Art in New York

Xquisite Corpse Act One - Today by Mirena Rhee

Xquisite Corpse Act One - Today

As part of Xquisite Corpse Act One I wore a white canvas dress on the streets of Manhattan and asked New Yorkers from all walks of life to write me a message. From the delivery guy on East 51st street, people waiting to be seated for lunch on the Upper East side, the doormen of Radio City hall, patrons waiting for their limousines at the Art Fairs, to the amazing person who literally dragged me inside the Armory Show, to visitors of Scope - New York, to a bar on 6th ave, to the cashier at Trader Joe's on 23rd street.. In 15 languages and almost 200 messages, we wrote the poem of our collective subconscious and I called it Today. Thus, the Xquisite Corpse Poem was written and Xquisite Corpse Act One was complete. 

I took the term Xquisite Corpse quite literally. With Corpse meaning “body”, as in physical structure, with the root of the word going back to Latin corpus “body".
This work is about the body, the body as a landscape, and whatever surrounds the body, the reality that surrounds the body, also as a landscape. As the body swims through reality it makes wakes and it changes it in someway.

Click to see the Xquisite Corpse Statement…..

The most important thing an artist have to tend to in their career is their heart and soul by mirena

I had such a punch in the stomach at Delacroix at #TheMet , I will be coming back many times, truly felt the super powers of art. Incredible one in a life time exhibition, and I have never been a Delacroix fan before. The most important thing an artist have to tend to in their career is their heart and soul.

Today is a windy day in New York city and i am not doing the installation I planned, it is going to be essentially kites blowing in the wind day. So it is back to basics day, i go over some ideas, i look into my favorite philosophers, art history and think about the ideas and the books and the work i will make.

Artwork is being wrongly described by medium – art is the heart and the soul of the artist coming through a medium.

Throughout history artists have been involved in some sort of shenanigans, whether happenings, parties, studio 54s and factories, down the rabbit holes, insane asylums, Pacific islands, ideas, ideologies, fights for freedoms and rights, there’s always some sort of writhing which always accompanies the gardening of the soul. Transcending reality just like escaping gravity, needs super power of some kind, a burst, a bomb, a will, and a lifetime of all of the above.

Here in this Delacroix self-portrait you can see said power for yourself.

@metmuseum #art #artnyc #themet #delacroix #metmuseum #expodelacroix #old masters

Portrait de l'artiste Delacroix Eugène (1798-1863) Paris, musée du Louvre

More on what the Silicon Valley gave me by mirena

Work in the valley gave me an an unlimited travel budget, in addition to a hunger to find the best players in what I considered my field. My field was art and through interactions with other artists and research on my own I decided to focus on the top players in my field, and study their work in person.  

So I went to London and went through the National Gallery as well as the Portrait Gallery and other museums, not sure what my top artist was there but a lot of Renaissance. I went to Paris to study the impressionists, my visit to Musée d'Orsay changed my entire attitude and changed the way I look at art. Until that point I had not much respect for impressionism. After that point I gained much respect for both impressionism and art, and got a glimpse of what a profound change in seeing involves.

With this newly gained perspective i started looking at Van Gogh. I went to Amsterdam and the Hague and in addition to Van Gogh looked at Rembrandt, Bruegel and the Northern Renaissance. I discovered Vermeer in person - I was running through a gallery at closing time and arrived, almost out of breath, at one of his smaller paintings. I was stunned and this small painting took my last breath away.

Anyway - back to Paris I resumed studying with sculpture and painting, and started studying Picasso and Dali. I continued my education on Picasso and Dali in Madrid, where there are three major museums stuffed with the best the world can offer in terms of painting, including Goya, and Hieronymus Bosch. My interest in Bosch came after I got acquainted with surrealism, and his work as a sort of a predecessor, the first surrealist.

Now big impact on my consciousness was of course Rome and Florence. The Vatican museums and the Uffizi produced in me growth equal in its intensity to that of going to the moon. I stared at the Botticelli and other pre-Renaissance for hours on end. Most impact on me in Rome was produced by the sculptures in the Vatican museum, and by the work of Michelangelo. Later i saw Bernini in person as well - I spent a whole day with his sculptures at Galleria Borghese.

