Sunday, 27 March 2011

Gallery Tour March 2010: Lower East Side

It's hard to believe that just 5-years ago there were only 10 art galleries on the Lower East Side; since they seem to be dotted all over the neighborhood now. Apparently there are somewhere in the region of 100 galleries now and the Lower East Side tour has rapidly become the second most popular tour offered by NYgallerytours, although to be honest I would prefer it if they were a little less popular - I overheard someone say there were 73 people on Saturday's tour - since some of the LES galleries are absolutely tiny and it was impossible to see the art with everyone crammed into the the gallery space, it was challenging even in the 4 larger spaces that were first on the list and, after the first 2 stops, I left for the next gallery 5-minutes or so ahead of the pack in an effort to get unobstructed views of the work.

First up was the Barnaby Hosking exhibit at the Charles Bank Gallery at 196 Bowery, the British artist's first solo show in New York, whose work plays with the idea of thought and perception.

There was a lot to love in this exhibit, but my absolutely favourite pieces were these bronze half butterflies that were embedded in the wall which reflected the light to form the whole insect.

From the gallery press release, 'the butterflies serve as an analogy of our thoughts which hold both the positive and the negative - a duality, which is highlighted by the both luminous and dark sides of the individual butterflies."

To be honest I just thought they were pretty, but then I'm a bit of a neophyte with all this art gubbins.

Next up was Laurie Simmons at the satellite location of fancy pants Upper East Side gallery Salon 94 at 243 Bowery. I wasn't familiar with her work, although I am familiar with the work of her husband, the painter Carroll Dunham, but much of her work apparently involves staging dolls in scenes which she then photographs. In her current exhibit, 'The Love Doll: Days 1-30' she purchased a high end sex doll - there is a fascinating BBC America documentary about the men that purchase these dolls, which often cost tens of thousands of dollars. It's eye opening, it really is - and posed her around her own home in everyday scenes.

From this New York Magazine article quoted the artist: "that she was a sex doll was secondary to the fact that I had finally found a Tales of Hoffmann, life-size doll that I could work with, I don’t want to deny that it is used as a masturbation tool. I just chose not to address it. I am amazed that a doll made for this purpose could be rendered so exquisitely. The lines of the body are so refined; it’s a beautiful sculpture.

Okay, brace yourself for the next photo of Evan Penny's exhibit at Sperone Westwater. My Penny is a 57year old South African artist who creates statuesque, and extremely realistic, human figures of cast silicone which have some sort of proportional skew, like this sculpture of Jim that leans slightly to the right and is obviously much larger than the real Jim, friend of the artist apparently, who modeled for this piece.

Evan Penny's pieces are disturbingly realistic, right down to moles and freckles and even the hair in the crack of Jim's arse. I've seen more of Jim than I need to see quite frankly, but there's no denying Mr. Penny's talent.

Fourth on the tour was Angel Otero, a 27 year old Puerto Rican artist who has his first solo show at Lehmann Maupin on Chrystie St. For me the most fascinating this about the work was not the subject matter, but the technique employed. The artist paints an image onto glass which he later gently peels off and drapes it over a frame/canvas (?) to create the final piece.

Standing in front of the image I didn't realize until it was pointed out to me that the image was of a couch. Duh!! It's so obvious from the photo eh, although to be fair I was peering quite closely at the pieces and didn't take the time to stand back and fully appreciate what I was looking at. Lesson learned.

The object in this piece is less obvious, but it's a vase, the purple shape at the bottom.

Next up Elena Herzog's 'Into the fray' showing at the petite husband and wife run gallery, LMAK projects on Eldridge St. Having been to this gallery before I hustled over to get a look at the work ahead of the 72 other people on the tour. It was a crush in the gallery.

The artist is 57 years old and usually known for stapling fabric to a wall which she then rips away and the result is the piece, this time she took a slightly different approach using scaffolding.

The co-owner of the gallery said something about the scaffold statement about architecture and a play on positive and negative, so if you look behind the space a 2-dimensional piece becomes 3-dimensional or something. I don't know to be honest, I was focusing more on not being stood on by the big bloke in front of me to take in all the details.

"Magical" said Rafael "although I know some of you will hate it and can't wait to get out."

I didn't disagree with him there.

Next up was the paintings of Kristine Moran showing at the Nicelle Beauchene Gallery at 21 Orchard St. I loved this work and if I had the money to squander on art I would definitely be opening my wallet.

At first glance the work looks to be abstract, but they are actually figurative, representing women, although I wouldn't have realized had I not been told, but in the piece below you can see what is very clearly a leg on the bottom right.

Last up was the very charming Margot Lovejoy, who was present to discuss her work, Confess, currently showing at the Stephan Stoyanov gallery.

