Art Dispatch from NYC

What's inspiring me on the road

We interrupt this new and regularly scheduled podcast in a newsletter to bring you “dispatch from NYC.”  I’m here this week to look at art, see some theater, and do some people watching. Which is to say: to get some creative input. I didn’t want to rush the new episode of our DT podcast, so I thought this week it would be fun to share with you a little of what I’m seeing while I’m here instead.

Much of art making can be reduced to a simple equation: Input = Output. Where we put our attention and energy grows, inside and outside of us. It takes a real effort to step outside our daily rushing and routines to discover things that feed our souls.

Yesterday, I saw one of the most moving pieces of art I’ve experienced in a long time at Matthew Marks Gallery. It’s by the sculptor Robert Gober. The photos below are stills from a video I took of the piece (which was one sculpture in a big solo show including other sculptures and drawings.) A suit jacket is mounted to the wall, facing away. In the center is metal portal, like an open window. Through that window is an actual vertical trickling stream running over rocks and water. It’s an unexpected, intimate, transcendent, magical moment inside the heart of a stiff suit. Get up close and you can feel the breeze. 

Speaking of transcendent, magical moments… I was lucky to see David Byrne’s American Utopia live on stage. Watching David Byrne and his cast of musician-dancer-singers celebrate the connection and reverence art creates between people left me feeling more joyful and hopeful that I have in years. We danced, we cried, we sang, we laughed. The only photo I took was of Maira Kalman’s stunning curtain she painted for the show. I did draw in the dark tho!

After a year and a half in a pandemic where we relied on screens for connection, it feels so important to make the effort to get out into the world and experience art, nature, people, the streets, theater, music, dancing, all of it, up close and in person. Where you can really feel the connection.

Input = Output.

While it’s so fun to be here in NYC, it’s a good reminder that we don’t have to go to a galleries to witness art and beauty - it’s all around us, every where, always waiting for us to notice. It’s choosing to look, engage and connect with the world around us. As we say in DT, we just have to put on our art eyes.

I feel lucky to be able to be here (thanks to Kate and other DT crew members holding stuff down, and Caroline for taking care of our animals!) I’m heading to my favorite place The Drawing Center soon. I might do a special dispatch from there for subscribers. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, waving from the streets of NYC. And new DT podcast coming next week!!