2017-18 Season Artist Feature


On a balmy Bushwick evening two weeks before Ghetto Hors D’oeuvres: Climate, we found Modesto Flako Jimenez loading up supplies in the Starr’s dressing room, playing a Rick Ross track from the speakers on his cell phone and wearing Vans with the Peanuts character Woodstock on them. He was moving boxes filled with spray paint, permanent markers, spools of string, beads, paper, and at least three t-shirts with a zombie John Lennon on them. “The main show is rappers and poets coming together to create an ode to a theme,” he said. This year, that theme is climate. “Not everything needs to be climate in the sense of climate change; it might be the climate of a relationship. They use a lot of wordplay. These people are poets, they’re rappers. They took it to levels that I wasn’t expecting.” In addition to the main show (which features, Flako tells us, lights made out of falafel buckets), events running throughout the day will transform the center of Maria Hernandez Park into an all-out festival, with artists like Alex Guyon, who’ll be running a custom t-shirt making table (and, rumor has it, was also once Flako’s downstairs neighbor), and multi-genre band Break Out The Crazy. In an ongoing partnership with the Starr, The Mayor’s Office is supporting this annual summer programming in the park through their "Broadway in the Boros" initiative. “That money has let me build something where the community can all have some fun and not think about a dollar — for at least that one moment, on that one Sunday,” says Flako. As for the event at large? “Everything addresses Brooklyn,” Flako postulates. “What else can I say about this? Man, come on. What else can I say, brah? It's life.”


Sue Kessler