From the artist's website on the work "CONFESS is a web artwork which is a point of collective exchange, a "hot-line" to express publicly but anonymously faults of your own, something you did that you are not proud of --a kind of secular "blind confession". It becomes a form of on-line group therapy as well as an archive of personal narratives. Although one's confession submission is made anonymously, there is also awareness that it will eventually be heard in play-back by a mass audience as a voice in the public domain"

In the gallery the confessions were divided into 7 themes - addiction, violence, secrets, failures, extremes, hate, betrayal - each represented by 2 audio shapes that the artist designed herself. It's a tactile exhibit, with the 14 shapes hanging from the ceiling acting as handsets. You can pick each of them up and listen to someone's confession. It's not a great photo, but you can see a couple of the audio shapes in white and red below. The lady to the right in the blue sweater is the artist.

Apparently she received about a 1,000 submissions in 2 year period. "Are any of the confessions yours?" someone asked Ms. Lovejoy.

"Mine? Ohhhh sure," she said with a smile and a twinkle in her eye.

"Did anyone confess to a crime?"

"There was one, but it wasn't true."

The audio shapes were designed by the artist in an effort to represent the emotional quality of the confession and were designed with people holding them in mind.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

I feel I shouldn't like this, but I LOVE it...

Frisky and Mannish's cover of Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights - see the original here, the dancing is something to behold - sung in the style of Kate Nash's Foundations!!


Thursday, 17 March 2011

Ahh Team Bonding!!

I've been fielding compliments about my hair all day today, "look at how full it is, how bouncy," people said and random strangers looked at it admiringly in the cafeteria.

...And do you know WHY my hair looked so good today?

Because I was hungover that's why. Seriously my hair never looks better than it does the morning after a night on the tiles, my usually fine and somewhat limp-challenged tresses just love it when I am dehydrated and feeling a bit rough, it thrives on the abuse. My fine lines may have appeared to be a little more deeply etched on my face today, but I'm telling you I'm just moments away from a call to star in a Harmony hairspray commercial.

So my gosh, large large large night out last night for one of my client teams to celebrate the campaign launch. Team's from account, strategy and creative were invited, but true to form only account and strategy represented - where's the love creatives? Seriously only one lonely art director showed and he left at 8.30pm and headed back to work, but boy did the rest of us represent. 10 of us had dinner at a small French restaurant in midtown where our account director, J, is friendly with the owner and was all fairly restrained until the massive bowl of complimentary sangria and 3 bottles of Mumm sparkling wine hit the table after the plates were cleared from the meal and ohhhh....not 30minutes later we were dancin' up a STORM and the next thing I know is the account manager - a mid 30s married mother of two who really makes the most of her occasional nights out - had coerced the remaining 4 of us diehards - all the ones over 30 funnily enough; the 20-somethings had long since retired for the night. Kids eh, what is wrong with the youth of today? - into going dancing at The Ritz, a gay bar on 46th St where we shimmied up against cute young men for a few hours. It was the best night and while I'm close to checking myself into The Priory for two weeks of rehab I've spent most of the day erupting into giggles as I recall moments from the night. We also received this cute note from the account manager - who we popped in a car service back to the suburbs of New Jersey at 2am - later this afternoon....

Sent: 03/17/2011 04:22 PM EDT
Subject: How did you guys do it?

I didn't make it in today. And can barely function now. How in the world did you make it into the office?

Whatever, you only live once! I had so much fun! You guys were a blast and probably the best dancers I've ever met! Thank you seriously for a fabulous evening!

Ahhh team bonding!! Okay, time for some serious beauty sleep.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

I don’t even bear a passing resemblance to James Lipton

So how is the week going for everyone so far? My week is not too bad for a change, just feeling pretty tired since for some reason I’ve been waking up at 3am every morning. Proper waking up too, not wake up, stumble to the loo and then back to bed until the alarm goes off at 6.30am, no, I’m up and about for a good half hour which is immensely irritating. It’s a wonder I can concentrate in work at all.

Anyway I’m hoping for an earlier night tonight and plan to skip a leaving do in favour of a Pilates class instead. Is that wrong of me? It's a joint leaving do for A and J and well – A actually left the company 2 weeks ago and had a girls' night the Tuesday before last for her farewell, which I attended with gusto, and J’s last day is officially Friday and I’m seeing her tomorrow for a client team outing to celebrate a campaign launch so I feel like I have an opportunity to say my farewells to both without going out again tonight., because quite honestly all these farewell parties – A and J’s joint party is like the 6th one in the last two weeks - are playing havoc with my liver and at a point where enough is enough, I just want to leave work at a reasonable hour, hit the gym and then go home and eat salad or something similarly disgustingly healthy and have an early night. I’m planning to be on the ginger ales tomorrow night; that is if the will power holds. Hopefully it will because I am quite gung-ho about not drinking for a few weeks – it’s been like Christmas party season all over again of late - plus I am out with people I don't know well – creative types included, but sadly no Creative Crush even though it's the account he was initially pegged to work on. I haven't spotted him for a good while now, so I suspect he may have left the company. Sigh, I need new office eye candy - so I will be more likely to behave.

In other news I had a date with someone from Match at the weekend, an actor...


The guy was nice enough, but barely asked me one question about myself and I felt as if I was constantly working to think of things to ask him. It wasn't a bad date, but definitely below average. Not that I necessarily need a date to ask me questions about myself, if conversation had been flowing naturally about other topics then I wouldn't have cared so much, but our conversation was definitely lopsided and went something like this....

