A horse is a horse of course. Unless it’s an art installation.

Here’s a peculiar one. You’re going to have to dramatically expand your definition of what constitutes art. Or, call bullshit if you see bullshit.

I took a long lunch, hopped the subway down to Houston St. and visited Jannis Kounellis’s Untitled (12 Horses) at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise gallery in Greenwich Village. It’s a living installation that’s consists of 12 horses tethered to the wall in the gallery’s big space.

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It was first executed in Rome in 1969 and has since (in certain small circles) achieved legendary status. It’s been staged five times in Europe. Having it staged here in New York is considered a major coup. Kounellis flew in from Italy to oversee the installation.

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The horses didn’t actually do anything other than be horses. They stood there eating hay and relieving themselves at will. There were three grooms in attendance to see to the horse’s comfort and needs and to keep the gallery clean. The gallery floor was outfitted with a rubber mat to protect their hoofs.

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A reviewer in The New York Times gushed that the exhibit was “…an unforgettable New York art world moment” and said it had a calming influence on her. The review generated so much buzz that lines formed. It was sunny and hot. The gallery was gracious enough to provide umbrellas and free bottles of water to people waiting outside.

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Only 10 people were allowed in at a time so as not to rattle the horses (I suppose).

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Outside the contemporary art world, this is commonly referred to as a “barn.” I’ve been in barns at the race track and county fair and aside from a curator surveying the scene, it’s no different. So, I ask you, is turning an art gallery into a barn an unforgettable moment in contemporary art, as The New York Times insisted, or is it horseshit?

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Simultaneously, just outside Untitled (12 Horses) in a smaller gallery, artist Rirkrit Tiravanija staged one of his food installations. His exhibits often involve cooking and sharing meals. He considers it the art of bringing people together. In this piece, he provided free pork tacos to visitors. After viewing the horses, people would queue up buffet style.

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A hole was cut in the gallery floor and the pork was cooked under a mound of earth. Please don’t ask me how this was accomplished. I haven’t a clue.

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Picnic tables were placed around the perimeter of the gallery. There was no limit on how long you could stay, nor how much food you could eat. People seemed genuinely respectful and didn’t make pigs of themselves or overstay their welcome. Having a fairly dark view of the human condition, I was pleasantly surprised.

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I was also surprised there weren’t any vagrants about. Perhaps they hadn’t read the Times yet. I remember when I lived in the city and would attend gallery openings, the homeless would always descend for the free wine. They are part of the fabric of New York gallery openings. Hey! That could be an installation! Wealthy white art patrons can stand around the perimeter of a gallery and watch street urchins drink free wine. I’ll call it “Like Moths to the Flame.” The title it apt for both audience and subjects.


Two posts ago I complained about a gigantic new consultant at work who is making my life difficult with his incessant eating. Trying to concentrate on the tasks at hand is a challenge when the soundtrack of my day is the smacking, chawing, gulping and gnashing of food that goes on just a few feet away, not to mention his heavy, labored wheezing. Every exhale sounds like it could be his last.

In addition to stuffing is piehole with food, another one of his great pleasures in life is using a pen cap to dig the earwax out of his ear while he talks on the phone. Sitting next to him makes me feel like a complete failure. Press play. You must!

He missed a day of work because of a plumbing mishap back home. His bathroom flooded. I felt a (very brief) sympathetic pang when I heard what caused the flood. His girlfriend tried to flush his junk food down the toilet and it backed up. He said, “That wasn’t the first time she did that.”

Is there any doubt that we live in a MAN’S WORLD? How does this guy have a girlfriend? It appears that his food addiction is nothing to joke about. I’d probably feel sorry for him if I didn’t have to sit in such close proximity.


The new rage at New Jersey diners:

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Grilled cheese sandwiches stuffed with mac-n-cheese. Gross. A friend of mine ordered this. I have low standards, especially when it comes to food, but I couldn’t choke this down if I tried.

114 thoughts on “A horse is a horse of course. Unless it’s an art installation.

    • Was art ALWAYS so subjective? Back in the day, were the parameters for what’s considered creative more constrained and better defined? I think Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades had something to do with this.

      I should tell him to save his earwax until he has enough to build a sculpture.

