Monday, July 29, 2013

Andy Warhol's POPism, The Act of Killing Documentary

POPism, The Warhol ‘60s, Andy Warhol and Pat Hackett, 1980, Harper & Row, Publishers, New York.

The first entry I ever made on this blog, many moons ago, in 2011 was on Warhol’s Motion Pictures show at MoMA.  Since then I have written a few other entries on him and he is probably the person that is mentioned or reflected upon the most on this little blog.  This is not so much that I think he is the best artist ever but more that he is possibly the most influential figure (along with Duchamp) in contemporary art. 

I have previously read his, From A to B and Back Again, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, 1975, and I absolutely loved it.  Really, it had me up all night and wanting to take over the world.  I just recently read POPism and it is a different sort of book with a different sort of tone.  It is a chronology of the 60’s, his 60’s, and the characters, events, and general vibes of this specific decade.

The book is not about precision or relaying facts and timelines, it is more a series of musings and recalling things that were happening on a day, in a month, on a trip, on an evening.  The focus is on the characters in the art world, music world and the many misfits that Warhol was attracted to and those that were attracted to him.  These people are famous to us now such as: Henry Geldzahler, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Lou Reed, Edie Sedgwick, Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix, Nico, Candy Darling, Truman Capote etcetera, and they are all strung in there to be markers of this time and his entwinement in it and to them. 

This book gives a voyeur’s peek into this world he lived in and the possible feeling of those times but it is all retrospect.  Even in the tone and way Warhol/Hackett wrote this book it feels like a time gone by, already done, not nostalgia but just over.  This is something that surprised me in a way.  The known finality of this time.  It also makes one think about how this era and how Warhol and the Factory have been such a fetish for the art world.  That somehow it was more magical or strange or cool then any time since.  This brings to fore our own current time and the times right before and those to come.  This feeling that we can create or be a part of an elite subculture that defines the taste and the mood of a decade.  Each decade has a group with hindsight, now it just gets shorter and smaller.  Instead of a ten-year confluence it’s four years, the amount of time for the new crop of collage kids to graduate art school. 

What was also very revealing to read was how art making seemed so secondary to Warhol.  His focus throughout the 60’s were his films, which are most certainly art, and something that he even says in the book out loud, but it is interesting how in the time that gave Warhol this aura of mega art visionaire was when he “quit painting” more or less.  It reflects less about his art and more about just about his living, which is what makes Warhol ‘Warhol’ isn’t it?  This ‘living as art’ is the thing that Warhol truly changed, the thing that has the most influence today.  The act of living and the directing of characters, scenes and attitude that is one’s life is the final end game of art. 

Read this book if you want to rocket back into a time that seems so far yet so near in many ways.  It makes you wish you were there but also glad to have not been.  It’s hard to not imagine what Andy would have thought about art and the art world today.  To think about how he would feel about his Foundation and all the baloney involved with that and the art world at large.  It’s hard to say.  I can only imagine he would have been a star now as he was then.  There is no manual to being an artist.  You either are or you aren’t. 

The Act of Killing, Director Joshua Oppenheimer, 2013, Drafthouse Films

This is a documentary by Joshua Oppenheimer that focuses on Anwar Congo and some of his friends who were participants of the mass murders that took place in Indonesia when the military overthrew the government in 1965.  Anwar is a grandfather now and is lanky with contained and distant expressions and movement.  His most featured friend is Herman Koto who is big and comical and is younger then him.  Both men were well known and feared killers of “communists.” 

The formula for the documentary is different then others because it is a capture of a project.  The project was for Anwar to recreate, in any way he and his friends chose, to reenact their acts of killing during this time.  It is surreal to watch this process.  There is a bizarre pride and remove from the way Anwar and his friends retell their actions.  Being a viewer, a non-participant of this time, these tales are horrific and abhorrent, yet to them they are just good-old-time reflections. 

Things get even more absurd when the filming of their retelling starts to begin.  The aesthetic choice of the depictions is filled with all the terrible troupes of daytime TV and B movies.  There is drag, staring the rotund Herman, girls in synchronized dance and outfits and Anwar and his other friends in mutilated makeup for some reason or another interviewing ‘communists.’  The brutality of their actions is glazed by their infatuation and mimicry of “gangster” lifestyle as depicted by Brando and Pacino in Hollywood films of that time.  More then anything Anwar and his friends want to be celebrities, they bask in recognition and respect. 

