Wednesday, October 6, 2010


oil kills poets spill
Organized by Stefan Bondell
The sun shone at the East Village's verdant secret Marble Cemetery, as poets and literary lovers gathered  

Stefan Bondell and Rene Ricard

John Giorno

Terrence Koh

Rene and Terrence


Anne Waldman

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Women: Inspiration and Enterprise 20th September 2010

Donna Karan at WIE Symposium
The first WIE Symposium, hosted by Sarah Brown, Ariana Huffington and Donna Karan, gathered 300 women, including world famous faces, political leaders, women from fashion, entertainment, and business, and young women from New York, Africa and Asia. Coinciding with the United Nations General Assembly, WIE focuses on improving worldwide womens and childrens healthcare. The fantastic art exhibition, curated by Pace Gallery director Nicola Vassell featured a dozen contemporary women artists. Yoko Ono's piece, two blank canvases, arrived with instructions for women to write memories of their mothers.

Queen Raina of Jordan 

Nora Ephron, Elizabeth Banks and Christy Turlington Burns

Lorna Simpson

Rachel Feinstein
Carolee Schneeman
Yoko Ono's piece being created by a WIE participant
Mom Love curated by Yoko Ono

Sukkah City, September 16 2010

From the desert to Union Square, the ancient Jewish tradition of an impermanent structure made of natural materials was re-interperted by a dozen contemporary international architects. With the abundant Farmers
Market as neighbor, these city Sukkahs truly celebrated a holiday of hospitality and harvest.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

WALLA WALLA WONDERLAND: Jim Dine's Washington Studio

An interview with Jim Dine
by Ilka Scobie

"I’m just a lone wolf," says Jim Dine. Dinner is being prepared at his house in the Blue Mountain foothills of Walla Walla, Washington, which he shares with his wife, the photographer Diana Michener. Other guests include two printmakers, Ruth Lingen from New York and Julia D’Amaro from California, along with Jim’s assistant and wife, Jason and Crista Treffry. We sit down to a delicious meal of roast chicken, tomato and onion salad -- onions being Walla Walla’s most famous crop -- and Dine’s own Jerusalem artichoke puree.
Often grouped with the Pop artists -- and it is not an association he relishes -- Jim Dine (b. 1935) has been a creative force in the art world since the 1960s. His current projects include a show of new prints at Alan Cristea Gallery in London in April 2010, a show at William Shearburn in San Francisco in July, a major survey of sculptures at the Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids in January 2011 and a show at Pace Gallery later that year.
Jim and Diana lead a fairly nomadic life, and we first met at their newly renovated West Village home, a former carriage house that dates from 1860. In winter they regularly travel to Paris and Germany, and when we spoke they had just returned from a month of working in India. "I try to choose places I am comfortable in," Dine said. "India is fabulous and horrible. I completed 20 watercolors and Diana drew all day."
In Walla Walla, Jim maintains several studios. The town boasts an exceptional fine-arts foundry, and Dine’s work here has changed the town itself, which now has his large bronze sculptures adorning the streets (along with works byDeborah ButterfieldTom Otterness and Kiki Smith as well).
Part of our interview took place in one of Dine’s studios, where he, Ruth and Julia were working on an eight-color woodcut series. Jim then brought me first to his painting studio, and then to a sculpture studio filled with carved Pinocchios in various incarnations. There he inspected their Douglas Fir bodies for imperfections, and checked his sculpture The Technicolor Heart

that was being retouched with enamel paint before being returned to a collection in Salt Lake City.
Ilka Scobie: How long have you had the New York house?
Jim Dine: In the last 20 years I have always lived in SoHo or Tribeca, or here in the Village. I mean I have lived in this house for 12 years, so I prefer this neighborhood.
IS: Do you have children?
JD: Do I have children? Together we have five. I have three sons. We have 12 grandchildren, so that’s really why we come here, we just see all the kids, you know. Everybody is in New York.
IS: Are any of your kids artists?
JD: Well, more or less. One is a glassblower, one’s an architect and one’s a photographer. . . so yeah, they are artists.
IS: And how long have you and Diana been married?

