Category Archives: openings

Shameless Plug for My Friend Sorgatz

Shameless is an overused word. Why do “plugs” always have to be described that way?? How about “unabashed?” Or “sincere?” “Useful?” “Worthwhile.” Let’s go with worthwhile.

Because this here is a worthwhile plug for my friend Mike Sorgatz, painter. He has a solo show opening Friday September 14, 6-9 p.m. at Figureworks, a gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn “dedicated to bringing you contemporary fine art that explores the human form.”

As Figureworks puts it “Michael’s paintings are immediately captivating by their vibrancy and playful abstraction. They keep one’s interest by discovering that they hold a whole world within them which is familiar to those living or walking throughout the New York City landscape.”

Also, they’re powerful and compelling and full of sound and movement. They explode from the center of the canvas, with light and shadow as thick as frosting. Check ’em out, and say hey to Mike for me. Because I’ll be out of town…



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Twarn’t a Night Fit fer Man Nor Beast….

The sky was angry that night, my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli. (Simile adaptation courtesy of G. Costanza)

The perfect compliment to a rare December monsoon, my art show “It’s About Liking Things” opened last Thursday. To the folks who showed up at Lolita Bar, I thank you. You were all so drenched and wonderful. It was actually a perfect night to be in a cozy, dry place with even cozier, dryer Martinis. Katz’s deli, as usual, kicked tokhes, and I enjoyed myself immensely. Hope you did too. Let’s do it again soon.

The show runs through January 16. If you haven’t already, stop by. On January 7 we’ll be there for happy hour from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Daily Chuckler: Costanza’s Greatest Moment

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Lower East Side or Bust

Katz’s famous sandwiches, pickles and knishes are confirmed. The art is on the walls. The bar is stocked (I saw the shipment last night with my own eyes, I did). We’re good to go for tonight’s opening reception, 6:00-9:00 at Lolita Bar, featuring the Lower East Side’s most generous happy hour till 8:00.

Hope you can make it. (click for directions to Lolita, 266 Broome St. @ Allen)

"The Universe Is Conspiring In Your Favor"  16" by 20"  acrylic on canvas

"The Universe Is Conspiring In Your Favor" 16" by 20" acrylic on canvas

Va-Va-VOOM! Uhura

Va-Va-VOOM! Uhura



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Art Up on Lower East: Lolita Show Set to Open

I’ve got 13 pieces up on the sweet bricky walls of Lolita Bar on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. A week or so earlier, the Times ran an article about the various art scenes of different New York neighborhoods, including a section about The Lowah:

“Among the art neighborhoods of Manhattan, the Lower East Side is by far the most picturesque. With its dusty synagogues, squeezed-together tenements, anarchist graffiti and shop signs in Yiddish, Spanish and Chinese, it’s a visual event whether you’re visiting galleries or not.

But the essence of a city is change, and this neighborhood is changing. The synagogues and signs are disappearing, along with the anarchist spirit and artist-friendly rents. Chic little bars and boutiques speak of rampant yuppification, although at the moment — and a sullen economy could prolong this — old and new are still trading places.”

(the whole article is here)

As I’ve been preparing for this show, I’ve been reading Richard Price‘s latest novel, “Lush Life,” set in the Lower East Side. I’d been on the NYPL waiting list for months, and boom, the book shows up just as I’m about to lug my canvases down there. Truly putting, as Flanders would say, the dink in coinky-dink, as it were. Synchronicity of some sort, I suppose. Good book, too. I saw Price read from it a few months ago at Summer Stage in Central Park. If you like “The Wire” (for which he wrote), you ought to check out his books, including “The Wanderers” and “Clockers” (both good flicks as well, but this guy is a pleasure to read, so doowit).

Anyway, back to the art. Join us on December 11 from 6-9 p.m. for the opening. We’ll be serving up pastrami and pickles and knishes, and Lolita has one of the best happy hours in town, daily from 5-8. Come for the art, stay for the $3 drinks and LES soul food!

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After Brush with Larceny, Opening Goes Smoothly

I suppose it’s a compliment when someone tries to steal your art. I mean, that puts a piece in pretty heady company, along with those pilfered pieces by Picasso and Pissarro, right? (“Pretty Peppy Party, eh, Pal?” — Albert Brooks, “Broadcast News”) So hours after installing my show in the Art Bar, some clown walked out of the place, hustling the cheeky masterpiece “Monopoly Smackdown” (loosely based on those sweet old boxing posters) under his coat. The doorman got the art, but not the perp. Okay, now this painting has a back-story. That’s a good thing.

