Posts Tagged ‘Jaspar Johns’

Back in Nyc Again Before Going to Florida again- Art Basel Miami Beach 2009- And then back in Nyc Again and the Decade Ends

December 19, 2009

Back in Nyc nights were filled by raucous celebrations and howling at Yankee victories as jubilant crowds hailed the coming back of a world championship to post  911 Gotham.

When the pinstripes won our bus company gray line did the double decker buses for the Canyon of Heroes parade, but, I was not an extra it was my day off and then not feeling that well I missed it entirely (besides seeing photos of it on yahoo and Facebook).  I resolved to go the new Yankee stadium at the next crack of the bat in spring and once upon a time on the night that Reggie Jackson hit three home runs in one game I was there with my now deceased father standing at one point right next to John Tesh when he was a local news reporter interviewing fans in the bleachers (I mentioned this game during the eulogy I’d never thought I’d give at my father’s funeral in Boynton Beach attended by myself my friend Deborah and two women I had never met before who were mostly quite lovely).

Though at the parade streams were teeming out of the church clock or so it would seem in a pop up book about a great team but “enchanted “was for another day and the next Broadway show I saw was David Mamet’s newest  drama “Race”.

Early one morn the gray line tour guide Marion Brash( who had achieved earlier notoriety as an actress  ( and she can be seen on a full episode of Ironside with Raymond Burr here @ had told me her opinion of the production and then later walking by the theater on West 47th street I saw some of the cast(James Spader and David Alan Grier)

James Spader at the Stage Door Greeted by an Adoring Fan

Later Spader’s Role was Taken Over by Eddie Izzard

come out of the  stage door after the matinée and so I bought a ticket for the same day’s evening performance.

I was a bit tired and thought the work a bit tired as if everything Mamet has to say about everything is to be held in such high esteem.  Didn’t Phillip Roth already  cover some of this ground in”the Human Stain”?  Brash had not lied the work of Kerry Washington in the role of the young lawyer who misleads the two main partners (Grier and Spader) because she is sure of the client  they are to defend’s guilt was demure. I chalked this up to her naiveté not her ineffectiveness in that the character was being played not the actress playing the audience or not being able to play the part.  However, in agreement with Brash, Richard Thomas, was just awful his performance had none of the airs of the billionaire accused of the crime.  The sequence of puns on the sequins of the dress which were much of the evidence in the rape allegations was Mamet’s best artistic flourish here though the repartee between Spader and Grier was quite well done and throwing in Washington it might have been a good play had the subject not been so tired.

I came way with a big feeling of who cares probably the lawyers who stood around after saying they were lawyers and how accurate or not it all was.  Maybe this is a problem that these functionaries need be THE definers of reality and have to have existence catered around there experience of it and of us.

Sooner or sooner I was back down to Florida to take in Miami Art Basel while my art press pass is still good. I was not especially planning to go but having skipped both the Venice Biennale and Miami Basel last year it was time to take another crack at the art high life.  I got a ticket on priceline after many tries at my time parameters and finally succeeded in finding flights, a car , and a room and so I was off.

I had to leave early and finally discovered the m60 bus which I decided to get in Morningside Heights by Columbia university.  So with the A train running local that time of night  got off at 116th only to find that the train let  out below Morningside Park then steps  of which I had to climb up in the cold and the dark.

I got to the bus stop along Broadway and after a short wait the bus arrived. The bus  quickly filled up with airport workers and some travelers (which included a group of young men projecting into the partying they would soon be engaging in).

I got to the airport after careful planning good and early and with the help of a very thoughtful Delta check in person found two exit row seats which surprise were obtained at no extra charge.  Physched by my early victory and with time to kill I enjoyed an oatmeal with all the toppings at a LaGuardia airport Starbucks.

I was connecting in Memphis and was soon there.  Then once there I flirted with the thought of having a southern down home meal at one of the airport joints and while looking at the pig freestanding statue in  a cooks hat standing sentry there.

