An outsider art exhibit, IAMART debuted at Industry City over the weekend of October 1 and 2, bringing a wide range of dramatic and often-oversized works to a huge space within the complex.
The event, produced in partnership with Brooklyn Community Services, which helps children and families coping with mental illness or developmental disabilities, was conceived of by Founder Earl Silas, as a way “to give back to the art community of children in Brooklyn,” according to Curator Martin Galindo.
Within the wide-open industrial space, a broad array of artworks was on exhibit, from paintings to wire sculptures. Galindo, who has 63 art shows under his belt, said he had worked with all the artists whose works were displayed in the past three years. However, he stressed, “Never under one roof.”
Works ranged from ones created by established artists to ones by newcomers. Nonetheless, said Galindo, “Ninety nice percent are considered outsider artists. My mission,” he added, “is to change the narrative of how people view outsider artists.”
Some of the artists hailed from Brooklyn, such as Brian Kirhagis, Ronnie Rob and Savior Elmundo, who said, “I am art. I sleep art. I breathe art. I bleed art. This is what I do every day.” Elmundo’s works, which are graphic and eye-catching, use graffiti as a springboard, then take the inspiration in various, and sometimes unexpected, directions.
Others, like Lobyn Hamilton, traveled not from Bushwick but from Indiana to be a part of the exhibition. Hamilton uses 33-1/3 records and their album covers to create his works.
It all started, he said, when he tripped while he was walking down a flight of stairs with a carton of records. He injured his leg and started breaking up records “out of frustration.
“About three months later,” Hamilton recounted, “I went back down to the basement and got into it.”
The result – three dimensional portraits, some of unknown people but others of icons such as Jimi Hendrix and Malcolm X, created with the broken records, some carefully cut with a jigsaw into intricate shapes.
They’re all put together with an industrial-strength glue gun, which Hamilton was wielding casually as he spoke during the press preview of the exhibit, adding shards of vinyl to one of his works, and thus continuing a path he started walking down, although with an injured leg, eight years earlier.
“Art is the way we live life,” said IAMART founder Silas.