Met Picks: Visual Arts

Western Bridge gallery feeds your mind…and your stomach

By Laura Dannen November 13, 2009


A mother and her grown son stand side by side in the center of Western Bridge gallery, carefully taking turns tending to pots of black beans and rice, plantains in hot oil, and ground beef and potatoes on a skillet. The scent of Cuban comfort food wafts around the brightly lit, renovated warehouse; it’s such a stark contrast to the dreary industrial landscape just outside on 4th Avenue South, you lose yourself for a brief, happy moment as you tuck into your homemade meal.

I imagine that’s what the team at Western Bridge had in mind when they arranged this bit of “performance art” last night by Bert and Reneida Rodriguez. It’s an endearing scene, listening to the mother-son team toss directions at each other in Spanish – Reneida all the while stirring in high-heeled boots – as more than 50 people queue up to sample the food. Even though last night’s event was one-time only, it’s in keeping with the gallery’s current focus on family, exhibited in the series Parenthesis.

That two-story, freestanding wall over there? That’s Bert Rodriguez’s A Wall I Built with My Father. The video installation upstairs, Stealing Beauty, features Israeli artist Guy Ben-Ner, his wife and two children creating a “home” in Ikeas around the world to hilarious effect. It’s hard not to laugh when Ben-Ner explains to his eldest daughter why mom isn’t his property, as his youngest pretends to wash dishes in sink.

Though Western Bridge deals more in concept art than visual art, it seems to do so with a good sense of humor, and Parenthesis is no exception. The group exhibit runs through December 19. (And if you’re now craving Cuban food, try Paseo.)

Click here for more family-oriented Met Picks, and here for our weekend Music picks.

Filed under
Show Comments