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Friday, October 1, 2010

48 Bagels please...

Hello readers - I hate to tell you this but today was our last day together in the Big Apple.  Don't worry, I took care of things and stayed plenty busy wishing the entire time that I had another week to take it all in.  I'm not sure if I really went too much into detail about this - but I used to live here.  I used to walk up and down Broadway on a near daily basis, scowling at the tourists, screaming at rogue taxi drivers and generally just assimilating into a very bah-humbug lifestyle.  Now, I'm not sure if it's the 6 years that have passed or if the city has changed, but now when I return there is most certainly a change in the wind.  Sure, the woman behind the counter will still say "thank you for coming... have a nice day" and sound more annoyed that genuine but whatever - that's New York. That is going to happen.  But, smile once in a while here and you might be surprised at how frequently someone smiles back.  Of course there's an increased likelihood that the party smiling back is teetering on mentally insane - but hey... a smile is a smile is a smile.  Take it and enjoy life.

Today I woke up and began my day around noon.  While I'd been to several galleries all over Manhattan the last few days, Friday's time was allotted more for food - a general necessity if I wanted to keep the order in my home and workplace upon my return.  But before I got to the shopping, I wanted to meet up with weekend New Yorker, Ben Freeman.  Ben, as you might remember if you came to our show on the 18th of September, is an artist that we've represented for over two years now and who just finished several new pieces now on our walls in Carmel.  During the week Ben lives and works in Boston - but people being people and rituals of life being as they are - Ben has been weekending in New York for decades now and honestly, who can blame him?  A quick trip on a train and you're in the city that never sleeps with enough inspiration to last an artist a lifetime... or two.  Aside from our love of the island, Ben and I share a similar palette when it comes to food.  Both pescetrians and both lovers of all things Parisian, we tend to find ourselves meeting up at a wonderful French restaurant called Pastis.  Located in the meat packing district with a charming french motif, the food and wine and general buzz of people talking lends itself to a great meal - and a great meal was had by us both. His fish was Cod... mine was something else that I cannot remember - but both were amazing and accompanied some great discussion about his plans for the future - his work as an artist and the direction that life seems to be taking for both of us.  Often times we offer lectures in our gallery and let me tell you this - if you have a chance to sit down and talk with the artists - to learn about them or to listen to how they've come so far in their life  - it really does make their work that much better.  To hear Ben talk about his experiences in the world of fine art help to magnify this general understanding of technique and even, yes... politics in his work.  Maybe that's why I love his collections so much - because I know him and I see a piece of him in the work at hand.  If you have a chance to meet with any of our artists I would suggest that you do so.  Art speaks much louder when it has a sense of humanity behind it.

After lunch with Ben I raced to the North West side for some shopping.  And here's where I have to apologize to the readers - if I could I would bring you all something but as you might understand... that's not possible.  However, I am under orders to bring back bagels, Herring, bread, pizza, etc. to those I am close to on a daily basis.  So... up to 106th I went (or so) to a place whose name I still don't know - but who has the best bagels I've ever tasted.  H&H??? No.  You don't hold a candle to this place and I'm tired of people claiming that you do - marketing and branding in this city only gets you so far... you have to back it up and I'm sorry,... H&H doesn't back up anything anymore.  So, I found myself at a small no-name bagel place run by men and women who spoke enough English to take orders and left with 48 bagels in two very large blue bags.  Thus began the acquisition of New York cuisine.  Bagels, check.  Herring in creme sauce, check.  Hummus and Tahini from "The Hummus Place", check. Armenian string cheese, check.  Lox spread, check. $4 chocolate chip cookie from Food Channel favorites, check.  Tomorrow - 5 pizzas from Big Nicks and maybe... maybe... some garlic knots.... we'll see.  But regardless - that should do it... well, until I get to Pennslyvania where I get a few cases of Yuengling......  oh Lord... I have turned into my mother.  Such is life.  Food wins... food wins.

