It’s been months since Superstorm Sandy swept across the east coast, a swirling mess of destruction. Sandy took out homes and cities, took lives and spirits. Particularly hard hit were the artists of Chelsea and Rockaway. Many had their life’s work washed away, some even losing their homes or studios as well.
Beat down and bedraggled, many artists found themselves refocusing on rebuilding their homes and lives. Art was put in the background, but not for long. Many found that out of the destruction came inspiration, and a need to document the changes Sandy had wrought on New York’s communities, both physically and emotionally.
Now 23 artists will be featured as part of the New York City Exhibition, After Effects, which is funded by the New York Foundation for the Arts. Artists whose homes, studios or artwork was damaged by Sandy will be featured.
“Out of the destruction came beauty and resilience. Artists know how to make something out of nothing and they inspire us to do the same,” said Michael Royce, Executive Director of the New York Foundation for the Arts. “And that is what this exhibition is about.”
All of the artwork featured is work that has been done since Sandy hit NYC. Some pieces show realistic pictures of what the beachfront, streets, or houses looked like during and after the storm. Others are more abstract, touching on metaphoric or emotional themes.
“Every time there is devastation and destruction, it’s the artists that come forward first, creating things for us to think about, reflect upon and stand tall on.”
“It’s about the we,” says Royce. “It’s about living with each other. It’s about helping each other. It’s about collaborating with one another and that’s what artists always do. They bring the community together through their works. They inspire.”