Down and Dirty: Dirty Hands NYC Is Revolutionizing the Art Class Experience

Haters of blank canvases. Pursuers of unexpected brilliance. Fighters for the right to be completely wrong. When you are here: enjoy the collaboration with like-minds. Embrace new ways to see things. Commit to being courageous. Promise to fall in love with the image. Prove you were here.

That may not sound like the typical description for an adult art class, but then again, you’ve probably never experienced anything quite like Dirty Hands. Founded by internationally recognized artist and longtime Live FAST favorite Gosha Levochkin, Dirty Hands is a New York-based art studio that respects that the best art isn’t afraid to get down and dirty, offering unique and fast-paced contemporary art classes that serve to ignite the creative energy within all of us.

A far cry from the paint and sip classes popular with your mom and her bookclub, each of their innovative and hands-on offerings encourage you to dip into your own imagination and follow the twists and turns of your own creative instincts instead of a paint by numbers kit. Levochkin channels his vast experience and irreverent sense of humor into blissfully low key and judgment-free studio classes that gently guide you towards an artistic state of mind that was there all along, hiding beneath the relentless buzz of responsibilities and insecurities.

All levels are welcome, and each class feels collaborative, conversational, and cathartic, like a party and a cheap therapy session all rolled into one. They make it as easy as possible to dive in, even if the last time you made anything artistic was elementary school, by providing all the supplies, eschewing rules in favor of your own individual process, and offering complimentary wine as well as welcoming whatever else helps you steady your hand and leave your inhibitions at the door.

Dirty Hands offers classes on everything from watercolor to color worship to character studies, but their wildly popular “Tape Shit” class reigns supreme, so we dropped by on a recent trip to New York to see what the hype was all about. The intimate and freeform class consists of Levochkin giving step by step instructions on how to create shapes out of tape and then paint over them, a technique that was popular in the 1960’s and 70’s (each class is as educational as it is experiential, thanks to Levochkin’s wealth of knowledge).

This simple process yields endless aesthetically pleasing combinations of colors and geometric shapes, and with Levochkin blessing your mess and encouraging you to lean into the left side of your brain, you end up leaving the class with a piece of modern art you can hardly believe you made with your own two hands.

A vibey evening getting down and dirty with art sound like just what the doctor ordered? Sign up for a Dirty Hands class here.

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