New York’s East 53rd Street, between Madison and Fifth Avenues, is full of nondescript Manhattan skyscrapers. In the courtyard of one of these clinically clean buildings, however, there are five crumbling, old slabs of concrete covered in graffiti. It’s hard to believe that these blocks, so out of place in their surroundings, were once part of one of the most politically charged structures in the world, one that divided the globe in two based on ideology and geopolitics — the Berlin Wall.
Once in a while, there’s an exhibition that succinctly presents so many contradictions, it seems that it may overflow from the gallery space, out into the street. That’s the feeling I had after visiting Soto Unearthed at Bosi Contemporary, and I do not mean this in a negative way.
I’m ashamed to admit that I am a reflection hog. On the subway or walking past big storefront windows, I constantly check my reflection. Even at a gallery or museum, I find myself looking at my reflection before I look at the art. I never really gave this a second thought; it wasn’t until I visited the Whitney Museum’s current retrospective of Yayoi Kusama that I was disturbed by my inability to focus on the art behind the glass.