So pretty wiped out today after all the travel and my day of touring the shows in Chelsea yesterday. ┬áStarted at 30th street and worked my way down to the Chelsea market where my reward of either sushi or coffee was waiting patiently for me. On the way I took in as many galleries as a day would let me. I always miss stuff and if spaces are not at street level and I don’t know them then I give them a miss. This time just like the last few times I’ve done this mid week the amount of people was pitiful, in most spaces I was the only visitor and perhaps their are many reasons for this not least that it is January and cold.

Now for the shows, the general standard was very low and I don’t want to pick out what was really bad as I am not a critic and these artists need positive feedback, lets face it, the worse the work, the more help you need. So I will stick to groups. There were poor copies of 1970’s conceptualism, lots of ‘ironic’ plays on modernism and a new special group, yes a new species of artist is now stalking the West Side Highway, the wannabe Francesco Clemente. Hard to believe I know especially if you were around in the 1980’s like me but yes he’s back well at least his bastard off spring are. I know a women who at the height of his fame was one of his lovers, I wonder what she is making of all of this. I think she is still in NYC, are the galleries phoning her up and getting her to come to artist dinners ? Would be funny if it were the case.

Anyway enough of that, I have to say the best shows are as follows, Joel Sternfeld’s early work from the 1970’s on 24th street and Damien Hirst also on 24th street and again on 20th Street. Yes I liked the Hirst show, see I like to run against the traffic. I read lots of reviews and they all attacked him as a person but didn’t talk about the work. I like the pictures they gave me a warm, happy fun feeling. In the age of the media personality, whats so wrong with an artist being one and I don’t actually care how much money he has. At least his business is in the UK he hasn’t moved production to China. So if he employs 160 in the Uk thats great, oh by the way its better at 20th street, better hung and thought out I think. The pictures are well executed, which is not the case with all his paintings and I love there playful quality. Some work better than others but that is bound to be the case as there are 331 of them here in New York. The man has ambition, the work is good, so go away you moaning haters.

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