Wednesday, January 28, 2009

little journeys, love with strangers

The late curator Walter Hopps said, "art offers the possibility of love with strangers."

A couple nights ago I got lost in one of my old journals--in the time when I first moved to New York. I remembered how the love of strangers I found at the Whitney, the Met and the Chelsea galleries held me up before I had many friends here to speak of.

This was my favorite painting at the Met then. That was 2004 and it's not hanging in the gallery anymore. If anyone can identify it for me, please leave a comment below. I'd be much obliged. I'm sure it's in one of my tiny pocket notebooks somewhere...I still love it.

Now I have a whole world here, and although there may be no place I would rather find "love with strangers" than a museum in New York City, sometimes it's easier to escape somewhere like LA or San Francisco.

Or Toronto, which is where I went last week. to check out places like the Art Gallery of Ontario, which is where I entered David Altmejd's 'The Index,' a maze of mirrored crystals exploding out of furry rocks and taxidermied bird heads on top of men in suits, suspended in mid-air.

It was like the brainchild of Jim Henson and Damien Hirst--he who wants to spend the rest of his life "everywhere, with everyone, one to one, always, forever, now." Me too.

I wonder how The Index would have been different if not for Jim Henson's Labyrinth. Maybe David Altmejd never even saw it, and it's just part of the grain of my childhood, but I really felt like David Bowie was going to stroll around the mirrored corner in stretch pants, his equestrian boots clacking ominously on the museum floor.

The Index.

Jim Henson's creations, flirting with Jennifer Connelly.
You decide.

I found 'The Index' more audacious and outrageous ("This guy has a lot of nerve," said Kevin Devine.) than personally moving. Though sometimes I suppose that's the desired reaction. A series of crocheted boobs and dinks called 'Boobs and Dinks' at one of the Toronto galleries failed to affect me until I saw this man gaping at it through the window.

And now I may never forget it.
So, on it's best day, art makes you feel loved, on a good day it makes you laugh.
If you want to read a little more about my quick jaunt to Toronto, see Mr and Mrs Smith for details...

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