JD: Five years. We’ve been together 20.
IS: And how is it to work with Pace?
JD: I’ve been there since ’76, a quarter of a century. The people there are helpful and I use the infrastructure well. It’s been a good relationship for both of us.
IS: Do you think of yourself as part of an artistic community?
JD: Do I? Oh no. Not really.
IS: And what about when you were younger.
JD: Not as much as a lot of other people did.
IS: Why is that?
JD: Probably some social disaffection. I always got along better with poets. Now most of the ones I knew are dead, so I don’t have a lot of people to talk about poetry with.
IS: Which poets are you close to?
JD: Well I was very good friends with Robert Creeley and Kenneth Koch. I’ve known them for a long time
IS: What do you think of the state of the art world now?
JD: I really don’t know what to tell you because I am not very involved. You know, I do what I do. I am 75 years old I am not going to change what I do, you know? I am just trying to get better.
IS: What are you working on now?
JD: Well there’s a group of things. One is I am carving a new group of Pinocchios in Walla Walla. I started last year, my assistant out there, he’s a great carver and I leave him with drawings on the wood and he roughs them out and I finish it, I put on the legs and the arms and set the poses.
I am also working on a big cycle of paintings and using a lot of material in the paint, and we are making a book of Pinocchio lithographs. It’s 24 portraits, and I’ve made 24 poems to go with them. We’ll publish it in Paris, because my printer is there, and though it’s published in English the printer has already sold his lot to French collectors. The French collect books. It’s not a great tradition here.
IS: Absolutely. Poetry is not really popular.
JD: You know I was a bad boy in school primarily because I couldn’t read well, because I’m dyslexic. And the only thing I could read was poetry till I was 22 and I started to read novels. But you know, poetry kept me in the world of language.

IS: What are the things that currently inspire you?
JD: Recently I have been listening to Indian music. My wife and I just stayed for a month in Delhi, not traveling but working, and I was able to go to concerts three times a week of really first-rate musicians. And that is very moving, it’s something that grabs you primordially. Plus, you know, I continue reading.
IS: Does the music translate into visual effects?
JD: No, not specifically. I would not know how to do that. Oh, I’ll tell you something else that inspired me. I went to the Musée Maillol in Paris, set up by Dina Vierny, and there was this drawing by Pablo Picasso in the permanent collection, a drawing of his own left hand. So he drew it with his right hand and I promise you it was really transcendent. I hadn’t had this experience in years and I can hardly speak about it to explain it to you. It was a physical experience. That day this guy was able to see something in his left hand that was bigger than his left hand.

IS: Where is your family from originally?
JD: Well, on my father’s side both my grandparents were LithuanianOn my mother’s side my grandpa was from Poland and my grandma from Virginia. They all came in the 19th century.
IS: But then your family went to Ohio?
JD: Yes. Ohio is full of Polish Jews.
IS: Were you an artist as a kid?
JD: I was drawing since I was two years old. I never thought of anything else. I went to art school because it was better than going to regular school.
IS: Was your family supportive of your artistic ambitions?
JD: Not particularly. They thought I would get over it.
IS: What did you dad do?
JD: Not much, he was a bum. My mother died when I was 12, so I took care of myself.
IS: How have you balanced printmaking with painting?
JD: One is as important as the other, I do them when I think it’s appropriate for what I am trying to do or when the opportunity arises. I mean I wouldn’t want to etch every day but during the year typically I make 10 or 15 prints because I love to do it. The printers I work with are just fantastic, we’ve been together 40 years, all of us.

