Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Unsinkable Jutta F.

Her friend, Eva insisted and pulled two of the best works from a pile.

Jutta's work deserved to be shown.

Almost housebound now, painting from the haze of whatever sight remains in the corner of her eye, Jutta steps into the abstract remnants of  landscape she once laughed through.

To keep moving towards where she is going she now slowly and determinedly walks from one side of the living room to the other every day 100 times before standing before her easel or sitting at her painting table.

The works, engaged with ferocious intelligence and thought, are guided by 89 years of a spirit that could not be quelled, stopped or drowned by the sadder and unfortunate events life offers, despite our best intentions to politely decline.

And now two pieces her friend Eva insisted on submitting are finally hanging on gallery walls.

With a Little Help from our Friends

July 21 - August 15, 2015
Ceres friends: Esther Aronson, Jacqueline Barnett, Alberte Bernier, Christine Bluhm, Chevalier Daniel C. Boyer, Silvia Soares Boyer, Patricia Cobb, Jutta Filippelli, Elizabeth Frishauf, Jessica Gondek, Betty Guernsey, George Jellinek, Angela M. LaMonte, Vicky Duk Lee, Julie Levine, Willie Marlow, Marilyn R. Rosenberg, Marcia Rubin, Eva Sochorova, Deborah Zerdenz

Ceres Gallery 547 West 27th Street Suite 201 New York, NY 10001 phone: 212-947-6100 fax: 212-202-5455
: art@ceresgallery.org


Related Posts:

Sunday Memories of Jutta's Kitchen: This Is What the Journey Looks Like

Sunday Memories of Jutta's Kitchen that Stops for Nothing and Other Solstice Miracles

Ceres Gallery

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Memories: The 1000 Mile Journey
Of the Purple Shoes

The box was left outside the door the way a broken heart might have left their precious child or an abandoned kitten to someone who they knew would do the right thing.

Inside the box was the decision anyone would dread to make and a plea for help to make it. 
  • "These shoes need to be thrown out.  I wore them for over 20 years... especially in my purple period..."

(And what New York woman didn't have a purple period?)
  • "Could you throw them in the garbage for me?  I can't bear to.  I really loved them..."
I understood.  It is why tucked away in boxes were oxfords so ugly they looked hip and antique heels that no longer fit, black boots not worn past the age of 45 and unwearable platform shoes that failed to bring back the '70s.

Those and the loved-to-tattered purple shoes were not just protection from broken glass-filled, urine-soaked sidewalks of a city we both grew up in.  Those shoes let us walk our history and our story as we went from young to middle-aged and from youthful confusion to wise clarity.  Each time we, like Cinderella, slipped our foot into them, we were reminded in tangible colors and specific style of important names, momentous occasions and a multitude of details lost to aging memory and an overworked brain wondering where we put the house keys.

We stood our ground in those footwear as we challenged governments we knew to be immoral and children we knew to be adolescent.  Our sturdy shoes, our boots, our sandals, our too-high stilettos, our comfy flats all demanded our strength and complex beauty be acknowledged.  What we put on our feet was never an after-thought but the bases for our stride into a larger world as we insisted to be seen fully and wholly as extraordinary women.

To say goodbye, to surrender the past, to let go of remembering every step of how we got to who we are now... only a friend could take that box and answer that plea.

Related Posts:

Sunday Memories: Those Shoes Were Made For Talking

A Fearless and Moral Inventory

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer Reruns: In The Still Of The Night
The Sound Of Silence Is Revisited

During a visit to Sunnyside, Queens, we came back into my friend's building after errands. There behind the stairwell was an open door to an old fashion apartment, maybe the kind you would see if Scorsese made family movies.

"Super's apartment?" I asked.


And that made me wonder and yearn for those times when, on hot summer days, doors were left open.

Originally posted August 17, 2010

It started as an unconscious homage to Florence.

During the hot days, she, like many of our neighbors, would prop open her front door and let whatever breeze existed waft in from the stairwell's window.

