Monday, November 13, 2017

Turning Neon into Art: Patrick Nash Returns after 20 Year Hiatus (Garment District, Manhattan)

My friend Patrick Nash, who has kept his talent for creating fine art like the proverbial lamp under the bushel for two decades, surfaced on the New York art scene in the last few weeks with a show at SL Gallery.

Tonight he gave a Q&A about his work and career, painting a picture of the East Village as it used to be, full of abandoned and semi-abandoned buildings and full of people who saw in the devastated urban landscape an invitation to create. Eventually, however, he invested his time in something more remunerative than pure art to start Patrick Nash Design, which has done all kinds of amazing installations for big and small businesses and well-known artists. It was only when Bill Schwinghammer invited Patrick to install a show in his gallery that Patrick's love of art for art's sake (and neon for neon's sake) was rekindled. Or maybe the love was always there but the bandwidth wasn't. 

In any event, as he related during the Q&A, his 20 years of creating signs and installations for others combined with his always active imagination, led him to create one amazing piece after another, like the work in the photo above, a delicate argon-infused circle around a block of cement suspended like a thought bubble over our heads.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Lively Offering for the Day of the Dead (Mission District, San Francisco)

Although it was a few days after El Dia de Los Muertos when I encountered these marigolds on 24th Street in the Mission District, they were still as vibrant as ever.

Are Buttons, Bells and Buzzers a Vanishing Breed? (Mission District, San Francisco)

Some day everything will be activated by our irises. But until then, I plan to enjoy the beauty and tactile satisfaction of doorbells and buzzers.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

In New York, You Have to be Camera-Ready, Even When You're Homeless (Midtwon Manhattan)

Living the dream? On first impression I was upset, thinking a bunch of tourists were being ironic by filming this homeless guy and then I saw the massive camera and realized this wasn’t a casual endeavor but a major investment and they must be making a film. The so-called homeless dude must have been an actor or maybe even the director, because he was discussing the filming with the crew in a relaxed, collegial way. And, as I walked away, I was still upset.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How Much is that Performance Art in the Window? (Garment District, Manhattan)

Grazia Capri takes the stage in the storefront art gallery known as ChaShaMa on 37th Street in the Garment District. About five us stood in the rain to watch her performance through the window. She retained sharp focus, staring toward us but through us, as she moved through the precise steps of a solo performance she calls "Corpi in Vertigine#2".