      • You know, he would not even really have to *do* anything with the sculpture. A mound or blob would be more avant-garde than say a nude. No real skill needed. When he becomes a world famous highly acclaimed artist he will be out of your hair. I think you are onto something here. Foster that creative side! Become his mentor. Guide him to fame.

  1. I have to say Mark: the horse “installation” is a puzzler. I suppose life, in general, is art. However, as you said,there used to be at least some guidelines as to how to differentiate between life and art but those guidelines are now gone.We are left in a pickle. I can just see some rich lady arriving home: “Dahling you really should see the art piece I bought today in the city.” Ha! I understand horse farts can be quite fragrant within enclosed spaces. I suspect this art stinks Mark. Ha!

    On other matters, I hope your consultant doesn’t find your blog – Ha! He too seems to be having a shitty problem at home – in fact I think you could say that the common theme to this post is shit – of one sort or another (and that goes for macaroni and cheese sandwiches too, in my humble opinion [Barf!]). But amusingly and thought provokingly presented I must say.

    Well done Mark, fun post. 😀

    • Apparently, this piece or, “piece” has been treated with all due fascination since it was first staged in 1969. Perhaps people who visit art galleries have never, EVER been in a barn before. Fascinating. Not sad. Fascinating. It didn’t smell, thank goodness. How could anyone eat around that? The doors were kept open and it was well ventilated.

      The consultant can go to hell. He can find this blog for all I care. I might send him the URL.

    • I try not to engage the consultant in conversation. It’s rather rude and immature of me and working on it, but right now, I can’t get past it.

      It did NOT smell! I was shocked. 12 horses
      can produce a mighty wind. Maybe that was the exhibits most creative aspect.

      A challenge? What kind? Let’s see…

      • Wow … no smell quite the exhibit in itself. .. but still, not my kind of exhibit. … Meanwhile, I think you’ll like the challenge.

  2. Definitely not the best idea to present pork tacos as the food to bring people together – these tacos are going to alienate Jews, Muslims, vegetarians, real- or fake gluten-intolerant, and Mexican food haters, which will probably add up to at least a third of NYC population.
    Off topic, but on one of your favorite topics: did you know NYC is banning the “poor doors”? Although the buildings that already have them get to keep them, I believe.

    • I didn’t consider the angle where people take offense but now that you mention it, I have to concur. What are they thinking? Someone I work with who’s a big animal lover is furious that the horses are made to stare at s blank, white wall all day for the sake of “art.” She wonders why PETA didn’t picket the exhibit.

      I hadn’t heard about the poor door ban! This is welcome news. I’m off to google it.

      • Probably because PETA is already too busy boycotting your co-worker, the one who keeps eating every animal that’s not too big for a deep fryer.

    • I actually approve of banning the poor doors, but overall, I think DiBlasio is a little too nanny-state for me. I’m hoping there’s a worthwhile option in the next election.

      • Sir, I agree with you 100%. The poor doors are awful and DiBlasio is not a good mayor. He IS too nanny state (that’s perfect) and he’s habitually late, which is a terrible quality to have. I liked Bloomberg, despite his faults (and there were many). Don’t hold your breath waiting for a perfect politician who you’re going to agree with 100% of the time.

    • Humans of New York is such an awesome idea. I wish I’d have thought of it first. If I had, I wouldn’t be sitting next to this mound of flesh who is currently, as I type this, enjoying second breakfast.

      • This why HR was created, to do dirty work like this, no?
        Also: Flush junk food? She couldn’t see the flaw in that plan? And there’s your answer to how he has a girlfriend…

      • This is why companies now hire people on as consultants. They’re easier to get rid of. Once they prove themselves as being even somewhat ‘normal’, they’re hired on staff. He won’t make it past summer.

        Can you imagine being in such a blind fury that you start jamming things down the plumbing?

    • In retrospect, this entire post could make one quite ill, bot physically and artistically. That wasn’t my intention. Let’s call it a happy accident!

      Can you imagine being so cross you resort to flushing the thing he loves the most down the toilet? My God! Just leave him! I sure would like to.

  3. Having lived in Syracuse and visited the equine expanses at the State Fair each year, not to mention a periodic trip to Vernon Downs for giggles and even once to famed Saratoga for some horsey culture, I can firmly say that as fascinating as the eat-hay-and-shit-oats behavior can be, it’s not art gallery material in my book, Mark.