IS: Where do your images come from?
JD: They don’t come from anywhere. They come from dreams and they come from my childhood.
IS: Is it intuition or rational thoughts?
JD: I don’t have any rational thoughts.
IS: But what about the Pinocchio, you’ve been working with that image for a long time.
JD: They’ve been working on me for a long time. I saw the Walt Disney movie when I was six, and I was very frightened by it, enchanted by it. And I identify with it. I was a liar, little boys are liars. And then in the ‘60s I found a Pinocchio doll in a junk store, and I bought it, it was a beautiful thing, it was papier-mâché with real clothes sewn by hand, probably made in Japan. And I kept it for years until, in the ‘90s I had to do something with it.
All the time I was identifying with the boy, but now, you know it is a great story because it’s a metaphor for art, this old man brings the puppet to consciousness through his craft, and in the end I am Geppetto, I am no longer Pinocchio.
IS: And what’s the fascination with the hearts? How many hearts have you made? Millions?
JD: Millions. . . . I have no idea but it’s mine and I use it as a template for all my emotions. It’s a landscape for everything. It’s like Indian classical music -- based on something very simple but building to a complicated structure. Within that you can do anything in the world. And that’s how I feel about my hearts.
IS: What about teaching, did you ever do much teaching?
JD: I used to try to do it and then I needed the money and blah blah blah, and now I don’t need the money and I can’t stand hearing myself. I’ll tell you something: It’s not going to change anybody’s life. You can’t make anybody an artist.

IS: You travel so much, where do you feel the most creative and productive?
JD: I carry it on my back, you know, that’s why I travel. I couldn’t sit still and I never have sat still. Even when I had young kids and a wife in Vermont and everything I’d go off to England or France to print or just to see friends. I just couldn’t sit still.
IS: What do you think of the New York critics? I know you’ve had a tough time with some of them.
JD: I really have no use for the New York Times. I try not to read that stuff, it’s too upsetting for me. It’s insulting most of the time, you know? They hate me. I wouldn’t even know who they are. I’ve never laid eyes on these people.
When I get a virulent review, people ask, "What’s the deal? Have they got something personal against you?" During my career, I have not had much positive criticism. And I’ve never played the game, you see. All I want is to be left alone to work.
IS: Can you give us an example?

JD: My "52 Books" exhibition at Pace at the end of 2009 was just savaged. Despite the reviews, everyone loved the show. And it was inaccurate because it was said that I was under the influence of Paul McCarthy! Someone told me that McCarthy was embarrassed by the comment, because of course I was there first.
I do have people whose lives have been changed by my work. I know that. They said it to me.
IS: What do you see an artist’s responsibility?
JD: I don’t paint out of responsibility. I paint out of need. I am driven to create stuff.
IS: And how is it to live with another artist?
JD: It is totally inspiring, totally.

ILKA SCOBIE is a New York poet.


Nicola Vassell, co-director of Pace's 534 West 25th St. gallery invited me to the Sept. 16 extravaganza,
which equalled the archival retrospective of modern art treasures. Abstract Expressionism and Pop at 534, and down the block, 21st century masterpieces at 510. "People forget how extraordinary Pace's history is.. the level of development that must go into building a gallery (and by extension a community) so fortuitously that it can withstand any test -- including time, " Nicola said. Revelers included Jim Dine and Diana Michener, Chuck Close, Fab Freddy, Vito Schnabel, Eteri Chkadua, Joel Shapiro, Bob Holman, Richard Chai, Phillip Lim, Aurel Schmidt and a glamorous cast of art lovers. 

