Monday, March 9, 2015

Winter Blues, Greens, Yellows, Reds; Winter Winds in the Studio

The big, big, big story lately has been the weather: the rain, the snow, the snow, the snow.

First came the massive downpours that flooded Prospect Park
making lakes where there were none before.

Good thing we have tarmac and concrete so people can keep moving.

Then came the snow.

The weather people went mad.
OMG! Snowmageddon!
New York City was totally shut down. Trains stopped. Buses stopped.
The entire subway system went offline by executive order of Governor Cuomo,
who frequently likes to show Mayor de Blasio who is REALLY in charge here, buddy boy.

Thousands of flights were cancelled.
But the storm, Juno, was a bust.
She pretty much spurned New York, instead lavishing herself on Boston.
A few inches were all she gave us. Barely enough to ski on.

But Boston and environs got a Biblical allotment of the white stuff.

(internet photo)

This is one of the rare times when I agree with the NEW YORK POST
which takes on the powers-that-be for irresponsibly shutting down the subways.

Shouldn't they have questioned the wildly spinning weather people


...and found out that there was another scenario that was just as possible?
That according to the GFS model (not the European one that was cited) there could be a lot less snow?

Well, there you go.
Anyway, there's just enough snow to walk moodily through the night streets of Brooklyn...

...searching for the light.

Here's the kind of mood I was in...

Some more Brooklyn winter scenes:

View from the Kingsborough art office, above, and the campus, below.

Brighton Beach, above;
Park Slope, below.

Meanwhile, back in Manhattan, poetry graces
 the wall at the entrance to the 14th Street Salvation Army Building:

"While women weep, as they do now, 
I'll fight,
While men go to prison, in and out,
in and out, as they do now,
I'll fight,
While there is a drunkard left,
While there is a poor lost girl
Upon the streets,
While there remains one dark soul,
Without the light of God,
I'll fight - 
I'll fight to the very end."

General William Booth 
14th Street Salvation Army Headquarters

Well, plenty of all that still going on - weeping, prison-going, poor lost girls, etc.
General Booth must still be fighting on.
Below, a happier note (or two, or three, or four, or more...)
 on 14th Street, played by Jeffrey Masin with his own one-man band.
You can see him live at:

Leaping back to Brooklyn, there's a big empty space covered with a bright shiny coat of ice.
It sits behind fencing so stays pristine.

Wish I could sneak in with my skates!

(my photo merged with skaters from this website: 

This icy wasteland used to be the setting for the so-called Welfare Building
that was recently torn down to make way for yet another condo tower in Downtown Brooklyn
to add to the masses of towers…

 ...most of them a glass half empty,
that have already sprouted up like glass and steel mushrooms.

(internet photo)

My question is, if you had the money that they're charging for these places, why would you live in 
Downtown Brooklyn? Why would you live on Flatbush Avenue off the Manhattan Bridge, one of the bleakest, busiest, dirtiest stretches of road in the USA? 
But apparently the construction industry doesn't ask the deep questions,
and business is thriving.
Frank and I are concerned about
our studio which is a little island between these behemoths.

Which is one of the reasons why I decided to start giving a lot of my earlier artwork away
because who knows what the future will bring - 
snow, flood, fire, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, war, pestilence, snakes, locusts,
knives, guns, bombs… why not
get these beauties off the storage racks and into people's lives?
I'm no longer painting but doing digital collage and animations, so
it's time to let the past have a future.

Here's Ian and Sebastion, on their 6th Anniversary, choosing paintings from my studio!

(photo by Sebastion ((or Ian)) )

Above, "Aquarius" and below, "Spindrift" and "Cockleshell" are gracing
 their awesome apartment!

(photo by Sebastion ((or Ian)) )

Here is Ashley with her choices...

...and Caroline with hers!

Subtracting money and the all important "art market" out of the equation 
frees everything up and gets things flowing.
I'm so happy that my art is finding good homes!

Meanwhile, back in Park Slope, another sign of the times.

Yes, folks, we're dead meat, we middle-classers. We're road-kill.
At the very least we're on the verge of slip-sliding away, back into the lower realms that our elders clawed and scraped their way out of via the vehicles of
collective bargaining and unions that kept us from being at the mercy
of corporate bullies that treat machines better than people.

