Meet Up, Make Art

Dave McKenzie’s art isn’t the most technically complex or the most aesthetically pleasing, but it’s certainly the most likely to score him a date.

Here’s how: On a Friday night in March, the Jamaican-born Brooklyn artist passed out 200 pocket calendars to unsuspecting visitors at the Whitney. Each came pre-stamped with a time and place to meet the artist. Accompany Dave on a sunset saunter across the Brooklyn Bridge! Meet Dave at the northwest corner of Ninth and 46th! O.K., so it’s not exactly An Affair to Remember. But “if you’d like to join me, you’re more than welcome,” he told a crowd of about 30 at the Whitney on March 9, the first official meet-up. “I have some good things planned. Hopefully, you won’t be disappointed.”

Wishfully titled I’ll Be There, the project is part of the museum’s Initial Public Offerings: New Objects, New Audiences series, a “Project Runway–style game,” according to Frank Smigiel, acting associate director of education at the Whitney, in which artists receive $1,000 to create and distribute 200 copies of an object to the public.

Mr. McKenzie’s second happening, sixish—which took place in the front car of the A train at 42nd Street—was a bust; no one showed. But Mr. McKenzie, 29, didn’t mind: The “art” part is in the conscious choice of the artist and participants to turn up (or not), he said, and not in the actual meeting.

The next date is this Sunday at the Jeff Wall exhibit at MoMA. Dave doesn’t promise a match, platonic or otherwise. “I don’t necessarily guarantee great conversation,” he said. “I’m not looking for the person to fall in love with me. I’m only trying to point to you and the world and say, ‘We’re here.’”

Meet Dave McKenzie at MoMA in front of Jeff Wall’s Milk photograph, Sunday, May 6, at 1 p.m.

  Meet Up, Make Art