May 2007 Archives

Art & Performance recommendations

June 1

Jonathan VanDyke

The artist Austin Thomas is having an opening for her new gallery space, called Pocket Utopia (site coming soon) just off the Morgan L Stop, featuring a site-specific installation by Jonathan VanDyke titled The Salon of the Covered Bride.



Friends Felicia Ballos and Michael Mahalchick are among the performers in the Movement Research Festival presentation of Populous by AUNTS at Judson Church at Washington Square:

Friday June 1, 7:30pm & 9pm, $8 suggested – Judson Memorial Church Gym
Like varieties of a species in a zoo, Populous is the controlled manage- ment of nine separate but simultaneous performances. The edges of the space are parceled off for each performance, delineated by markings on the floor, with a space in the center of the room for the audience. Each performance is allowed unlimited construction of movement, sound, light, and energy within its parcel. Visit: Ana Keilson. Liz Santoro. Juan Adley. Felicia Ballos. Jacqueline Fritz. Christine Elmo a.k.a. Andy’s MoM. Jennifer Rosenblit. Michael Mahalchick. Ede Thurrell.


June 2


Frankie Martin will be performing "frankfurter freakout" from 3-6pm at John Connelly Presents as part of the AVAF (Assume Vivid Astro Focus) installation.

Tomorrow is the last day to purchase special tickets for the NURTUREart benefit on June 4. Details:

  • Combination ticket with gala entry and choice of one artwork for $200
  • VIP Preview (early collecting at the champagne reception) includes choice of one
    artwork for $275.

Go here to buy tickets.

This offends me

| 1 Comment

While I appreciate the fact that a lot of money is flowing into the art world right now, and a lot more artists (even ones I know) are making a living from their art, the idea that ones hires an art advisor to "save time" figuring out what one likes is revolting. Some selective quotes from today's New York Times:

As for the collectors themselves, there appear to be as many types as there are art styles. Most buy the art because they love it, and some buy it for investment reasons. As for others, “no doubt — it makes a banker look more colorful and erudite when he can discuss his art at a dinner party,” Ms. Wächter-Campbell said.

While some work with advisers to accumulate art piece by piece over a number of years, others buy a new vacation home and call to say, “Fill it with art.”

Some collectors are like Ronny Zinner of Boston, who could not imagine building her contemporary collection without Leslie Rankow, a consultant based in Manhattan. “I am extremely busy, and Leslie does an incredible amount of research and legwork to stay informed of what’s going on in the art world,” said Mrs. Zinner, who comes from a family of art collectors and owns works by artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.

Ms. Rankow organizes art walks with her client’s taste in mind, previewing each gallery and work to build an efficient itinerary. She prepares dossiers on artworks and artists that Mrs. Zinner and her husband, Dr. Michael Zinner, are considering adding to their collection.


Artnet also creates virtual showrooms for more than 1,700 galleries in more than 250 cities around the world, so that advisers and their clients can start a worldwide search for an artist or style without leaving their computers. There is good fortune in strolling through a gallery and falling in love with a particular work, said Ms. Rankow, but strolling takes time — and many clients have little of it.

Carousel in Segovia



This amazing antique carousel was one of two set up in plazas in Segovia the day we visited. The golden stone you see behind it is the Roman aqueduct.

Update: James said he didn't think it was really antique, and he is correct. It's made to look that way, but the two we saw were created by la MACHINE in Toulousse, France in 1999.

God's Ear by Jenny Schwartz


Annie McNamara and Gibson Frazier


Before we left I mentioned the play "God's Ear" being produced by the wonderful company The New Georges. We saw it last weekend, and I highly recommend it. We were quite jet-lagged, and I was still thrilled with it. The language is experimental, funny, full of clichés (in a good way), and a bit broken. The amazing actors in the cast, along with the director Anne Kauffman and Michael Friedman's songs, produce what could have been a somewhat formal exercise in language into a moving evening of theater. In an impressive cast, I have to say the performance of Annie McNamara as a tipsy bar fly in an airport lounge was a wonderful discovery.

This is one of the few plays I've seen in a while where I thought about going back a second night to watch it again.

The Brooklyn Rail has an article on the play written by the actress and playwright Heidi Schreck (who we saw with Gibson Frazier in Anne Washburn's The Internationalist). It includes some excerpts:

And then we’ll kick up our heels. And have it both ways. And take a deep breath. And take it like men.

