'Asi Wind's Inner Circle' review: Pick a card, not just any card
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, July 25, 2024

'Asi Wind's Inner Circle' review: Pick a card, not just any card
The magician Asi Wind during his show “Inner Circle.” A master at the top of his game, the magician performs fluidly and with obvious pleasure. (Joan Marcus via The New York Times)

by Alexis Soloski

NEW YORK, NY.- Magician Asi Wind makes no claims to supernatural ability or superhuman prowess. He is not a conceptualist, like Derek DelGaudio, or a storyteller, in the manner of Helder Guimarães, or a mentalist, like Derren Brown, or an endurance artist, in the style of his producer, David Blaine. His tasteful outfit layers black on black on black, he scorns flash and eyeliner. His sole prop, beyond a couple of paper envelopes, is a deck of cards. That deck has been created by the audience, with ushers handing ticket holders a card and a Sharpie and asking them to inscribe their names.

But when Wind manipulates those cards — with the occasional ornate shuffle that speaks to thousands of hours of practice — he reveals himself as one of the finest practitioners of close-up magic, an intimate style that depends on the adroit manipulation of small objects, working today. In the past months, I’d had a couple of colleagues and a couple of rival magicians tell me that Wind was the best card magician they had ever seen. They weren’t wrong.

“Are you seeing this right now?” a man in the audience said, loudly and aghast, as Wind completed the first trick of “Asi Wind’s Inner Circle.” Thanks to a purpose-built theater inside Judson Church and the judicious use of an overhead camera, yes, we were.

Wind, who moved to New York from Israel 22 years ago, is bluntly handsome in a sportscaster kind of way, with a polished smile and an elegant bush of salt-and-pepper hair. A friendly host, he moves between affability and gentle needling. “I’m going to lie to you tonight, a lot,” he says, eyes agleam.

Here is one truth: Most of the tricks he does, under John Lovick’s invisible direction, are familiar. Cards will appear in wallets, in envelopes, under watches. He will pick them and guess them and arrange them in precise patterns when they ought to be random. Yet it’s not what he does but how he does it, with seeming effortlessness and obvious pleasure, a master at the tippy-top of his game. His ability to force a card on a volunteer — and force it and force it and force it again — is unimprovable. Excepting a few deliberate feints (moments in which Wind will appear to have guessed wrong, though he never does), he tends toward perfection.

The title “Inner Circle” is a minor play on words. The rows of seats, steeply raked, overlook a round velvet-topped table, which seats about 10 people, who assist with most of the tricks. Close-up magic is usually designed for an audience of this size, and certainly those viewers are privileged in sitting so close. (Too close? “Come a little closer,” Wind said, beckoning his table mates in. “COVID is over. I heard it on Fox News.”) But Wind has a way of bringing everyone in and making everyone feel a part of the show.

The show has a thematic spine, though this spine is somewhat flimsy. Wind uses the deck of audience-signed cards as an opportunity to meditate, briefly, on the names we are given and the names that we might choose. Wind was born Asi Betesh. At 13, he changed it. This was both to spare Westerners the difficulty of pronouncing his original surname (apparently we struggle sufficiently with Asi) and to occlude his Sephardic Jewish origins, which he then found embarrassing.

These ruminations are not Wind’s strongest suit. A practiced showman, he is clearly most comfortable with diamonds, hearts, clubs and spades. But whether you call Wind by his given name or his chosen one seems almost beside the point. If you spend an hour watching him manipulate the cards — fluently, fluidly — you will want to call him what he is: astonishing.

Asi Wind’s ‘Inner Circle’Through May 28 at the Gym at Judson, Manhattan; asiwind.com. Running time: 1 hour 10 minutes.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Today's News

February 1, 2023

Being Edward Hopper

The Museum of Nebraska Art launches reimagined brand

Art Paris: A powerful 25th anniversary edition under the sign of commitment

Rare British Thomas Martyn 1784 two-volume set appears at Roland Auctions NY

Desert X 2023 announces participating artists

Game-worn jerseys of greats highlight Heritage's Winter Platinum Night Sports Auction

'Archie 100: A Century of the Archibald Prize' on view at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery

Mia end-of-year gifts include Navajo textiles, Chinese calligraphy, global contemporary artists

Eskenazi Museum of Art acquires Marks and DePrez Photography Collection

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art receives $2 million grant from Art Bridges Foundation

William Agee, leading art curator and teacher, dies at 86

Robert Colescott's Miss Liberty headlines the Los Angeles Post-War & Contemporary Art sale

What the ancient bog bodies knew

'Schoolhouse Rock!' at 50: Those are magic numbers

A Lalique vase and a bronze sculpture by Tolla Inbar perform well at Ahlers & Ogletree auction

Copenhagen Contemporary and the Glyptotek in unique collaboration

Barrett Strong, whose 'Money' helped launch Motown, dies at 81

Her culture was suppressed for centuries. Now it powers her bestseller.

'Asi Wind's Inner Circle' review: Pick a card, not just any card

Terra Foundation for American Art awards Dorsky Museum $71,000 exhibition grant

Bruno Catalano presents an immersive exhibition at Galeries Bartoux

How three 'Rocky' videotapes became the centerpieces of Heritage's February VHS event

Major new exhibition by artist Zina Sara-Wiwa and anthropologist David Pratten opens at Pitt Rivers Museum

Saatchi Yates open new gallery in St James with solo show by Lebanese painter Omar El Lahib

Art by Manuel Mohr(Artist)

Is 2023 a good time to sell your house?

How I Improved My SUKıTıR In One Day

What Solar Accessories Are Available?


How Douglas Tartan is Changing the Fashion Industry!

What Does a Red Heart on Snapchat Mean?

Which ISO certification is best in Australia

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful