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About NYC

It was a cold and windy day, and all the smokers were standing in the doorways, blowing their freaking ashes in my face everywhere I walked! Oh well, they'll all die young.

Al FrankenBy chance, the hilariously funny Al Franken's radio show did a live remote from the New School this afternoon. It's been a very trying time for many of us, at least 50% on election day, now more like 65%. OK, 15%, what were you thinking?! Anyway Al has made it a little better, a little funnier at least with his daily broadcast. Maureen Dowd, of the NY Times, was one of the guests. She's very smart and, yes, a hottie. She was plugging her new book, which suggests that men could be on the wane and with a few hundred of the best specimens retained for "daily milkings," women could do just fine. Al was curious about the milking process, but that hasn't quite been worked out yet.

John chamberlainOn to the art, and there is a lot to see right now. The last two shows at Bellweather have made you crane your neck to look at the work above; Mark Swanson's work is worth any stiff neck that may result. There is a beautiful show of large collage on canvas by Mark Bradford at Sikkema Jenkins. Roni Horn at Matthew Marks has interesting work and what looks like a nice dessert, maybe a flan, in the center of the gallery. Marks has a small gallery space next door that's perfect; there's a show of Terry Winter's paintings up right now.

A new space for Pace Wildenstein at 545 W 22nd opens with some of the best work, for me, that John Chamberlain has done. Lively twisted metal formations, with some fabulous color. This threw me off. From the looks of it, Elizabeth Dee had closed up, moved out, and been replaced by a D/R Gagosian/UBS retail outlet. Surprise, it's a Josephine Meckseper take on consumerism entitled %, well done.

Eliz OReillyElizabeth O'Reilly has some beautifully painted landscapes at George Billis. I'm not one for watching video on my gallery rounds: I can't slow down enough to appreiciate them. This time, it was easy, with Bill Viola's lush work at James Cohan and a heart-wrenchingly beautiful video, Zarin, by Shirin Neshat. See Edward Winkleman's site for more discussion on Neshat's piece.

An installation that is so very different from the Viola and Neshat, it's a fantasy land on steroids: Mike Kelly's Day Is Done, at Gagosian Gallery. I don't think I've ever seen so much going on at one time. It's called a feature-length "musical" composed of thirty-two separate video chapters. Each section is a live action recreation of a photograph of an "extracurricular activity" found in a high school yearbook. It's wild and a lot of fun to take it all in. I went to the Thursday night opening, but there was a long line to enter; so Fridays good.

damien hirstThe last stop of the day, the third day of contempory auctions at Phillips de Pury. A lot of money is being spent this year. Most every lot started in the $40,000 range and quickly jumped by 10s and 20s. I love art, but that's some serious cash. A big Damien Hirst fish tank went low for $800,000. I wonder if food is included. Richard Prince is very hot at the auctions. Two lots sold while I was there for $62,000 and $140,000. I have an uneasy feeling when the value of a work of art rockets to these very high numbers, especially for young artists. This puts tremendous pressure on the creative process; some sale numbers are absurd. But I'm happy for them. I don't know what I'd do if I found out that my work had just sold at auction for $96,000.00, as did Dana Shutz's, Project Kensington. Or how about $856,000.00 for an Elizabeth Peyton? The short answer, PARTY! If you've never witnessed an art auction, it's quite a show; very entertaining. The full list of sales totals can be seen at the Phillips website.


jfl said...
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Mark Barry said...

I totally agree...with him.

Princess Alpenrose said...

Hey, Mark! Good post. Covered alot of ground in an interesting collage-type of format.

jfl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mark Barry said...

First he never wished anyone dead, only those guilty of treason. Cheney will never die, who could get close enough with a wooden stake?

Mark Barry said...

Thanks Andrea, it's my bounce format.

libby said...

hi, mark, what a great post!!!! thanks for the link to the shirin neshat by edward winkleman. very interesting. also loved the snarky art market comments.

how did you get to see so much in so little time? were you wearing your roller blades?

Mark Barry said...

Ionarts provides car service and a boxed lunch; don't you have that at artblog?