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The One Less Traveled By: A Weekend on the North Fork with James Salomon

 

 

By JAMES SALOMON July, 2019

It’s safe to say that I have driven back and forth on NY495 aka the Long Island Expressway over a thousand times in my 45 years. Once in a while I will pass exit 70, which means I’m headed to Riverhead, the gateway to the North Fork.

Growing up in Westhampton, the North Fork meant a lot of things. For example, Thanksgiving morning meant going up to Miloski’s poultry farm in Calverton to pick up the bird, then east to wait in line for the pie order at Briermere. It’s what you do.

Life is different on the North Fork. Even though the commercial districts are bustling, the way of life is slowed down considerably. Hala and I drove through the fields and vineyards on a Friday evening, and it was open road. We got to Cliff’s Elbow Room for dinner (another part of my childhood), and didn’t have to wait. People love to make Hamptons / North Fork comparisons, there is no “better” — it’s just different.

Our friend Meghan Boody invited us out for the weekend, and a hot one it was. She’s always graceful and charming, even in her last minute preparations for her opening at Havens in Sag Harbor.

The images were shot in chronological order July 20/21 on an iPhone 6 with some cropping and light adjustment when necessary. No filters were used. WM

No man is an island, they say.

I got to know Chris Astley’s work through Beth DeWoody when she and I curated a show in my East Hampton Warehouse called Hunt & Chase. Chris was making these cement pillow-like objects that are weird and compelling. I told Beth that I love Chris and love the work, but how the hell are we going to use it for this theme?

“We’ll stack them and make a bunker out of them.” So we did that, and somehow the universe was in order.

- Orient, NY
 


In 1991, My father owned a house in Quogue that Emilia and Ilya Kabakov were considering to buy. Emilia asked my dad to go to NY and see Ilya’s show at Ronald Feldman, so I tagged along. We got there, and I have to confess we hadn’t a clue what was going on, but I was 17 and felt pretty cool just by stepping foot inside a Soho gallery, and I was deeply affected by his installation.

Marking memories.

- Mattituck, NY
  

Where’s Ugo?

I went to Ugo Rondinone’s house, he wasn’t there. I walked around back thinking he might be on the beach, and came across four beautiful wild turkeys who were making these distinctive clicking noises with their claws on his deck. I tried to get my shot with them but they weren’t in the mood.

Alas, The Sun. Laid out on his deck, the rock formation with sea and sky in the distance.

Ugo called me later apologetically and asked me to come back, he had to run to town for an emergency... I told him I got what I needed.

- Mattituck, NY



 Michael Combs and I worked together once, we were roommates once, we did a lot of stuff together. His hunting lodge installation at my EH Warehouse was one of my proudest moments. Watching his progression has been remarkable.

- Southold, NY
 


Amei Wallach and I hadn’t seen each other in a while, so it was nice for her to invite me over and play catch up. Another film project is in the works that will be unveiled in due time, I learned.

We had strong coffee as she shucked away in the morning sun.

- Mattituck, NY

  

Arden Scott is the real deal. I’m not going to explain it, but I’m sayin’ it.

- Greenport, NY


 

BAM. Going out with Meghan Boody and Mary Gail Doerhoefer is always a good idea, especially at Claudio’s on Sundays. They look like they just stepped out of one of Meghan’s fantastical photographs, and have been practically inseparable for the past twenty five years.

Yes, they always dress like this.

- Greenport, NY


 

As a founder of the North Fork Collective, Kara Hoblin radiates loveliness and positive energy, which comes out in her chalkboard art. Yes, you read that right. If you are wondering how far that can go, well it remains to be seen. But people are looking and paying attention because she makes undeniably beautiful images in this medium.

- Port of Egypt, Southold, NY

 

 

James Salomon

James Salomon is an art dealer and curator at large. He lives in Jersey City with his family. www.salomoncontemporary.com

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