A dad and his daughters, loving life in New York City

Monday, November 28

art shows

yes, there was lots of love and laughter and eating and christmas shopping and walking all over this beautiful city this long thanksgiving weekend...

there was also lots and lots of art.

on friday, fueled by city bakery cookies and hot chocolate, scoboco did the chelsea gallery thing*. as always, there was no shortage of temptations, the most engaging of which happened to be next door to each other, on 10th avenue just north of 18th street.

at bellwether, through december 3, there's the marc swanson show, which had some cool etchings done on mirrors and a kind of creepy forest set up in the back room, with floor-to-ceiling trees (made from trees) from whose branches hang birdcages filled with old bottles, and all kinds of animal-looking parts, and weird flags, and a giant stuffed peacock, and like i said to bo and co, if you saw this in a REAL forest you would run SO fast.

also kind of creepy was mona hatoum's "mobile home" piece, at alexander and bonin next door, through december 22. here, about 20 pieces of furniture and other "domestic objects" were strung on wires betweeen two metal bike-rack-looking barriers. each wire had a hidden motor which slowly dragged the object across the floor or through the air. each item moved at different times, and at different speeds, and it just looked like the whole thing was haunted.

we had seen michael joo's "still life" a while ago, on that ridiculously rainy day back in september (at the bohen foundation, on 13th street between 9th and washington, through february 4), but i just want to mention it here because it's definitely worth stopping in to check out. the space is pretty big and features a life-sized zebra with its black stripes removed, and an infant's skeleton hidden in a garden of pods and a bear doing something i can't remember. dominating the room, however, is a herd of eviscerated caribou with cameras hidden in their bellies hanging in a helix from the ceiling and breaking through the floor into the dark basement below. it, too, is kind of creepy. but in a good way.

then on saturday dglass and i braved the crowds (and there were definitely crowds) and went to the met for the van gogh and calatrava exhibitions, both of which we really enjoyed. the van gogh drawings are total genius, as you'd expect, but the fact that he drew some of his most famous paintings AFTER he was done adds to the fascination. for example, his painting "cypresses" is on display, and next to it are two or three drawings of the work he did to send to friends. yes, it was packed, but it's only here until december 31, and has that sort of once-in-a-lifetime feel to it.

after such a big exhibit the calatrava was nice and small and beautiful. including drawings, scale models and a surprising number of sculptures, the show was made even more interesting because of his two huge projects about to be built in manhattan.

*important: when you want to get your kids out of the house on a freezing cold day to go gallery hopping, never actually TELL them you're going gallery hopping until the last possible moment. ideally, as they're putting on their coats... or as you're walking to the train. if they ask where you're going any earlier in the process than that, be vague. because no matter how much fun we have each time we do this--and we definitely do, every single time--somehow the IDEA of looking at (possibly lame) art all afternoon just never cuts it.

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