A few weeks ago I made a quick trip to find Art in New York, one of my favorite cities to visit and a thriving place for art to flourish. Before I left, I made a list of galleries in the Chelsea area and some up in Midtown along 5th Ave and 57th Street. Of course there are now many “Art Districts” throughout Manhattan, but I was trying to hone in on galleries that represented artists with a similar genre and style to Ron’s work.
Midtown was mostly dead artists, albeit incredible pieces, like Picasso, Kandinsky, Pollock and a few by Degas and other French Impressionists from the 19th century. In Chelsea, the artists were newer and not so renown, more of a mix of Contemporary and Modern art forms, with a few Warhol and Mr. Brainwash pieces that I thought were fantastic. Of all of them, the Gagosian on 24th Street, one of my favorite dealers, did not disappoint with a dramatic display of the works of Richard Serra; giant pieces of iron columns and walls were breathtaking to behold and awe inspiring to walk amongst. However, I found art just about everywhere in New York City.
Art in a New York Church
I ventured to the Upper West Side to visit the Cathedral of St. John The Divine on 112th Street. The Gothic architecture is so intricate and detailed, presented on a massive scale (the actual building is 4 times the size of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Midtown). Aside from the various representations of saints and “Madonna and Child” expected from a Christian faith, St. John being an Episcopalian church, I found the most charming critters created by Tom Otterness, climbing the pillars framing the aisle leading to the alter. Then I remembered that I had seen similar bits of sculpture in bronze on the subway platforms, tucked into corners or winding about the steel columns. And then again, in the breezeway of the Marlborough building between 56th and 57th Street.
Art in Wax
As a student of history, I have a great admiration for Madame Tussaud and her work during the French Revolution, but I had never visited the famous Madame Tussaud’s House of Wax on 42nd Street in all my years of living and working in New York. What a fantastic place! Of course in the US there are many celebrities and sports icons, but some historic figures as well. I can not wait to visit the original museum in Paris and see Robespierre and poor Marie Antoinette!
Art as Memorial
Finally, I ventured down to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. As with most people with ties to Manhattan, the memory of such a tragic day is still as clear and unfathomable as that same morning fifteen years ago when the American mindset changed forever. The museum is a wonderful tribute to all those who lost their lives and the destruction of a spectacular piece of architecture. It is a work of art all unto itself. Pieces of twisted steel marked with the names of the deceased by friends and colleagues, a memorial quilt with embroidered landmarks made by the hands of grieving family members, fantastic photographs from the moments following the attack and the uncertain days to follow. All portray, with an elegant silence, the reverence that the world, not just the US, holds for this event. It was quite a moving experience for me, as the sound of Scottish bagpipes, a funeral tradition for firefighter and police, accompanied my ascent on the escalator to the ground floor: Art in New York at Ground Zero. – Kathy