Review /

Rosie Hastings and Hannah Quinlan Queer Thoughts / New York

Gay representation exists in a slippery space between liberation and domination, solidarity and violence, of both socioeconomic and interpersonal dimension. The ambivalent localization of violence within gay sociality — both aimed toward it and coming from within it — serves as the subtle thematic framework for the artist duo Rosie Hastings and Hannah Quinlan’s most recent show at Queer Thoughts.

A series of carefully executed pencil works on paper depict imagined scenes of intimate queer sociality: a group of beefy, gender-opaque characters, rendered in a stylized “gay hand” somewhere between lesbian comic books and Tom of Finland, are seen drinking, laughing, and making out in sparsely furnished rooms, desire omnipresent in their poses, gestures, and gazes. Hogarthian in both form and spirit, these charged scenes of conviviality nonetheless feel on the cusp of some kind of impending unhinging; desire transformed into rivalry, into conflict.

Rosie Hastings and Hannah Quinlan, Gaby, 2018
Rosie Hastings and Hannah Quinlan, Gaby, 2018. Courtesy of the artists and Queer Thoughts, New York.

Bracketed by the drawings is the video work Gaby (2018), consisting of three short vignettes that each address the interweaved connections between gay culture and wider systems of violence. The first vignette tells the story of their best friend Gaby, who as an eighteen year old briefly dated a straight-presenting gay cop. In naïve first-person PowerPoint form, Gaby recounts how he romantically engaged and navigated his partner’s persistent self-guilt and self-masking, which in the process reproduced homophobia onto Gaby himself (the fatal ending of their relationship ultimately loops back as the title for the show’s body of drawings, “We Haven’t Spoken Since,” all 2018).

Directly following this is a vignette compiling found video footage of police officers at pride marches momentarily sidestepping their law-enforcing duties and breaking out in fits of badly simulated twerking and voguing. These harrowing scenes are only furthered by their shared soundtrack, Village People’s 1974 hit “Y.M.C.A,” which served as the definitive anthem of the post-Stonewall era of sexual liberation in New York’s West Village — which, in turn, triggered the neighborhood’s rapid sanitization and gentrification. This is marked by Hastings and Quinlan in a video with a rendered issue of Christopher Street Magazine from 1977, in which an article boasts the gentrifying powers of the gay, male, white middle-class (serving to “clean up” impoverished, undesirable urban areas).

Hastings and Quinlan’s succinct examination of gay representation brings its viewer from macro- to micro-political scales of space, intimacy, and desire, and carefully deciphers the troublesome history of gay politics that must still be articulated today.

by Jeppe Ugelvig

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Gallery Weekend Beijing

­Themes of contemporary urban structure and the human condition are the main subjects of the many exhibitions on display at Beijing’s 2018 Gallery Weekend, spread across various galleries and institutions in the 798 and Caochangdi Art Districts. These seemingly independent exhibitions reveal some intrinsic connections to each other, as if a kind of urban fable was being staged.

New York–based Sarah Morris’s first solo show in Beijing, “Odysseus Factor,” occupying the largest room of UCCA, includes all of her cinematographic films, ten colorful diagrammatic-style abstract canvases, posters, and a large customized wall painting. Out of the half-dozen showcases of foreign artists, Morris’s exhibition sits most comfortably in a contemporary Chinese setting, not only because of her eighty-four-minute-long documentary film focusing on the 2008 Olympic Games, but also due to the super-seductive and bizarre appearance of the show, which incorporates gigantic LED screens and flamboyant painted bandings. The surreal conditions revealed in her works interweave the rapidly developing urban landscape with late or state capitalism, and act as a metaphor for bureaucracy in the globalized arena. The works seem to be the absurd juxtaposition of this rapid urbanization and the increasingly restrictive political realities of China in 2018.

Not far from UCCA, Liu Wei’s solo exhibition “Shadows” at Long March Space creates a cosmos-like imagined world of time and space. The exhibition consists of large mechanical installations and two paintings with irregular edges. Among these, Period (2018) occupies the majority of the gallery space and viewers’ attention. Spheres, pyramids, and bricks in cement, wood, or metal, with simple surface colors and textures, move slowly along their respective pathways, structurally supporting each other while crisscrossing perfectly. It could be likened to a simulacrum of the materiality of a city. Airflow (2018), made of cement, resembles colored balloons hanging upside-down. A square mirror is set on the ground, echoing the light from the roof and creating a captivating combination of light and shadow. Dominating spheres oscillate slightly under the influence of gravity, rubbing against each other to create clouds of dust and residue that fall down to the mirror. Liu Wei posits a variety of symbolic significances such as vitality, mobility, and the sense of time.

