Handle with Care,

Special Special

Current Exhibition

November 9, 2018

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Special Special presents Handle with Care, our 2018 holiday shop concept featuring a curated selection of art and living editions for your holiday gift giving. All delicately (and creatively) wrapped in our 2018 Special Special Edition Gift Wrap, the space...

Special Special presents Handle with Care, our 2018 holiday shop concept featuring a curated selection of art and living editions for your holiday gift giving. All delicately (and creatively) wrapped in our 2018 Special Special Edition Gift Wrap, the space has been transformed into a playful, dynamic guessing game of unusual shapes and functions. You will be sure to find something for the one that has almost everything!

In addition to our Special Special editions, we’ve curated a few of our favorite gifts from design brands such as Open Editions, Fredericks and Mae, and This That.

Fur East Far Tokyo,

Sebastian Masuda

Past Exhibition

September 7–October 31, 2018

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Special Special presents Fur East Far Tokyo, featuring Japanese artist Sebastian Masuda. Fake fur is a material often used by Masuda to prompt an awakening of the senses through layers of vivid color and soft textures. While initially simulating real fur...

Special Special presents Fur East Far Tokyo, featuring Japanese artist Sebastian Masuda. Fake fur is a material often used by Masuda to prompt an awakening of the senses through layers of vivid color and soft textures. While initially simulating real fur through mimicry, faux fur has developed into something uniquely its own, incorporating colors and patterns that do not exist in nature. It is now accepted as something separate from its initial intention and has become real in its own right. As use of fake fur has progressively spread throughout the world, like the birth of a new culture, it is hard to determine where the old ends and the new begins. 

Masuda searched throughout Asia to select the best fake furs for wearable artwork, to design in his Tokyo studio and brought to New York. Inspired by a conversation with Special Special's Director Wen-You Cai, to make artworks more accessible to the public, Sebastian was motivated to release wearable art into the world, to continue the spread of Kawaii Culture.

The collaboration  between Special Special and Sebastian Masuda features shirts and bags designed by the artist, as well as workshops inviting the public to participate by utilizing collection of exhibited fake furs to create new editions of featured products.

Sebastian Masuda is an artist known for his role in expanding Harajuku Style and a key figure in developing the Kawaii Culture. In 1995, Masuda opened his iconic 6% Doki Doki store in Harajuku and has since gone on to open Kawaii Monster Cafe in Shibuya.

SPF: Overflow,

Curated by John Belknap

Past Exhibition

August 10–26, 2018

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Easily contained in letters and sound, overflow is ‘language contraband’ guiding as it deceives. It escapes the conditions of its term by a commitment to movement and fluidity. Overflow’s eddying indeterminacy is a reminder that tools like language and the body...

Easily contained in letters and sound, overflow is language contraband guiding as it deceives. It escapes the conditions of its term by a commitment to movement and fluidity. Overflow’s eddying indeterminacy is a reminder that tools like language and the body regularly fail us. ‘Art won’t save us,’ either.

Overflow is a group show that will flood the gallery space with artworks and artist paraphernalia surveying the myriad ways we play in order to stay afloat. The show will conceptually revolve around a vessel, with artworks, tools, toys, merchandise, and design works spilling out of the receptacle and onto the walls, floors, and ceiling of the gallery space and storefront. By cruising forward, the artists in Overflow map alternative routes to navigate the high seas.

Dana Davenport, Leah Dixon, Sujung Chang, Ian Faden, Tallulah Hood, Khari Johnson-Ricks, and David Kirshoff stage playful interventions. E. Winslow Funaki, Bianca Kann, and Tristan Scow hi-jack the aesthetics and craft of ‘cuteness.’ Patrick Carlin Mohundro, David Chan, Luba Drozd, Jackson Hallberg, Emily Janowick, and Grace Linderholm document the quotidian. Ginssiyo Apara, Sam Cockrell, Umber Majeed, Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin, Buzz Slutzky, and Ondine Viñao re-contextualize ephemera from days long past. 

SPF: Hibiscus,

Benjamin Langford

Past Exhibition

August 2–26, 2018

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Special Special invites New York based photographer Benjamin Langford to collaborate on a Special Special Edition Hawaiian shirt as well as a site-specific installation of his tantalizingly beautiful and surreal flower sculptures. In the artist’s own words, these photographic canvas sculptures...

