William Powhida and Jennifer Dalton organize a month-long lab — and I’m part of it. (Image courtesy of Winkleman Gallery.)
Needless to say, the last few months in the art industry have been highly entertaining. There was William Powhida’s Brooklyn Rail cover last November, which picked apart the internecine machinations of a buncha high-powered types at the New Museum. Then, there was the announcement that a major commercial gallerist has been named director of a super mongo museum in L.A., an institution whose obscenely-rich trustees saw fit to spend its endowment into the ground. And then, of course, there’s Jerry Saltz’s Facebook, which is keeping the art establishment’s hairs on end wondering who the heck he’s gonna call a ‘dick’ next. In other words, there’s been a LOT going on. And most of it doesn’t make a lick of sense.
Which means that #CLASS — a think-tank about the art industry — organized by artists Powhida and Jennifer Dalton and hosted by the Winkleman Gallery, couldn’t come at a better time. This special project will turn the city’s artistic gaze from its navel to the art industry through a month-long series of events that will include a raft of insightful happenings: guerrilla gallery tours, frank Q&As with established art dealers, work sessions, panels, beer-drinking, chalkboard-writing, art-shredding, motivational speaking and even art yoga (led by me). In other words, the plan is to terrorize Chelsea for a month. (I’m not positive that this is indeed the plan, but it’s certainly my plan.) The best part: anyone is welcome to be a part of this. And it’s all FREE.
You can find the entire schedule of events at the dedicated #CLASS website. But here is just a taste of what’s to come:
- Sunday, Feb. 21, 4pm: The party gets rolling this weekend, so peel your ass off the couch and get down to Chelsea for the first official #CLASS social. An Xiao will serve as social media paparazzi paparazzo. :-p
- Friday, Feb. 26, 6pm: A session on ‘Bad Curating‘ by Stamatina Gregory and Jovana Stokic. (I believe that attendance is required if you work at the New Museum.)
- Saturday, Feb. 27, 2pm – 6pm: All kinds of juicy stuff is going down on this day, including a guerrilla gallery tour being led by William Powhida and a how-to on collecting by blogbuds James Wagner and Barry Hoggard.
- Sunday, Feb. 28, 5pm: Debbie Ainscoe leads a session in Second Life — from the UK. Nerdarrific!
- Wednesday, March 3, 2pm: ART SHRED is an on-site shredding service that will help artists and other participants liberate themselves of important works of art, meaningful love letters and one-of-a-kind photographs. This session will be led by my partner-in-crime, Celso. If you have something of consequence that you would like to have shredded, e-mail him at celso[at]elcelso[dot]com. Walk-ins welcome.
- Thursday, March 4th, 4pm: A discussion/rant/12-step program about art school and the ivory tower, organized by Sharon L. Butler.
- Friday, March 5, 2pm: Art Yoga with C-Mon: Bow to the Art Industry. Get body and mind ready to navigate the hazards of the art world with a 75 minute yoga class geared at those who want to re-contextualize the nature of liminal space while remaining lithe enough to be considered for possible art/fashion spreads in T Magazine. Class will be led by yours truly, a certified yoga teacher (Om Yoga Center, class of 2003 — seriously). The session will begin with sun salutations to Marina Abramovic and quickly spiral downwards from there. Bring a mat and an open mind. Class capacity 18; first come first serve. Later that same evening, at 6pm, artist Nic Rad will present his ‘Celebritist Manifesto,’ a defense of celebrity culture that will make clear that James Franco is the most important artist of the decade.
- Saturday, March 6, 6pm: Rod Verplanck, a motivational speaker who, among other things, will teach you that “the very smallness of your ideas is the key to wild success.” Sounds like a must-do. (Courtesy of Schroeder Romero.)
- Wednesday, March 10: Again, all kinds of good happenings will occur on this day, including balloon-popping with Man Bartlett, a kindergarten class tour of Chelsea with Jennifer Dalton, a feminist tea party and a merciless ask-the-dealer session with Postmasters gallerist Magda Sawon in which she vows “to truthfully answer any and every question posed to her as long as it does not involve her weight, social security number or other people’s money.”
- Wednesday, March 17, 4pm: Art World as High School. Which class of retainer-wearing nerd are you? Find out with this helpful and informative session.
- Saturday, March 20th: Another full roster on this day, including art gift wrapping with Zoe Sheehan Saldaña, assessing assessments with important-sounding people from Princeton, and a closing-night event that’s all about ranting!!!
There’s much much much much more going on, and it’s all listed HashTagClass, so get over there already. Plus, you can read more about it at Art in America and the Wall Street Journal. Update: And ArtNet!!
Lick it real good: a work in progress at Minter’s NYC studio. (Photos by C-M.)
It’s summer in the city and the social calendar here at C-Mon is packed! Last night, we managed to be the most unfashionable person in the room at a little soiree held at Marilyn Minter‘s studio to celebrate her upcoming artist ad campaign with MAC Cosmetics. Events were also held at the studios of painter Richard Phillips and illustrator Maira Kalman, who are also doing campaigns for the company. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to those because the driver (aka, husband) was waiting to escort me off to a multi-course wine-laden dinner (assorted bread and cheese products, lubricated by invigorating quantities of Two Buck Chuck).
Even so, being able to freely roam around Minter’s studio was pretty badass. And so was ogling the Adonis-like waiters in pec-hugging T-shirts dishing out pink lemonade and ice cream. Though next time, dear MAC people, I sure could use a gift bag — with a little liquid liner in black.
Click on images to supersize, waiters after the jump.
I’ll have the shark. Well done. (Photos by Sebastian Puig and U.B. Morgan.)
