Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Absolut (Genius) Machine

The machine was designed by 2 M.I.T guys told me the host of the space. Go to Houston and Orchard to experience this music-making machine. What happens is that you input a few keystrokes via a laptop into the machine’s glands. And for the next few minutes, it churns out a song using ping pong projectile balls hitting xylophonic keys, wine glasses being spinned and a few different percussion instruments along the bottom half.

The space is unique and very fun to try out. And after all is completed, you get e-mailed your videos.

(NOTE: I am in no way promoting drinking or Absolut. I am a proud supporter of people that have enough money to sponsor cool interactive art installations like this one. I mean monarchy was no good but it sure gave the world a ton of art, right?)

Best digital art display in NYC is free


The New York Times building right across Port Authority (take the subway A, C, or E to 42nd street) has an amazing display which randomizes the day’s news, obituaries, wedding announcements, and numbers as they appear in the TIMES.

The screens have a Bose surround sound system on the bottom and cool sounds/effects are created. There are even digital waves of information that shoot across and around the room. It’s pretty magnificent. See the video below for more info.

The Pros And Cons Of Being An Artist In NY

James Pernotto, Youngstown based artist on Youtube.

I have been giving a lot of thought to my future as an artist. Should I move back to NY full time, split my time between two cities or move somewhere else like L.A. or Philly? In spite of the fact that my income/ potential income from my work has gone up and I now have a bio that seems a bit impressive, I’m in a situation worse than ever before because the costs associated with staying in the city with the kind of space, I feel I need to push my work still far exceeds what I make. Even more depressing is the fact that, this situation now seems to be shared by people who, most artists would consider wildly successful. The 475 Kent building for example housed at least one artist with work in a Whitney Biennial and I also had a friend who celebrated her Whitney debut with an eviction notice. (She now lives upstate)

The video above is about an artist who decided to move back to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. His studio is to die for and he been given the honor of a major retrospective at the town’s most prestigious venue which from what I can see, he really deserves.

The choice would seem, simple enough– just keep my NY gallery relationship and live somewhere else. But, the sad truth is that art world still revolves around a few major art centers at least as much as it did before. I learned a lot by looking at artist’s bios when I had a gallery in Pittsburgh. Even the most prestigious local exhibitions rarely lead to connections or shows out of town or got any out of town press and this seems to be true of most other cities as well. The result seems to be that more and more artists feel trapped in the city by a desperate need to stay connected, even though this often limits their happiness and ability to do work. The current “business plan” of many artists I talk to now involves staying in the city just long enough “hook up” with dealers etc… and then leave.

Hope @ 475 Kent

The Times indicates there may be hope for the tenants of 475 Kent Ave. The article looks at the buildings history with more depth and context than most other stories. What comes out is a history similar to that of many other informal/non-legal artist buildings in NYC, a history which shows the tremendous value that these tenants added to the property.

“Painstakingly, foot by foot and floor by floor, the three began breathing life into 475 Kent. Colonies of rats were chased out and puddles of pigeon droppings mopped up. Windows were unsealed to reveal startling views of the Manhattan skyline, and of the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges. Pipes were stretched; walls were built.
Word spread, and more artists followed. Ms. Masters moved from Dumbo in 1998, building studios on the seventh floor using money that she said she received from a different settlement with Mr. Guttman. The boxy, soaring building soon became a place where ascendant and established sculptors, writers, filmmakers, musicians, printmakers and photographers worked, collaborated and thrived, and became enmeshed in one another’s lives.”

The residents of this building were not responsible for the city’s failure to provide safety in this area over the years. They also were not responsible for the lack of transit and infrastructure investment that made such a potentially valuable area undervalued and they certainly were not the creators of the antiquated zoning laws that barred mixed use residential development in the area. In fact they were one of the major groups to see the areas true value and unlock that value by deciding to live there. Now that the city has woken up to the value they helped create, its pure injustice to kick them out.

The just solution, for most of these buildings is at minimum some kind of buyout situation, which recognizes long term residents as de-facto co owners of the properties they helped make so valuable.

Art Fair Shakedown

One of my favorite blogs, is written by an anonymous NY art collector. He points out that one of the major contemporary art fairs, Pulse may have had to make a $30,000 payoff to the former superintendent of a Manhattan Armory. I hope nobody found something like this in their bed.

I made a sad attempt to cover PULSE last year. It was one of my favorite NY art fairs.

Saira Jacob: Recent Works

A very good friend of mine; Saira Jacob is having her second public exhibition of paintings. The exhibition opening is today. Details below. More samples of her work on

Hope to see you all there.

The Art You Won’t See

I am in NYC for most of the week and hope to post on some shows I saw including my show which just closed at D’Amelio Terras Gallery.

James Kalm has a you tube video which highlights the increasingly thankless and frustrating task of trying to document shows in spite of the proliferation of no-photography policies at many galleries and museums. It’s a very strange, situation since most artists I know want people to see their work and also since the vast majority of online art press is very positive.

Life As An Artist In NYC Part Two

Here is part two of my rant that I am re-posting.

Things got really quiet. I mean really and I could tell that there were a lot of other birds that were listening now.

Teeny Bird: We didn’t get too much to eat. I am hungry.

Greeny Bird : This guy is a nut. I have an MFA fro

Middle Aged Bird: Yeh, We know. Why don’t we all admit it. A lot of us have thought about this. A lot of the birds I know moved upstate.Another Young Bird: Some of the birds from Tyler are staying in Philly. They say it’s pretty great and they get to spen..

Greeny Bird: I am from Philly and a lot of it just so dangerous and nasty and

Me: Like Brooklyn was? ( This seems to strike some kind of cord and I can see a lot of birds thinking )

Black Bird: I am from Pittsburgh and I hear that some birds a–

Other Birds: He’s a nut.

Greeny Bird: The fact is that we can’t leave and that is just a fact that we all have to face. The galleries and clubs and theaters and writers and curators and critics are all here.

Me: Arn’t they here because you are here?

Old Bird: ( really loud ) He is just right and you all know it. I remember when it seemed like the scene revolved around us and seemed to be about the work. I remember when I could do work.

Why don’t you all just look around. How many of you think you might lose your nests soon.

Pink Bird: Well we are in court and I think I am OK for a few months.

Black Bird: I gotta move out in two weeks.

Other Birds: We can help ( one say’s he has some space on the floor of his place since his roomate moved to L.A. )

Black Bird: Didn’t you move to Pittsburgh?

Me: Yes. I came there because I want to help make scene that revolved around the artists.

Artist’s, Do You Like Sun?

So, I think that by now, I’m not to confident in the citys future ability to hold the position as the the world’s cultural capital or even a decent place for creative people to exist in. Like almost everyone, I know– I am keeping my options open.

The federal reserves latest BIG ASS BURSTING BUBBLE seems to be in housing and one of it’s epicenters is starting to look interesting. There certainly seems to be nice oversuply of fancy new construction in Miami, which just happens to be the location of the world’s largest art fair orgy. Could we end up with prices getting down to artist levels? Chances are that they will at least attract more dealers.

This is kind of an open thread– anyone think this makes sense?

Same Old Song For Artists In London

This video about a squater eviction in London indicates it’s the same over there if not worse. The particular symbiotic relationship between these squaters shows they were in fact doing some good for the neighborhood by maintaining the building, keeping out vandals and helping keep the area safe, things it’s unlikely the city was prepared to do. Of course, a number of them may have also worked in and patronised local businesses.

Who is Hernado de Soto???

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