(See Wisconsin's college dropout Gov. Scott Walker, boy-toy to the Koch bro's, for an example of someone who would like to see us back on our knees begging for a crust of bread:
He's being touted for a run at the presidency where he would turn the country into
a two-class society, the rich and the rest of us suckers, with him the biggest sucker of all.

Above and below
are some protesters at the WI state capital protesting (vainly as it turns out) against turning
Wisconsin into a "Right-to-Work" state which means that unions lose more ground.
Walker already robbed teachers of their right to collective bargaining,
treating teachers as dangerous enemies rather than people we have entrusted to care for and 
teach our children. 

Unions are not perfect entities, but they're a lot better than slave wages, no health benefits
and deadly working conditions.
Here's my grandson Elliott watching the march, no doubt
wondering what kind of world he's entering...

Back in Manhattan again, I'm in Chelsea now, wondering how long this small-business car-wash will remain on this corner of
24th and 10th Avenue, what with the brand-spanking new towers rising all around it.
Down the street is an art installation...

…oh, wait, it's just a normal garbage pickup day...

Interesting how a lot of media these days is about escaping to other planets,
like the "Ascension" series advertised above.

Here's some real street art, a happy trash Santa!

I note a new place, Home of

…which is an internet series about the madness of art, gallery director Jim Kempner's
"mockumentary" that seems both amusing and not really all that funny at the same time.
Maybe the latter is because I know all too well the scenarios he describes
and don't find them all that hysterical.
Many others love the show, however.

Down the street is the Zwirner Gallery, home to some high end art-market
wheeling and dealing, and not a lot of humor. Above, the wood paneled exterior of the gallery,
below, the interior showing the work of Al Taylor, entitled "Pet Stains, Puddles, and Full Gospel Neckless" and also featuring a number of young people drawing
who become very sculptural in this setting.

Below is an art market story that's pretty bad news for a Chelsea art dealer, Fred Dorfman,
who's apparently been selling Jasper Johns artwork stolen from the artist by his long-time
assistant, James Meyer.

This picture is of his closed gallery space on W. 20th Street,
but my camera made it seem like the artwork (seen properly below) by Alejandro Diaz
is on fire.

My only experience with Dorfman was when he yelled at me for taking photos in his gallery
without asking, documented in an earlier blog post.
The gallery was deserted at the time - no one to ask.
Maybe when he came upon me taking pics, he thought I was from the art police,
thus his insulting and paranoid response.
Good luck to Mr. Dorfman with his plea of not having a clue that the art was stolen.

Below, in the same building, I have a much more positive experience
with the work of William Carroll at Elizabeth Harris
whose work is an elegant study of the atmospheric perspective of the city
with its subtle gradients, scale changes and linear mixes of small and tall.
The work is a rich yet spare visual poetry.

And in the same building is another treat, a show of Peter Blume (1906 - 1992) at the ACA Gallery.
I love his merging of movement, color, nature, abstraction to create a world that is 
serene and gentle but at the same time full of powerful, even ominous forces; boulders that are massive and solid yet as fluid and moving as the sea that runs between and above them.

Study for Crashing Surf, 1989
Oil on canvas, 20 x 50"

Study for Boulders of Avila, 1971-75
Oil on canvas, 49 x 73 in.

In the above study, the boulders are in tenuously balanced positions
that could remain stable for years or seconds, 
making the people reading and picnicking below them seem foolish in their trust.
A lesson for us all? A visual metaphor for our current world
where roiling skies mean serious trouble?

Study for Crashing Surf (C ), 1981
Charcoal on paper, 9 1/2 x 14 7/8 in.

Blume was a master of drawing, an artist who seemed to take great pleasure in the act of making
marks on flat surfaces that describe not reality but life.

Untitled Model in Four Poses
Pastel on colored paper, 13 x 20 in.

Tree Trunk #4 (Sketch for Summer), 1964
Ink and chalk on colored paper, 13 1/4 x 20 in.

And last but never least, here we are at my husband Frank Lind's exhibition in the 
President's Gallery at Pratt Institute.
This is his series of copies and interpretations of the masters:
Vermeer, Sargent, Sorolla, Homer.

Here he and Pratt President Tom Schutte stand between three of Frank's Sargent ladies.

And here's to setting my artwork free!

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