Shot up to New York on Friday for the annual day of seeing too much art in one place. Amy (ex, but now good friend) and I had a great time going through The Armory Show. It seemed much better laid-out this year than in the past. One huge improvement was the limiting of almost all of the artwork to the booths and not having some of it out in the aisles. Made it easier to walk around and navigate through the crowd. I didn't take great notes, so what follows is a general assesment of what I saw.
There were a few things I noticed about the artwork being shown that bear mentioning:
-There seemed to be a tendency towards smaller works being shown. A lot of collage, both hand-made, digital and combinations of the two. No big video/installations like last year. In fact, video had a much smaller presence this year than in the past couple.
-Speaking of the hand-made, I saw more in the way of embroidered images than in the past. There wasn't a lot of it, but enough that I took notice, it was particularily big with a couple of the Japanese galleries that were there.
-Painting was really well represented and a lot of it was pretty, well, fair. Of course, I don't think this says much about painting everywhere since art fairs only give a small glimpse of what's out there. There was a good share of dull stuff unfortunately, and some of that had to do with my familiarity with certain artists' work.
-Sexual themes were more subtle this time around. So much so that you might have missed it altogether. The one exception that I can think of was a photograph titled, We Are All Such Animals. I forgot the artist's name, but it was a large (around 4' x 5') photograph of a blurry suburban-like street that had Photoshopped images of nude people grafted onto animal, bird, and insect bodies. The figures where in various porn-like poses and with the animal parts added on, it made for a clever and funny view of sex.
-As usual, many of the European galleries, the German ones in particular, showed some of the more rougher-edged work.
I got my daily amount of aerobic exercise in on the way up to NYC as I had to run for both the R-7 and the NJ Transit trains. I usually take the Chinatown bus, which is cheaper, but it doesn't have the amount of return trip options as the train does so I opted for the train. The closest near-miss came when I got into Trenton and had to go and purchase my ticket. I had six minutes before the train left. I ran upstairs, got in line behind a couple of people. Things were moving along smoothly until it was noticed that someone had left his wallet on the counter, and it was my turn. The clerk had to make an announcement about the wallet. Great, that should only take a minute or so. She makes the announcement and is on her way back to the window...NO! Don't stop to explain the situation to your co-worker now, dammit!
Ordinarily, I'm a patient person, but seeing as I had two minutes to catch the train, I wasn't in the mood. I knocked on the window and said I had to catch the train or risk being late for an important meeting. I told the clerk I understood the predicament, but I had to get going. Ticket in hand, I ran down the steps and up the platform. The conductor steps into the car, I yell for him to hold on and jump into the vestibule just in time.