This documentary’s formula lends to the absurdity that is repulsive yet gripping.  There are no voiceovers, no archive shots, no numbers and facts inserted about what happened then.  It is not trying to pivot the story for or against Anwar and his friends. 

Through the film, the distance and lack of repentance that Anwar has about his actions slowly shifts the further along they get in recreating the scenes.  Somehow, him seeing his actions and crimes recreated punctures empathy in him.  The final scene, where Anwar goes up to the place where he killed so many people, it is said to be 1,000 or more, with a technique he picked up from mobster movies by using a wire so there was less blood, is one of the most literally gut wrenching things I have ever seen.  He had done a shot of this at the beginning of the film.  Then he merrily recreated how he would kill people with the wire.  In this re-shoot, at the end of the movie, he shuffles and looks worn out and barely talks.  He heaves as if his soul is trying to get out of him.  There is no clean finish to this movie, no redemption; it is complex and challenging to watch.  It is hard to wrap ones head around it.  It leaves you drained and empty but also sticks with you deeply. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Adam Humphreys Book, Art Openings, Anti Everything

Adam Humphreys, Adam’s Summer Purgatory, 2008, Thought Catalog 2013

Adam Humphreys wrote a slim book excerpted from a blog of his from 2008.  It is an e-book but can also be printed on demand.  It is about him planting trees in Canada for a season and the people, events and situations that occurred in that season.  One would think that it would read like a blog, it does but it doesn’t.  There is a construction going on and the selections made make it captivating even in its slimness.  The form in which it is written, quick recollections with reflective asides, is fitting and structurally new to see even if the print quality is sub-par and the design of font a bit off putting at first.  These minor flaws of the physical form can be put aside though. I recommend reading this in its book form as it is advantageous to its diarist writing.  There is an economy of words and ways of expression that makes this book as enjoyable as it was.  There is a directness in facts and recollection but also intimacy is achieved in the openness of Humphreys' feelings and the people that are spoken of in the story.  There is also that ever-necessary arc, in some ways.  There are friends, enemies, plots thickening, accusations, people missed and revelations of character and slight reflections on the meaning of life.  I read this book poolside in one sitting and it held my attention in a way that most things haven’t been able to do in a long time.  It was good in a way that just hits that “good” thing.  It’s not perfect but I wanted to read more and look forward to future stories that Humphreys may one day publish. 

Going to Art Openings

This summer has been a strange one.  It feels like other summers but different in a way, like it seems to be more summery then others.  Maybe it’s because the weather, until today, has been brutally hot and going to the beach and near water has been modus number one for survival.  Another reason maybe because I have been going out to a lot of openings and events.  This is something that I stopped doing for a while, like over a year, because they always made me feel a certain way about art and humanity that was not pleasant for me or for anyone near me. 

This summer, I have been going out to a lot of them though and they are usually in some random spot here or there in the Lower East Side or Brooklyn, with the occasional Financial District and Mid-town event.  Maybe it feels different this time around because ‘art openings’ umbrella a wider net of social situations then they previously had.  It is no longer just the gallery with things inside of it affair but they also include performances, music as performance, readings, book launches, clothes launches, birthday and goodbye parties with a special number/act by this or that person. 

People want to get together and be in the same room with their friends and their interesting, possibly sexy, friends of friends.  Some of these events are just about talking to the same crew you already know but at other times you somehow meet and develop on vague introductions and slowly develop some variety of relationship with those whom you consider mere acquaintances.  There is something pleasant about this, it’s like a giant blind date, eager, open, wanting to put on the best face.  It can also be a drag too though, stifling, awkward, lonesome and annoying.  I had previously boycotted going to such gatherings because it was always such an effort and seeing the actual art was near to impossible.  This has changed in me though.  I go, see the art, see the performance, see whatever it is that is the reason why we are all amassed there and many times the viewing is clipped in some way or another but it’s enough.  It’s a sampling, a snippet and if it’s good then I will make it a point to learn about it, hear it, or try to see again.  To be honest, most times it’s not.  Most times it is background noise to the wanting to be anywhere but alone in one’s apartment.  That’s okay though, we all need a reason to be living this life we live.

