Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rain-soaked Manhattan

Wet and chilly Tuesday in New York. Photo: JH.
Regular NYSD readers may be familiar with the bi-annual magazine 2wice. I would call 2wice a magazine of the arts. Its editor and creator Patsy Tarr has a more succinct description: “…2wice is an interdisciplinary arts journal that focuses on a specific theme for each issue. The editorial vantage points of 2wice are popular and academic, serious and humorous. 2wice is intended to both document and vividly materialize the theme of each issue. Commissioned as well as historical photography provides a rich visual framework for an investigation of our subject areas: art, film, fashion, design, dance and performances…” An art magazine. But not like any other. Furthermore the finished product – each finished product – is like a piece of art unto itself.

I met Patsy Tarr a number of years ago when I was editor of a magazine here in town called Avenue. Its owner and founder, Judy Price, loved arts and culture in her magazine and so we did a piece on prominent women supporters of the arts. Patsy was one of them.

2wice's latest, Green World.
She has long had a big reputation as a dance aficionado. She even has a foundation that her husband Jeff Tarr, a very successful financial man, set up for her a number of years ago to endow dance companies, projects, artists, etc.

This kind of thing was a first for me – meeting someone who was passionate enough about dance to find a variety of ways to support it. Merce Cunningham is a long time friend and hero of Patsy. She invited me and Jeff Hirsch to see a performance of his company. I really knew nothing about Merce’s work, and I’m pretty sure Hirsch didn’t know much either. But we went, to cover it for the NYSD, and also because Patsy Tarr is such a gracious hostess (and, I should add, an inaugural supporter of the NYSD – one of our first advertisers).

I was fascinated by two things at that performance: the dance and the dancers – whose work was explained (when not comprehended) by our hostess, and the fact that most of the audience was under thirty, or even under twenty-five: they got it. It was a matter of witnessing the rewards of an artist whose work was ahead of its time becoming classic.

I loved the performance, its intriguing naturalness, serenity and grace. I am also an admirer of performers in the arts, be it dance, theatre or music. It is a tough road, often with little, if any reward except for the work itself and those brief moments of audience applause. It requires pluck and passion besides years of selfless devotion. I soon realized that Patsy Tarr shares that admiration. Furthermore she has found ways to contribute to its actualization.
A look inside 2wice's Green World.
2wice is a magazine but more than that it’s conceived and executed as a complement to whatever its subject, and is therefore a “piece of art” in itself. Its advisory board is made up of some of the most influential and important names in the arts. It is funded by individual and foundation contributions and reader subscriptions ($50 a year for the two issues). It also has a very big subscription list, thanks to its consistent quality and creative impact.

The new 2wice, which is out now, is called 2wice Edition's Green World. There are pictures of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company dancing in the gardens of Vizcaya, the fabulous estate in Miami built by farm equipment heir James Deering in 1916. The pictures were taken last February during the Cunningham Company's Residence at the Carnaval Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. The photographer is Katherine Wolkoff. Mr. Deering’s Italianate gardens have suffered abuse through the decades from hurricanes and neglect of time, but they are still an awesome and an intriguing and unusual sight, particularly in Miami, where most of the city appears to be brand new.

2wice Editions is a new step as it moves between being a periodical into being a book. 2wice Editions are available at and on Readers can subscribe online at www. It will be in bookstores -- mostly bookstores in art centers – in September. It’s a beauty; serene and intriguing.

For more on Patsy Tarr, see our NYSD HOUSE interview with her.

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