Southern Brooklyn

Twenty-Two Local Artists Turn Their Studios Into Free Public Galleries This Weekend

Brighton Beach artist Liubov Brizhatiuk, working in her studio.

Whenever I ask my friends who’ve moved up to North Brooklyn why they bailed on their old ‘hood, one of the answers I usually get is, “Dude, there’s like, no culture and shit in Southern Brooklyn, bro” – sputtered in between sips of, ugh, Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Well, this weekend, Southern Brooklyn artists are showing those traitors just how wrong they are. As part of GO, organized by the Brooklyn Museum, artists around the borough will turn their studios into free galleries for the public to visit. And in our coverage area alone, 22 painters, sculptors, photographers and other creatives have signed on.

During GO, these artists will open their studios this weekend, September 8 and 9, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Anyone can stop by, chat with the artists and check out their work. And, for those out there who really want to promote our local artists, you can register as voters to nominate artists for inclusion in a group exhibition to open at the Brooklyn Museum on December 1, 2012.

Below is a roundup of the 22 participating artists in our area, including the types of work they do, their locations, and links back to their profiles (with photos of their artwork) on the GO website.

Sheepshead Bay

Jeremy CominsPainting, sculpture, mixed media – “I use carving and constructing techniques to create abstract and metaphorical wood sculptures.I respond to natural formations and and problems of the human condition.” – 1776 East 19th Street

Gerard Barbot – Mixed media – “i find 2 & 3 dimensional thingz. discarded deitritus. the rejected refuse of our lives. i assemble objex of all kindz, all with their own his & herstory. i trans4m them & giv’em a new purpose w/ a new tale 2 tell. i challenge the viewer 2 C ordinary, everyday artifax, in an unxpect’d way.” – 2466 East 28th Street

Zinaida Kelebeyeva – Painting, mixed media – “My artwork entails various genres, utilizing diverse techniques. With nature being the ideal teacher, some of my artwork depicts serene seascapes and intricate landscapes. By combining light and shade with rich hues in harmony, my still-life artworks are able to convey sensations of the objects used as alive and full of freshness. My portraits are able to exhibit emotional sensation through the various line thicknesses and complementary colors that comprise the subject’s facial expression. Moreover, my mix-media works are unique, for I use dry-leaves that bring life as well as texture to the artwork.” – 1610 Avenue P, #5L

Zhanna RohalskaPainting, drawing – “I can characterize my artistic signature as one of bold sloppy strokes, rather instinctive and spontaneous technique. I have been slightly influenced by Picasso, Otto Dix, Modigliani. Overall though I cannot claim that I have followed in the steps of any particular artist from the past- I completely rely on my own vision and perception.” – 2123 East 22nd Street, #3C

Howard Eisman – Sculpture, mixed media, craft – “My purpose in creating my art is to show that we exist in a color, vibrant, and fascinating world.” – 2424 Avenue R

Manhattan Beach

Madeline Sorel – Painting, illustration, textile arts – “As an illustrator I enjoyed having a purpose for my work. I enjoyed the collaboration and audience inherent in that line of work. Now, I mostly create work documenting what I see around me that I want others to share through my eyes. I want to capture as much life that amuses me as possible.” – 140 Jaffray Street

Herb Alwais – Painting – “I paint primarily impressionistic landscapes inspired by scenes and settings witnessed during my travels in North America and Europe. I paint en plein air as well as in my studio using my photgraphs as reference. I prefer to paint with acrylics although I have also painted with watercolors. I have always been fascinated by the interplay of color and light and love the challenge of trying to capture and bring forth the feeling of calm and serenity that nature and the outdoors can elicit.” – 263 Dover Street

Brighton Beach

Isaak Vaynshelboym – Painting, drawing – “Born in Ukraine, an officer during WWII, graduated Mocscow Low School and Odessas Art School. He is the author of four novels, hundreds of news publications, and has partciipated in numerous Art Exhibitions in Brooklyn, New York and New York State.” – 3084 Brighton 13th Street

Liubov Brizhatiuk – Painting, sculpture, drawing – “Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Liubov is a fine arts sculptor and painter specializing in Impressionism and Expressionism. Liubov’s paintings represented the Soviet Union in the International Art Expositions in Japan and Czechoslovakia. At age 16, she studied painting at Kharkov State Academy of Arts in Ukraine.” – 201 Brighton 1st Road, #1J


Phil Williamston – Drawing – “my art making process calls me, through my experience, dreams and my skills of shaping imagery, to engage the people, powers and diversity of contemporary urban environments with New York as my particular model… Thus I have developed the series of 82 polychrome drawings i call ‘Urban Path Cards’.” – 901 Avenue H, #1-0