    It’s heartening to see the pork taco crowd showed manners, and equally dismaying that Loud Guy has moved on to add wax excavation to his slurping desk antics. He really is a sick man.

    Mac and cheese grilled on bread? No, thank you! I prefer my heart beating.

    • Mark, I think that’s the growing consensus. That this really isn’t really art and shouldn’t be considered as such. While I mainly agree, I won’t judge these guys for what they attempt. I never tried to publish a word because of my deep-seeded fear of failure and I give props to anyone who puts it out there and then steels themselves for criticism from the masses. I couldn’t survive it. So good on them for that.

      After I posted this, I imagined what woul’ve happen if my office-mate knew about the free-taco fest. It could have gone horribly wrong. I’m also wondering if any homeless showed up and cleaned them out. The NYC homesless are brazen anddesperate. A lethal combo.

      I don’t mind eating food that’s bad for me—I do it all the time, in fact—but I’m not wasting the calories on that crap.

      • I also eat food that’s bad for me. But not in this lethal and fat-loaded combo, Mark.

        Hey, have a great holiday weeked, my friend. Get those lovely girls of yours to some fireworks, I hope.

      • I’m from the school that says you can eat ANYTHING, as long as you control your portions. That’s our problem as a nation. Unnecessarily large portions and a lack of control.

        You enjoy the holiday too, pal. Fireworks on Friday night for us. Whoot.

  4. That is an art exhibit I just don’t get. As you mention, I can go to a county fair and see the same. Plus, at the fair I get to see hogs and giant bunnies too. Woo hoo. The first thing that comes to my mind is how smelly that exhibit could become!

    • But that’s the shock! No smell! Imagine if the horse stench and flatulence got out of hand? You couldn’t enjoy the tacos. They were being served just a few yards away. Those grooms had their work cut out for them.

      I love the giant bunnies at the fair. Who doesn’t?!

  5. Calling bullshit on the horses. Times like this I wish David Foster Wallace was still alive (I know he bugs you): he was a prophet, or at least had the eye to see this kind of thing, the reviewers gushing over horses in a glorified barn. Nice. And the gourmet grilled cheese thing — same thing here, West Coast: calling bullshit on that.

    • This isn’t a fair fight. I knew everyone was going to laugh at this. It’s kind of why I wrote the post. I wonder if anyone will be brave enough to step up and defend this exhibit?

      Did you know there’s a DFW movie coming out with Jason Segal as His Lordship? It’s true!

  6. You should get a picture of his girlfriend before saying it’s a man’s world. A woman who consorts with a fellow like that may not be New York’s answer to Claudia Cardinale. I suggest the eye end of a darning needle an as alternative ear-hole de-waxer for your colleague. I’d be fascinated to see how deep he inserts it.

    Are those horses trained not to fart?

    • I guess the “quality” of his girlfriend is irrelevant to me. That there’s a girl on earth who tolerates a person that so clearly irritates her is the mystery here. She threw his Twinkies in the toilet! I think that’s called not-so-passive/aggressive.

  7. Does the earwax guy know he’s sitting next to the cultural icon of WP? I hope he doesn’t know about your blog – that situation could get even uglier than what you’ve shared already! I actually like the horse “art.” I think it’s the feeling that’s being created that makes it a thing of beauty, so to speak. The food is a nice touch – strange, but generous. You have the best comment thread around! I’m leaving for a vacation this weekend, but I will still try to read my favorite blogs – so keep up the good work! Your posts are always so interesting – kind of weird and wonderful, and gross, and funny, all in one! You’re a real original, Mark 🙂

    • That guy next to me lives in his own world. He either isn’t aware of his bad habits or is aware and doesn’t give a damn. I vote for the latter. I honestly can’t imagine how he would ever stumble across this blog and honestly don’t care if he does. Nothing I’ve written can be refuted. I only write what factual.

      I’m glad you said you like the exhibit. I wasn’t crazy about it but didn’t hate it as much as a lot of commentators seem to. I get it. It’s pretentious. Still, I’m a sucker for a spectacular event.

