In a new exhibition entitled “Midtown”, The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts’ EFA Studio program presents work by member artists Fanny Allié, Rhona Bitner, Liselot van der Heijden, Akira Ikezoe, Tamiko Kawata, Yongjae Kim, and Javier Romero.

Tony by Yongjae Kim.

“Midtown Manhattan is many things to many people. It is a dense zone of glass and brick, grimier and grittier than most parts of the city, but full of heaving life,” says the EFA Studio website. “Often unloved and entered begrudgingly by natives, Midtown is where this group of artists work and take inspiration. Whether exploring the indifference and liberation of the transient city, collecting materials, or responding formally or intellectually to locale, these artists show what might be unseen and unappreciated.”

There’s an Edward Hopper feel to the photorealistic paintings of Yongjae Kim, who views city life through glass, capturing subway riders and fast food patrons through windows and offering a tantalising glimpse of someone else’s world. In contrast, Akira Ikezoe’s “Coconut Heads” playfully explore a fanciful life born out of the artist’s imagination.

Coconut Heads Invented Giraffe Ramen by Akira Ikezoe.

Tamiko Katawa’s colorful, site-specific installation is created from old pantyhose, donated to the artist by fellow EFA Studio Member artist Jenette May after Jenette’s mother moved into a Chicago nursing home — and it strives to capture an essence of Broadway, while the work of Liselot van der Heijden deals with the indifference and liberating anonymity of the city.

EFA, on W39th Street between 8/9th Avenue, is currently closed due to Covid-19. Midtown runs from February 17 until May 7, with a virtual opening on Zoom on February 25 at 6pm. Register here. You can take a peek and get more information on their website.

Urban Characters by Fannie Allié

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