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GEOslant with Jon Leon: HOT WEEK in NY

Six pm the eighth of August I’m at Gavin Brown’s holding a Yuengling Black & Tan, a little guy with jet black hair is snapping pictures. There’s a few people around and nearly a thousand tiny drawings. It’s Akira Horikawa’s 1000 Drawing Project. The drawings are incredibly loose but surprisingly detailed. Some in color, most in black and white. Many of them figures in strange or absurd situations. In one, a ramp extends from a woman’s vspot. Horikawa began his project in 2007. The recent drawings become more detailed, gushing copious black ink to the background of the image. There is a skull. They get weirder. I finish my beer and go to McNally Jackson before the gallery swells.

I’m at McNally Jackson talking to a guy standing next to a girl whose haircut and clothing remind me of Sinead O’Connor. The guy says, “Why do you want to work at a bookstore?” I give him my resumé and tell him one of my books is a featured title in his store right now and tell him I want to work there. I flip through Tiqqun’s Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl (Semiotexte, 2012). Then I go home and design a book cover on Cheim & Read stationary. The next day I go to David Zwirner where the employees have the flippant honor of their very own exhibition. The show is called People Who Work Here and there are two paintings by Sam Martineau worth standing around for. Even better is a series of seven digital pigment prints mounted on Cintra. It’s 12 Hours of Sebring by Josh Brown. Edition 1/3. Sold. But really, they’re worth it. The photos are all of race cars, cool ones, in Sebring, Florida at the Sebring 12-Hour Classic. I felt into the colors and I could feel the speed while I watched the images blur across the wall. Really moving images.

I went to The Museum at FIT’s Fashion and Textile History Gallery for Fashion, A-Z Part Two. The attendant asked me not to take a photo as I took a photo of Martin Margiela’s linen sleeveless jacket of 1997. It was discordant and serene, the whole experience, made even more lovely by an elegant Kenzo ensemble from Spring 2011. The gallery is dark and there were a few other visitors among the shadows. Later after dinner I remembered The Storefront For Art & Architecture opening of The Post-Olympic City (Gary Hustwit and Jon Pack) two nights before, where the crowd spilled onto the sidewalk and the width of the block, lingering in front of giant Olympic rings painted on the storefront. I was inside thinking Sarajevo ’84 looked bleak and gliding back to the refreshment table asking for refills of white and getting red when all the Rolling Rock was gone. Afterward, I dined at Bread on Spring Street. The waitress had cool tattoos. The bread was good. The next day I read from Jean-Patrick Manchette’s Fatale. It’s a special kind of French crime novel from 1977 that reads like a movie and imparts to me cinematic feelings.

Claire Fontaine, Ivy (left) and Poppy (right), 2012, Installation view of Dogma at Metro Pictures; Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures.


Sometimes you just want to be a part of it all so I walk by Louis Vuitton to look in the window at a life-size doll of “Polka-dots are fabulous” Yayoi Kusama. She made some bags, sunglasses, shoes, and coats for them. I hear she has a show at The Whitney and brazenly exclaimed in New York Magazine that nobody in Japan cares about Warhol. The next day I go to a shuttered Feature Inc., passing by the comic artist Darren Bader on the way, for the last day of Douglas Melini, but I guess that was the day before. I curse and walk to Orchard Street for no reason. Entering Rachel Uffner Gallery I become immediately depressed and hesitantly gawk at Dan Miller’s concrete poetry, a framed piece of paper typed with words pertaining to construction like “wood” and “wall.” It starts to rain. I go into a telephone booth on Canal Street and e-mail a guy who writes for DIS Magazine. He doesn’t show so I go to Winnie’s on Bayard Street and order a Budweiser. It’s hot, getting hotter. I’m bored so I take a Xanax and go to The Hole for the last day of Portrait of a Generation. There are over 100 artists in the show, each doing portraits of each other. A kind of year book for the city. Maripol does Rene Ricard – a Polaroid mounted on top of a pristine turquoise copy of his poetry book 1979-1980. Dash Snow does Kunle Martins – big photo of Kunle in Dash's lap, both shirtless. Glenn O’Brien does Andre Saraiva – a poem, an ode to Saraiva’s cosmopolitanism and love of women. There’s a super rad portrait of Fab Five Freddy by Jeanette Hayes. It’s all gold and paint and jive. In The Hole’s other gallery is Andrépolis. Outrageous pink, blue, and black sculptures of André Saraiva’s favorite spots in NYC – dance music, fluorescent lights, misty noir feeling, kind of French. Then Claire Fontaine dogs above the desk at Metro Pictures, a Martin Kippenberger, and Jack Goldstein records as part of Dogma. Last day of the endless summer I sit down with a bottle of Tanqueray in a giant loft downtown and turn up Schubert, blast it.

Jon Leon


(Image on top: Akira Horikawa, # 961 Ritual Union, 2012, Drawing in sketchbook; Courtesy of the artist.)

Posted by ArtSlant Team on 8/15/12

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