Vita Zaman, Nicola Vassell, Gregorio Franchetti
Vito Schnabel and Gregorio Franchetti
Eteri Chkadua of Jamaica and Georgia, and Fab Freddy
25th St. viewers and an Alex Katz landscape

Monday, March 8, 2010

Eteri Chkadua at Scope NYC

Eteri and her Art Dealer Viola Romoli (The Pool NYC). 
I first met Georgian artist Eteri Chkadu at her show in Brooklyn's Rush Gallery and have followed her
career ever since. She represented Georgia at the 2007 Venice Biennale. Her beautiful bold paintings
celebrate a twenty first century feminism of self-revelation and revolution. Now living in Kingston,
Jamaica, Eteri came to NY for the Scope where her paintings graced the exhibition of The PoolNYC.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Images

Here are computer "widgets" created by my husband Luigi Cazzaniga, from a photograph of his hometown Soncino, in Lombardia, Italy. He calls them "mollies" but I hate that name. I love the images.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Whitney Washout

On a stormy Tuesday evening, we headed uptown to the Whitney Biennale. Two years ago, Madi Weinrib and I braved a frigid long line to check out the much anticipated show. But this year, the freezing rain was especially daunting. What's with these museums, that invite privileged and supportive patrons to openings, only to leave them standing on block long lines for admittance? After a quick and delicious dinner at nearby EAT, we again cruised past the Whitney and its formidable queue. Sloppy planning and basic inconsideration.... I'll hit the Whitney on a weekday.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention at the Jewish Museum

Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention at the Jewish Museum
November 15, 2009 - March 14, 2010
1109 5th Ave at 92nd St
New York City, 212 423 3200
Man Ray, La Fortune, 1938, oil on canvas.   Whitney Museum of American Art, New York: Purchase, with funds from the Simon Foundation, Inc.  © 2009 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.
The Jewish Museum’s May Ray exhibit is a blockbuster without the line, which is the result of the surprisingly little critical acclaim it has garnered.  Curated by Mason Klein, this beautifully designed show is the most comprehensive and analytical since the survey of this seminal modern artist at the Fondazione Mazzotta, Milan, in 1999. “Alias Man Ray’ includes photographs, assemblages, and paintings, and introduces little known treasures like the1911 fabric piece Tapestry made in Brooklyn before the artist left his family home; the original assemblage piece, Obstruction, a mobile of 63 wooden hangers; and the protoPop masterpiece of two silhouetted profiles kissing, Image a deux faces, (1959). The 110 cloth blocks of Tapestry, gathered from his family’s sweatshop cutting room floor, sets the standard of Man Ray’s meticulous craftsmanship, his blurring of exquisite fabrication with modernist sensibility.

As a Brooklyn Jew myself, I always knew Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky) as an almost-native son. Born in Philadelphia in 1890, he soon moved to Brooklyn with his family of Russian immigrants. What I did not realize, however, was Man Ray’s fierce dedication to obscuring his origins, to the point of cropping a family photo to leave only an image of himself and his mother. Assimilation provides the premise for this illuminating exhibition, as detailed in Klein’s incisive catalogue essay: “In changing his name from the colloquial Manny to the unmoored Man, the artist lost and found himself in anonymity.”

Man Ray began his artistic career as a teenager, and these adolescent works – high school mechanical drawings- reveal a lifelong fascination with duality and concealment. An early proponent of Dada, (and a lifelong bohemian), Man Ray’s first marriage to Adon Lacroix, a Belgian poet, introduced him to French culture. In 1920 he created The Riddle also knownn asThe Enigma of Isidore Ducasse, a prescient work in view of his future allegiance with the Surrealists. An old sewing machine – aluding to the famous line from Lautreamont about the chance encounter of an umbrella and a sewing machine on a dissecting table but also, perhaps, a reference to his sweatshop childhood – was wrapped in army blanket and rope, photographed and then discarded. Man Ray recreated the piece in 1971.
When Man Ray emigrated to Paris in 1921, Marcel Duchamp (who had befriended him in New York) welcomed him at the train station. Even before his arrival, fellow Dadaists knew Man Ray’s work. Two 1918 photos, one of an eggbeater, (L’Homme) and another of clothespins and light reflectors (Woman or Integration of Shadows) were included in Salon Dada: Exposition Internationale before the artist’s actual arrival.
It was in Paris that Man Ray became a professional photographer. Vanity Fair, under the editorship of Frank Crowninshield, published two early Rayographs for theirNovember 1922 issue. Rayographs derived from a process of solarization discovered by chance in the artist’s darkroom; they entail direct exposure of objects on the photographic plate without intervention of a camera. Man Ray used modern machinery parts,or everyday objects combined with human faces or hands, in a technique Jean Cocteau described as “painting with light.” Another early collector, famed couturier Paul Poiret made Man Ray’s portraits a chic and commodifiable entity.
The subject of many of his most beautiful photographs, the young American Lee Miller sought Man Ray out as both lover and mentor. Miller also inspired Object of Desire, a drawing of a metronome capped with a photo of Millar’s languid eye. Instructions commenced with “Cut the eye from a photo of one who has been loved but is seen no more.”

