Saturday, May 12, 2012
Ode to New York from back home in Philly
I learned from the Whitney Biennial that if I was the kind of artist that would reproduce this snapshot of a West Village wall (and the other shots like it) on 7 foot aluminum slabs, or on huge pieces of massive wadded canvas it would be considered art. Since I just post it as an album of interesting snapshots on Facebook, it is nothing much...
It was a new experience, showing my Barnes Foundation student ID at both the Guggenheim and the Whitney, and getting in free. I learned a lot from John Chamberlain's historic retrospective at the Guggenheim. I had heard about John Chamberlain just starting to weld automobile parts together back when I was a high school student in an adult art class with Jason Seley. I still think of him as Mr. Seley - would talk about his friend John Chamberlain. I had no idea the significance of it... Fifty years later the significance is apparent now to all. Chamberlain was involved in curating the show, but sadly died before it opened.
I'm not sure what I learned from the Whitney Biennial. The little video on curatorial choices didn't answer my questions about it.... Some of the choices seemed like the emperor has no clothes. I had felt peer pressure to see it. Everyone I knew had either already seen it, wanted to see it, or thought they should see it.
Pulse Art Fair was a glimpse of the art business, the industry, except for a couple of organizations that mentor emerging artists who had booths there. I think I was too tired by that time to do justice to seeing past my first impression that some of it was commercial art masquerading as fine art.
On leaving, I stumbled into boxes of what seemed to be art books being put out as trash on the sidewalk. They were mostly Sotheby and Christies catalogs, now trash because the auction had already taken place. Sadly, someone's carefully (and expensively) prepared portfolio was also included in the trash. It was heart-wrenching; truly a New York moment. The man trash-picking next to me said in his British accent, "This would never happen in London."