Potentially Pilfered Poster Parody

Potentially Pilfered Poster Parody

On Wednesday the 19th, the opening came off without a hitch. The crowd exceeded my expectations, we had guests from as far away as Pittsburgh (yes, THAT Pittsburgh–-thanks Matt and Lisa), and not one painting was stolen. NOT, ONE. You guys are great. Hope to see you at the next opening: December 11, 6-9 p.m. at Lolita Bar (266 Broome St. at Allen on the Lower East Side). The art will be bigger and harder to steal.

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Art for turbulent times.

Here’s a press release (with pictures below) about my upcoming show…

Artist John Tebeau’s ‘Simple Pleasures’ show opens Nov. 19 at Art Bar in Manhattan

New York, N.Y. – The economic news is grim: mortgage meltdown, banks in crisis, Congress approving a massive rescue package and the stock market’s all over the place.

New York artist John Tebeau created a series of paintings titled Simple Pleasures in part as a reaction to difficult conditions, and in part as a celebration of what is still good in life.

“I can’t go back in time and stop mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them, fix all that’s broken in Iraq, or improve the sorry state of political discourse – the list of problems out of the control of average people is enormous,” Tebeau said. “As a way to keep things in perspective, I thought about the things I do control, what I can do to improve my mood. Things that I like.”

Tebeau began a list of “good things”: cold beer, hot coffee, summer barbecues, the first snow of winter, vintage Cadillacs, a day at the beach, Bugs Bunny, board games.

“As Andy Warhol once said, Pop Art is about liking things, and that’s what these paintings are all about: simply liking things,” said Tebeau. “Or, actually, liking simple things.”

Simple Pleasures opens at the Art Bar in Manhattan’s West Village in November and runs through Feb. 15. The opening is 6-9 p.m. Nov. 19 at Art Bar, 52 Eighth Ave., near Horatio Street.

Tebeau began cartooning in elementary school in North Muskegon, Mich., encouraged when he realized it got him attention from girls. After graduating from University of Michigan, he moved to Chicago, where he made a living designing and silkscreening T-shirts, and later cofounded Comic Arts Monthly, distributed in Chicago and Ann Arbor, Mich.

He relocated to California’s Bay Area, working as a barista and spent much of his time teaching himself to paint. He also did freelance design and illustration work and paintings commissioned by friends and acquaintances who liked his developing style.

Tebeau now lives in Manhattan, working as a self-employed artist and graphic designer. One of his most consistent clients is Arbor Brewing Co. in Ann Arbor, Mich., which uses Tebeau’s work on its bottles, six-packs and tap handles. Tebeau is an artist in residence at the Brooklyn Artists Gym, where he recently exhibited in a group show. He also teaches after-school art classes at the School for Ethical Culture.

Tebeau’s cartooning is influenced by his love of alternative comics like Robert Crumb and the 1950s-era Mad comics, and his colorful, pop-art painting style brings that approach, as well. He draws painting inspiration from Wayne Thiebaud, Peter Max, Robert Indiana, Alice Neel and Andy Warhol, among others.

In addition to Simple Pleasures, Tebeau will show a sampling of his pop art paintings at Lolita Bar in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, with an opening 6-9 p.m. Dec. 11. That show runs through the end of January. Lolita Bar is located at 266 Broome St., between Allen and Orchard streets.

John Tebeau’s portfolio:
John Tebeau’s art for sale:
John Tebeau’s blog:
More about Art Bar:
Lolita Bar:


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Opening at Brooklyn Artists Gym

Thanks to all of you who came to the opening reception of Brooklyn Artist Gym‘s “Composition” show in August. It was a good night, I sold a couple paintings, and I feel really lucky to have so many good friends who schlepped (in the local parlance) out to Gowanus for the evening. We capped it off with a dynamite dinner at Palo Santo on Union St. and a beer after at Union Hall in Park Slope.

Next up: a solo show (the theme: “Simple Pleasures”) at Art Bar in the West Village with the opening reception on November 19 and another show at Lolita on the Lower East side opening on December 11.

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