This inspiring Obama mural is highly prominent outside the Art Basel show in Miami right now. It’s another great example of the Obama fervour that is consuming the US and the rest of the world right now. Of course some folk are looking at the administration team he’s put together and saying “More of the same then…” as it’s so Clinton-esqe, and this resonates badly with Obama’s campaign cry of “Change”. For my mind we’ll have to wait and see, and given the amount of obviously disruptive legislation the Republicans are throwing up in their last few weeks, that wait might be a while. We can only hope part of the promised change includes suitable impeachments for people who felt that the US was allowed to operate outside of the moral consensus in its pursuit of so-called terrorists. Somehow I feel we’ll be disappointed on that front. [From coolHunting].
A moleskine is a classic notepad, used by many artistic folks to record their jottings, doodles and other wonderful pieces of art. Now you can see people’s moleskine sketches over at Skine Art.
Spent another fun afternoon wandering round galleries. This time it was centered around the galleries on 24th Street between 9th and 10th (as opposed to the completely different 21st St galleries). The highlight was the Richard Serra exhibition at the Gagosian – an huge cavernous space where I’d last seen Damien Hirst’s exhibition. This time the usual Hirst carcusses were replaced by immense curves of iron plate, each twice as high as me and 2 inches thick. The sheets, if sheet is the right word for such thick chunks of metal, are curved around in on themselves forming spirals you can walk through. The feeling is for all the world like walking down steep sided thin crevasses carved in cliffs by streams. The overall feeling was one of intense awe and also serenity, as if the structures had been there forever. I got home to a phone message from Laureano saying that I should go to this exhibition immediately – how right he was.
Richard Serra’s organic work far outshone my usual favorite Anish Kapoor, exhibiting at the Barbara Gladstone gallery. Ever since I first came across Kapoor at the Ottawa museum of modern art I’ve been a great fan. Unfortunately all of the subsequent works I’ve seen have not reached the same level of emotional impact that the first pieces (including the Three Witches) made on me. Tim took some pictures which I’ll try and put up once he sends them to me.
Helmut Newton had a collection of around 20 of his large scale pieces (each around 6 foot by 8 foot and costing $30,000 – I bought two for christmas presents, darling) just down from the Gagosian. The feeling of the gallery was intensely intimidating, it was pretty much the only gallery where the staff wore suits. The pictures were classic Newton, although I did get to wondering if my mum took a picture out of a plane window when it was landing whether it was worth as much? It would probably be better anyway.
Tim, my companion for this gallery trip, was highly amusing in Tracy Moffat’s Fourth exhibition. This is a collection, as Tracy herself kindly explained to us as she passed through on the way to the gym, of photos taken of the TV during the Sydney olympics with the athletes who came in fourth highlighted. Tracy went to great lengths to qualify that one of the guys who had come in fourth then was now World Champion. Anyway, what was amusing was that when we got there Tim made some disparaging (and loud) comments about Tracy’s talent, having done some work on a recent shoot that cost her $1/4 million just to hire Pier 59 for a few days. He then noticed that she’d walked in and wandered over to say hello, as I stood there wondering if she’d heard him. Apparently not. Ah, New York life.
Other brief mentions – an exhibition of 100 classic prints had some wonderful shots in, including one of Bjork. The Imogen Cunningham show at the John Stevenson Gallery was also wonderful, and interesting for the contrast of the original, faded shots against new prints that Imogen’s son had done.
Spent a happy day yesterday cycling round lower Manhattan checking out galleries and reminding my arse what it feels like to cycle. It’s still remembering now. It was a beautiful day – I was cycling in a t-shirt even though it was the start of December and didn’t ever really feel cold. Manhattan is such a great cycling city. Everything moves in one direction so you can be more sure where things are and the roads are wonderfully wide. Compare this to London where everything is small, curvey and it’s normally pissing down.
Saw some great photos – Elger Esser’s ethereal landscapes, Todd Hido and Tim Davis with extremely similar approaches to hyper-real shots of houses, and Collier Schorr with ‘modelled’ pictures of people in German army costumes. All this on one street next to the Dia Center. Then I dropped down the west side cycle path down to where they were loading the remains of the WTC onto barges to be ferried away. It is slightly disconcerting how you can be cycling down the path as if nothing has happened and then suddenly it transforms into a major excavation site. Sometimes I still feel like I haven’t really taken it all in yet.