The Armory Show had left me with an art hangover, and I swore I couldn’t look at any more art ever again. I ventured, however, the next day out to Chelsea where an exciting and innovative art fair has been making the rounds for four consecutive years. On 22nd street between 10th and 11th Avenues, the Independent Art Fair promises to destroy the very idea of the art fair by allowing galleries to have more conceptual booths with less clutter and more experimentation. In contrast to the extravagance of the Armory there are no VIP passes: everyone gets in for free. And as for the $21 glasses of champagne? Not a chance.
The Art Marathon: Part II
By this time I had had my fair share of American delicacies. I had organic Mac & Cheese from a Gastro market on 28th Street, a large slice of pepperoni pizza up at 81st and some of the best Mexican food of my life in Hell’s Kitchen. My body was filled with this gourmet food and watered-down American beer as I woke up to a blizzard in New York City. It was pleasant: the white flakes that blanketed the rooftops of Queens were surrounded by the pallid, overcast sky that obscured the Manhattan skyline as I walked towards the Vernon Jackson train station in Long Island City. I had begun to associate this weather almost exclusively with Berlin, so it was a nice reminder of my home across that Atlantic that was waiting for me to return.
After a few transfers and a pleasant walk through a wintry landscape in spring I found myself in what some have called the center of the art world: Chelsea. It had been roughly a year to the date since I had been to this neighborhood and walked from gallery to gallery to view nearly hundreds of exhibitions. Compared to the atmosphere that surrounded the entrance of the Armory uptown, the Independent entrance was much more pleasant and serene. Maybe it was the snow, maybe it was the young, hip families walking along the beautiful Highline. Whatever the case, I felt relaxed and in an ideal mood to see some fantastic contemporary art.