Monday, October 18, 2010

Flowers NYC opening

Wittgenstein's Dilemma, 1999, silkscreen on acrylic cube. Photo Ben Drury.

Back once again on Einstein Drive after an enjoyable opening at Flowers, my first in their splendid new gallery on W20th. The usual loyal and loved suspects turned up i.e. Ruth and Marvin Sackner (with their brilliant grandson), John Pull (bravely after illness) and Richard Minsky, who brought with him one of my heroes, the 94 year old George Braziller, whose book on Albert Pinkham Ryder that I read fifty years ago became (and, perhaps now invisibly, remains) a real inspiration.

Who else should be mentioned in despatches? My lone East Coast blogwatcher, John, and Virginia late of the Folger and, oh yes... a chinese/american lady who went round putting noughts on the price list so that everything was in millions. She also offered me spectacular apres vernissage sexual services, but I opted for a good supper instead, hosted by Matthew, at which we all toasted Brent who had made such an elegant job of hanging and lighting.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Rail Diversions & Flowers NYC

My railings have just been officially unveiled at no1 Grafton Street... nice for a veteran Monopoly player to have at last a stake in Mayfair. There was no mention in the opening speech (by the developer's grand fromage) of Future City who nursed the project from beginning to end or of MDM who actually made the work. I took the opportunity however, in the customary 'few words from the artist', pointedly to make amends. It was a rum affair in a virtual world, entirely attended apart from my own two invitees, Jeremy King and Nick Tite, by men in identical suits. With much relief and thanks to Jeremy, Nick and I quickly repaired to the Wolsely.

On the way to Grafton St I looked in at Westminster Cathedral to catch a glimpse of the new mosaic of St David recently blessed by the Pope. This occupies a space I had been allotted for my own design of the same subject, once approved but recently rejected through some clerical skullduggery, or Madonna, or Maradonna and the Hand of God. It would have had to be pretty impressive to have broken through my vanity and professional pride to gain approval. There was however no problem in that it is a spangly confection that looks to be largely made of boiled sweets. More interesting perhaps was to notice a small group of conspicuously gay men looking up at my mosaic of Cardinal Newman, himself elected last month to the company of the Blessed and therefore on the fast track to sainthood. Could they have been prospecting for their future patron saint? Might I inadvertently have created a gay ikon? Newman is currently one miracle short of a halo. Might this eventually, and ironically, be it?

I am currently installed at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and keeping an eye on my imminent exhibition in New York. Any of my East Coast readers, or all three of them, are invited to the opening on the 7th October. Do say hello if you turn up.