Friday, February 23, 2007
Posted by Oly at 7:11 PM
Thursday, February 22, 2007
It's Dragon dance time!
This little dragon came out to play and really is quite cuter than any of the dancers above.
Posted by Oly at 7:02 PM
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Recently Robert Miller Gallery on West 26th Street showcased a painter that really caught my eye, Glen Rubsamen.
His imagery showcases a Southern California in the throes of battle between new technology, heavy industry and old world Hollywood glamour.
Rubsamen's work is complementary in many ways to the soft hues of sunrise and sunset, but truly shows a world at war with itself.
Take the "Marijuana and Tequila" work below-- the street post is "getting in the way" of the gradient hues Rubsamen is an expert at portraying.
In order for us to move forward, we're confronted by a masking; a shaming, if you will, of the very technology we've come to rely upon.
Cell phone towers are cleverly disguised as trees... side by side with the palms of Sunset or Ventura Boulevard, amidst the calm Pacific breeze.
Many of Rubsamen's works are in diptych form; almost an altar to the world that was, and the world we find ourselves in.
Ashley Proffitt spent years living in Southern California as well-- San Diego, to be exact.
In her photographs she's able to isolate small pieces of nature against an overexposed sky-- in a way, selecting elements that frame our perception as we drive by-- perhaps at the side of the inerstate, a quick view through a sunroof, or simply a glance out the kitchen window.
Peripheral vision is under-valued by us humans a great deal-- I like how both of these artists are able to highlight the frustration we might have with such tiny elements of nature in a concrete and electronic jungle.
("Two" photograph-- Ashley Proffitt)
It's in many ways a momentary glimpse into a world that is drastically changing, but at peace in each moment that we can make of it.
("Summer" photograph-- Ashley Proffitt)
Fantastic elements of creativity, with an eye toward an unforeseen future.
("Ferns" photograph-- Ashley Proffitt)
Posted by Oly at 7:48 PM
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Perhaps it's a business idea ahead of its time, or long overdue; but Lumas Gallery in Soho just might be the biggest thing to hit the art world since the invention of acrylic paint.
One of the biggest inhibitions people have when it comes to starting an art collection is the price barrier.
Sticker shock can strike fear in the hearts of many-- forcing many into a permanent "observer" mode; a lifelong renter, if you will, instead of taking the plunge into home ownership.
(Juergen Teller image above at right "Stephanie on Puppy," Connecticut 2000 2003)
Many now gaze upon the images of Rineke Dijkstra and say, "If only I had bought her work BEFORE she hit it big. What an investment that would have been."
Lumas just might change this.
With its showcasing of emerging as well as established photographers, (including the above limited edition of the legendary Juergen Teller already sold out) Lumas is going where galleries have rarely gone before-- reaching out to a new investor, one with a bit less cash, but not necessarily a lesser eye for detail.
In the past, affordable art has been seen by some as laughable, given the correlation between top artists and price.
"Affordable? Why, it must not be quality work, then."
In this case, definitely not.
Take the image at left by Stefanie Schneider.
Her hyper-saturations of a post-1950s softness mix along with a candy-coated modern template of beach girl deliciousness.
The signed limited editions of her works range from $170.00 for the 12 x 11 print, and $480.00 for the 40 x 39 1/3" print.
By limiting the number of editions, usually ranging from 75 to 150 prints per work, Lumas is taking the bidding war history of Warhol's reproductions to heart, hoping this will help to drive value up with the lesser availability of the work.
Only two months old, the immense Wooster Street space has an ethereal quality in all of its collective work.
The current exhibition is entitled "Horizons - Landscape in Contemporary Photography."
The above blurred imagery of David Burdeny takes on a stillness in motion.
By using lengthy exposure times, his work is able to capture erosion in time and place.
Much like the slow carving out of the Grand Canyon by the Colorado River; he, too, is carving up the land with a modern tool of the eye-- the camera.
The "Page" at right makes a gentle pleading with us for respect, yet still feels very alone in her quest for recognition.
Harkening back to the New York of yesteryear, the girl at right could be from any generation; yet her crystal-eyed youth belies a trust in the future, set against a harsh and blinding white light.A team since 1987, Billy & Hells take their other world careers-- including work at the Post Office-- to heart, shining the spotlight on the faces behind the uniforms we so rarely pay attention to.
At left is Sabrina Rothe's "Zweite Welt #1/A" Essen, 1994.
A native of Stuttgart, Germany, her imagery could be compared to the scene in "The Graduate" where Dustin Hoffman takes refuge at the bottom of the pool.
