Back to black - Brooklyn Paper

Back to black

Magical pony: 20 artists will compete at the Active Space gallery on Aug. 25 in the Black Velvet Takedown, where you can expect to see velvet paintings like this one featuring a unicorn, which can be found in the Musuem of Velvet Paintings n Portland, Ore.
AP / Rick Bowmer

It’s the battle of the unicorn paintings.

The creator of several Brooklyn cooking competitions is hosting a tournament featuring Bushwick artists, who will go head-to-head in a two-hour easel battle in black velvet painting — a medium which inspires the weird.

“Its always the same with black velvet,” said organizer Matt Timms, who calls his competitive events “Takedowns.”

“It’s either crappy landscapes, Elvises, unicorns, bull fighting, crying clowns, hula girls, or naked ladies.”

The competitive food guru has hosted all manner of culinary competitions, but when it comes to art battles, Timms seems to air on the side of the quirky — earlier this year, he hosted a Bob Ross Takedown, which yielded many happy clouds, secret happy bushes, and big happy mountain landscapes.

But the Black Velvet Takedown is poised to be Timms weirdest art foray yet, and he says the velvet medium naturally lends itself to strange subjects ranging from unfulfilled carnies to fantasy peep shows.

Attendees can entertain themselves drinking beer and tasting Timms vegan chilli until the artists finish their black velvet masterpieces, at which point the audience is invited to vote on their favorite.

At the end of the night, the 20 sad clowns and bare-chested women riding unicorns will be auditioned off to the highest bidder, with the proceeds going to cover the event’s cost and then to the charity art-start, which helps underprivileged kids rise above their circumstances through art.

Timms, who doesn’t make a profit off the event, said his artsy Takedowns comes as a respite from the culinary ones, because foodies can be real mean sometimes.

“Chefs are more competitive that artists,” said Timms. “They’re blood thirsty at the Takedown, there’s trash talking, but these guys are totally laid back. There’s no trash talking among hippies.”

Black Velvet Takedown at the Active Space [566 Johnson Ave. between Stewart and Gardner avenues in Bushwick, www.566johnsonave.com] Aug. 25, 6 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

More from Around New York