      Enjoy your holiday. I hope you’re going somewhere fun. I’m going on a holiday in two weeks…to CLEVELAND. It’s time for my semi-annual visit to see my family. I look forward to it. No Cuyahoga County Fair this year, though. That makes me sadder than you can imagine.

      And thanks, also, for your kind words. They’re always welcome here.

      • Don’t know that I would want to vacation in Cleveland either, but hope you enjoy your visit! Make sure you go to Adega for dinner in the 9 – and let me know what you think. There’s a bar/club downstairs called, “The Vault” that you might like if you want to go out, but it can get sleazy down there. Definitely check out “Azure” on the rooftop though, that’s worth going to for drinks and the view of the city. 🙂

      • You have misinterpreted my comment! I LOVE going to Cleveland for a holiday. For real. My family is a load of fun and Clevo is a great town. My kids look forward to it as well. Thanks for the entertainment tips. I’m out of the Clevo loop for a few decades now and don’t know what’s doing. I’ll visit the casino. That much I know.

  8. When I think of the horse as art…I tend to the George Stubbs! I wonder who got the manure?

    And the taco cooking pit? Sounds to me like an umu, or earth oven.Famed in Maori circles, the hangi is a grand tradition.Tacos? Not so much!

    But like it or loathe it, you sure do have some fun things in NYC. Which is just as well when you have to spend your working day in close confines like your cube farm. If all that crap food is released as gas…

    • Actually, that manure is pretty kick ass fertilizer. I hope they didn’t just dump it in the East River. I hope they carted it up to Central Park and put it to good use.

      I had to Google George Stubbs. Okay. Horses.

      THANK YOU for explaining the umu. I asked a gallery attendant how the meat was being cooked and I do believe she said umu but I thought she misspoke and I didn’t want to ask a second time because I felt kind of stupid.

      This is such a great town. I did this on my LUNCH HOUR, for cryin’ out loud! awesome.

  9. O.K, I surrender. Please take me down to the cellar and put a bullet in my head. If a “barn”, transported to N.Y. can be construed as ART, then all bets are off, as if they weren’t when that total wanker ( I don’t remember his name ) attached a bunch of ( non-functional ) urinals to the wall of a room and sold them for $ umteen . We have not just reached, but passed by a couple of light years the point when some child ( one of yours perhaps ) said the magical words, the rest of have been too shy to say. Come on kiddo, say it loud and say it proud, and we may just find our way out of this morass.

    • This is my favorite reaction. I thought people would be kind of outraged but, so far, your the only one who has given up on life. That’s a strong reaction, indeed. This “piece” wasn’t for sale and I don’t know that it ever was or, in fact, ever could be. What would the asking price be? More than what someone paid for a multi-million dollar non-functioning urinal, I’ll bet.

  10. Only in New York would there be horse manure in an art gallery and oodles of folks lined to get a whiff and se a horse up close and personal. I did a double take when I read your post title.

    In my little town of about 125,000 or so, I can make one turn to the street that will take me to an almost weekly horse show where folks bring their horses from all over Texas to compete in all sort of trials/events/shows.

    I bet you’d prefer one of those horses from the art gallery in the cubicle next to you instead of having to endure the constant smacking, gnawing, etc of the new guy. In fact the horse might smell better than the guy digging in his ear.

    But on to other things of your post. I imagine the sandwich/bun stuffed with macaroni and cheese is about as delicious as a fried crab stuffed with sand.

    • If you want to speak in metaphorical terms, I’m pretty sure this wasn’t the first time, nor will it be the last, that horseshit was on display in a New York art gallery. It’s practically and every-day occurrence.

      The horses were better behaved than the slob I’m sitting next to. I feel like I’m serving penance for some unnamed crime I committed. What did I do to deserve it? I should probably say something but I can’t bring myself to speak to him about it. What a coward.

      • Oh my goodness, Mark, as I read your reply I just about fell out of my bed. That’s the best laugh I’ve had for a while. “Serving penance for some unnamed crime.”

        To be honest here, and of course I’m always honest- I wouldn’t be able to say anything to the slob either. I’d just endure each day and take a deep sigh at the end of the day. But, I bet you sigh all day long. It has to be over the top rudeness on that guy’s part.

      • I only need to survive until the end of August. That’s when his contract ends and my understanding is that it won’t be renewed. Fingers crossed. I feel genuinely awful for saying that, but he doesn’t know how to play the social game. And that’s critical if you’re going to work in an office.