With all this newly acquired knowledge and new standards I started spending more time in New York and the galleries there. I was flying on weekends to see the major museums, including MOMA and the Whitney. Modern art entered my consciousness, with the solid backing of old art.

And here I will pose for a minute, because art has and will always be at the forefront of what I consider worthy of thought. But there is another thing I discovered, which is a school of thought which dealt with how we see the world, and it had little, if anything to do with art.

I went to Japan, and in a summer I spent time in several temples of the Rinzai school of Zen in Kyoto. Sitting on the mats somewhere in Arashyama, surrounded by ponds and zen gardens, I was struck by lightning. Her I found, I saw and felt, the ultimate efficiency and beauty of simplicity. I saw and felt the effects of Zen and later on adopted that outlook for my life.

What did the discovery of Zen mean? It meant that on my return to America I started seeing how much time and resources we expend on things that fill our rooms and our environment. I remember a conversation with someone about their experience with a seventy thousand dollar kitchen in Westchester. Imagine the amount of pressure and resources that would take to cut up a simple salad. it's like having dinner and dragging a locomotive behind.

When I think of dinner - i imagine going to the fruit stand guy on the corner, having an avocado, a few tomatoes, fruit, eating it in a park or in a nice public space somewhere in Manhattan and using the rest of the time and resources to have fun and enjoy the company of family and friends, of galleries, museums and theaters, libraries if you want, of which our city abounds.

To sum it up and to circle back to the title I gave to this post - I had the piece of mind and resources to study what mattered to me without the pressure to produce immediate results and act on the so gained knowledge, and to expand my outlook on the world and find a set of beliefs and standards for life that struck a chord with me.

A Great night in Chelsea by mirena

One of the greatest things about art is not just the fact it pleases us but it transcends everyday life. No one wants a life mundane and ordinary, so mundane and ordinary art is short lived. I am not saying a goat has a meaningful place in art, i am saying art is bigger than life and large enough to fit anything, with enough will. Thursday nights in Chelsea are one of the best nights in the city in terms of energy and crowd.  Everyone is back in the city and everyone loves to hang out in a beautiful and fun environment with like minded people. I had a blast and looking forward to more shows, and more art. Because ultimately art saves us - imagine we may be the only creatures in the universe that do it.


EMINENT DOMAIN Exhibition - organized by Scotto Mycklebust by mirena

An epic eminent art party and exhibition Scotto Mycklebust threw at 524 West 26th in New York. The work I liked was by a Pakistani artist - painting on carpets and performance with a shroud made of bullet casings. The work is about the particular types of violence we practice in the US which is school shootings and other targeted decimations like the Orlando massacre. In Pakistan, violence is what they refer to as "honor killings".

Violence is very popular and practiced widely in the world today, although on a very human level we  all agreed it is completely senseless. Violence, although completely absurd, is very popular today for three reasons:

  1. it is very profitable and
  2. allows for complete control of another human being or an entire state
  3. it is easy

Because you do not need hard work or study, or the labors of love, because love is difficult. Violence and guns, on the other hand, are cheap and easy.  All you have to do is wave a gun and you are instantly in control of another human being and their entire world. No need for labor, no need of any sort of skill - these days in the US even toddlers kill people, inadvertently.

Practicing non violence is very difficult, labor and love intensive, and deadly.

Just look at the lives or Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, both bringing dramatic changes to the world. Because killing is easy and non-violence very difficult because requires talking, love, sharing - all the hard things.





Jackson Pollock MTA by mirena

In the greatest city in the world art just happens :) New York's MTA - Metropolitan Transportation Agency which is in charge of the subway is making art too. Currently the MTA is under a lot of pressure and this took place at the Columbus Circle subway station around 11pm. The workers probably thought I am photographing them to complain. Nothing of that sort.

Pollock's famous painting just a few blocks away: .