Artists consumer reports

Consumer Reports: Jeanette Hayes

Jeanette Hayes and friend.

Jeanette Hayes and friend.

“Consumer Reports” is a recurring feature that profiles an artist’s consumption of any and all media throughout one work week.

Jeanette Hayes is a painter and multimedia artist based in New York City and originally from Chicago. Her work addresses the traditional preservation and representation of contemporary technological imagery through painting, video, photoshop, and internet collage. She has shown with Half Gallery, the Hole, Bleecker Street Arts Club, M&B Gallery, Motelsalieri, and has multiple forthcoming shows in 2015. 

For her Consumer Reports, we follow Hayes from New York to Belgium for the installation and opening of a three-person group show that she has work in. Over the course of one work week, we attend a rodeo, take in the work of some Flemish old masters, and stay on the perpetual hunt for wi-fi. Plus #museumselfies, exotic European McDonalds menu items, and a lot more in this embed-heavy cross-continental post. —John Chiaverina

Saturday, January 17

Went to Udon West for udon because it was so freezing outside. Then went home to work on some drawings.

Later that night I went to a rodeo at Madison Square Garden with my friends Mavi and Claire.

 There were protesters outside. I probably agree with them:

Everyone inside was just as aggressive as the protesters outside. But why, I’m still not sure. The tension was high and I think I was called the B word by women more times on this night than all of the other times in my life combined. The cowboys were a little bit nice, but still a bit angry. Maybe people were channeling their sympathy for the bulls in an odd way. Or it’s just a loud, angry event with a crazy background of bull riding. This is a picture of the woman in front of me very angry at me, lol. Still trying to figure out what “battling” is…..


The rodeo was quite an experience and I thought about it often in the upcoming week. Also while I was there I was starting to get excited for my trip I would be taking soon. I was on my way to Belgium for a group show I was doing at Levy/Delval Gallery with Michael Manning and Jeff Baij called “New Drawings.”

Sunday, January 18

Woke up, played on the internet. I was about to go do some errands for my upcoming trip to Brussels the next day before I left, but first.. I double-checked my trip itinerary and realized… there is no time for errands… my flight was actually in…FOUR HOURS!!! I’m sorry but no matter how much I travel, 24-hour time will always throw me off. So I threw some jeans in my bag, jumped in the shower and called an Uber. Got to the airport JUST in time… but because it was raining and there was a little bit of traffic, my Uber was $89!!! What a sin!

At the airport, I got a coffee, the Tina Fey book (my second time buying it at an airport), a sudoku book, and then pranced onto the plane. I watched Guardians of the Galaxy, a little bit of the TMNT movie, but finally landed on The Lego Movie because I wanted to listen to that “Everything Is Awesome Song.”

I also bought an hour of wi-fi because… Because, you know… Addiction. And then I bought another hour…

Monday, January 19

4 a.m. and in Ireland for a layover. This is the most fabulous airport I’ve ever been to, I think. Everyone was in a good mood and it was the middle of the night. Also there was free airport wi-fi. I got a coffee. Caught the next plane, slept. Arrived in Brussels at 10 a.m.

Elaine Levy met me at the airport. We’d never met but she had a kind face and I knew this would be a fun week. We went to the Airbnb apartment that her gallery got for Michael Manning and me, to drop off my things and pick Michael up. Then we all went to lunch. Florent Delval met us. We all had the same bagel and it was the most excellent bagel I’ve had in years. And I live in NYC… We then went to the gallery to start installing for our show that would open in three days. We unpackaged the work and hung out. I was getting more and more jet-lagged but it was good to stay busy. We got a lot done this day.
We then went for dinner, after which I went home and crashed.

A shrimp moshpit for dinner.

Tuesday, January 20 Slept late— Another day of install. Michael and I walked over to the gallery and got to work. Install was really fun and Michael said a great thing later at our opening that I won’t soon forget:

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 12.08.04 PM
At the end of the day we were 90 percent done. We left to go check out the Super Dakota show down the street. Damien, the founder and director, was there and showed us around his gallery.

 We all then went for charcuterie which couldn’t have been any more perfect. And then we went to get burgers at a place called “Manhattan’s.” Their logo is “the taste of new york” LOL. We had burgers as Frank Sinatra’s “Love and Marriage” played in the background.

Wednesday, January 21

Oh the joys of Uber in Brussels. Michael and I woke up and took a €4 ($4.55) Uber to the train, which then took us up to Ghent. Before I left for Brussels my friend Allegra reminded me that the Ghent Altarpiece was a must see. And she was right. Michael and I began on a pilgrimage to see it.

I got some chocolates for the train ride. When we arrived, since we didn’t have Google Maps, we walked the wrong way for a while. Then we turned on our phones…. How did people do anything before the internet? Honestly? Google Maps showed us that we had walked in the entirely wrong direction and that is why Ghent was looking crazier and crazier.
We turned around and walked an hour the other way. It was a wonderful walk and I’m even glad we had the detour. It showed us a weird part of town and we got to hang out. But warning to anyone that is trying to see the altarpiece in Ghent, when you get out of the train, do not exit on the side with all of the hundreds of bikes! No matter how cool it looks, you are walking the wrong way!!! We finally arrive! It was worth the wait. We first went into the Cathedral. It was the most beautiful part of my Belgium experience. Massive.

