March 17th, 2006


Artzines and artblogs

At a loose end after a day of unreliable tour guiding yesterday I headed down to SoHo and looked at The Garden Party, the current show at Deitch's Wooster Street gallery, proposed as an "erotic garden" in the tradition of Giorgione and Manet. It's a spectacular and impressive show, in the Deitch tradition of lavish installation and sexy but well-chosen art. In a kind of answer to my lament of last week, Where have all the New York Japanese gone?, the "erotic garden" was full of them (not to mention lots of tasty paintings and installations by Cecily Brown, Momoyo Toremitsu and others). I ran into my old friend Hiroshi Sunairi, who was showing round a party of Tokyo gallerists over for the Armory Show, some of whom I'd already met at art events in Japan. They were the staff of Kodama Gallery, which started in Osaka but now has a Tokyo branch (you can see Kodama Gallery's Armory stall in the top right photo in Wednesday's entry) and Kazuyuki Takezaki, who's opened his private apartment in Ebisu as Gallery Takefloor.

Hiroshi also introduced me to two Japanese girls who run an art magazine called Educated Community. They immediately recognized the tartan padded jacket I was wearing as a dotera, usually worn by old ladies sitting at a kotatsu table, and clucked about how kawaii my oba-chan style was. Art magazines became the evening's theme: we all re-convened up at Boesky Gallery in Chelsea (Takashi Murakami's gallery), where there was an opening for a Chinese artist called Yi Chen (big-eyed creature-paintings based on magazine collages, didn't look very "Chinese"). Here we were joined by staff from ArtKrush, FlavorPill and Art Asia Pacific magazines. Art Asia Pacific's staff had already kindly given me copies of their magazine at the Armory Show.

The current ArtKrush has an interview with Philippe Vergne in which the Whitney curator has this to say about my performance in the Biennial: "Momus is our unreliable tour guide who tells us that there is no truth. I think an exhibition should be about freedom of interpretation and organic, individual expertise. You grab what you can, you see what you wish, and you leave the room with your own conclusions. This is what the work is about. It is always up to you, and that's what's difficult — embracing the responsibility to make a decision for yourself and not look up to a structure of authority." So there, you have your instruction not to look up to authority on good authority!

Other artzines and artblogs worth mentioning (apart from the obvious Artnet) are Aaron Rose's ANP Quarterly (not available online). You can read an interview with Rose in the charmingly-named Fecal Face, a bay-area arts scene blog. Teenage Unicorn is a nice resource for snapshots of openings (good for fashion tips).

We ended up at the apartment of Diego Cortez, curator, downtown music-scene impressario (he co-founded the Mudd Club) and good friend of Arto Lindsay (who's currently in Brazil).