  11. Ha! This is horseshit! There you have it. That’s funny. I talked about horseshit in my latest post, too, if you remember. It’s funny how it’s so proper for these horses, letting in 10 guests at a time. I can see that you wouldn’t want the horses to get out of control. Are the horses former race horses or anything? And that the food installation was nearby. How cool was that? That must have been planned, right? I love your idea and title for an installation. I know it would be high art. You’d be the talk of the town, Mark!! People will say where has this guy been hiding all this time…Sorry about your co-worker. Sad, just sad. I have no words.

    • Who knew horseshit was ithe July theme?

      I don’t know where the horses came from and I don’t know much about horses in general, but they look rather content. They certainly didn’t look like they were being abused or mistreated. And, yes, the two “exhibits” were done in conjunction with one another.

  12. Whether it constitutes art or not I’m not sure, but it doesn’t sit comfortably for me seeing those poor horses tethered up like that for people to stare at, it seems worse than a zoo. Speaking of horses though, I went to the theatre in London on Monday evening and saw War Horse – have you seen that on stage? Wow, have to admire the propwork/puppetry (not sure what it’s technically called) that goes on there, I would call what they do with their fake horses much more an artistic creation than tethered up real horses.

    Yucky earwax man! If you were more paranoid you might think the company had deliberately put him there to encourage you to leave 😉

    • I don’t know that there’s much difference between being tethered to a gallery wall and being trapped in a stall in the barn. They didn’t look too upset to me.

      I was dying to see ‘War Horse’ when it was on Broadway but I couldn’t get a discount. And if I can’t get a discount I can’t go. I can’t afford to pay retail. Everyone I spoke to who saw it loved it and said it was heartbreaking. Did you see the movie?

      • I hadn’t seen the movie or read the book or anything, so it was all new to me. My mum got the tickets on the day at one of those places that sells discounted last minute tickets for all the shows in town, we weren’t set on seeing that one particularly, it was a case of seeing what was available at what price for that night. We ended up with really good seats too, so it was great.

    • Hi. I had to approve this comment, which means I don’t think you’ve been here before. Thanks very much for stopping by. I appreciate it when anyone takes the time.

      I wondered about the financing for this installation. It’s not a piece that’s for sale. So where is the money being made to pay for this?

      This exhibit, like all gallery exhibits, are free and open to the public. I have a deep appreciation for that. The Museum of Modern Art is about $25 bucks for admission. How do they expect people to discover art if they have to pay through the nose?

      • Samara recommended you to me, so I popped over to see what the buzz was about. So far, me likey.

        They do grants and stuff, don’t they, for Art. And certainly here, galleries are sometimes free but with a heavily expected size-of-donation per person, and a snooty gallery-staff-member looking pointedly at them as they try to look their very poorest.

        I sometimes wonder if it’s all in the PR, and the ‘artist’ just sits and thinks “what’s the craziest thing I can make them buy into??”

  13. My penis is a higher form of art than that horse stuff. That is all.

    All consultants suck. Being one myself, I pick copious amounts of material out of my ears. I then smear it on some paper, bind it up, and present a hefty invoice to the client. It’s a wonderful life.

    The sandwich made me hungry. I can’t deny it. Think I will suck on some beer instead. Jesus Christ. An art exhibition of living horses tethered to the wall… how’m I supposed to wrap my head adequately around that?

    • But I picture you a class act contutant. Not like this guy. I’m thinking you’re a consultant by choice because it pays much better (albeit, without benefits). I think this dude is a consultant for a completely different set of reasons.

      You would eat a grilled cheese/mac-n-cheese sandwich? My God, man, have you no dignity? What other disguising thing would you put in your mouth?

      • No no no – I’m a consultant that works for a consulting company. We exist to charge hours. It’s heinous. Yeah, I’d eat the sandwich. I nuts about trying new stuff, don’t know why. As for dignity – it flew off with my humility. I’m now a debased braggart.

  14. Ooh! My lovely Lizzi popped in from across the pond to visit! And you’d DIE to hear her voice. You’re an Anglophile, and there is nothing quite like the lilting sounds of Lizzi’s very British voice.

