Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Night of the Inauguration

I'm sure there were lots of parties that night; the best one at the White House of course. I like that we have a handsome quasi-rockstar for a President. At least on the same page as most young people. And in fact, at least for now, he's been keeping his promises; putting into action things he said he would do if elected.e.g. closing Gitmo.

Here I'm at a Pepsi sponsored party at La Esquina. Tequila galore. I swear they should make that a prescription only drug. There were many cool people there, a couple art world stars too; Cecily Brown, Francesco Clemente. I asked him if he no longer showed at Gagosian. He laughed and said Good question. Soon. I look forward...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Let's Party Like It's 2012"

That was the title of Giancarlo's party at a loft on Delancey and Bowery last week. It was a requirement to dress like a shaman and surprisingly lots of people did! There was a definite New-Age-y, psychedelic, 60s thing going on and it was loads of fun, with Rob Garza of Thievery Corp, DJ Spooky and Guillaume Clave veejaying.

Upstairs was a lounge area with cushy couches and Burning Man-eque booths with New Age stuff along with the 2012 book for sale.

The party was in celebration of the book release Toward 2012: Perspectives on The Next Age by author Daniel Pinchbeck, as well as a documentary film, a DVD series, and a new social network, all related to theme of a global shift in society around the the date of the end of the Mayan Calender, 12/21 2012.

Peter Doig's exhibition in NYC and the Plaza Hotel Suite

It's no use to put a link here because there's nothing on the websites of the galleries which show Doig's new work. Uptown at Michael Werner there are some pieces from the Tate Museum exhibition last year. Downtown there are also large and small works, but all new i.e. 2002-2008. Doig, apparently, doesn't produce a lot of work. He works slowly, and sometimes a work like Maracas, can take years to complete.

I met Doig a few years ago in Trinidad, where I was born. I had been given a gift to deliver to Chris Ofili on the birth of his first child, and not having his contact info but Doig's, I got in touch with him. The introduction came through Thomas Kiessewetter, and my girlfriend Jean Lee. Thomas had spent several weeks in Trinidad the year before and had hung out with the two artists on the island.

Doig seems to me a man very bright, very kind, and very fertile. Though he doesn't produce lots of work, he produces lots of children. I counted about six last time we met, but this time, the little baby boy was not there.

Other people at the opening included some Trinidadians, like artist Chae Lovelace, an architect named Jennifer, and Geoffrey Holder, a dancer, who lives in NYC. Geoffrey is the brother of Boscoe Holder, arguably one of Trinidad's most famous artists, now deceased.

I didn't take pics at the opening because it seemed too intrusive, but I took some at my friend's party at the Plaza Hotel. It was Elisa's birthday and they took a suite at the Plaza. Great views though the scene at the hotel lobby and bar seemed a bit subdued.


So the day has come for them to leave. I say "them" because though we share a common humanity, I feel nothing else in common with the last administration of the US Government. Bush, Cheney, and the whole crew of military-minded, money pocket-lining, forest-plundering lot of them are leaving positions of power which I think it is safe to say they abused, and in so doing, abused the American people. But then again, we, the people, let them. By voting in large enough numbers America chose not once, but twice, for that administration.

Well, a new day is dawning. Obama talked about peace in his inaugural speech; that example may prove more effective than military action, in conflict. He spoke about empowering ourselves and working hard. He talked about the environment and the economy. He understands that it's not us and them, but that we are one; one people, one nation, one world, one planet, one universe. We are all connected in our common destiny as human and spiritual beings.

It must be a good omen that that US Airways jet landed safely on the Hudson River with all lives saved.

Friday, January 9, 2009

DJ Spooky and Stephen Sprouse LV Party

I didn't know about Stephen Sprouse until last night's party. Seems a tragically cool guy. Either way, his spirit surely permeated the punk, graffiti party last night at the Bowery Ballroom that Louis Vuitton hosted. The heir to LV was there, with a beautiful Asian woman that I've met before at Sotheby's. Our friend Olivier, one of the coolest of the cool French cats to move to NY recently, got us into the party. Lots of dancing and champagne. I had a blast!

It's fun to see fun coming back to NYC. Any correlation with harder economic times? Perhaps. Another wonderful thing I've noticed about nightlife is that the gay and straight worlds are mixing again. Gay guys certainly know how to amp up the fun!

Though it seemed a fashion party there were many art people there; MoMA curator Klaus Beisenbach, Deitch Gallery Director Nicola Vassel, Kihende Wiley the artist, Terence Koh - artist, Joe La Piana - artist, and a bunch of other people. Cross-dressers abound these days too and this wasn't so a few years ago at "straight" parties.

Someone said this was how it used to be before HIV, which devastated the gay population in the 80s and polarized the gay and straight worlds in NYC. Well, things are getting fun again here in NYC so I just might stick around!

Before the party I was at a dinner Robert Peter Miller threw for Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky, who has an exhibition up at the Gallery right now.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Nathalie Djuberg Rocks

Zach Feuer is a lucky dealer to have an artist like Nathalie Djuberg. Her work simply rocks! I like the charcoal drawing/animation best in this show. I mean, this sh*t is deep. Perhaps I'm reading everything through the lens of Tolle's book, but for sure her imagery suggests the crushing of mind, the head, and destroying the body and everything physical around it (the exterior/the ego), in order to become one with everything and therefore come to state of peace and harmony.

MoMA Magnificent!

Last week I took a break and went uptown to see the exhibitions at MoMA and it was well worth it. Van Gogh's Starry Night among a range of works I had not seen before by this, one of my all time favorite artists; Joan Miro (again works I had not seen before); Marlene Dumas (to die for!); and of course, Pipilotti Rist again.

Washington, DC

My family couldn't believe I'd never been to the capital so they took me there after Xmas. It looked like a city I might like; though the fact that it has one of the highest crime rates in the country, there's a ghetto right next to the White House, and the part of the Potomac River near the ghetto is one of the most polluted areas on the blessed planet, well, that was a bit too much for me to stomach the idea of living there for real. The Potomac Conservancy website's press release about pollution can be viewed by clicking the title of this post.

The people in DC were friendly enough though. I loved the area around Georgetown University.

Xmas with the family

Here are my niece and nephew. They're my sister's kids. Their dad is Indian-Trinidadian, if that makes any sense to you. They are funny to have around and make me laugh all the time. Except when they're crying. Then I give them back to their parents.

Maike's Birthday

Maike's been my friend for ages. She's probably one of my oldest friends in NYC. Not sure how we became, or stay friends, because we are so different. Perhaps it's because we are different. She is Goth and I am not. Last summer we had a fabulous week learning (sort of) to surf and kite surf in Montauk. We get into a lot of fun (read trouble) when we hang out together, just us girls. You can see her website when you click the link above. She's a photographer.

Here are some unprofessional pics of mine from her party. There were many photographers there, including her ex roommate Nico Iliev. If you google him you'll see the fabulous work he's doing too.

Stop the fighting in Gaza

So painful the accounts of what's happening in Gaza. If you click the title you'll be able to sign an emergency petition to the UN Security Council calling for an immediate ceasefire. I can't help but mention Tolle's A New Earth again: "Collective grievances can survive for centuries in the psyche of a nation or tribe and fuel a never-ending cycle of violence." All this action and reaction and action and reaction, over and over again, is a strange sort of insanity.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I've been reading A New Earth

"Whatever you perceive, experience, do, think, or feel is content. Content is what absorbs most people's attention entirely, and it is what they identify with...
What is there other than content? That which enables content to be-the inner space of consciousness."-A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.
A blog is all about content. It's one way of understanding things, of understanding people, but really it's only an indicator of a much greater, non-physical, energetic entity, in which we all share. That's why we read them.

NYE: Serge Becker brings out the big guns!

I've known Serge Becker for several years and every year knowing him gets better. Perhaps it's like a marriage but not, because I'm sure some married women don't say "every year knowing him gets better"! He is a true bon vivant and I call him sometimes the Mayor of Nolita. Besides the wonderful nights of fun at Joe's Pub and La Esquina, he's now bringing us fun at Cafe Select. If you click the title it'll give you their site.

NYE Serge arranged a party for friends and family and what was billed as a potluck turned out to be a big goulash party, with food originating out of the Select kitchen. I was the only one who actually cooked and brought something (a shepherd's pie) but we ate and drank and danced until midnight, when soon after, Serge directed everyone to an address on Bond Street. Not knowing what to expect, we grabbed our bottles and dove in the car of our friend Kaiama, who happened to be wearing what we called "The Black Girl's Wig". One of the prerequisites of the party was that everyone wear a wig and Kai and I wore the same one!

Outside the address on Bond Street there was a crowd and a big beefy doorman but when Serge arrived we all piled in up the stairs to this frigidly cold empty loft with dj turntables set up. As people filed in the place warmed up, and the music sparked some intense dancing and debauchery not fit for words, but I'll let the pictures speak the rest.