Kim Gordon Shares Her 'Beautification' of a new New York
Walking into Kim Gordon’s latest art exhibit at 303 Gallery feels like stepping into the rose garden inside Alice In Wonderland, except that instead of white roses being painted red there are misleadingly real looking bushes and crumpled up pieces of art calculatedly lining up the white walled gallery. It’s appropriate that the once-upon-a-time Sonic Youth front woman and veteran artist has titled this exhibit The City Is A Garden, because it looks like what gardens have become in the concrete jungle – namely, human-made, barren, synthetic.
“The hedges represent economic status and an environment that we’ve created,” Gordon says, her iconic voice surprisingly small in comparison to the big space. It’s interesting to see the rock and roll legend so vulnerable, but that’s what makes her so incredible – her artistic versatility, which ranges from music to performative and material art, to writing (most recently her lauded memoir Girl In A Band as well as the intro for fellow cool girl Chloe Sevigny’s new book with Rizzoli). When we asked her if she finds different types of inspiration for every different medium she approaches, Gordon says, “Yeah, I mean sometimes they overlap. Sometimes the art enters into the lyrics, and sometimes there are lyrics that were originally art ideas. But for the most part it’s really different, like the performative part of music.”
She cites the late John Chamberlain as inspiration, but more so the show is about the deterioration of New York by hyper commercialization; a topic that seems to be on every artist’s mind lately, and one that is particularly important for a woman who used to be synonymous with the city itself. But where Gordon’s crumpled art pieces and synthetic shrubs imply a loss of morale, hearing her explain that so many little gardens and parks exist as a means to “beautify the city” makes us think that maybe the new New York isn’t so bad. We’ll let Gordon decide for us.
The City Is A Garden will run until July 24th at 303 Gallery
Listen to Kim’s new song with J. Mascis for Converse here
Buy Girl In A Band: A Memoir here
Homeslide image by Hedi Slimane