Winter has arrived, why not go out and see an art exhibit or two? They’re all pretty much the same. And surprise surprise, they’re all in Chelsea.
Pierce Ubsnell, “Finns I Have Fisted: An Artist Reflects”
(Edgard Pierpoint Gallery, Chelsea. Through February 20.)
Judging by his portrait in the catalog, this guy doesn’t look like he could throw a football to save his goddamned life, but he has my admiration nevertheless. The man clearly has ample strength in his forearm, as the grainy photographs here demonstrate. You might have guessed from his name that the artist is not of Finnish extraction himself, and you’d be right. He’s actually from Connecticut. He was a trust fund kid who actually moved to Finland to get in on some that “Tom Of” action in the 1970s, and he must have found it, because he came back with this parcel of grainy, black-and-white snapshots, now all tastefully matted and framed. He must have been holding the camera in his other hand.
“Shopping Lists and Cancelled Checks: The Very Last (We Swear It) of Cy Twombly”
(The Marion R. Tunicliffe Memorial Art Hole, Chelsea. Through May 1.)
Thought you were done with Cy the Scribbler, just because he kicked off in 2011? Nope! In addition to being one of the most significant American romantic symbolists of his day, Twombly was also a notorious pack rat who kept years worth of Post-Its, laundry lists, old tax returns, half-solved TV Guide crossword puzzles, and other ephemera in shoe boxes. All, naturally, bear the unmistakable Twombly scrawl, which resembles a seismograph having a stroke. It was assumed that this voluminous material would never see the light of day. But then one of his nephews ran into tax problems and voila! Now we have this thing. Hooray.
“The Lost Art of Erotic Scrimshaw: From the Collection of Daniel and Karen VanLandingham”
(Idée Fixe, Chelsea. By appointment only. Through March-ish)
This is not “on the menu,” per se, but slip the guy at the door a fiver and tell him you’re there to see Carl (remember that name!), and he’ll know what you’re talking about. These artifacts are in a back room, on loan from some rich pervs who must be either greatly disappointed or greatly relieved to have them out of their own home. Back in the 1700s, sailors began carving intricate designs into the bones and cartilage of marine life because what the hell else were they going to do out there to pass the time? And being sailors, of course, they had minds like gas station lavatories, and balls bluer than the ocean itself. And, oh, what those boys could fashion out of whale bones and walrus tusks. Spoiler alert: It’s mostly dildos.
“Literally Just a Bunch of Triangles”
(Intersection of 25th and 8th. Indefinitely, I guess.)
Is this even an exhibit? What the hell is this? Why are all these paintings of triangles set up outside a place that sells overpriced bagels? Are these for sale or something? I don’t see any price tags on them. I would almost understand if these were different triangles, but it seems to be the same triangle painted over and over again, like they were done by some mental deficient with a hard-on for basic geometrical shapes. And that CD of whale songs playing in the background from a ‘90s boombox… is that part of it? Is there something I’m supposed to be doing? Am I doing it right? Suddenly, I don’t feel so well. Oh, jesus, my wallet’s missing. And my phone. Well, that’s great. That’s just fucking great.