New York City, NY
Levin Art Group: Building Commission
During my MFA graduation show in 1997 at School of Visual Arts, Todd Levin approached me about an exhibition he was curating called '1968 Flower Power' in a gallery on Broadway in Soho.
My piece, ‘I Pressed Flowers I Didn’t Play Football’ was based on my earliest memories of being a gay boy. I made an immense flower press, made with two sheets of 8’x4’ marine plywood, 30 sheets of 8’x4’ corrugated cardboard with the corners cut off and ship building nuts and bolts in the corners going through the two sheets of plywood to emulate my childhood hobby of pressing flowers on a very large scale.
A few years later I was having my first exhibition with Nicole Klagsbrun. Since leaving school I had been photographing every building facade in Lower Manhattan with 35mm film, developing the photographs at a local drugstore and then filing them using a cross referenced system one finds in a library. At this point, I had taken thousands of photographs and I called the piece ‘Drugstore Photographs or a Trip along The Yangtze River’, because on the outside of the envelopes from the drugstore was always advertised a tour of the Yangtze. The MoMA curator Paolo Herkenhoff had included my piece at PS1 MoMA, for their celebratory exhibition of PS1 being bought by MoMA.
When the photographs were on display at Nicole Klagsbrun, Todd arranged to have a meeting with Nicole and myself. He was curating and acquiring art for a collector and wanted to commission me to photograph a building about to be constructed on 63rd Street between Broadway and Amsterdam. The collector had purchased the top floor and wanted a photograph every week until the building was finished and his penthouse was of course, the top floor.
This group of photographs are a selection of the finished commission.