Damien Hirst, Flooded McDonalds and Other Delights!

End Of An Era

A Saturday or Sunday in Manhattan usually means one thing: Geoffrey and I will be having an Urban Adventure. It does not matter if it is freezing cold outside and the sidewalks are still crusted with snow and ice. We will bundle up and venture out onto the streets of New York to discover fun new things to experience here in our fair city, because that is how we roll. Our agenda today involved hitting the Gagosian Gallery uptown (Madison Ave and 77th) to check out the latest Damien Hirst exhibit, End of an Era.

The Hirst exhibit includes a diverse collection of the controversial artist’s paintings, sculptures and installations, and covers three full floors – very cool stuff! After tripping out at the Gagosian we traveled just a few blocks down Madison to the Whitney Museum, where only two floors are currently open due to preparation being underway for their upcoming Biennial. They still had a fun and varied collection of modern artworks that are worth seeing, and admission (though free for us) is reduced to just $8.00 while the Biennial installation is in progress.

The highlight of the day for me though was Flooded McDonalds, 20-minute film now showing at Chelsea’s Peter Blum Gallery (526 West 29 Street). Flooded McDonald’s is a film work by the Copenhagen based radical art collective Superflex, in which a convincing life-size replica of the interior of a McDonald’s restaurant – empty of any customers or staff – gradually floods with water. Assorted furniture and a life size plastic statue of Ronald McDonald bobs in the rising waters while trays of food and drinks start to float around, electric signage short circuits and eventually the space becomes completely submerged. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen, and definitely provides plenty of visual and cerebral fodder guaranteed to stimulate post-viewing conversation.

You can watch a 40 second clip of the film and see some cool production stills at this link, but if you can make it to the gallery to witness the splendor that is Flooded McDonalds in person on the big(ish) screen, it is so worth it. Also, on the way back down Tenth Avenue Patti Smith walked right by us, and Geoffrey managed to get a cool picture with her. Life is good.

Tomorrow we will celebrate not having dates on Valentine’s Day by sneaking into Mr Brainwash’s surprise show at a gallery somewhere in the Meat Packing District. Art!

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