NYC: January 2007 Archives

scattering the drawings - as much fun as the Gramercy - showing, among other pieces, Line IV 2006 ink on archival scrapbook paper 24" x 24" on the top left, Bulb I 2006 ink on archival paper 12" x 12" on the lower right, and Float 2006 ink on archival scrapbook paper 12" x 12" just above it [installation view]

It involved a lot of imagination, a lot of work and a certain amount of risk, but one excellent, under-exposed D.C. area artist has managed to arrange for a one-man show in New York this week all on his own.

J.T. Kirkland knew well in advance that his job would take him to Manhattan all this week, but he decided he wasn't going to limit his off-hour activities to trips to Chelsea galleries looking at other artists' work. Kirkland drove to New York with a selection of all but his largest wall sculptures packed in his car and he has installed them, along with some stunning drawings and prints, inside his downtown hotel room. The week before this he had sent invitations to friends, collectors, curators and gallerists and many have made the trip over the last several evenings.

Kirkland's "gallery" reminded me of the fun and reward of visits to the early Gramercy Art Fairs, when dozens of the old hotel's guest rooms were temporarily and magically transformed into something like so many "trunk shows" showing some pretty adventurous art. Sometimes you might quickly move on after a peek inside a room, but we both would have made this room a "stayer".

The New York world of the visual arts can always use more of this kind of infectious delight in a creativity unfettered by the conventional institutional structures (which in the long run couldn't possibly survive on their own without the continuous challenge of the excluded).

two small sculptures installed on the hotel room wall: Spalted Poplar, Purpleheart 2006 wood 6" x 6" and Purpleheart, Yellowheart 2006 6" x 6" [installation view]

I was already interested in the artist's work, having found images on line last year. When Barry and I later managed to come home with a small piece he had donated to the recent Visual Aids "Postcards From the Edge" benefit we found we were hooked on these wonderful wooden devices. We had also seen the equally conceptual, minimalist drawings he shows on his site, but I wasn't prepared for the extravagant beauty of the real thing. And the prints are really wonderful!

We had a great time this afternoon, not least for the good converstation. Oh yes, Kirkland also has a blog.


I cannot reveal the details of the hotel location here, but if anyone reading this is interested in a visit tonight on the closing day of the show, and is able to stop by there between 7:30 and 9:30, please email Kirkland at [email protected]

untitled (vinca) 2006

This image was taken on January 6, just ten days ago, when temperatures hovered near 70 degrees and a gentle rain was falling on our roof garden outside the breakfast room window. Last night the temperature slipped below freezing with an earnestness not seen this winter until now. It finally feels like the planet may have snapped back into its proper orbit, just as we are about to obtain the second moon of a season begun last December 21.

hundreds of anti-war demonstrators on the north side

two intrepid pro-war demonstrators on the south side

New York activists were able to attract a couple of hundred demonstrators to the Times Square military recruiting station on Thursday night, responding to Bush's announcement of the night before that he would significantly increase the count of troops in Iraq rather than reduce or eliminate the numbers already there.

On the south side of the kiosk two lone young men stood beneath a banner mounted to an American flag on one side and the Gadsden flag on the other. The man on the right wore a baseball cap with an NYPD emblem, I suppose as to indicate another allegiance, or perhaps only in the hope of gaining the cooperation of the police monitoring the demonstration site.

When I first saw the second image uploaded onto the screen on the camera back I thought the flags looked like they were attached to the recruiting station itself and I was going to go with a blog headline something like: "the government-approved demonstration". What I can see now however the NYPD was acting very correctly, just isolating the two groups, so this time there's no real excitement to report from jimlog quarters.

Everything was actually going very peacefully while I was there (the two militarists were vastly outnumbered and the rest of the crowd after all was out there demonstrating for peace). I will say that there was a lot more energy and excitement on the north side - and definitely a lot more smart-looking and attractive people:



I don't mean to unduly upset anyone not already concerned about climate change, and I know that as scientific evidence it's merely anecdotal, but tonight while I was sitting in front of an open window checking my email I was buzzed by a mosquito. And on the roof garden just beyond the sill our large begonia bush, like all of the other plants not cleaned out of the pots last fall, seems to be thriving.

The place: Manhattan. The date: January 6.

[image from Mosquito Netting Project]

This page is an archive of entries in the NYC category from January 2007.

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