Fish with Braids has moved out its fishbowl said one attendee of the grand opening of the new space for what has become a Jersey City mainstay even when there was no brick and mortar space to call home. Uta Brauser, who has appeared in Dislocations many times – maybe most notable here – founded the gallery which was housed on Jersey Avenue in a real hole in thewall space, but the gallery closed. Brauser still runs the Friday flea market, Creative Grove, where she also sells her art wares and wears under the Fish with Braid auspices (and canopy).
The new gallery is an expansive. I was there once before for a really swell studio tour show – Exquisite Corpse. Fish with Braids calls one floor of this former warehouse home. Industrial feel, painted over cinderblock and brick and concrete walls and incredibly high ceilings.
Evolve Wear 3 – the third generation of art meets fashion, one of a kind fashion items, called “Wearable Art Expressions” designed by Uta, Vincent Zambrano, Casimer Alexander, Laura Quattrocchi and Masae Satouchi were displayed. A flapper dress made from what looks like rubber gloves, baby doll heads in a cloud of black lace wisps, jeans and jacket painted with landscape, feathers and plumes sprung from many of the garments and accessories, one dress was made of squid tentacles.
Themes of environmentalism and ecology seemed prevalent. DJPastiche spun techno types beat fitting the Euro, urban/industrial feel. The grand opening’s main event was a fashion show “In Beauty We Walk,” which Uta claimed to be inspired by a Native American Poem. Naturalism was the main theme – one woman wore body paint and what looked like a bird’s claw as a hat, others were dressed in animal pelts – Uta has gained a following for her distinctive hats and creative use of fur. The techno beats echoed filled the air, video footage was projected on the wall as the models combined fashion model struts with modern dance move. It was a performance piece where primitivism and animism erupted, gradually melting what began with under a veneer of a traditional, glitzy fashion show. Erotic, unmistakable feminist, natural power… a visceral and uncompromising environmentalism.
A flier explained: “Giving praise to our presence on earth, surrounded by the beauty of all creation. In the sense of environmental preservation, throw away objects find new use. Animal themes bring us in touch with our animal world family and our unconscious.”
Fashion met art. Art won. Fish with Braids Gallery is not only back in downtown, it is now in space big enough to accommodate Uta’s ambitions.