Rizzoli Bookstore, 1133 Broadway, New York, NY
Wine, Cookbooks, Gardens, Performing Arts, Literature, Music, Fashion, Artists, Art, Art History, Film, Interiors, Furniture, Children, Photography, Architecture, Design, New Fiction, New Nonfiction, Nonfiction, Newspapers, Magazines, New York
Does this list sound like an artist’s wet dream? Or, perhaps the favorite things of the most interesting person in the world – of which they are experts in all of it?
These are actually the sections in Rizzoli bookstore. Known as a literary landmark. The foremost independent bookseller in North America. Nearly fifty years in New York.
Apparently, it’s famous to the book-loving in-crowd. And it’s the place I just happened to stumble into yesterday. Needing a couple of reads while I travel, the beautiful townhouse beckoned me inside. I ended up blowing two months of book budget in one fell swoop, literally in about seven minutes. Yes, I have a book budget. All the cool people do. Leave me alone.
Is this store beautiful? Yes, immensely so. Does it have a nice selection of beautiful, interesting wares on sale? Yes, one of the best I’ve ever seen. Was it the hippest store I’ve been in for a while? Yes, my meter rose just be being there. Was it warm, and smelling of coffee, a place you want to sit and read for a while? No, not at all. This is the one downside; its impeccable taste comes at a price. You are not meant to crash down and enjoy the offerings there, but appreciate them and move on.
So is this my absolute ideal book venue? No, but it came pretty damn close. Throw in a few couches and an espresso machine, and I might never leave.
Unknown Artist, French, 19th Century
Dorian Grey. The man that Oscar Wilde brought to life with his hedonistic machinations in 1890 – or so the general public thought. The man that has lived in legend, fable, and table talk for centuries. The man that embodies sensuality and indulgence to the extreme. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have found him.
Wilde wrote that Dorian’s original portrait was a full-length painting, finally destroyed as the debaucherous man came to his senses and took his own life. This made a fitting ending for the Victorian sensibilities of that time, allowing the writer to retain some semblance of not being too disastrously corrupting to the public. The ultimate playboy had to meet a just end. But – what if he didn’t? What if he is still around? Or, another person came along to pick up his mantel and let go of his soul?
First published in the Arts' magazine, Pyragraph
Or, should I say Igor Levit’s Goldberg? Entering the Park Avenue Armory, New York’s most epic performance space, the crowds were glowing with an air of palpable excitement, and slight haughtiness. They clearly knew art, especially the kind of groundbreaking, innovative performance art babushka Marina Abramovic presents to the enlightened, adventurous hoard who have been following her for the over three decades.
One wonders before the show if she has now turned into a hands-off guru? Has she become content to simply direct and marionette others through her fantasies, rather than perform herself? Ms. Abramovic simply lends her “method for listening to music”, i.e., being in a soundless, head-phoned, beach chair-sitting environment and witnessing the conceptualization of a classical music performance.
At least this is what cynical me has running through my head as I come into the grand hall. Yes, I am a performance art curmudgeon in the midst of the enthusiasts—an excited curmudgeon, but one nonetheless. My partner and I sit amongst the low hum of chatter as the hall fills, people tripping over the aforementioned white lounge chairs in their tizzy to find a good spot. The lighting genius of Urs Schonebaum presents us with a dimly lit space, squared by four “doors” of light on each wall. A gong sounds. Yes, a mythical Asian gong. I resist rolling my eyes. Read More…
Segmented Glass Sculpture by Jiyong Lee
A handsome man recently contacted me, referring me to a “world of special artists” to explore. ArtPeople. This person has no special reason to promote this site, other than a love of discovery and art himself, and I found myself jumping onto the website many times over the past couple of weeks to just sniff around. Hey, I’m an ‘ArtPerson'! And I own very little art. He’s an ‘ArtPerson'! And he has everything from Salvador Dali works, to a couple of drool worthy Olivier Strebelle bronze sculptures (that Strebelle gave to him personally). Anyone can be or become an ‘ArtPerson’! Even the person who is drawn to street graffiti. Even the person who doesn’t know or think they care about art. It’s a part of our expression of today’s world, and the future.
I must admit, I might be a little bit biased. I grew up in New Mexico – where the land actually bleeds art. Seriously, if you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about. Blood flows from the sand and mountains, from our Navajos and other tribes, from our Mexican heritage and influence, from our crazy hippies. Literally, you walk down the road, and it’s like Giorgia O’Keefe just coughed up a painting.
So, as once the destination of errant geniuses like Ansel Adams and D.H. Lawrence, modern vivants like Tom Ford, and still birthing art on the streets, it seems no surprise that the film industry is booming, Canyon Road in Santa Fe is humming and Vince Gilligan strode through with his television wonders. Despite all this, local art and artists need to be supported. It is only through the dedication of people like those of the Humbird NM team, Immastar Productions and the delicious brews of ‘Burque local, Tractor Brewery that things like the 24 HOURS OF ART festival on (Sept 18th – 20th) can happen.