Okay so that number doesn't equal dollars. We're far from rolling in it (and what we do take in goes to our writers), but I am very very proud to say The Weeklings, the site I co-founded with Greg Olear and Janet Steen and Sean Beaudoin, has hit a milestone in internet terms: One hundred thousand unique visitors a month. This is both a surprise and not (but is definitely a delight). Our visitor numbers climb each month. But, what is heartening or maybe surprising is that people want to read what we do, that in this our age of fast everything, people are interested in a site that does an essay a day, every day and nothing else. Just one essay. Montaigne is our hero and that idea of essayer, of attempting and exploring, is behind what we try to do. Every day.
For the March issue of Frieze, I write about the work of New Zealand artist Kate Newby, whose pieces can be radically slight – so small they can be easy to overlook. Through them she asks questions of us and art and what we notice. In fact one of my favorite pieces of hers I never got to see but only heard about. In a gallery in Auckland she gave the people working there little stones and charms she made (often cast from things she'd found, coins and nails) to keep in their pockets during the exhibition. They'd take the charms home at night and bring them back, so they lived with them and they became part of the attendants' daily lives. That was her contribution, part of life, something so small so insignificant, it could be overlooked. She also makes stones for her friends to skip in ponds and rivers, oceans and even swimming pools. The stones, made out of porcelain, disappear swallowed by the water, and that brings up the question, what was the art? The rock? The moment? The friendship? Below is an image of Drew skipping on of Kate's stones on Fogo Island where I first met Kate.
You can read a PDF of the piece here.
If she were a man, would we know who Isa Genzken had been married to? Or dated when she was a student? I doubt it, not for a master artist who over her careeer has produced several major bodies of work. But Genzken is a woman and MoMA sells her work using her biography and falls into the cliches that naturally might ensue. Still Isa Genzken is remarkable and you should know her name. Her take on the city and life – particularly NYC – is a triumph and transcendent. The first of two essay on Genzken this one for The Weeklings.
Amie Siegel made a documentary in reverse following furniture, almost a trade in exotic objects, from the homes of the wealthy-- yachts, townhouses in NY and London (including John Pawson's right at the very start) through to being photographed and auctioned off and ending up in Chandigarh where the chairs were part of a utopian city of the future, supposed to embody India's post-War promise. As part of the piece an art installation the film itself was auctioned off at Christie's in London. Thanks to a bit of luck I saw the film in NY and the auction in London and write here about the chairs, modernism and value (not to mention values) for both The Weeklings and Salon...
Marlene McCarty's work is beautiful and troubling. It has a can't-help-but-stare intensity. It deals equally in desire and anger, beauty and the family and how society inscribes rules. She was a member of Gran Fury and on my panel on AIDS and art and queer activism at Frieze. I also wrote about her for the November issue of the magazine, where I used Shulamith Firestone's The Dialectic of Sex and Angela Carter's The Sadeian Woman to talk about McCarty's mural-sized drawings and all their disturbing power.
And, the title above is not the title of the piece. I wanted it to be, only it was too long to fit in the magazine's grid. You can read a pdf of the essay here.