15 Oct 2014
“I can’t believe it’s our last day in New York!” It’s a bitter-sweet feeling. I’m not ready to leave but I’m excited about returning to London after 5 years. Luckily we have time for one more gallery before our flight tonight. I wasn’t feeling well yesterday so I stayed in bed while David went to MOMA and texted me photos of the pieces he thought I’d like. Which was very chivalrous, don’t you think.
Today I’m feeling much better so after checking out of the hotel we walked across Central Park to the Whitney Gallery in Upper Eastside. It was unseasonably humid making us look forward to cooler weather in London.
“I don’t think we need to live here now.” I said lost in thought.
“Yeah, me too. It’s a great place to visit…” Agreed David. We can’t really put our finger on why, but we both felt comfortable with this feeling.
There was a time, seven years ago, when we were seriously considering spending a year in NYC, I’d even lined up a job. When David was appointed as the composer for Fireman Sam we chose to stay in London. And desire to spend a year in New York had lingered, but strolling hand in hand through Central Park we felt closure on the idea.
The queue at the Whitney Gallery was longer than I expected and consisted of mainly New Yorkers (school kids and retired ladies) which was an interesting change. We climbed the stairs to the top of the gallery and worked down, in reverse order to avoid the crowds.
We started with the permanent collection and the Edward Hopper gallery first. Both of us were really drawn to a photograph by Crewdson, who was inspired by Hopper. The shot of a car in an intersection raised more questions than it answers. What’s happening here? Why is the door open? Where did the driver go? There is a lonely, mysteriously melancholic atmosphere.
Jeff Koons: What a highlight! I loved this exhibition. Jeff Koons isn’t for everyone, but he has some really interesting pieces here and I enjoyed wandering through this retrospective of his work. We’ve been to a Koons exhibition at the Tate Modern when living in London, but I can’t recall seeing any of these pieces before. I loved seeing a junior school class of kids sitting in front of a sculpture ‘Cat on a clothesline’ that looks like an oversized toy.
Reading about the materials and processes he used was fascinating; often taking years to complete. It made us look at each piece in a different light. The shiny pieces are polished stainless steel – not chrome. I loved the huge mound of Play-Doh, and the silver Rabbit. David’s favorite piece was the huge shiny gold ‘Balloon Dog’. To me his work is a whimsical take on pop-culture often mixed with strong sexual undercurrents. Evidently drawing inspiration from his first marriage to Ilona Staller the Hungarian-Italian porn star.