Monday, September 14, 2009

September 14, 2009 I've got a little story to tell...

Although I had a fantastic time in the big apple... I came home a little sick. There was a "don't travel with the flu sign"... at the airport. Thankfully at that time I only had a runny nose. Could you imagine being quarantined at JFK? I most certainly cannot. Yesterday moped around. Today much of the same. And frankly, I can't wait to get a few things done--to be feeling better.

Let me tell you about my little trip to NYC. Left early thursday morning... played in China town and then Little Italy...In Chinatown I got this backrub that felt pretty good at the time but the next day--I was hurting! I bought the boys pokemon cards and Lulu a died hot pink silk fan... In Little Italy while sitting eating a lemoncello on sorbet--we saw Ted Danza walk by with a young thing... too funny... and to say that we saw it on Mulberry street. There was a festival of some this or that going on...

...then rested a while and got ready to see the A BOOK ABOUT DEATH SHOW . From our Solita Soho hotel Ginny Lloyd and I walked to the Emily Harvey Gallery. It was on the second floor and we were buzzed in at the front door. I met several artists immediately... and it was such a thrill to meet the people that had previously sent me mail art. I met Keith Buchholz, Reed Altemus, Reed Wood, the Sticker Dude, William Evertson, and Christine Tarantino.
The night was electric... and I felt out of my element... a strange girl in a strange land... Let the Fluxus entertainment begin! This guy named Mark Bloch did a performance piece about Ray Johnson where he wore Ray's book about death. (hope I'm getting this right...). I realized that I had quoted him about Ray in my CHromatophore program... so I had to introduce myself. He wasn't mad that I quoted him without asking... so at least that worry was over. The night was a blurr... and ended nicely at a french restaurant (Parigot, French Bistro, 155 Grand Street-corner of Lafayette)... apple tart with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Ginny had the same. We had a desert wine too and I can't remember the name... but it hit the spot to have a really decent night's rest.

the next day... life after death...? Perhaps. We headed uptown... ended up at the MoMA which I have a certain kind of fondness for... like visiting old friends... and never having enough time to really get intimate. There is so much I could say about any place or event that we went to... and yet not enough space or time to do so. My goal of really putting myself "out there" in the world of art this year has really kept me, yanni, too busy... We had lunch at the 2nd floor moma cafe. I had a duck salad... and it was delicious minus the duck and the masca-blah blah cheese that I really didn't like. Anyway... I ate it cause I needed to eat something... then I left Ginny finished up at the MoMa and then went next door to see the Am Folk Art Museum. I made a connection with two people there... one that looks promising. And no, I'm not talking about the guy from Denver who invited me to lunch or dinner--my choice--the next time I'm in Denver. What a sweet old guy. Ok... on to the Ray Johnson art show at the Richard L. Feigen & Co. gallery... It was a strange gallery as you walk up to what looks like a townhome and get buzzed in... to find what used to be the Iranian embassy and is now a gallery. Feigen usually houses classic paintings but also handles the estate of Ray Johnson. Today we were looking at pieces of Ray Johnson's, Dali and Warhol. It was easy to see the interplay of the three men. I thoroughly enjoyed the space--as it was quiet and I was one of three people there. I bought the show catalog and the lady working at the desk offered us previous Johnson show catalogs as well as pins with the infamous Ray Johnson Bunny. Freebies are great... and Ray Johnson freebies--spectacular.
I told Ginny we had to make one more stop while we were in the area... to see "Tender Buttons." Richard Canard told me that I would like the shop... and I did--adorable. But it seemed like a mystery to me. The man working there was also named Richard. I asked who made the sign and the lady working there told me that the shop owner did. Later I was told by Mark Bloch that Ray Johnson made the sign. So I did as Richard told me to do and picked up a few business cards for Tender Buttons. And I bought some buttons... as I couldn't help myself.
Had dinner at mexican sort of place in soho... la Esquina. Delicious... and on to the Fluxfest show in Brooklyn. The lady working at the hotel... steered us way into the wrong direction... and $40 later in taxi fees and Ted on the phone with the google directions and cross streets--we made it... just as the Fluxfest was ending. We walked from there to the subway station with Reed and Mark and headed to the after party party... at Bill Wilson's house. On the subway I was serenaded by a man who claimed to be from outer space and played the saxophone. It was so much fun...

Bill Wilson is May Wilson's son. May Wilson is an awesome artist and friend of Ray Johnson. May and Bill were friends with Ray Johnson. This was probably the highlight of my trip... seeing and meeting Bill Wilson and listening to his stories of Ray Johnson. The art in his home was utterly amazing. And in a way I felt at home... a home filled with art... just feels right. At the end of the evening I ended up asking Bill what it was like growing up around all this art... he said it was a wonderful way to grow up and that it broadened his horizons. He signed one of his mother's art catalogs for me, "This is my mom, Many Loves, Bill" Bill is a pretty old guy but gracious as anything and I so enjoyed listening to him. The house was filled with priceless art and interesting people... a virtual whose-who in the NYC art world... and little ol' me. It felt good. Really good. Bill gave us as many Ray Johnson postcards as we could carry and books from his personal collection that he was ready to part with. What a day!

The next morning GInny and I had breakfast at the Parigot--I had the omelette with french fries and a salad. I'm not an omelette eater but knew that I just had to order it and it would be delish... and it was. Plus I enjoyed the staff... the manager who tried on my sunglasses and took a picture of me with my Diana camera and the chef who came out to say hello... And they were all french... nothing like a real french man speaking french! Walked around Soho... went to the bathroom in the dirtiest Starbucks bathroom that I've ever seen... and then caught a towncar to the airport... the rest my friend, is history.
I have about a thousand pictures but won't be able to post them all here... so here is 10... maybe I'll post more throughout the week!

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