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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Les Artistes et Les Galeries


Amy Stein's Watering Hole in this weeks New Yorker. Don;t miss the show. Congrats again, Amy! © Amy Stein

I couldn't make it to the openings Thursday night , but Friday -regardless of the rain & thousands of fashonistas abound- I tracked up to Chelsea to see a few shows. I saw Amy Stein's work at Clamp Art, which was great.
So far I only had seen Domesticated in print, so it was nice to finally catch the work at Brian Paul Clamp's gallery.


My reflection in the bison by Simen Johan at Yossi Milo

Of course I also went right next door to Yossi Milo Gallery to checkout one of my favorite artists: Simen Johan. And voila there it was: A Bison! Love the bison, the deer and also very much the lamb image of the Until The Kingdom Comes exhibit.
I like that Simen Johan also does sculpture; two were displayed at the gallery.
Overall I wish there would have been more work-- on the other hand it is nice to leave a gallery wanting more.


This one is for you, Jane ;) -- Valentijn from Annick Ligtermoet's series The Photo's on My Wall © Annick Ligtermoet

Then I headed over to Horton & Liu to see Annick Ligtermoet-- but clearly I was confused, because her work is actually exhibited at Horton & Liu auxiliary/project space Sunday L.E.S (I updated my original post about this listing. My apologies if anyone went to the wrong location). The show will close after Sunday, so I will be off to the LES tomorrow - rain or shine. That's how excited I am about Annick's work.
However the Horton & Liu's space at 504 West 22nd Street - which just opened- is lovey. It is in the parlor floor of a full-width brownstone, close to the highline. The space is warm and elegant, and feels good-- especially in contrast to most of the other gallery spaces in Chelsea which are concrete boxes. I like that Bauhaus vibe sometimes-- but my heart is more in the old skool, circa 1980 Soho vibe. While at Horton & Liu I met Frank Liu (C. Sean Horton's new gallery partner) who simply is the nicest of persons.


© Alexia Stamatiou

Sunday L.E.S. first came on my radar when they showed Alexia Stamatoui's work. Still love love love Alexia's work.
Ok off to bed and off to Sunday L.E.S. tomorrow.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Give Blood

Today is September 11. On that day eight years ago I remember the long lines of people in front of St. Vincent's, waiting in queue to give blood. No one knew how to help and giving blood seemed like one way to do it.
While not much extra blood was needed that week, I remember hearing that the hospitals were excited to have so many people come forward to donate blood. As I said previously there is always a shortage of blood supply (and not just in the US).
Yesterday while at NYU hospital I made an appointment to give blood, just because I want to do my part, but I was turned away. I grew up in Europe so that was an automatic no-go (the concern is Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, also know as 'Mad Cow' disease), and if that would not have done me in than mine extensive travel would have. Bummer.
Giving blood is no skin of one's back but it goes a long way. I do appreciate the stringent requirements, I think you cannot be careful enough.
Anyway if you are eligible to donate blood you should.
I wish I could.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Smitten




© Annick Ligtermoet

Tonight the great art opening marathon starts. But don't miss out on seeing the work of Annick Ligtermoet (whom I found via Horses Think).
Great work.

Annick Ligtermoet
Horton & Liu's Sunday L.E.S.
237 Eldridge Street
South Storefront
New York, NY 10002
- through September 13, 2009


© Annick Ligtermoet

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wash Up

I am sitting in a hospital waiting for someone to come out of surgery.
As a child I had a profound fear of anything that involved a doctor. But my adult New York medical experiences have changed that greatly. I know it is not a perfect system, but nothing is. And sometimes medical intervention is necessary. So you just have to prepare the best you can and get through it.

Two things that the NYU Langone Medical Center tries to raise awareness of are:
Preventing the spread of germs & viruses (wash your hands!) and the need for blood donations.

