Bushwick Open Studio 2013

As my last post for this blog, I will show some pictures that I took in Bushwick Open Studio last weekend. Since I didn’t open my studio for some reason, I could have enough time to look around so many studios and galleries this year. I just want you to feel the chaotic atmosphere of this annual event that more than 600 artists, musicians, performers, photographers, or whoever have something to show in public, participate in.





Muchas gracias! Espero que muchos de ustedes vengan a Bushwick algun dia!




The Natural History Museum

The other day, I was little bit tired of being in Bushwick and went to the Natural History Museum to change my mood.




I took the pictures below in the museum. The combinations of fossil and wires in these pictures are made in order to show us the original shapes that are probably correct.




I have heard that Hiroshi Sugimoto, a Japanese prominent artist, said that fossils are photographs that shows us fragments of ancient age with the negative and positive.




I think what we generally recognize in photography is what the photographers see, information from outside themselves. On the other hand, when seeing drawings, we try to read something more from inside of the artist rather than outside.

I felt that these fossils with wires are combinations that show inside and outside of human body simultaneously.



This is a drawing that I made following the museum’s way with a fossil of flamingo.


My studio is located on the fourth floor of the industrial building in Bushwick. Since there is no high-rise building between here to Manhattan, I can enjoy a panoramic view of the city from here. This is the view from the window in my studio.




If I were a mouse, those high rise buildings in the city would be huge piles of blocks of cheese.




On the other hand, I took this picture below from the Empire State Building while my mother visited me from Japan last year. As you can see, the top of the building commands a full view of Brooklyn.




Mice in Manhattan are already and literally fed up with eating cheese but they are still looking for something fulfills their desire. It is something they can’t exchange with cheese. I think what they want is “tail”.

I believe that tail is an independent, individual and little bit dangerous creature which is a parasite on other animals and possibly occupies the hosts’ brain. When the tail moves from side to side, the host becomes happy. When it hides into the crotch, the host becomes quiet. As a mouse in Brooklyn,  I have been living with tail for more than 30 years, but to be honest, I don’t know his personality very well yet. One thing for sure that he is not interested in cheese.



I guess most of the mice in the city have gotten rid of their tails in order not to be bothered by those strange creatures and to adopt their busy surroundings. But sometimes they find themselves to be missing their tail, which  they used to have, which I still have. Sometimes I cut the tip of my tail and exchange it for cheese.



Maria Hernandez Park

There is a big park in my neighbor Bushwick, called Maria Hernandez Park. I have read a little bit about the origin of this park’s name. It was named after Maria Hernandez who got shot while devoting to getting rid of the drug dealers in Bushwick.




Except cold winters, this park is crowded with people doing many activities, such as running, chatting, biking, skateboarding, exercising, reading or walking with a dog, etc. I like to be in this park, sitting down on the bench, just gazing blankly at those people.




Park is a place for escaping for a while from their busy days. I think people who are always in this park must be unemployed people or artists. The common point between unemployed people and artists is to be out of the system of our society and closer to nature, but not completely separated from the society, just like birds or squirrels in park that try to get a tiny share of human food.




In this park, sometimes I find something funny which inspires me a lot. For example, pet dogs that don’t obey their owners’ order,  soccer players with a ball which doesn’t have enough air, runners with extremely red face, romantic dramas, challenges to talk with squirrels in human language and cops’ serious eyes that are watching us, etc. For me Maria Hernandez Park is one of the most interesting places to be in NY and I often feel those funny moments to be the entrances to the other side of this world.




Do you want to come to Bushwick? If you say “yes”, I would recommend you to remove your brain and refill it with nuts to feed the squirrels, so that you can become familiar with us and probably avoid getting shot.


Hola! I’m Akira Ikezoe, a Japanese artist, living and working in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. The previous blogger, Jessica Kaire, started to write about Bushwick where a lot of artists and Hispanic people are living and working. I will take over this interesting place as the material for blogging and show something interesting that I find here in Bushwick!

I have been taking pictures of bikes, which got stolen their parts, as a symbol of “beauty” -or whatever name we may use to refer to the force that fascinates us and stimulates our curiosity.
This is one of the pictures, which reminds me of the armless Venus de Milo. She became more fascinating after losing both of her arms.


Why this is a symbol of “beauty”. Because I think that this poor bike exists on the borderline between human and nature. As you know, we can recognize nature not only in our surroundings but also in our body, such as the growth and aging of our body, sickness and many activities related to animal instincts, etc. I guess some people are stealing bikes to make money for living. On the other hand, the bikers are protecting their bike from the stealing. In these frame works, I’m seeing a conflict between human and nature, both of which exist inside our body, and a contradiction that human beings inherently have.


For me “beauty” is an existence of something that overcomes this contradiction. We can’t live without the connection to nature, even though sometimes nature invades our territory and possibly ruins our lives. “Beauty” is a symbol of our desire and our fear.


Let’s go back to Bushwick. It’s a strange area, full of humor and little bit sadness, and art makes the hierarchy of this borough indistinguishable. These broken bikes for me are a fusion of human and nature, and represent Bushwick, where there might be the next generation of Venus de milo.