Talent In Motion

Art, Intrigue and a "Ho" Eat the Howl Festival
Written by Dennis Spafford
Photographed by Liberation Iannillo

From August 17-24, the Lower East Side of Manhattan was host to the Howl! Festival. This festival is a collaboration of L.E.S. artists who have endeavored to revitalize the art scene in this part of town. Supposedly the L.E.S. used to have a very cool art scene back in the 70's, although from what I have heard a large part of it was either drunks spilling their paint or punks with a can of glue and a dream. Either way it was art, I suppose.

This was not the case however for the exhibitions which graced this ever-so-slowly-gentrified part of town. I attended a whole bunch of these shows, and to my surprise, there was some awesome stuff (oh, by the by I have a BFA in Art History, so I know my shit).

Katherine, with host Brooks, editor of Talent in Motion Magazine.

At the ever so charming, Café Del Mar, there was a tiny art show in the lower part of the café. When I say lower part, I really mean the seventh level of Hell! It was so hot that my mascara was threatening to stream down my face! But I digress.

One artist in particular that caught my attention was Katherine (yup, that's it no last name). She had three pieces exhibited and they all used a powerful mixture of bright colors. They were images of stars, such as Annie Lenox and Dolly Parton. I liked them and didn't like them at the same time. I really appreciated the detail she appointed to the faces, yet the bodies were underdeveloped and amateur.

While expressing this point of few to a fellow NewYorkCool'er, it seems that the artist herself had overheard me and when I turned to look at her she gave me the Eye Of Death. Well, of course I didn't stop talking about her art. And let me say just for the record that I did make positive comments along with the negative ones. So I finished my vodka tonic (I bow to the bartender at the Café Del Mar, who poured me a extra strong drink), and went upstairs. I saw some friends and proceed to chitchat about dis and dat, and as I turn to see who is about, I see Katherine! Well, apparently Katherine was vexed. At the time, I thought she had followed me upstairs and was plotting my death, poised to knife me there in the street! However that was not the case, and we all went home alive that evening.

As I walked home, ever so casually trying to pick up a trick, I though about how insensitive I had been. It's easy to rip somebody down, and that just isn't my style.

Samm Cohen,

The very next day I emailed Katherine and asked her about what she was trying to convey with her images. She emailed me back promptly and told me that for her the bodies weren't as important as the face, she felt the most important part of a body are the eyes, in that they are the "Windows of the Soul". Lesson learned: Katherine cool art girl, not evil village demon….check out her stuff at

So, after my near death experience at the Café Del Mar, I knew that the Howl Festival was going to be fun!

Irma Cannavo's "American Flag"


Now I don't want to bore you all with a step by step of each gallery that I visited, but the highlight of the whole 8-day exhibition was the show at The Outlaw Art Gallery, on Essex and Houston. The artist Boris Lurie, a Holocaust survivor, had some powerful images mixing sexuality and Holocaust horrors. Q. Sakamaki, a war photographer for a Japanese newspaper exhibited five disturbing photos of the devastation in Iraq. And finally but certainly not least, art star Spider Webb showed a cartoon/tattoo homage to 9/11.

On a lighter but similar note, the Cuchifrito Gallery hosted Cartoonisiada, at which contemporary cartoon artist exhibited their work. The amazing curator, Buxton Midyette, really put together a great show. Leslie Sternbergh's "Pubic Hair" illustration was a personal favorite:)

Exhausted but enlightened am I as I look back on this past uber-week and reflect on all the lovely and intense art that I have seen. The Howl Festival's art exhibitions exceeded my expectations, and left me basking in the glow of Light that is High Art.

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