Liu Wei 刘韡, Airflow《气流》, 2018
Liu Wei 刘韡,
Airflow, 2018. Courtesy Liu Wei Studio and Long March Space, Beijing.

As last year’s winner of the Hyundai Blue Prize for Creativity, Li Jia has realized her proposal in the brand-new space at Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing in 798. The exhibition, titled “The Precariousness,” showcases recent projects by eight artists and three collectives. Various mediums — videos, installations, drawings, texts, field studies, digital archives, and reading projects — are used to map multiple narratives of social mobility and migration in China. The single-channel video The Destination to Promising Land (2017), by Fang Di, who conducts research between Shenzhen and New Guinea, documents how two Guangzhou-based Africans confront and perceive issues of body, color, and borders on continuously shifting ground and within a global framework. Other projects, Between the 5th and 6th Ring Road in Beijing (2014–15) and Secret Chamber (2016–17) for instance, focus on villagers who live in Beijing’s peripheries, and those who feel dispossessed for their “low added value” to society. Within multilayered representations, the narratives of these pieces as a whole converge a diversity of social and individual forces, gauging how people interact within a constantly fragmented social landscape.

Wang Haiyang’s solo exhibition at White Space Beijing in Caochangdi — a fifteen-minute bike ride from 798 — shows his interest in human secretions, both the physical products of lust and those contingent on the human emotional spectrum. Paintings, drawings, and videos in the exhibition are linked to the artist’s subconscious thoughts of sex, feelings of lust, and attitudes toward his own body while confined to a hospital bed. In Mirror (2017), placed near the entrance, Wang uses spit as a medium to create delicate, cellular-tissue-like forms, and turns them into a stop-motion animation. This corresponds to the series “Mosquito” (2017–18) that hangs on the opposite wall, incorporating different shapes in the imaginary portrayal of a mosquito whose life revolves around the extraction of human blood. A nine-channel video piece, Linkage Mechanism (2017), displays nine mirrored faces chewing gum with their mouths linked together, as if struggling to find an exit in this occluded system. In another room, nearly a hundred skillfully dense watercolors convey the artist’s consciousness and sexual impulse. Of all his works, the drawings are the most instinctual and personal — showing his libidinous yearning and deep understanding of his own life.

In addition, Yin Xiuzhen at Pace Beijing, Paul McCarthy at M Woods, Carsten Höller at Galleria Continua, Liu Xiaohui at ShanghART, Xie Nanxing at UCCA, Richard Deacon at Beijing Commune, and several other group shows that concentrate on emerging artists have sparked plenty of attention and discussion. It seems that Beijing — like Hong Kong and Shanghai — has finally learned how to collectively unleash the energy that it has always embodied.

by Chelsea Liu

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Factory of Dreams

Last year the Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program withdrew from the Business of Fashion’s Global School Fashion Rankings. They sited conflicts of interest, namely its combative commodification of education, BoF’s dubious initiation of their own online courses, and the ranking’s lack of geopolitical and socioeconomic variables. And yet ranking is perfectly reasonable in a world where universities are increasingly public-relations businesses.

London’s Central Saint Martins, arguably the world’s top fashion university, consistently produces impressive MA showcases. This year, two graduate collections in particular sparked intense interest: Liam Johnson and Edwin Mohney. While it’s an easy, if not lazy, task to buttress the already elite-ranked institution, I was gripped by the two designer’s distinctive approaches in reimagining the application of dress through reduction and the found object. They were also, maybe for those reasons, the bookends of the graduate runway.

 

Liam: The idea for the collection was to create a graphic statement with an emotional reaction. It was about reducing or exaggerating the line of the body to create direct vision. I approached this by using primary geometric shapes as the starting point. It’s about trying to capture a fleeting moment and most importantly offering a new visual language.

Matthew: I thought this “reduction” in your work was mesmerizing. It reminded me of Adolf Loos’s Ornament and Crime in how you were framing the body entirely through severe primary shapes. I doubt Loos would have approved of your collection, but it was certainly modernist in its mathematical approach to silhouette. Did your pieces using the spectacular transparent ductile fabric require much toiling to achieve those lines? The precision is vivid.

