The Importance of Cowboy Mouth at the Chelsea Hotel

June 18th, 2015

At MTV RE:DEFINE we cannot stress enough the importance of supporting young and local arts communities. For the next three nights at the the Chelsea Hotel in New York City the Young Artists at the Chelsea, comprised of artists of varying disciplines will be performing their inaugural production of Patti Smith and Sam Shepard’s play, Cowboy Mouth. The short and gritty play was written in the 1970s while Smith and Shepard were cooped up in the hotel having a passionate love affair. 

All photos © Lana Barkin

The Young Artists at the Chelsea were founded by Amanda Hameline and Rebecca Feinberg as a response to the lack of decent post-collegiate arts communities in NYC. The same kind of community that Patti Smith was a part of and vividly describes in her memoir Just Kids.

In addition to the play, each night is partitioned into three parts. A favorite artist of MTV RE:DEFINE, Rachel Libeskind (who also art directed the interiors) delivers an affecting wordless performance called the Traveling Bag, emptying and refilling suitcases with porcelain china and newspaper scraps, collaging, drawing, folding blankets – tidying and creating a mess simultaneously.  To cap off the night there is a changing line-up of musical guests that deliver intimate and heart-thumping performances.