Special Special invites New York based photographer Benjamin Langford to collaborate on a Special Special Edition Hawaiian shirt as well as a site-specific installation of his tantalizingly beautiful and surreal flower sculptures. In the artist’s own words, these photographic canvas sculptures “draw attention to photograph’s ability to convincingly create the illusion of space, texture, and material qualities.” The effects of trompe l’oeil allow the viewers to compare the qualities of photography to sculpture in terms of their differing dimensionality, fragility, and flexibility.

Special Special Edition No. 24, Hibiscus, is a Hawaiian Shirt collaboration with Benjamin Langford. This limited Edition of 50, with digital prints of hibiscus flowers can be subsequently dyed in a bath of hibiscus flower, allowing traces of the flower to envelop their printed representations.

Langford’s work pertains to contemporary representations of nature and the hyperreal. He uses technology as a tool to bring people closer with nature through increasingly vivid modes of representation, while distorting the human appreciation for nature in an unmediated state. Using large-scale digital prints on canvas to create large-scale illusionistic flowers that hang flaccidly off the wall or droop across the floor, the work brings seductive and hallucinogenic qualities of images to attention by reversing the way photographs are ordinarily perceived: not as windows to be looked through but simulacra that seemingly extends beyond their real dimensions.

Benjamin Langford (b. 1992, Connecticut) received a BFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2014. He grew up in London, and went to High School in Singapore and Connecticut. His work has been exhibited at Zaha Hadid West 28th, PPOW, MX, and Project:Artspace. He has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar Korea, Bullett Magazine, Wallpaper, Dis Magazine, You-Do-You, and Editorial Magazine.

Hibiscus is part of SPF, our first group show transforming the living room storefront into a swimming pool. SPF is a metaphor of the Special Special logo, a blue oval that is the pool of water to be submerged for creative dialogues. A fluid arrangement of various artist projects evoking the spirit of a poolside retreat, offering New Yorkers a refuge from the sweltering heat. Interspersed throughout the months of May through August, each highlighted project, workshop, and event opened with a Pool Party.”

Participating artists in SPF includes Lu Zhang, Aria McManus, Ben Langford, and an “Overflow” curation by John Belknap.

SPF: Towelkini,

Aria McManus

Past Exhibition

July 19–August 26, 2018

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Melding the two essentials for all things beach, no need to carry a cumbersome towel and an easy to lose swimsuit — here they come as one, materialized as ideal. Keep the baes at bay, have all your haters throw...

Melding the two essentials for all things beach, no need to carry a cumbersome towel and an easy to lose swimsuit — here they come as one, materialized as ideal. Keep the baes at bay, have all your haters throw in the towel when they lay eyes on you in this. Put the OW in towel, make them wish they were the sun of your beach. Follow suit, make this the one piece you get laid on the beach in.

Special Special Edition No. 23, Towelkini, is an art edition of 42, in Athletic Gold and Hot Pink, serves all purposes for the summertime for $199.00.

Aria McManus (b. 1989, St. Paul, MN) is an artist based in New York City. Her work has been exhibited in various solo and group shows, including at 99 Cent Gallery, Fisher Parrish, Muddgutts, the New Museum (all New York), AA|LA, Ed Varie (Los Angeles), Sunset Drive Gallery (Miami), and Biennale Internationale Design (Saint-Etienne, France). Aria is a founding member of Auto Body, a curatorial collective based in Bellport, Long Island.

Towelkini is part of SPF, our first group show transforming the living room storefront into a swimming pool. SPF is a metaphor of the Special Special logo, a blue oval that is the pool of water to be submerged for creative dialogues. A fluid arrangement of various artist projects evoking the spirit of a poolside retreat, offering New Yorkers a refuge from the sweltering heat. Interspersed throughout the months of May through August, each highlighted project, workshop, and event opened with a "Pool Party." 

Participating artists in SPF includes Lu Zhang, Aria McManus, Ben Langford, and an “Overflow” curation by John Belknap.

SPF: It Takes 11 Years Practice to be at the Same Pool,

Lu Zhang

Past Exhibition

May 30–July 31, 2018

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“It Takes 11 Years Practice to be at the Same Pool,” or “Pool Date” is a dating experience and installation in Special Special’s summer group show, SPF. For each Pool Date, two participants who sign up for the same time slot meet...

It Takes 11 Years Practice to be at the Same Pool, or Pool Date is a dating experience and installation in Special Special’s summer group show, SPF. For each Pool Date, two participants who sign up for the same time slot meet at a pool installation with allusions to secluded suburban backyards, high-rise rooftops, and urban public pools. Kick off your date by choosing one of seven classic mock-tail drinks, served in a hand-made larger-than-life ceramic cocktail vessel from the Special Special bar. Each date lasts one hour.

Inspired by the Chinese proverb 十年修得同船渡 which translates to “It takes ten years practice to be on the same boat,” the Boat Date becomes a Pool Date when It Takes 11 Years Practice to be at the Same Pool (十一年修得同池渡). This project is built on the concept of yuánfèn where one’s good deeds from past lives will lead to the “fateful coincidence” of those you meet in this life, whether as friends, lovers, or acquaintances.

Everyone has different associations with the pool. For some it is where best summer memories of their backyard pools are formed, for others it is reminiscent of an era where pools were inaccessible to some. In New York City, pool culture implies the exclusivity of private pools or the crowded waters of public swimming pools. Pool date is an imagined space that brings two people together to have meandering conversations around memories of swimming pools, summer romances, and childhood dreams. Along with Special Special, Pool Date intends to create openness, patience and appreciation of the moments when two people encounter each other at our imagined city pool.

Pool Date is a project by Wildman Clab in collaboration with Special Special. Since 2017, Wildman Clab, created by Lu Zhang, is a lab/club to research and prove the existence of primitive individuals. By providing activities and experiences within specific environments, WC explores the unknown and unexplainable part of human relationships. Wildman Clab has previously created social encounters through mobile karaoke at Columbus Park, Chinatown, NY; and in Boat Date at NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, NY.

“It Takes 11 Years Practice to be at the Same Pool is part of SPF, our first group show transforming the living room storefront into a swimming pool. SPF is a metaphor of the Special Special logo, a blue oval that is the pool of water to be submerged for creative dialogues. A fluid arrangement of various artist projects evoking the spirit of a poolside retreat, offering New Yorkers a refuge from the sweltering heat. Interspersed throughout the months of May through August, each highlighted project, workshop, and event opened with a Pool Party.”

Participating artists in SPF includes Lu Zhang, Aria McManus, Ben Langford, and an “Overflow” curation by John Belknap.

Bolts,

Oona Brangam-Snell

Past Exhibition

February 23–April 8, 2018

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Special Special presents BOLTS by Oona Brangam-Snell, a set of blankets featuring contemporary interpretations of classical painting motifs. BOLTS (a unit of measurement for fabric) consists of five original blankets by Brangam-Snell designed over the course of the past year....

Special Special presents BOLTS by Oona Brangam-Snell, a set of blankets featuring contemporary interpretations of classical painting motifs. BOLTS (a unit of measurement for fabric) consists of five original blankets by Brangam-Snell designed over the course of the past year. In addition, a sixth blanket designed in collaboration with Special Special in limited edition, depicts a night sky with creatures surrounding an oval oculus, looking onward to the universe in contemplation and wanderlust. Tapestries have traditionally hung in peoples’ homes as insulation and decoration. With BOLTS we offer a modern interpretation in the form of blankets that can embellish our living spaces, warm us through the chills of winter and blasts of air conditioning in summer, and even provide us with comfortable seating for convivial springtime picnics.

The BOLTS blankets use traditional images: monarchs in profile, bouquets of fruit and wine, nudes with livestock, enchanted landscapes, all liberated by synthetic colors and kinetic forms that would have been beyond the reach of the handlooms of the past. The quoted artworks, no longer ecclesiastically enshrined, present themselves as intimate companions, in the guise of blankets. The creatures and characters that populate these textiles are freed of the authority they used to embody. But they still remind us, in an era defined by the ascendancy of invisible forces, that sight comes before words and that we never lose our primal desire for beauty, food, nature and ornament.

Oona Brangam-Snell is a New York based textile artist whose work highlights the enduring power of traditional symbols and the emerging power of contemporary iconography, in an era defined by the digitization of fabric production. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Brangam-Snell is influenced by centuries of textile production, from medieval tapestries to theater curtains. She works as a fabric designer for the textile firm Maharam.

Her work has been in group shows, including exhibitions at Woods Gerry in Providence; The (Hot) Pink Salon in the West Village; and the Paisley Exhibit curated by artist Peter Hristoff at the School of Visual Arts. She has carried out a number of private commissions in New York and Toronto, and most recently completed a mural for Dewey Dufresne’s new shop, Byggyz, on the Lower East Side. This is Brangam-Snell’s first solo exhibition.

Flower Arrangement Workshop,

Special Special

Past Exhibition

February 13, 2017

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A Pre-Valentine's Day workshop for participants to create a personalize flower arrangement with local, and seasonal flower for someone Special Special. The workshop was co-hosted by flower specialist Mackenzie Younger with aesthetic demonstrations from K Bao Luu, complete with an art school critique at the end. 

A Pre-Valentine's Day workshop for participants to create a personalize flower arrangement with local, and seasonal flower for someone Special Special. The workshop was co-hosted by flower specialist Mackenzie Younger with aesthetic demonstrations from K Bao Luu, complete with an art school critique at the end. 

Lu Yang Asia Character Setting Show,

Lu Yang

Past Exhibition

November 10–24, 2017

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For the Inaugural Creative China Festival, Special Special in collaboration with Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation (BCAF) presents LUYANG Asia Character Setting Show. Featuring edgy garment design and contemporary Chinese media art by the acclaimed contemporary artist and designer Lu Yang.  Lu’s...

For the Inaugural Creative China Festival, Special Special in collaboration with Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation (BCAF) presents LUYANG Asia Character Setting Show. Featuring edgy garment design and contemporary Chinese media art by the acclaimed contemporary artist and designer Lu Yang. 

Lu’s video and new media art merges science, computer programming, and digital imaging technologies (e.g. infrared camera image and X-ray), with moving image and various types of new media. Her fashion design, which is part of her own label: Lu Yang Asia, is deeply rooted in the context of anime, gaming, and sci-fi subcultures. As well as exploring complex issues such as mortality, mental illness, neuroscience, religion, and sexuality.

Presented as part of the Creative China Festival, this presentation of Lu Yang’s new media art and fashion designs offers an insight into the current trends of contemporary Chinese art and fashion exploring elements of edgy, urban and anime-inspired culture.

Lu Yang (b.1984) is a Shanghai-based multi-media artist who creates fantastical, often morbid visions of death, mental illness, and neurological constructs of both real lifeforms and deities. Her work is deeply immersed in the subcultures of anime, video games, and sci-fi. Lu Yang earned two degrees from the new media art department of the China Academy of Arts. Her work has been presented both in China and abroad, including USA, Japan, Germany, Denmark, UK, Turkey, Canada, Russia, and Australia. In 2015, her work was presented in the China Pavilion of the 2015 Venice Biennale.

Moon Baby Boo!,

K Bao Luu and Seokhoon Choi

Past Exhibition

October 13–November 1, 2017

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Special Special presents Moon Baby Boo! A Halloween ensemble starring: Ghost, Angel, Skull, and Pumpkin (GASP!). Fashioned in Tyvek by K Bao Luu, designed with Seokhoon Choi. Wear white or give color. Write onto them love poems or hexes. Paint the town...

Special Special presents Moon Baby Boo! A Halloween ensemble starring: Ghost, Angel, Skull, and Pumpkin (GASP!).

Fashioned in Tyvek by K Bao Luu, designed with Seokhoon Choi. Wear white or give color. Write onto them love poems or hexes. Paint the town red. Moon Baby is the oeuvre of K Bao Luu—a collection of objects that read as lyrics, fashioning clothes of tomorrow.

Exhibition Duration: October 13 (friday) – November 1, 2017. Each costume was made in our backroom by K Bao Luu, in an edition of 4. Editorial photographs by Wen-You Cai. 

Jackets,

Mackenzie Younger

Past Exhibition

September 18–October 12, 2017

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Special Special presents Mackenzie Younger's Jackets. Inspired by NASCAR racing jackets and the streetwear fashion of Younger’s youth, the Jackets are both sensational and critical, addressing ideas around mimicry, recognition, the art world, and commodification. The exhibition at Special Special...

Special Special presents Mackenzie Younger's Jackets.

Inspired by NASCAR racing jackets and the streetwear fashion of Younger’s youth, the Jackets are both sensational and critical, addressing ideas around mimicry, recognition, the art world, and commodification.

The exhibition at Special Special presents the Jackets in the context of a gallery concept store and will feature a new edition of 100 satin green and black Jackets; the eight original unique Jackets, which hang over paintings; all within a site-specific installation involving garden plants native to New York and live butterflies hatched onsite.

Younger’s custom garments, emblazoned with iconic art world logos, is made available for collection and presented outside of a performance. Throughout 2017, the Jackets have appeared and participated in happenings at The Armory Show in New York and at Art Basel Hong Kong, among other venues.

