On April 16th, the Brooklyn Museum
will host its fourth annual Brooklyn Artists Ball in celebration of the borough’s creative community. Leading up to the event—which honors artists Jenny Holzer, Ai Weiwei, and Kehinde Wiley, and features a benefit auction, dinner, and dancing—we spoke with artists who’ve contributed to the cause about their local art scene, their donation, and who they hope to run into on the dance floor.
Artsy: What is your personal relationship to Brooklyn?
Oliver Clegg: I live in Brooklyn with my wife, Natasha Chambers. My studio is also here, just a few blocks from our house.
Artsy: Where are you based in Brooklyn—whether your home, studio, or both?
OC: My apartment is in Williamsburg and my studio is also in Williamsburg. We used to live in the studio but have now found a place to live that is very close to the studio—so we have managed to create a good work and home divide!
Artsy: And what’s exciting about the current Brooklyn art scene?
OC: Many artists now live all over Brooklyn and not just in better-known areas. This means that each community has an interesting array of studios and galleries that embellish the already developing, unique sparkle of the different neighborhoods.
Artsy: Can you name a few favorite local Brooklyn haunts—places to eat, drink, see art?
OC: For me, it’s really about what is in the vicinity of my studio. I eat lunch every day at Mogador
in Williamsburg, and in the evenings can be found enjoying a perfectly delivered Moscow Mule at Hotel Delmano
. If we want to travel a little, we go to Vinegar Hill House
in Dumbo or even Pok Pok
in Red Hook. In Williamsburg, Journal Gallery
has the most appealing program.
Artsy: What are some of the most important resources for Brooklyn artists?
OC: Just a short hop over the Pulaski Bridge, Materials for the Arts
in Long Island City is an incredible free resource for artists. I find that Build it Green
in Astoria, Queens, is also one of my favorite places to find source materials. The Williamsburg flea market
on Sundays is also a great place to find interesting subject matter and inspirations, while not forgetting the Brooklyn Museum
Artsy: Can you tell us a bit about the work you’re donating to the benefit auction, which will be supporting the museum and the Brooklyn artist community, and why that’s a cause you’re happy to contribute to?
OC: I am donating a screen print that I made a few years ago of a pair of hands creating a shadow puppet of a flying bird. While I made this piece instinctively, it seems still relevant with much of the 2D work that I’m making now, and the performative aspect of the piece correlates with the table that I’m making for the dinner.
Artsy: At the Brooklyn Artists Ball, I want to dance with:
OC: My wife.