“…asshole” hissed the woman toward our backs as we’ve exited the area marked for VIPs, marked with nothing but her insinuation that it was just such an area and we were violating the boundaries, which were, just moments ago a part of the exhibition, judging by the casual inflow and outflow of people attending the Aaron Young opening at Bortolami. She had made her case, while teetering on high heels, quite clear by saying, “I’m the owner of the gallery,” and knitting her eyebrows some more into an eyebrow-knitting shape, “this is reserved for friends of the artist.” Then, as we’ve made our way out, she unfolded her flag and let it hit the ground with that remark directed toward my friend, who I’ll just call Mark, for the purpose of anonymity.
In the back room were mostly friends of Aaron Young, those are in groups: dressed in motorcycle gear arriving in their BMWs, the hooded, unshaven skateboarders, lumbering girls in heels, matrons of the arts trying to keep their tans separate from their histories, the patrons in the yacht jackets who offer their opinions on absolutely everything and never buy a thing, the gallery friends wearing blazers and jeans. A terrified James Franco, shooting please save me looks to anyone within his age range to escape the matron/patron conversations, missing the professional touch of explicating from a schmoozing conversation, once it turns dour.
Around the gallery, was also the artist’s work, some of it executed so perfectly as to have my Russian party remark that it must’ve been made by a team of people. Sculptures of children (boys) in slumped poses focused on their gameboys or cell phones, meaning to suggest something abject: the end of innocence’s ability to provide a short buffer against the nonsensical movement of programmed information. Tablets with four world couplets: “Tear Fear Beer Here”. The tablets and the sculptures made of bare concrete, something cheap; compared to Fernando Mastrangelo’s Felix, which was made out of cocaine to underscore the idea brilliantly; they were bland. Innocence lost is a timeless theme to lose; seeing Terry Richardson giggle and say anything about Picasso takes out the wit that was opened with the Jasper Johns’ references in the folded flag pieces in the main room of the gallery.
The only thing I’ve learned from this is that the worst of the art world is still the same as it was, and that just burns my heart, as I still, in an understandably confused state, expect art openings to be a similar experience to reading the first lines from a novel, touching, unique, well-formed and something that’s not insulting.