BBQ Pig Chef at the Memphis Airport

and I passed.  There was an Elvis store in the terminal and soon I was aloft again.   There was couple next to me on this flight that were not properly upgraded as per their frequent flier status and they complained and thought the stewardess was not able to help them there she realized the attendant at the gate had been wrong and they were presented with a bottle of wine.

When I landed having brought only a carry-on this writer headed straight for the pre-arranged car rental.  The parking space for the alamo was blocked by a woman who refused to move her vehicle from where she did not belong and thus it took this blogger a little while longer to get the shuttle which he missed once,

Once aboard he met some New England Patriot fans down to watch their squad play Jimmy Buffet’s Dolphins and so arrived at the car rental where the check in agent couldn’t have been more blase as to only wanting to check in senoritas.

This driver got a full size car and when presented with the choice with the key stuck in a slot read by computer and not ignition which a push button start he opted to go ahead whereas the football fans switched four doors (I should have known better).

He found his way very easily to Miami Beach right onto the cruise ship causeway on a sunny day and only at the last-minute did he hit traffic.  The main public parking lot which last time he couldn’t find on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach (and he thought was knocked down) was full and so he paid the fifteen dollar flat rate.

So he was at Miami art Basel armed with a press pass an I phone and a rental car.  He headed right for the press check in, checked in, said hello  to the woman who always does the checking in

Check in time

, ran into Anthony Haden Guest

Anthony Haden-Guest Hard at Work at Art Basel Miami Beach

,stated to type, became witty,  drank too much coffee, and went down to the fair to begin scoping it out.

One of the first works that really caught this writer’s eye was Dennis Hopper’s embellished photographic portrait of Jaspar Johns

Jaspar Johns by Dennis Hopper

at the Tony Shafrazi booth .  The gallery person on the floor was going on about how many years they had represented Dennis and how good of friends he and Tony are (Hopper had done an event at Miami Basel a couple of years back which I had seen a beaming Teresa Valla racing towards) but beyond the chatter the work is most beautiful.

Running into the salon I decided to make that my focus rather than constant partying as I was driving alone (so excursion to the far off fairs in other sections of Miami would be off-limits to this fair goer perhaps not fair going fair goer but still going).

First at the educational room i caught Collier Schorr the artist known for sexualized portraits of youthful wrestlers talking about her new flower series.  She said something interesting about working in Germany to paraphrase that she liked working there because it was easy to take over because nobody really says anything.. which I thought hey we could say that about the bus company where I work but that turned out not to be true as I found it is possible to repel a political brute.

Time did what Miami time does I looked and looked at art and cannot really remember whether every piece was seen on day one or day two.  There was a bevy a works done on the theme of a departed Michael Jackson who has now been iconized ala Elizabeth Taylor by Andy Warhol and the gloved one now by the likes of David LaChappelle and Kehinde Wiley.  LaChappelle’s piece had Jackson as his namesake the archangel Michael slaying the Devil

The Archangel Michael by David LaChappelle

–while Kehinde Wiley’s piece at Jeffrey Deitch (which sold for around $180,000) has an armored Jackson after an equestrian portrait by Peter Paul Reubens Michael jackson by Kehinde Wiley (After Peter Paul Reubens)

Meanwhile as the day wound down I managed to find out where a party was at the penthouse at the Raleigh hotel, but, I got there too early and got tired of the scene nonsense and went to dinner at Tiramisu my favorite lincoln Road Italian food hot spot.  Well man for all seasonings I had Lobster Soup and swordfish salad washed down by a good Chianti waited a while and went back to my car.  Then like an idiot I decided to go back to the Raleigh turned around went to my car again which I had pulled out into the street and parked.  I did all i could do it wouldn’t start it kept saying brake (which I thought meant the emergency one) and the dashboard light s went on like a pinball machine and this driver gave up.

