Paul D’Agostino draws a performance by David Simon/sculpture by John Monti at Studio 10

Studio 10, John Monti: Hearts and Stems, February 8th - March 10th, 2019, David Simon, Feb,15 2019

It sometimes happens that there’s a lovely red pen just sitting there, right next to the sign-in book, and that both objects happen to be right where you often stand to watch certain things take place in a certain place.

And so it did happen that there was a really lovely red pen, of the light-grey-bodied Uni-Ball Micro variety if I recall correctly, just sitting there, if indeed pens can be said to sit — an extra questionable proposition in the passive voice, no less — right next to the sign-in book at Studio 10, and both objects were in fact located just to my left, as I was standing in my preferred place to stand to watch events there whether or not they’re crowded. One would be hard pressed to say that the event on the night in question — a musical performance by David Simons on February 15th, staged within the already sensorially engaging context of an exhibition of sculptures by John Monti — was crowded. However, it was certainly well attended. In addition, I feel we should always pause when using certain expressions in certain ways. ‘Hard pressed’ should always give us pause. So, in pausing, allow me to apostrophize, in a way, and in a way that has little to do with the punctuation mark:

What the hell? When we say write, say or think, or write-say or say-think, or in this case think-say-write, the expression ‘hard pressed,’ are we saying, like, ‘One would be as if in a medieval torture device to say that…’, or ‘as if in a panino press…,’ or ‘as if in a George Foreman grill…’, or ‘as if aboard the L Train between Union Square and 3rd Avenue at 6:23 in the evening on a weekday…,’ etc.? Also, ‘hard pressed’ has such a convenient, here, etymological relationship with the word ‘expression,’ which itself has an interesting relationship with ‘espresso,’ which both is and is not an ‘expression’ unto itself, and which really isn’t supposed to be written or pronounced ‘expresso.’ But you know what? Who fucking cares. Life is short and sucks in general, so your time is better spent calling up George Foreman and inviting him over to have a panino, the plural of which is panini, made in one of his grills. I bet he’d like that, and subtleties of language are fucking tedious and boring anyway. Disagree? Cool, so do I, fundamentally, but could you deny that devoting great thought to such concerns tends to lead one to have a life that is generally very tedious and, in a comparative sense, boring? I mean, I should really be skydiving, and without a parachute. But now I’m really digressing.



You can see the event in question at the gallery in question where the event in question was taking place in the photo I took, which I took from where I was standing, which is where I usually stand, blah blah blah. The pen was right there, I scribbled around with it a bit because I just love how the ink flows from those darn pens, and then I thought it could be fun to do some continuous line blind drawings with it, quick ones of a couple minutes or so each.


And as subject matter, I chose the matter at hand, the event in the question, not least because Mr. Simons was playing the theremin, for which hands certainly matter a lot, as the playing of that instrument entails plenty of wiggle-wavy hand trickery, which always just looks magical and/or goofy and fake, but mostly magical. It was a wonderful performance.

Two of the continuous line blind drawings are of that, and of the crowd, and of mic stands here and there and things on the wall. The drawings are nothing great, I know, but just look at that red! Yum. It’s like a curvilinear long sloppy kiss on that beaming white paper, which I stole from the gallery’s printer (sorry, Larry). Speaking of kisses, the third drawing is of a heart-shaped sculpture by Mr. Monti, the sculpture that was also right there to the left of where I was standing as I watched the performance. And speaking of hearts and kisses, the event in question was on the day after Valentine’s Day, which is not interesting, but it might be interesting that the day of the event in question was also Flag Day in Canada, as I just learned from the free calendar I got from my dearly beloved Key Food Grocery Store toward the end of last year.

Anyway, that’s how all that went that night. All because of a nice red pen. And come to think of it, the Canadian flag is also red and white.