Liam: I can’t say Loos was a huge inspiration, but it’s funny that you made that connection. I guess it’s a kind of paradox, the conflict of something looking so clean and functional yet being totally unrealistic. The pieces themselves took a while to create. A lot of toiling was involved to get the right tension, because no stretch fabric was the same. Everything had to be created from the final fabric. Everything needed to be pitched and balanced, working with the drape of the fabric to find that middle point between the stretch and the tension. There are also other factors involved such as height. All the hoops where custom made, and things wouldn’t be able to be toiled in till last minute. I reprinted and remade the final dress twice, two days before the show, because a seam was twisted. It needed to be as pristine as possible.

Liam Johnson, backstage at Central Saint Martins 2018 graduation show.
Liam Johnson, backstage at Central Saint Martins 2018 graduation show. Photography by Asia Werbel.

Matthew: This idea of effacing excess was discussed a lot in modernist architecture in that it cleansed forms of representation. As a strange inversion you used the “smooth object” as a type of ornament when you had some models simply holding these large geometric forms in front of them. Reading your work through the flat runway image, I thought these modernist architectural shapes were almost a new form of dress, “attached” only via the wearer’s grasp.

Liam: The shapes symbolize baggage. Yes, they were very primary and very flat, but they needed to be harsh. The idea to have them carried was something I came up with early on, and originally I had five more in the collection. I liked the way they felt strong and confrontational, almost like huge boulders, yet had this contradicting factor — you could hide behind these shapes. The idea for this was never meant to be a new way of dress. It was about saying: This is what I am carrying! This is how I feel! All that was conveyed through scale, color, and texture. They look flat on images but they have a very specific fuzzy texture in reality. The triangle was made of linen. This was important, as it needed to feel like dead space amid the sharp colors. It needed to feel older and yet just as clean, almost ancient.

Matthew: Can you explain the prints?

Liam: I had created about twenty posters of different gradients, colors, and compositions. I created them as a response to some music I was creating at the time. I liked this idea of them feeling like a series of spiritual posters, the way an album cover says everything about the album before you listen to it and sometimes nothing at all. For me, they hold some familiar quality, be it a hazed zebra, skulls, something nuclear, or a saturated colorful spot. I find it hard to articulate the journey of finding all of this, as it hasn’t been a very liner journey at all. It somehow is a romanticized personal manifestation of things, situations, and characters in my life that I love, hate, admire, and find challenging. The main thing that I try to convey in the work and challenge people with is honesty and unknown familiarity.

Edwin: The collection was inspired by my own angst for the seriousness of fashion. I can’t stand the thought of taking a hem or sleeve too seriously. I take craftsmanship very seriously, but the aesthetic value of tradition places meaning in something I don’t measure. I take a more nihilistic approach to my work. To measure something in terms of nihilism is to give it less value, using craft to justify something flippant.

Further, fashion often demands the representation of commercial success as its context. I was interested in creating a late-capitalist representation of fashion through the integration of failing structures and outdated tastes. The collection is based in couture, the most unprofitable sector of the fashion industry, and is incredibly focused on craft but through the use of readymades. Can Duchamp be fashion? This is what I’m interested in.

Aesthetically, the only thread through the collection was to balance colors which were taken from products that represented freshness. For example, Evian water bottles and tide pods. This was used to counter the staleness of old-fashioned couture shapes.

Matthew: Right, I like your take on nihilism as value reversal. I would also agree that craft is historically specific. Coco Chanel reportedly spent hours laboring over the exactitude of a sleeve head — it can be funny to think sometimes how this affected, highfalutin gesture is insisted upon as virtuosity. Then again, why not vindicate the absurd? Couture is often encountered on the red carpet. Do you have a favourite outfit from the collection you would like seen there?

 Edwin Mohney, backstage at Central Saint Martins 2018 graduation show.
Edwin Mohney, backstage at Central Saint Martins 2018 graduation show. Photography by Asia Werbel.

Edwin: Yes! I completely agree. Laboring over a sleeve head is futile in comparison to open-heart surgery, but I enjoy the idea that the consumer is paying for that attention to detail with every stitch. It points to clothing as objects of beauty. I appreciate someone’s persistence in their vision of beauty if that is incredibly pristine or an absurd conundrum.

