(UPDATED!!) Update/JC Museum drawing

September 15, 2007 at 1:37 pm (art, culture, drawing, interesting, life, painting, personal, thoughts)

Oh wow, the last week was a blur… and next week’s not going to be any better. One of the main things that’s really devouring my time is this print I’m making for Diane Villani Editions. It’s awesome – I get to go to Brooklyn and work with master printer Jennifer Melby, who seems to know absolutely everything under the sun about etching and aquatint. But it’s a steep learning curve for me, since I have literally never made an etching before. Jennifer’s there to help me and talk me through the process, but she can’t make the print for me – anytime anything needs to be done on the plate, she’ll explain to me what needs to be done but I’m the one to do it. So I’m sort of learning on my feet; a crash course in etching. Luckily I have the image totally worked out, so that part is easy. The print (or at least a proof of it) has to be ready by early November.

On another topic entirely…

There is this awesome bodega in JC where, if you give them $2, a man with a bandaged hand will come out from the back and take a large green coconut outside and put it on a tree stump they have conveniently placed in front of the store, and then hack away at it with a machete til it’s carved down enough that you can either just drink the juice or crack it open and get to the meat. I discovered a few months ago, much to my delight, that Whole Foods and other natural food stores have started carrying neatly packaged containers of coconut water (no cool guy with a machete, but it’ll do in a pinch). The stuff is delicious and I always get some energy out of it.

But it is of course my lot in life to feel at least a tiny bit guilty about everything, and so I found myself on line at Whole Foods recently wondering where the hell all these coconuts were coming from. Meaning, it seems that coconut water is the hot new food and so production of the stuff must be through the roof, but coconuts don’t grow overnight. What the hell?

Likewise, I found myself happily sipping a smoothie from One Lucky Duck (holy GOD – if you haven’t been there, you must go immediately… it’s incredible), wondering what exactly a Goji berry is. I’m sure it’s really good for you and it’s completely definitely delicious (One Lucky Duck is one of those places where even if you told me all the food was made from lard and preservatives, I would continue to eat there because it’s just that damn good). But it’s some rare Himalayan berry, right? And it’s another one of these “hot” foods. So how do you suddenly 20x the production of something like a rare Himalayan berry?

Ok, so these are all basic sustainable argiculture questions, but it leads me to this: I think I’m going to make my 22′ drawing for the JC Museum more or less about food. I’ve become totally fascinated in how obsessed we are all about food – how in NYC in particular, what you eat is your identity. No one in NYC eats simply because they like a particular food. Everyone eats to make a statement and to draw a line in the sand about what they believe in. I can’t help but find this practice to be futile and ridiculous, and yet I do it too.

So… yeah. So the drawing is going to be something about food and politics, food and the environment, food and personal experience, food and me. I’ll have to see where it goes (I really don’t believe in narrowing down what a piece is about too much before I’ve been working on it for a while) but this seems like a good way to start.

UPDATE:…. I’m looking for volunteers to help me work on the drawing this coming Friday somewhere at SVA (exact location TBA). I need you, your wrist muscles, and a pair of scissors to come and help me cut the 39480283409288 collaged elements that will be needed to finish this damn thing. Bring all of these on Friday at 7pm and I will feed you pizza! YES! Get in touch with me and I’ll send you details.



  1. Andrew Thornton said,

    What a fascinating idea! I love food. I dream about it all day. What to eat later… what would be good to eat… what I ate earlier… what I would like to eat but can’t afford to get (insert most of the Dean & Deluca catalogue)… what’s in season… or what new inventive things I can whip up in the kitchen. It doesn’t help that I get cooking magazines (edible Brooklyn, Food Everyday, Saveur, or if I can find it this Australian food magazine called Delicious), watch cooking shows (pretty much whatever is on Food Network including Nigella Bites, Tyler’s Ultimate, and Naked Chef to name a few), and don’t forget the cookbooks and catalogues from purveyors of fine foods and epicurean experiences.

  2. amywilson said,

    See, this is one of the reasons why I’m so glad we don’t have cable… I don’t know any of the TV shows you’re talking about. I’m sure they’re great and if we did have cable, I’d be watching them all the time! The PBS cooking shows are beyond boring. RIP Julia Child.

  3. kurt said,

    eating trash is so hot right now.

  4. Andrew Thornton said,

    I used to watch the PBS cooking shows when I was a little kid. While my contemporaries were watching action-packed cartoons, I was chilling in front of Julia stuffing cornish hens and patting the chickens like baby bottoms. There used to be a couple of really good ones. Like there was this old man who did Cajun cooking. He’d complain about people who used wooden spoons and bragged about how he didn’t need measuring spoons. He didn’t. I also remember Michael Yan. “YAN CAN COOK!” Boy could he chop vegetables. I once tried to cut vegetables like him and cut my finger. I don’t think I’ve bled in the kitchen that much since the time I fell on my face. Oh, and did you ever watch the Frugal Gourmet? I never really thought of his stuff as Frugal, but I did enjoy watching it even if he was being accused of sexual abuse from his staff. I didn’t realize that he had died awhile back.

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