Will Stewart is an artist based in Brooklyn. He has recently staged solo exhibitions at 321 Gallery, New York—”A Late Lunch At The Paradise Of Silence Cafe,’ closing this weekend—and Clima Gallery, Milan. Additionally, Stewart founded and operated ZAX restaurant from 2014 to 2016. Starting December 14, Stewart will be installing a lounge area in the front space of the Chelsea gallery American Medium as part of the gallery’s Winter Sessions program.
One full seven-day period with Stewart is spent primarily around the Brooklyn neighborhood Red Hook, where he both lives and works. There is, however, a weekend trip upstate to Hillsdale, New York, to participate in a group exhibition inside of and around a barn thrown by Green River Project. Beyond that, Stewart goes deep on horror movie sub-genres, goes shopping for a winter coat (and, secretly, a pair of Uggs) and talks about the legendary OJ Simpson prank show, JUICED. —John Chiaverina
Monday, November 6
Let Bruno and Ivana (Tarwuk) into the studio. I’ve been running a movie theater out of a space in Red Hook, and tonight, they are showing some films they’ve been working on for a show they have in Rotterdam, along with some ex-Yugoslav shorts. I have some anxiety because I’m in one of the movies, and I don’t like seeing myself on screens.
Their movies are really good and my screen time is minimal, thank god. The others they show are an animation that looks like Kandinsky, and a short documentary about a town where they make really strong liquor and then have a party every night, but someone’s always getting stabbed.
Talking to Ryan about reprising a screening he did at my old place ZAX. He showed some Tom Green short films and then showed Jiminy Glick in Lalawood. We want to redo that program, but this time, add some footage from the OJ Simpson prank show JUICED. The trailer for Juiced has OJ dressed up as an old man with a knife in an apartment building. Then someone walks by and slips on a banana and OJ stabs them! So weird.
Home now. I live in a studio building and share a kitchen with some people who have a photo studio. They do a lot of photoshoots for cookbooks so I’m making leftovers from the cookbook photoshoot that’s been happening today. I think this one’s a Korean cookbook, and so I eat their sesame mushroom noodles on toast.
Sitting with Zak, my cat. He hasn’t been eating a lot this weekend, and I’m getting worried. Not sure what the problem is but watching the situation closely, and trying out some different foods. He doesn’t want any of the chicken tonight, or any of the dry food either. He will lick cream off my finger, but that’s it for now. I’ll leave some food on his plate, and see if he gets interested in a midnight snack.
Tuesday, November 7
Reheat some coffee and check Zak’s plate. Clean, and he wants more. Good good. I make some toast and then sit with him while he eats another half can.
At coffee shop to answer emails and other computer tasks. I also sign up for a remote viewing target practice that happens once or twice a month in Midtown. I’ve never done this before, but growing up, I had a friend whose dad was a psychic spy for the military remote viewing program. I look him up and find out he’s become a prominent lecturer and trainer for the technique.
This is the guy who teaches the NY meet up:
Shopping at a second hand store for a winter coat, and find a nice one with wool lining. It’s big too, so I can wear lots of stuff underneath. looking at other things too. I secretly want a pair of Uggs, but don’t want to pay full price. And all these used ones are too small or gross.
It’s cold and rainy and I’m eating tomato soup and cheese bread for dinner. Zak is eating regular again and has 1.5 cans of turkey. We try watching Stranger Things, but season two is pretty boring. So I put on West Wing for the thousandth time and call Stephanie to make Thanksgiving plans.
In studio now to make a table for a show at Green River Project this weekend.
Back home. Start Der Todesking by Jorg Buttgereit. This movie is incredible. I think he’s one of my favorite directors. He gets lumped in as a horror director (which I guess makes sense on the surface), but his movies aren’t scary at all. Just miserable. His Nekromantik movies are like this too. They’re not horror, they’re miserable and perverted romance films. And the music is amazing.
Breakfast for me and Zak.
Carol sent links to some videos and I watch them with coffee. They’re funny, and remind me of Sifl and Ollie. Now watching Sifl and Ollie videos. It’s Performa right now, so this is appropriate.
Read lots of election coverage and analysis.
Look at surf report. Nothing but wind.
Walking to work.
Go to studio to finish a piece for this weekend and take a shower. Carol is there and we chat about acupuncture, hypnosis, and remote viewing.
Back home. Having dinner with Zak, and look through some books I just got. Official Splatter Movie Guide 1 & 2. Both are fun to skim through, but pretty basic aside from a compendium of splatter sub-genres that make the books worth it, organized with titles like:
-Movies shown on Donahue and mentioned in American Psycho.
-Yuppies get slaughtered.
-Flicks where women show unnatural fondness towards torn-out hearts.
-Not separated at birth.
Look online to try and find a copy of a zombie movie from ’98 I saw a long time ago called I, Zombie: A Chronicle of Pain. It’s on YouTube, but kind of low-quality. It’s shot from the point of view of a man who is bit by a zombie in the woods of England, and then slowly transforms from man to zombie back in the city where he lives. Most of the movie is scenes of him feeling sad about what he has to do now to satisfy his new urges. My favorite is a long mostly silent scene of him crying in a bathtub while eating someone’s arm.
Check surf report. Wind up and swell down :( go back to sleep.
On a walk to get some coffee and see a dog with a pukka shell necklace. Then, a little further on there’s a film crew blocking off street. They’re making a Spike Lee movie and I realize I’ve never seen a Spike Lee movie. Should watch one soon I think.
