Sunday, October 31, 2010


October 31, 2010. Red lacquer in the sunlight, the smooth, shiny surface marred and scratched to add the patina of history. This door promises an opening to the past, access to an age gone by. The crimson red could be the dawn of morning or the blood of battle. It is a the color of royalty, a Vreeland red, a red that makes you want to sit up and watch it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


October 27, 2010. The blue Gates of Heaven have been replaced with billowing clouds of fabric. Clouds with their promise of what they cover and obscure, with the certainty that they will move on and reveal. They are temporary, transitory, but always returning to once again obscure and to cause us once again to anticipate that which we cannot see, but which we know through habit, or faith or repetition. These are not, however, the clouds of Michelangelo, no such invention here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


October 24, 2010. A beautiful day in Brooklyn. On my walk to BWAC, I saw this reflection in the water by the pier. The reflection is so much more interesting. The water has altered the texture and the color of the image on land. The posts of the railing have taken on a beautiful blue shimmer and the colors have intensified, while the lines have softened. The reflection is the winner.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


October 23, 2010. Midtown, on my way to swimming. What is this one hiding from, what crime did he commit, or does he plant to? It's all so clean, until you get to the chest, and then he drips off the plane. There is something Maxwell Smart about him, and then more sinister.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


October 19, 2010. Downtown on Murray Street hangs a solitary cow on a granite pillar. Is it the random act of a child idly applying a glued image, or the deliberate act of some downtown denizen in a fit of existential pique? The image is so small as to be easily missed, so there has to be an effort made to see it. The reward is in the finding and seeing.

Monday, October 18, 2010


October 18, 2010. A square of wall paper is cut away and a mountain is revealed against a snowy white sky, towering over an ice covered lake below. I like the diagonal of the mat. It lets the mountain disappear from the scene, continuing out of the frame, and I want to follow the line. The diagonal doesn't arrest my sight the same as a straight line might.


October 16, 2010. My first day volunteering at BWAC. As I left, walking down the pier, I saw an image of the Virgin being borne aloft by an angel. It was cut in an oval and glued to a black painted door. I stopped, and after snapping an image, the owner came to see what I was doing. He had a better image inside, he said, and not thinking I went in. There, on the wall over his unmade bed with this image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Virgin of all the Americas, he said. The background, her wall, like a Zen sand garden raked smooth but for the pattern created by the rake. He was so proud of this, his symbol of devotion, perhaps a source of protection, or maybe one of comfort.


October 15, 2010. A surface that has been glued over, painted, graffitied, papered and stickered, has become a work of assembly that arrests the eye and wants you to stop and look. What happens when we just pass by, not taking the time to let the layers, colors and patterns soak into us? Maybe nothing. Maybe something. Our experience of today is either changed or not.


October 14, 2010. Water changes everything. We get a downpour and the subway station platforms take on water, seeping through the cracks back into the earth through some endless fissures. Things get trapped in the water and changed, broken down, or given roots. Ink runs and smears, but this wrapper shimmers in the unforgiving overhead light. Maybe it will end up in some rat's nest as a possession. Or more likely it will be swept away by a broom or more water.


October 13, 2010. Warren Street, walking toward City Hall. This bit of architectural detail is about to be forever removed. Peeling paint, floral curl of vine and berry, ages of silent sentry. A new building will be ushered in, which was initiated by the Fu Dog ritual this week. We are between layers just now.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


October 11, 2010. I was trying to remember the name of the fashion designer, Patrick Kelly, and it just wouldn't come to me. It crossed my mind as I was leaving Philadelphia, where I had once bought a red button doll done as an homage to him. And then I saw this - buttons. Repeating patterns of buttons, when I had always only focused on the numbers and a way to get home, as opposed to walking the stairs. These buttons, alternately polished by our porters, or the hands of people pressing them, and then tarnished by the air and the oil from those hands.

Monday, October 11, 2010


October 9, 2010. A road trip to the Barnes Foundation museum in Marion, PA., yielded this find. Out in the garden was a small stand of Tea trees. The bark mottles like the older London Plane trees in Central Park I pass when on my walks. But here they were in shades of red, and shades of brown. If this is camouflage, who or what are they hiding from? How it peels, which layer is first or last is barely perceptible. What a beautiful precursor to the art inside the Barnes.

Monday, October 4, 2010


October 3, 2010. Remember the knit sentries from DUMBO? I think the same mad knitters found this bike. Alone maybe, abandoned, they swathed it in color and warmth and then left it somewhere to await its fate. And such was its fate. This is another one of those times when I wish I had a car, and a house with rooms. I would have given this a home. I regret leaving this behind.


October 2, 2010. Storm King Art Center. 500 acres of art, plus walking, plus sunshine, plus friends. There isn't anything wrong with that picture. I think we are probably always compelled to make art. Here, after passing by the Storm King Wall by Goldsworthy, one or more people felt the drive to mark their having come this way by creating this ancient marker. Or maybe they created this contextual piece of art because the spirit moved them to do so while amongst so many wonderful works. Every time we create a still life at the dinner table, or consider how our clothes look, or arrange a vase of flowers, we are fulfilling a drive to create.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


September 26, 2010. Walking over the Bridge is a community event. Fast walkers, slow walkers, strollers, bikes, runners, gawkers, missionaries, protesters; everyone is there. It's easy to engage, encourage, and bypass humanity here because you are as closely packed as a subway at rush hour. From a distance you don't see the many cables and wires that make this bridge stay up. Up close, you appreciate their contribution.


September 24, 2010. In my dreams I float sometimes. I just lift off the ground, the bed, the pavement. Often I perform superhero feats, less so, I just look at the world below. Do cattle do the same when they slumber - do they free themselves from their earthly toil and measured existence? To dream and lift and float over the fences that constrain - what liberation!


September 16, 2010. There's something for everyone in this world, and street fairs in New York know it. Shape, texture, color; all collide here, glinting at the eye in the sun, or subdued when it is overcast. People, stones, booths, visuals, each bumped up against the next. Contact is impossible.


September 18, 2010. How long do you think this art form has been around - mosaic in one form or another? Here, the work predates and echoes the work on the street above, in the East Village, where street artists have taken over street lamp bases, door lintels, and sidewalks. The portrait of the birds, nearly noble, not seen as the pesky scavengers that dive bomb strollers on the sidewalk.