Sunday, June 10, 2012

Already Memories

Raining in NYC
We came home from NYC with more than the Pisco Brandy that we bought. Not surprising since it rained the whole time we were there and we walked around with wet feet for days. We live a very isolated life in Vermont, so the crowds in the museums, galleries and buses must have given us some germ that has caused constant coughing, sneezing and hacking since May 25. Finally we both went to doctors and are on the mend.

Why the Pisco Brandy? Well I made a Bobby Flay dinner for a party a month or so ago that included his Pisco Sour Sangria. I had gotten all the ingredients and then discovered that none of the liquor stores in NH or VT (state-run) sell Pisco. I substituted Grappa, and it was delicious, but I put Pisco on my NYC list. Every store I went in had several choices. I haven't tried it yet but it is something to look forward to later this summer.

We went across the Tappan Zee Bridge into Westchester, then the Bronx, over another two bridges into Brooklyn and later that day through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel into Manhattan. We must have paid every toll possible in just a few days, and it did feel like we were hemorrhaging money. We went to Brooklyn so I could have a discussion/critique of my work with the curator of the Drawing Center's Viewing Program. It feels like perk enough to have my work included in the Viewing Program (if you click HERE it takes you to the home page where you can enter my name in the "Name or Keyword Search" area and go to my page), but I was thrilled to have an opportunity to meet with Nina Katchadourian. You may have seen The New Yorker blog article on her work, which was going around the Internet recently. I don't feel ready to discuss the generous conversation I had with Nina; I am still digesting and distilling it, seeing where it takes me and holding it close. But I will share my thoughts when I am ready. Meanwhile please go to my page, which I feel very good about, and give me some feedback.

Row Houses in Windsor Terrace area of Brooklyn
(unknown photographer)
We were just blocks away from the Windsor Place house we called home from 1983-1987, so of course we took a drive down nostalgia lane. The street is a facade of connected row houses. Every house on the block has been upgraded with vinyl siding in every pastel color imaginable, except the house where we lived. It had its familiar asphalt-siding (I always called it linoleum siding) and door with peeling paint and general air of weariness. It is our fish that got away. But if we had bought it when we could, I would never have gone to graduate school, or become a college professor, or lived in as many states as we have tried.

Ernesto Neto (above); Richard Avedon (below)
We headed for Chelsea galleries after Brooklyn. This trip we only had a chance to go there two afternoons, so we didn't see everything, but a little inspiration can go a long way. Nina recommended the Ernesto Neto show at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery and the Richard Avedon which was showing across the street at one of the Gagosian spaces. I like Neto's work, have watched it for years, but I am not so crazy about the recent spate of "gallery as amusement park" exhibitions. Bonakdar does have the kindest, friendliest staff that I have encountered in years, and I guess they need this attitude to deal with all the families with small children that I saw climbing all over the Neto's (as he intended). I loved the Avedon's because, like Patti Smith's "Just Kids", it brought me right back to my formative years. Ginsburg was always a hero of mine (first time I heard him read was in NYC around the time some of these photos were taken [he was so young!]) and it is amazing to stand in front of these huge images and study the people. Big art is so impressive and I am still struggling with the idea of how I can make my work big, bigger, biggest and still make it myself (which I want to do) and not physically destroy myself while making it.

Well, I am not done with the trip, but will stop for today. Have to go outside and scrape paint from our enormous house which just feels bigger with every scraping motion. 

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