 We hung around a bit and then went on to find the altarpiece which was footsteps away. We stopped along the way in the bell tower, it was chill, there was a kid’s store in it. Weird, but I’m not questioning it. Then the altarpiece! It was as magnificent as I had hoped. The Adam and Eve panels were out for restoration and replaced with black and white replicas. I was glad to see it in this rare state. We listened to the audio guide of each panel and were lucky enough to be there at a time when not many people were around. So we CHILLED. Listening to all of the audio guides and basking in the Ghent Altarpiece while eating Belgium chocolate from my pocket was one of my happiest moments ever.


A quick stop in the gift shop and then we were off. We stopped for some more chocolates and then in a flemish tapesty and lace store. Then, because life is nothing but a constant search for wifi, we landed up in the McDonald’s. We played on our phones and tried some of the specific to Europe treats on the McDonald’s menu. My favorite were the macaroons.

Then. Guess what. Guess freaking what. This genius. Michael. He found us the art museum. Why hadn’t I thought to look this up ?? We quickly gathered our things and trotted over.
Great time in the museum. So many old master flemish works. It was #museumselfie day so I had a time – skipping from painting to painting taking notes and selfies lol.
Then we went to the modern down the street. They were closing in 20 minutes, so we hustled. All in all, it was a great art day.

Train. Home. ZzzzzZZZzzzzZZzzzz. Thursday, January 22 Today Michael and I woke up and went straight to the museum in Brussels. It was the day of our opening, but we figured we had time to see some more art before then. And we did. First we explored the Magritte Museum.
No pictures were allowed, though (obvi this doesn’t stop me but annoying to have to be a sneaky sneak). We agreed that this is insane and even a tragedy for them because how could they ever participate in #museumselfie day? We got over our confusion and moved along to the Old Masters museum. This museum had me practically squealing. So many Flemish still lifes that we all love. It made me wonder, though, why are there never any skunks in these beautiful still lifes? It seems to me that these painters would have loved a reason to add a black and white animal into all of this color.

Are there no skunks in Europe? Anywho… We then moved along to the Modern part but this was really just a room. Nothing crazy here, but still cool. Next we adventured along to see the Palace. We wondered if the king was awake and WTF he’s doing right now. We didn’t come to an answer.

Stopped at a chain-looking restaurant named Yummy and used the wi-fi. Ordered an Uber, our favorite. Went to the gallery to make sure everything looked as good as we remembered and then went home for a while. The opening…




The opening was very fun. We missed the third member of our group show, Jeff Baij, a lot and wished he was with us, but we still managed to have lots of fun. Damien from Super Dakota chilled with us a lot and we talked to lots of people. Internet friend, Debora Delmar came and became our IRL friend :). Afterwards we went for dinner at a Soprano’s themed Italian restaurant. Rocky II was playing. Fun fun fun fun yay love art fun eat. Friday, January 23 On Friday I left Belgium at 7 a.m.

Traveled back to Dublin. I had a long layover so I decided to explore. An Irish friend of mine hooked up a fun itinerary for me. First I was picked up at the airport and we went straight away to the Hugh Lane Gallery. (Are you noticing that I love looking at art?) Here we looked at Francis Bacon’s studio and some Impressionist paintings. But the traffic was slow so I knew I had better head back soon. We stopped at a few little quick shops along the way and got a butler’s hot chocolate and then I got back on the plane.

 Now here’s a funny thing. I watched two movies on the plane, but each one ended up being a different movie than I was actually trying to watch… First I thought I was watching the Stephen Hawking movie (The Theory of Everything), but I didn’t know the title, so I started watching this other thing that from the thumbnail looked like it. It was called I, Origins, and it was a very upsetting movie. I realized it was the wrong movie about 10 minutes in, but by then I was invested and had to see this through. Next, I thought I was about to watch the movie where the dude falls in love with his phone (Her), but it ended up being Lucy. “When is she going to turn into a phone?” I kept asking myself. But she never did… This plane didn’t have wi-fi so I just kept watching movies and playing games on my phone (Candy Crush Soda and Cookie Jam, obviously). I then watched The Great Gatsby, which I hadn’t seen, and the beginning of Boyhood.


Then. I was finally back in NYC!!!!!!!!! One of my favorite parts of traveling is coming home. I went to my apartment, dropped my things off, took a shower and went to meet Bae. Saturday, January 24 We chilled in Harlem all day. It became night so fast. Then we went to the movies to see Black Hat. We went once before to see this movie but we kept getting too distracted and couldn’t pay attention and left. So we decided to try it again. This time, we took too long ordering our snacks and the theater didn’t have good enough seats for us. You need good seats when at the movies or else… I just don’t like to be in hell. So we walked into the theater next door with all of our goodies and some movie was about to start. We figured this would do. We asked the girls next to us what the movie was and they told us it was a movie in Chinese called 20 Once Again. Perfect. We watched it. It was about hating old people. It was great. Now it’s Saturday night and I just got home. I’m still tired from the time difference so I’m staying in and starting some new paintings and a drawing that I want to bring to Mexico for the Material art fair. I’m glad to be home.

This week I’ve learned that life is nothing but a constant struggle to keep your phone charged and that wi-fi is precious.

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