Weekend Art Planner: Takashi Murakami, “Fat Ham”, Eddie Palmieri
Takashi Murakami needs no introduction: he is one of the most popular and successful artists in the world. He’s particularly known for his signature “super flat” style – think fields of exuberant smiling daisies in impossibly bright hues.
This style is represented in Murakami’s major new exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. But this exhibit, titled “An Arrow Through History,” also looks back, with a room full of pale, cool paintings based on an ancient Chinese porcelain vase, and forward, with a hall at street level. filled with manga-style images and sculptures. Murakami based on a recent NFT collaboration.
You can interact with a virtual reality simulation of the entire show on the Gagosian website, but people visiting in person can use Snapchat to see what appear to be live animations floating in the air around the art and viewers: fish swimming through the air, grass and daisies springing from the floor of the gallery. And of course there are limited edition tchotchkes in the gift shop. Until June 25; gagosian.com
Shakespeare’s inexhaustibility is once again proven in ‘Fat Ham’, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play which has just opened at the Public Theater in conjunction with the National Black Theatre.
In a nutshell, playwright James Ijames remixes “Hamlet” into a tight, lively, and outrageously funny story about a young queer black man named Juicy, who is caught between the ghost of an abusive father and the loud, strutting presence of an uncle turned stepfather who hates him.
Ijames generously samples his source material, rips an unforgettable piece from a Radiohead song, and delivers a blazing ending with a whole new take on cycles of family trauma. The cast is great and the intimate staging draws you into the action. When I attended, several people felt free to shout their support for this or that character. The fourth wall didn’t stand a chance. Until July 3; publictheatre.org
Eddie Palmieri, the Salsa Spaceman, is a living legend and true East Harlem icon – who better to kick off the outdoor music season at Lincoln Center? Palmieri and his orchestra will perform Wednesday night at The Oasis, a new dance floor facility smack in the middle of Lincoln Center Plaza, adorned with its own disco ball.
The dance floor opens at 6:00 p.m….you can grab a quick salsa dance class at 6:30 p.m., and Palmieri starts at 7:30 p.m. Best of all, it’s free – make an online reservation from Tuesday, or just show up at the top. June 1 at 6 p.m.; lincolncenter.org