Pier-to-Pier Networking at the Armory Show
The Art Basel of New York, the Armory Show has stretched itself across two piers of the West Side this year. Pier 94 is what has been the show proper since 2001 - contemporary art exhibited by galleries from the world over - and Pier 92 is contemporary art’s forefather, modern art.
There’s a definite family resemblance between the generations. Bruce Nauman’s neon spiral “The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths” gets tweaked by Bert Rodriguez to “The True Artist Makes Useless Shit for Rich People to Buy” (price: $25,000). Robert Indiana‘s steadfast block of “LOVE“ degrades into Marc Bijl‘s suggestively drippy “PORN.” Alex Katz’s flat portraits are everywhere, even when they’re not done by Katz.
Opening night was bustling enough to make the cavernous piers uncomfortably warm. Though you could dash outside for a bracing hit of river air to get from one pier to another and share a freight elevator ride with the likes of fashion design team Costello Tagliapietra. Or get spritzed with the refreshing, faintly marine smell of Reid Seifer‘s “Spray to Forget” (a blend of crystal-bathed essential oils that promises to erase or replace bad memories) by Seifer himself. There was also the option of cooling off with a $16 flute of Pommery champagne, but why do that when absinthe, wine and mixed drinks flowed plentifully for free at the after party hosted at MoMA?
The pitch-darkness of the party was relieved by trippy wall projections and the opening horns of the band Human Rights (composed of members of Beirut, Psychic Ills, No Regular Play, and Volcano the Bear). Pernod’s absinthe station was a popular stop-off for those on their way to the dance floor in the lobby where Justin Miller DJ’ed. By the time The Walkmen took the stage under a lone and moody chandelier to amp up their subdued sounds for the crowd, there wasn’t space for anything but dancing and random hookups.