Mexican Liberty, Thompson street, NY. We flew to New York the week-end before Thanksgiving. A strange (COVID-wise) yet wonderful comeback to the great city. This mural by Kobra was one of the first things we saw the day after we landed. (Liberty 1. Liberty series. Yep. A new series.)
New York natives were friendly. Though the dressing codes have changed a bit since our last visit. (Traveller 899. Started a new count for NY Travellers). We did see a few who appeared to have cut and tailored the living-room curtains.
The cat watches…
… the bird. Artist: Mako. At Broome St bar. West Broadway, South of Houston. Our first New York lunch on Saturday. Great hamburgers, but a bit of a scary experience. Though proof of vaccination was perfunctorily asked at the entrance, no patrons wore masks, Saturday brunch crowd in full, everybody having a good time. Wide bar, close tables, I was wondering about the amount of spittle floating in the air… (I kept my hat on, against all my English grandmother’s principles)
Somewhere in Tribeca. Though it won’t show on those posts, I was surprised to find less street art in New York than I expected. Select places only. But good stuff.
Ground Zero. A place and a moment of great emotion.
Kobra again, at the WTC. Must have a signed a huge contract with the city. Hmmm. Eduardo Kobra. Born January in Saõ Paulo, January 1st 1976. (Easy birthday). Much talent. We’ll see more of him.
One of the two pools built instead of the two towers. Very moving. Endless flow of water. The names of the victims engraved all around the perimeter. With small American flags placed by relations or friends on a name or the other.
Canal Street station at Barnes & Noble. Couldn’t go to New York and not buy books, could I? (Don’t know about the artist. G.Keller? Can’t research’em all)
Central Park at the reservoir. Damn Uber took us from Tribeca all the way up to 96th street and back down… Tsss. The reservoir brought back images of Jackie O. Not sure why. And Lennon of course. We didn’t go to Strawberry Fields. Next time.
Matisse. 1941. MOMA. You all know my fondness for Matisse. Though the reservation process has become more complicated with COVID, I was jumping with excitement at the thought of going back to the MOMA… A unique place. Now compare with the following:
Marylin in Chinatown. After a little while one gets one’s bearings. Soho (South of Houston) is further divided between “Soca” (South of Canal. Just made that up.), Chinatown, and “Noca”. (North of Canal Street) i.e. Little Italy. Going back to Marilyn, will the artist ever end up at the MOMA?
… day. The first one, “Starry night”, is at the MOMA. Both painted in 1889, a year before Van Gogh’s death. The second, “Wheat field with cypresses”, is at the Met. Never before had I realized, how each painting seems to be a mirror image of the other. Can’t “do” MOMA without the Met, right? Guggenheim? Not this time. Just saw it from a distance…
Les demoiselles d’Avignon. MOMA. Picasso, 1907. I always thought Picasso had “gone” to Avignon, France, to paint it, but no. The original title seems to have been “The brothel of Avignon”, named after the street of Avignon in Barcelona. Models were prostitutes in the whorehouses there. (The gallery manager suggested the other title might be an easier sale). Good salesman as Picasso was, he managed to make everyone believe that this was the first Cubist painting, pushing Braque in the shadows.
A bit of skyline “rupture”? Our Airbnb had a good view… The December cold shows in the winter light.
“And then we saw the daughter of the Minotaur.” Leonora Carrington at MOMA. A surprise. I was not expecting her there. Carrington (Lancashire 1917- Mexico city 2011) was a major figure of Surrealism. Escaping from France in WWII, she settled in Mexico in 1942 and stayed there. A major painter, she also was a sculptor. Her sculptures were exhibited on Reforma Avenue in Mexico city a few years back… Amazing artist. (Where are those pix?) 🤔
Anna Zborowska, by Modigliani, 1917. MOMA. Anna Zborowska (1885-1978) was a Polish émigrée whose husband was an art galerist. She became friends with Modigliani (1884-1920) and helped sell his works through her husband’s gallery. Let’s hop to the Met for a sec:
Woman’s head by Modigliani. 1912. Metropolitan Museum of Arts. What a surprise. I didn’t know Modigliani sculpted as well. Of late I have realized that many of those famous artists “crossed” over: painters took to sculpture, sculptors took to painting. All in the name of human representation. Modigliani died in 1920 of tuberculosis at the age of 35. TB was the major killer until antibiotics came in after WWII.
Zig-Zagly-hair-parted Traveller watching a perpendicularly-lined Mondrian. MOMA. Traveller 898. Mondrian is one of a kind.
“No way like the American way”. (“At the time of the Louisville flood”), 1937. By Margaret Bourke-White. Born in 1904, she died in 1971 after 18 years of Parkinson’s disease. Despite her – relatively – short active career she was a pioneer for women in photography. (MOMA)
A former client of mine. Campbell’s. Not Warhol. (I wish). MOMA.
New York, Shanghaï style. I wonder what Iwai whisky tastes like? (Not for me, I don’t like whisky. What? With an English grandmother?) 👵 This Emoji popped up as I wrote “grandmother”. No. My grandmother didn’t look like that. Do you hear me in Cupertino?
Liberty 2 on Broadway and Leonard. (Don’t look for it. I also make up addresses when I forget where the picha was taken.) (Take notes? Nope)
Liberty 3 and the money safe. Met. The liberty statue is a model by Bartholdi as he was working on the final project of the statue France gave to America. Architects were Viollet-le-Duc and Eiffel… (Didn’t make it up. Just read about the architects. Knew abnout Eiffel, didn’t about Viollet-le-Duc who restored Notre-Dame and many other historical buildings in the 19th century). The safe? I don’t know whether it really is a safe, but from afar it does look like Liberty and the Money safe, “don’t it”?)
“Instruments of power”, by Thomas Hart benton, the Met. c.1930. That is part of a series. Very strong paintings. Power indeed in the 30’s was that: trains, planes, combustion engines. Those of power then were Ford, or McDonnel Douglas, or Boeing. Rockfeller? His name is everywhere in Manhattan. I wonder what painting(s) in 2030 will render today’s power? From Gates to Bezos to Elon Musk? What are today’s instruments of power? And will the above mentioned donate their art collections to the Met and/or the MOMA? (Do they have art collections?)
“Cayó Federico con la sangre en la sien…” Federico (García Lorca) fell with blood on his temple. Many years ago a former Spanish Prime Minister was invited to Apostrophes, THE greatest French literary TV programme. Felipe Gonzalez recited those lines in tribute to the Spanish poet born in 1898, executed by Franco during the Spanish Civil war in 1936. This is a wonderful piece of street art, but what is it doing in Little Italy? (Will you stop asking questions?!)
“Lawyer in a diner”. Tribeca. (Traveller 897). Good diner. Good breakfast. Perfect for the cold outside. I was concerned the “lawyer” might get catsup on his nice suit.
“I’m not interested in competing with anyone, I hope we all make it.” The bayfaals, by Jordan Casteel (b. 1989), on the High Line. The High Line is a splendid idea, turning an old elevated railroad into a park and a great walk. It runs from Gansevoort St, 3 blocks below 14th up to 35th. West side. Good art along the way. Casteel is another talented young artist. Went to Yale, no less. (Think about the phrase about ‘competing’ for a minute…)
Reach. For. The.
Stars. (Hudson yards, at the end of the High Line.) Artist: Elle Street Art. Young and promising. Again.
Captain and crew thank you as always for taking this long walk with us. Happy December 🎄