Friday, 25 February 2011

Well it’s been quite a week all in all...

...what with the divisional resignation tally climbing to 9 – over 10% of the workforce - and then my friend Emma breaking up with her boyfriend of 5years after he told her that he just couldn’t see himself being with one woman for the rest of his life and couldn’t get excited about proposing to her.


Truth be told things haven’t been great between the two of them for a while, but they’ve broken up – largely owing to his inability to make a formal commitment - and got back together several times in the past, however this time it does seem to be more final. Things came to a head on Wednesday when they stayed up all night arguing.

“I’d like to take you up on your offer of a place to stay,” she IM’d me on Thursday morning.

“Absolutely,” I responded, but admittedly half of me wondered if her deciding to move out would prompt her boyfriend into charming her into staying as it had done in the past.

Not so.

I texted her around 8pm en route to my apartment after Pilates class to ask her how she was doing and let her know I’d be home in about 15minutes.

“I just got to Williamsburg, I’ll text you when I am on my way,” she replied.

Okay so they’d probably talk and she would need to pack so that meant I’d probably have at least a good hour to get my apartment looking spick and span before she arrived which was good news, because as the week progresses the place tends to become a little more dishevelled than I would like – mostly dishes I’ve left in the sink and magazine and clothing strewn around. Nothing major, but I would have been slightly embarrassed to have someone stay without having a chance to give the place a good clean.

At 8.10pm I received a phone call, “I’m on my way, remind me of your cross streets?”

Oh good Lord this was going to be the speediest apartment cleaning in history!!

By 8.30pm last night she was at my place with a suitcase and informing me that she’d already signed up on OKCupid with the hope of lining up a date for Saturday, “I need a distraction,” she claimed.

Hmm, I’m not sure whether to applaud her bravery or be concerned that she is jumping back into the dating world so quickly, but it certainly lit a fire under my arse to be a bit more pro-active about my own romantic life or lack thereof since I’ve not exactly embraced the whole eHarmony thing as yet and we spent the evening comparing profiles of the men we’d been matched with on various sites. Interestingly I, with my preference for artistic types, get all the I-bankers that Emma prefers, whereas she gets matched to all the artistic men that I like. Hmmm!!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Two More Resignations....

...which takes the tally of departing employees in the division I work to 9!!

What is going on??

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Fate is a bitch!!

So I came into the office this morning to find that the project I’d planned to come in and work on over the President’s Day Holiday yesterday has been pushed back pending client feedback. Yay!!!

How happy was I to have made the right decision to be a lazy bitch yesterday and not come into the office. I would have been peeved had I made the effort to come in and do some work only to find out the next day that the project is temporarily on hold and I’d wasted a day off.

So on Friday I received an invitation to a 1pm kick off meeting today for a client I’ve been working on sporadically over the last few months and strictly speaking it wasn’t a meeting I really needed to attend, more of a ‘nice to know’, but when I looked at the list of invitees whose name should be directly above mine, but ta da dah….the Creative Cutie.

Phew!! Be still my beating heart!!

I mean CLEARLY it was a sign right? Fate was on my side.

To be honest the timing really could not have been any better from my perspective: my hair was looking good after a recent trim and was maintaining the cute flippy flirty style owing to the low humidity. I kid you not I’d enjoyed no end of compliments over the last week since I’d had it trimmed – from many a gay man no less which is when you really know you're looking the bees knees. I’d also conveniently booked a facial on Saturday morning, so this morning my skin still had that post pampering glow and the 6 or 7 gym classes I’ve been enduring every week over the last 2months or so was finally starting to pay dividends – I even bought a bikini on Monday. Oh yessssss the planets were most definitely aligning in my favour, but just to be on the safe side I got up 30minutes earlier than usual this morning to ensure I had enough time to look my very best, taking time over my hair and make-up and selecting a top to wear that both flattered my figure – very Mad Men, all nipped in at my newly trim waste and in a vibrant blue that brought out the color of my eyes. Quite frankly I was GIDDY for this meeting!!

