Baa Baa Gas Station

We saw a sheep installation at a Chelsea gas station but first we should mention David Ryan’s show at Galerie Richard. It was funny because the gallery typist, who turned out to be the director, started waxing on about how the artists’ work concerned layers of dreams stacked up against other layers of dreams. “Do you like to dream?” he asked us with a loopy grin. We all love the bullshit gallery people dispense. Anyway, the work was like Jean Arp on acid with brightly colored panels that look like they were made with one of those vacuum pump toy sets you had as a little kid that were made by Kenner or somebody like that. Some useful information we did find out was that Ryan first draws his work in Illustrator ( a computer program) and then has it constructed out of a high density plastic material.The sides of the work are layered and the whole work acts like a puzzle piece like in the game Jango. His titles are wacky with coordinates of places on earth and cryptic references to who knows what.

Then we walked around the corner and to see the gas station that used to be on 9th avenue and 24th street. We always hate gas stations in Manhattan because they charge these high prices, they don’t ever clean your windshield and you have to pay through tiny irregular hole in a scarred, thick plastic window. It was night by the time we turned the corner.The gas station was well lit even though it seemed totally abandoned. Surprise! Now the gas pumps are surrounded by rolling hills and a sheep farm. Grazing sheep look out in a curious manner. “You looking at me, pal?” A white fence encloses the bucolic scene protecting the artwork from both circling taxis and a curious public. We were looking for a gallery or museum guard but none was to be found. If this was  installed in a gallery we would have just passed by. Being out in public seems to do the trick and makes it the project so much more interesting. The installation is the work of Michael Shvo and the Paul Kasmin Gallery. Go see it. But fill up beforehand.

Artworld Confidential welcomes the writer and artist Tom McManus.

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