The isolation is all-encompassing; as well as a bit disturbing with the head unseen above water and rest of body submerged.
The last work that really stood out in Lumas' back space was by JULIA CHRISTE.
With the white sandy beach as her backdrop, Christe showcases a hot air balloon festival.
Each vessel vanishes into the horizon, forever suspended in time; the colors fading fast into a memory.Lumas' Grand Opening is Next Thursday, February 22nd from 6pm-8pm.
Located at 77 Wooster Street in Soho, you can check out their website at www.lumas.com
The "Horizons" show will be up until April 17, 2007-- just in time for your tax return to go to good use.
Posted by Oly at 5:58 PM
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
111 Spring Street is counting down the days till the wall cleaning and condo conversion.
I like killer rabbits, personally.
We are all a happy family here in NYC. Yeah.
From the Rivington Street fancymagjiggy
Here in NYC, it's nice to still see a payphone, even if it's not really a payphone.
I'm Bringin' Sexy back... and so's every other South American at Victoria's Secret.
Kinda cool exhibit on Broadway for graphic design.
My TV is possessed, and I love it.
Ramones ain't got nothin' on these bangs.
Posted by Oly at 3:12 PM
Friday, February 9, 2007
Recently, upon walking the streets of Soho one rainy Sunday afternoon, I noticed a strange sight-- an art gallery (to be specific, Greene Street's Le Jungle Gallery). Now mind you, many people might find this statement humorous-- "A Soho art gallery? Why, isn't that what Soho is known for?" Well, yes... and no. The past 10 years has seen New York transform itself into a shadow of its former self; one that is "dressing the part"-- a scenester, if you will, but with no real substance. A real devil that wears Prada. In fact, I believe the very opening of Broadway's Prada store was the initial ring of the deathknoll for legendary Soho, once the capital of the earth's art world.
(Photo at left of Gallery Director Johnny LeValley)
(Paintings at right by Brian Ermanski)
With the advent of the Giuiliani administration "cleaning up" the city in the '90s, then subsequently 9/11, and now Bloomy himself, what once made New York City New York Fucking City is rapidly disappearing in its once-famed areas-- Soho, The East Village, the Lower East Side.
We are gradually turning these areas one by one into a mecca of suburban shopping malls and condos mixed with the luxury amenities of "Manhattan."
The majority of NY galleries are now located in Chelsea, leaving Soho behind like a bastard stepchild.
The thing that first struck me about the Le Jungle Gallery was its throwback aura to the legendary days of Gordon Matta Clark's 112 Greene Street Gallery.
A strong scent of Warhol is in the air.
It is in many ways a homage and ever-evolving work-in-progress that focuses on the artwork and artists themselves rather than a certain "scene," or perhaps "style."
Its current show takes great leaps in its combination of insight into bright sensibilities, statements on disillusionment with the way things are and the way things ought to be, and a promising hope for the future.
Artist Petar Timotic, whose work has featured prominently with the NYC band Brazilian Girls, takes over the corner spot with a version of erotica rarely seen on today's band concert posters.
The body seems at ease in its directness, confronting the viewer with a strong confidence in her sexuality. The heels, the stockings, the breasts all heaving forward, yet face slightly hidden.
It reminds me slightly of the work of another "deviant", Matt Greene's recent exhibit at Deitch Projects.
Several Le Jungle works place a direct emphasis on tongue-in-cheek humor conveying a whimsical appreciation of the literal sense; for instance, Robert Appleton's piece of "drunken sailor" puppets have a Tim Burtonesque feel for the world around them-- in fact, they're isolated in the "Aquarium" area of the gallery with other "sea" imagery.
Ksenia Hovden's work also caught my attention. There is a definitive whimsical feel to it-- envoking visions of a candy filled nightscape, entering into a childlike dream world.
There are certainly elements of Chagall at work here, and this is a good thing.
Another great work of Ksenia's is one that's part of an ongoing series of collaborations with Johnny LeValley.
Ksenia's mother inspired the work at left, Johnny's at right.
Each is a loving tribute to the spirit of their mothers' individuality.
The sheer feminine elegance that the piece at left invokes embraces you with a loving grace, a soft touch. It reminds me of the universal "woman" symbol-- the pyramid structure. The pink against the black showing halves, or parts of a whole.
The mother figure on the right is a haunting throwback to the jazz age and Bourbon Street.
The image brings to mind someone so dedicated to their creativity that they are literally exhausting themselves in the pursuit of excellence; the hands and eyes showing an earnest commitment to the task at hand.
Moving on to Ellie Pyle's work, I'm reminded of the designs on many concert tour buses.
