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Queens Chronicle

Gallery hopping in LIC

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Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2011 12:00 pm | Updated: 12:25 am, Fri Apr 29, 2011.

As the weather improves, a walking tour of some of Long Island City’s smaller galleries may be just what the doctor ordered. So forget being cooped up inside all day, get out and investigate these free venues.

The Chocolate Factory, located at 5-49 49 Ave. in Long Island City, is featuring “I’m Nobody! Who Are You?” by Maya Ciarrocchi. The life-sized video portrait installation is named after an Emily Dickinson poem. It seeks to investigate personal identity and the relationship between viewer and actor, through large-scale silent videos. The show is open on Friday and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

After checking out the Chocolate Factory, stop and smell the flowers at the LIC Community Garden across the street. Tables and chairs make the picturesque nook perfect for a picnic.

If you are in the market to purchase art for your home, or just want to see some flowers on canvas, M55 Art at 44-02 23 St. has painter Alice Plusch’s creations. Her floral work is perfect for hanging in any home. Or, if you are more adventurous, George Schulman’s brightly colored abstract paintings may be your cup of tea.

The gallery is open Thursday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.

At nearby Space Womb — the place with the pink and black exterior at 22-48 Jackson Ave., pieces in the latest exhibit, “Humanism,” are interesting as usual.

Shalom Neuman’s brightly colored cartoonish sculptures are fun to look at. Made with maracas, children’s toys and other random objects, and complete with googly eyes, they have a Pee Wee Herman aesthetic. Suncheol Kwun’s abstract portraits are skilled, but appear sad when compared with Neuman’s vibrant wall-mounted creations.

Eliot Lable’s bloody paintings and sculptures — one of which features a guillotine, placed in the center of the gallery space, are disturbing. Though they are more tribal and primitive than realistic, perhaps reflecting the subject matter that drives him. On his website, he writes that he was inspired to learn about torture after visiting a Spanish museum featuring work on the subject. He now depicts both victims and perpetrators in his gruesome artwork.

Also at Space Womb are abstract paintings reminiscent of dust or grass by Sooyoung Kwak. Epoxy paintings by Jongwang Lee, in which he uses layering to achieve an abstract plastic look, and modernist sculptures by Chang Dawn Moon round out the show.

   As usual, the work is seemingly unrelated, but it is so diverse that viewers are unlikely to be bored.

   After visiting these spots, check out the graffiti-covered Five Pointz while you still can. The building which houses Space Womb may become condos in the future.

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