Anti Everything

Sometimes one feels like there is a lot of beauty out there and that the world is amazing and that the fact that we are all living and able to connect is the most incredible thing ever.  Other times you just want to make the finger in the mouth gesture to the whole god damn world.  I am feeling a little bit of the first and a lot of the second at this moment.  It’s just a little Daria phase that is always sorta there but it is coming out in big way right now cause yeah, reality is just reality sometimes.  Below is a quick off the top list of things that are just annoying the shit out of me at this moment.  I’m sure in a week or so they will be a-ok with me or meaningless as I am an embracer of contradiction but yeah, till then (if then), these things are on my shit list.

Being really fit – Being healthy is good, feeling healthy is great.  Making your lifestyle and aesthetic sub-genre heavily based on your rock hard abs, stupid.

Groups of people – If there are more then four people going to anything together like a restaurant, beach, movie, then I think you’re stupid.  Hate groups.  This is a life model.

Texting – With friends this is okay, once in a while.  With potential/active make out partners, this is the worst.  Lost in translation, bad at grammar and spelling, emoticon hell.  It’s the worst Pavlovian emotional thing ever.  Call me if you want to make out/do other things.  Text me if you are downstairs/outside/five mins away.

Beer – I drink it but it makes me feel fat.  Plus anyone who talks about micro anything I want to zap you with my eyes.

Flip Flops – Two words: Flip. Flops.

Phrase, “It’s just a joke.” - If you have to say that, then it wasn’t funny.  Aka, you’re not funny.

Dating – White flag is up, towel is thrown in.  I’m done for life people.  Mean it this time. 

Small Talk – We all hate it.  Let’s collectively stop doing it. 

Potatoes – Over these things.

Tattoos – If you have a lot of shitty tattoos then yes, I am judging you. 

Bad Manners – Maybe I’m old fashion, which I am in many ways, but god, the lack of basic manners is chilling today.  Yes, young guy with obviously no handicap get up and give your seat to the old lady/man or the really-really pregnant lady that is carrying another living person inside of their body.  And other such obvious things like this.

Subway performers – It’s not show time.  It’s please shoot me time.

Phrase, “I read in the New York Times…” – I read it too.  Please don’t.  Plus, anything that is covered by the New York Times Style Section is over, finito, dead to me.

The question, “So what do you do?” – How is this something people even are allowed to ask anymore?! I do things.  I breath, I think, I eat, I poop, I have feelings, I have issues, I have talents, I do things that make me able to live without financial support of anyone else.  I assume the same for you.  I know this is a tool to get to know a stranger but yeah.  Hate it nonetheless.

Brooklyn – I live here.  You probably live here.  Get over it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ken Price, Jay-Z, Trayvon Martin

Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Old school Cali boys are repping hard in New York lately.  Another codified star is being spotlighted and that is Ken Price who has a show of sculptures at the Met and a show of drawings at The Drawing Center.  I went to the Met show this past weekend and it is worth the tourist flooded visit.  Ken Price makes sculpture that are distinct in form and color.  This can be said for most sculptors but there is an originality and focus that only he can do or has done.  He works with ceramic and applies layers of paint versus glazes.  He then sands down and also details his sculptures so that they become complex skins for the things he makes.  The things that he makes are charming, amorphic, biological, architectural and otherworldly.  They are usually small in scale and feel like samples from another planet or from a future time.  Most have a gap, an opening or a wound in which there is a secret hidding or a slight reveal of what is inside.  Also his titles are funny little gems as well.

Price is a master of texture and color.  It is through this that his forms become more then mere tableware or high-end nonfunctional design.  They have a luster and scaliness that imbibes the work with something organic and the works breath this possibility of life.  The work on view is a selection that date from 1959 to 2012.  The earlier works are goofy and have a more direct animal reference.  His last work done in 2012 is the largest and its skin is made out of a rubber.  It seems a pity one has to die eventually, as more of these would have been great to see. 

The exhibition was designed by Frank Gehry, a long time friend of Price.  It feels very Gerhy, it is considered and paced in just a certain sort of way.  It is in the display and installation of the space where things go awry though, at least for me.  Things feel to claustrophobic, the space feels too small and the overcrowding somehow seems to cage the works from their eccentricities, humor and repulsiveness.  Also, this seemed to be a clipped sampling of Price’s long, consistent and experimental practice.  There should have been more of everything and at least some of the things that were not included and at least three more rooms to do it all any justice.  This is not a fault but a wish, it is what it is though and it is very nice to see indeed.  

