One way you might have commemorated the hundred and fourth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic was to have attended the opening of “The Titanic,” an exhibition of drawings at the Sweet Lorraine Gallery, a small exhibition space on the third floor of Treasure Island Storage, a self-storage facility in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The opening was held on a Saturday afternoon two weeks before the official anniversary of the unsinkable ocean liner’s sinking, in 1912, partly due to the gallery’s schedule, and partly due to the requirements of the artist, whose parents preferred the opening not be on a school night, since the artist is ten. “I know it was on April 14th or April 15th, I forget which,” the artist said, of the disaster at sea.
The artist is Nico Jaimes; he goes by the name Nico and signs his work Nico J. On exhibit were twenty-four ink drawings of the sinking Titanic, done on sometimes crumpled paper; a large acrylic canvas depicting the ship, pre-iceberg (“I painted that like last week,” he said); and a sculpture made of cardboard, and Scotch and duct tape (“That was probably my first one”). A stop-action film playing on a laptop featured sets made with cut paper, cotton, and colored pencils, and it incorporated the sounds of screams and metal scraping—after bathtub sounds recorded by the artist himself were misplaced at the last minute.
“These are just some of his Titanic drawings,” said his father, Alejandro, who goes by Alex. Alex is an engineer specializing in machine learning, and has one of the art studios on Treasure Island’s third floor. The show came about when Alex submitted one of Nico’s drawings last summer for a group show featuring the children of artists at Treasure Island’s studio spaces. The gallery director, Chris Lucius, was amazed and asked if there were more. “There are like a hundred,” Alex told him. Alex’s first thought was to fill the room with drawings. “Then Nico wanted them to be framed,” he said. “So we bought frames. He picked them all out. He does everything. I’m like his assistant.”
Nico arrived a few minutes before the three-o’clock start, wearing a long-sleeve black polo shirt, jeans, and black sneakers, as well as his parka with the hood pulled up, not so much as a fashion statement as a way of dealing with first art-opening nerves. His mother, Johanna Bailey, helped him off with his coat. His younger brother, Luca, stood still for a moment in the center of the gallery and then took off down the halls to play. In attendance were a grandmother, a great aunt, numerous friends and family members, and artists from the studio spaces on the floor. A violinist played . “We hired her,” Nico said.
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