I haven’t had a chance to preview the Lush Life LES group show yet. Curated by Omar Lopez-Chahoud and Franklin Evans (no relation to the Walt Whitman temperance novel), the show opens officially on Thursday evening at nine different LES galleries. As the name implies it takes its inspiration from Richard Price’s 2008 novel, which I’ve read twice and think quite highly of. It’s the sort of book that remaps your experience of place: it’s hard not to encounter the novel’s LES landmarks, some of them renamed or slightly repositioned, without thinking about the book and its characters. I’ve never seen the bridges from the top of the Al Smith homes, for instance, but whenever I’m walking St. James Place I can’t help but think about Price’s Clara Lemlich Houses, closely based on the Smith towers, and it’s easier to imagine someone else’s views — which is precisely what the book aims to have you do.
I have been following Kianga Ellis’s tweets on the show @LushLifeLES and encourage Twitterers to give her a follow. (Facebook here.) I plan to hit the show’s nine chapters over the coming week — maybe even during the epic opening, if I can manage it — and promise to report back.
In the meantime, from the “About” page of the show’s website, a little more detail and a whole lot of links:
LUSH LIFE is an exhibition curated by Franklin Evans and Omar Lopez-Chahoud which takes place at nine Lower East Side (LES) galleries: