Whitehot Magazine

It Is All About WATER

 The Storefront. Photo: Cary Whittier.


Elizabeth Fiore and Melissa Feldman curate a group exhibition at Feldman's new space called The Storefront in Bellport, NY.
By JAMES SALOMON October 17, 2020

Know anything about Bellport?

Me neither.

I grew up in Westhampton (Remsenburg to be precise), and the closest that I ever came to Bellport was when my father would take me to Mastic Seafood, a salt of the earth place where fish is the freshest.

So what's with Bellport? I don't know, but figure if it's good enough for Anna Wintour, the late Si Newhouse, Isabella Rosellini, and a host of other art and literary types, I should be checking it out.

Social media tells me that my old pal Elizabeth Fiore is curating a show there. Then I remember I have a family friend named Beverly Allan who lives nearby. She's currently painting quirky roadside signs to subvert our current president before the election. Sounds like a trip worth taking. To make things more interesting, Beverly is neighbors with Bob Morris, a NYT columnist. So I call up Beverly to set up a lunch and, shit, let's do this.

At the meal, we dove deep into conversation and storytelling, and I for one am glad that happened. Bob then offered to take me on a bike ride while Beverly got into her yoga thing. Perfect. We put his Dachsund named Zoloft into a wicker basket, and off we went.


         Bob Morris with Zoloft.
      Photo: James Salomon

It was a lovely ride on a lovely day. Bob took me down to the Great South Bay while passing by dozens of homemade anti-45 type signs that give me a glimmer of hope. When it was all done we bid farewell and I sped away, by car, to see Elizabeth's show based on... Water.

The Storefront rests in the middle of this charming village. Mask on, I meet the owner and co-curator, Melissa Feldman. The space is cool and chic with art, books, jewelry, clothing, baked goods, a place to sit. Something for everyone. The wall label details tell me that several distinguished NYC galleries have agreed to consign, so I see that relations are off to a good start. Melissa was an event producer in the art world who took a break from that, for obvious reasons. 

I enjoyed both the visit and the show, and will certainly find my way back to The Storefront in due time. If I were to single any of the pieces out, it would be a Sean Mellyn drawing of a snowman at sea rowing towards the horizon. I can't help but think of our current President and where he is rowing to, what "winning" means, and how long before he melts away.

Winning by Sean Mellyn

I'll leave you off with one of my favorite quotes on Elizabeth and Melissa's chosen subject. I wouldn't think it has ever been put in an art context, though you never know.


Be like water making its way through cracks. 
Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, 
and you shall find a way around or through it. 
If nothing within you stays rigid, 
outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. 
Shapeless, like water. 
If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. 
You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle.
You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. 
Now, water can flow or it can crash. 
Be water, my friend.

- Bruce Lee, 1971 

 Atlantic Ocean by Renate Aller


Weathering by Wolfgang Tillmans


Diver Red Blue Suit by Katherine Bradford


 Untitled by Elliot Puckette


Timeline by Janaina Tschäpe


Untitled by Roland Flexner


 Rite of Passage 1 by Malcolm Morley


Constructed Waves by Agnes Barley


By Boat by Donna Moylan


 I Am Water by Don Eddy


 Untitled by Adam Fuss


Island by Isca Greenfield-Sanders


 The West by Jack Pierson


Bread and Butter Cove by Scott Reeder


Weighing the Ocean by April Gornik


Ali Underwater by Flip Schulke


 Seascape by Thiago Rocha Pitta


Haleiwa by Val Valentine



Be water, my friend.
Elizabeth Fiore portrait
by James Salomon 


It Is All About WATER will be on view through November 7, 2020.

For more information, please visit

or www.elizabethfiore.com


James Salomon

is the Director of Design Projects at Achille Salvagni Atelier in New York. He occasionally writes and takes pictures for various art, design, and lifestyle publications.


Photo: Lori Hawkins


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