The crisp autumn air was heavy with the smell of sage bouquets, which burned like incense last Saturday at the Marble Cemetery in the East Village, where "Oil Kills Poets Spill" took place. Organized by artist and poet Stefan Bondell, the poetry reading was a reaction to the environmental and geopolitical impact of oil.
The scale of the petroleum problem took shape in Bondell's gargantuan "Current Sea" painting, a 20 x 20 ft. work made with over $1 million worth of shredded Federal Reserve currency, BP motor oil, marsh ink and blood. The piece served as the backdrop and almost seemed to dwarf the poets, writers, artists, and designers who took the stage, among them Terence Koh
, John Giorno, Anne Waldman, René Ricard, Stella Schnabel, Lance de los Reyes, and Vito Acconci. Bondell also read a poem
of his own.
Close to 300 people made their way through the wrought iron gates of the cemetery buried in the back of a 2nd Avenue alley - the hidden quality is precisely what drew Bondell to the location initially - including Jessica Stam, Aurel Schmidt
, Salman Rushdie, Francesco and Chiara Clemente, Cynthia Rowley, Work of Art
's Bill Powers, Josh Lucas, David Rimanelli, and Olivier Sarkozy. Other faces peppering the overwhelmingly young and leather-clad crowd included artists Helen Marden and Adam Mcuen, photographers Mirabelle Marden, Sante D'Orazio, Hanna Liden, and Eric Cahan, and make-up artist James Kaliardos.
Refreshments were juices provided by Organic Avenue Juices and almost-too-cute-to-eat confections baked by Arden Wohl, who is Stefan's girlfriend and actively involved with the Endangered Specied Coalition, which benefitted from the funds raised. Both Bondell and Wohl were very pleased with the success of the event - he later told OC, "It was a special afternoon."
the endangered species coalition