I heart Heart as Arena

[Ed Note: This post has been corrected to add some facts. Corrections are in bold.]

Brent Burket Artblog‘s New York correspondent wrote to say his blog is up and running. It’s called Heart as Arena (a phrase from a Basquiat painting Burket saw at the Brooklyn Museum’s Basquiat exhibit). Here’s the link to Heart as Arena, and here’s why you should bookmark it.

Burket, who’s a collector and writer and avid art fan with connections to organizations like Creative Time has a great eye, a broad taste for contemporary art and he’s smart about putting this and that together. Plus, he can write. On his blog you’ll see that he couples the most unlikely two creatures on view in NY: Duccio at the Met (Madonna and Child, c. 1300, recent big bucks acquisition pictured above) and Banks Violette (project by the 21st Century gothmeister) at the Whitney. Just putting the two names in a sentence together is imaginative, funny and smart. Burket’s point, in case you were wondering, is that the two are like visiting Heaven (Duccio) and Hell (Violette). [ Ed. Note: Unfortunately heaven has forsaken us. The Met’s website says the Duccio was up only to June 13. Correction: Heaven is with us!! I emailed the Met for clarification and Sabina Potaczek-Janionowicz, Senior Press Officer wrote me back to say : “The Duccio is back on view and there are no plans to take it down in the forseeable future.”]

Heart as Arena is a young blog so there’s no deep archives yet. What’s up in the postings now in addition to the Duccio/Banks posts are postings about Creative Time’s Coney Island project, the Dreamland Artists Club (they commissioned artists to paint signs for the boardwalk arcade shops.) Burket toured the project with some folks from CT and his pictures of the trip are great. I especially loved the Os Gemeos project, figures painted in a whimsical and charming style. (image is poster from Os Gemeos’s Deitch exhibit. You can see it bigger on the gallery’s website.)

I asked Burket who he/she/they were and here’s what he wrote back:

Os Gemeos. Yeah. Pretty amazing stuff. They’re from Brazil and “os gemeos” means “the twins” in Portuguese. Which, they are. Twins I mean, not Portuguese. Like I said, they’re Brazilian. Anyway, one of them is married and his wife travels with them and documents all their works. Their teaming up with Creative Time was really a lucky thing. They were sort of passing through NY, and connections were made, and voila. They ended up staying here 3 weeks to do the wall. [Ed. note: it was actually 2 weeks.]
This is the second year that CT has done it, and last year was a success to the point that this time ’round there were owners who actually approached CT and asked when they were going to have THEIR sign done. But still, at it’s heart Coney Island is a tough old Brooklyn neighborhood, and some of the old-timers can still be pretty resistant. When Os Gemeos started working [the business owner] came out and really liked them and really liked what they were doing. And this is my favorite part: After the first day he made lunch for the twins and the wife everyday until they left. How sweet is that? Really a magical project. The kids in the neighborhood were really into it and they would hang out and watch everyday. The cops loved it and really looked after it to make sure that nobody was tagging over it at night.

Here’s the link for the twins’ show [last Spring] at Deitch. But this is the killer bit, an interview with loads and loads of pictures of their work.

Anyway, check out Burket’s blog and see our hot topics section at left for links to his posts on artblog.