Specifically, I would love the see the simple white ruffle dress with red socks on the runway. I would die to see the chicken sister dresses be worn, but that simple dress maintains a real sense of being a cocktail dress while being just a ruffled piece of fabric. I would like to think that piece would really ride the line between the red carpet best and worst dressed — depending on the accessories of course.

Matthew: “Represented freshness” could be a great WGSN trend report on the color palette of late capitalism. It also explains the alienation of some of your outfits. I found the tandem outfits worn by the Maybury sisters the most eerie — they somehow felt more plastic than the polyurethane of the pool. What drew you to pools as fashion objects? Did you work with other bought readymades?

Edwin: Thank you! It’s something I’ve become obsessed with. Shampoo bottles, water bottles, detergents — the colors are so yummy. The pool was born out of that same obsession. I loved the color of the blue vinyl and the matte white. The pool evolved from the air mattress skirt worn underneath the mountain look. I was making understructures that would function as crinolines, but through a late-capitalist lens. I played with balloons for a long time to build volume underneath fabric. The pool was a natural progression, and I loved how impossible the idea of having a pool on a runway felt. The intention wasn’t to invoke any specific meaning other than creating a moment that focused on expectation and form.

Matthew: One of the reasons why I was so drawn to Liam and yourself is how you both speculated new concepts for the application of dress. In many ways, our imagination of fashion is still constrained by nineteenth-century industrial technologies. Until we have malleable, advanced, user-friendly 3-D printing or virtual reality, where clothes can essentially be sprayed on as readymades, we’re liable to particular hierarchies of “wearability.” You’ve worked a lot with tape in previous work, as well as in your MA collection, which is an exciting proposal for sculpting or assembling dress. Could you explain the process of making these taped fashions?

Edwin: The taped pieces are casts. I wrap objects/people and then reinforce the pieces with more tape from the inside. The casting of an object/person represents an imagined outfit or form that surrounds the body, which is then worn on another person. It came from a question of how can you wear someone else?

by Matthew Linde

A Vogue Idea is a column by Matthew Linde exploring contemporary fashion practice.

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“nice walk” (1,739 reviews): A Reinvention of an Allan Kaprow Activity Hauser & Wirth, The High Line / New York

On Saturday afternoon, two figures in ceil-blue medical scrubs got down on all fours and proceeded to make random ink marks on the High Line park’s elevated footpath, only to quickly wash them away.

The activity took place on the occasion of the final day of Hauser & Wirth’s most recent exhibition uptown, “ALLAN KAPROW. PAINTINGS NEW YORK.” The show surveyed works spanning the breadth of Kaprow’s materially archival output, aiming to trace an evolution of his ideas as they migrated toward a threshold of particular interest to him: the ever-elusive boundary between “art” and “life” that he sought to blur, dissolve, and eliminate altogether.

With the gallery’s East 69th Street location already bearing historical significance in connection to Kaprow’s legacy (his seminal environment piece Yard was shown in its first manifestation there in 1961), the recently presented work in drawing and painting offered plenty of nuanced clues indicating where or in what direction his progressively deconstructive line of critical inquiry would lead him.

In a 1958 essay titled “The Legacy of Jackson Pollock,” Kaprow ruminates on the nature and degree of Pollock’s art-historical impact just two years after his death, describing a certain enlargement of space between artist and working substrate due to Pollock’s approach to gesture, the body, and performance in relation to painting. This viscerally solidified the ground beneath Kaprow’s feet and suggested an infinite expanse of quotidian possibilities to explore. In one line of this text in particular, he introduces the concept of a Happening, which he would come to explore in much greater depth over the course of his life: “Not only will these bold creators show us, as if for the first time, the world we have always had about us but ignored, but they will disclose entirely unheard-of happenings and events, found in garbage cans, police files, hotel lobbies; seen in store windows and on the streets; and sensed in dreams and horrible accidents.”

In essence, the eulogistic text on Pollock conveys a sense of how his painting practice eventually transcended the limitations it had come to him imbued with, calling for a total collapse in distinction between the arenas of “art” and “life” that Kaprow had so deeply considered.

“Not satisfied with the suggestion through paint of our other senses, we shall utilize the specific substances of sight, sound, movements, people, odors, touch. Objects of every sort are materials for the new art: paint, chairs, food, electric and neon lights, smoke, water, old socks, a dog, movies, a thousand other things that will be discovered by the present generation of artists.”

