Tag Archives: New York

Optimistic

Last week I wrote a poem which sprung from ideas that had been in my mind for years before I finally put them to words.

It speaks of all the humanness and ubiquity of homosexuality.

Then gay marriage was approved in the state of New York.

And I shall not post the poem here: it has become minor.

One might wonder, why is that so important for homosexuals around the globe?

The answer is threefold:

1. The USA are the most important and constant source of mass culture at present, and everything coming from them sparks debate and headlines.

2. New York City will now be home for gay couples from all over. No need to explain its cultural importance in the world.

3. The remarkable effort and multiple politic strategies employed by Mr Cuomo’s people to pass the bill shows how much the gay community still needs to further unite and organize itself on various levels. (See the NY Times article here)

At times like these my heart and brains are flooded with better hopes for the future.

Five people and a band

Things that happened to me while I was in New York:

1. We hired a shuttle bus service to get to the city. It took way too long and I got impatient twice. The long time got me angry too and I even thought the driver wanted to kindnap us. He won us over though, for he managed to say something nice to every single passenger as they got off the van. We overtipped him.

2. Our first night out almost turned sour because we took the wrong subway line, which led us to a random place in Brooklyn. Then we waited for 30 min in the wrong side of the platform until we figured that one out. Luckily, we ended up in a nice little alternative spot, in which we saw The Pains of Being Pure at Heart totally by chance.

3. A nice saleswoman convinced us to buy sunglasses based on her sincerity: she told us twice some model didn’t suit us well. We felt obliged to buy the ones she said looked good on us. Actually, I was the one persuaded to purchase without the need, my friend really wanted a new pair of shades and was more than happy to get them.

4. I was hit on by a salesman in a hat store who was really sweet and charming and interesting. He told us he was from Oklahoma and that he lived in Harlem in this very nice street and that he wasn’t scared of the area at all. I pictured myself already falling in love with him and sharing his apartment which I would decorate with nice things I would pick. Nothing really happened between us and I didn’t get his name. I’m still curious about it.

5. We had a major fight but ended up theorizing on why people who love and know each other well are still capable of hurting one another. We came to the conclusion that sometimes harsh feelings and bad habits are just too difficult to withhold.

Read carefully

Youth knows some pain

My love for small venues and alternative new acts is too immense to be measured.

The new music club scene in New York is heaven for me; the energy I get from these places runs through my veins and makes up to my brain making me want more and more and more.

Totally by chance, I had the wonderful opportunity of being to a Pains of Being Pure at Heart gig in a small club in New York. They remind me of olden times I did not live, the times of The Smiths and underground moods I didn’t experience. So how could I know how they felt like. Like this:

Indie rock in its best.

Share

My original plan of sharing my travel experiences real time with you hasn’t turned out quite the way I expected it would.

But don’t you worry, there are lots to be told once I return.

Now I’m off to Brooklyn.

Streets of inspiration

I’ll be in New York City very, very soon.

As the week unravels, I shall attempt to translate some of my visual and sentimental experiences through various written texts and images on these pages.

And I cannot wait to be immerse in the atmosphere of a city of plenty.

Sleepwalkers (2007) by Doug Aitken

This time I’m staying close to the art galleries in Chelsea.

Inspiration will be one street way.

Opposites enact

While doing a series of posts on women artists weeks ago, I was meaning to feature a Brazilian female artist whose eclectic range of work I really admire. It did not happen. Unfortunately, technological issues hindered my plans and basically turned me off from writing for a while.

Luckily for me, I very unexpectedly came across some images of her work and the idea surfaced again. I was again taken aback by the power of art. It is so pleasant to be surprised like this.

So, Rivane Neuenschwander is a representative of Brazilian Conceptualism who mixes artistic categories as dexterously as can be.

I Wish Your Wish

Neuenschwander’s work is also a true representative of Brazilian culture, for it embodies the mixture of aspects so present in the country. The chaos, the lack of planning and delightful spontaneousness that best translate this country’s life styles are very creatively transformed in carefully conceived and executed art work, creating a transparency paradox which is a treat for the eye.