Jay-Z, Picasso Baby Video Shoot

Doesn’t this feel like it happened ages ago?  It does to me but yeah, I wanted to remark upon it just a little bit more.  Jay-Z is a rapper and he is big boss man in that industry and has expanded his empire to clothing, stadium building, and a docket of other entrepreneurial and rich people staying rich activities.  He released a new album called Magna Carta Holy Grail and this past Wednesday he shot a music video for the song Picasso Baby off that album.  It took place at Pace Gallery on 25th street and it was to be a six-hour affair in which Jay-Z lip-synced to the song for the duration of this time with a select group of art world participants; artists, critics, gallerists etc.  I wasn’t there so talking about the actual event would be all conjecture and dumb to do but I am a person involved in the art world and me and everyone else in this world had some sort of reaction to it. 

I personally think it is all so very obvious in that the art world and the celebrity world are BFFs.  This is not new but what is new is the where the meeting points are.  The art world is so desperate for celebrity in its interaction with famous people as well as to become celebritized themselves.  All those terrible (terrible) “reality” shows that Bravo has tried to shove in our faces like Gallery Girls and Work of Art: The Next Great Artist are s-a-d and cringy to watch.  It’s like watching a “You’re not the father” daytime talk show sans babies plus sort of attractive young people who were told they could draw well as children. 

Anyways, back to the Jay-Z thing.  On the other end of this meeting point is that celebrities, (these are movie stars, TV stars, and musicians, or basically anyone with a lot of eyeballs and clicks behind their projects/names), see art and the art world as a means to become high class.  The art world is a rarified place and exclusivity is still vaguely real here, even more so then fashion.  Those that can buy just about anything they want and wear anything they want and go anywhere they want need and want things too.  Art is expensive and also denotes taste, intelligence, refinement, and avant-gardism.  The ability to buy a Maybach (around $1.3 million) pales in comparison to buying a rare Warhol (around $70 million). Ha!  Jay-Z is rich and he is classing it all up and basically bragging about his art collection, knowledge of it (sorta) and comparison to it. 

What’s the point of all this?! I’m not sure.  Is it dulling art down?  No. That’s already being done in so many other ways.  Does it reflect Jay-Z’s bourgeoisie?  No.  He is talented and was once poor and now is rich and this is what rich people do, he just happens to be able to rap about it.  Is this thing sort of sad and stupid?  Yes, yes it is.  It’s not about good, bad, like or dislike.  It is the way it is and that’s just the way it will be until a war, really bad recession/depression or a devastating natural disaster occurs.  I don’t wish these things but yeah, that’s just the way it is. 

Trayvon Martin Trial

I have not much more to say about the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin murder trial that hasn’t already been said beside that it just makes me sick.  Sick in my brain and guts.  The Justice Department is going to try to bring a federal case for this but that seems like a slim possibility of winning or even going to trial.  The jury was all white women.  Totally insane.  Yes, Zimmerman is half Peruvian so many are saying it’s not about race and the jury was not allowed to take race into consideration as motive, (also insane), but this trial is most certainly about race.  Also the prosecutor is a disgrace for a lawyer.  This all seems like a farce.  The sad thing is that it isn’t.  Mind blowingly disgusting the whole thing of it and the death of a boy getting snacks. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mad Libs with Arielle Falk

She walked into the (place)_Lower East Side_ and she saw her friend (person’s name)_Jesse_ sitting at a table.  The room was dark and she went to the bar and ordered a(n) (noun)_enchilada__.  She headed towards her friend and they began to talk in general terms.  Her friend mentioned that they just went to a gallery opening at (place)_Economy Candy_ and saw the work of (person’s name)_Janine_.  The friend went on to describe the show, which had large (noun)_flipflops_ that were (adjective)_tender_.  “Really” she said, “that’s surprising.”  Her friend (verb)_dropkicked__ their head in agreement. 

“You know that reminds me of this other artist named (person’s name)_Jack_ remember when they (verb)_twerk(ed)_ a few years ago and it caused a terrible scene?”

“I do.  That show was such a (adjective)_thirsty_.  I heard they sold out completely opening night.”

