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Blue Boy's arrival
on the roof of
blue boy welcomes you to the soho arts festival by Walter Robinson
He grows on you, and it's not just because he's inflatable. It's Blue Boy, a 30-foot- tall blue plastic personage who lorded it over this fall's SoHo Arts Festival from the rooftop of Cristinerose Gallery on West Broadway. The creation of Australian artist Maria Kozik, Blue Boy wears a trademark look of utter bewilderment which, along with his two lonely teeth, is a franchise that commends him to us utterly, as an emblem of the current state of art as well as a philosophical and spiritual avatar at the end of the 20th century. Let us note here two other manifestations of Kozik's creature: one as a whimsical and imaginary presence, looming huge over a Manhattan skyline, as seen in numerous posters on SoHo walls; and another as a hard blue plastic figurine, six inches tall, purchasable for a modest $19.95 at the gallery as well as seen revolving on our cover. "It's a limited edition of 1,000, selling well" Kosik told us. "I painted all the eyes by hand. That's 2,000 eyes," she said, with a grasp of mathematics surprising in an artist. Blue Boy has previously toured Australia with a bunch of rock bands on the 1994 Big Day Out tour, appearing on the side of the stage at every venue, along with his twin, Cherry , who is red and, needless to say, female. Blue Boy's visit to New York was his first trip abroad. It was no easy task making the arrangements, either. "It took five months to get him here," Kozik said, so she celebrated with a dinner across the street at Barolo, a fine restaurant where a plate of noodles fetches $25 and up. Just the artist and Blue Boy, visible through the window. "It was a little thing I wanted to do," Kosik said. Blue Boy is now packed up and ready for his next appearance, details to be announced. For further info on Kosik, whose other art manifestations include a presentation titled "Maria Kozic is Bitch," contact the Cristinerose in New York or Anna Schwartz Gallery in Melbourne, Australia. Meanwhile, we proudly offer here a coordinated group of articles and reviews meant to kick off the new art season. Okay, okay, we know the SoHo Arts Festival was three weeks ago (this labor-saving technology takes so much time). Tune in anyway to what you can't miss: Robert Goldman's Artist's Diary, the ArtNet Hit List by William McCollum and Robert Mahoney's "Out of the Debris Field: A Search for a Season," plus "Vote Tisdale: An Artist for a Change" by Yasmin Ramirez and a review of "Alt.Youth.Media" by Paul H-O. Plus still more. Walter Robinson is editor of ArtNet Magazine.