With so many opened doors our different lives would also drift up and down the stairs, the sounds and smells and conversations, the T.V. going, all weaving in and out making a village out of thirty-five apartments.

One night, decades later in a much smaller apartment building, I opened the door during a non-stop heat wave, and a breeze blew in and as it came in, the cat ran out, the cool of 100 year old marble floors and walls too much to resist.

And soon that door, like Florence's, stayed open as the cat and I, wandering the stairs in the middle of the night, listened to our neighbors sleep, hummed along with all the air conditioners in the air shaft and sat in the still and the silence.

I miss the normalcy of open doors during hot days and sleepless nights, and when my door is closed because the neighbors are awake, I miss my mother.

Related Posts:

Wherever You Go, There You Are.  Sometimes in Queens

In the Still of the Night, the Sound of Silence

Walkin' After Midnight

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Silver Lining

Like the Chrysler Building, that sign had been waiting for me to look up, just for a second, and remember:

That at any given second of any given day I can remind myself of all the gifts given, all the chances sought and all the work created and then start the day over, right then and there, knowing who I am.

Related Posts:

The God of My Understanding Cannot Be Photoshopped

It Would Have Been Enough

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Summer Reruns of Sunday Memories:
Where I Still Could Find Her

Her New York began as a way of standing witness to a mother (Florence) and a city (New York) that, despite the brutality of dementia, illness and ultra-wealthy development, insisted on still being who and what they really were.  

Since Florence's death in 2008, what New York was became, at times, elusive and other times heartbreaking reminders of loss.  

Yet the exploration has never ended.  Small and big celebrations are still found in a city that refuses to completely die and in the spirit of a woman that continues to guide me forward, always.

Originally posted November 29, 2009


O'Keefe asked me to explain all this.

I said I was trying to illuminate where New York and Florence still were themselves even as they faded from recognizable forms.

And now a year after Florence died and New York continued in its odd way and the home I grew up in now looks like a nice apartment for other people we never were, there are places still here and there, still persistently themselves ....

....that I go to and feel at home.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wherever You Go, There You Are.
Sometimes in Queens

It was just like what we had, growing up so long ago in our own corners of the city.  A decent pub.

That familiar daylight seeping in, the dark wood blanketing the walls, those high stools you slip onto as a feeling of greater kinder hands rises up to greet your tush and cradle you.

It was empty except for some guys scattered along the bar.  Two were doing construction in the neighborhood, finishing up their burgers.  Another, very tan and summery, contemplating going or not going or someone coming in, and in a quieter corner a man older than any bar I ever sat at, just sitting.

A talkative fellow came in, wanting to see the lunch menu.

"Lunch menu same as the dinner one," the waitress told him.

Mick ordered a really good looking chicken sandwich.

I had salmon on lots of salad.  I stared longingly at Mick's fries.  His beer looked really cute too.

When the bill came, it seemed a bit low.

"Half off for happy hour," the waitress told us.

That bar was just like my favorite bar, I told Mick afterwards.  Except it had food and didn't smell of cat pee. 

Next time... burgers.

Related Posts:

Sunday Memories of Old Homes and Family

Mick Andreano: Portraits

Donovan's Pub

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

This is 97 year-old Hyman.

And this is 97 year-old Hyman after we got yelled at by the bus driver for Hyman taking too long to get off at his stop.  (He is zipping off to hang out in Union Square Park.)

"That's not the way you speak to a veteran," I said to the bus driver. 

The lady with the Whole Food bags chimed in.  "Disrespectful!"

The bus driver, a young guy, grumbled something under his breath about this not being a tea party or that our socializing was holding people up...

But Hyman lost years of his life in a P.O.W. camp during World War II.  So we can fucking give him an extra 60 seconds that allows someone who knows his name to ask him how he's doing.

Related Posts:


The Exhaustion of Diaspora: Part Four- Hyman Comes to Visit

Sunday Memories: Part Three - Home Where My Love Lies Sleeping