They talked about other things.  Then in walked (person’s name)_Joan_.  They were distinct looking as they had a large (noun)_eggroll_ and they were taller then most people.

Their friend joined them at the table and told them about a mutual friend who had just (adjective)_pink(ed)__.

“No, I can’t believe it” they both said in unison. 

Their friend (verb)_tickle(d)__ their (noun)_cloud_ and said they swore it was the truth.

They talked about what that all meant to their friend.  How it would change the path of their (noun)_necktie_. 

She looked at her friends and said “Sometimes the most unexpected thing happens when you least expect it.”  She (verb)_jerk(ed)_ after saying this because she knew that it sounded (adjective)_bursting_.

They finished up their drinks and they started heading out of the (noun)_acrylic nail_. 

It was a (adjective)_neon_ night and it looked like it was going to (verb)_slobber_.

She turned the corner to her street and she thought about the news about her friend.  She felt (adjective)_crusty_.  She secretly wished that this thing would happen for her. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

James Turrell, Dawn Kasper, Essex Flowers

James Turrell, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY

Regardless of whether or not you are a James Turrell fan his current show at the Guggenheim Museum is a must see.  I am a Turrell fan, I am not even sure why, maybe it’s the consistency of what he does or perhaps it’s more about the consistency of the practice of what he does.  Who knows… What I do know and everyone at all familiar with his work knows is that his medium in light.  Light, and the control of it, is what his whole thing is about.  There was text on the wall quoting him and it started by saying that his work is about light…I didn’t read it, I’m impatient with those things sometimes but yeah, light.  Light is the key word here. 

The main attraction of the show is entitled, Aten Reign, 2013, and it uses Frank Lloyd Wright’s building as a giant shutter.  It is a doozy and a crowd pleaser.   The whole of the museum, and its impossibly restrictive curvilinear form, are treated as a ready-made for this installation.  The spiral has been walled off all the way to the top and in between each floor there is a transparent meshing that creates illusionary flatness and helps to synchronize the light’s affects.  The light show, and that is exactly what it is, lasts for about ten minutes and it shifts, at times imperceptibly and at others rapidly, into shades of blue, purple, magenta, green, and variations of white.  It is an oohh and ahhh affair.  Really, people are actually ohhing and ahhing and you get exactly why when you first crane back to experience it. 

The control and the quality of the light is patently Turrell. It is harsh in a UV way but also has this happy, accessible, Easter-egg trippiness.  Everything in this installation is done to a T.  Perfection is palpable in how all of it was accomplished.  At times, this perfection drains some of Turrell’s works for me.  Like god, Turrell, you are not G-O-D, but in this case this perfection is impressive to see.  What I find most eerie about this control factor is how his works not only effects light and how you are perceiving space but also how sound and even the quality of the air in a space seems to change.  It’s a total body experience without any tangibles.  Manipulative, yet brilliant.  

There are other Turrell asides on the various floors as well.  Most delightful and surprising to see was the suite of aquatints from 1989-90.  They are renders but also impressive moments that transfer what he does with actual light and space onto surface.  They are a bit magical to see in how they resonate the same way his installations do and they act almost like keyholes into his visuality.  There are also other smaller light installations, some had too long of a line for me to wait to view, but of the ones I did see his, Afrum I (White), 1967, was really nice to spend time with.  It is a pure white box of light that hovers mid-height in a corner and transforms from an inverted to a three-dimensional cube and then back again depending on how long you stare at it.

The more pure white light works from earlier days does something different, it is minimal in it’s minimalism and there is something more challenging to that then perhaps the grand eggy-colored, site-specific gesture of Aten Reign.  Regardless though, this new piece is something to see and to make it as colorful and as self-aware of the architecture it inhabits is a testament to how confident Turrell is. 

Turrell is an artist that is committed to a bit but not in a bad or reliant way.  I can’t wait until he finishes his ongoing Roden Crater Project, 1979 –, which is an inactive volcano in Arizona which he has been bat cave masterminding for all these years.  If he can transform a building in New York the way he has then who knows what he can do with a whole volcano.  Yes, all of it is a bit much but hey, isn’t that what we want in our artists sometimes?  Go see this show with a friend, a parent, a grandparent, a date, whomever.  It is one of those things where even if that person doesn’t ‘get art’ nor wants to ‘get it,’ they will be impressed and many questions will be asked. 

