At Home with the Works

In New York City, real estate plays double duty, and apartments turn into art galleries.

When I visited AAA3A in December 2023, a gallery that artist Blanka Amezkua has run out of her South Bronx apartment for almost a decade, several makeshift plinths not only looked stylish but also suited the quirky artworks they displayed. A wooden bench had been inverted on the floor, its legs pointing up, with an identical bench balanced atop it, legs down, as though the pieces of furniture were performing a two-person yoga pose. Colorful sculptures by artist Cesar Viveros were displayed on the benches, including a coffee mug with protruding eyeballs and birds’ beaks (Pajarito from 2022), as well as a half-purple, half-white dog-Firulais (2019)—whose skeletal body echoed the benches’ spindly forms. Nearby, atop a sturdier wooden dining table, stood Torito (2023), a towering papier-mâché bull festooned with neon lights that evoked exploding fireworks.

These curatorial decisions were happy accidents. To install Viveros’s fall 2023 exhibition, My intimate relationship with paper, Amezkua decided to improvise plinths from her furniture. She happens to own a number of b…

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