And sit back. Relax.

And ride off into the horse-shit.

For richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health. And the fat lady will sing. With bells on.

Here are some reviews:

It runs through June 2nd. Go here to buy tickets.

[photo supplied by The New Georges]

These links are a good introduction to an article at TomDispatch by Chalmers Johnson, author of Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic. Here is an excerpt:

According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, released on April 26, 2007, some 78% of Americans believe their country to be headed in the wrong direction. Only 22% think the Bush administration's policies make sense, the lowest number on this question since October 1992, when George H. W. Bush was running for a second term -- and lost. What people don't agree on are the reasons for their doubts and, above all, what the remedy -- or remedies -- ought to be.

The range of opinions on this is immense. Even though large numbers of voters vaguely suspect that the failings of the political system itself led the country into its current crisis, most evidently expect the system to perform a course correction more or less automatically. As Adam Nagourney of the New York Times reported, by the end of March 2007, at least 280,000 American citizens had already contributed some $113.6 million to the presidential campaigns of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Mitt Romney, Rudolph Giuliani, or John McCain.

If these people actually believe a presidential election a year-and-a-half from now will significantly alter how the country is run, they have almost surely wasted their money. As Andrew Bacevich, author of The New American Militarism, puts it: "None of the Democrats vying to replace President Bush is doing so with the promise of reviving the system of check and balances.... The aim of the party out of power is not to cut the presidency down to size but to seize it, not to reduce the prerogatives of the executive branch but to regain them."

Patricia Iglesias at Fake Estate

Patricia Iglesias at Fake Estate (detail)

Patricia Iglesias (detail of larger painting)

When you visit the 526 West 26th Street building, drop by the smallest gallery (a former utility closet) in Chelsea, started by curator Julia Trotta, to see what's showing. There is a large painting by Patricia Iglesias up at the moment, and the other shows I've seen there have all been good.

Women in Madrid

madrid women shopping

Another favorite photo from the ones I've uploaded so far to flickr.

David Kefford Deflated

Strange Eyes, 2005
mixed media

While we were traveling, ArtCat got its first artist outside of the U.S., David Kefford. The work I've seen so far looks quite interesting, so I'm excited about this!

His about page says:

David Kefford is an artist who uses low-tech craft processes to transform "redundant and un-loved" found and ordinary objects into surreal creations imbued with human characteristics and emotions.

Check out the site as he adds more info, or subscribe to the RSS Feed to follow along.

Turtle in Atoch Station, Madrid

Still getting caught up with email and work stuff. Posting will resume soon.

Back in NYC

No, I didn't post more in Spain. With one computer, we would spend too much time in the hotel room if both James and I were blogging/uploading photos.

If you can get to a TV, watch CNBC's Power Lunch today at 1:15. I hear Edward Winkleman will be on!

Note: This is probably the only time bloggy will ever link to CNBC's website.

Update: The video is online now.

Upside down angel, Madrid

Upside down angel


I will add more as I have time to flickr.

Headed to Spain

We'll be back on the 16th, and don't plan to blog much. It's a vacation!

Here are some recommended events while we're gone. Remember not to spend so much money that you can't attend the Nurture Art event on June 4.


  • Smack Mellon Kentucky Derby party and benefit on May 5
  • White Box benefit on May 8. You can view items online now.
  • Soho Rep, one of my favorite theater companies, has a benefit on May 14 -- performances by Matt Dillon, Tim Blake Nelson, Joe Pantoliano, Meryl Streep, and Lili Taylor in short works.
  • Exit Art 25th Anniversary benefit and art auction on May 3.


  • We know half of the people involved in a new play titled God's Ear presented by the New Georges. We're going after we get back, but if you go soon you can get discount tickets. Go to SmartTix and use the code PRE10 to see it for $10 May 2-6.
  • The Experimental Text Festival at Ontological looks fascinating, and includes visual artist's Jason D. Szalla's directorial debut: "Copy 8852 is an alcohol fueled, candy flavored transcribed, circum-conversation about River Phoenix, Pop Culture, and Contemporary Art. Anonymity will be the new celebrity. Now and then in the Viper Room a museum can be found . . ."

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