Art Miami

It’s Art Basel week in Miami, or Miami Art Week – the difference is that the “real” Basel is in the convention center in South Beach and the satellite shows, dubbed Art Miami, are all over downtown and midtown, and the Wynwood area in huge tents. I prefer the satellite shows, but as Wynwood and midtown Miami get more and more gentrified, many of the tented shows have moved around and they aren’t all in a row on one street anymore. That hopefully will change next year, when a big part of the shows move to one location – the former Miami Herald site on Biscayne Bay in downtown Miami.

Anyway, here are some things I saw at Miami Art Week, I always love Chinese artist Li Hongbo‘s paper sculptures you see in the video above. Amazing work. The hidden element of surprise of course, is the best part.

And here is a collage of just a few things I noticed while wandering around.

Holiday time in Union Square

It’s not the holidays without a visit to Union Square in NYC. It’s one of my favorite places in the city – during any season. My favorite thing in the summer is a Mr. Softee truck on almost every corner surrounding the square. I’ve counted as many as seven trucks at one time.

But during October and November, Union Square comes alive. It starts in October with pumpkins and fall colors popping up all over. And in November, it turns red with all the Christmas stuff.

There is always a green market and in November, that is joined by a holiday craft bazaar, with the best hot chocolate. Mix that with chess players, Hare Krishnas, a fortune teller or two, art on the sidewalks and some odd protest or two and it’s all a perfect mix.

Music in the parks

Enjoyed ice skating in Brant Park in NYC recently. There’s a holiday bazaar, an indoor restaurant to get food and hot drinks and lots of music and ice skating in the center of the city.

Also came upon this piano player in Washington Square Park one Saturday. The piano was just there and he was just playing. Such a beautiful moment.

Startled by Santa

santa

I was scared out of my wits by Santa. Well, this Santa you see above. I was putting him out as a decoration in the living room, the phone rang, so I put him down and ran off and got the phone. After I returned, I forgot what I had been doing and I turned and faced this. It scared me out of my shoes!  It doesn’t look very large in the photo, but it is quite large, so it was a fright.

Below you can see a skeleton I have for Halloween. I never fail to jump when I enter the living room when I see it sitting on the couch. I placed it there for the sake of this story, you can see the Santa behind him. But when he is alone on the couch, I get startled every time I enter the room. When he is hanging from the ceiling, it’s not a problem. I’ll walk right into him or past him and not jump, but there is something about this figure sitting in the living room, on the couch, that always gets me.

skeleton

The wall of color

It’s jarring. And colorful. As you enter the subway at Union Square in NYC, you are confronted with this awe-inspiring wall created out of post it notes. It’s called a therapy wall or a sticky note confession wall, created after Trump won the election. Most post its are a protest, some are cheering Trump on.

The post its go on and on at Union Square, maybe thousands of feet. Governor Andrew Cuomo visited the wall and left his own message:

“New York State holds the torch high! – Andrew C.

‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free … I lift my lamp beside the golden door’ Emma Lazarus

STATUE OF LIBERTY”

Check out the video above, the subway performer’s music is perfect for the setting.

Budding artists update

Well, lo and behold,, I received an email from the teacher in the previous story about the students at MOMA, he wanted to thank me for the story. I had wondered how he found it since his name wasn’t published in the story and he told me that someone at MOMA saw the story and sent it to him.

His name is Sebastian Alappat and he told me this is a special program called SPARK. “My goal as the founder of SPARK is to cultivate and foster that creative fire in kids, if they are artists or not. By introducing the elements to them, you never know what they might be inspired to do. The Museum of Art immersion was two days, two museums and the results were amazing,” he said.

You can learn more about SPARK at www.thespark.nyc .

Budding artists

I went to MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) again, it seems like I visit every time I’m in New York. I stopped by in October and in July and again now, in November. It’s like a home away from home for me. Maybe because so many of my favorite paintings are there, but maybe my favorite paintings are there because I’m there so often and I recognize them and they are familiar and that’s what makes it home for me. I guess it’s my favorite that I like to visit, Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Maybe that’s why I go.

Anyway, today it was pretty cool because there were a handful of young school kids there with their teacher and they were drawing the paintings. The kids may have been about 8 or 9 years old. And it caught my attention because I sort of did the same thing in college, but I had to recreate an image from a photo, not the actual painting like these school kids. New York school kids have this great advantage of growing up surrounded by art and culture.

I was going to ask the teacher about it, but I didn’t want to dilute their adventure by getting myself involved. I watched them go from room to room, some held back, as I guess they aren’t born artists, but some got so into it. It was such a pleasure to see.