Just a few doors in from the heart of hipster Williamsburg, we stepped into a crazy scene in Pierogi gallery. In the front room we met Jim Torok, who was just finished hanging his incredible hyper-detailed portraits of his friends and neighbors, which were mind-blowing enough even before we found out that he also made the pictures in the back, of primitive clowns from someone’s dream. Then a film crew from Conde Nast Traveler arrived, and that’s how we ended up upstairs, in the apartment that gallery director Joe Amrhein shares with his wife, Susan Swenson, looking at their personal collection that starts rights over their bed with his own giant painting of a phrase by poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge translated into many languages.
I loved how he explained that a lot of translations came from artists in the gallery, who come from so many parts of the world. I also loved when he described the one quality that unites all the work as “obsessive”!I’m curious what you think about the stuff we saw– the Dewantron, those butterfly hair clips, the fungus among us. And what about that crazy landscape behind the glass?