Enter Theodore:Art and you’ve entered the struggle for the soul of Brooklyn. Contact! Paintings by artist and community activist Peter Krashes embrace you with a mix of warmth and foreboding. The vibrancy of neighborhood life competes with red carpet welcome to pop stars in the arena built atop former homes. Change is in the air.
We experience the joy of a Brooklyn block party and the whimsical moments between children being face-painted by neighborhood moms and dads.
Krashes captures these intimacies against the backdrop of demonstrations that protested the dislocation of multi-generations of residents by powerful real estate interests to construct the Barclays Center and Pacific Park. Protests were loud and endured for years. Krashes blends his fierce passion for his community – 11 years as a community organizer – with his art.
The larger-than-life images of people diminish the images of the fences that intend to separate. There are people in all of the paintings except for one: The Sprouting Seed Bomb. This refers to the one year when community residents constructed balls of mud with embedded flower seeds and threw them into a vacant lot of recently demolished homes. The seeds sprouted. Flowers grew. Contact! Brooklyn lives.
Visitors to Krashes’ work, like this writer, can experience the exuberance and warmth of a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-class Brooklyn community thriving and struggling together.
Theodore:Art is in the heart of artistic Bushwick, amidst newcomer galleries and longtimers.
Through May 18, 2019
Friday 1-8 PM
Saturday-Sunday 1-6 pm
56 Bogart Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206
For more information, visit the Theodore: Art website or call 212 966-4324.
Photos courtesy of Theodore Art
About the Author: Christine Schmidt LCSW, is a NYC-based psychotherapist, former NYC school social worker and HS principal, and a frequent lecturer on anti-racism, also devoting much pen time to exposing systemic bias in mental health services and education. Find more of Christine Schmidt’s articles about racism on her blog.