Jonathan VanDyke opens Austin Thomas's Pocket Utopia







Barry and I had to see what Austin Thomas was up to now, so we headed out to further Williamsburg (the Morgan stop on the L) for Jonathan VanDyke's installation/homage to the abandoned hair salon which has/will become Pocket Utopia. This rather ephemeral set-up, "The Salon of the Covered Bride," was inspired at least in part by a press image of "the runaway bride," Jennifer Wilbanks (who staged her own kidnapping in 2005 to prevent her wedding).

The exhibition represented phase one in the storefront's transition to full gallery mode, and it was granted barely ten days of life. The end came at sundown today, but I think I was able to capture and preserve a hint of VanDyke's weird genius in these photographs.

I have to admit that when I first walked into the space I had more than a little difficulty distinguishing the relics from the art, since so much of the hair salon environment remained, but by the time we had to leave I was finding dynamite subjects everywhere my eye would rest.

I'm very sorry it's all gone now, but on its evidence alone I wouldn't want to miss anything else Thomas might invite into this terrific new space.