tomoo card

running MARCH 13 – MAY 2, 2009
ATM – 621 WEST 27th ST – CHELSEA

atm logo

* the show opened on FRIDAY MARCH 13th !! *
* a brilliant show – how can BLACK, WHITE & GRAY be so R-A-D-I-A-N-T !! *
* tons of the coolest & best artists in the city were at the opening !! *
* name names ? TAYLOR McKIMENS, MATT LEINES, HISHAM BHAROOCHA & DAVID ARON. PETER SUTHERLAND. MELISSA BROWN collected our 6 numbers for her ARTIST LOTTERY POOL !! Her friend LAN TUAZON was with her. between the 2 of them – talk about a photog’s dream date !! a few of TOMOO’S good friends came over, too, with him – from Japan – including CHIBA & JAPANESE lensman: MASAYUKI SHIODA !!
* ERIC SALL introduced us to that other web terror: MARTIN BROMIRSKI !! *

* partied too hard at the after-party, YO, BILL BRADY !! !! which was at BILLY MARK’S WEST – the closest thing we’ve had yet to the legendary RED BAR !! *
* par-tay – on – NEW YORK !! *

* and, OMG X LOL – BROMIRSKI – caught us. and outed us. no doubt about it !! *

* when the hell are they going to invent invisibility cloaks – already !! *


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street art, paste art – on the way to the TOMOO GOKITA AFTER-PARTY at local bar & hang-out – BILLY MARK’S WEST – on 9th AVE in CHELSEA. NYC.
the paper blocks – hanging on a string between the left figure’s outstretched arms, spell out: S-O-L-A-C-E.

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first thing we noticed – TAYLOR McKIMENS (on right) and MATT LEINES, scribbling away in a front booth.
immediately – we got a flashback to the RED BAR circa 1982 !! where a whole generation of young, as yet unrecognized Lower East Side artists – like Basquiat, Rene Ricard, Richard Prince & sometimes Keith Haring, used to convene. among them, as well, Donald Baechler, just arrived in NYC – who had his first show there, on the RED BAR walls !! I believe Jamie Wolf used to curate the shows, as well as run the place and tend bar . . . as well, on any given night – you could find regulars like: comic ROCKETS REDGLARE and then struggling character actor STEVE BUSCEMI.
note: for the newly curious about the way things were back in the day !! – THE RED BAR was located in the East Village – SE corner of 1st Ave. & 7th St. !! things weren’t spread out – like they are now, all over the city, and mostly in Brooklyn. e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e came to the East Village, which was pretty down, raw and wild – to hang out. the other bars, at the time were local joints – real dives – dark and smoky, Polish or Romanian. The RED BAR – was the first new bar/artist gallery. it put on serious art shows. and it was set apart from the rest of the bar scene at that time – because it had bright lights, so you could see the art, and these lights were on all the time. the locals used to wonder at how the kids could drink in the constant bright light.
(thanks to SIMON CERIGO – for the first-hand recollection.)

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back to BILL MARK’S & Tomoo’s after-party !! the music came from a lighted-up jukebox.
here’s the site we liked the best on: BILLY MARK’S WEST !!

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we first spot TOMOO GOKITA – in his signature, kinda trucker, kinda farm tractor – solid red cap, near the bar.

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then he settled into a booth, where he greeted his pals.

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Tomoo’s pal – TOMORO – visiting from Japan.

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another of Tomoo’s pals in for the opening, CHIBA – who looked to be a little jet-lagged.

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signature hats, very individual in style, and shape – crisp and clean – with strong colors, as opposed to say logos for example – seem to be really big in Japan !! very cool.
Chiba’s says: PHILADELPHIA. and note Tomoro’s distinctive blue plaid one, above.

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TOMOO GOKITA celebrates the opening of ‘Champion Carnival’ – a show of brand new work at ATM, NYC.
with an after-party at BILLY MARK’S. March 13, 2009.

Tomoo really does have twinkling eyes like gemstones and he is as animated in person – and as deep – as an ancient character straight out of – one of those those archetypal – ancient Japanese – MONKEY – myths and fables !! no disrespect, just a straight-out gut feeling, in a nutshell.
further – a little research shows, his cap is right on !! – color-wise – the color red often being associated with the monkey, in early Japanese folklore and religion – and who, along with the fox, another apt animal descriptive for Tomoo, was considered very potent, very magical – specifically, they were both considered very powerful guardians against evil.

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back to real time NYC SPRING 2009 – everyone is rolling their own cigarettes. it’s too expensive otherwise.

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some more of Tomoo’s friends, who came over from Japan to be at his opening.

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including at right, fashion designer, YASUKO.

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on the left, MASAYUKI SHIODA.

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Japan-based editorial photographer – MASAYUKI SHIODA.
he does a lot of work for ESQUIRE/JAPAN.

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HIROSHI IGUCHI, has a great cap, too.

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well Americans are into headgear, too. esp in winter.
DAVID ARON drops by.

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ELVIS was in the house.

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so were the BEATLES.

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so just what were TAYLOR McKIMENS, and buddies MATT LEINES, and HISHAM BHAROOCHA doing
at that front booth – under the direct gaze – of JOHN LENNON ?

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they were making small collaborative drawings !! and in multiples, using 2 pieces of carbon copy paper, one pink and one blue !! so they could vary the color effects.
(the only other time we saw anything like this – except on a much larger scale – was the KRAMERS ERGOT COLLECTIVE BOOKPLATE SIGNING !! at DESERT ISLAND.)

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looks like Taylor started off this sketch.

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MATT LEINES started off this head – Hisham is putting in the details.
John Lennon would have approved.

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TAYLOR added his signature flies !!

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meanwhile, all along MARK, aka THE WIZARD, one of the two brothers that own BILLY MARK’S was behind the bar.

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there’s a full color OBAMA FAMILY – PRESIDENTIAL calendar – beside the phone !!

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HOUDINI – the unofficial, or was it official – ? – host of BILLY MARK’S digs the drawings, and asks the boys
to make one of: MARK – THE WIZARD !!
not only that – but he and MATT LEINES look like they sprung from the same tree !!
and, note – that US of A – headgear !! Americans seem to favor one style – baseball.
just some wear it backwards, and some down low in front.

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long story short – MARK – THE WIZARD !!

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up close you can see MATT LEINES did the eyeballs, and the lettering.
HOUDINI was pretty pleased with the likeness – a natural art critic – he just thought it was a little off in the jowls, a little too wide in the cheeks, and he was actually dead right. but, we all rushed to tell him – well that is their (cartoon) signature style !! and all things considered – it was actually pretty accurate & fairly tamped down !! as opposed to as really far-out these guys can get.

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MATT LEINES hands over the drawing to HOUDINI – to bring to MARK. they’ve all signed it.
(I’m so jealous – I could start a spontaneous forest fire, right then and there.)

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I’m not sure what Mark, exactly thought of his collective portrait !! he did slip it into the side of the BEATLES frame. but it looked like it could fall out at any moment. onto the wet bar counter !! couldn’t help admonishing him, not to let it fall – and get wet !! maybe I should have offered him $50 bucks for it. just to tip him off to its value !! I’m sure you could get a couple of hundred for it, no sweat on eBay this very moment, if not more !!
recession, be damned.

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TAYLOR McKIMENS was cool enough, to notice, and even – soothe my burning envy – by inscribing one of his earlier solo starts, and presenting it to me. wow. nice. very nice.
(but see, what I mean Mark – they can get scary !! your’s is pretty tame !!)
(though on second thought, looking back at his, it’s pretty far-out, f-u-n-n-y too !!)

timoo party scan signing
it says: keep on truckin NANCY, – TAYLOR.
(but I can just hear those little voices back home – going – but mom, can it pay the rent ?)
wait and see. I bet !! just hopefully – not in another life-time !!

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so – we’ll let HISHAM BHAROOCHA – have the last word. thumbs up !!, headgear and all !!

the ATM AFTER-PARTY for TOMOO GOKITA – in celebration of his new show: ‘CHAMPION CARNIVAL’.
with thanks to BILL BRADY – for a great time, all around.
FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009