    Okay. The post.
    As much as this is really just horses in a barn, it IS fun to use it as art, isn’t it? I mean, in an ironic (I hate that I just used that word) way? Because it’s just a horse barn. But in the middle of New York, and displayed as art. I don’t know enough about art to judge the aesthetics of this “exhibit” but there’s something very unique about it, no? Isn’t that why you wrote about it?

    People are disgusting. Who cleans their ears in public? Gross.
    Do you have what I have, misophonia? Sensitivity to certain sounds? Or is he just ridiculously loud?

    This took me TWO days to read because of the comments. You have a lively comment section here. I especially love the banter between you and Guap, List of X, and Mark Bialczak. There are not enough funny male bloggers out there. Actually, I think they’re all on this page.

      • She’s British?! With the accent to go with it? *shudder* That’s doesn’t come across in her written comments. Have you ever read (or tried to read) any of Irvin Welsh’s books? He actually writes in Scottish brogue. It can be a challenge to weed through but it’s ultimately very satisfying.

        I’ve said above that although I might not be overly-impressed with the finished product, I am very impressed with the effort. Any artist who puts their stuff out there for public consumption deserves at least the grudging respect for taking the chance. Except Basquiat. His stuff is lazy junk.

        I don’t know if I’m sensitive all ALL sound, but I certainly have a wild hair up my ass about CHEWING. And it goes on all day. I’m losing my mind.

        I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: The posts are fine but the comments are the party. I love when you stop by! I feel a sisterly bond with you, if that’s not too creepy to admit.

  15. That fat lump in front of me would make it impossible for me to stay at that desk for long. I have an absolutely visceral dislike of those kind of sounds. Just to bring it back to the single theme I have in my life — one of the most gorgeous girls I’ve ever me in my life was a noisy eater, and as lovely and seductive and purely sexual she was, a relationship would have been impossible until she had learned to eat quietly.

    • Fat lump + no social game. He’s just a tragic figure from beginning to end. He seems completely clueless to the fact that he rubs people the wrong way. And yet..A GIRLFRIEND! How?

      If she was as lovely as you describe, I might have made an extra special effort to get past my chewing issue. I can put up with quite a lot for the sake of all the qualities you mention. Does that make me superficial?

  16. Nothing surprises me in the Art world anymore, especially after following your blog the last few years. What I find interesting is that this installation started in 1969. Could it be the first one to push through that ‘Art’ envelope, passing Warhol and others.
    I had a couple of years in a office with a similar person. I eventually snapped and ran my mouth. I became hated one. So glad to retire from the grind of dealing with co-workers.
    Why do women think they can flush away anything they don’t want in their lives? Rhetorical, don’t answer.

    • That’s sad that you’re never surprised by the art world anymore. Does that mean you’ll never be fist-shaking outraged? I hope not. Where’s the fun in that? I, too, am amazed that this first happened in 1969 and was deemed important to repeat FIVE TIMES throughout Europe, and now in New York. SOMEBODY must like it.

      I am praying I can keep my big mouth shut and not say anything. That’s never a good thing to do in an office. But, as you probably know from first-hand experience, it ain’t easy.

      Perhaps women take the flushing metaphor too literally? If I were her, I’d have just left him by now. She’s not going to change him, nor does she have the right to.

      • When I am ‘fist-shaking outraged’, I become the hated one who judges too much. So now I just shake my head, roll my eyes, shut my mouth and wait for the next pile of crap to be thrown in living the dream life. Sigh!
        Love your blog.

      • This morning, my 13-year old said, “Dad sees the worst in people.” It cut me straight through. I don’t want to be that guy. Especially to my daughter. But how can I change? My formative years are long behind me.

        Blog loves you back.

  17. Wow … So I live with one-sixth of an item of Great Art? Who knew?

    Just be grateful it didn’t involve a starving dog. Now THAT was horrible! (I just googled it and it MIGHT not have been true … but even the concept was horrible. And I did see a photograph of a bunch of rich people standing around looking at a dog that was purported to be starving.)

    • I’ll tell you who knew…the connoisseur of contemporary art in Manhattan. They thought of it first. To the rest of us, they were just beasts of burden.

      So…wait…was there actually a starving dog exhibit? I refuse to Google it. We can have a chuckle over the horses but there’s nothing funny about that.