Take one dead shark. Add a submerged coffin. Throw in a Jeff Koons-designed yacht. What do you have? A Matthew Barney extravaganza on the Greek Isle of Hydra, a renowned, car-free artsy fartsy hideout where everyone who is anyone goes everywhere by foot or burro. Hosted by collector/industrialist/Koons yacht owner Dakis Joannou, the performance/party/shark roast combined various events into one hyperreal Mediterranean spectacle.
The first installation was in a former slaughterhouse on Hydra’s Mandraki Bay, where Barney and painter-of-the-minute Elizabeth Peyton collaborated on a little event called Blood of Two, sponsored by the Athens-based Deste Foundation Center for Contemporary Art. Sadly, it did not involve fileting Björk. But it did involve getting up at dawn to watch a bunch of local workers dredge up a glass coffin from the Aegean that contained a Peyton-painted portrait of Barney. (So meta!) After the ceremonial lifting, said coffin/vitrine — very Jules Verne — was carried along a rocky path to the slaughterhouse, where the artsy jet set could admire its contents. Naturally, the Barney/Peyton team filmed the whole parade, which mimics a local Easter event in which an icon is carried into the sea and out again. (So culturally relevant!)
Accompanying the procession? One shark, dead, to be sacrificed to the ravenous culture vultures at an evening reception. This consisted of about 500 attendees sitting at the longest table we’ve ever seen (seriously, you couldn’t see the ends from the middle) all of whom diligently gnawed on the charred member of the phylum Chordata in the name of art. Naturally, it tasted like chicken. OK, not really. We didn’t eat the shark. There wasn’t enough to go around. But I’m sure it was delicious. Especially with a little tsatsiki on the side.
To read more on Matthew Barney’s shark party, check out The Moment, ArtForum and Art Observed.
Click on images to supersize. Continue reading
Party Arty: At the Guest of Cindy Sherman premiere in SoHo. (All photos by Yvonne Connasse.)
Bonjour! Last night, we attended the premiere party for the new film Guest of Cindy Sherman at the last minute request of C-Monster, who was temporarily indisposed. Lucky for you, we happened to be in town and tore ourselves away from our favorite local haunt (a place where you can enjoy a delicious Vesper cocktail and are still permitted to smoke!) to cover the proceedings.
The premiere party for GOCS was held at Tailor, in the mythical land of SoHo, which at one time was synonymous with glamour, art and fashion and is now akin to power walking through a suburban mall, replete with food courts and Z Galleries.
We arrived promptly at 8 p.m. to guarantee a minimal wait at the bar. The party, unfortunately, was co-sponsored by a “vodka” brand that shall remain nameless. Let’s just say we were forced to drink several Cape Cods in order to feel even remotely interested in the proceedings…
Ready to get the party started: Artist Marie Lorenz Holds Fast at the American Academy in Rome. (Photos by San Suzie.)
Just after Thanksgiving, we were fortunate to attend the first international celebration of Nautical Waste, the smelliest art concept party — or any party, for that matter — we’ve ever been to. There was a sculpture made of rotting mussels and other sea detritus. (Pungent!) And the whole party ended with a re-enactment of the Roman sea victory at the Battle of Mylae…in a fountain.
Now in its sixth year, Nautical Waste is an annual seafaring celebration that takes place on the Saturday night after Thanksgiving. Started in Brooklyn by artists Marie Lorenz, the creator of the New York Tide and Current Taxi, Matt Lorenz and Melissa Brown, the event is part performance, part exhibit, and a great excuse to trawl your local coastline for stinky crap — then spend an evening building stuff with it while drinking grog, quoting Melville and wearing a pirate’s hat. This year the flotsam and jetsam washed up in three separate venues: Brooklyn, Banff, and the American Academy in Rome, where Lorenz is a fellow in the visual arts.
Stay tuned for more waterlogged adventures, because next spring, we will accompany Lorenz down the Tiber in a homemade boat, hopefully after getting nautically wasted.
Click on images to supersize. More after the jump.
Trompe l’oeil painting of popcorn on found metal by Michael Fitts at Fraser Gallery, from Bethesda. (Photos by C-M.)
Yesterday I took a quick gander around the Affordable Art Fair in Manhattan, where 75 galleries from a dozen countries were all exhibiting pieces priced under $10,000 (with most going for between $100-$5000). Here are a few pix of some of the work that caught my eye. The fair runs through Sunday, June 15th. General admission is $17.
Click on images to supersize. More after the jump.
A sculpture made with discarded plastic bottles by Aurora Robson at Lumen House.
I donned my tightest pants and my saucer-sized sunglasses for the Great Hipster Migration this past weekend, a.k.a. Bushwick Open Studios. There were a whopping 94 galleries, studios and alternative art spaces represented. I made it to a whopping three. The weekend was filled with the sight of dazed-looking, map-clutching art folk shuffling around in the mind-melting heat. I swear I coulda fried an egg on my head.
Click on images to supersize. More after the jump.
A Time It Was, by Bill Eppridge. (Photos by C-M.)
Two nights ago, as part of my oh-so-busy social calendar (which includes standing appointments at the Los Hermanos taco stand), I dropped in on former Life photojournalist Bill Eppridge‘s book party for the release of A Time It Was in the East Village. In addition to consuming more than my share of wine and amazing cheese, I also managed to pick-up an extra copy of Bill’s book, which he was kind enough to sign for me. In honor of the beginning of the end of Election ’08, I’m giving away this signed copy of a book that covers another historic election. It’s a lovely hardback tome of Bill’s photographs from Robert Kennedy’s ’68 campaign. (See an online excerpt on Vanity Fair‘s website.) The candid shots are a wonder to behold.
Leave your name (or pseudonym) in the comments and we’ll pick a winner at random next week. (Update: I understand that the book is now on back order…even more reason to sign up!)
Photos from the book party follow the jump.