A special exhibition entitled A Day Like Any Other is currently taking place at the New Museum, in New York City.

The combination of astounding art with staggering architecture is no ordinary event. It is like Brazilianness being played.

Unexpectations

Understanding the failure of expectations is to change one’s perspectives in a wise way.

Since I’m still not in the mood to talk about technology and art, I shall instead post here the work of yet another interesting American photographer who caught my attention in New York.

Dana Miller is a landscape photographer who decided to work in the city. That’s a challenge in itself and thus deserved my immediate appreciation.

Shunning cityscapes has become such an easy art form that it has become almost boring. Being a city person to the fullest, I can’t help but admire people who choose a path of no nature to portray life.

In her End of the Line series, Miller went to the last stop of New York’s subway system to capture images that exude life and people’s creativity and lifestyle even if there’s no one to be seen in them.

Seeing the expected is so easy and common-sense. It is much more intriguing to let the unusual mesmerize us.

But then, that is not for just about everyone.

Sensitivity. Sensitivity.

Double

I very often divide the different times of my life according to my music tastes of each period. In my mind, there is frequently a specific soundtrack for all the important moments in my existance.

Not surprisingly, the connectiion of music and visual arts appeals immensely to me. It is a powerful combination in the sense that it increases the amount of sensitivity one has to artistic expression. In an installation, one may be touched by the music but not by the material piece, as well as the opposite. The best option is when one is touched by the combination of both.

In that perspective, I must say that I am easily drawn to like the work of Janet Cardiff and George Miller. They have new work currently in exhibition at the Luhring Augustine gallery in New York. Yet again, their work pleased me immediately.

With The Cabinet of Curiousness, the artists use an antique piece of furniture with 20 drawers to store different types of music, from an opera to bicycle sounds. The contrast of sounds and the age of the wooden catalogue, together with the modernity of the sound system help elicit questions about memory and simplicity.

Sounds and music seem to awaken almost instinctive reactions from people and it easily gets us thinking (though usually with a little delay). It is as if the message or the idea of the artists could linger a bit longer.

I can’t stop thinking about how important it was for me to keep the music I liked in the past with me. It is like opening a drawer into past feelings and experiences through the channels of emotion.

No wonder I love Cardiff and Miller’s works so much.

North Art in New York

It’s easy to tell I’m drawn to Nordic aesthetics and consequently to anything related to Scandinavian design and music.

Maybe it’s because I lived there when I was younger, so I probably get it in ways I may not even be aware of.

The first gallery I entered in New York housed an exhibition on Finnish photographers from the Helsinki School, an interesting art project engaged in promoting photography & video art from Finland. An idea that deserves not only to be praised but also copied all around the globe.

Two of the artists’ photographs featured at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery really caught my attention and interest. They are:

Yearly Growth, 2009 from the Possibility of Constancy series

The use of darkness and clarity, both in the lighting as in the settings remind me instantly of this important duality in Nordic life and everything it represents to them: summer-winter, grey-color and so on.

With fascinatingly pale colors and the ever present use of water, Majuri brings the unpredictability of shape into a static form of art such as photography.

Inspiring.

Fondle your weekend

Every week I promise myself I will take the time to write a proper post on Friday but then, when the day comes, I’m too busy or excited about the weekend to do something serious.

It won’t be different this time, I’m afraid.

But I will share with you another art discovery I made while in New York. For those who appreciate a little sexiness to inspire their weekend, here are some pics by the New York-based photographer Nodeth Vang:

Luc & Ryan

There is a project of his I really like. It works like this: he meets guys through the internet and asks them if they’re willing to take their clothes off for the camera outdoors or in. It’s quite interesting to see how different kinds of men would accept it and how they react to their own exposure, something that Vang captures pretty well in those series (on show at the Bruce Silverstein gallery):

Untitled (Victor with Grass)

May everyone have a sexy and cuddle-filled weekend.