Man Ray, Le Violon d'Ingres, 1924, vintage gelatin silver print.  Rosalind and Melvin Jacobs Collection.  © 2009 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
and right, Rayograph, 1926, gelatin silver print.  Private Collection, New York.  © 2009 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
For twenty years, Man Ray worked as a Parisian artist, creating such surrealistic gems as Le Violon d’Ingres, (1924) and La Fortune (1938) with its foreboding primary colored clouds, a reaction to Europe’s increasingly dangerous political scene. His fashion and society images regularly appeared in Vogue and Harpers Bazaar.. He photographed the cool crowd –from Barbette, a drag queen championed by Cocteau to Ernest Hemingway, Meret Oppenheim, Kiki de Montparnasse (another of his lovers), Gertrude Stein, Picasso, and those tourists wealthy and connected enough to commission a portrait.
Joining European artists like Thomas Mann, Max Ernst, Luis Brunel and Salvador Dali, Man Ray fled the Nazis in 1940, and went to Hollywood where he married Juliet Browner in a dual ceremony with Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning. Juliet was his companion for the rest of his life, and they returned to Paris in 1951. Late pieces like the magnificent screen Message to Marcia(1958/65) and the Smoking Device (1959/1970), with its surgical tubing predating today’s vaporizers, show that the artist continued a fruitful creative life.

Man Ray lived to become an inspiration for Allan Kaprow, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol whose 1974 portrait paid homage to the artist, with its unusually complex composition and deliberately blurred edges.
The premise of the artist’s desire to obliterate his history is well illustrated and further documented by the wall text, and presents an intriguing addition to our understanding of his work. But even without its investigative information or theory,  “Alias Man Ray’ is a revelation. Ray’s added artistic details are always inherently modernistic – from the solarized photos with their defining outlines, his use of inscription, to his 1947 lithograph self portrait and it’s linear bisection.
Transgressive, experimental, fiercely individualistic, Man Ray is an iconic artist who bridged European and American experience, worked creatively and commercially, and evaded any categories not of his own creation. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010


It might be Restaurant Week, but we all know the economy of home cooking. Here’s a very easy and delicious meal with plenty of room for improvisation..
This can go from high end (imported Italian tuna in a cute glass jar) to economy (Bumblebee chunk) It’s quick, comforting and perfect for a cold night. For an easy seasonal salad, chop up a grapefruit on top of  spinach, rugala, or romaine. Serve the spaghetti and savor the pleasure of dining at home.
1 7 oz jar or can of tuna
Olive oil
2-3 peeled and diced garlic
1 small chopped onion (optional)
1 28 oz. canned diced tomatoes
or if you’re not lazy 1 can plum tomatoes which you will chop up
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
these are optional…..
2 Tb. Capers (I like salted, but remember to heavily rinse in hot water)
Some chopped black olives
  1. Drain tuna of liquid, and break into pieces
  2. Heat 2 tb. Olive oil, add chopped garlic, (and onion if you are so inclined)
  3. Add tomatoes, red pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Now’s the time to add capers and olives, cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Cook spaghetti until tender.
  6. Stir in tuna and parsley.
  7.  Add sauce, parsley and serve. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ulla inspires

I love this beautiful and elegant Alex Katz portrait of my dear friend (and blog guru) Ulla. It's just been finished and was shot in the artists studio. And here's Ulla again, painted by Alex for the Art Production Fund's taxi rooftop project. Yoko Ono and Shirin Neshat are the other participating artists. Check out the New York traffic for cruising artworks…..
check out her blog on

My Terence Koh Story in Marie Claire Italy

This is in Italian, please refer to my former Terence Koh posting where I published this article in english.

