I went there again today. I couldn't help it. I was in the city to get my paycheck and I had to see the paintings again. I hopped on the crosstown bus across 14th Street, rode it to the end, and walked up to Daniel Reich Gallery to see the Hernan Bas show again. It's weird when you revisit something that you loved so much on first viewing and just sort of expect there to be that same reaction. There wasn't that same sense immediately, but soon it came to me again, thoughts of high school, of restlessness, wonder, and violence. God, what these painting do to me! I read the artist statement and it was so cute, talked about love, and I want Hernan Bas to be my boyfriend. It was inspiring (not jealousy inducing, as it most times is) to see one of my peers, a homo my age making such lovely paintings that resonated with me, making art that represented a time, a feeling that I have been waiting to see done in writing form, but that I only find in the visual arts. And so fuck you Jerry Saltz for claiming that Bas is derivative of Elizabeth Peyton. Fuck Peyton and her cutesy, starstruck portraits. I hate Peyton. Their subject matter is totally different, and besides the fact that both look sort of like amateurish painting, they don't even have similar painting styles. Bas has explosions of strokes, uses glitter. They are nothing alike! Bas is awesome. I am going to write a love letter to him.
I then wondered around and looked at more galleries. At Kashya Hildebrand, there are disappointing, didactic oil filled sculptures by Andrei Molodkin, but there are mesmerizing photos by Arsen Savadov that totally rescue, and in fact are the show. They are photos of miners covered in soot, wearing tutus or nothing. And they are amazing.
I then went to David Zwirner where there is an amazing show of On Kawara's work that totally changed the course of my day, and hopefully I can remember the lessons learned, and have it change the course of my life. It is a beautiful show. I have only see two of his pieces side by side at MoMA, and that effect made me wonder about the difference between the two dates, about what the possible significance could be. Seeing all of these works grouped together provokes a totally different feeling, a better one. Each of these works painted with the date it was made, going back the last forty years, that this is dedication to art, that it should perhaps be something you make a habit of, rather than a hobby of. That each day you have to devote yourself to creating art, that it is a methodical process.
Between two of the paintings I was born. A large portion of them, I wasn't even alive yet. This show amazes me so much. When I signed the guestbook as I was leaving, I noticed that Kiki Smith was the person who had just signed it, that she was probably just in the gallery with me, and I did not notice it because I was so wowed by the work, so in love with its message, agreeing to myself I had to change, a pact for the future being made.