Art - Page 9

Germs

meatpackingdistrict.jpg

 
New Yorkers have been complaining about gentrification forever, but the pace of change during the past several years in downtown, especially on the West Side, has been startling… well, to be honest, it’s almost deplorable. The saddest thing to see is the way the meatpacking district has changed in the past few years. It’s easier to spot celebrities than a rat these days, and it’s been a while since we have lost sight of transsexual hookers on Washington Street.

My best friend T used to say “You got to have germs to make art.” The city, like underdeveloped countries, is still filled with all kinds of infectious germs, but the species that T used to mention, the kinds that nourished art, are almost extinct. I miss the days when artists, hookers and drug dealers were all under the same roof. It was thrilling, and art was much more powerful back then.

It’s ironic to think something positive about this change when it’s making me feel like a fish trapped in a drying pond, but if there is one good thing that has come out of this horrendous gentrification, it is that the city has become a nice place for kids to grow up in. My biggest dilemma these days … I want germs for myself, but not for my kids. Having a family is not simple.

(Here is another irony. T, who was homeless and couldn’t tell the difference between a shooting gallery and an art gallery when we used to hang out together, is now a professor at one of the ivys, and his two kids go to one of the best private schools in the city.)
 

For Your Eyes Only

The 2007 WPC (I’m not speaking about the World Powerlifting Congress here.) kicked off yesterday in Cannes, France. Despite the fact that nothing is happening here these days (by the way, has anyone seen or heard from Katie lately?), there are more visitors to the blog this week, maybe thanks to Perfumer & Flavorist magazine. For those who are attending the event, there’s not much here for your noses to feast on, but here’s something for your eyes.

As we wait…

I used to make sculptures from sugar. That’s when I started to incorporate scents made by wonderful perfumers like Jean-Pierre Bethouart and Thierry Wasser in my art.

In 1999, I used 5 tons of sugar and 50 kilograms of fragrance oil for an installation in Japan. Everyday during the exhibition, 2 kilos of scent created by Thierry Wasser was sprayed on the floor. The visitors to the exhibition left with the scent on their clothes and shoes. As a result, an old downtown neighborhood in Tokyo was scented for a several block radius during the exhibition, and the scent remained for more than a year in the former rice market which housed the installation. Surprisingly, there wasn’t even a complaint, and I was still receiving messages from people who wanted the scent a year after the exhibition.