It is at this atomizing brink that the practice of artist Puppies Puppies may be situated, somewhat similarly pursuing a profound confusion of “art” and “life” as diametrically opposed terms.

On the High Line this weekend, behind the surgical masks were artists India Menuez and Ser Serpas, who in collaboration with Puppies Puppies realized this “Reinvention of an Activity by Kaprow,” which called for “one person to draw a line on the street with chalk, while a second person followed it and erased it with a rubber eraser.”

To fulfill this realization, both Menuez and Serpas came uniformed and well equipped, in not only scrubs but with latex gloves, booties, and sponges with special handles fashioned to deliver a steady flow of either ink or solvent for its user, as well as other small necessities for maintaining optimum cleanliness.

Both of their tops cropped, the pair of costumes designed by Puppies Puppies comedically feigned exposure of the wearer’s midriff by extending a layer of black fabric downward, which featured screen-printed illustrations of organs accurately placed and diagrammatically labeled on either side. Dressed the part, they had split up and assigned to one another the tasks of making marks (Serpas) and of scrubbing them away (Menuez) as per the parameters of the Activity’s score. Lasting around forty minutes, the Reinvention was something of a heartfelt exercise in futility and negation.

“nice walk” (1,739 reviews): A Reinvention of an Allan Kaprow Activity @ The High Line, New York. Courtesy of Puppies Puppies.

That Menuez and Serpa played the specific role of hygiene/custodial workers in this scenario undoubtedly ties into Puppies Puppies’s intricate, quietly drawn out mythology as told by the artist over the past few years — an aspect of this being the experience of surviving a life-threatening brain tumor. While the fragmented story has been presented in the public sphere under the guise of performance, there is always a direct correlation to the extremely intimate interior life that drives the work.

Similar to the recurring use of horseshoe crabs throughout Puppies Puppies’ work — having been fascinated by the creature’s baby-blue blood and ultimately the “supernatural” ability to detect even the slightest presence of bacteria via the Limulus amebocyte lysate, or LAL, test commonly used in the medical field — it is likely that part of the inspiration behind Saturday’s Reinvention can be sourced from the substantial amount of time the artist has spent in hospitals.

As the artist statement provided by Hauser & Wirth, who commissioned the piece, concludes, “We are all vulnerable to becoming or making the mess that needs to be cleaned up, falling into disorganization, and needing to be re-organized, broken, and then fixed.”

by Chris Viaggio

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Magali Reus / South London Gallery

With Magali Reus, use-value circulates in a deep recess. In “As Mist, Description,” repressed utility is massaged to the surface; with smooth repose these assemblies offer augmented darts of mythic function. Previously on show at Bergen Kunsthall, the exhibition includes the “Hwael” series (2017); Old Saxon for whale, the three variants resemble a disarticulated carcass, yet the remains suggest a more mechanical constitution.

Analogous to “the skeletal framework of the public bus,” as the press release suggests, the “Hwael” also invoke water, situated around curving white plastered walls engraved with numbers to measure the water level from a ship’s hull. The desiccated steel structures seem to display a termination of singularity, appearing as an instrument once suited for strange economic development as well as a reserve for the imagination.

Framed as vessels for memory, objects can embody a supporting role for the mind. Yet Reus inverses the relation, creating objects and structures that intimate for themselves any manner of psychological and emotive qualities independent of our own feelings for them. As elaborate scaling instruments, the “Hwael” appear to demand preservation, their frameworks trimmed with incisor-like thorns; hung carapaces are adorned with autographs or wood veneer marquetry: a cross between backpacks and domestic boiler tanks. Cryptic ornamentation evolves: glyphs and graphemes proliferate; sketchy embroideries snake down straps that trail to the floor; lemon, aubergine, and white weights restore some innate balance; a plaque features a hand holding an egg to the sky; sulfurous doorknobs host teal signage; a molten trainer resides inside one carapace chamber. Indicating customization and conservation, they hint at the object-as-souvenir, the possessive aesthetics of personalization, and the symbols of repair manuals. Elements suggestive of personal possession imply the conventions of externalizing selfhood that, when addressed to objects, serve as vain attempts to domesticate the beast. Disentangled from anthropocentrism, ornament appears elemental to the object. Their excess is intrinsic.

