Friday, December 2, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
September 11, 2011.
Chairs to infinity. Simple folding chairs, lined in straight rows, waiting for an audience that never came. There were viewers, like me, mostly silent, reflective, but no one moved to sit in the green space, leaving only the painful reminders of those that were. A few grey pigeons that did not mind witnessing and participating in the memorial.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
July 9, 2011. A weed, or an early flower, the origin of what progeny? Thistles were something to be hacked away, the scourge of neat farmers, the killers of precious crops. But what beauty in those soft purple heads, guarded by thorny leaves. My sister's land runs rampant with these stunning beauties, taller than I remember them from childhood.
July 4, 2011. I rounded the curve on a highway in western Minnesota a day or so earlier and this is what I saw, two rises, hillocks, in a vast green scape. Nothing really, just small rises in a flat landscape, but it stuck in my mind. Everything was farmed, except for the tops of each mound, leaving a tiny untouched oasis on the prairie.
June 26, 2011. I am often amazed by something that I didn't see before. Why didn't I see this? What sorry shortening of vision caused me to miss it? What extraordinary vision caused this to come into being when there were so many options to do far less? The repitition of patter and the directing of the eye, subtly, but still insistent.
June 19, 2011. A short walk on hot dunes and then this, these little points of life, lifting up from the sand like some alien life form. They reach through the sand and increase their range, only to fall back in the heat and the dryness. How long does it take to expand and create this pattern, driven by the ability to still live and sustain.
June 19, 2011. P-Town. Rust and dirt and sand. Basic elements have come together and without a design plan produce an arresting visual. The larger rust colored areas, so flat and smooth, are coverd by layered texture in opposition to the underlying movement, and then there is the rough piling of sand in little mounds and spits of shape. I could have stayed much longer.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
May 23, 2011. In death this little bird takes on a grace that maybe didn't exist in its short life. It's outstretched wing, fans into a cushion for its head, a graceful crown attesting to its holy place in our world. The tiny feet are poised as if to scamper away from the danger that it met in falling. The action of moving is still evident as it lays on the road to await what comes next, which to it is now inconsequential. I think that it still matters to us, but by now, I have also moved on from my consideration of its end.
May 20, 2011. This figure has also reappeared, this time at 14th & 8th. He was tucked away, on a metal surface and almost unseen. A clown in uniform, his scalp brightly colored, maybe in a premonition of what is to come, of what might happen in war. He has a firm grasp on his weapon, but his feet hold the possibility that he could simply scamper away in a nonsensical dance, betraying the weapon, but holding true to the spirit of his uniform.
May 19, 2011. Central Park morning walk. This azalea has dropped its buds into the soft ground below so that it looks like each bud is sprouting from the ground, like some spore growth. The ground was soft, wet, and dark and the buds were shiny in the early morning light. The dispersal pattern is at once random and pleasing, making the dirt enticing, beckoning, but not entirely convincing since no one had laid down.
May 7, 2011. We've seen him before, over in Chelsea at the Highline. Here, the Prussian occupies the space in front of the shadow of the white figure behind him. The artist has pressed all three into a single space, improbable and impossible, but still, there it is. Done. He walks, colored in a uniform more brilliant than we might expect. And he is oblivious to what lurks behind. How often do we move along just like this, lost in our reveries, unknowing and so sure that one day will follow the next, until it doesn't. Or is it that he is here, today, and this is the day he has, and tomorrow may or may not come, but it doesn't matter, because he has made this day what it could be.
May 7, 2011. Why not? What cruel spirit would impose such an edict and rub out what expression? Or is it someone commenting on the absence of art on this surface, and inviting someone to add art. Ah, punctuation. It can add to the meaning of the words we use and completely change the meaning. Whose word to I take, or do I supply my own interpretation?
May 7, 2011. The mosaic tiles pressed into this barrier fence are a soft morning glow of yellow and orange on a back street in Dumbo. They rise from the traffic barrier which is assertive and dominant in those blood orange and white blocks. the diagonals rise over them, in contrast, not necessarily harmonious, but sure of their place. What being spent time to press these into the fence, one square at a time?
May 4, 2011. I anticipate this every year, when the cherry trees shed their blossoms and blanket the bridle trail around the reservoir. The wind blows the petals into drifts, catching them in the shallow gullies left after heavy spring rains. The pattern is like a river drifting out of a lake and running over the countryside, spreading its color along the way. And our feet softly pad over it, giants on the tiny flowers.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
April 23, 2011. What lies behind red windows encased in this brick. The repetition of 2 and 4, the singular irons, the brick columns. Why did they choose red as the color? Did someone have extra cans of this, or was it a choice of what would look good with the brick. And is this now permanent, preferred to glass? Red windows fronting on the street, facing the church across the street.
April 20, 2011. What makes up a vision? So many discarded pieces can be repurposed into endless combinations, an infinity variety bound only by individual imagination. A long black figure anchors this piece, surrounded by the red porcelain plates. The snake wraps the figure in an undulating dance. The entire scene is locked into place, constrained. The figure pushes against it in a continual conflict.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
April 14, 2010. In the early morning light the grasses and moss have an electric edge to them and their colors shimmer in the indirect rays of the coming sun. The moss wraps and caresses this old root, the edges soft and rounded from exposure and wear. It curves across this space where it is exposed, like a snake before it disappears again below the dank earth. I want to remove it, take it with me, retain the beauty that it is, outside of its setting. I don't.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
April 10, 2011. Sometimes I almost abandon any semblance of good sense and want to do something stupid like clamber down on the tracks to save art. Such was the case here. I almost couldn't bear to see this mask lying there, repeatedly crossed over by the subway. Impassively challenging, red lips wanting to speak, drawing you to them. Green face growing in front of you. I still wonder if it is there and if I need to add a tool to my briefcase, a telescoping hand to grasp things beyond my reach but not my appreciation.