Minuto, elegante, enigmatico: Terence Koh incarna alla perfezione l’artista del XXI secolo. Poeta, pornografo, filmmaker, mixa nuove tecnologie e media tradizionali come scultura e pittura. I suoi lavori sono estremi e molto, molto forti: mette in mostra escrementi laminati in oro ad Art Basel, disegna abiti per una delle boutique più trendy di New York, sul suo sito si può fare shopping con i sex toys che crea e gli piace fare la star (come all’ultima Biennale di Venezia).
Osannato dal mondo della moda, amico delle celeb, ha la fama di essere unfestaiolo incallito (lo chiamano “party boy”). Espone a Parigi, Londra e Roma, possiede un personalissimo spazio espositivo dal nome provocatorio, Ass (non pensate male, è l’acronimo di Asia Song Society), vende le sue opere nelle gallerie più glam e ha già al suo attivo delle personali al Whitney Museum diNew York, alla Tate Gallery di Londra e in diversi musei in Germania,Svizzera Spagna.
Ci incontriamo in fondo a Chinatown, in un vecchio edificio di mattoni che gli serve sia da abitazione sia da luogo di lavoro. Quando arrivo, non c’è. Ma la sua presenza è anticipata da un mazzo di fiori appassiti disposti artisticamente, graffiti neri alle pareti e un campanello antiquato. Uno spazio tutto bianco, dalle scale fino all’ufficio, al soggiorno e all’atelier. Nel décor abbondano i temi che gli sono più cari: i conigli - o «coniglietti», come preferisce dire - teschi e sculture composte e ricomposte.
È nato a Pechino, cresciuto a Vancouver eppure, quando arriva, Terence Koh sembra la quintessenza del newyorkese doc. E forse lo è. «Vivo nel Lower East Side da quindici anni. E sono un abitante di Downtown fino al midollo. Qualsiasi cosa al di sopra di Houston Street è un altro pianeta. Un’altra patria d’elezione?Parigi, dove c’è la Galérie Thaddeus Ropac che da sempre ha creduto in me. Come la Peres Projects di Los Angeles.
Come vede il mondo? 

Diceva John Lennon: «C’è tanto dolore che le droghe sono un cancello d’ingresso in uno stato normalizzato». Ecco, io credo che nel mondo d’oggi ci siano tante persone infelici con o senza l’utilizzo di additivi chimici.
Lei si sente infelice?

No (sorride gesticolando elegantemente, ndr), non sono infelice perché cerco di rendere il mondo più bello.
E come pensa di riuscirci? Con la sua arte?

No, parlando molto con me stesso. Il segreto sta tutto nel cervello.
Questo edificio è suo?

Mi piacerebbe comprarlo, ma sono a corto di contanti. Vivo qui da due anni e mezzo ma il successo, quello vero, è arrivato non più di sei anni fa. Per raggiungere i miei obiettivi devo imparare a risparmiare.
Ha una relazione sentimentale?

