Hop hop hop

I took my 12-year old on a Chelsea gallery hop. The 17-year old is out of the game. She has a Saturday gig and a boyfriend now. There’s no room for gallery hops with Dad. Eventually, I’ll lose 12-year old too and be back to wandering around these galleries alone. I’m not hurt or insulted. It’s the nature of how things work.

I think she was a bit bored. I occasionally caught her standing in a corner staring at her phone instead of the art. I think she enjoyed the time spent with Dear Aul Da but I’m not sure how she feels about art. I either opened a world for them or turned them off to art permanently. It could go either way. But you have to make the introduction. What happens after that is out of my control.

This is Anthony McCall’s fetching light installation Split Second at the Sean Kelly Gallery.

I’m like a parrot. I like shiny objects and light is my favorite medium. Light + mist is even better.

A young child ran into the light and I couldn’t resist a pic.

James Turrell is the grandmaster for me but this is a very fine example of McCall’s ‘solid light’ works.

This room of shoe oddities tucked in the back of the Marlborough Gallery is Towards An End to Biological Perception by Genesis P-Orridge. Animal lovers beware.

My daughter didn’t spend any time looking at these. She found them disturbing, spun around on her heels and walked straight out, which I understand. But *I* liked them.

The larger part of the gallery is filled with Davina Semo’s large scale sculptures in All The World. Along the floor are heavy cubic bales that anchor chains linked to bells cast from bronze.

I didn’t want to get thrown out so I asked permission to ring the bells and they said it was OKAY. So you can imagine what that lead to.

Brightly colored reflective acrylic sheets studded with ball bearings hang on the walls throughout.

I was reading a review in ARTnews, which is something I rarely do. ARTnews sucks all the joy out of art. The reviewer said of the piece in question:

For an oeuvre that is so self-consciously synthetic, the overall experience offers a surprisingly potent meditation on attention, lifespans and mortality itself.

What does that even MEAN? I have a very base, visceral reaction to art. I look at it. Does it make me have a proper laugh (in the good or bad way)? Is it beautiful to behold? These are my criteria. It’s why I hate political art.

Would I? Wood Eye!

A respite from tales of cockroach infestations and unrequited love. Instead, here are two gallery hops. You can (and should) click on your favorites for detail.

I get too wrapped-up in the city and forget that great art can be found pretty much anywhere. I was enjoying some one-on-one time with my daughter on Asbury Park’s boardwalk on a sunny Sunday afternoon and stumbled across these beauties.

mellon 1

mellon 2

They’re made of wood and they’re life size.

mellon 4

They’re situated in The Market on Fifth Avenue, a boutique co-op on the boardwalk. It’s a gaggle of little artisan shops under one roof. I know very little about the artist. Apparently, he came in one day, asked if he could display them and the owner said yes. Smart owner.

The detail is incredible. She’s weird and wonderful. The shirt looks like cloth

mellon 6

The girl behind the counter didn’t even know the artist’s name, much less anything about his work.

mellon 8

I finally found his name at the bottom of this piece. A Google search for Gary Mellon turned up a dead webpage but there are some other links. Apparently, he carves these from plywood in his Brooklyn loft. [Edit: With thanks to Lame Adventures. Here he is.]


I tried not to put my filthy hands on them but it’s tough. It’s one of those pieces that begs to be caressed. The wood is smooth and cool to the touch.

mellon 12 mellon 10

As I said, there’s virtually no information at all out there on this guy, which is pretty amazing when you consider all the information avenues on the internet. Artists are terrible marketers. It’s the downfall of many of them. Get this guy a gallery rep! It made me wonder how many other great artists are out there that I’m unaware of.

I love neon lights. They conjure a certain old-timey feeling. I used to love seeing neon lights reflected on a rain-soaked Manhattan street at 1:00 a.m. The fact that you don’t see them anymore makes me feel like something worthwhile is gone. Neon lights are now LED. Bookstores are Amazon. The counter at Howard Johnson’s is now Starbucks.

Kosuth 2

So I got a big thrill out of Agnosia, an Illuminated Ontology, an Installation by Joseph Kosuth at the Sean Kelly Gallery in Chelsea.

