Friday, August 1st, 2014

This Week in Lines

Jeff Koons Retrospective, The Whitney — July 25th, 4:06PM

Location: 75th St. and 5th Ave.
Length: 68 people
Weather: 81 and partly cloudy
Crowd: Diverse enough to make any Koons collector (and their wallet) swell with pride.
Mood: A despondent tourist whined to her friends. A native clutching an "I *insert giant ballon rabbit* Koons" tote smirked as she took her place at the back of the line.
Wait Time: 30-45 minutes
Lingering Question: How many visitors does it take to raise the value of a Jeff Koons work by one percent?

Sweetgreen, Nomad — July 25th, 12:24PM

Location: Broadway between 27th St. and 28th St.
Length: 8 people outside, 38 inside and ever growing
Weather: 79 and mostly sunny
Crowd: Sundressed women and bearded men. Only two people over the age of forty-five.
Mood: Jittery yet pleasant. No one would dare disrupt the Sweetgreen's sacred organic order.
Wait Time: 17 minutes.
Lingering Question: How many calories of that salad do you burn while waiting in line?

Calexico Cart — July 28th, 12:21PM

Location: Wooster and Prince
Length: 18 people
Weather: 75 and cloudy
Crowd: 16 men, 2 women, and 18 iPhones.
Mood: Calculated distraction
Wait Time: 12 minutes.
Lingering Question: How many times can you re-read the same tweets before you finally get bored enough to look up and risk human interaction?

Jake Gallagher is a writer for A Continuous Lean and other places.

8 Comments / Post A Comment

Anarcissie (#3,748)

I used to say that beauty was in the eye of the beholder, that the value of art was entirely subjective. But then I saw Koons's work, and realized that some art can be absolutely bad, not worth the air it displaces. And if some art can be absolutely bad, maybe some other art can be absolutely good after all. So one can learn something, even from Koons's oeuvre.

@Anarcissie Koons's work plumbs new depths(/heights?) of kitsch and "bad" taste. It evokes very strong reactions in me! And some of those feelings are like disgust. But I appreciate any art that can evoke strong feelings, even if those feelings are "oh god I hate this SO MUCH."

@Subway Suicide@twitter : I just can't engage with it. There's nothing beyond "BLAH, IT BIG AND/OR SHINY". And I'm totally good with kitsch/bad taste in the big-and-shiny department (David LaChapelle, I'm looking at you, you lovable madman). With Koons, there's just air-displacement, like Anarcissie says up there.

Full caveat : I've had the experience of seeing stuff in catalogues, being supremely underwhelmed, and then seeing it in person and "getting" it (Dan Flavin absolutely did this for me). I've seen Koons's work in person. I still don't get anything from it.

Anarcissie (#3,748)

@Gef the Talking Mongoose etc. — Koons's work is about contempt — contempt for his audience, contempt for himself, contempt for the idea of art itself. And above all, contempt for those who sell, buy, and exhibit the work. But contempt is cheap; lots of stupid people will supply you with all you want for nothing. 'As water to a fish, so is contempt to the contemptible.'

If there is an interesting thing about Koons's stuff, I think it's the spectacle of people worshiping its vacuity.

But imagine the hundreds or thousands of artists whose work could have been at the Whitney instead of Koons's. We won't see it because it was deemed more important to offer us crap.

@Anarcissie Look I can't stand Jeff Koons – he's an asshole! – but the work is definitely important enough to warrant a retrospective at The Whitney. I think a lot of his work does describe contempt. But it also describes other things (at least for me): fragility, fear, naivete, wrong choices, and horror. Koons's work also deals very formally with transformation, even transfiguration – changing a toy rocking horse into a monumental floral sculpture, changing a pile of play-doh into a ten-foot polychromed monument.

And with that I am done defending his work, because it is often problematic, vacuous, and mean. And because he's an asshole.

I love this feature so much. Please continue.

Calexico is the only one on this list worth waiting in line for.

Incidentally (#6,730)

Hollister on Fifth Avenue as an option for the next run. Dozens of tourists in line for a store that already sits in most of their hometowns. Granted this one shows live surfing from Huntington Beach, but that's enjoyed by passersby outside.

Post a Comment