The Bride Stripped

I was asleep in NY when my divorce was finalized in a Berlin courtroom on Friday morning, but my ex-husband assures me that my attorney, Herr Danne, is as handsome as ever. It is too late for the divorce√ɬ©, the jaded slattern sucking on Nat Shermans and Hendricks. I’ve worn out that pose long ago and am far too busy playing the struggling artist. So there was no champagne uncorked or letters burnt. Just a sad, hollow feeling, and a lot of things to do, as usual.

Saturday was a fine day for a bike ride up to Madison and 77th, to see the John Currin show at the Gagosian. Currin is an old fave, but I must say his work used to be weirder back when the bearded lady men were ogling the balloon chested blondes. He is still milking the “master technique” to great effect, but the facility is starting to feel purely showy, like Sargent. Yessir, he sure can paint the dang drapery. There was enough eccentricity there to make the trip worthwhile. I do come away with the satisfying feeling, though, that I would not have to be ashamed to hang my best work there.

Everywhere on the streets are lots filled with pine trees. I breathe them in as I pedal by, along with clove and cinnamon ringing the parks. I turned into Central Park for a lovely view of the pond framed by bare branches. Unfortunately, it was also Santacon. Behold the far less picturesque occasion of 1,000 drunken, roaring santas and their skanky “helpers”.

Chelsea was miraculously Santa-free. I ran into a guy a know from the street around my studio. He draws faces on the sidewalk. One time I came to the studio and the faces all the way down the block were talk ballooning, “Hey Heather, how come you never call me?” Felix was drawing faces from 20th street to 30th street along 10th avenue, including in the crosswalks, dragging himself along on a milk crate as he drew. I bought him a coffee to keep his chalky mitt warm, told him not to bust my chops, which he did anyway. I ran into friends at Joes. What a nice feeling to run into people you know in the middle of the city! Maybe this is common for you cosmopolitan types, you who are known at book readings and bathroom queues alike. But I am not Tina Brown, so I find it pretty cool and unusual.

Miss K. and I toddled off to see the Anselm Kiefer show at the Chelsea Gagosian. Glorious despair, tactile violence and decay. Similar to Kiefer’s big room at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. The New York Times put it marvelously, “Anselm Kiefer has become better and better at making Anselm Kiefers.” Roberta Smith, you’re a caution! Needless to say, I was arrested by the sight of the decayed wedding dress in the glass and iron case, shot through with giant shards of broken glass. Hello, there.

I am yet in the throes of trying to get an opening in my studio rented before Christmas. And there is a similar overturn possibly happening on the home front. I don’t know what is going to happen, I am just reaching for the antacid and hoping for the best. Maybe I’ll be joining Felix on the sidewalk.

5 responses to “The Bride Stripped”

  1. Wow. I can relate to that shards gown piece too. Especially with the “dad” table in the middle of the arrangement up top. That’s what I’m seeing anyway.

  2. @John, you know about Santacon? A thousand guys dressed as Santa meet in Grand Central and then go on a pub crawl. I just imagine, “Mommy, why is Santa peeing on a wall?”

    @Jenn, it did seem like a kind of grim hopscotch.

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