After the break due to a cold, I finally had a week in which things got going and in which there was also time for some New York city life. I’ve been thinking about connections and am making preparations for the first paintings I am going to realize in New York.
Sometimes my life feels like a puzzle. Countless things started. Fragments that you work on when there is time, when you feel like it or when the muse hits you. And then you are torn away, put it aside, forget it. Or you put it off, because the desire has suddenly given way to another. And sometimes things just need their time. Like parcel deliveries from Basel to New York, for example.
In the end it all comes together
But there always comes a time when everything comes together. Where the individual parts suddenly complement each other, fit into each other and grow. Then you can start to move on again. I had such a moment right at the beginning of the week, when after almost four weeks, the two packages from Basel arrived with my work material.
I have found some stores in the meantime where I can find that or similar material, but I like to work with the colors and tools I know, of which I know how they behave and how I have to handle them. So now I can finally start producing my first New York paintings.
What I still have to organize, are wooden boards that I need to stretch and fix my paper on. Finding good ones is a challenge in that not all types of wood are suitable. I work a lot with water and the wrong wood tends to swell and the wet tapes come off, which is frustrating. For now I have bought a few smaller boards to try them out. So far it looks good: I’ve covered them all and the papers are holding!
On Thursday I visited the current exhibition of Meret Oppenheim at MoMa. I have to admit that I didn’t know many of her works very well. The fur-trimmed coffee cup and spoon, however, have always been familiar to me.
Right at the entrance to the exhibition, there is a video shown of an interview with Meret Oppenheim while she is working. The video is in original language with English subtitles. This language is Baseldütsch – the swiss german dialect I also speak as my mother tongue.
Freedom is not something you are given, but something you have to take.
There are some similarities in the vita of Meret Oppenheim and me, why I wanted to get to know her works better. We were both born in Germany. She lived for a long time in Basel, where I also ended up and still live and work when I’m not doing that in New York.
Even more connection
Oppenheim also lived for a few years as a child in a small village, Steinen, about 20km from Basel in the Black Forest in Germany. I grew up in a neighboring village to Steinen and lived in Steinen for a long time before moving to Basel. The apartment I bought then is now my weekend and vacation home, when I get tired of the city life and feel the need of nature and tranquility.
One is confronted with Merkt Oppenheim a lot in Basel and in Steinen. There are Meret Oppenheim streets, Meret Oppenheim schools and a Meret Oppenheim tower. To visit an exhibition of hers in New York, where I also feel at home, was somehow a nice experience and further connection.
Big City Life
Living a bit of the city life has also come back this week. Meeting friends for dinner and drinks in bars. Cozy meals for two, walking through the streets of Midtown and feeling unimportant and small between all the towers and people (it’s liberating).
I have also started exercising again. Winter still hasn’t brought snow and the weather is mostly perfect for runs in the Riverside Park. Slowly, my desire for snow is fading, especially since the first snowdrops are blooming and the harbingers of spring are beginning to make themselves known.