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‘Raw’ bar! Brooklyn Museum kicks off season of newcomers with a great show • Brooklyn Paper

‘Raw’ bar! Brooklyn Museum kicks off season of newcomers with a great show

Bushwick artist Kristof Wickman holds a cast of a pumpkin and his face at his Brooklyn Museum debut, part of the Raw/Cooked series at the Brooklyn Museum, which opens Friday.
Photo by Alice Proujansky

Emerging artists have a new home — the Brooklyn Museum.

The borough’s museum is kicking off its fall season with “Raw/Cooked,” a series of five back-to-back exhibitions featuring artists who have never shown in a gallery before, let alone a world-class museum.

The first of the 10-week shows features Bushwick-based builder, Kristof Wickman, who has stashed cast sculptures of everyday organic objects throughout a hallway on the museum’s second floor.

“Casting organic forms is interesting to me — it took a long time to form the way they are,” said Wickman. “You’re freezing it at a certain moment, stopping time almost.”

A master caster, Wickman dips pumpkins, donut holes, and fake rocks into wax. Then he takes the wax, makes another mold and casts it in bronze, ceramic or a water-based resin.

Finally, he adds flourishes such as painting the object, polishing it with bowler’s wax, or adding a smattering of polymer clay sprinkles.

Wickman and the museum’s curator, Eugenie Tsai, have selected striking pieces such as a octagonal platform supported by resin boulders, a silicone cast of Wickman’s own arm clutching a yoga ball, and two bronze pumpkins resting on a metal trampoline — a welcoming autumnal image.

“We do not encourage toddlers to climb on top of any of them,” said Tsai.

If you look closely enough, you can spot tiny cast bronze “munchkins” squashed under other artworks.

“I was attracted to the name ‘munchkins,’ ” said Wickman. “I took the molds to the Jewelry District, handed them [to the bronzers] and they never even asked what they were.”

In the middle of the exhibition, some of Wickman’s more abstract creations — including a human tush covered in candy-colored sprinkles — are interspersed with historic objects from the museum’s archive, such as a Pueblo wooden chair, an alabaster vessel, and a Rodin bronze sculpture called “Damned Women.”

Artists in the series are encouraged to take advantage the museum’s vast collections in their exhibits, though it is not a requirement — though Wickman has embraced the suggestion.

“If it makes too much sense, I add something else — or take something away,” said Wickman. “Abstract form of specific objects — that’s the goal.”

“Raw/Cooked: Kristof Wickman” at The Brooklyn Museum [200 Eastern Pkwy. at Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights, (718) 638-5000], opens Sept. 16. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

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