Sunday, April 24, 2011

What Is Art: Gallery Exhibits vs. NYC's Lower East Side

Thursday evening, Donna Mae Moose, Leo and I cavorted to New York's Lower East Side for an art gallery crawl, soaking in its Third Thursdays event, in which nearly three dozen exhibits are open until 9 p.m. The galleries are centered around Orchard, Rivington, Essex, Grand, Hester and Eldridge streets, allowing for a wide swath of walking.

I found much of the showcased gallery art pretentious, painstakingly precious and downright fussy. One proprietor explained to me the technique her displayed artist employs: dashing a bucket of paint on a canvas, then waiting up to six months for inspiration to guide her toward the ultimate creation. Oh, please, Mary!

The best art I saw was along the streets, on walls, signposts and among the fashionable New Yorkers inhabiting the nabe. That, cool cats, is true art... not a fucking strawberry constructed out of electrical wire that bears a $12,000 price tag.Kara Walker's grainy shadow puppet film Miss Pipi's Blue Tale, at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery, portrays the "surreal and violent mythology" surrounding white southern woman and hyper-sexual black men amid slavery in the Mississippi Delta. Furthermore, I just love neapolitan ice cream... Oh, heavens, I got momentarily distracted there... zzzzzzz... Truly inspiring! Along the LES's Freemans Alley... Above and below... truly the best of the gallery bunch. Sheila Gallagher's Deute, a stunning 96x108" fall scene made of assorted melted plastic pieces. Dodge Gallery, 15 Rivington Street. I like.Then again, left, this dude sports a wonderfully unique artistic quality that I wholly dig. And his beautiful daughter offers an ideal juxtaposition to his rustic demeanor. On right: Real (happy) hippy chicks.Pretty cool... Katy Grannan's Boulevard, a collection of "anonymous yet extraordinary individuals" as she roamed L.A. and San Fran between 2008 and 2010. At Salon 94 Freemans.Equally cool. An entire six-story building wall advertising a women's post-punk clothing boutique on Eldridge Street. Sadly, it is now closed.Jordan Eagles' Blood, Acrylic, Resin, Copper at Krause Gallery. Plasma splattered all about.Clever design at Stanton and Eldridge streets. This sign outside the window was more alluring than anything inside. And finally, more art without any price tag.