The two switch on some animated peep booths nearby, brightly painted boxes decorated with fur, leather, and orange net, and we peer at little mystical movies of demolition derbies and martial arts. One box pings and beeps like a pinball machine. Nielsen draws a connection between the noise and "that ding-dong thing you hung up," he tells Cashbaugh. "People will be able to hear it from there kind of a . . . harmonic convergence."
Nielsen's nickname, "Uncle Art," is a play on the title of Anti-Art, an earlier dadaist work he made that stirred up ire when it was shown in the downtown Matrix Gallery. Nielsen decided to play it safe by adopting a more avuncular name, which became his Robbins Gallery persona and handy alter ego. "Uncle Art can do anything!" says Nielsen gleefully. "Uncle Art never cares. . . . Uncle Art never gets in trouble!" Nielsen's planning some similarly fun show themes this coming fall. With this guy in charge, I'd recommend that you go.
[Originally published in August, 2003.]