My reflection in the bathroom mirror this morning was not a welcome sight. Few sights were probably going to elate me in my hungover state, but looking at my dry, chapped face, at the pimples that made their secret appearance during the night, made me groan. The promises of youth and happiness seemed unfulfilled. I rested my leg on the rocking horse, sat there naked on the chair, a bored expression on my face wondering what happened, where it went, and my sagging breasts told the answer too explicitly. Time happened. The aging process. This morning I was a Philip Pearlstein painting.
Last night, I went to the Philip Pearlstein opening at the Robert Miller gallery, and empathized with artwork for the first time in a long time. There has been work that I liked, that had a message I could nod my head in agreement with, but not something that I could feel. Enter Pearlstein. The large paintings were all of naked middle-aged people (usually women) with either bored faraway looks in their eyes, or eyes closed for what looked like similar reasons, because they did not want to see where they were. The pieces were all adorned prominently with props of youth, the detritus of our childhood memories. A rocking horse. A mickey mouse puppet. A toy lion. And these childhood props, these objects symbolizing youth stood there in stark contrast to these sagging bodies, these unhappy bodies. So much was evoked for me by these paintings. The promises made us to in our youth never seemed to pan out like we hoped, like we were promised. Reailty never seems as much fun as its representation. We age, our skin is dry, chapped, and pimply and the Mickey of our youth, the rocking horse of our youth is still in the same ageless condition. For eternity, or at least for the span of our own lives, as we age, these fetishized objects will remain in the same state, unwrinkled, maybe dusty, but still there promising the same things, and fooled too many times now, we look at the objects differently, but still with hope that ennui can be overcome, thinking back to those days before it existed. The mood of these paintings for whatever reason seemed similar to the mood of Lost in Translation, and during the show, I could hear Jesus and Mary Chain's "Just Like Honey." Can you tell that I loved this show? I encourage anyone in New York to check in out. 526 W. 26th Street.
This show was especially pleasant to see after having seen John Currin's show at the Whitney last week, who also has a similar subject matter: suburban middle-aged women. However, the Currin show infuriated me. I am still a little undecided about it, whether the offense it provoked in me is a good thing or a bad thing. I went through the show backwards chronologically, starting with his most recent paintings, which I liked, to his smarmy depictions of suburban women, to his female nudes, to his obnoxious paitings of absurdly buxom women, to crap. His work is rife with insincerity and condescenion. I hate it so much. It rubs me in completely the wrong way. I think a Currin's a jackass.
After that scary encounter with the mirror, I shaved, showered, applied moisturizer and with the passage of a few hours and the consumption of a few cups of coffee felt better, could still believe the promises.
In celeb spotting news, Ryan Adams was at the Pearlstein opening. And Chuck Close (!!!) was at the Joe Zucker opening. Megan spotted both of them. Just about every time I am with Megan, she spots celebs, people that I would never have noticed. It can't just be that everytime I am with Megan, there are celebs, it must be that I am oblivious and probably pass them all the time not noticing. Tonight, I am going to check out the Stay Gold gallery across the street from me, and then hopefully finish this tranny memoir, She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders.