New York Daze

Sometimes New York pulses with an energy unlike any other city I’ve seen.  Today has been one of those days.

Wendy and I got up this morning and went to our local cafe, Le Bergamote, for the best ham & cheese croissants in town.  The place was packed and the weather outside was furious – the wind was literally whipping the leaves off the trees:

We decided to hit up some galleries, starting with Pace Wildenstein to see the Richard Avedon exhibit.  The exhibit was almost exhausting in its scope: it contained photos of a shocking number of influential people from the 20th century.  From Bob Dylan to Marilyn Monroe to Dwight Eisenhower.

Literally, across the street the Matthew Marks gallery was exhibiting the latest work from Andreas Gursky.

Two blocks away, on 24th, Fredericks & Freiser had a show by Zak Smith.  If you’ve never heard of Zak Smith, I suggest you take a look at his portfolio.  It bursts with colour, detail and creativity; one wall of the gallery was covered with dozens of minute detailed drawings characterizing his history (which, by the way, is as colourful as his art).

A second room in the gallery contained all the drawings from On The Road of Knives – a project between Smith and two other artists whereby they mail drawings to one another in an ongoing story (check out the link for the chronology).

A block further, on 25th, the Yossi Milo Gallery was showing Lise Safarti’s retrospective of photos she took in Russia while living there from 1991 to 2000.  It’s a complicated mixture of decaying factories, traditional wooden architecture and homosexual boys.  These may sound like three things that should never be juxtaposed, but Safarti creates a touching portrait of a nation going through profound changes post the collapse of communism.

As if this all the art wasn’t enough to overwhelm, there was more going on outside.

Underneath the High Line, a 3 ton steel sculpture you could walk through had just been installed.

The sky was clearing, meaning that fog could be seen tearing across the rooftops of building.

And on the corner of 24th and 10th, the largest crane I’ve ever seen was being used to take down a the crane and it looked as if the construction workers were literally walking in the sky:

Like I said, sometimes this city just crackles with energy.