Making Grilled Cheese for Claus Meyer

I am not a cook. I only make one thing: grilled cheese sandwiches. Making Grilled Cheese for Claus MeyerI mentioned my grilled-cheese sandwich abilities in passing during a party, and truth be told, I wasn’t really aware of who I was talking to, nor even really what I was talking about, but I did not tell the person before me, Claus Meyer, that I was good at making grilled cheese sandwiches.

Surprisingly, he seemed interested. “I would like to try that.”

Shortly thereafter I had learned who he was, that he was a famed chef and restauranteur, co-founder of Noma in Denmark, voted best restaurant in the world four separate years.

“You say it is a good sandwich. I would like to try them too.”

And so we invited Claus and his wife for dinner, and, yes, I made my grilled cheese sandwiches, or “cheese toasts” as he called them. Making Grilled Cheese for Claus MeyerAnd he liked them. “The bread is right. It is crisp. The cheese is perfectly melted.” Making Grilled Cheese for Claus MeyerHe had three pieces. “Yes, they are very good.”

My secret you ask? Well, I’ve just started working on my book, Melted Just Right which should be ready in the fall of 2017.

The Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide

More Art has produced another fascinating public work of art in New York City: The Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide, conceived and performed by Dread Scott. The Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and GenocideWhile the title might be a mouthful, so is the concept, an idea that no one seems to want to accept or seriously consider beyond the platitudes spat in cross-fire talking-head vents. The Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and GenocideMr. Scott performed the work before two hundred transfixed spectators, many of them school children, under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn in early October. The Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and GenocideA video of the work, recently released by More Art and available here, is worth viewing. Neither cute nor clever, it asks us instead what it is that we are doing with our lives in this world we cherish as free?The Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide

Stark and Compelling: “Residents of New York”

More Art, a non-profit arts organization in New York, has produced a remarkable piece by photographer Andres Serrano, on display in the West 4th subway station in New York. 20140608_172233Micaela Martegani, director of More Art, addressed the aims of her organization in realizing this stark and compelling work that focuses on the homeless of New York.

Micaela Martegani, More Art

Micaela Martegani, More Art

“Homelessness has wildly escalated in recent years, and yet we all tend to ignore it. I believe that we all share responsibility, and artists can help us see. Artists can make an issue public for all to see, without lengthy lectures.” 20140527_143518“This is a sensitive topic and we have tried to be as sensitive as possible. Many of these men and women are tired of being invisible and want to be noticed and heard; the work is dedicated to all these people who despite their personal difficulties chose to participate.”Chambers & West Side Hwy (3) “The project crosses between an art installation and an awareness campaign. We wanted to make it as visible as possible, and so posted the images not only in the 4th Street subway station but also in Laguardia Place, construction sites in the area, as well as phone booths all over the city.”Kingand6thAve_1“As far as the future, More Art has a few projects in the works, including a performance for the fall, when we will also be celebrating our 10th Anniversary.” 20140605_233039The project will be up in the West 4th subway station until June 15, 2014. 

Remembering: Wodiczko’s Lincoln

Today is a day of contemplation, a day to remember those we have lost, who we are and what we may become. More Art’s presentation of Krzysztof Wodiczko’s Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection asks us to do just that. The work, now on display in New York’s Union Square Park (at 16th Street), is a 24-minute projection loop of war veterans expressing their feelings on the damaging effects of war. Faces, projected onto the statue of Abraham Lincoln, bring the spirit of this icon to life. And they speak:

I know a veteran that committed suicide because he had nobody to talk to. He couldn’t talk to anyone and he lived on the streets. He died alone.

It came from not being able to sleep for a day to an entire week.

The daydreams, they sneak up upon you.

I couldn’t live alone and at the same time I couldn’t live with anyone else.

When I came back, the worst thing that happened to me was the rejection of the people.

We can do so much more when we put the gun down.

Wake up, people! Help the veterans. Do something for the veterans. The installation, on display 6-10pm from now until December 9, is a great work of public art. Accessible, powerful and relevant, the work reaches deep inside the viewer and really does ask who are in this world today. Krzysztof Wodiczko should be thanked for this. More Art should be thanked for this. And most of all the veterans should be thanked for this.