Yes, things were going well, too well in fact and with my luck I was convinced the meeting would be cancelled, but no, at 10am this morning a confirmation note from the account lead popped into my inbox, the meeting was a go, Creative Cutie and I would be breathing the same recycled air come 1pm. Phew my stomach was a bundle of nervous knots!!

So 1pm arrived and I made my way to the conference room on the creative floor, bumping into the account team along the way. The two lead creatives met us outside, where we clustered and made introductions while waiting for the previous occupants to vacate the room, then project management arrived, followed by strategy and…um...where was he????

Seriously....WHERE WAS HE!!!!!!!!!!!

Once ensconced in the conference room a couple of junior creatives arrived late only to be waved away by the lead copywriter, who had the hairiest hands I've ever seen by the way. “You don’t need to be here for this,” he informed them and they'd scurry off relieved, much to the irritation of the account lead.

Um...hello, what's going on???? Why oh why oh why was the most important person - in my eyes at least - a no-show?

I tried to pay attention to the presentation, but I admittedly had half an eye glued to the door scrutinizing everyone that passed by the glass-walled room. Perhaps he was late; perhaps he’d turn up halfway through the meeting, apologetic for his tardiness owing to a deadline for another client.


He didn’t!!

Where the f*** was he?

At the end of the meeting I got my answer. Apparently he’s not going to work on the account, because he’s 'a print guy' and they need 'a digital guy.’

Pht!!! I couldn't believe it. All that primping and 30minutes of sleep sacrificed for nothing. How utterly selfish of him not to do digital!!

To be honest it’s not that I was expecting anything to come of the meeting beyond having a legitimate reason to say hi to him on the rare occasion that we pass each other in the hallway, but I'll admit that I did hope that having a legitimate reason to speak to him might provide an opportunity for it to turn into something more.


Hey ho!!

So close and yet so far; clearly it is just not meant to be :-(


Monday, 21 February 2011

President's Day

Oh great, more snow. I heard on NY1 news this morning that the city’s had 5feet of snow fall in 2011 so far!! I've had enough!! You’d have thought the inclement weather would have detracted a few people from the 10.30am body conditioning class, but that was far from the case.

Call me crazy, but wasn't the fact that the studio was busier than Macy’s on Black Friday and all the step benches were taken something of a clue that the class was full? Apparently not, people were just shoehorning themselves into the teensiest spaces at the back without regard for the people who were already there. If I was the one coming in that late I’d think ‘oh okay, the class is full, I’ll just go and work out in the gym on my own’, but not these girls, no way Jose, come hell or high water they were joining the class. Don’t you just LOVE LOVE LOVE the sense of entitlement and lack of consideration displayed by some New Yorkers??? I was in danger of succumbing to gym rage I don’t mind admitting, but on the plus side at least I felt calmer after getting a few endorphins whizzing around in class and I am finally starting to see my efforts pay off and while I am not quite ready to throw on the bikini just yet I don't feel as if those days are far off which is good, because I've got a couple of trips to Southern California looming in the second half of the year and I want to feel confident about flashing the flesh on the beach.

I pondered going into work after the gym today to get a few bits and pieces off my plate knowing it would make my life easier next week what with one of my team being out for the next two weeks and another out for the first 2 days of the 4 day work week, but what with the snow and the cold I just couldn’t be arsed. I felt entitled to my holiday Monday. Not that I’ve spent the day lazing around, oh no, my apartment sparkles, so that’s something to stave off the regret I will inevitably feel tomorrow about not putting in a few hours.

So it was quite the week at work last week with the division being hit by seven – yup seven – resignations, about 10% of the work force. Two were something of a surprise – one had an offer he’d be a fool to refuse and another’s wife has an opportunity abroad – but the other five were not that much of a surprise, to us peons at least. Our usually unemotional divisional head on the other hand...well he looked positively shell shocked on Friday. I think he's so used to things running smoothly that he was more than a little blindsided by the news, despite the fact that people have been telling him for months that several people were at risk. I don't think he believes it until they actually walk. It could be an interesting week at work.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Chelsea Gallery Tour February 2011

When I arrived at West 26th Street to pay for Saturday's gallery tour the guide, Rafael, directed me to the meeting point at the Peter Blum Gallery on West 29th which is showing an exhibit by British born artist John Beech.

