The city that never sleeps. 9/11. Diversity. Pizza and delis. Flash. Cash. Big Dreams.
New York City.
Like a poem itself, this is the island that has been the backdrop for countless films; the harbor of the world’s biggest dreams and temptations; the haven for the lost as well as the found; aligned with the sidewalks that skinned the knees of the fallen hopefuls; where the buildings are as high as the blues are sung deep: New York City.
Poets Bruna Mori and painter Matthew Kinney deliver Dérive, an artistic duo that sticks a beaker under each borough and catches the sensuous juices of every coil, as read in “207th/Fort Tryon Park (Manhattan):
Bodhisattvas sit weaving urban peace as comfortably as Cubana at McDonalds, graffiti on rock, whispering “in this valley” and “never seen.”
Taking on Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan, Mori has an unusually piercing eye, tracing the crane, architecture, subway window and citizens with a graceful zest that leaves commoners nodding and the virginal traveler piqued with curiosity. From “Marking:”
To walk in a straight path here is impossibility. How to sidestep the canonic Krishna dancer and Puerto Rican boys calling, “Cheena,” “Mamacita,” and “God bless you.”
An insightful and confident blend of art yields a smattering taste of New York experiences that indulge the strange, whimsical, reflective and humorous. The Kinney paintings provide landscape intermissions between Mori’s stylistics, a complimentary visual even with the grayscale shading with its subtle hints of depth.
Dérive is a wonderful collection for any former New Yorker needing reminders of the peculiar trademarks of urban living, or those who wish to be temporarily placed in the hands of two revelatory artists who detail the mesmerizing beauty of the common, everyday encounters of human existence.