With a shared eye for the unusual and spectacular, Kelsey Bennett and Heather Morgan dive deeply to unearth the pearls of the city. As though escorting you on a road trip to discover the oddities of our metropolis, Bennett and Morgan shine light on artists, musicians, and events which need to be seen.

Monday, November 15, 2010

OCD: The Art of Obsession

Astral Massachusetts, Jesse McCloskey

"Cut and paste, cut and paste, that's all I do all day," muses artist Jesse McCloskey. Then there was Olek, who sits and watches movies while crocheting her pieces for countless hours at a time, a bottle within reach, maybe some snacks and cigarettes. Finally we heard from Florent Morellet, famed not only for his meatpacking district restaurant of a bygone time, but also for his meticulous map renderings. Were we in the dayroom of a madhouse? On the anxiety couch? No! We attended a Dialogue in the Visual Arts Program sponsored by BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center and moderated by gallerist, Christopher Henry.

Empty Lichen, Florent Morellet

Intensity, earnestness have seemingly gone out of style in the age of "idea" art and the coronation of irony and cynicism. But not for these three. It was refreshing to hear artists speak passionately of their unshakeable belief in systems that are eccentric and obsessive. Florent, who has been creating amazingly detailed maps of great cities of his imagination by hand for thirty years, had the audience rapt with a story of a great failure of city planning in the time of aristotle.

Obsession makes for charming discourse. But best of all, is that such work in which skilled hands are evident, speaks for itself.

Above, detail of Olek's work

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