Archive for March, 2009

God of Carnage

March 30, 2009

Giving a tour on a red double decker bus the other day and coming downstairs a customer said ” can I ask you a question?”………….. and proceeded to query whether I could give away two tickets to “God of Carnage” for that day’s matinee performance asking “can  anybody use these” and I said  to paraphrase yes me (I had done back to back downtown tours and fufilled my bid requirement and so timing things this sudden theater goer realized he would be free).

I could not find anybody to take the second seat in the orchestra on such short notice not even outside the theater.  However having told a few around including the lady who scanned my e-ticket on the way in just as the curtain was about to rise someone came in and asked if the seat was free saying that the lady at cancellation line told him a seat was available and he would gladly reimburse me for it and I said sure.

When the curtain came up and stars James Galdofini, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels, and Hope Davis were already seated at the scene of all the action of this play without an intermission as the characters who were initially civil discussing the outcome of a fight betwen their sons in the polite neighberhood of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

This drama by Yazmina Reza who also composed the highly successful “Art” was all action as the polite get together devolved from freindly into a violent four way episode where the spouses not only attacked the other couple’s partners but their own with multiple humiliaitng moments for all.

Galdofini and Gay Harden had perhaps the best exchange when she said “stop acting like a Neanderthal”; and he yelled out ‘I am a fucken Neanderthal”.  I do not want to give too much of this play away so run to see the human dynamic display for yourself -otherwise known as the social  world wrestling federation on Broadway.

BMW Party at Grand Central

March 28, 2009

This blogger attended the Vanity Fair Party for the world tour of BMW the art cars of in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central terminal .  First while waiting for the party to begin I had a small dinner at Juniors intimate space in the eatery section downstairs (consisting of my usual choice of Turkey on Rye with a side of Russian Dressing to be liberally applied (dumped) on/to the sandwhich, French Fries, Pickles and coleslaw (still free), Matzoh Ball Soup, and a  Browns black cherry Soda).  I sat next to a couple of die-hard New York Ranger fans on their way to Madison Square Garden for a hockey game.

The party was by invitation from BMW art impressario Thomas Wolfgang Girst to our mutual freind Neil Stevenson and turned out to be hosted by Vanity Fair editor Bob Colacello  (no stranger to the high end New York art scene). The cars were the classics designed decades earlier by among others Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Frank Stella (the last of whom was only one present at the fete to stand in front of his creation this night).

Did I recognize everybody at the party(?), no and had to go over the pictures on later (and he quickly posts them).  Though of course I did recognize Jeff Koons who I watched be cornered by an operative and asked to speak and she double teamed him as another lady showed (he had nowhere to go).  Several people within minutes came up to him and said ”I am a big fan of your work”, I wanted to say I was his friend on facebook (as facebook has become the all new pervasive reality  of the day) but good judgement got the better of me (and thoughI took photos did not speak with Stella either though I have been bitten by that bug before).

Warholian Chris Makos was there looking silly in a cream silk suit and Ingrid Sischy and Sandra Brant whom I did not recognize (and had to look at the McMullan photographs.  There was some caviar which I had developed a taste for while in the initial stages of almost be part of the launch of a company which was having tasting previews ( which were organized by a tour guide who I no longer refer to by his proper name).

koons collacello

(Bob Collacello and Jeff Koons)


(Patrick McMullan with Neil Stevenson in the foreground)


(Art Star in Front of an Art Car: Frank Stella and Christopher Makos catching up in front of Stella’s BMW)


March 13, 2009

This season Broadway has big name film actors starring in stage dramas as it appears that the overhead for musicals is dearer than say the take home pay of say Susan Sarandon (who when she departs via the stage door after finishing a performance of Eugene Ionesco’s “Exit the King” is Susan Surrounded and when Geoffrey leaves not only is it Rush Hour but the King has exited or is exiting “Exit the King”). The names are legion besides Sarandon there is Jane Fonda, Marcia Gay Harden, Angela Lansbury, John Goodman, Rupert Everett , and James Galdofini just to name a few…And then there is “Impressionism” by Michael Jacobs and starring Jeremy Irons, Joan Allen , and Marsha Mason

My guest was initially supposed to be Neil Stevenson but he had attend to his duties at “The Sacred Path” in Portchester and then it was almost  Tom Orzo (of the Orzi) but he was off to limousine duty and so it was that Dr. Barnaby Ruhe walked over from the Fuller building to west 45h street to see a production dealing at least titularally with one of his favorie subjects, art.