Fish: So I saw from your profile that you moved to New York in 1998, did you move here to become an actor?

Date: Yes....blabs on about how he got his start as an actor and the TV show he is currently working on

Fish: How long have you been doing it?

Date: Since 2005....blabs on about meeting his ex-wife and moving back and forth between NY and DC for a few years before getting a divorce and deciding to focus on himself.

Fish: So you also work in commercial real estate?

Date: Yes, to pay the bills, I got my license when I first moved here started with XYZ ...etc

Fish: Is that hard to fit in with the acting?

Date: Well my previous boss was sympathetic....goes on some more about fitting in the work and acting.

A few more questions of that ilk and I’m thinking um...what do you think this, Inside the Actor's Studio? Do I look like James Lipton? You're on a date not a chuffing interview, are you really not interested in knowing anything about me? Seriously would it have killed him to ask me about my job, my family etc? I pretty much sat there thinking "this is awkward and neither of us seem to be enjoying ourselves, so I'm sure there's no question of a second date," but as we were wrapping things up – a short date at an hour and 15minutes - I asked him whether he saw many plays and I was really just making conversation - and his eyes lit up and he said he didn't but if I wanted to see a play sometime he would love to see something, then he asked me whether I skied and if I would ever be interested in going to Stratton with him because he has a friend who can get free passes which was a bit out of left field after theatre chat, so took me back a bit, but whatever, it took me back a bit but I mumbled a 'maybe' and afterwards we walked to Borough Hall to catch a 4 or 5 train to Manhattan travelling together as far as Union Square where he was meeting a friend for a movie. As he left the train he said it was nice to meet me and he hoped to see me again and gave me a big beaming smile and a kiss on the cheek.


I thought he was just being polite initially, but then he sent me an email asking me on a second date last night and I had to send the "I don't think we are a good fit" note. Sigh!! I don't get it, I was sure our lack of chemistry was mutual, but apparently not, unless he was just "flexing his second date muscles" as Kitty has previously put it. I.e. they ask for a second date even though they are not really interested just for the practice of asking. I think she has a point because no matter how badly a date goes I have always unfathomably been asked on a second date.

Men are weird!!

Anyway I’ve already sent the “nice to meet you, but I don’t think we are a good fit” email, so all done and dusted, although there’s a bit of a dearth of prospects at the moment. Emma on the other hand is having a marvellous ol’ time with Stephen, the first and last man she’s met on Match. “I really like him,” she confessed over lunch the other day, “it scares me how much I like him.” The feeling seems to be mutual from what she says about him so fingers crossed.

I relayed the news of Emma’s success to Nigel who has been active on the online dating scene for the past 5years without any luck.

“Well good for Emma, the cow.”

But, he’s not bitter ;-)

Thursday, 10 March 2011

According to OkCupid... personality is more love-driven than average, more wealthy, more conventionally moral, more kind, more optimistic, more laid back, better mannered, but...

...less mathematical than average....

...which is very interesting, because....

I have a chuffing DEGREE IN MATHEMATICS!!

I also work in a mathematical field, so how the hell can I be less mathematical than average???

Clearly there are a lot of mathematicians on OkCupid who are skewing the average.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Why are men in Idaho winking at me?

On that is. I knew Idaho is west, but I wasn't entirely sure how west. Google Maps informs me that it's a 2,255-mile drive from my apartment in New York to Driggs, Idaho.

Idaho! Seriously???

About an hour later I receive an email from Michael....

...who lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Okay, so an improvement distance wise on Idaho at a mere 560 miles from New York, but what the...

Must check my profile and see if I inadvertently indicated that prospective suitors must live no closer than 500-miles from New York City.

So yes I am on now, and Chemistry and eHarmony and OKCupid. I'm covering all the bases, although I'm decidedly unimpressed by the latter, but I guess you get what you pay for.

So the next match man that emailed me via match was 7-ft 9!! SEVEN FEET NINE!!! I'm 5-ft 1. The height difference is practically another person, a child maybe, but a person all the same.

Ugh online dating!!! Pht!! Honestly I am not thrilled with it, but I am trying to stick with it, but my biggest problem is that I find myself so full of regret about not being more forthcoming with my Creative Crush back in the days when he was paying me all that attention, but it is what it is, I must move forward and if Emma can go on a date not two weeks after her relationship of 5-years ended, then I can definitely prize my arse off the sofa and meet a guy for coffee, so that's what I am doing on Sunday, I am meeting an actor-slash-stunt-man for a coffee.

"Stunt man!!!" exclaimed my friend Nigel when we had brunch at Broken English in Brooklyn this past Sunday - delicious baked eggs with wild mushrooms and polenta by the way - "I want to go on a date with him!!"

"I think he prefers girls Nigel, but I promise if it works out I will introduce you."

Boys eh!! Eye-roll!!

Btw check out the advertising to the right of my profile page on eHarmony!! Subtle as a half-brick through the window eh!! I wonder if the straight men get the same advertising!!!