In the endless exodus of Bushwick entities fleeing the neighborhood for either Los Angeles, Portlandia or Bed-Stuy, the latest example applying to the latter is beloved art gallery, and now bar, Secret Project Robot, making the foray into Bedford-Nostrand G territory.
The primary difference isn’t just that now the gallery is going to have a bar feel in the vein of Happy Fun Hideaway, but also that it’s rebranding to Public Project Human. According to the space’s new owner, Erika Stephanlopolitz, a 26-year-old from Asheville, North Carolina, “I think that the current era puts far too much emphasis on being an automaton anyway, and renaming the gallery to something a little more, well, human and approachable just seems like a good way to get the endeavor back on track.”
According to those who formerly displayed art or played shows at Secret Project Robot, the pressure to “be cool” because of being in Bushwick too often took precedence over the art itself. Collage artist Tabula Rasa commented, “It often felt like people who came to the gallery were just there for free wine and to geotag themselves on Instagram as being in Bushwick–even though you can do that regardless of where you are in the city. I don’t know, it all just smacked of stupidity and falsity. I’m really hoping that Public Project Human gets the artists’ work back on the right track with people actually focusing on the work and not the neighborhood. Plus, light snacks and non-alcoholic wine sound so much more sophisticated than the BYOB vibes of Secret Project Robot.”
Written by Genna Rivieccio