Aaron and I hit up Chelsea last night for a long overdue evening of gallery hopping. Of the many galleries we visited, Winston Wachter's Robert Taplin show clearly stole the evening.
Taplin presented a crazy show based on Dante's Inferno in a series of nine dioramas, for lack of better terms, in a super-surreal, trippy perspective. He highlights Dante’s role in the narrative by portraying his figure in full color. The rest of the characters and figures, including Beatrice and Virgil, are cast in resin and appear to be glow-in-the-dark (I hope they really are, but I couldn't tell.)
A few noted changes in the gallery world post-recession:
1) More galleries offer free wine/beer at openings. To lure 'em in. It works.
2) The free wine/beer is gone faster at openings, as people are taking advantage of these free drinks. We arrived around 7 and only stupid Perrier was left. Not interested.
3) WAY more group shows... this is the gallery equivalent to a 'warehouse clearance sale.'
4) Safer shows, oftentimes more cynical shows (Taplin was of the later)
5) More people in attendance, but there to look, not to buy (like me.)
6) Doomsday tones. (Me: Love the show! How is everything in the new year!? Every galleriest in Chelsea: Well, I'd be lying if I said it was good.) Ugh.
There are also more people at Half King, which, lets be honest, is one of the best parts of gallery openings... the re-hash afterwards with whoever we find in the area... last night we ran into Sabrina, ALWAYS a blast. We argued about Doubt, about Slumdog, about art and life and relationships. We drank free beer on my trade account and made friends with our friends' friends. I love New York.