The “Hwael” works communicate a masculinity that distinguishes itself as pure projective force. In this sense they invoke the structure of seduction itself, belonging to the order of artifice, ritual, and signs; seduction eliminates discipline that aims at meaning and finality. Seduction is the puckered envelope but never its content. The “Hwael,” then, demonstrate speculation.

Reus often produces in series, and this repetition with difference reinforces the possibility of an object’s lineage. The “Sentinel” series (2017) demonstrates the need for seasonal maintenance. Reminiscent of fire hoses, each “Sentinel” features a length of embroidered cotton webbing, each with a small plaque depicting a different matchbox design similar to Norwegian Nitedals. Cross-punched tickets are attached, indicating a monthly performance check.

Reus is adept at demonstrating the impression that objects reserve ontology of their own. Each sculpture is rendered to acute specification, becoming an emblem of bountiful and mutable industry in materials such as aluminum, resin, cotton, felt, and Jesmonite. Ultimately, one might consider this entire space an arena. From the matte chocolate industrial floor, the embroideries of gymnasium floor plans, to the wooden scoreboards and athlete’s autographs, competition is prevalent. Exquisite and exploitative, industrial production is a complex sport. It is an exercise in which audiences and users are made habitually codependent on silent devices and invisible systems; we may only harness a sense of control by servicing them, by crossing each box.

by Alex Bennett

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Lunch at the Art Fairs / New York

The publication section of The Armory Show boasted the best view of any of the three spring art fairs in New York. Installed in an arm of Pier 92 suspended over the Hudson River, visitors were greeted with floor-to-ceiling windows that provided a rare, uninterrupted panorama of the river and sky further south. The section also hosted a pop-up lunch canteen from wellness bakery chain Chloé, which is where I purchased a slice of matcha-chocolate babka.

Pier 92 was transformed into the ideal place to take my lunch by an inopportune snowfall on opening day, and I slowly pried apart the gnarled layers of the decadent, convoluted pastry while watching the heavy snowfall cascade into the water and disappear. My mouth buzzed like I had touched my tongue to a nine-volt battery: the tannic sensation of matcha laying the groundwork for a succulent jolt of chocolate. The hybrid pastry was nearly electric.

That I forgot I was sitting in the middle of a mundane trade fair was the exact outcome I had hoped for. This spectacle of art and commerce, though mysterious to outsiders and idealists, epitomizes the doldrums of endless cubicles and glazed bricks the color of diner coffee. The food really helps, and this year, my own last-ditch means of engagement found my critical attention directed toward the restaurants and catering at Armory, Independent, and NADA. Rounding out my experience at Armory was Italian fine dining establishment Il Buco. VIP ticket holders had the option to reserve a table in a private lounge, but considering that my budget consisted of what I was willing to pay out of pocket, I kept it to lunch. My take-out salami sandwich was, in fact, satisfying. The cured meat was as unctuous as the focaccia it was served on, and both were balanced out with the sour edge of goat cheese. Sadly, though, there would be no champagne to wash it down.

A kind of masochism underscored my writing enterprise, the particulars of which were only confirmed by Independent’s dismal food offerings. Like attending the fairs in the first place, eating at them was perfunctory. It was only hunger that forced down my entire twelve-ounce portion of minestrone soup. It included an entire bay leaf, the thorny flavor of which bypassed my tongue and stung straight at my throat. Independent may not be to blame. Spring Studios, which hosts the event, likely mandated their in-house catering service, Spring Place. But imagine if every misguided attempt at fanciness came off like an allergic reaction. Poppy’s, the only catering service Independent seemed to have been responsible for, offered a good gluten-free brownie near the exit.

A sensible ploughman’s lunch was available at each venue, belying an awareness of the mundane needs of small gallery entrepreneurship: it provided something to snack on to all who worked those marathon days alone. For my final stop at NADA New York, at Skylight Clarkson, I went with the stalwart vegetarian option, a wrap. Little more than a calorie delivery system, creamy feta lent weft to the watery texture of two handfuls of spinach, and four squirts of olive tapenade provided enough of a condiment to credibly call the whole concoction a sandwich. A raspberry linzer torte offered a practical dessert pairing, though refusing to get any of its powder sugar garnish anywhere near my clothes, I ate it ostentatiously craned over a low-slung standing table. My final lunch only confirmed to me that I could have gotten by at all of the fairs on a single Diet Coke each (three total on the weekend). The only beverage I purchased, in my hand it felt like an old friend. Besides, who needs the calories at an art fair?

by Sam Korman

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