Mackenzie Younger (b. 1990 NYC) received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. Younger exhibited with A+E Studios in NYC, 2015, and the Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA, 2016, and contributed to auctions at the Emily Harvey Foundation and Paddle8. Professionally, Younger runs the company Native NY Gardens, which specializes in insect and native plant ecology.

Ripple Scribble,

Michele Xiayun Fan

Past Exhibition

July 20–August 20, 2017

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Ripple Scribble is a reflection on the moment when a stone is thrown into water. A small action can cause unexpectedly large effects—as an old Chinese saying goes, “one stone can create thousands of waves.” For this exhibition at Special...

Ripple Scribble is a reflection on the moment when a stone is thrown into water. A small action can cause unexpectedly large effects—as an old Chinese saying goes, “one stone can create thousands of waves.” For this exhibition at Special Special, we present ephemeral landscapes of ceramic tableware.

Each piece begins with a slab of clay that is hand-shaped by the artist. The glaze is poured onto each piece and shifted around in uneven layers, creating varying densities of color on the surface. This process renders each piece consistently unique. Every piece is coated with food-safe glaze and fired at 2232°F.

Michele Xiaoyun Fan is a ceramic artist based in New York. Inspired by the history of the medium that dates back thousands of years, she explores the infinite possibilities of ceramic through color and form. In 2015, she started her ceramic studio Atelier F.

Fan obtained her Master’s degree in Western Modern Art History from Christie’s Education in New York and studied photography at Syracuse University. She has worked at major art organizations, such as Cai Guo-Qiang’s studio and Christie’s Auction House.

Bathroom Interiors,

John Belknap

Past Exhibition

April 27–June 30, 2017

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Special Special presents John Belknap’s first solo exhibition, Bathroom Interiors. Bathroom Interiors is a harmonious dialogue between the architectural interior of Special Special and Belknap's playful and contemplative re-imagining of intimate spaces. This show presents unique collages, GIFs, and exclusively produced...

Special Special presents John Belknap’s first solo exhibition, Bathroom Interiors. Bathroom Interiors is a harmonious dialogue between the architectural interior of Special Special and Belknap's playful and contemplative re-imagining of intimate spaces. This show presents unique collages, GIFs, and exclusively produced editions of shower curtains and postcard.

John Belknap (b. 1993 in Detroit, Michigan) is an interdisciplinary artist and designer based in New York. His work explores ideas of space, identity, displacement, and longing, through pen drawings, photography, collage, and animated GIFs. John graduated from NYU's Gallatin School where he concentrated in queer theory, art history and criticism.

 

Press: Art F City: See This Tonight: John Belknap’s Bathroom Interiors

Rooster New Year,

Chandra Bocci

Past Exhibition

February 2–March 6, 2017

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Special Special commissioned artist Chandra Bocci to create an original diorama for Chinese New Year. In honor of the year of rooster, Bocci creates a miniature world at Special Special in the artist's imaginative sensibilities and interpretations, with ready-mades.

Special Special commissioned artist Chandra Bocci to create an original diorama for Chinese New Year. In honor of the year of rooster, Bocci creates a miniature world at Special Special in the artist's imaginative sensibilities and interpretations, with ready-mades.

Twist Tie Ring Launch,

E for Effort

Past Exhibition

December 13, 2016

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Special Special hosts our friends E for Effort on their launch of Twist Tie rings, featuring miniature dioramas by Chandra Bocci, as backdrop for posing with ringed fingers.  A Special Special Edition Twist Tie Ring was subsequently produced in the color blue.  E...

Special Special hosts our friends E for Effort on their launch of Twist Tie rings, featuring miniature dioramas by Chandra Bocci, as backdrop for posing with ringed fingers. 

A Special Special Edition Twist Tie Ring was subsequently produced in the color blue. 

E for Effort is a New York based design brand started by Beka Goedde and Rachel Ostrow. Inspired by Annie Albers and Bauhaus design, puns, paper, and packing materials, E for Effort’s products transformed the everyday into wearable fashion.

Sky Ladder Premiere,

Cai Guo-Qiang

Past Exhibition

October 13, 2016

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For the soft opening of Special Special, in conjunction with the documentary release of Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai-Guo-Qiang, Special Special presents art editions and merchandise by Cai Guo-Qiang.

For the soft opening of Special Special, in conjunction with the documentary release of Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai-Guo-Qiang, Special Special presents art editions and merchandise by Cai Guo-Qiang.