On August 27th at 11pm I was lucky enough to participate my third Art Battle that took place at La Pouisson Rouge. (for more info on Art Battles or what an art battle is please go to artbattles.com ) I was super excited to be the ONLY WOMAN in the battle representing for the ladies. It was to be myself, Ben Angotti, Kevin Ragnott, and Leif McIlwaine. The the man with the master plan Sean Bono- art battles was his brainchild - called me and told me these people that Radar want to follow two of the artists the day of the show leading up to the battle to showcase on their webchannel. AND GUESS WHAT? I was one of the people they picked! Let me take this opportunity to share with u an excerpt from the ABOUT on their page: RADAR is a weekly, series produced by WBP LABS – a division of the Workbook Project. The series is a timely, insiders view into the cutting edge of storytelling and creativity, and the attendant tools, tech, models and community. RADAR highlights innovative projects and events across different creative disciplines, hangs with creators and founders, and digs deep into process, method and participation. For more about Radar and to see episodes go to www.radar.workbookproject.comSo the day of was pretty exciting and busy.
I spent the morning fretting about what I would be painting, and on and of the phone with the producers of Radar. The other artist was Leif and they went to tape him first in the morning and me in the afternoon since I told them I don't usually wake up until 1pm anyway. Being concerned about this distracted me from being nervous about totally fucking up my painting in front of the audience later that night. Im confident but as a live artist that is always even in the tiniestway a concern. They came and interviewed me and video taped me around the Lower East Side doing things like shopping and hanging with my drag queens. It's gonna be dope I cant wait to see how they chop it up and put it together. I think it will be episode 13.
Later that night I arrived at the space early at 9pm (call time was 930 I thought) Noone was there and we couldn't even go in the greenroom yet because the show before ours was still going on. So I shey-shaneyed down the stairs in my heels and false eyelashes carrying about 25 lbs of paint and brushes on my shoulder. OH I FORGOT TO TELL U WHAT I WAS WEARING!!! I wore a sparkly gold bodysuit from American Apparel with a black tight nit skirt over the bottom, snake skin zip up strappy heels by BCBG and a simple heart shaped periodot necklace with matching earings. My hair was swept up on the left side with a big sparkly flower and makeup was sharp. I was fierce. "At least Ill look good if I lose" I thought. And this thought brought me comfort lol. Get to the bar and I was so happy to see Miss Marthalicia Matarritamy muthafucking homegirl and the Fabulous Jess Kantor Art Battles pr woman extrordinaire sitting at the bar with a big smiles on thier face. It made me feel better. Martha's done more of these then I have and she's my best friend in the live art circle, truly a great artist and my sister, so I sat down ordered a glass of wine and started chatting.
The Battle FINALLY started at 11:30 (thanks for being late Leif) and there was a huge crowd. There was of course the thrill of hearing your name being called as you walk up to the blank canvas and stare at it like, "fuck now I really have to do something" but there is something exciting and addictive about that moment. After and hour and a half...which in my opinion was too long when u start so late but whatevs, my boy Ben Angotti won the battle (and it was well deserved) and won a studio space and show at the gallery Under Minerva in Brooklyn. I proceded to go out into the night and celebrate until the sun was rising. Good event.
Lexi Bella is an artist living in the Lower East Side of New York City. She's been painting for 25 years and received a B.F.A. from Rosemont College in 2003 and M.F.A. from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2006. She is part of the Younity Collective of Women's Artists, The Art Battles Live Painting Collective, and has painted live and exhibited with both. She has exhibited with Rickey Powell and Craig Wetherby in Miami for Miami Art Basel. She has also worked for Peter Blum gallery in SoHo and in June 2009 Assisted Hellenbeck Gallery from Nice, France put up the "Whole In The Wall" show, the largest street art exhibition ever in New York City. She frequently mixes her book smarts with street smarts to seek out the relevant things, events, and people in art fashion and music. She currently continues creating her work and running 47 Monroe Gallery Lofts.