Browsing the exhibit I have to say didn't have much hope that the day's tour was going to be a good one if this was anything to go by. Much as I love browsing around the galleries sometimes I feel that artists get away with passing the most amazing shite off as art. I have no knowledge of Mr Beech's other works, so who knows there may be stuff he's done that I'd really like, but dirty old gloves stuffed into a paint splattered square plastic box....hmmmmm!!!!

Rafael bustled in a few minutes later, having collected payments for the tour and, intro chat out of the way, began to hand out the itinerary. "Okay we're starting at the gallery across the street," he told us. Ha he fooled us, this wasn't the first stop on the tour. Phew!!

First up was an exhibit titled "Godchildren of Enantios" by Irish artist Alice Maher at the David Nolan Gallery. I loved it, although since it's animation it's a little difficult to express via a snap from my little point and shoot, but here's a 2minute video I found on YouTube of the artist talking about her work.

Next up was Kenny Scharf who apparently began his career as a graffiti artist. These days his work is shown at the high falutin' Paul Kasmin Gallery. The artist apparently splits his time between New York and Brazil and was working on his latest pieces - a celebration of the flora and fauna of coastal Brazil - when he heard news of the catastrophic BP oil spill and the painting below was directly inspired by those events.

I found there was a Disney-esque quality to his other works exhibited with animals and plants exhibiting human characteristics, the legs on these trees for example, seemingly clad in high heels

The fiber glass sculptures shown in the photo below are models for picnic tables. The canopies of the sculptures are inspired by the gas clouds formed as a result of nuclear bombs!! Cheery!!

Kenny Scharf's pieces sell in the range of $100k to $250k. Rafael indicated that the average price of a painting selling in Chelsea is $40k, so significantly higher than that. His donut paintings in the gallery annex on 27th St are also very cool, they make me want to eat donuts and I don't even like a deep fried doughy treat.

I think my absolute favourite exhibit of this month's gallery tour was Alyson Shotz at the Derek Eller gallery. Alyson created something stunning from what appeared to be relatively inexpensive materials. I walked into the gallery and just thought "wow!!" However I am not sure how well her work comes across in my photos.

This beautiful piece is made from just yarn and nails. Apparently the artist considers the piece to be a drawing with the shadows cast by the piece considered to be part of the art.

I loved it as an example of an artist using inexpensive materials to create something beautiful, much more impressive than the work I saw last month at the Pace Gallery by Tony Feher in my opinion - see the piece below by Tony Feher which uses plastic tubing and food colouring and charges a fortune for the privilege. Meh!!

The following is also by Alyson Shotz and is made from clear plastic strips which change colour based on the reflected light. The piece is just beautiful in person I encourage you to go and see it if you have the opportunity, the exhibit closes on the 19th March.

The next piece by Steven Siegel showing at the Marlborough gallery is impossible to capture in a single photo since it wrapped around two walls of the gallery.

The artist is apparently in his early 50s and lives in upstate NY in Red Hook. Many of the components of the piece are salvaged and up close you can spot bottle caps, computer components, all sorts of discarded parts woven in. The piece took two years to create and apparently the artist gathers the materials and develops the work at the same working from the right side to the left and continues to gather materials as he goes.

Apparently the gallery is not selling this as one piece but in 18inch sections, which completely horrified Rafael. I can understand his point of view though, even though it's a work I appreciate more than like it just won't be as impactful broken up into sections, but apparently the artist consented to the idea - assuming it was the gallery that had the notion - and decided where the cuts will go. It was at the point Rafael was explaining this to the group that a man, who we all assumed was employed by the gallery came up, and demonstrated how the work will be sectioned.

It was very cool to see that it was cleverly sectioned as it made and Rafael thanked the man for showing us and then said "now the gallery won't tell me how much it's selling for, I assume you won't be able to say anything either?"

To which the man responded "well since I made it I can tell you."

Ha, I love the nonchalant way he told us that. Yup, that's the artist in the photo above who just happened to be present at the gallery while we were there.

He chatted to the group briefly, although when pressed by Rafael to tell us about the piece said that he doesn't really talk about his work, because he prefers to observe the emotional reaction people have to it.

