Monday, March 28, 2016

Cosmic Cavern

We went to see Kenny Scharf's "Cosmic Cavern" at the Portland Art Museum, on display through April 3.  It's definitely a trip!  For me it was a huge nostalgia trip, as well.  Whether it's aged well or not, I can't say, but it was a big reminder of the aesthetics of New York City in the 80s.  Blacklight paint, graffiti, transforming trash into art, and art installations that you had to experience in 360º were everywhere. The shop window displays, the nightclubs, the clothes people wore and the street art were as wild as the stuff inside the art galleries. The city seemed to me to be rippling with a feeling of unsafety, both because street crime was common and because you couldn't walk around without being forced to think about something you'd never thought about before; something that would disrupt your comfort zone and mess with your vision of reality.  I can't ever go back to those 80s nightclubs, but I can visit the Cosmic Cavern and crank up my old Nina Hagen records!

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