An art day: perfect

My greatest passion is traveling. I have come to this realization soon after I moved to Paris in 2008. Mind you, it wasn’t because of the change of countries that it became clear to me, rather it was the moving that made me see that this is what I enjoy most in the world.

I remember that I didn’t want to buy anything upon my arrival – no closets, no new mattress, no pans, no nothing. I am perfectly happy with little. I possess nothing except for my clothes (the ever-so-present manifestations of my moods), my books, my bed and my computer. All the money I save is for taking trips everywhere my mind wishes to take me.

So, what do I do when I travel that makes this experience so strong?

Plenty of things. For example, I usually try to find out from other connoisseurs what the coolest neighborhoods/areas of a city are and I just head there, practically without knowing anything. Then, I take my time to discover things just by walking around, appreciating everything that catches my attention.

This is how I discovered Chelsea, in New York. I knew there were art galleries there but I had no idea they were so many. And so nice. This was how I can say I practically stumbled upon Elliott Hundley‘s works at Andrea Rosen Gallery.

Jasiu With Leaf

Jasiu With Leaf, 2006

His choice and use of materials is fabulously intriguing, for they create images of beauty and mythical ideas out of simple objects and every day things such as plastic, glass, paper and wire. His mastery of the possibilities each element in the sculptures has is nothing less than impressive.

Luckily, this was just one of my first – though I have to say it was also one of the most striking – findings in Chelsea.

It was so much to see that I used lunch time to give my mind some space in order to absorb everything. Instead of going to a stylish restaurant, I happily chose to buy a sandwich in a street nearby and eat it in the lovely stripe of green space along the Hudson River.

This is how a perfect day while on tour for me is.

Presence, experience, change

When something really impressive touches me, I am very often incapable of talking about it for some time. It is as if the impact of the experience must take its time to sink in. This is exactly the way I felt after seeing the work of Marina Abramović last week at the MoMA, in New York.

Never have I been so close or felt so connected to an artist who gives herself so entirely to art. The idea of giving up oneself to the purpose of discovery and artistic expression is something I most honestly admire. This is how Abramović relates to her body of work.

The exhibition is divided in two parts: a thorough retrospective of her lifelong work and a second part, which is a brand new performance taking place at the museum. The first part is a highly illustrative introduction not only to the Serbian artist’s career but also to Performance Art as a whole, in an enlightening insight guided by Marina’s own explanations to every piece through the audio guide.

Performance Art is a very particular and unique manifestation of Art in the sense that presence is a key ingredient to its creation, be it the artist’s own presence or the audience’s. Marina Abramović was one of the first artists to become aware of the unavoidable exchange of energy between the performer and the audience, through a series of works in which she deliberately uses this interaction to create something new.

Exploring bodily limitations and sensations but also history, human empathy and the possibilities of the mind, Marina has often chosen to use the force present in the viewers’ curiosity to add extra meaning to her works. The audience becomes part of the art and thus begins to grasp its purpose and hopefully leaves the performance feeling quite changed.

The Artist is Present is a masterpiece.

Shaken

Sorry about the absence. It was due to my 10-day trip to New York City from which I just came back.

It was a fantastic time to be in the city; the weather was lovely and the atmosphere charged with that lively spring feeling.

I’ve got tons of things to say about it, but I’m still a bit tired for doing it in a proper way. I must rest first.

Great shopping, lots of art, wonderful food, magic experience. It was so good it really shook me.

Thank God.

Come and see

There’s nothing like a refreshing trip to a city of culture to brighten up one’s ideas about life in general.

I was amazed (yet again) with the number of options for night time fun in São Paulo.

I’ve said this before and I don’t mind repeating it: Brazilians really, really know how to party like no one else on the planet.

Paris, Berlin, London and New York are nothing compared to the excitement and fun there exists in a Brazilian city like São Paulo.

The city of fun

Just come and see.