Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Yorkerland

(George Condo, The Beatnik, 1987, oil on canvas)

In Calvin Tomkins’s portrait of George Condo in this week’s New Yorker, you’ll read about the artist’s effective Cologne dealer; his few years in Paris living at a hotel and renting studios; a buddy named Basquiat; a mistake called the Pace Gallery (shoot!); confidence galore; fine taste (but not uptight!) and a good personality to boot. Ah, isn’t life in the New Yorker grand. And so well expressed, because when everything is in place, and well adjusted, you don’t need to be grandiose. You are all that you need.

In the Time’s moving review of a moving-sounding book called Twins by Allen Shawn, you’ll read that the author’s father was a “legendary” editor at the magazine. But the world created in its pages was a yoke in real life.
The Shawn home, with its emphasis (like The New Yorker’s) on discretion and decorum, magnified neuroses. […] [Their mother] even chaperoned [Allen Shawn’s] taste in music, "instituting a rule that I could only listen to one jazz record for every three classical ones."
I find myself striving to be a New Yorker living in New Yorkerland every week. It is my pleasure but also my side thorn. Last night, as I met the diamond at the end of the Condo essay, I wondered, as usual, "what exactly am I doing wrong?"

1 comment:

Mx Stevens said...

Maybe reading the New Yorker?