1. Headline
  1. Headline
Image: Marni Kotak, Ajax
Andrea Monti  /  AP
In this photo provided by the Microscope Gallery, Marni Kotak holds her baby Ajax on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at the gallery in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she gave birth to him a week earlier.
By Associated Press Writer
updated 11/1/2011 4:42:30 PM ET 2011-11-01T20:42:30

Marni Kotak gave the performance of her life when she gave birth to baby Ajax in a New York City art gallery turned home birthing center last week. Now they're back.

"It's exactly how I wanted it to be," Kotak said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, her first since giving birth. "Most of the people hung around for hours holding the baby, talking about the experience together and getting food and other supplies that we needed" until she went home.

The 36-year-old performance artist delivered the healthy 9-pound, 2-ounce baby boy at the Microscope Gallery on Oct. 25 in a performance she described as the "highest form of art."

The birth was the climax to an installation that began on Oct. 8. It saw Kotak talking to visitors in a bedroom setting surrounded by her most treasured objects: Her grandmother's bed, where baby Ajax was conceived; a bright green chair in which she was rocked as a baby; videos and photos of her other performance pieces, including re-enactments of her grandfather's funeral and her own birth.

  1. More Entertainment stories
    1. Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts

      In a popular YouTube video, the beaming little ballerina dances an entire four-minute routine seemingly perfectly, matchin...

    2. Every on-screen drink in 'Mad Men' in 5 minutes
    3. See the 'Dancing' stars' most memorable moves
    4. Emmy's biggest snubs? Cranston, Hamm, more
    5. 'Toy Story' toys burn up in prank on mom

It wasn't weird to give birth in front of the respectful and quiet gallery visitors, she said.

Story: Performance artist gives birth to baby boy in gallery

"I had met them all ahead of time and got to know them a little through our conversations in the gallery," she said. "They were sincerely interested in the project and really supportive of the process."

Kotak, an artist whose performances focus on everyday life experiences, said she had been in and out of the gallery in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood between Friday and Saturday, then returned Monday to continue being part of her exhibit. She and the baby will be there daily until the installation closes on Nov. 7.

She said she is being visited by about 20 people a day, the same number who came to see her deliver Ajax in a birthing pool.

Gallery curator Elle Burchill said new features include the birth video and a large artwork by Kotak's husband, Jason Robert Bell. Kotak said the finished work incorporates the placenta, umbilical cord, and blood tissue.

Blood-stained pillows and sheets are now also part of the installation.

For her next project, Kotak plans to write a memoir of her first year as a mother that she may later present in an installation-type exhibition.

She said she was surprised by all the media attention her "Birth of Baby X" project got but happy with people's positive response to it.

Kotak said she and Bell will share the details of the birth with their child "over time as an organic process," communicating that by being born in an art gallery they were telling the world his life is a precious work of art.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More on TODAY.com

  1. Joan Lunden: 10 things I wish I knew before I was diagnosed with breast cancer

    From the moment you hear the words ‘You have breast cancer,’ it’s almost like you’re shot out of a cannon. Here are 10 things I wish I knew before I was diagnosed.

    10/1/2014 10:52:45 AM +00:00 2014-10-01T10:52:45
  2. Want to help? A guide to breast cancer charities

    In the United States an estimated 296,000 women and 2,240 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and almost 40,000 women and 410 men will die of the disease. That's one death every 14 minutes, according to the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

    10/1/2014 10:45:11 AM +00:00 2014-10-01T10:45:11
  3. Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
  1. Nbc News

    9 things we learned from Brian Williams' Facebook chat

    10/2/2014 1:41:28 AM +00:00 2014-10-02T01:41:28
  1. Noel Vasquez / Getty Images Contributor

    Mila Kunis,  Ashton Kutcher welcome baby girl

    10/2/2014 1:24:09 AM +00:00 2014-10-02T01:24:09
  1. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

    Secret Service director resigns amid scandal

    10/1/2014 7:30:52 PM +00:00 2014-10-01T19:30:52