exhibit
Justin Bettman recreates the ideal New York City summer in his booth at Spring/Break.Jeanette D. Moses

Summer in New York City is the best. Well, maybe it only seems like the best in the dead of winter, when we've forgotten about the humid subway rides and the distinct smells that permeate the atmosphere for three months. Justin Bettman's Scenes of N.Y.C. creates the idealized version of summer in New York City. You know, one complete with dappled golden light, block parties, and cones from Mr. Frostee. Each image in the collection comes with a curated soundscape to capture the feeling of summer, without that summer stench.

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