Nothing like New York City when your focused on what you want to acquire for your life & lifestyle.
I enjoy being there so much that each time I visit; I dream of finding the perfect home for my artworks and possibly myself?
Lately I’ve been skipping the Meat Packing District & Chelsea areas for the Upper East Side which I really enjoy! Some streets were made for walking and Madison Avenue is one of those streets that I feel right at home.
I remember the days when I had a membership to the Whitney and traveled this familiar route to the museum and hang out there for whatever reason?
Now that I have gotten strong enough to visit I make sure the trip is well worth the struggle I endure to have a good time while searching for new opportunities.
While strolling to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Breuer building location formerly known as the Whitney Museum on Madison Avenue several months ago. I walked passed an art gallery that was displaying an early Keith Haring painting that caught my attention.
I thought to myself maybe? Maybe I could walk in and talk to someone there about my personal connection with Keith and hope for the best?
Well three months later I got an invitation to a fantastic opening reception for the artist exhibition of Bernard Buffett paintings. So I call up my partner in crime Vikki Watt and we go to explore the amazing collection this gallery has to offer.
To my surprise they rotate there artists and mix the exhibitions by peppering in a few highlights. For example this Keith Haring painting behind us is a good example of the diverse collection Opera Gallery has in their inventory because we were actually there for a Botero and Sequi exhibition that was just breathtaking.
I wish I could have signed a purchase order the minute I saw a couple of pieces on display.
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.
When I say the fun outweighs the effort;I’m not kidding around at all! Last Thursday I mustered up the energy to travel to New York City for an opening I discovered published in Clutter Magazine’s online publication about this exhibition “Pop Surrealism” that featured the most prominent figures of the genre that I know of especially a few in particular namely Colin Christian & wife Sas along with Ray Caesar,Ron English,Camilla D’Errico,Lori Earley,Scott Musgrove and many more.The gallery is located in SoHo on Spring Street so I was very familiar with the area because its where I use to do most of my shopping back in the early 80’s and just simply hang out when most of the galleries were located there before moving to Chelsea about twelve years ago now or longer.
As a routine stop I had to check out an artist [Ron Jones] who has been on the corner of Broadway & Prince Street for just as long as I can remember and he has become part of the landscape as far as I am concerned so I stopped a chatted with him as I usually do and I’m glad I did because he gave me a gift just for making the effort understanding my condition.
After that it was what I thought was going to be a quick in and out visit to Kidrobot down the block to get my fix of their exclusive custom toy/sculptures & apparel before going to the opening at Opera gallery.
Well, the visit turned out to be a beautiful time well spent with the staff who showed my crazy respect and informed me of some of the rereleases that are scheduled to drop sometime soon.
Now on to the gallery after spending more time than I thought I would with the folks at KR and I turn the corner and walk one block only to run into Dylan who I met years ago standing online @ Kidrobot for Dunny creator Tristan Eaton’s then new release in 2008 so I have known him for quite some time and he recognized me right away.
We both entered the gallery together but I headed for the refreshment table right away so I could take the edge off with a glass of red wine. After that I broke out the iPod to start capturing the moment for my archeives and become a part of my work in progress film ” Chealsea Nights” which is really about my adventures visiting art galleries & special events. I only walked around part of the exhibition and found a seat at a table located in the rear of the gallery so I could relax and I was joined by this Haitian American artist named Prushion who vibed up with me emediatly and we began to connect and exchanged information so we could stay in touch. I have a short film clip I made of him to add to my documentation.