All week, I had been looking forward to Luisa Caldwell's show in Williamsburg at the b. conte boutique. I first interviewed Luisa before I knew her--around eight years ago--for our respective kids' elementary school's newsletter, but now since Luisa's kid graduated, our paths don't cross, and our lives are pretty parallel. And I hate the structural things that take you away from people.
I have long admired Luisa. It's difficult--to say the least--to have an art career anywhere, but New York is probably one of the tightest places an artist can live and work: rents are outrageous and the competition is amped and fierce; the New York artist is in fact, competing with the world. But Luisa is tenacious. She gets noticed and she gets stuff done.
I love Luisa's art. Her central medium--what she has been working with for years--is the ephemera of the produce department: fruit stickers. She makes the quotidian beautiful, radically re-contextualizing what is so familiar that we don't give the humble fruit sticker a second's thought as we peel and discard. But she makes us look at them, gives them a second astounding, exuberant, sumptuous and permanent life.
(She's also made candy wrappers luminous and spiritual.)
Tonight she was exhibiting her work on rescued materials, and she had lined them up like an "architectural frieze" (she told me) above a rack of summer frocks in a boutique. The opening itself was a lot of fun, with a little bluegrassish duo. The live band element actually reminded me of an opening at the old Deitch Projects in Soho.
I really do need to get out more, like Luisa. I hope to be less parallel with her again soon. (Luisa's show is up until May 23rd!)