Courtney Love may be crazy, but she’s no fool. She’s fully aware of the eye-rolls that her debut art show will elicit—and she doesn’t give a damn. “If you see something elevated in it, good. If you don’t, I don’t care,” she told us last night at Fred Torres Collaborations in Chelsea, where some 45 of her recent works went on display for a curious crowd that included designer Johan Lindeberg, photographer Francesco Carrozzini and Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon.
Entitled “And She’s Not Even Pretty,” Love’s show consists almost entirely of childlike self-portraits with angst-ridden phrases such as “No one made me cry like you made me cry,” scrawled across them. “It’s like a diary,” she explained. “There’s evidence.” A whirling dervish of cigarette smoke and disjointed sentences, Love noted that art for her is nothing new. “My mother was trying to force me to be an artist when I was little, by not giving me pink dresses and canopy beds, but African finger instruments and friggin’ pastels.” She later attended the San Francisco Art Institute, where, Love made sure to point out, she learned nothing. It was Torres and photographer David LaChapelle who convinced Love to brave her first art show. “I learned a lot from going to Julian’s house,” she said, referring to Julian Schnabel. “He has a career I love. If a dude can do that, a girl can.”
Later on at the Maccarone gallery, a mix of art world heavyweights (Peter Brant, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn) and downtown artists (Nate Lowman, Agathe Snow) milled around Hanna Liden’s new show of appropriated street objects: motorcycle jackets molded around white pedestals, deli flowers spray-painted black, self-portraits of Liden with plastic bags on her. “My favorite is the sad umbrella,” she said, pointing to her stark photograph of a wind-mangled mess of nylon. “I just like the shape.”
Further downtown at Team Gallery, Ryan McGinley had made the wise decision to involve the NYPD—seeing as the department shut down his last show due to overcrowding. This time, Wooster Street between Grand and Broome was blocked off, allowing the hordes of nubile attendees to freely move between the gallery’s two outposts—one of which housed “Grids,” his vivid portraits of ecstatic concert-goers; the other “Animals,” his studio portraits of live animals snuggling—and at times getting intimate with —young, nude models. “You’re sort of not sure whether to call PETA or child services,” joked the artist Aurel Schmidt. “But, they’re cool.”
Photos: Love, Liden at Maccarone, Team Gallery: Karin Nelson. Flower painting (orchid): courtesy of the artist and Maccarone gallery; Albino Peacock (Rose Red): courtesy of the artist and Team Gallery