Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Other Cabinets of Curiosities

A little over a week ago, the Inamorato and I made our way over to Proteus Gowanus which includes within its walls the Observatory (a gallery space) and the Morbid Anatomy Library. The library has a nice little collection (the emphasis on "little"), but didn't seem miles more thrilling than what I would expect to find in someone's home.

In the Observatory, I was happy to catch an alchemy themed group show (Curses! It just closed yesterday.). It was, again, small, but well curated (by Pam Grossman, author of Phantasmaphile), with pieces from the always prolific Molly Crabapple of Dr. Sketchy's fame, Ann McCoy (whose work I really love), and a pair of etchings by Ukrainian artist Marina Korenfeld - who is new to me and was glad to find out about (at left, her etching Abraxas).

Over all, though, the artwork in the Obsevatory aside, excitement felt a little thin on the ground. When I picture what I want Proteus Gowanus to look like in my head, the images are far more dense, grand and exciting.

Remember that blog post of mine from way back in 2009 in which I wrote about thoughts of Victorian interior decoration, and about how taxidermy frightens me and about how I'm frightened of a mad, lonely, little old lady-hood? Well, many, many things have changed since that post and I am altogether one hundred percent aesthetically attuned with the person with whom I share my domicile. I don't think there's anyone in this house who would get particularly upset by a taxidermied crocodile, say (except, of course, with worrying about where it would go). What I really need are picture frames. I mean, I now live in a house where the biggest problems are all book and paper related, which is how it should be. Or maybe we have possibly too many wigs. I am certain we will keep each other from any sort of Collyer-dom. If there are any exciting design additions to Cabinet Headquarters, I will be sure to share them.

A couple of weeks ago, the Times did a piece on a loft in Williamsburg that has been called by its owners, The House of Collection, and it's just lovely. Unlike some of the homes featured a couple of years ago, Paige Stevenson and Ahnika Meyer's loft looks airy and sunny and livable. And I am heartily jealous, though maybe I shouldn't be because the amount of work put into it over the past three decades is more than apparent.

I think it's clear that I like the spaces around me to be dense and busy. I'm a maximalist all the way, and one of the hardest things for me at my day job are the empty gray walls. I began this blog with the idea of it being a modern, digital Cabinet of Curiosities, and as I near my 400th post, I thought it would be a good idea to re-examine that mission. And upon reexamination, I think it still explains better than anything what I am striving to do here. The world, both past and present is full of so much interest and excitement that each of us are lucky if we get the chance to see or experience even the tiniest sliver of it.

Photo at right via nytimes.com

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