So Where's the Art?

“The artist I work for is having a show in Williamsburg tonight.”

That was the text I received last Monday from a friend at Bloomingdales. She wanted to know if I would accompany her after work to the viewing, and I said “Sure. Why not? I like art.”

Several of us met on the corner of Spring and Crosby Street, with zipped jackets, scarves, and gloves. A possible “winter mix” was approaching the city, leaving the air icy and dry.

Hopping on the uptown 6 train, we transferred at the Union Square station to the L towards Brooklyn. We got off at Bedford Avenue, and wondered down 6th street in the Williamsburg area.

Now I like art – but I’m no expert. I took your typical liberal learning art history curriculum in undergrad, and I enjoyed visits to museums like the MoMA or the Guggenheim. Basic metaphors I can understand, and occasionally I’ll actually appreciate “modern art.” But the New York “art scene” is beyond my knowledge.

“This is the place,” one of the girls said. It looked as though we would need our IDs to enter, which made since if they were severing alcohol. After passing two different bouncers, we walked into a low-lit room with an elevated stage and a bar.

It seemed an odd setup for an art show, but I didn’t ask questions and simply ordered a drink. Looking around, I began to ponder how we were supposed to view art in such a dim environment. And where were the actual pictures or statues stored? Something was off…

“There’s the artist I work for,” the girl I was with shouted over the deafening music being played on stage.

I glanced over my shoulder and saw the rapper Stelley with his long beard and baseball hat. Around that moment, everything clicked.

I’m sure you could guess what I'm about to say. But I was, in fact, not an art show. No... I was actually in Brooklyn at some sort of rap-off. Now everything – the stage, the music, the bouncers, the dim lights – it all made since.

“IIIII’m an idiot…” I pretty much said to myself. Obviously "artist" doesn't necessarily mean a painter, just like "doctor" doesn't necessarily mean a surgeon.


Needless to say, we did not experience classic art that evening. But I enjoyed a different kind of talent I would never have been exposed to in an everyday occurrence. And I learned a new song. “S-T-E-DOUBLE L-E-Y, Stelley on top!” I said throwing my hand up.

Oh the situations I find myself in.