His phone was dead so he walked over to the Lincoln Road Starbucks to give it a charge. Then once charged (…and hopefully not) he called the car rental company and told them what had happened.  They left him on hold and what came on the call waiting Pinball Wizard by the Who and his mind went into a synasthaesic rock musical flourescent mode and the bumpers and the light all aglow in a neon pastel discharge.   He then as he waited by the car watched Elton John on the Red Piano in Vegas play Pinball Wizard with all the lights a flashing ring those buzzers and bells. eventually the roadside assistance came and he was given a new Lexus or Infiniti or whatever it was and made for the Ramada Marco Polo Beach Resort in North Miami Beach to call it a night.

After much ado about extra facility charges and getting my car parked I indeed called it a night.  In the morning I had breakfast in the cavernous room close to the beach and then returned upstairs to ready myself for the beach.  I took a nice dip into the ocean and did not realize until a lady asked me if I had been bitten by a jellyfish that there had been warning flags flown at the lifeguard station as indicated at the resorts pool exit to the beach.

I had been then after checked out and headed back to the convention center but after stopping at the bank and seeing lots of charges this fair goer headed back to the resort to question them.. The hundred dollar extra charge was pending and then released upon checkout and so then this car driver headed back fair bound again.  This writer wanted to stay to see the Ryan McGinley talk at the salon but time would only allow for James Rosenquist’s.  This time the municipal lot had space and this lecture going car replacement driving driver landed.

With a little time for looking around and visiting the press room the hour of the pop stars talk was at the hand.  In all these years I had never met are seen the North Dakotan native though this onetime frequent reviewer often mentioned him when writing on David Salle, Damien Loeb, or Jeff Koons and had attended his retrospective at the Fifth avenue Guggenheim flagship earlier in the soon to close decade.  This blogger got there earlier and took a bevy of I-phone photos of the amusing septuagenarian who told funny stories of being a billboard painter in his early pre Castelli gallery years

James Rosenquist at art Basel Miami Beach 2009


On this jaunt this traveler was also able to take a couple of photos of Frank Gehrys campus for the New World Symphony currently under construction just off Lincoln Road

Frank Gehrys Campus for the New World Symphony Going up!

So now it was off to the airport for a myriad of gate changes and delays but not without a sartorial moment when this delayed customer was able to say to a Port-of-Spain bound woman his bad one liner “its Sizzling down in Trinidad and Tabasco”.

But the flight had a mighty surprise when the pilot announced that we would probably be able to see a spectacular sight on the right side coming out of Titusville.  And indeed about a half an hour later he said that launch of the space shuttle I told you about is visible now.  And though I was seated in the aisle seat there was nobody between the well dressed Frenchman at the window and I and looking over there it was a bright orange flame rising against black the form of the shuttle clearly visible.  Need I say anymore so until next time.

Day Three Milan and Back to and in the U.S

September 17, 2008

So arrived in Milan and made haste from the train station to the Viale Tunisia where I had stayed and commuted from during the Torino winter games of 2006.  I stayed in the Hotel Kennedy rather than the Hotel Tommasso which are in the same building (but wished I had stayed at the Hotel Tommasso because I found them nice but it stuck in my mind that the guide book had had such nice things to say about the establishment named after the popular president back in 2006).

Next, I went out and having seen a Thai massage place went and got a thrity minute massage there and then went and emailed.

Next I walked along a main avenue the Corso Venezia and went to the Natural History Museum there (saw the planetarium in a Palladian type structure but did not venture in).

Impressed with the park I started wandering made it across the street in back of the park saw another park and ventured in.  There I came to a palace which turned out to be the Public house {which was once the Rudetsky palace and had been occupied by everyone from Bonapartes to Hapsburgs and now houses the gallerie d’arte moderna}.

Across was a the pavillion for special exhibitions which meant Robert Indiana in Milan this time.  The work went back to the nineteen fifties and included his wood constructons which are reminiscent of his contemporaries Robert Rauschenberg and Jaspar Johns as well as his further pop art abstractions including one which would play for me poetically later on the “Nonending Nonagaon”.