Irena Romendik – Painting, mixed media, drawing – 2424 Kings Highway, #5D

Gulnara TsiklauriPainting – 1675 East 21st Street, #2D

Ellen Levitt – Photography, illustration, design – “I am exhibiting black-and-white photographs and color photos (as you can see on this page). Some have been published in my books The Lost Synagogues of Brooklyn and The Lost Synagogues of the Bronx and Queens (Manhattan edition is upcoming).” – 1811 Avenue O

Arlene Finger – Mixed media, drawing – “My style is mainly Impressionistic. I have also been influenced by the English Symbolists and the Russian Avant-garde. My color palette varies from light to dark. The two dimensional works on paper use pastel, pencil, ink and charcoal to depict composition. The composition mainly consists of still life to figurative. At this particular point I have been experimenting with architectural renderings.” – 1546 East 12th Street

Robin Antar – Painting, sculpture – “My passion as a sculptor involves a technique I uncovered more than 20 years ago — the precise art of creating ‘virtual records’ of contemporary culture — capturing everyday objects in carved stone. I am ambivalent about what I sculpt…these foodstuffs, yet I love to carve them since I recognize their significance far beyond what they represent on a store shelf. Who can know if a bottle of ketchup will exist in 4025AD? ” – 1485 East 5th Street


Irina Lyampe – Painting – “I belive, that the most important aspect of artistic creativity is the sense of wonder, through which children see the world. The mysterious process of transforming my ideas and feelings in two dimentional images on a piece of canvas wherein life within and of it self is captured has been memorazing for me.” – 163 Bay 49th Street

Robin SelfridgePainting, photography, design – “I photograph things I like. Some images end up on the easel in my one-chair studio—which you’re welcome to come sit in! My favorites become Paint-by-Number Kits so you can have as much fun as I did!” – 1726 West 11th Street, Basement

Leonid Grinberg – Mixed media, craft – “An engineer, also graduated Design Faculty of State Art Academy, participated in Technical Design and Folk Crafts Exhibitions in Latvia. In New York, since 1993, worked as an assemblyman and as a programmer.
In 2004 take Stained Glass Art techniques introduction course in FIT. ” – 1650 Ocean Parkway, #3

Coney Island

Takeshi Yamada – Painting, sculpture, mixed media – “My artworks are inspired by the historical Cabinet of Curiosities, Coney Island style circus sideshows/freak shows, and today’s high-tech bio-engineering of creatures. They are super realistic representations of mythic monsters, cryptids, and imaginary marvels. My “Sea Rabbit”, which is a half-rabbit and half-seal sea monster represent the history of where I live – Dutch settlers named it Coney Island (“wild rabbit island“). Body parts of animals, including humans (my own) were often used as art supplies. My “freak babies” rogue taxidermy were made of my peeled skins” – 1405 Neptune Avenue

Leonid Alaverdov – Mixed media, textile arts, craft – “In my tapestries, I use the technique of modern tapestry-making along with the most ancient form of tapestry-making, which was used before people knew how to make carpets. This ancient technique consists of winding colorful yarn around sticks and placing them together to create an ornamental design.” – 2953 West 33rd Street, #10F

Daniel Blake – Painting, sculpture, mixed media – “As an artist I work with mixed media, using wood, metal, acrylic & oil paints. I rescue the traditional art gallery through poetry, song and dance. My mission is to teach my audience the fundamental aspects of art through creative thinking.” – 2837 West 25th Street

Marie RobertsPainting, print making, book arts, illustration – “I am a native New Yorker, born and living in Southern Brooklyn. I became a painter and escaped family sideshow tradition; specifically that of the Dreamland Circus Sideshow and a snake oil called The Bitter Wonder. In 1997 I began working with Coney Island USA, the non profit Arts Center located in the heart of Coney Island where I fell in love with the large format sideshow banner tradition.” – 1208 Surf Avenue, Second floor

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  1. Wow! Twenty-two artists and sculptors, and with studios no less.  I wonder how many more work digitally.  If this leaks out, we’ll be swarming with hipsters before the paint dries.  Gentlemen, start your espresso machines!  😉

  2. But, seriously, I am impressed, and proud of our nabe and surrounds.  Nearly every trendy artsy neighborhood, Park Slope, Williamsburg, SoHo, etc., started out as a lower rent haven for artists, or had its image enhanced by the artists who lived there, and even so-called bad neighborhoods have multitudes of creative people, so it’s no surprise that we should have our fair share.  Yes, Virginia, South Brooklyn is a lot more than beer and baseball.

    As for the boorish expatriate quoted in the first paragraph, he sounds like the type that gives South Brooklyn its undeserved reputation, so good riddance.

  3. These people are boring. The few that do have technical skill, paint fruit and trees… BORING.


    Takeshi Yamada’s stuff (the skull)

    Gulnara Tsiklauri (Hands)

    Everyone else: You either lack technical skill, or your subjects put people to sleep.

  4.  Herb actually has some good stuff, like the pond painting. But his site is full of eh… boring landscapes. Not saying all landscape pieces are boring, but the majority of his are.

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