      • Ja, don’t google it. I started looking for a link to provide a link and got too upset – there are some images that scream for an effective way of scrubbing memories. But the “artist” was Guillermo Vargas, may he rot, slowly, one extremity at a time.

      • Also … I just read the Wikipedia entry, and the comments he is quoted as making regarding human hypocrisy and people’s tendency to form judgments based on little information do have a point.

  18. I wonder what it cost to put on this exhibit with the horses? I’m sure that it was at least six figures. It’s not like an observer with deep pockets is going to buy one of those ponies to add to his collection; place it next to the Van Gogh. The fact that this has been staged five times in Europe since 1969 and now the US is in on the act makes this the longest running prank in the world. My friend, Milton, refers to MoMA’s fourth floor as “the joke floor.” That’s the place where you’ll find a canvas painted solid gray that took the artist two years to finish (Brice Marden’s “Return” 1964-65) and a ten foot tall plywood plank painted pink called “The Absolutely Naked Fragrance”. I need a hit of Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”. Fortunately, that’s in MoMA, too. I’ll pass on the pork tacos, but this tells me that anything can be called art if enough wealthy people deem it so.

    • That’s what I was wondering. What does it cost and who pays for it? They’re not charging admission so the people who visit aren’t paying for it. The food was free, too. Am I still in New York?! Why are you taking a pass on the pork tacos, btw? The looked scrumptious. I couldn’t sample one because I had to get back to work. You should have read the review in the Times. They made it sound like anything but a prank. More like a work of the highest order. I don’t care about the crap in MoMA (and there’s plenty of it). I still love that building. The pieces that are satisfying far outweigh the junk. And besides, how would you know just how great the great pieces are if you didn’t have some crap to compare it to?

      • You and I are on the same page of needing to see (horse)shit to recognize shine. I would pass on the pork tacos because I have dietary issues that are about a mile long due to severe gastrointestinal issues that started when I hit 50. I have to be very careful about what I eat. Clearly, Mr. Big in the cubicle next door does not suffer my woe and would probably ignore the problem and just add all kinds of meds and OTC pills to continue scarfing. I was never a scarfer and I do everything I can to stay off meds.

      • That gallery better thank their lucky stars that the behemoth sitting next to me didn’t find out there were free tacos being served. That would’ve been a piece of performance art in and of itself.

        Saw ‘The Wier’ at the Irish Rep on Friday. I liked it a lot. My friend, not so much. It builds slowly but that doesn’t bother me. The language is lush. Fantastic cast.

    • Lameadventures, I’m going to but in here and comment on your next comment below — GI issues. I’ve had them for 40+ years and my doctor recently recommended Enteric Coated Peppermint Oil pills. While they have not made my Crohn’s disappear, I have been more comfortable — and able to eat more of what I want (in fact, everything I’ve re-tried). So sorry to butt in but, I am having trouble keeping quiet about them.

      • Thank you for sharing Elyse. That’s very considerate of you. I don’t suffer Crohn’s disease, just a trinity of gut problems: gastritis, esophagitis and hiatal hernia. Six years ago when I started adhering like a barnacle to the list of foods I’m urged to avoid, I feel much better. Of course, it would be nice to enjoy pasta bolognese again without feeling like I’ve ignited my intestines.

  19. I’m late to read this post. I’m shouting BULLSHIT (or HORSESHIT and BBQ) on the exhibits.

    And I DID play the video of your co-worker. I knew what I was getting into, and yet, I was compelled. Think of the self-hate of that man’s girlfriend…

    Lastly, when I saw that grilled cheese with Mac, I thought of an ad I saw just yesterday, for a cheeseburger topped with MacN’Cheese. I think we are starting to invent foods that make us obese before we even eat them.

    • Pish. There is no late. What’s that?!

      I demanded the video be played because I thought some would find the idea of watching someone dig earwax out with a pen cap unappetizing. But I wanted everyone to experience what I’ve been experiencing.

      Getting fatter just be staring at food is a uniquely American concept. I’d like to see Europe come up with something as useless. It’s why we’re #1.

  20. My biggest complaint is that you can’t call something “Untitled” and then give it a title (“12 Horses”).

    Also, are we SUUUUUURE those tacos were pork and not “art” that wouldn’t cooperate?

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