Ma certo! Il mio compagno si chiama Garrick (i due si sono recentemente sposati indossando il velo bianco negli Hamptons, ndr).
Come si vive a New York? 
Si è completamente indipendenti. Questo da un lato ti dà un senso di libertà, dall’altro ti fa correre il rischio di vivere in una solitudine straziante. Vivo qui da molto, ma i primi due anni li ho passati da solo. Una vera sofferenza.
Lei è canadese... 
Sì, vengo da Vancouver, ma sono nato a Pechino e mi hanno abbandonato quando avevo soltanto tre anni.
Secondo lei le sue opere potrebbero essere esposte in Cina? 
Penso di sì. C’è stato dell’inutile sensazionalismo per molti miei lavori pornografici. Ma in realtà non c’è nulla di scandaloso.
So che partecipa anche a reading di poesia... La scorsa primavera avrei dovuto partecipare a un happening dal titolo Pax Americana. Ma, come fece Andy Warhol, ho mandato un mio sosia: un ragazzino con una parrucca che mi ha sostituito.

Quanto sono importanti per lei i versi?

Scrivo continuamente. Sul mio sito c’è una nuova poesia ogni giorno. È il modo migliore per rendere più belle le cose. Può essere una semplice frase o un racconto. Io, ad esempio, amo gli haiku di Basho e Tu Fu e I fiori del male di Baudelaire. Conservo questo libro sul comodino e ne leggo qualche pagina appena sveglio.
È mai stato in Italia? Sono stato a Venezia per la Biennale: al padiglione nordico ho presentato due sculture del David di Michelangelo, una di fronte all’altra. Era la prima volta che venivo in Laguna e l’ho amata moltissimo, soprattutto la notte quando è senza turisti. Ho poi esposto all’Ara Pacis di Roma, dove secoli fa venivano compiuti sacrifici agli dei. E infine, sono stato anche a Torino. Ma vuole sapere una cosa buffa? I miei contatti più intensi con l’Italia li ho quando vado a Long Island, a Bridge Hampton. Li vive la mia amica Jacquelyn Schnabel che ora sta con un italiano che cucina una meravigliosa pasta aglio e olio.
Lei era molto amico di Dash Snow, discendente dei famosi collezionisti de Menil, scomparso lo scorso agosto... 
La morte di Dash è stata una tragedia. Ero a Manchester, in Inghilterra. La notizia è arrivata nel bel mezzo di una performance di quattro ore che stavo tenendo insieme a Marina Abramovic. Mi sono messo a gridare anche se ero imbarazzatissimo. Marina poi mi ha consolato dicendomi che urlare è la cosa migliore da fare quando ci si sente molto vulnerabili.
Perché si veste sempre di bianco?
Perché mi piace l’impatto del candore negli occhi della gente che mi guarda.
Ha disegnato la t-shirt ricamata di perle che indossa: quali legami fra arte e moda?
Amo la moda così come amo cinema e poesia. Ma credo che il messaggio che trasmette l’abbigliamento sia più immediato dell’arte e quindi più semplice da comprendere.
Come ha realizzato questa t-shirt?
È stato complicato. Il mio assistente ha frantumato delle perle in un macinino da caffè e le ha incollate al tessuto. Il risultato? Una maglietta che costa 500 dollari perché ogni singolo esemplare è diverso dal’altro.
Lavora anche con altri media?
Sì, a Berlino ho realizzato un film di sei ore intitolato Dio. L’ho mostrato a Miami e a Basilea. C’erano diverse scene in cui saltavo intorno ai cimiteri, mangiavo insalata e facevo sesso con due persone diverse. Proprio Dash aveva curato parte della fotografia. Ma compongo anche musica, cercando di non farmi influenzare da quello che ascolto.
Considera le sue opere omoerotiche?
Ognuno ha diritto ad avere la sua opinione. Più che omoerotico io vorrei essere universale.
Diventerà mai cittadino americano?
Sono molto indeciso. Per il momento mi tengo il passaporto canadese.
È felice per l’operato di Obama?
Sì. «Ah, se i re potessero essere filosofi...». Non ricordo più chi l’ha detto, ma Barack Obama è per me proprio come un filosofo.
Ha speranze per un futuro migliore?

Sì. E sa cosa le dico? Penso che dovremmo averne tutti.
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