Pyle, a Yale MFA, has mastered the art of texture and motion- fine grains shimmer throughout her works; tiny decals of stars mix along with the sandy swirls.
There's a zen-like quality to this imagery. There needn't be over-description. Sometimes a work just "is."
Both of these are great examples of the beauty that is in simplicity.
The hues are deeply saturated; perhaps a moon in the night sky with the bus' pink stripe in motion reflected against the glass window.
Next is the work of Mike Sagato.
His work is classical in its style with a strong appreciation for form and balance.
A softness in light and texture envelopes the woman below.
Dressed in a white couture gown of former As Four designer Kai Kuhne, the figure reclines at rest with calmness and sheer beauty. It truly is a masterful work of realsim evoking comparisons of Damian Loeb's or Will Cotton's work. Every fold of fabric seems pleasingly touchable and within grasp.
It will be interesting to see the direction Le Jungle takes in the months and years ahead.
Will the gallery be able to establish a strong presence in Soho amidst the wine bars and clothing stores?
Will Soho rise again from the ashes of its Blahnik-strewn streets and slip on its Converse?
LeValley intends for Le Jungle to be a "traveling gallery," where it will pick up and go to cities across America-- including Miami and Los Angeles-- and then perhaps international as well.
Le Valley's own work is quite inspiring-- he seems to have a story to tell about each and every work-- there's an experience or moment that influenced him, whether it be directly, or to someone he knew or heard of. He has a plain-spoken hope for making a difference, or at least expressing himself in a way for people to take notice.
The above work was done after the recent shooting of Sean Bell-- a man shot 50 times by undercover NYPD officers. LeValley bluntly asks... "What if this was the officers' children?" with the chalk outline in the vibrant colors of lives cut short.
The blue paint splatters seem to represent an eerie echo of each shot taken and absorbed into the victims' bodies.
Artists in the current show include the following:
Le Jungle Gallery is located at 34 Greene Street between Canal and Grand in NYC.
The show will be up through Sunday, February 11th.
The next exhibit opens Thursday, Feburary 15th from 6-9pm.
For more info, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Oly at 4:19 PM
Monday, February 5, 2007
Recently I've had a couple of major "back-to-the-past" moments in the music realm, (happening upon Mary Timony of Helium on guitar for Benjy Ferree, for instance) but it was by chance the other day that I stumbled upon what the brothers Gerety (my own B.G.'s) have been up to for the past 5 years.
You see, long, long ago in the land known as Cambridge, MA, there was a band known as The Push Kings. Lucky me got to be their label's Gal Friday; CD Release party organizer/caterer/promoter etc., etc..
(see image at right)
Some saw them as the second coming of rock n'roll-- well, ROCK via a pop-littered highway dodging the remnant corpses of top-of-his-game McCartney mixed with a dollop of Squeeze, some Stevie W., and a spoonful of Material Issue thrown in.
I simply saw them as some nice skinny Harvard boys who had f'ing great voices-- with a lot of power behind them-- and put on great shows.
Don't let their pretty boy image fool you-- these boys could SANG.
But eventually they, like many other Boston bands before them, had to decide whether to stay in such a small pond or go for the ocean. There's really just 2 choices.
So they moved to sunny Ca-li-for-ny-yay and started anew, and turned up half-nekkid in a Beck video with Jack Black-- "Sexx Laws." Strange.
Years later, after band ups and downs, label bidding wars, contract negotiations and letdowns, it turns out Finn grew his hair REALLY long, moved to Red Hook, Brooklyn, and reinvented himself as a psychedlic rock god.
Some seriously great trippy moments are on his "Finian McKean" work that are just mesmerizing. It explores a newfound peace within himself that the Push Kings would never have dared to have gone.
There's a quiet quality to Finn's new work that is ironic, given his new industrial setting-- he expertly addresses his frustration between the city he calls home and his real "home," at one with nature.
As for Everybody Else, Carrick's new band, well, let's just say it picks right up where the Push Kings left off and takes it 1,000 light years further.
I think the fact Carrick's older now and out of his brother's shadow has made him really push harder for a sound of his own-- it's grittier, more hard-driven with guitars, yet still a showcase for his strong soulful vocal range.
I picture a few Rick Springfield leg kicks in for good measure and some riffs that might make the fingers numb.
My roommate yesterday had popped in the Kings' first album, and I started to laugh. He asked, "You ever heard of these guys?"
I couldn't help but smile and say, "Yes, you could say that."
It's nice to happen upon the people of your past and see where some have gone and makes you proud of them as they continue to develop as true artists all along the way.
Posted by Oly at 7:05 PM