Well. In all the October hub-bub, I somehow forgot the fact that I had a handful of additional goodies about my beginning of the month October trip! Without further ado, I’ll jump right in…
Mantiques Modern is described by Black Book magazine as “designers and style mavens bumping broad shoulders with real men reconciling their sharp eye for distinctive design with their relentless testosterone-fueled manliness.” I’m not sure that the description fits, but it’s definitely a good starting place. How could I not be captivated by a store which promises “machine age through mid-1970s art and antiques”?
Upon poking around in a corner, I found the beauty above. Rendered speechless, I was unable to inquire as to the cost of pictured-above item. I mean really – what would YOU say on your own custom pencil?!?!
That evening, I had my first of two teaching sessions at The Ink Pad – very exciting! TIP staff made me feel right at home and my students for the evening were enthusiastic and oh-so-fun; take a look at the postal paradise we managed to put together in just three short hours.
And what sort of postal modern would I be if I didn’t take some rubber stamps home with me? Small, portable, and easy to carry in my luggage – who am I to say no?
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Here’s a gratuitous breakfast shot for RLD readers! Herr Baron and I practically lived at this place, since they were right around the corner from where we were staying and knew how to make a decent cup (read: west coast style) of coffee.
We two spent the day galavanting around NYC, running through the Met (of course), Central Park (why not?) and the Neue Gallerie (indeed!) We dined on pub food on Lexington Avenue, met a man at the bar who lamented the lack of his favorite type of pipe tobacco (outlawed by Mayor Bloomberg, he claimed) and then I was on my way back down to The Ink Pad for another delightful teaching gig – a bookbinding class this time.
Again, my students were fast learners and lovely people; I can’t think of a better way to spend the evening. Teaching people how to make their own books and swapping stories was a magical way to pass the time. And I have it on good authority that I’ll be able to make another appearance at The Ink Pad, possibly in the spring!
Our last day in town was a whirlwind of activity and synchronicity (which always seems to happen to me whenever I travel). Flashback to Day 2 of the NYABF: a woman stops by the table and we get to chatting. She mentions that she’s a photographer (Janette Beckman) and has a friend who also does the kind of stuff that I have on the table, i.e. mail art. Mentioning that her friend has a show up at the Christopher Henry Gallery, she tells me I should stop by. And so I promise myself that I will.
Later that day, as I look at Riita Ikonen’s work online, I realize I’ve seen it before. About two years ago, her postal mailing project came across my radar and I told myself that if I ever had the opportunity to see her work in person, I’d drop everything to make it happen. And whaddya know? It was almost as if her work came to me, knocked on the door and said “hey! Here I am…”
Riita’s missives speak for themselves; they are far more eloquent than I could ever be within the space of this blog. Suffice to say: each piece is clever, inspiring, and creates that perfect feeling of wonder which I always find myself looking for, when standing in front of a piece of art. The work was wonderful displayed in the space, hung in a grid so that the fronts and backs could be seen. Larger, unusually shaped pieces were mounted on the wall or shelves.
Gallery owner Christopher Henry was a charming host, taking the time to explain Riita’s project and giving the Baron and I carte blanche access to sneak a peek at her shared workspace below the gallery. The icing on the cake was an exceptional catalog to the show, hand bound by Riita!
So there you have it: another sensational trip to NYC. In the days and weeks to come, RLD readers will be hearing more about the good things which are in the works and to come – over the next few months and into next year.
Keeping it postal modern –
PS: as mentioned above the catalog for Riita Ikonen’s “Post” show is excellent, and a welcome addition to any mail artists’ book shelf. Priced at $30.00, the catalog features full color images of the fronts and backs of all the pieces in the show. You can contact the gallery directly to see if copies are still available.