At the galleria de arte moderna itself the work which stupefied this blogger  was “Ishamel in the dessert” by Giovanni Strozza.  The deepened gaze of the youth overcome by his perdicament wasted yet in full form of his blossoming capturing the animus makes for a hypnotic piece {which indeed I wanted to see over and over again pacing through other rooms only to return in short order{and here indeed was Ishmael again as he did in Dubai  appearing as metaphor as the universe was opening itself up to me}.

Then I ventrued further into Milan and the retail design distict.  I had longed to scan these windows and stores again and here was my chance.  Wishing to appropriate Roberto Cavali for a latter day or simultaneous coming of a sillier Versace in my Italian Hotel Shopping Mall Poem I stopped there. This was well worth it the store had an elevator between floors which featured a fur lined seat and grey leather walls.  The transport craft then opened to a room with large tropical fish tanks and then to walk upstairs it was to ascend past a winding funhouse series of mirrors (this store was the experience).

The Missoni store had a beautiful silk sweater in the window worn by a mannequin dummy which was if four palio flags have been twirled coming back round to form a diamond pattern of interlocking wide-sided triangles.  Stopped in the Casa Armani which did not hold my attention as it had in the past and then Trussardi Alla Scala cafe which had given up orange volcanic flouresence for black and white and I skipped hor d’oeurves there)

Then I visited the famed galleria built back during the time of Vittore Emanuelle and realized for the first time that it was musica septembre  and that thr Galleria building is referred to as the “Ottangono” (and I  looked down at the glass panels on the floor and saw that indeed they were ottaganos).  A lady was playing a piano concert in the exact center of the antique mall.  The pianist alternated between Haydn and Mozart (it was wonderful and I stayed until her finale).

Then after a bathroom stop at the infernal McDonald’s this writer ventured to the uber Milano department store across form the Duomo “La Rinascente’.  So here it was the new season and the Milanese were shopping enmasse trying out new fragrances which hordes of sample jockeys were happy to dispense (most clad in black). Teams of macho Italians looked for the newest in faux armani racing gear and name brand briefs.  The place was abuzz and I sprayed on Prada.  Scanning the clearance rack this non-shopper said no and returned to the plaza outside to make long rounds of the Duomo and its’ newly refurbished front facade which is absolutley stupendous and gleaming (almost enoughj to make you take up Western religion and convert).

Then it was the walk back to the hotel area after seeing a Robert Indiana(not Gary’s father after all non?) corten steel “LOVE” sculpture out in the plaza (love fourways it was or is I wrote about it before “Ov love olives evolve”.

Then I went back to the tratttoria I ate in when here in 06 (the name of which this repeat diner should have written down) to have my memorized meal of Salmone e crostini, risotto frutti di Mare, and a pear dipped in chocolate on a bed of custard. The last course was unvailable and I added a salad and for dessert had mixed berries with vanilla ice cream.


The I went to sleep in a room which on the six floor in the back overlooked the well of the building which made for interesting sound effects and a view of a far off city scape including a large neon billboard glowing green (evnetually late at night it was turned off -hey Times Square are you listening while glistening).  Asleep I had a charged up dream starring the gold medal winning olympic snowboarder Shawn White ( Torino on on my mind).

Then it back to the airport  and the flight which I almost missed (should have gotten a wakeup call but got a good exit row seat this time) .  Lost my press pass left behind in the rom it was George Clooney day at the movies on the plane fell asleep duirng some of Leatherheads but watched Oceans 13 all the way through.

Since coming back this time I saw Tony Roberts at the Amish market in Hells Kitchen while I was sitting having soup and he was passing up the hot buffet and Samuel L. Jackson walking into the premiere of his new movie ” Lakeview Terrace” at Loews 68th street( also walking into the premiere though not on the red carpet but through a side entrance  was the Queens Hospital’s Emergency Room’s own Dr. Peter Ditmars who I knew before he was a physician- I menawhile was only filling up time before a Bikram Yoga class as now I go to the Upper West Side location having become a Midtown refugee)