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Fast Times in the New York Art World

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Noah Becker on the phone: photo by Steven Lane

It's a rainy night in New York City. I can hear sirens coming through the sound of rain thumping on the rooftop. I've been meeting with many high level and rather famous New York art world figures and some unknown but very connected art world people during the month of November.

I'm curating an exhibition on December 10th in New York at Launch F18 Gallery, an artist run space in Tribeca. I was in a show at the space last month and they invited me to curate the new show. I highly recommend this gallery, it's an artist curated exhibition so I'm in the show along with Michael Anderson, Jessica Speckhard, Sam Trioli and Joe Heaps Nelson. Joe Heaps and I will be in Miami next week for Art Basel Miami Beach. Whitehot is doing a big party at Primary Flight.

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Noah Becker, Love in Black, oil on canvas 2011

New York has been very good to me over the past few months. I'm happy to report that as an artist I have ten exhibitions booked and opening at different galleries featuring my paintings. These exhibitions are mostly group shows, four of which I am curating. The curatorial process is interesting especially in New York due to the wide variety of high level artists found here. Many of these artists and gallerists have become close friends. For my next New York exhibition at Launch F18 on the 10th of December I've chosen images of women in various mediums such as collage, painting and photography. The show is titled Some Girls due to Jessica Speckhard being the only girl in the show and other less obvious more political reasons.

On Thursday the 3rd of November I attended the Walton Ford opening at Paul Kasmin Gallery. This was a star studded event to say the least, a crowded affair. My star fucking tendencies began to tweak when I noticed that Salman Rushdie was there and Picasso biographer John Richardson. At a certain point I was standing outside the Ford opening when a cab pulled up. A tall elegant woman in flowing gowns walked out of the cab went straight up to someone and said "Take me to Walton". This woman was apparently chef Padma Lakshmi or "Lady Lakshmi" as she is also known. It was clear that I was in the presence of massive power, she just glowed with a kind of perfection reserved for royalty alone. Artist and socialite Jim D'Amato was also there shaking hands. He said something to the effect of "Daphne Guinness is coming here, did you hear that!?" to which I replied "What does that have to do with me?"(quoting an obscure Lou Reed interview I watched on Youtube). Later that same night artist Nic Rad had a housewarming party in Williamsburg. There were many important people there and it also gave me a chance to look at Nic's work which is amazing.

The next night I visited 303 Gallery for the Eva Rothschild opening. 303 has some of the best artists in the world and they rarely disappoint (I'm kind of gushing at this point so for the sake of continuity I will slowly reel this in). I waved at Mary Heilmann at the opening, Mary is the best. Waving at openings is very taboo in New York, which is why I do it. Perhaps this article will start a new trend of waving at openings. One night when we were at the Joan Mitchell opening I grabbed a photographer who was trying to take our picture, I didn't notice what was going on. I was so moved by Joan Mitchell's work - my concentration was broken by the camera guy. Speaking of beauty, earlier that day I had a late lunch with Whitehot's New York editor Jill Conner. Jill is working on an exceptional project called "Artist's Studios" with the exceptional journalist Megan Garwood. A few days after the 303 Gallery opening I went to dinner at Allegra LaViola Gallery. I was happy to see that the exhibition "Die Like You Really Mean It" had many of my talented friends in it, most of them painters. I've been to Gagosian Gallery several times to see the Richard Serra exhibtion. It's terrifying to walk between those gigantic structures knowing that people have been killed during the installation of Serra's works. I might be a bit on the paranoid side either way but those massive works are terrifying. There is one piece that I could not find the courage to walk though. Go see the show at Gagosian and you will see what I mean about the physicality of these things. Also having lunch at the latin restaurant La Taza De Oro on 14th St. and 8th Avenue gives me the energy to get through all these moments, I've been going there since the 1990's.

This week is the week that everyone is getting last minute things organized for Art Basel Miami Beach. Many of our colleagues in the art world are already reading this from Miami where my Miami editor Shana Beth Mason is setting up the Whitehot Magazine Party for the 29th of November at Primary Flight.

Until then see you around campus!