For the past couple of Fridays, we have been hitting the happy hour at Lure pretty hard. But this past Friday night I went overboard and ended up seeing stars. I haven't been that wine-soaked since my last Christmas party at Morgan Stanley, when at least a dispatcher put me in a black car home. Even then, the trip from the sidewalk up to my apartment seemed long and unnerving. I guess you're never too old to regress into adolescence; it just takes longer to recover.
Tonight, art journalist (and blogger) Lisa Hunter officially launched her book The Intrepid Art Collector: The Beginner's Guide to Finding, Buying, and Appreciating Art on a Budget. Lisa (who is actually cuter and prettier than her photo), is a charming and engaging speaker. Her advice is pragmatic and realistic, and tailored to those of us who are not in a position to make a career out of collecting. My favorite line of the evening was her characterization of contemporary art as New York’s “contact sport,” in lieu of a football team. Lisa, I’m sorry I didn’t hang around to meet you but I have to be up at 5 a.m. tomorrow. I hope you’re throwing a few back at Otto.
On Saturday, I went hiking with a friend up on Fishkill Ridge Trail, about 1,500 feet above the Hudson River. It was a beautiful day and the vistas begged to be painted, but the hike was fairly strenuous and I was not prepared; my legs were really sore for a couple of days.
Today's post is about savory Indian snacks. The great joy of living in New York is not just access to every kind of cuisine that your heart desires; it's unlimited access to the salty, crunchy snacks that are peculiar to every culture. I've tried* a number of spicy Indian snacks, many of them made with chickpea flour, and I've settled on a new favorite: Fulwadi.
Last night we went to a pair of gallery openings for artists I had never heard of but who seemed thematically linked.
First was photographer Tierney Gearon, at the Yossi Milo Gallery. Gearon apparently faced some controversy in the past, when police warned that two photographs of naked children displayed at the Saatchi gallery could be seized under indecency laws. This show focuses on her mother, and again, some of the images - of the artist and her mother together in the nude, violating the border that is laid down when children grow up into sexual beings - will make viewers uncomfortable. Gearon has captured more than just her relationship with her mother, though, because each photograph is a complete narrative landscape.
Second was Swedish artist Lena Cronqvist at the Nancy Margolis Gallery. Cronqvist, who is in her late sixties, has painted a series of spare self-portraits, sometimes holding puppets or marionettes.
Traditionally, most designers viewed illustration with reverence; many even regarded it as inherently superior to design. And with good reason: design was about the anonymous conveying of messages, while illustration was frequently about vivid displays of personal authorship. But during the 1990s, illustration’s "individual style" became a liability. - Adrian Shaughnessy, Design Observer
From The New York Times: It's good to know that it's just as competitive to buy a work of art from a Chelsea gallery as it is to get your work inside one, as "top galleries are in a position to handpick their clientele these days."
I forgot to relate a strange anecdote that took place the other day. On Tuesday afternoon I was sitting in Central Park, which for some reason was filled with Hasidic Jews, when I noticed a young blond woman wearing a pink bikini top and a very short denim miniskirt prancing around on a grassy slope above one of the park's paths. Soon I saw an older male photographer directing her to pose in various seductive ways - on her back, on her stomach with her legs raised behind her, strolling through the branches of a nearby tree, bending over, and so on. Well, this session soon caught the attention of people walking by, including all of the Hasidic families with their children in tow. At this point, another young blond woman stationed herself on the other side of the path, opposite the amateur porn session that was taking place on the grassy slope, and started singing. Really belting out the tunes. The only conclusion I could draw from this was that the second woman was trying to distract attention away from the photographer and his model.
"Queens International 2006 is the third installment of the Queens Museum of Art's biennial survey of Queens-based artists. This year, 52 artists and two collaboratives weigh in on American culture, the politics of war, contemporary feminist issues, spirituality, the environment and a host of other subjects close to the hearts of many local residents.
The show opens on October 1, but the true opening reception is Sunday, October 8, 3-6 pm and is always an event to remember."
Above: Orly Genger, Studio view, 2006, nylon climbing rope and paint.
Today I went to see Picasso and American Art at the Whitney Museum. The exhibition, which illuminates the fundamental influence of Pablo Picasso on American art during the last century, is just outstanding. I know it doesn't sound like the premise for something new, but there is so much to see and think about here. (Oh, and since we've been counting: Male artists - 10; female artists - 0.)