Sunday, November 14, 2004


Picture 392
This photo has been up for as long as I've lived in New York it has Lou Reed with "rock star" sunglasses on.

Chelsea Museum

The first thing noticeable about the Chelsea Museum was its dreary architecture. Next the incredible heat, unlike the first floor where your money is taken, the top two floors were unairconditioned. After that is the lack of art (a modernist touch?) and continuous noise.
The collection consisted of a temporary architectural exhibit (photos, sketches, models), a few small paintings, and six or seven large, abstract paintings by one artist. I tried to view those paintings, which looked to be the only thing of value, but on the side there was a TV blaring a documentary about the artist.
The video in the crux of the collection epitomizes the museum's lack of sense. It shows carelessness or ignorance about the experience of viewing art. Sadly, pointedly or ironically the documentary was cliched.
Picture 337

Saturday, November 13, 2004

20th century math

picture 338b

This has 20th century equations such as Einstein's Relativity equation engraved on a monument.
The document next to it, labeled as coming from 6000 A.D, explains how this came about.
Picture 339b

The engraving is not a work of art therefore this must be a concept piece. The concept is unoriginal so what's left is the execution.
Not only is English still a major language four thousand years from now but the vocabulary, grammar, and even typefaces are unchanged. The medium is unchanged. Despite these similarities of communication and point of view the meaning of the most famous equation of the 20th century has been lost. The pristine condition of the work is explained away by calling it "extremely well preserved". This is especially unlikely considering that it is a unique find.

Update: This type of post is why I'm going to abandon this blog. I thought it would be funny to point out the poor ideas behind very expensive items but it isn't.

Storm King

Picture 419
This is not an internal piece and the metric that I usually use doesn't work. Its meaning comes from its interaction with the environment.

I visited Storm King for the second time recently and this was one stuck out of the few that I remembered. The others were enhanced and complemented by the lanscape but this one framed it. Its dimensions are wrong- thin and flat. It doesn't make sense here, but this is our work, this is what human stuff looks like.

Toy horse falls

Picture 265
At the end of this show at Dance Theater Workshop for nearly a minute a woman with a toy horse tied to her trudges to the back of the set and the it lurches after her. A gunshot sounds representing her death and the toy horse falls over. This is the third enactment of that death during the dance.


Picture 126

My grandparents had this over their white leather couch, across from the case with bright-cheeked figurines until the Moma took it.

Dec 18


This was at the Moma, I have proof.
Picture 125

What's clever about this is that it makes you see that the date, is actually a date, but it's also a painting of a date and it's in a museum so it calls into question what it really means to see a date, and what a painting is- and also what a museum is. And maybe what I'm doing here.

Say something nice and you sound boring

ciao fonesca
The best way of considering art may be the amount that it leaves you changed but discovering this is difficult and may take some time. An easier metric is measuring the amount of time that it holds the attention. This has its own difficulties and is easily detracted from by setting or personal state- temperature, companions, energy, hunger, etc. The criticism that galleries tend to receive seems to ignore the ways that they can offset this.
Recently, I spent a long time in the Kasmin gallery looking at the Ciao Fonesca exhibit especially at the smaller, sister gallery a few doors down. From the corner, I shifted my glance every few minutes to the next painting. Whatever thoughts I had on the second might switch me back to the first or the third. After tiring of this, I moved to an adjacent corner, and looked another set of paintings, comparing them individually, together, and with some of the first set.
I often hear criticisms about the need to get art out of galleries- since they are too sterile, white, unnatural, elitist, etc. This seems to be by people who need to reinvent art more than create it. The gallery is the only chance that most people have to see multiple original works by the same artist at the same time- to see how they relate.
The works reinvigorate each other. It is difficult to continue to stare at a single painting- the majority of the time it is harder to do so for more than a few minutes. But it isn't so difficult to repeat these minutes if you look at related works inbetween.
Galleries can be viewed as elitist. It's hard not to be distracted by the people selling, viewing, buying, or creating the art or the prices. But I see many people in the galleries with their friends and classmates examining and discussing pieces. They aren't buying anything or showing off, they are friendly, and they point out works they like.