Review of Charly Himmel’s thesis Exhibit in The Kingsman

Rachel Silberstein posted: "By Kevin Anglade On Tuesday evening of March 19, the 5th Floor Boylan Hall Gallery hosted the opening reception for “Teen Slime,” the BFA Thesis show by Brooklyn College senior creative writing and art double BFA (and Editor-in-Chief of this publicati"
New post on The Kingsman

TEEN SLIME: The BFA Thesis Exhibit of Charly Himmel <>
by Rachel Silberstein <>
By Kevin Anglade


Photo by Alexander Nixon.
On Tuesday evening of March 19, the 5th Floor Boylan Hall Gallery hosted the opening reception for “Teen Slime,” the BFA Thesis show by Brooklyn College senior creative writing and art double BFA (and Editor-in-Chief of this publication), Charly Himmel. There was a great turn out. Many students were friends of Charly’s who came to support her creativity and artistic expressions.
Himmel’s pieces were not strictly sculpted, as the gallery itself contained two small booths hidden behind white curtains that each accommodated one television monitor.
One booth displayed a montage of ‘90s sports riots, pizza commercials and marijuana rights festivals. The background music was provided by Himmel herself, who sang vocals while providing the instrumentation. The second booth opposite contained another monitor which showed Himmel partaking in random acts such as riding coin-operated toy machines and eating chicken in fast food joints while wearing a hot dog suit.
Mick Lis, a BC junior majoring in political science said, “I cannot put it into words. It’s more like emotion. When I read the description of the [show], I definitely went back to my childhood and the things that were happening at the time.”
Margie Sarsfield, a recent Brooklyn College graduate, felt as if the entire presentation represented an era that she was a part of.
“I feel as if Charly Himmel’s work really captures the experience of a sort of generation that grew up in between the excess of the 80’s and the decline of the 2000’s such as the economic decay and social decay,” Sarsfield said. “Her work also has a sci-fi element to it. I think it is really fascinating and I can tell that a lot of her work took a lot of time.”
Professor Adam Thompson, one of Himmel’s instructors, said, “I think she uses a specific color palette alluding to the 80’s, such as the neon. I feel as if a lot the energy of the work derives from that tension between being attracted to it, repulsed by it, having nostalgic associations with it given its historical reference and also it being trashy and throwaway at the same time.”
Also in attendance that evening was Alexander Nixon, the Managing Arts Editor of the Kingsman and a good friend of Himmel’s. Alexander shared his thoughts by saying, “She takes the fleshy textures that make you want to touch it, to eat it….it is colorful yet creepy… so primal, yet so pop.”
No one was probably more thrilled than Roxanne Himmel, Charly’s mother, who stated,“I think Charly’s variation of color and medium have really interested a lot of the people who aren’t familiar with unique [media]. It’s all very interesting and her colors are fabulous.”
After the opening reception’s conclusion, Himmel shared her thoughts about the show.
“Putting together a solo thesis show is pretty intimidating. In the spirit of DIY (Do it Yourself) or outsider art, I had participated in various group shows with friends in the past, but this was different. If it weren’t for the invaluable help of my amazing family, friends, professors, and fellow BFA candidates, I surely could not have done it. I had no gallery or supporting venue to back me. That meant curatorial decisions, event plans and financial provisions were all up to me. Besides the actual logistics of the show, I had to fill the space with work that I felt was worthy of display.”
“This provided a whole other set of challenges, as the BFA thesis program, a relatively new development in the art department, requires you to produce a cohesive body of work. There were a few pieces which I was hesitant to add to the show because I didn’t feel they were complete. I ended up throwing them in anyway. That gave me some anxiety but nobody seemed the wiser. There were other things I would have done with respect to presentation which time and resources prevented me from doing.”
Himmel is currently finishing her last semester at Brooklyn College.
“I want people to leave my show feeling like they were exposed to radioactive Mutagen Ooze in a Squishee-induced sugar coma, or like they sat too close to the TV and got just what their parents warned them about,” she said.

Rachel Silberstein <> | April 10, 2013 at 10:05 am | Tags: Kevin Anglade Charly Himmel Brooklyn College BFA Open Stidios Teen Slime Alexander Nixon <> | Categories: Front Page <> | URL:
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