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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Still in Manhattan

So, here it is a week later and I’m still in Manhattan. Now I’ve got meetings through the end of the week. And tomorrow night Robert Bery, my host while I’m in town, is part of a tremendous group show opening at Art Next Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, in Chelsea. The exhibit is titled “Over the Walls” and it’s a celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall, with very political art. I got a preview yesterday evening and I can’t say enough good about this exhibit. Alexander Melamid is one of the other artists. There’s some excellent photography from China as well, by Ai Weiwei and some of the prominent Chinese performance artists.

One piece in particular tickled me. It’s this Chinese performance artist (must get his name) who appears in his photos with his back to the camera and the ass ripped out of his pants. The number 123 is written across the back of his t shirt. David Rong, who is the curator of the exhibit, told me 123 is a way of saying “fuck you” over there. Anyway, this particular photo shows Mr 123 standing in front of a line of policemen, in his usual garb, in front of a red wall. He’s holding a staff with a large dildo sticking straight up. The looks on the faces of the cops are priceless.

Speaking of photography, the other night I was at the opening for the Bruce Davidson exhibit at Wolkowitz Gallery in Chelsea. Davidson’s photos have been blown up to the large art format that’s popular today. This approach really serves the originals quite well. Davidson is our Brassai.

And last night, further speaking of photography, we’re hanging out at Robert’s loft when this friend shows up with a young woman from Columbia named Andrea. We’re all sitting around talking and having a couple cocktails and Robert picks up his camera and tells Andrea to take her top off. Next thing I know she’s doing acrylic finger painting on her naked torso. I’m beginning to think the absence of a need for artists’ models may be a major shortcoming in the playwright career path. Oh well. Too late now. This morning when I woke up, Andrea was still here, still covered with paint. Don't ask.

Casting for the readings of “Café Lysistrata” is making some progress.

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