Among the “meant to do but didn’ts”of this weekend: the Renegade Craft Fair at the McCarren Park Pool and the Affordable Art Fair (which featured, among lots of other stuff, presumably, Lieu Nguyen’s <i>Spring Blossom</i>, above).

Anyone score good deals? Artists to keep an eye out for? 

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The Internets are alive with reverence for Zhan Wang’s stainless steel re-creation of San Francisco (above; he’s now exhibiting at the Asian Art Museum), but when I saw it, I immediately thought of Subodh Gupta’s work (below). I’ve always admired Gupta’s use of commonplace utensils in a way that transcends their everyday purpose; would love to see more of what Wang has to offer (it’s particularly interesting, to me at least, that Wang forges his own stainless steel, thus situating his works in a very real place and time; the work above ultimately can be traced back to the Sierra Nevadas).

Interpreting the descriptions of men and women in the media; that is, using the descriptions proffered in stories from the New York Times, the New Yorker, and other mainstream media purveyors to concoct sketches of the sources they cite.

Today’s image: the left-shin mole woman.

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In honor of my upcoming trip, links to Guatemala information:
Mayan ruins!
Contemporary art by Mario Madriz
Oil paintings by Mayans at Arte Maya Tz’utuhil!

It’s strange to me that I’ve never been to Central America (not even Mexico) but have spent so much time in India. My Hindi is better than my Spanish, but a four-hour flight is much more appetizing than a ten-hour one. I’ll primarily be in Antigua, taking in the festivities surrounding Semana Santa. If you’d like to meet up, or have any great tips for me, fire away! Trip is somewhat inspired by Xeni Jardin.

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I can’t believe amazing artist Ryan let this linger at the bottom of a drawer. I wants. I wants!

By the way, his whole site is amazing, and I urge you to buy some of this dude’s artwork. It’s masterful.

Interesting write-up of a photographer’s work on explicit graffiti in Bombay’s commuter rail lines (an example of which I’ve posted above — taken about a year ago when the hub and I visited a friend in Mumbai) — Chirodeep exhibited some of his pieces at the city’s Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.

This was the tenth year of the Kala Ghoda event; a full listing of artists and workshops is here. A blog chronicling some of the work from the festival is still being maintained — and added to — which takes the fest to a new level; even though I’m no longer in India, I can get a feel for Kala Ghoda’s heady, artistic atmosphere. If that’s not enough, there are some great pictures at Fractal Enlightenment.

Man. Wish I could have gone.

Instead of wallowing in my current funk, I decided to take myself out on the town yesterday. The plan? Hit a few museums, eat some good food, and catch a bit of independent film.

Though it was abominably crowded because it was closing weekend, I saw Kara Walker’s exhibit at the Whitney. Fabulous. The large-scale silhouettes wrapped snaked around outsize walls; intimate watercolors, sketches accompanied by meditations on race, class, and gender captured on 3×5″ notecards, eloquently framed. By the time you read this, it’s likely finito, but if the exhibit travels elsewhere, I couldn’t recommend it more.

After, I wandered through Central Park (see picture, above), down Museum Mile, and took a quick tour of the Neue Galerie, where Gustav Klimt’s works are being exhibited. Gorgeous, but again, quite crowded, so I ducked into the gallery’s Cafe Sabarsky to clear my head over espresso (err, Grosser Brauner). It’s spendy, but between the heady Viennese brew and my slice of Klimttorte (chocolate ganache and several layers of dense hazelnut pastry), it’s well worth the premium.

 

Refreshed, I decided to head to the Lower East Side, having heard that there were some interesting events in Chinatown tied to the Lunar New Year. On February 9, a parade is on in Flushing (which is arguably New York’s more authentic center of all things Chinese/Korean/Asian).

More wandering ensued; then, feet wearied, I dropped into Bar Veloce for a tipple and a small bite. Excellent panini and red wine by the glass. Afterward, with a bit of time to kill, I decided to sample the appetizers at Madras Cafe. My judgment may have been clouded by the Kingfisher I knocked back, but the samosa chat was excellently spicy, and the idlis at least passable — a fitting end to a long, indulgent day.