Fun With a Boulder, Floyd the Barber and Jesus

The Gagosian Gallery on 23rd St. in Chelsea recently featured this work by Michael Heizer.

Negative Wall Sculpture (1992-94)


It’s a 5.7 ton hunk of black granite mounted with a metal rod (apparently, a damn strong one) inside a weathered steel frame.


You can say it’s just a rock in a box. A reasonable argument can be made that it has little to do with art. But when I walked into the gallery, it filled me with a moment of awe. Perhaps it was the juxtaposition of the surrounding white walls or the fact that no one else was there. Just me and this big, stupid, imposing, beautiful rock enveloped in a thick, heavy silence. It really did work for me.

Since it’s in a gallery, I have to presume it’s for sale. I wonder how much? It’d pull the side of my house right down.


Over at the Sean Kelly Gallery is this clever eye-trick by Idiris Khan.


A feather pattern printed in white on hanging panes of glass. Stand in front of it and light streams through.


Move in close and its secret is revealed: They’re sentences.


Printed words layered until they merge into each other. I couldn’t make sense of what it said, which I imagine is intentional. The message is the pattern, not what composes the pattern. I think.

Khan also printed this large piece on a wall at the gallery entrance. [Note to self: Next time, include an object to show scale.] There’s no way to preserve this. It’ll simply be painted over when the exhibit closes.


This one includes layers of English and Arabic.


thats art

In tonight’s shocking episode of “The Andy Griffith Show”:


iiiiiiii…KNEW IT! It’s so obvious in hindsight. I always thought Floyd was a little light in the loafers. And he was the town hairdresser, after all.


I went to church a couple of weeks ago. I occasionally attend and always go with an open mind and an open heart. It meant a lot to my mom and it’s meaningful to My Bride. I want to be respectful.

The first reading was a faerie tale about how God put a man to sleep, open his chest, extracted a rib and invented women. I am astonished that people still believe this is how women evolved. And please don’t tell me it’s an allegory. If that’s the case, are there other allegories I should be made aware of? How about the resurrection?

The second reading was from the New Testament. Jesus was asked his opinion about remarrying after divorce. He deemed it tantamount to adultery. That means that my mother, a devout Catholic who spent untold hours performing charitable works in the Church’s name, is now burning in hell as an adulterer. My blood started a slow simmer.

Instead of a Gospel reading, we were treated to a video by The Most Rev. David M. O’Connell, the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Trenton. He announced the beginning of the Faith to Move Mountains fundraising initiative. The church needs cash. He said he didn’t just want us to give. He wants us to give until we feel the weight of a true sacrifice. I took that to mean we should give an amount that causes some mild economic distress to our household. This church [not our regular church] serves an affluent community and is known for its aggressive fundraising. We know someone who was called at home and told a $10,000 contribution would be an appropriate amount to give.

After listening to a load of blarney about how women were invented and then being told that, according to a strict interpretation of Catholic doctrine, my mother is no better than a common whore in the eyes of the church, they wanted me to give them some money.

So that didn’t go as well as I would’ve liked.

The next day, I read in the New York Times that the church spend $170,000,000 to restore St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue.

$170,000,000 for one church. Praise Jesus and his mysterious, tax-free ways.


My Bride had to spend Saturday conducting Christmas biz-niz so I took the girlies into the city and went gallery hopping in Chelsea. There’s an unusually robust selection of interesting exhibits up right now. This is all a part of my program to brainwash them into loving New York as much as I do. Plus, as any two-bit psychologist will tell you, I’m trying to be a better father than that poor, broken soul who raised me, which shouldn’t be too terribly difficult. The bar wasn’t set that high.

The first stop was the Mary Boone Gallery on 24th St. Two fine, new sculptures by KAWS are on display. This is ALONG THE WAY.


They’re 18′ high and made of wood. They look like two, sad Disney characters who lost their franchise, poor things.


I’m not entirely sure what kind of wood he used but it’s polished and smooth with beautiful grain. The wood glows in the light that streams in from the skylights. This is the other sculpture. This is AT THIS TIME. Daughter improvised that pose. I didn’t direct her to do that. I’m a proud papa.


As with many of these pieces, I’m not entirely sure what practical application can be made. They’re enormous.


This is INSIDE OUT by Richard Serra at the Gagosian Gallery on 21st St. It’s made from his trademark curved steel walls. Here’s a shot from the catalog that gives you a proper overview of the piece.

serraYou can’t really see how expansive it is from the ground. I think they should provide a catwalk or something so you can view it from on high.


We went to a similar Serra exhibit a few years ago at the same gallery. This stuff never gets old for me.


Surprisingly, the girls remembered the last exhibit and even the artist’s name. Mwwhahaha. It’s working.


I have to constantly remind the little one not to run her finger along the edge of the wall. The gallery is paranoid about the oil from your skin somehow degrading the surface. I suppose if enough people did it, it’d have an effect.

The David Zwirner Gallery on 19th St. is hosting I WHO HAVE ARRIVED IN HEAVEN by Yayoi Kusama. It’s a treat!

kusama-2It’s a series of inflatable stalagmites and stalactites that are illuminated from within. The colors slowly change.


You enter a small room, just a few people at a time–it’s a controlled entry– and are given one minute. The walls, ceiling and floor are made of mirrors, so once you’re inside and the door is closed, you get a reflection-within-a-reflection infinity effect. It’s quite disorienting.

“Listen…When you go into these exhibits, whatever you do, don’t touch the artwork, okay? DO NOT TOUCH THE ARTWORK.”


There’s also a brief film of Ms. Kusama reciting a poem. Again, she uses mirrors to effectively convey a infinite depth of view.


You’ll never guess what’s at the Gagosian Gallery on 24st Street? Another new Richard Serra sculpture! This is INTERVALS, a room full of steel plates in varying heights.




Also sharing the same gallery space is 7 PLATES, 4 ANGLES. Plates stand toe-to-toe and are arranged in a “V” shape.


Again, who am I to criticize, but it’d be awesome if they provided a view from on high.

The total cost of admission to all these galleries:

$0.00. Nothing. Nyet. Zilch. Right this way, sir. Null. Gratis. Complimentary.

Is this a great town or what?

We also paid a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 12-Year Old Daughter is on a Greek mythology kick and she had an insatiable need to see marble Gods and Goddesses. I won’t include photos of those, but I’ll leave you with this magnificent curio.


Ready for this?

PAIR OF EYES. Bronze, marble, frit, quartz and obsidian. Greek. 5th century B.C. or later. Huzzah.