Category Archives: Art
I was recently reading Hugh Honour’s Neo-Classicism (part of Penguin’s excellent Style and Civilization series from the ’60s and ’70s) and not enjoying it very much. The book is fine, but the topic was less than scintillating. I guess it depends on your tolerance for sentimental art about civic duty. Then I was jolted awake by a short passage in the epilogue:
This Friday after work I went to Park Slope for an art opening featuring our friend Sarah Nicole Phillips‘s work. The gallery was near the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Fifth Street, which led to a predictable mistake: I walked up and down the wrong block, lost and completely flummoxed. I finally walked into some sort of ethnic restaurant (Esperanto, I believe), where I asked two pretty employees for help. After conferring in their Cryptophasia, they apologized for not knowing where the gallery was, but a kind, mysterious stranger appeared out of nowhere and told me that he had made the same mistake and told me to go around the corner.
As new “Mercedes Benz” leasers, we decided we’d do well to learn how rich people lived. We packed the last of our poor-people Monterey Jack along with some comparatively costly crackers and drove off to the Hudson Valley to visit the Rockefeller Estate.
We were surprised at the many tolls we had to pay! Now that we’re driving we’ve turned into Republicans and feel that somebody else (e.g. pedestrians) should subsidize New York’s roads and bridges. At the very least they could charge tolls by the pound. Why should we pay for our tiny car as much as SUV owners do?
Earlier this week I received an invitation to a gallery opening from an artist I hadn’t heard from in many years – and whom I hadn’t seen since our one and only date about ten years ago.
I met her when I worked at an art gallery in Harlem. It was rare to get visitors outside of the opening reception; usually the only people who dropped by during the run of the show were a local drug dealer, who would spend a lot of time looking at the art and leave without ever saying a word, and the landlord, demanding to see the owner because we were invariably late paying the rent. It was a very special day when a cute girl walked in, and near-miraculous if she would come to the back office, which this one did.
In a fit of optimism, Sabine and I got memberships to MoMA last December thinking that the repeated visits would pay for themselves. But just like other people with their gym memberships, we ended up only going once this year. When work let out early yesterday, I decided to visit the permanent collection and try to get some of my money’s worth.
After leaving an excellent exhibition at the Folk Art Museum (Eugene Von Bruenchenhein‘s sexy pics of his wife, if you must know), Sabine and I stopped to look at the African art for sale on the street. I never know what to make of that stuff – is it genuine? Surely not, but it definitely looks real to my untrained eyes. And if it is real, how does it end up for sale on the street? Then again, how does it end up at galleries?
As I was musing these admittedly less-than-fascinating questions, someone passed by me and muttered under their breath, “fucking homo!” While it’s been several years since I’ve been called that (the last time was by a very angry, and relatively tiny, old Puerto Rican in the N Train in Astoria, maybe 10 years ago), it was clearly directed at me.