Amsterdam Avenue: 42nd to 103rd

July 22nd, 2009 § 2 comments

I have great faith in remembered images, as visual impressions tend to define my reality, though I fully acknowledge that remembered images, and certainly my remembered images, are often more unreliable and subjective than memories. The premise of many artworks, arguments, songs, stories, etc., however, must be based on real events that have been misremembered to such an extent that they have become separate stories. Many of my series have been based on a misremembering of some kind, but because inspirations are not obligated to follow the rules of accuracy, I enjoy investigations based on little more than a mental picture, a conglomerate of different memories, that I am completely convinced I didn’t create.

new york city

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Published-Roxy on the Roof

June 19th, 2009 § 0 comments

Certainly not the second review I have written, but my second review for Whitehot is published! Here is the link to the article, and here is my neon picture on the cover. Questions, comments, concerns?

Roxy_Paine

Train Dichotomies

April 30th, 2009 § 2 comments

“I’m sitting in the railway station, got a ticket for my destination…”

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Other than an old steamer crossing the Atlantic, trains, being much older than the road, might be the most romantic form of travel, and one that remains completely overlooked in this country, romantically and practically. European trains, with stations older than our historic buildings, live up to their myth, and each kind—overnight sleepers, cheap locals chugging through the Spanish desert, efficient bullets whipping between Berlin and Munich, excessively expensive rides through the Channel—exudes a certain stereotype of travel, each appeals to a certain class of passenger. I cling to the notion that traveling poor is the best way to see the underside of travel, as wealth is too warm and insulating. A French flight attendant, walking me through a snoring first class on a flight to Paris, laughingly told me, “it’s a different world up here!” When he brought a first class meal with silver wear and dessert, I had to admit it was. Trains, like buses, are more affordable (or ought to be), and therefore attract a different kind of traveler; most people do not pick the slowest way to their destination because they harbor romantic ideas about trains and passing scenery, but because of price.
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A Young Company

April 23rd, 2009 § 0 comments

I vividly remember the first time I saw Netherlands Dance Theater perform, a truly amazing European dance company that travels too little in the U.S. The experience eviscerated my then teenage conception of “proper” dance, believing that traditional dance, or even worse that traditional ballet, was the apex we were universally training toward. Ballet teachers encourage their students to believe that those who choose companies outside the realm of ballet are settling due to a lack of talent. It always seemed odd that the dancers talented enough to learn the movements while granting them a unique life and character, were drawn toward “modern” companies. NDT dancers are not simply good dancers, they are the very best kind of dancers; precise artists who happen to use their bodies to express conceptual ideas. The style of the company is more lyrical and conceptual than Taylor’s, the choreography tends to be balletic rather than athletic, and the stories are conceptual rather than narrative.

All forms of dance consume (destroy) the body long before you would like, aging normally seems traumatic enough, and another interesting aspect of NDT is that they house not one company but three—NDT is the original, NDT II is for the young, and NDT III for the elderly—and each company serves different functions. Looked at cynically or practically, young companies usually exist to feed preferred dancers into the main group, and an elderly troupe is perhaps like Las Vegas is to singers; where dancers go to die. Thought about a little more creatively, however, three companies pulled from three different age brackets parallels people themselves at different ages; everyone has something a little different to offer. Thinking specifically of performers, the young can offer an energy and exuberance that age tempers, those in their absolute prime can offer a kind of athletic human perfection, and older performers are seasoned and experienced; they don’t make the mistakes you predict in others.

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Ghosts & Sentinels

April 13th, 2009 § 1 comment

I am still amazed to discover daylight to spare after coming home from work, as it seems a magical trick performed by the promise of the warmer weather to come. Arriving home from work recently, I decided it was the perfect evening for a dusk meander.

Inwood

It seemed to be a warm, tranquil night that many were taking advantage of, and it was mostly couples I passed as I followed the winding, upward path toward the Cloisters. Benches were filled with secluded, though openly visible, couples waiting for the sunset or kissing and ignoring the sunset instead. I suppose when you are alone it is natural to pay more attention than usual to those around you. Shrunken elderly ladies in twos and threes slowly plodded along the garden paths, and a few families with children played on the flat and somewhat green lawns. Men ran or walked alone with their dogs, most circled so that as I stood and watched the sun disappear, its yellow reflection lingering in the river, I saw the same pairs of man and beast pant past.

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