PULSE contemporary art fair

upon arriving back home in new york, i decided to take advantage of any and all opportunities that come my way this summer. a slightly crazed perfectionist planner, i am trying to cure my stickler tendencies. so, when i got a last-minute invitation to the PULSE contemporary art fair, i happily agreed to show up just three hours later.

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the fair started in 2005 and is meant to serve as a platform for emerging galleries. this year’s event space (on west 18th street) was sectioned off into more than 25 areas, each of which showcased works from a specific gallery.

there were countless pieces i loved, but i decided to highlight just a few of the…quirkier ones (from least to most absurd):

this bowl was made entirely of matchsticks. and nothing. else.

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this piece looked like an innocent cherry blossom-type tree from afar…

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…but turned out to be made of tons of naked mini ladies engaging in less-than-innocent acts. not quite the flowers we expected.

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finally, “the wishing pelt,” which consisted of a long narrow hallway at the end of which stood a half naked, hairy-chested man on a raised platform. the hairy chest was the “pelt” part. the “wishing” part? viewers had to join him on the platform, whisper a wish in his ear, and then rub his chest for good luck. i was mortified and did it anyway. here was my timid approach (i chose not to share the picture of me actually rubbing the wishing pelt, as it was not surprisingly less than flattering for us both).

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thoroughly embarrassed, i made my way to the fair’s snack bar for a quick rest and refuel. of course it wasn’t the usual snack bar fare – there were no french fries or chicken fingers to be had. rather, the bar’s offerings were upscale and dainty; prosciutto sandwiches and fluffy quiches sat next to succulent sweets, from which i chose this decadent chocolate layer cake.

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the hefty slice provided just enough deep chocolate flavor to get my PULSE (get it?) racing. i figured a sugar rush of that magnitude was just what the doctor ordered post-wishing pelt trauma.

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