Thursday, August 12, 2010

Staying Inside the Lines: Paul-Andre Fortier's Solo 30 x 30

Cups of the Day #31
Solo 30 x 30 studies
By Gwyneth Leech
India ink and whiteout pen on
White and brown Solo paper cups

I grabbed a stack of my coffee cup empties yesterday and took the R train down to the very tip of Manhattan. There Paul-André Fortier was set to perform his 30 minute dance called Solo 30 x 30 in front of the office tower, One New York Plaza. The dance takes place firmly within a large area demarcated by white lines and he has been doing it every day for 30 days as part of the River to River Festival.

On this the 27th day, the Drawing Center had stepped in to initiate a drawing event. Word had gone out via Facebook that artists should come and draw. So there I was at noon, sitting on the ground just outside the white lines with cups and pens at the ready. For the next 30 minutes I was mesmerized by the fluidity and grace of his performance as he echoed, embraced and transformed both the movement of people walking to and fro on their lunch hour and the lines of the surrounding architecture.

As I drew rapidly, looking up and down from my cups, the crisp black and white of his attire registered strongly, contrasting with the gray plaza surface and a tall brick building behind. My eye made repeated connections between his form and the similarly clad white-collar workers watching him dance.

At 12:30PM precisely Paul-André took his last elegant bow and exited the box. His face glistened with perspiration in the soaring noon heat, but his attire remained unrumpled and unstained, as if ready for an afternoon in an office cubicle.

I came to with a lap full of cup drawings, packed up my things and headed for the nearest food cart for a coffee, pleased by the thought that I had sketched his Solo 30 x 30 on cups made by the Solo cup company.

Solo 30 x 30
Paul-André Fortier
One New York Plaza
River to River Festival
Photo by Gwyneth Leech 

To view an album of my cup drawings of Solo 30 x 30
on Facebook, click here


  1. Wow, very cool!

    Snail mail leaves Sat! Cheers!

  2. These are great. We posted them to the River To River's Facebook Page. Thanks for sharing them!


  3. I came over to visit by way of Coffee Messiah....I love your cup drawings!

  4. This is so sweet, the dance and the interaction.