April 9, 2011. Craftsmen so often create beauty out of utility. This fan was only meant to work, to fulfill its function. Did the metalworker know that the metal would rub in ways that would create a shimmering surface, while the rest became covered with the grime of air and fumes? Did he think about the star shape coming to rest randomly in different spots every day, always contrasting with the sharp and straight cross shapes, and all of it contained within the eternal circle. The pigeon guards sprout from the flat surface above. Another world, a different universe, a microcosm of a word filled with belching smoke and barren trees? And then the city reflected below. A living tree and life behind the windows of the apartment building. It all came together just by chance.
March 31, 2011. This drawing of a mask wasn't meant for everyone. The artist applied it to the back of a phone booth in the subway. To see it, you had to stop, turn away from the tracks and look behind a support post. Why? Was it to force you to look for it? Was the act of standing in front of it, or simply walking past it too easy? Here you had to make a conscious decision to view it. And this seems to be the view the artist wanted - the far side of the face was only to be imagined.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
March 20, 2011. You can't have any idea what will happen if you follow this command. To what extent does the writer expect you to consider your action, or does he expect you to simply follow the instruction? To what end, this order? As if the words were not direct enough, the arrow moves your eye and the 'l's are equally insistent, elongated to move you to action. And what if you resist? Or is it futile?
March 15, 2011. Almost overnight the blossoms of spring came through, enveloping the old leaves and grass. The colors of spring, these milky yellows, the strong green of the leaves and then the brilliant little blue flowers. They push against the dirty, earthy browns to remind us about renewal and color. But you have to look to see - it isn't all just offered to the casual observer.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
March 11, 2011. Should a work of art remain unchanged? When is that decision made, who makes it, and is it right. There are those works we would probably not want to see changed in any way. But is there room for interactive pieces such as this? Did the first artist decide the work could be changed and do so? Did another come along and decide it could be improved? Was the first sad to see the original go away, ephemeral as a sand mandala? I would have liked to see them continue, alongside each other.
March 10, 2011. The artist Elspeth Meyer created a subway series of collage faces, which she has slowly unveiled at successive shows at BWAC. I anticipate with eagerness her studies of the people that she observes on and off the trains. Here, under CPW at 96th street, an unnamed artist creates observations of their own, but from the billboards that line most platforms. I like that selective tearing away reveals a layer of random color and shifts the face into another dimension, unknown except for the fact that I know.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Bonaire N.A. Pink hued flecks of clouds accent the deep blue of this sunset sky and the darkening sea. It happened upon us after the setting of the sun disappointed us. Our expectation wasn't met, and we were in danger of missing what came next, except that someone continue to watch and was ready to engage us all in what unfolded. How often is it like that? Having missed out on what we hope to experience, we miss what comes next, which can be equally as glorious, with the addition of being unexpected.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
February 19, 2011. There is little snow to hide this lost mitten, and so it is evolving, gathering bits of leaves and grass to cover itself and ensure its ability to survive. All is lost if someone picks it up and tames it. Then it will stop evolving and live a comfortable life in someones drawer, with other gloves, safe and comfortable, but never challenged. What will it become if left alone. How deep will it go to become one with its surroundings and stay to see another day in Central Park.
February 12, 2011. Snow blankets the ground as far as you can see, and meets the sky but barely changes color, impacted only by the difference of sky and earth. There must be a gradual rise behind the figures moving against this backdrop, but maybe not, maybe it is a sheer cliff. I know what it is because I am familiar, and I understand the figures and playing snow softball. We are compelled to go outdoors and vigorously trammel the snow, expand ourselves against the elements, exert our right to be - here and now.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
February 8, 2011. I finished an early and strenuous day, filled with faces and forms and questions, and then passed this portrait. I imagine that the artist saw this gray shape, and like a sculptor, could see how to liberate the form within. Did she look at it and think that it was a shame the rest of us couldn't see it, or did she think that the face was longing to become visible? It was there and was brought out to life.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
February 1, 2011. There is no picture, except that which is now lodged in my memory. My camera could not pierce the darkness to capture the moment, but in my mind it still sits there, vivid and compelling. I was at the bottom of Cat Hill, they were at the top. Five runners, their frozen exhalations hung above their heads, hanging in the air around them. The light from the street lamp illuminated the space between their bodies and between their legs. They were like stick men in the distance, but with muscle and mass. They walked slowly toward me, ambling, talking, casual. The shadows bounced off the wet roadway, shimmering from the drops of sleet that peppered my face.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
January 30, 2011. Sometimes a burden can be 19 inches of snow, and sometimes it can be love. In either case, it seems, we learn to bend, and maybe with time we stand straight and tall again. In the spring I will visit this site again and see what has become of this tree, and me.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
January 29, 2011. The snow causes everyday images to suddenly take on new dimensions and the usual twists and turns of branches are suddenly made all the more vivid and stark. What seemed so natural and perhaps unremarkable before the snow, is now wholly spectacular and riveting. This stand of trees, maybe because of the direction I was traveling, and the coming of the morning light, was enthralling to me.