It took a while for this work to warm up and at first it seemed as though there was not much stage chemsitry between Irons and Allen (and Irons stumbled over his lines a few times and sometime seemed as if bored).  The work took a while to get going and Dr. Ruhe agreed with me (or at least said that he did) that the other characters worked as modifiers to expand the realtionship of the two leads.  It was strange to see one of those personages played by Marsha Mason the multiple academy award nominee so many years beyond “The Goodbye Girl” now as a hefty art buyer who must have the couple’s Mary Cassatt {as the Allen character operates a consignment art gallery where she has hired Irons’ character to work}.

There are all types of devices throughout the play to bring the action around and there are five centerpieces (works that hang in the gallery)which are then used as a points and conterpoints of refrence and or action.  One is the Cassatt (an aquatint) one a Modigliani ( a hand colored drawing) one a Chagall, one a shot from Africa taken by the Irons character of a boy who he was to adopt who later died (where Irons had once worked on assignment for National Geographic), and one a picture by an artist for whom the Allen character had  modeled once.  Sometimes by choregraphed spatial recreations of scene similarities to paintings the main duos memories are brought to life intertwined by lines of dialogue questioning which art movement these characters lives have turnedout to be most like. In fact the drifiting light shows of impressionistic works and the movement into and out of them in focus and closeup is seemingly mirrored when Allen and Irons look at each other form a distance and decide that it is impressionism that their lives are like. Other Characters come in and wind up taking works , being given them, removing them from consignment , or buying them and then there is just one and that leads to the end a happy one and the couple there to enjoy it traveling to have it at least for the moment out of going out the door together alone.


In closing this itinerant blogger must say he enjoyed the lighting design when the stage was lit violet or totally awash in trasparency of a painting of Giverny by Monet.  And yes I once unexpectedly met Mr. Irons when making it in by ruse to the Matthew  Barney party at Guggenheim at the Oyster Bar in the escort of no less than Thomas Krens himself and there sitting at the counter was the portrayer of Claus Von Bulow and having had the oppurtunity of standing before him I repeated Antony Blanche’s line from Brideshead Revisited as if addressed to the character which made him a household name upon these shores ‘ChCh Charles you remind me of a young Ingres”

Until next time this is your itinerant blogger who shook the shack while running to the B52’ in the Hastings on the Hudson NYSC club today and remember there is no suburban Bloomingdales shopping woman who can bring this good man down.

Darwin at Yale and Bourgeois at the Hirschorn

March 2, 2009

Went up to the art Musuems at Yale and wandered into “Endless forms”: Charles Darwin, Natural Science and the Visual Arts ” at the Yale Center for British art arranged to coincide with the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the publication of the “Origin of Species” and the two hundreth anniversary of Darwin’s death.  The exhibition is described as interdisciplinary as there are examples of taxonomy as well as painting groups which were influenced by the rush to nature in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as well as video and works like James Tissot’s “arists wives” which in that case was supposed to point out natural selection (however in the vice versa whereas the male of the species was the one usually dressed up to atract a  a mate in humanity it is the female who takes on this role).

The illustration of the main thesis was bit loose but it is always stimulating to see art which takes the natural world as it subject matter or better to see bucks than coworkers lock horns.

Then a little later it was down to WDC again to catch the Louise Bourgeois exhibt which having missed at the Manhattan Guggenheim now at the Hirschorn Museum and sculpture Garden I endeavored to see.  I like to torture myself with exhibits missed and then seen and what might have been the difference and the might have been otherwise known as the effect on the eventual outcome of nothing.  Here though it seemed soothing that both museums the Hirschorn and the Guggenheim are in the round though on winds and slopes and another is in the form of an endless loop.  The retrospective played out as straigthtfoward in its sparsity and allowed on to take away a real insider look at the inside of the art phyche of the ninety six year old French born New York resident and travel with her as whe entertained surrealism , minimalism, and instillation art for numerous decades yet remained her own gal.