Gallerist Blair Clarke travels to New Orleans for Prospect.3: Notes for Now, a citywide arts biennial.
Published Jul 1, 2015 5:00 AM
Clarke pauses beside a sculpture on Camp Street.
Let’s face it, when you live in New York City, nearly every day is alive with color, creativity, and, of course, art.
So, as much as I enjoy traveling, I often seek out places that supply rest and relaxation. An exception to this is New Orleans, a city I adore. I was reminded of my love for the Big Easy earlier this year when I journeyed there to attend the biennial of international contemporary art, put on by Prospect New Orleans. The exhibition, entitled Prospect.3: Notes for Now, showcased the works of 61 contemporary artists in various stages of their careers.
Among my favorite parts of the exhibition was Tavares Strachan’s contribution, which managed to be a performance, a sculpture, and a form of community development. The centerpiece of Strachan’s installation, You belong here, was a neon work that will travel via barge on the Mississippi River to be docked and made visible from numerous locations throughout New Orleans.
The historic Academy of the Sacred Heart.
Other highlights included the work of Andrea Fraser, a Los Angeles–based performance artist, and the paintings of Deborah Kass, who described her oeuvre as “feel-good art for feel-bad times.” It’s a sentiment I love. While in New Orleans, in addition to reveling in groundbreaking art, I took time to re-explore the city’s fabled streets. I jogged along the Mississippi River, enjoyed a collector’s home tour of historic Audubon Place, and visited with street mimes as I searched souvenir shops for the perfect presents for my daughters. All in all, I found the city to be as alive as ever with art and culture—not living in the past, but celebrating life as it has always done.