Well, speaking of food - dinner is here .... Sushi delivered to the apartment.  I'm going to miss New York City but for those of my readers who might see me at the gym - I'll be there quite a bit in the next few weeks... working off this "work week" on the treadmill.

Have a great night.

- Katherine

A tourist for every season.

It's nearly 11 pm and in 12 hours I've lived three days - or so it seems.  Today was a story from beginning to end and even I'm sure I didn't quite catch everything.  As I told you in my last entry - today was mostly about the Affordable Art Fair (AAF).  I had carefully arranged my few days here so that I would have an entire day to peruse what is likely the most manageable price points in all of Manhattan's fine art world.  Now, I am about as picky in art as I am in men - I know what I like and while I appreciate the workmanship that goes into various styles, I am not drawn to it.  Also, as I said today earlier, my tolerance for the ridiculous is waning.  Today I wanted to see something so fresh that it would take me by surprise - guess what.... SUCCESS!
The image you just saw is by an artist named Jordan Eagles and his work is perhaps the most exciting thing I saw all day.  The piece above is 20 x 20 x 3 and get this - it's blood preserved on Plexiglas and coated in resin.  This particular piece is also layered with copper.  Excuse me, did you say blood? Yep, I did.  But what's great about this piece is that it organically draws you in before you even know it's blood.  The color, the texture, the size, the technique - it's only until after you've looked at the small little label to the right that you know what the medium is - and right there next to that information is a little red dot.  This piece was sold by day two of the art fair and I cannot say I was at all surprised.  A piece of art that is captivating and provocative?  Let's just say that I would love to show Jordan's work in our space.

While there were various other artists that I noted I simply cannot wait any longer - I must tell you about what I found on 14th St later in the day.  You see, after I finished up at 7 W 34th (the AAF) - I was wondering what else I was going to do with my day.  Soon I had a quick drink date with Oriano scheduled for 6 pm and it was already 4.  I had two hours to kill so I began the walk.  Anything in New York is within walking distance - the question is how much time and inclination do you have - once you decide you have both, you can just start out in the general direction you're aiming for and eventually you'll get where you're going.  As I was fairly close to the southside of mid-town, walking 10 blocks to Chelsea wasn't a big deal - so another 11 blocks to the Meat Packing District was even more okay.  The only drawback - humidity.  I had the time but today was especially rough for someone like me who looks as though I ran a marathon after 10 blocks - so I HAD to pace myself and enjoy the scenery.  An hour later I was at 14th and 9th Ave - the corner where Oriano and I were set to meet up... except I still had one more hour to kill.  And so the window shopping began....

You name it and they have a store in that area - and we're talking the types of stores that don't put price tags on the merchandise.  "If you have to ask, you can't afford it." - Those stores.  But absolutely gorgeous things - some a little out there but all in all - gorgeous.  And there, smack dab in the middle of all this fabulousness... Heller Gallery - the diamond of my entire trip.

This gallery is full of amazing glass art - a medium I'm not particularly drawn to on a regular basis.  Our gallery in Indiana has a few exceptional glass artists but in general, it's a medium that tends to be a little outside my radar.  Not so at Heller.  Every single piece of art in there was breathtaking - clean lines, striking shapes and colors, evocative and thought provoking - it had everything.  The crème de la crème was work by Josepha Gasch-Muche.  Pictured to the left and measuring just over 30 x 30 - this work is likely the most stunning thing I've seen all week.  Composed of thin broken panes of glass arranged by the hundreds of thousands in this circular pattern, the work somehow looks soft enough to touch but threatening enough to remind you how delicate it is. I have never seen anything like this and I have to wonder - is this something that we might be able to get for our space? To introduce the Carmel area to this work would be a pleasure for me personally.

It has since gotten late and it is time for me to retire - I shall continue the story of Thursday with you all tomorrow .... but for now.... goodnight.