Kosuth 5

It was a career retrospective with works produced from 1965 to present. I think having them all gathered together in one room made it even more of a spectacle. I wondered if I would’ve enjoyed it as much if I’d seen them individually mounted? They say less is more, but that’s not always true.

Follow the branches of this tree. The flow makes sense. It all springs from water. I like how he arrives at ‘vodka.’

W.F.T. #3, 2008

Kosuth 8

Five Colors, Five Adjectives, 1965 Kosuth 10

Kosuth 11

This one, Five Fives (for Donald Judd), is from 1965 and the earliest piece in the show. Each review and article I read highlighted this piece. I wonder what set it apart from all the others so that it deserved special attention?

Kosuth 3

Mounted on the ceiling beams throughout the gallery were the names of famous people who either were born in 1968 or died in 1968. You can see them if you scroll up to that first gallery shot. It’s an eclectic gathering.

1968 3

1968 2 1968 1

1968 71968 81968 6 1968 5 1968 4

1,2,3,4, 1993

Kosuth 6

Yes, that’s an illuminated Calvin and Hobbs comic. I wonder if Bill Waterson knows about this or if it’s just another piece of misappropriated comic art?

Double Reading #20, 1993

I heart Hathaway

I’ve never understood the vitriol directed at Anne Hathaway. I guess she said a few dippy things that rubbed people the wrong way. Well, guess what? You were a dope when you were in your 20’s, too. You just weren’t famous enough for everyone to know it. As far as I can tell, she a dedicated actor who just wants to turn in the best performance she can.

I saw her at The Public Theater in her one-woman show, Grounded by George Brant, in the tiny, 275-seat, Anspacher Theater. It’s about a fighter pilot who loves flying and loves the Air Force, but suddenly finds herself grounded because of a pregnancy. She’s relegated to drone operations—an inferior position for a pilot—and it drives her to madness.

It’s directed by Julie Taymor, who knows a thing or two about tasty visuals, staging and sound design. The play opens in a dark house. The stage is wall-to-wall ripples of sand. A beam of light shoots down on center stage. Hathaway stands beneath it in a flight suit and helmet. A thin stream of stand pours down. The sand particles bouncing off her helmet are an effective opening.

grounded1The visceral thrill of flying sorties gives way to a move to Las Vegas and long, tedious drives to her desert base where she spends 12-hour shifts staring at feeds from a drone.


The tedium is only interrupted when she presses a button to rain down death from above. She slowly becomes detached from her husband, daughter, fellow crewmen and reality.


The play climaxes when she finally locates a high-ranking insurgent and, after following him for months, drops a bomb. She watches through the hyper-telescopic drone camera as a child runs out of a house to embrace him and it reminds her of her own daughter. It’s an effective, albeit, contrived conceit. Hathatway immersed herself so deeply in the performance that at the curtain call on the night I saw her, she was visibly shaken and choking back tears. She came out for a second round of applause and was still weeping.


Hathaway is on the board at The Public. In an effort to generate revenue, she’s agreed to hold post-show meet-and-greets on selected dates. You can pay $1,000 to meet her, or, for $1,500, you can sit in prime seats for the show and afterwards have a three-course dinner with her and George Brandt, the playwright.

Considering the condition she was in at curtain call, I can’t imagine dinner being a barrel of laughs, but I’ll bet you’d remember it.

I walked over to the Sean Kelly Gallery on my lunch hour to see Cyclicscape, ten new aluminum and stainless steel sculptures by contemporary artist Mariko Mori.


They’re white, smooth loops without a beginning or end. They have a nice flow to them.


The galley was empty and seeing them in a quiet, white space gave them gravitas. I’m glad nobody was around. A crowd sure can ruin a meditative moment.


There’s always some art-speak mumbo-jumbo in the press release. (Right, Ross?) This time, it’s something about the universe’s never-ending renewal of invisible energy that transcends physical matter. Oh, brother. Can I just say I liked them for no particular reason?



They reminded me of those squiggle pins that Paloma Piasso designed for Tiffany’s.