May 22, 2005

NY Art World Reaches Baby Tipping Point

From William Pym's Artforum Diary report of the opening for "Make it Now," a group exhibition at SculptureCenter in Long Island City:
I have never seen so many babies at an art opening in my entire life; it was as if SculptureCenter had been teleported to Park Slope. Twins Ursula and Nanook were strapped to mom and dad, sculptors Rachel Lowther and Fritz Welch...I wanted to talk to [Welch] about the Throbbing Gristle logo he'd painted on the wall in what looked like vomit, or curry. "It's iodine", was all he chose to tell me then, sensitive to the fact that newborns should probably only hear about Throbbing Gristle when in need of punishment. Janine Antoni's six month-old daughter was strapped to dad Paul Ramirez Jonas. And a very louche Stephen Malkmus had his newborn in a sling...
Well, these are the artists. I think the collectors all still drive Bugaboos.

If you want to get your art world gear on [L to R, above]: the Tomy Freestyle [23.99 at]; the Ergo Baby Carrier [$89.99 at]; the OiOi Messenger Bag in chocolate and baby blue [$100 at]; and The New Native, which they don't call a sling [$48 for organic, $40 for regular cotton at].

Babies on Board [artforum diary]
"Make It Now," May 15-July 31 at SculptureCenter []
Malkmus has a new solo CD out, but wants to hold off on a Pavement reunion ">until his fans' kids are out of "baby papooses, you know?" []
Previously: Bugaboo: Official Stroller of The NY Art World


I don't get why people wear the Bjorn-style carriers so low. I'm pretty sure the kid's head is supposed to be high enough that you can put your head down and touch theirs. Otherwise, you're just shoving them around with your gut, breaking your back, looking like you're trying desperately to be cool while wearing a baby carrier. It's not like a guitar strap, where you can drop the straps down and pretend you grew up all rock-and-roll, not all classical-guitar-lessons-in-a-suburban-music-shop.

Hm, sorry, pet peeve of mine, I guess.

Since I was keyboards, I have no idea what you are talking about. All I know is that I hate having the Bjorn so high that I inhale the kid's hair in my nose. There's also the getting kicked in the nuts factor that might drive a guy to lower the kid's feet below (his) crotch level.

And let's face it, how much cooler is it, really? The only fashion/cool-related justification I can think of would be to show off a daddy type t-shirt. And not even I do that.

Exqueeze me? A child named Nanook? Born to a couple of sculptors? You can bet this kid's last name is hyphenated, so that would make him/her Nanook Lowther-Welch (or maybe Welch-Lowther)
What could this kid's middle name be?
My vote is Queequeg.

I like the slings from this site [], you can choose a lot of different styles and fabrics. However, I am tempted to purchase things that Stephen Malkamus might own, even in "natural" cotton.

A sling at home? fine. In public? Over my dead body.

slings were always uncomfortable to me. i preferred hitting everyone in the back of their legs with the stroller...

The Stephen Malkmus-approved New Native don't-call-it-a-sling is by far the best one I've used. It's been my best friend and constant companion from birth to five months and counting. My wife has been through a succession of them, including a fleece one from Kangaroo Korner, but I haven't liked any better that the New Native, and it's the one she uses most too.

It's simple, understated, and extremely portable. If you're concerned about looking like a dork, get the black one. It tends to fade into clothing better, and you'd be surprised how often people don't notice there's a baby hanging off your chest.

Anyway, I am not a paid spokesperson. Just someone who gets sort of revolted every time he sees one of those awful Baby Bjorns. ;-)

Of the 5 months we used a sling, I found it comfortable about twice. The wifey loved it, and had no problem with it. I preferred the Happy Sack (a local knock-off of the Baby Byorn,, a front pack type carrier. You can turn the baby in or out, and their heads don't get put at an awkward angle. With the sling, I always found myself supporting his back so that he wasn't too bent up in there. So I only had one free hand, with the Happy Sack, I could make coffee, read the paper, dial the support line, order in food...

where i can find baby Byorn in Israel (to buy)

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