Dawn Kasper, Performance on June 26, 2013, New York, NY

The other day I went to a ‘secret’ invite only performance by Dawn Kasper.  I am not art world illuminati but I have a friend who is so I went with him and I was glad I did even though I had little expectation.  It was in a pish-posh apartment in Tribeca and there were adult snacks and drinks and a buzzy conviviality.  It was obviously an apartment that was sort of used and people were milling around and sitting on this and that and chatting away.  After a bit of time the overhead music, which was very top 100 date specific, started to play a rap song (I forget which one) very loudly.  Things were about to begin. 

Kasper strolls in and goes to the large low black coffee table and faces the wall.  She takes her shirt off and whips it stiffly and military like folds it.  She removes her pants (or shorts?).  She then puts on a white nightgown/long button up shirt thing.  Everyone is watching.  She proceeds to act sort of weird and I wasn’t sure what she was saying or where she was going with it but it’s one of those things, you just open yourself to the void of performance art’s eccentricities.  After a bit I could make sense of what was happening, in a way.  She had a drawing that was a mapping out of a loose ‘to do list’ of tasks to perform.  The focus of it was revealed to be about failure and it is one in a larger series of performances about failure.  For this the loose objective was to take a framed photograph, unframe it, put the frame back together but without the photograph inside and then to eventually reframe the photograph once the rest of the performance was complete. 

The actual performance part was about her articulating her thoughts and telling her actions of the process of the performance without having a set plan, supposedly.  The actual methodology of the performance was to be through improvisation and she had a hypothesis that, “Through improvisation there is no failure.”  She took a giant scroll of white paper and cringe worthily taped it to the back wall and then she took black oil stick and wrote this out with audience support.  Through this talking and writing out loud she diagramed via key words and arrows what that hypothesis means, what are the signifiers, the results etc.  As this was going on things got erased, crossed out, and sidetracked.  Things like; Jerry Lewis, branding, success, money, Kings of Comedy, adoption, and rejection were all touched upon and discussed in personal and general terms. 

There was a sloppiness and heavy-footed slapstick to some parts of the performance, which resulted in times of boredom and also awkward yet consistent laughter from the audience.  There were also moments that just seemed really-really honest as well though and strangely by the end it had me routing for Kasper as a person and as a human being doing this thing in front of this crowd.  Issues that she was dealing with, failure, success, recognition, affirmation are things that we all talk about, all think about.  It’s basic but odd to see narrated to a collective audience.  It was as if she was sharing an internal monologue where an audience is necessary but not significant. 

In the end, the performance was not so much about proving or articulating her hypothesis, not really.  It was more a framework to give excuse to thinking out loud.  The final act of the performance was to take the key ideas, words, symbols that were on the white paper and to put them onto the photograph.  She then reframed the photograph and voila, a Dawn Kasper ready for market to make the $$$$$ that she emphasized is an affirmation of success.  Leaving the performance, leaving the apartment, my friend and I talked about it briefly.  As I said to him, I thought that it wasn’t that great but I am really glad that I saw it.  I meant it and not only that, it actually made me feel something else towards Kasper, perhaps a fondness or a sort of wish that she gets whatever sort of success she is talking about even though I’m not sure if that means anything to her at all.

Essex Flowers, New York, NY

There are nine artists and they are friends with each other and they are going to be doing shows in the basement of an operating flower shop called Essex Flowers located in the Lower East Side.  The artists are: Phillip Birch, Patrick Brennan, Amanda Friedman, Heather Guertin, Van Hanos, Denise Kupferschmidt, Joshua Smith, Jeffrey Tranchell, and Lizzie Wright.  They had an opening last week that showed a sampling of their work.  It was nice and hot and fun.  There is a back area where people can be less hot and smoke and talk and drink.  I don’t know what is coming up next but it’s a really fun little thing and I am sure it will be super because the artists are super and super artists make for super art time.  Yay!  I know I am a Debbie Downer sometimes and am like, “Oh my god, New York needs another art gallery like it needs a hole in its head.” You know, stuff like that, but you know what, if it’s going to be like what I hope Essex Flowers will be then, yes, we do need it.  Go check it out if you are in the area, they are open during business hours.  Also, buy some flowers while you are there, for yourself or someone you want to make smile.  Both art and flowers make life bearable.