NEON INDIAN: A Night at the Museum

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I wasn’t used to the building at this time of the day, or rather night. I felt like I should be carrying a grappling hook. I should have a specific target in mind. One of the Basquiat’s, or a Pollack. A Richter for my mother. I should be wearing black Ops gear, or a tux, something super debonair that floated under the radar of MoMA security. I was wearing the next best thing: jeans and a tee-shirt. Shhh, don’t blow my cover.

The Armory Show is back with an artistic vengeance. Celebrating important works of art from the 20th and 21st century. They’ll be taking over Pier 92 and 94, displaying modern work from the present and past. It is worth checking it out.

(Photo courtesy of neonindian.com)

In the meantime it’s The Armory Party, and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was the kid with their parents out of town. HOUSE PARTY. They invited everybody. Discrimination in art is non-existent. Come play, learn, view; and they did, with glasses of this and that clinking between dead space. Making friends in the time span of a sip. The suited peacocked in their brown pinstripe suits (awful), or their heavy gray wool, though it was close to sixty out. The less suited relaxed their ties, and slicked their hair back with the excess sweat from the crowded room, and that Jack they were holding didn’t help any. Go for gin, I say. The even less suited were the hips. It was like a much less awesome version of A West Side Story battle. Who can pretend to be cooler? The LMFAO wannabes, in their high top Adidas, or the Rick Owens lovebugs, looking grim with white powdered faces? Yup. It’s exactly like A West Side Story. Except their cellphones are their weapons. “TWEET AT ME DOG!” Then there were the free lovers man, and god bless their souls. They keep the spirit of modern art and crazy nightlife thriving and pumping behind the fishnet stockings they pull over their faces. One spacey fellow, was wearing a lovely sequin getup, while a dolled up missum looked high and mighty in a full out red flamenco dress. AI! AI! AI! And then there was the Neon Indian.

No. This is not a type of demographic. This is one specific individual. The musician Neon Indian. Who took the stage at ten, donning a white button down under a black leather jacket and a mess of quaffed up curls. To say he killed it, would be an understatement, because he did something more interesting than sudden death through music. He drew attention to the crowd. There he was, up on stage, rocking the hell out of his own music. Singing in the perfect pitch, as if he had a producer behind the scenes calibrating his voice. It sounded good. But more so, it looked good. The dude kicked and flailed, keeping on beat with his feet and his groove. Looking out over the crowd from the second floor, it was apparent that no one was dancing. I turned to my friend, checking if she saw what I saw. She did. She shook her head, “No one dances in New York City anymore.”

WHAT?! Why?! Have I missed something? Has New York City suddenly become Elmore City, OK? Do I needa call up John Lithgow and have a little heart to heart about the merits of dancing in youth? Sure, some people were side stepping, y’know, real cute and all. But where were the people letting their body loose. Where were the Neon Indians? Where have all the neon indians goooooooone? I tried releasing myself from the death grasp of the repressed, but my limbs felt heavy. The judgment felt heavier. Like everyone had taken a break from their cocktails to stare at me, shaking their heads. “Trouble.” I shrugged my shoulders. If ya can’t beat them, join them. But Neon Indian didn’t. He played the fantastic synth heavy “Fallout.” The electro sonic “Era Extrana.” And he did it all while dancing. Hats off to you gent.

My friend and I walked the space some more. One of the galleries was open, and it was cool walking the stream without the tourist bustle of weekend one-a-days. The third floor was closed, so I decided to run up the escalator that ran down from it hoping I might find some living wax statues just hanging out, smoking a joint. Andy Warhol taking a picture of Cindy Sherman, taking a picture of herself, while Rauschenberg took a piss on a Pee-Coss-Oh. All I found was a small Indian security guard yelling that I couldn’t be up there, which wasn’t wholly untrue as I was up there, but I think he meant in the more what is and isn’t permissible sense. Ahhh, bless your heart old timer.

I went back to the main space. Walls lit up in fluorescent splattered splendor. Neon Indian wrapped his set, and the space cleared out some. The DJ took over and started blowing his goddamned air horns. It was time to leave.

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