Date: Sunday, September 24th /// 7pm-9pm

Con Artist Collective is proud to host the NYC premieres of "The Empty Handed Painter" and "Reading Lips" for the latest installation of Sunday School, a series of artist-led meet-ups, workshops, and screenings at the Collective's Lower East Side gallery space. Laura Fay Lewis –– director of "The Empty Handed Painter" and star of "Reading Lips" –– will host these two unique premieres.

Based on true events, "The Empty Handed Painter" follows Tony Masaccio, the working-class son of an Italian gangster, from his mentorship under New York legends like Pollock, Rothko, and de Kooning in the 1970s to his discovery of his rare talent for art forgery. The film chronicles Masaccio's dark journey into the world of contemporary art fraud, as he flies closer to the sun selling impeccable forgeries of million-dollar masterpieces, all while on the run from lawyers, gallery owners, and drug dealers from his past. Featuring interviews with the real Masaccio, we see the troubled genius hurry to escape the cage he has built for himself, repent for his sins, and despereately seek out a second chance at life.

The first screening will be followed by a second premiere, "Reading Lips" directed by Lawrence Weiner and starring Laura Fay Lewis. A mashup of visual, text, and performative art featuring a high degree of collaboration from actors and directors, this unique film is not to be missed!




Date: Sunday, November 12th /// 7pm-9pm

Con Artist Collective is proud to host John Milisenda's talk on Eugene Smith "The Concerned Photographer" and latest installation of Sunday School, a series of artist-led meet-ups, workshops, and screenings at the Collective's Lower East Side gallery space.

During the 1940’s and 1950’s W. Eugene Smith produced photographic essays for Life Magazine. Smith covered battles in the Pacific during WWII; the devastation, carnage and brutality affected him deeply. He experienced a metanoia, a spiritual awakening that changed him and resulted in his seeing the world differently. He sought truth in his photography - his essays considered to be the highest quality photo journalism, used as a standard to judge others’ work. Smith was looked upon as a hero. Over the years critics have denigrated Smith’s work calling it propaganda and stating that his images-were set up and dishonest, questioning his motives and integrity. At what point does society turn a seeker of truth into a propagandist?

John Milisenda’s photograhy has appeared in over 150 shows and many publications including Smithsonian and the New York Times. His work is in the permanent collections on Brooklyn Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art and Bibliotheque Nationale. He has taught basic photography,The Zone sytem and Photographic chemistry at Drexel University, The New School, and Parson’s School of Design. He is currently working on a photography book of his family, a cross section of 50 years of work.