Spencer Sweeney, born and raised in Philadelphia, is a painter, musician and owner of Santa’s Party House at 100 Lafayette St, two blocks below Canal. Sweeney is a cultural titan, bestriding the city, yet cloaked from view. He is one the best kept secrets in New York. He is not JUST a painter and not JUST an impresario. Santa’s Party House is not JUST the best piece of Relational Aesthetics since the Chat Noir. Not JUST the only place to dance in New York. If the Cabaret Voltaire and Paradise Garage had a baby, it would look and sound like Santa’s. So what does that make Spencer Sweeney? Someone past time. An artist defined by his love and curiosity for the best of what we make and what we can make possible.
In his upcoming show at GBE Sweeney presents paintings in a most utilitarian form: The painting as an advertisement with a time and a price and a location. The event? A party. A reason to live. A reason to live in New York City. Hand made to be seen by millions, they are thrown out on the wires and the wireless to alert the party people of a reason to gather. These are paintings in drag, dressed to the nines as commerce. Ads for the weekend, disguised as Fine Art. Oil transfigured into ones and zeros. A party contained in a painting. Less oil, more dancing.
The Pharaoh’s Lounge is Sweeney’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery.
There’s a sauna and a hookah platform like a tree house in the exhibition.
620 Greenwich Street, New York
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“I wish people would go inside the sauna,” Mr. Sweeney said later.