PaperCity Magazine

February 2020- Dallas

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Page 17 of 83

16 letter editor JONATHAN ZIZZO E normous, furry, and rolling at will: The two giant orbs, kinetic sculptures by the FriendsWithYou art collective, were spin- ning and ricocheting through their debut at the Dallas Contemporary. One pink and one blue, each fuzzy ball was about the size of a food truck, with only two dots for eyes and a beneficent grin. They were like giant emoticons come to life, though if you scrunched down for a floor-level view, you could see two sneakered feet and four sets of wheels beneath each one — the artists Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III at work. I couldn't help but smile back at them, but I was also a little unnerved by their overwhelming presence. Watch out — they're rolling this way! I had bundled up on that cold January night for the ex- hibition's opening party — my first event as Dallas editor in chief at PaperCity Dallas. I'd jumped on this moving train otherwise known as the February issue just five days before. And, to be honest, life was feeling a little like watching those two magnificent, unpredictable orbs. Who knew what direction it might move next. Of course, that's part of the excitement. My few days at PaperCity, immersed in the culture and creativity of both the magazine and Dallas, had been an astonishing blur. How rich an experience the city puts right there in front of us. How wonderful to be part of a brand whose mission is to put it all at your fingertips, and to celebrate the people who bring it to life. Take just that one night. Thanks to the effusive Ashley Tatum, art advisor and Dallas Contemporary board member, I met a few of the fashionable faces in the crowd, including Brian Gibb, founder of the Public Trust gallery and just the guy to have at your side, whispering insights about FriendsWithYou's latest efforts. There was entrepreneur Geoff Green, who has an exciting new project we'll be writing more about in months to come. And Jeremy Strick, the force behind the Nasher Sculpture Center, who paused to tell me about an extraordinary event the museum has planned for this month: an Iraqi-Texan barbecue cooked by this year's Nasher Prize winner, Michael Rakowitz. (And good news: we're all invited. Check out the story on page 74). After the Contemporary closed, the party moved to the Midnight Rambler bar at the Joule, where I found myself chat- ting with one of the FriendsWithYou artists, Arturo Sandoval III, now out from under the giant fuzzy but still wearing the hot-pink sneakers. The L.A.-based talent explained that the piece, called The Dance, was an original work for the Dallas Contemporary. And, yes, those benign fuzzies, large and apparently randomly moving, are meant to be a little frightening. "Exactly!" Sandoval said. They represent love and spirituality beyond the institutions that have become so polarizing. And when you encounter the divine, "you are meant to go, 'Whoa!'" Michalene Busico Dallas Editor in Chief

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