Friday, November 7, 2014

Chasing the Fall: Ebola, Men at Rest, Rocks, Remodeling, Death and Art

View from a cab, September 11, 2014, two spotlights in
place of the Twin Towers,
in honor of that earlier 9/11 that will live in infamy.

And the new "Freedom Tower" which can be seen from all over with its "spire"
all lit up so we can see how high the tower is, 1776 feet!
 Although if it had been labeled as a simple ANTENNA, it wouldn't have counted as height.
Good thing it's a spire and not just an antenna, and this we know because the architect said so.

From the same cab, we see the waning lights of Pearl Paint...

...a former institution, an artist's mecca, six floors of medium madness, 
crowded aisles of infinite creative possibilities, shut down forever.

Down in the subway, another institution rears its creepy head,
that of "plastinating" dead bodies so we can all be educated about our bacon-like, 
well-marbled innards.

"Destination: YOU" sounds a little ominous.
There's still a bit of confusion as to exactly where these bodies come from, and
if the dead 'uns and their families actually gave permission to be plastinated...

Oh, no! Will we all end up as meat???

But hey, what, me worry?
I'm like this guy, chillin' and not a bit concerned about losing his body to baconizing, 
or to another Hurricane Sandy for that matter...
which is part of the subway PR for the then upcoming "People's Climate March."
which has already been blogged by yours truly HERE because what is chronological time but the refuge of the unimaginative...
here it is November and I'm still trying to get through September...

So if you are free of unimagination, check out my compelling, mysterious Climate March video HERE...

 ...or if your imagination is stuck
in Fox News and New York Post mode,
(and we know that those folk have
supercalifragilisticexpialidocious imaginations!!!)
you can obsess about Ebola and write hysterical notes in both green and blood-colored ink 
about your irrational fears
and leave them on the subway seat to share with others, spreading the fear
of Ebola far and wide, far farther and wider than the disease itself has gone thus far.

 BTW, this "Brooklyn teen," who was quarantined and isolated
and freaked out over, had been to Sudan, 2500 miles from 
the Ebola outbreak in Africa, almost exactly the distance of New York to LA.

 Scary stuff.

Or at least the insanity surrounding Ebola in the USA is scary stuff, fanned by the scare-mongering press to keep our minds off the important stuff, 
like climate change, which is busy killing entire species daily and will ultimately take down the world as we know it, leaving it to look
kind of like the sight below, abandoned by humans who leave behind
 bad smells, smears of unknown substances and lots of garbage,
transforming the ocean from a place of life and magic
 into a roiling mass of turgid, acidic, killer fluid.
(Sorry, climate change chat just floods out of my mouth every so often, can't help it,
I didn't build my sea walls high enough...)

 Recently, I've begun to see someone in this spot at the 7th Avenue Q/B train station
nearly every Friday and Saturday morning when I travel to Kingsborough.
I never used to see people sleeping here
which makes me think that something's happening here,
what it is ain't exactly clear...

And here's someone in the subway itself, possibly a girl.

Other random fun city sights:

Whoa! New Jersey stalactites! Or would that be stalagmites...

And here's the Freedom Tower as seen lurking behind a much, much shorter 
NJ building in Chris Christie territory.

And here a New Jersey sign telling us where to go:

And in Manhattan, a helpful street sign:

Ah, home again, home again. 
A delightful fall sunrise lights up the Brooklyn sky.

And I celebrate my birthday with gifts from my sister,
a fabulous hand-knitted scarf...

...and some Lake Superior rocks.
Rocks are perhaps my favorite gifts.
My family regularly receives rocks from me.
But no coal in a Christmas stocking - I do not deal in coal,
thank you very much.

Rocking the rocks at 300 8th Avenue!

With a few froggies...

...and farm animals...

...and shells.

What I'm not so fond of is guys outside my window.

...for week after week, apparently "repointing" the bricks on the
 exterior of the building which is taking virtually forever, and in the meantime
weird toxic smells are wafting about the apartment...

...and centering right at my work station where I need to breathe.
But they have plenty of permission to do this,
as shown by the many official papers on the door.

And oh, look!
Our bathroom is falling apart!
We have had leaks from above for years and years,
but now, when we sit on the toilet and the person
above flushes her toilet, we get rained on.
You can only imagine how fun that is.

We start to pull down our ancient flocked wallpaper,
and behind the towel cupboard that was formerly in this corner
we find, arrgh!  MOLD!

So we must give up our mossy grotto bathroom.
I will miss it.
To commemorate this momentous occasion, I turn our green wallpaper into 
primeval creatures of ancient days
who have crawled out of our flocked walls:

The men come and chop down our ceiling.

Will the building come down around our heads?

Not to worry, all gone now!

This is only a memory.

Above has become below.

Ahh, towels and fabulous jewels in the bathroom again!

Lest you think I've spent all fall obsessing about things other than art - au contraire!

I go to Chelsea, where I look through the Mondrian window... see that what used to be this... now this:

The tall lady is overseeing the project, and...

all is going to the prescribed formula of bigger, higher, fancier, spendier.

But here are new faces in Chelsea not following the higher, bigger, fancier rules.

My quest for the evening is this exhibition at BravinLee Projects,
where there is a memorial exhibition to a wonderful artist
who recently lost her battle with brain cancer,
Jennifer Wynne Reeves.

I have only recently begun to know and love her work,
and wrote about it recently in d'ART International Magazine
before I knew she was ill.
It is a sad
but beautiful occasion, this exhibition.

She was an artist and poet...

...using color, objects, paint, whimsy and a well-honed sense of the absurd to
reveal the mysteries, solemnities, pains and pleasures of human life.

Her delightful, thoughtful poetic voice and images will be missed.

Another dear friend and artist recently passed away from brain cancer also,
and I know a couple other people who have it now.
More worrisome than ebola, I'd say.
Are our gadgets killing us?

Another artist whose presence is missed is Margery Edwards,
whose work I was happy to see at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.
As some of you know, I handled her art estate for many years
after she died in her late fifties of an entirely shocking and unexpected heart attack.
(Heart disease is another concern that outpaces ebola by far...)
I never knew Margery in life, but became intimate with her dark and compelling work
in the years that her husband, Dr. David Edwards and I placed her work
in numerous public and private collections, like this work in the Muhlenberg collection.

I'm also happy to see my abstract piece right down the hall from Margery.
It is a privilege to be in her company!

This is a piece from my painting days.

I'm at Muhlenberg College for the opening of the American Abstract Artists' opening.

Here I am, above, with Siri Berg, Vera Vasek, and Ed Shalala.

Below I'm in more good company (clockwise from top left): Ce Roser's Boxed Lightning, Stephen Westfall's Rose Mirror, Nancy Manter's Every Night and my An-Ab 2 Composite.
You can see all of the prints HERE.

Both Frank and I have a long history with the Martin Art Gallery at Muhlenberg.
We had shows there in the early 2000's, when the world was still young
and full of hope.
Well, comparatively.

My show, "Seasons Of Symmetry" got badly panned in the local Allentown paper, for
dealing with, ick, beauty!  Of all things unholy!

Frank showed his large, wonderful seascapes.

...sometimes starring me and my sons, Andrew and Aaron Yonda.

Ah, yes, those were the days, my friends.
Before I began to look at the ocean as the toxic soup it may turn into
if we don't stop dumping CO2 into it.

But I still believe in beauty. Where there is beauty, there is hope.

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