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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Art World Missed Connections: Thomas Kinkade Salesman, Eyeing Matisse at the Met, and More

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Our first batch of Art World Missed Connections for 2013 are taking us further afield than ever before, while also featuring a couple of items from those ever-reliable beacons of art-initiated encounters: Upper East Side museums. Between a northern New Jersey mall and a Massapequa gallery, the closing days of 2012 also brought us near-encounters involving the Frick Collection and the Metropolitan Museum’s Henri Matisse retrospective.

We’ll start on Long Island, where a man wandering down Merrick Road in Massapequa spotted a fellow sitting a gallery, about whom he wrote the post “To the HOT guy at the corner gallery – m4m (Massapequa)“:

Hey dude you were really hot,You in the corner sitting with ur guy friend and ur girl friend,,we kept starring at each other..Iwas at the table with my friends..i was wearing the glass. and had a gotee..

While we really appreciate this writer’s very palpable enthusiasm, we have to ask: How does one wear a glass? Whatever the answer, we’d recommend these two take a trip into the city for a museum date at the Museum of Arts and Design, where the exhibition “Playing with Fire” will not only be hot, but will also involve wearable glass.

Our other out-of-town item pertains to one of 2012’s most dearly departed artists, “Painter of Light” Thomas Kinkade, whose store at the Paramus Park Mall was the venue for the charged encounter recounted in the post “Really nice guy at Thomas Kinkade – m4m (Paramus Park Mall).” Its author, an avid Kinkade collector, writes:

Hope you see this. You were a big help to me in picking out a wall hanging. You also seemed really nice and wouldn’t mind getting to know you more if you are into guys. I was with someone when I bought the painting we needed to wait about 20 minutes. If you see this and interested in meeting up somewhere let me know, Thanks

Well, since the lawsuit surrounding the founding of the eventual Kinkade museum has only just been settled, we can’t recommend waiting around to visit that particular institution. However, we suspect these two lovers of the “Painter of Light” would be enlightened by a visit to the Metropolitan’s current retrospective of Ashcan School painter George Bellows, whose dramatic boxing paintings, landscapes, and cityscapes feature a different but no less masterful manipulation of light.

The Met, incidentally, was the site of a recent series of glance exchanges between two older museum-goers. In his sweet post “Matisse at Met Museum – m4w – 63 (Upper East Side),” a man recalls:

We kept on making contact and smiling
in front of those magnificent paintings
You: grey pony tail; burgundy sweater
Me: grey, blue sports coat
Let’s meet

Well, since both these people seem to be into “magnificent paintings,” we recommend they rendez-vous at the Museum of Modern Art’s new “Inventing Abstraction” show, which doesn’t include Matisse, but provides a comprehensive survey of all contemporaneous painting.

Last — and least — we have this item about a helpful young woman who provided a fellow strap-hanger with directions to the Frick and immediately regretted not joining her. Her post, “Going to Frick on the 6th – w4w (Union Square),” reads:

You asked me what stop to get off to go to the Frick Museum. I wished too late that I had asked you what you were heading there to see. Maybe I can join you next time? The Whitney rarely disappoints.

p.s. I hope I didn’t get you lost ;) . Wondered what book you opened to read when you sat down in the train.

While the Whitney Museum may seem a wise destination, given the Frick visitor’s likely predilection for pre-modern art, we’d suggest something with a slightly more historical bent, like the National Academy Museum’s “An American Collection” survey, or the Brooklyn Museum’s excellent pan-historical experiment, “Connecting Cultures.”

— Benjamin Sutton

(Image: Detail from Hein-kuhn Oh, “Love Cupid Bar, on the Hill of Lucky Club, 1993; via Google Art Project.)

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