Parties in Chelsea

Yesterday was the first genuinely (i.e. not anomalously 70 in January) springlike day of the year, and Nurri had a serious agenda mapped out for it: something like eight or ten shows she wanted to see, at galleries strewn along the river from 19th to 26th.

We’ve spent enough time doing the Chelsea gallery crawl the last few years to know what we’ll encounter on such a Saturday: consummately self-absorbed well-heeled types with their accessory yap dogs, one or two gorgeous fixed-gear bikes, and if we’re very lucky, maybe even some memorable art.

We always remind ourselves to be more than satisfied if we’re blown away by even a single work in the course of such a crawl – same goes for the average museum show – and that ratio more or less held yesterday. In this case, the standout was Andreas Gefeller’s righteous Supervisions collection at Hasted Hunt, which struck us as both a witty riposte to another Andreas G. and as pretty awe-inspiring in its own right.

I also want to talk up the folks at Hasted Hunt for being so friendly and accessible and interested in talking about the work they had on their walls. My experience suggests that this is sadly atypical behavior for gallery staff…unless, of course, they scent a sale, in which case they’re suddenly all ears and flattery.

I wish more of ’em understood what so few clearly do, which is that the non-obvious patron engaged in conversation today is much more likely to be next year’s customer. As somebody who’s bought a decent amount of art in the past, and is always willing to consider doing so again, I sure do get tired of being treated like riff-raff. (Hopefully it’s clear that I’m not asking to be fawned over; my point is that nobody deserves to be dismissed like that.)

Anyway, top marks to Hasted Hunt on this count. You should swing by for no other reason than that they’ve mounted a great show, but you might keep in the back of your mind a recollection that these are the folks who get it.

That was an early high point, and while there were one or two other things that piqued our interest, the rest required the briefest of hygienic glances to cross them off the list. We refueled at one of our very favorite places in NYC, the garden at The Park, sampled some oaky Austrian wine at Appellation, and picked up Whiteley’s Reyner Banham at 192 Books before trooping home across 23rd.

And that’s what I call a great Chelsea Saturday.

4 responses to “Parties in Chelsea”

  1. james says :

    wish it wasn’t so through, but wear a suit and the staff fawns over me. wear carhart and you can see them worrying me to leave.

    what they can’t configure: the suit is my work clothes. its a situation that taught me a lot. an italian suit, a silk tie is something like superman. it fools most of the people some of the time.

    carhart? forget beuys flannel suit.

  2. speedbird says :

    This is true, but you’d have figured that they’d have evolved a better nose for the main chance. If the dotcom taught any lesson at all, it’s that a seven-figure net worth can easily walk through the door in surfer jams and flip-flops.

  3. WM Hunt says :

    Dear Speedbird,

    Thanks so much for the very, very nice mention for Hasted Hunt on your blog. I am afraid that Sarah Hasted and I and our crew, Mary and Zoe and Dimitiri actually try to be genuinely nice to people. It’s that cocker spaniel approach, bounding up to people and licking their faces. It surprises and disarms them.

    It was good to hear that someone noticed and liked it. It is our collective nature to be enthusiastic and outgoing.

    Also we believe in our artists, and that makes it a pleasure here. We are crazy about this Gefeller show.

    Come back again. Thanks.

    Regards, Bill Hunt

  4. Vidiot says :

    Wow, that Gefeller work just tweaks my pleasure center.

    And yeah, I’m tired of getting the brushoff within seconds of darkening a gallery’s door. Why do so many galleries act like they don’t want my business?

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