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Get Cultured: 3 Dope Art Exhibitions in Harlem

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Where are all of the cultured people at? Do you spend your weekends exploring art galleries and museums admiring the work of Basquiat or Warhol? This post is for you. For all of the “fake cultured” people who go to art exhibitions just to have dope backdrops for their Instagram photos, this post is for you as well.

If you’re looking for your fine art fix, you no longer have to venture downtown to the MoMa or the Guggenheim. Harlem is in the midst of a new cultural renaissance and there are emerging artists and dope exhibitions that can be found throughout the neighborhood. From photo exhibitions that capture the essence of the community’s history to futuristic installations, there’s something to satisfy everyone’s artistic palette. We’ve handpicked three art exhibitions for you to check out that are currently on display in Harlem.

 

True Red by Danielle Dean @ The Studio Museum in Harlem

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Many artists pull their inspiration from things that the average person would deem to be random AF, and it’s those same creatives who open our eyes to see the world from a different perspective through their artistry. Alabama-born and London-bred artist Danielle Dean exemplifies this through her exhibition, True Red, which is currently on display at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Back in 2003, Nike released a sneaker dubbed “True Red.” The sneaker was often referred to as “the vamps” because the black and red colors were reminiscent of a vampire. Dean used Nike’s marketing as inspiration for her art project, which is a hand-drawn digital animation of the sneaker changing into different forms of things that are associated with horror. The True Red project is featured as part of the Studio Museum’s Focus series, which has a handful of single-work exhibitions. One of the best times to swing by the museum is on a Sunday, when admission is free.99 thanks to Target! Learn more about the True Red project here.

The Illusive Eye @ El Museo del Barrio

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Do you remember those magic eye books from back in the day? El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem is serving up nostalgia through their new exhibition The Illusive Eye. The art exhibit, which opened on Feb. 3, delves into the “op art” phenomenon. Optical art is a type of visual art that features illusions in efforts to make the person looking at the piece feel like things are moving, see vibrating patterns, or witness warping. The Illusive Eye is centered on geometric abstraction while many other op art exhibits focus on physiology and psychology. Another thing that stands out about the exhibition is that it primarily features artwork created by artists that hail from Latin American countries. For all of you Instagrammers who like to post pics with dope backgrounds and deep quotes, this exhibition is for you. The visuals may have you feeling a little trippy, but it’s a must see. Learn more about The Illusive Eye exhibition here.

Chris “Daze” Ellis: The City is My Muse @ Museum of the City of New York

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Artists are often inspired by their surroundings. For graffiti-writer turned studio artist Chris Ellis, New York City was the inspo behind his exhibition Chris “Daze” Ellis: The City is My Muse, which is currently on display at Museum of the City of New York. Ellis gained popularity for tagging up subway trains in the 70s and 80s. He later then channeled his artistry in a different way by using canvases instead of subway cars as a means for his expression. The paintings take you on a journey through the five boroughs and features iconic New York City places like Times Square, Coney Island, and the Staten Island Ferry. The exhibition marries Ellis’ love for the city that he was raised in with his passion for art. Learn more about Chris “Daze” Ellis: The City is My Muse here.

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