Yesterday evening Manhattan experienced quite a thunder storm. Lightning illuminated the sky and thunder claps could be heard even while in the subway. I spent the afternoon in midtown and later stood with throngs of others waiting for the rain to subside before exiting the Bleeker Street 6 train. Those who had been unexpectedly caught in the rain, descended the staircase into the underground with clothes plastered to their body and tips of hair glistening with drops of water. Once the thunder had slowed, I emerged and barely needed my umbrella. Walking down Bleeker towards The Hole, I caught a glimpse of artist Terence Koh and Vito Schnabel both clad in all white. Terence carried a long stem bouquet of white roses and Schnabel appeared both as companion and bodyguard.

 

Seeing the two made me realize I made the right decision by bypassing Chelsea in lieu of Soho and was both shocked an inspired by the damp crowd that spilled onto the street in front of the gallery. Entering the space, I immediately felt the wave of heat from the contained bodies and got on line for an iced coconut/pineapple/vodka drink . The exhibit titled “:)” is indeed quite smile inducing. The work has been installed both on the walls and floor, and as indicative from the short video above (excuse my shaky hand), the simple, graphic paintings are motorized and move within the space. I volleyed between giving attention to the work and also to the viewers present. Besides Terence Koh, I spotted artists Brad Kahlhamer, Kembra Pfahler and Chris Mendoza of Barnstormers fame.

:) and the evening were co-sponsored by Native shoes and the brand had also installed a pop-up shop in the front of the gallery space. After noticing several guests carrying shoe boxes I realized that they were giving them away but at that point it was too late and my size had been snatched up by others. The collaboration was visually perfect as the monochromatic rubber shoes have the same visual aesthetic as the paintings on the wall. There is an innocence brought forth by crayon colors, smiles and simple patterns. Believe it or not, this was my first opening at The Hole. Congrats to former Deitch directors Kathy Grayson and Meghan Coleman on their new gallery location, I look forward to future exhibits!

:), FriendsWithYou is on view until August 6th, 2011.

More soon!
xo