Renate Aller in WHITE HOT MAGAZINE of contemporary art, by James Salomon

It Is All About Water

curated by Elizabeth Fiore and Melissa Feldman

at the Storefront in Bellport, NY

It Is All About WATER will be on view through November 7, 2020.

Atlantic Ocean, by Renate Aller, archival pigment print

WHITE HOT MAGAZINE of contemporary art, by James Salomon

Know anything about Bellport?

Me neither.

I grew up in Westhampton (Remsenburg to be precise), and the closest that I ever came to Bellport was when my father would take me to Mastic Seafood, a salt of the earth place where fish is the freshest.

So what’s with Bellport? I don’t know, but figure if it’s good enough for Anna Wintour, the late Si Newhouse, Isabella Rosellini, and a host of other art and literary types, I should be checking it out.

Social media tells me that my old pal Elizabeth Fiore is curating a show there. Then I remember I have a family friend named Beverly Allan who lives nearby. She’s currently painting quirky roadside signs to subvert our current president before the election. Sounds like a trip worth taking. To make things more interesting, Beverly is neighbors with Bob Morris, a NYT columnist. So I call up Beverly to set up a lunch and, shit, let’s do this.

At the meal, we dove deep into conversation and storytelling, and I for one am glad that happened. Bob then offered to take me on a bike ride while Beverly got into her yoga thing. Perfect. We put his Dachsund named Zoloft into a wicker basket, and off we went.

It was a lovely ride on a lovely day. Bob took me down to the Great South Bay while passing by dozens of homemade anti-45 type signs that give me a glimmer of hope. When it was all done we bid farewell and I sped away, by car, to see Elizabeth’s show based on… Water.

The Storefront rests in the middle of this charming village. Mask on, I meet the owner and co-curator, Melissa Feldman. The space is cool and chic with art, books, jewelry, clothing, baked goods, a place to sit. Something for everyone. The wall label details tell me that several distinguished NYC galleries have agreed to consign, so I see that relations are off to a good start. Melissa was an event producer in the art world who took a break from that, for obvious reasons. 

I enjoyed both the visit and the show, and will certainly find my way back to The Storefront in due time. If I were to single any of the pieces out, it would be a Sean Mellyn drawing of a snowman at sea rowing towards the horizon. I can’t help but think of our current President and where he is rowing to, what “winning” means, and how long before he melts away.

I’ll leave you off with one of my favorite quotes on Elizabeth and Melissa’s chosen subject. I wouldn’t think it has ever been put in an art context, though you never know.

Be like water making its way through cracks. 
Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, 
and you shall find a way around or through it. 
If nothing within you stays rigid, 
outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. 
Shapeless, like water. 
If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. 
You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. 
You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. 
Now, water can flow or it can crash. 
Be water, my friend.

– Bruce Lee, 1971

Weathering by Wolfgang Tillmans
Constructed Waves by Agnes Barley
Untitled by Adam Fuss
Weighing the Ocean by April Gornik
Ali Underwater by Flip Schulke
Rite of Passage 1 by Malcolm Morley

Renate Aller
Agnes Barley
Katherine Bradford
Gordon Coster
Loomis Dean
Don Eddy
Roland Flexner
Adam Fuss
April Gornik
Isca Greenfield-Sanders
Melora Griffis
Tom LaDuke
Herbert Matter
Sean Mellyn
Malcolm Morley
Donna Moylan
Scott Reeder
Jack Pierson
Elliott Puckette
Edward Quigley
Katia Read
Thiago Rocca-Pitta
Charlie Scheips
Flip Schulke
Wolfgang Tillmans
Janaina Tschäpe
Val Valentine

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