Unfortunately, Deep Tanks has closed. For more than four years, this gallery/performance space has played a vital role in the arts life of New York City’s fifth borough. It was a showcase for local talent and artists from elsewhere in the city and beyond. It was a gathering point in which many new people were exposed to art, music and poetry. There were street fairs and many memorable shows and performances, some lasting deep into the night. Now it’s time for Deep Tank’s operators, Kristopher Johnson and Florence Poulain, to turn the page. They need to focus on their own work –Kris is an accomplished photographer (whom I highly recommend to photograph your art work) and Florence is a talented dancer , documentary film maker and visual artist. I felt privileged to have had two solo-shows at Deep Tanks and to have participated in several group shows. I was also invited to be part of the last show, curated by Kris. He choose 4 of my recent works, I added a small older one.
There was this:
The others were wall pieces. Kris wanted me to have a title for the entire wall. As usual, I found the right title only afterwards. It should have been: “O love, aren’t you tired of it yet?” That’s a quote from my favorite bard, L. Cohen (whom I once had the pleasure to interview, he was as courteous and patient as you would expect), specifically from his song “The Faith”, on the album “Dear Heather” in which he sings (if you can still call this singing):
“The blood, the soil, the faith
These words you can’t forget
Your vow, your holy place
O love, aren’t you tired yet?
A cross on every hill
A star, a minaret
So many graves to fill
O love, aren’t you tired yet?”
There were four works on this wall. On the left:
“Same player shoots again” Oil paint, pigments, copper and iron powder, blood, oxidizing acids on found objects .
The found objects that form the body of this piece are a bunch of game consoles from the early 1980’s, which someone, for reasons unknown to me, set on fire on a beach on Staten Island; and Halloween skeleton decorations, accidentally burned by myself in the fire of august 2009.
A closer look:
The piece in the middle:
After the war Oil paint, pigments, copper and iron powder, blood, oxidizing acids on found objects. 36″ high.
Here’s a detail.
The third one:
Editorial 1993 (2014) Oil paint, pigments, copper and iron powder, blood, oxidizing acids on bullet ridden offset plate of an editorial page of the New York Times, January 1993. 28 by 18 inches.
The story behind this piece: For many years, we had a cabin in the Catskills, on Dingle Hill. I love serendipity. In our first year in New York we made a fall foliage trip, which inspired me very much as you can see here. If you have never experienced a forest in the fall in a climate where the days are sunny and the nights frosty you don’t know what you missed. Too poor to stay at a motel, we spent the freezing night in our car, Jacky and Dante and me, huddled together, on Dingle Hill. The next morning we discovered that this was the site of a rent war in the 19th century, when poor farmers revolted against endless endebtment and shot the sheriff. And they shot the deputy too. All the farmers were gone by the time we got there, crab-apple trees and crumbing stone walls were the only vestiges of their passage. Several years later, Jacky found this cabin and bought it. We spent glorious times there. One of our far-away neighbors was a guy who worked at a print shop of the New York Times in New Jersey. He used an offset plate of a New York Times editorial page for shooting practice. When he moved out, I appropriated that offset plate and glued it to a table top. What struck me is how the the titles of the editorial comments, written in January 1993, were entirely appropriate for 2014. Look at it closer:
Finally, there was this:
Stop. Before it’s too late.
Thanks for visiting. The exhibitions and performances at Deep Tanks are being archived at Deeptanks.com