Breakfast for Zak and me, followed by some plant care and room cleaning. Found some more plants on the street and brought them home. Getting out of control in here. Anybody need some plants?
Also started sorting through winter/summer clothes and putting some things away.
Listening to Crispin Glover’s album The Big Problem ≠ The Solution. The Solution = Let It Be. Great record. Also look at some pics of his Czech castle.
Start doing my physical therapy, but then realize I’ll be late for work, and put it off til tomorrow.
Had planned on going to see a friend’s performance tonight, but couldn’t get out the door. Staying in instead. Reading The Marbled Swarm, but feeling distracted.
Decide to go out and buy groceries in a different neighborhood tonight because i want to leave Red Hook at least once today. I live here, work here, and have a studio here. So I ride my bike to Trader Joe’s on court. When I’m in there I remember I don’t like this store. All the fruits and veggies are packaged individually, and the corny cartoons all over the place are annoying. But I buy a potato, some cauliflower and some greens anyway. Plus some peanut butter since it’s on sale.
Chat with Stephanie for awhile. She moved in August to go to school in D.C., and we make plans to see Jigsaw when she’s here for Thanksgiving.
Finish Der Todesking, and then watch part of some Paul Rudd movie called I Love You Man.
Friday, November 10
Breakfast with Zak.
Read news for a few hours. Roy Moore is a pedophile, but some friends who grew up in Alabama say he still has a chance at winning the seat because some people would rather elect a pedo than a Demo. Not sure if I believe them, but still, wtf…
Also, Trader Joe’s peanut butter is no good! Tastes like burnt peanuts and soy sauce.
Zak looks cold so I put all the blankets and jackets into a pile so he can burrow and make a cave.
Loading up car with stuff for show in Hillsdale. Planning on leaving around 2 after I get some Long Johns at 99 Cent Dreams.
Doing my PT. I threw out my back a few months ago, and had severe tendonitis in my left knee before that was so bad it looked like a balloon half full with jello. The physical therapist said it’s because I have weak hips and weak core. So now I have to work out two times a week with elastic bands and ankle weights. Back and knee still hurt, but at least they work now! When I threw out my back I couldn’t get out of bed for three days, and couldn’t work for a week. I have to do hip thrusts, lots of monster steps, and an extended plank work out.
I’m a little nervous because last time I drove upstate, my car was overheating pretty bad, and we had to cut the trip short and turn around. I got the thermostat replaced and am hoping that was it.
Car is overheating still but not as bad. I’m taking it slow, trying to keep it out of the red. The heat isn’t working for some reason either so I’m wearing all the clothes I brought. Temp outside is 21 deg. Not a lot of cars on the road and aside from my headlights everything is so black! Radio is only static and I feel like I’m in space. Especially when going down a hill, when I put the car in neutral and its quiet.
Bought a bottle of wine in Hillsdale and get to the barn where everyone is hanging out. I’m drinking beer and trying to get as close to the fire as possible while Ben’s brother, who is an airplane mechanic, tries to tell me what I need to do to fix my car. I don’t really understand, but try to memorize some key points that I can regurgitate to the mechanic when I bring it in next time.
More friends arrive and we all go to Ben’s mom’s house to eat some food. I eat cornbread and butter for dinner. Also, there’s lots of dogs now which I like.
Saturday, November 11
Wake up early even though I wish I didn’t and have a cookie with some coffee. No one else is up so I go out for a walk. It’s so bright and so cold and feels amazing to be outside.
People starting to wake up. Make some more coffee, and make eggs on toast for everyone. Then we all go over to where the show will be to set up.
Holy shit it’s cold! The show is in/around a big old drafty barn with no heat and my fingers are numb.
Back at the warm house eating peanut butter out of the jar and reading some article in the New Yorker about Lorde and her new sound. I liked her song when it came out, but I don’t know what the new one sounds like.
A few people have arrived by now and we’re all standing over some barrel fires. Macgreggor is making squirrel stew.
Move inside the barn. Still cold but not windy. Ben starts the fire with a blowtorch, and Nathaniel and I practice throwing knives at the barn door. I get it to stick once.
Its pitch black outside and you can see the Milky Way. I finish some leftovers from earlier and start the drive back. Engine temp is in red the whole way down, but at least the heat is working now.
Back home now. Feed Zak extra and apologize for being gone so long. Then we play the string game until he’s tired, and he goes for catnip and I read some more from Marbled Swarm.
Sunday, November 12
Make some coffee and look through some magazine/books about modular furniture for people who live a nomadic lifestyle. Some of the ideas are good, but some seem kind of insane. Like a homemade car seat for toddlers built from cardboard. Seems like a fire hazard.
In studio now. Working on some chair parts for something in Dec. at American Medium.
Came into the city to see Eartheater play a show as kind of a closing for Hayley Martell’’s very nice show at Larrie. But I’ve been here 1.5 hrs and no one’s played yet and I don’t feel social tonight. Go for a little ride around Chinatown instead. There’s some women in the park dance/exercising to a Teressa Teng song and I watch them for awhile and listen to the song. She’s one of my favorite singers and I wish I could understand the lyrics.
Home now. Make some rice and tea and read a little of a book that Bruno lent me called Piercing by Ryu Murakami while Zak does some sprinting in the hallway.
Monday, November 13
I’m out of coffee here, so going to the café to get a cup. On the way back, pass by a flower-arranging store. They always throw out lots of nice flowers so I pull some roses out of the pile for my room.
Done with work today and going to the Russian Turkish baths. Helps to get the toxins out.