"What did you think of what I said" asked Rafael

"You got a good 10 to 15% of it," he replied

Love it!!

Oh and each 18-inch section? That will be $10,000 each please.

Next up was Ben Rubin's exhibit, Vectors, at the Bryce Wolkowitz gallery. Apparently Ben is a bit of a rising star in the art world having had work, in collaboration with statistician Mark Hansen*, commissioned for the lobby of the New York Times building on 8th Avenue and 41st St, per this 26 second video, and also a piece for the lobby of the revamped Public Theater on Lafayette in 2012.

The centerpiece of Vectors is a 24-foot long wall that apparently uses LED technology to project - is project the right word for LED technology? Probably not, but you get my drift - various words picked from recent Wikileaked diplomatic cables.

This typewriter also has text from Wikileaks projected onto the paper rolled into it.

You'd never know from the name, but Stuart Hawkins, showing at the Zach Feuer gallery, is a female artist who lives and works in Nepal and New York. The exhibit, Broken Welcome, is apparently inspired by a failed residential utopia that was planned for the suburbs of Calcutta, but never came to fruition and Ms. Hawkins added objects and photographed people as it was intended to be.

For example, this photo of the man holding the butterfly represents the view you would have had

...And I think this photo below is supposed to depict a domestic scene from the kitchen you would have had.

Last up - and a replacement exhibit, but more on that at the end - was Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli, showing at the Gagosian Gallery, which depicts various supermodels as the weeping Madonna and child. Apparently it's a bit of a comment on the cult of celebrity and the power wielded by the media. I didn't love it.

The Vezzoli exhibit replaced the exhibit Rafael intended us to see by Christian Marclay at the Paula Cooper gallery owing to the long queues of people that had recently appeared to get into the gallery. "You could line up after the tour if you have the time" said Rafael, "but I don't have the time, I have another group coming."

Apparently the art world is going crazy for Mr. Marclay's latest work, the clock, in which the artist has edited together pieces of films that show a snippet of the time to create a minute by minute timeline of a day which is synchronized to the real time each day, so if you go in to see the exhibit at 10.02am then the time shown in the film will be 10.02, at 10.03am all the snippets would depict that time on screen. 4.15pm...that's the time on screen. You get the picture. It's been getting raves from the art world according to this YouTube video of a BBC piece on the exhibit.

I admit the concept seems pretty clever and painstaking work to pull it all together, but I am having a hard time believing it's all that to be honest, but apparently it's fascinating. Anyway if it sounds like your kind of thing then hot foot it down to the Paula Cooper gallery pronto as it closes on the 19th February.

*As a mathematician by training I love the fact that he collaborates with a statistician. I'm a total nerd ;-)

Friday, 11 February 2011

Wow, February already...

...and mid-February at that. So it's been a bit of a poor showing from me on the blogging front lately, what can I say I've been a lazy bitch. Well actually that's not true at all, I've been far from a lazy bitch as I've been hitting the gym with renewed vigor of late, I'm averaging 6 classes a week for the most part and as a result my arms are like a couple of noodles by the end of the week rendering me incapable of typing.

To be honest, other than dragging my carcass to the odd body conditioning or Pilates class, I've been hibernating at home out of the frigid temperatures we've been experiencing and trying to figure out what to do with my life. I don't know about you, but I like to spend the weekend pondering the easy questions. Midlife crisis perhaps??? I am 40 this year after all.

Anyway as someone whose currently struggling a lot with where I belong - I think it's common among us ex-pats who have been away from the mother country for a while since my friend Nigel says he feels the same way, but when I'm in England I no longer feel like I belong, but in the US I don't feel like I'm American either* - I found this TED talk by Brene Brown to be very funny and inspiring, I hope you do too.

*I think part of this may have a lot to do with the fact that neither Nigel or I have managed ever been successful in finding long term relationships, a theory I am testing via eHarmony since the Creative Cutie, who I find myself very attracted to, no longer shows any interest. Sigh!! As my friend Megan says "I'm sure he's an ass anyway," so I've probably dodged a bullet, although unfortunately I can't help but have a few feelings of regret on that score. Crap!!