Refashioning Moda

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Fashion Moda’s founder Stefan Eins maintains that art “can happen anywhere and that it can be appreciated and made by people who are known and unknown, trained and untrained, rich and poor.”

REFASHIONING: MODA was a tribute exhibition (September 18 – 27, 2009) created by Bronx-based artist Hatuey Ramos-Fermín in response to an invitation to participate in “Avant-Guide to NYC: Discovering Absence,” a project curated by Sandra Skurvida at apexart (November 4 – December 19, 2009), which maps art environment of New York of the twentieth century by reconnecting historic sites to their present functions.

Fashion Moda was an influential art center in the South Bronx, active from 1978 to 1993. The present exhibition took place at the original first location of Fashion Moda, a storefront at 2803 Third Avenue, currently occupied by On Time Security Guard Training School. At the premises of the School, works by artists were displayed without interfering with its daily business, mixing the space’s past and present history at the same time. The artists originally involved with Fashion Moda — including Stefan Eins, Joe Lewis, John Ahearn, Lisa Kahane, and Miguelangel (Miky) Ruiz were presented along with contemporary artists from the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn and San Francisco — including Katherine Casado, Fannieka Dawkins, Lady K Fever, Edwin González, Pablo Guardiola, Libertad Guerra, Carmen Hernández, Alí Irizarry, Laura Napier, Haden Nicholl, Miryana Todorova, José Vargas, Ivan Velez Jr., Aaron Wojack, and Calder Zwicky — in accordance with the ideas of Fashion Moda of mixing geographies, artistic mediums, and generations.

The artist Stefan Eins, with Joe Lewis and William Scott, opened Fashion Moda in 1978. He defined it as “Museum of Science, Art, Invention, Technology and Fantasy.” During the fifteen years’ run, Fashion Moda held iconic group shows and events, such as “Spring Fever” in 1982, and propelled careers of many artists, including Sophie Calle, Crash, Daze, Richard Hambleton, Keith Haring, Jenny Holzer, Spank, David Wojnarowicz, and many others. It was where graffiti makers met painters, musicians, and poets — together, they blurred boundaries between “high” and “low,” art gallery and the street.

We wish to thank Stefan Eins and John Ahearn for their help with research for this exhibition. Special thanks to Mr. Craig Howard for permitting the use of his space.

Catalog from apexart exhibition:

Discovering absence