Thursday, January 10, 2008

WHAT IS ART?...another trip to New York

"My role in society, or any artists or poets role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all".-John Lennon

On Wednesday, I spent a great day in New York with Susanna from Susannassketchbook. We met up on an early train and the wind and gloriously warm weather and sunshine, took us around to various locations in the city, to see some great art.........and some not so great art, depending on your point of view. It was truly a thought provoking and inspirational day.

Susanna, a wonderful photographer, opted not to bring her camera, because we were supposed to have a rainy day, so I insisted we share mine. Some of these photos are hers.

First stop.......Tinsel Trading Company. Penn Station drops you off in the "garment district", there was NO WAY we were not going to stop into one of the trim shops and check out the doodads!

Second stop......MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art. Stopped in to see the Lucien Freud etchings and paintings and the Martin Puryear sculpture show. That's Susanna entering the Freud exhibit and me staring up at who knows what next to the sculpture.

I am a big fan of much of Freuds work. He brings his subjects down to their least common are under a magnifying glass, if are one of his subjects.

Puryear is a genius with wood in it's simplest form.

Third stop.....Chelsea gallery district. Inside and outside of the infamous Chelsea Hotel
"the rest stop for rare individuals".

Now here is where the "what is art" question really made us think. "The Cat" was in an enormous gallery full of "cartoon characters". Even if I don't "get it", I will go further in my exploration and step up to the piece and check out the craftsmanship, the brush strokes, etc. I didn't see any redeeming qualities here. The other piece is from a wall outside. WOW!! Now this I can sink my teeth into.

Girls gone wild in Chelsea.
We stepped in and out of various gallery spaces and either shook our heads in wonder or were transformed by the beauty of it all.

The highlight was coming upon the Jack Shainman gallery on 20th. We looked in the window and I saw the same work I had seen in Venice hanging from the side of the Palazzo Fortuny. The work of El Anatsui.....this time in smaller versions. WOW, WOW, WOW. It opened on January 4th and he has sold every piece!.....starting at $200,000.

His inspiration comes from African history and tapestries. He uses rigid materials, like TIN CANS and BOTTLE CAPS to create seemingly soft cloth-like structures. BEAUTIFUL!!!


"There are artists that transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun." -Pablo Picasso

Onto our next stop, ABC Carpet and Home....first stop and take a break.

What floor would you like?......the elevator buttons.
Always great stuff for sale. Did you say "SALE".....HA!......this tray is only $695!!!!

"Vintage" sofa -$3500

A great day......thanks Susanna!

"True art takes note of not merely form, but also what lies behind". - Mahatma Gandi