Like I promised, here were some of my favorites from all of the shows that we saw in New York last weekend. If you do visit Chelsea, just walk around. From 20th-25th street, all along 10th avenue, galleries are jammed beside and stacked on top of each other and all have their doors flung open on Saturdays from about noon- 6PM. My taste in art might be very different from yours, but I'm sure you'll still be able to find something that inspires you. Next time we go, we'll make sure to visit the galleries in Soho, too.

(Jane Bixby Weller, Rene Robert Bouche)

(Karen Santry, misc)

1. The Society of Illustrators - The Line of Fashion (April 1 - May 2). I know that I already mentioned this exhibit yesterday, and it's in in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, not Chelsea, but there were so many stunning works that I wanted to mention it again. Some of my favorites were pieces by Rene Robert Bouche, Jane Bixby Weller, Fred Greenhill, Bil Donovan, Karen Santry, and some beautiful studies by J.C. Leyendecker. You can see a slide show of some more work from the show here. One final tip, if you ever visit the Society of Illustrators, kindly ask the receptionist to let you sneak up to the 2nd floor dining room - there are more beautiful, hidden vintage illustrations permanently displayed there, along with portraits of all the past Society Presidents and an enormous Norman Rockwell oil painting behind the bar. 128 E. 63rd St., near Lexington Ave. Free admission.

Okay, now we'll just focus on highlights from the Chelsea.

2. The Jonathan Levine Gallery - Gary Taxali's Hindi Love Song (April 4- May 2). I should warn you that I have a soft spot for illustrators who show in galleries, but I'd probably like Taxali's work even without his illustration and design background. The online images flatten his work out and don't do it justice. If you see the pieces in person you get a better sense of how the collage, hand-drawn, and silk-screened elements all work together. You can take an online tour of the show and listen to an interview with the artist here. 529 W. 20th Street, 9E

3. Van de Weghe Fine Art - Duane Hanson (April 22 - May 22) I remember seeing photos of Duane Hanson's hyperrealistic, life-size cast sculptures in pop art books when I was younger, but nothing compares to slowing walking around them and marveling at all of the tiny details. You keep thinking one of them will start speaking at any moment. 521 W. 23rd Street

4. Marianne Boesky - John Water's Rear Projection (April 3 - May 2) This show is not for everyone. If you find its title obscene, stay as far away as possible. If you think its kind of humorous, come in and stay awhile. I'm a John Water's fan (I think it's a requirement of any former Baltimore art school kid) so I thoroughly enjoyed the show and found it often very clever. Whether or not it's ART is debatable, although since one of Water's pieces is titled, "Contemporary Art Hates You...And Your Family Too", I doubt he really cares. 509 W. 24th Street

5. Danzinger Projects - Tanyth Berkeley's Grace (March 14- April 25) I'm partial to this gallery because I adore Danzinger's blog and had read about this exhibit well in advance. Berkeley's photos of her muse, Grace Longoria, an albino woman of Mexican descent, are still very breathtaking and enigmatic. Too bad that was the last weekend to view it. 534 W. 24th Street

6. Winston Wachter Fine Art - Ethan Murrow's Zero Sum Pilot (April 16 - May 23) Murrow's huge graphite drawings were impressive, but some reminded me a little bit too much of this. I prefered the more minimalist, slightly abstracted ones (like above) to the others where detailed covered every aspect of the paper, but I'm still glad that I saw them. His website. 530 W. 25th Street

7. Gagosian Gallery - Yayoi Kusama's environmental installation: Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity (April 16 - June 27) Okay, this was my absolute favorite experience of the whole tour. If you are in New York at all while this show is up, PLEASE SEE IT. Don't let the large cheetos-looking sculptures outside or the rows and rows of huge canvases covered with patterns of neon loops scare you. Although some of the paintings are interesting and can teach you a lot about color theory, just walk past them until you reach the room furthest in the back where you'll see what looks like a small white shed with a door. Don't worry if there's a line to enter it; stand in it. Trust me, it's worth it. Once it's your turn, the doorman will usher you and maybe the next 4 other people in line inside and then he'll close the door. We were probably only in there for a minute, but it was a magical, otherworldly minute. Bring a friend or someone you love to experience it with you. I don't want to show any photos because part of the experience that I really enjoyed included anticipating what might be inside after seeing other people exit with huge smiles on their faces. For those of you who don't live in New York and have no chance of taking in this installation, you can view a photo here, but it really doesn't do it justice at all. 555 W. 24th Street

And finally, I'll tell you about the bizarre encounter I mentioned yesterday. Jesse and I were walking out of one gallery and about to pop into another when a couple crossing the street caught my eye. The girl looked really familiar, but she wasn't a celebrity and it took me a second to until I had that aha! moment. I'd seen her on the internet! A while back, I stumbled upon her flickr set where she posted photos of her outfits everyday. I really liked her fashion sense, so I bookmarked it for those days when I had absolutely no idea what to wear and needed some inspiration. This was the girl who I just knew only by her flickr name, Melonade. I didn't want to freak her out, but Jesse egged me on to confirm that it was her. She seemed a little flustered and said it was the first time anyone had recognized her on the street. I complimented her outfit and then left so she could go about her gallery perusing. I tried my best to tone down the crazed-stalker-vibe, so I hope she felt flattered and not freaked out. I was still excited to randomly run into the first of my "internet people".

Have you ever randomly run into someone who you only follow on the internet? Isn't it weird because you feel like you know them really well, but really you don't? Are there any gallery shows in your city that you'd recommend?

New York Gallery Highlights

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  1. i met a fellow blogger once, we have similar interests so i thought we would be instant best friends, but she acted all too cool for me, and then everytime i keep running into her i never know what to say to her so i'm just over it now.

  2. That's too bad. Sometimes I wonder out of all of the blogs I read which authors I'd get along with in real life and which ones' lives are more fun to read about from a safe distance. Luckily this internet girl seemed very nice, I just felt like the stalker:)

  3. I've definitely had a moment in the past where I saw a guy from across the room and thought, "I totally know that guy!" only to realize that I recognized him from a website I visit every once in awhile. Oddly, I did end up talking to him but was waaay too shy to bring up the internet/stalker connection :)

  4. hi there, it's melanie (melonade)! thanks for saying hi - i was so surprised (and yes, flattered) i couldn't think of anything to say. although i post outfit pics online, i'm kind of shy in real life. i've seen fashion bloggers (susie bubble!) on the street, but couldn't work up the nerve to approach them.

    anyway, your illustrations are amazing! hope you don't mind, but i'm adding you to my tumblr! it was nice meeting you again - hope to see you around!

  5. aw, thanks melanie! i'm so glad you found this post on my blog. if my husband hadn't been there, i probably would have felt too foolish to approach you, but he's good at talking me into doing things. it was a pleasure to meet you!


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