Apparently every 2 seconds someone (in the US) needs blood. The US is very strict about who can donate blood (and that is a very good thing) . Because of the great need and the strict requirements the US (and I imagine many other countries too) have a chronic shortage.
If you can & want to give blood, you can contact a hospital near you or check out organizations such as: www.americasblood.org .
But washing your hands - not just in the hospital - is another way to make a difference. Not just during flu season.
The Mayo Clinic has some tips on how to wash your hands properly: www.mayoclinic.com.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dream(ing) (of) From Sweden


Just arrived from Sweden
- manufactured & designed by Camilla Engman & Karin Erikkson


Tomorrow will be a big and stressful day in my world.
More medical stuff, but this time I am not the one in the hospital.

But I was delighted to come home after a quick run to discover that my 'dream' had arrived from Manos in Sweden. And I even got an extra treat! Thank you Karin!
Karin Erikkson, Sandra Juto, Elizabeth Dunker, Camilla Engman & Morran make me want to move to Sweden. Judging from their blogs, life for these five ladies just seems good & right.

In addition to Karin Erikkson's exquisite ceramics, Manos carries all sorts of wonderful items (like Urubbu Cards) - and your items will arrive wonderfully wrapped! You can visit Manos web shop at: manos.bigcartel.com.

Oh and talking about blogs that share the best of what life has to offer -- check out: mandarineditalie.blogspot.com.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labo(u)r Day This & That


courtesy Sasha Wolf Gallery/© Norman Mooney

Today is Labo(u)r Day, which truly marks the end of summer in the US. It's back to business after Labo(u)r Day.
As Amy Stein astutely pointed out on her blog, the meaning behind Labo(u)r Day is mostly lost on the mainstream.
In Continental Europe Labour Day is on the 1 of May and manifests itself very differently from Labo(u)r Day Here. In Germany the day often ends with semi-serious riots in urban centers like Berlin or Hamburg.

But back to New York. With summer over the city is getting back to work. The city's art world opens the season with a bang.
Horses Think has a 'Hit List' of photo shows to see, find it by clicking here.
As Ruben of Art Most Fierce put it, Thursday night will be a marathon. There are so many openings to attend.
Then the following week, on Thursday September 17, Norman Mooney's Carbon Drawings will premiere at Sasha Wolf Gallery.
Maria and I saw some of the works from his Absence and Presence exhibit in Williamsburg last year and we can say that they are exquisite and minimalist in just the right way.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

About Photography

I am very much looking forward to seeing new work by Simen Johan (his next solo exhibit opens at Yossi Milo September 10, 2009). Simen Johan's work while photo-based operates somewhat outside the genre.
Horses Think quoted Simen Johan from an interview with Life Lounge, where the artist said the following about his relationship with the medium:

“Photography has never really been that interesting to me as a medium because if all you do is capture already existing things, then you are more of an observer than a creator, and this is not something that fulfills my artistic ambitions. When working digitally, you can work more like a painter than a photographer. You essentially paint with photographs, inventing new worlds that come from an artist’s imagination. You don’t reproduce something that already exists; you create something of your own.”

This is a loaded statement, because photographers to this day struggle to get respect for their work/medium -- and to receive recognition for their creativity. Sure if you are a documentary/war photographer people respect that you have the courage to be in those places and take those pictures. And if you shoot portraits people might be impressed by whom you photographed -- but not necessarily how you photographed the sitter.
If you shoot landscape you pretty much get no respect at all.
Photography is a complex medium that blurs many boundaries and that draws from many places.
The barrier to entry is very low with photography. Especially now. The learning curve is not steep. And yes amateurs can take "good" photographs.
But there is the talent/magic/je ne sais quoi factor to outstanding photography. Where that comes from - like in any other artistic medium- is a mystery.
Because of the low barrier to entry and because everyone thinks they are a photographer, the medium currently is polluted and congested with mediocre work. It really is.
It's frustrating having to weed through so much unoriginal or uninteresting photography to find a few inspiring images.
But this is not just the fault of the individual. My sense is that the photo community is very rigid in their thinking and limited in its appreciation of the gamut of the medium.
The way I see it there is not much thirst for originality and the community is most comfortable with repetition.
And thus someone like Simen Johan has really no impetus to align himself with photography.