HVW8 Gallery: Anxiety

HVW8 Gallery: Anxiety

This Crowd Made Me More Anxious than the Election

Last time I went to HVW8 Gallery (pronounced “heavyweight”) I saw Mndsgn perform live to a group of young artists, activists and burn-outs. Smooth beats and burning incense infused the tiny gallery while 200-plus people stood out back sipping free PBR. This past weekend, the show, “Anxiety,” also rallied a younger crowd, but this time, the vibe didn’t feel quite as chill.

beer

 

Outside, a live DJ entertained a much rowdier crowd enjoying cheap beer and wine while smoking whatever they could get their hands on. The backdrop set the mood: a massive mural of the United States with Florida, Maine and Texas shaped in the silhouette of a gun coupled by a neon Dana Carvey billboard loomed over us. Apologetic smiles were not plentiful as people bumped into me left and right. Ironically, I felt I needed to go inside to get some fresh air.

crowd

 

In the gallery, the work of 15 different artists investigated individual responses to the collective uneasiness of the present day, whether personal, political, economic, social  or geographical. Hot topics like The Election, global warming and our seemingly never-ending transition into adulthood floated about the apprehensive crowd. And after some time, it became clear to us that the most interesting art and perhaps the real message of “Anxiety” was the audience itself.

 

The night started and ended at Snake Pit, the dive bar two blocks down the street on Melrose where we complained about the minimum wage, the lack of representation for female artists and Uber. What better way to lessen the anxiety than with a Bloody Mary to numb the pain? Amiright?