I must go back a bit before I explain what the photos below are all about. For you see, I forgot to bring my iPod with me the last time I went to Manhattan for an art opening. That show was Markus Pearson @ Pop International and I enjoyed every minute I was there. I even got a chance to speak with Markus about the inspiration for his coyote character, “in love with living life” theme, that is his signature work of art.
I really appreciate his work and would like to purchase a resin sculpture of the coyote figure someday in the not too distant future but for now, I just have to settle with a memory.
After being there for roughly one hour, my artist friend Pruchon phoned to tell me there was something going on at Opera gallery just around the corner and that I should stop by because a lot of artists were there chilling at the Rostarr + Saber exhibition, sipping on free spirits, and enjoying all the eye candy.
So I left Pop International and headed to Opera to soak in the last remaining hour I had left in Manhattan before I had to return home and nurse my self-inflicted wounds for traveling in the first place.
Well the journey turned out to be another fruitful one because it was like a continuum of the last time I was there but even better because I ran into Ron English, and we tipped glasses in acknowledgement. I chatted with Pruchon (who was late on arrival) and some other cool artists. Then Marty Cooper walked into the gallery with Carlo McCormick and I approached Martha to introduce myself to her and Carlo because she had just returned her book, Street Art, (signed) to me via Henry Chalfant who also signed it before giving it to her to sign. So it was only natural that I mention that fact to break the ice as we chatted before eventually feeling uncomfortable because all the cameras started rolling and we didn’t know what it was for. None of us had signed any releases, so our meeting was short & sweet.
Now on to this latest adventure that I saved up my energy for and once again my instincts proved to be correct in selecting the right event to attend.This art exhibition was the work of Yoshitomo Nara, an artist from Japan, who once visited Princeton University a few years ago for a lecture about his life & study in Dussledorf, Germany as well as his first solo exhibition “Nobody’s Fool” at the Asian Society in New York City.
During that visit to Princeton, I had him draw one of his signature characters on a Kidrobot product that I planned to complete later in hopes of seeing him again so that he could sign his name on our inadvertent collaboration.This ultimately turned out to be an impossibility because of all the cameras in Mr. Nara’s face and the fans trying to get a good shot of him with their iPhones. I just stood off to the side and watched the mayhem. Later I did run into Pruchon and another guy that I saw earlier, so I showed them my collaboration piece and they directed me to this Chinese woman who was a Yoshitomo Nara fanatic. I showed her the customized Munny and she got so excited that she wanted to take pictures with it all over the gallery in front of the paintings. I stumbled behind her trying to keep up because she loved the piece so much I thought she was going to run out of the gallery with it.
The third phase of the evening consisted of me doing some filming and meeting this woman who was with the son of Holly Solomon, the famous art dealer who was one of the first to open a gallery in Soho. She was also one of Andy Warhol’s first photobooth models for his portrait series.We chatted about the good old eighties and the fact that Keith Haring used to take me to the bank with him on Broadway & Houston, right around the corner from the Holly Solomon gallery which is where Jeffery Deitch used to work before opening his own gallery. I thanked the two of them for speaking with me and went on my merry way because I knew it was time to head back home to Princeton.