From a review of the exhibition “NYC, c. 1985” in Pure Wow:
Listen, MoMA’s Rain Room sounds like some next-level inspiration, but we all have better things to do on a Saturday than spend four hours waiting in the heat to get in. There are so many other pleasant ways to get your art on.
Take “NYC, c. 1985” for example – a small photo retrospective in a quiet (ahem, air-conditioned) Chelsea gallery.
Sparked by the release of Jeannette Montgomery Barron’s portrait book Scene, about the underground culture and creative personalities of the era (think: Basquiat and Warhol in the Factory), the show brings together works from 16 photographers – all grouped around the decade’s inescapable themes of economic divide and gentrification.
Intermingling famous faces (from Amy Arbus’s legendary shot of an overcoat-clad Madonna to Barron’s portrait of a pensive William S. Burroughs) with anonymous ones (like young ladies at a pay phone), it’s a refreshing mix of environment, culture and style that does not scream “neon hair scrunchies.”
It may not be an interactive, motion-censored feat of technology. But it’s also free and takes less than half an hour to go through, which allows more time for mimosas.