Sunday 30 September 2007

Art Under the Bridge

I have just come back from Dumbo, hanging out on the street with whoever the hell I met, and making impromptu art installations on the hoof and having a gorgeous conversation at the end on a grassed-over sidewalk right on the edge of Brooklyn.

Dumbo is right up the arse of Manhattan. It's an interesting neighbourhood. This weekend is open house in all the studios. Art festival. You can feel the edge of money meeting art. Razor, that one. I wasn't long there but I found some amazing places, good places. I fell in love again, with a neighbourhood. Just hung out and goofed off, talkin, talkin, writin. I was off the train about five minutes and dancing to Stevie Wonder on my iPod at full tilt volume, when I got to the bridge.

Took out my earphones and felt the rhythm of the train screech sixty feet above. It's a magnificent architecture. The whole neighbourhood is magnificent looking, in a totally different style to Prospect Heights. I think that shift alone was really refreshing, but then suddenly I found myself upstairs in a loft grooving to some rocknroll for a tune, and then standing out in a vacant space that reminded me of A-huset, the multi-artist warehouse megablock I lived in for a year in Koebenhavn.

Three boys were standin there, smoking a grass joint rolled in a cigar tobacco leaf. They called me over and we jived for 20 minutes or so. It was intense. One of them did kung fu to show off a bit, and he was really very good at the kung fu, but it was also a bit bizarre. They were turbo-smart kinds of boys, artists, full of money and high ideas, highly testosterised and American and young. I haven't actually been around that kind of men in a long time. Or maybe ever, really. I've been hanging out with middle aged guys lately, actually. And enjoying it a lot. Not old farts, divorced from life, but relaxed people right in the groove of life, at a different stage of it to me. So this was a totally different energy. Incredibly intense. Wild horses of men, these young ones, using their concepts and their arguments like upscale cheap come-ons. Fun.

So I was on my way to a party I never got to. There was a Prospect Heights crowd having a party there, but I had my hands full on the street.

I found a gorgeous spot under one of the arches of the bridge, and a spontaneous wolf call came out of me really fast. It was gorgeous to hear that echo. It's all blocked off with hoardings so you've really got to shout up into it. Everything you've got, you can offer to the arch under the Manhattan bridge and get cleaned of your sins. It was like church. There were two totally hip gorgeous party kids pissing in a corner and when they heard me they just came running. We had such fun. Pigs in muck. Fab.

Their boyfriends came to piss in the corner of the arch and I took pictures. One of them ran away fast. He used to curate the Brooklyn Museum, apparently. Another one was an incredibly styled punk, with diamante studded belts and various shades of soft toned hair, a kind of rhinestone cowboy punk. These people were gorgeous.

If Gwen Stefani had any sense, she'd look like you, I told the Venezuelan gal. She was a lot in the Gwen Stefani look, but totally hip with it. The other one was a gorgeous little sailor boy with a silver heart on a chain who had rips in his black jeans right up his arse.

We were incandescent, stood there calling whatever the hell came to us. Some fun ones. You know the Scooby Doo - "ya da da da da daaa! Puppy Power!" ? Yeah. And The Police's Roxanne. We all joined in on that one. Confessions came out really fast, too.

I confessed that I had once lived in a tent with a woman for two years. This place was like a wishing well, it was like the porthole of the universe right there on the absolute borderline between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Then we did the can can and laughed our arses off. The little sailor boy kept jumping up and down saying "yay! we're liberated! we're liberated!". The more classy society folks standing around stared at us like crack had just hit the neighbourhood.

I gave them two of my new batch of visiting cards and we parted ways.. I think I'm going to hang out there tomorrow from late afternoon, with a notebook and a visitors' guest book and camera and make sounds and see what happens in that arch under the Manhattan bridge, so if you read this in time and you're nearby and you're in the mood for some fun, come by and hang out. Introduce yourself, if I don't know you already. I'd love to meet you if you're reading.

And then I met Luisa. She's a film artist who's showing her work projected out on the water in the Brooklyn Bridge Park between the two bridges, this weekend. We found a grassed over sidewalk, kicked our shoes off, hung out on the grass and talked our arses off. I've made a new friend. She rocks.

Anyway, everybody being beautiful and all, I spotted a group sitting out in front of a warehouse and something in the style of their pose reminded me of an ad campaign and I said to Luisa, Calvin Klein. And wondered out loud, I wonder if I'm going to move here and become an advertising whore? Who knows? I really don't think so, I've got other fish to fry, but things move fast over here. The borderlines between art and money felt much fuzzier there than anywhere else I've ever been.

There is interesting shit happening in Dumbo, folks. Art reviews on the way, for a quieter moment.

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