Visit the Coney Island Art Walls!!

Lady Pink
Art Wall By Lady Pink (All Photos By Gail)

If you haven’t been to Coney Island at least once this summer, you owe it to yourself to make the trip. Most residents of Manhattan who live, say, from midtown to the east village area,  can make it from the door to the shore in under 90 minutes, depending on how the trains are running. And for half the ride, the trains run above ground, so that makes it a bit more interesting of a ride as well. Even if you are not a “Beach Person” (raises hand), and the rides at Luna Park make you barf (keeps hand raised) there is so much to see and do at Coney Island that all you need to have is an adventurous spirit, and maybe some sunblock.

Kenny Scharf
Art Wall By Kenny Scharf

If you are a street art lover, you will absolute want to plan a visit to see the Coney Art Walls, a public art project conceived by art dealer and curator Jeffrey Deitch, which is going to be up until Halloween. Coney Art Walls features more than 25 colorful murals created by some of the most well-known street artists in the world. We spotted many of our favorites artists including How & Nosm, Roa, Buff Monster, Kenny Scharf and Ron English, as well as a selection of artists who are still up-and-coming. It’s a great mix of talent.

Ron English
Art Wall By Ron English

IMG_0153

Bon Chovie

The walls are interspersed with re-purposed cargo containers to create a pop-up truck food village, with food sold by vendors organized by Smorgasburg. Concerts are also held in the space.

Space View with Ride

Sheryo
Art Wall By Sheryo

Roa Rat

Belgian artist Roa gets two adjoining walls to create a juxtaposed Rat and Rat Skeleton.

Roa Bones

Maya Hayuk
Art Wall By Maya Hayuk

Shepard Fairey
Art Wall By Shepard Fairey

Buff Monster
Art Wall By Buff Monster

Coney Art Walls are located at 1320 Bowery Street right behind the original Nathan’s on Surf Avenue.

Original Nathan's

Hours and Behavioral Guidelines are Listed Below.

Coney Art Walls Signage
Click Image to Enlarge for Detail

Art Wall

Modern Art Monday Presents: Sunrise on the Matterhorn by Albert Bierstadt

Sunrise on the Matterhorn
Photo By Gail

In the summer of 1856, during a four-year period of study in Europe, American landscape painter Albert Bierstadt joined several American colleagues on a sketching trip. His fascination with the Swiss terrain resulted in a series of oil studies and pencil sketches, executed during the trip, and several large canvases of the mountain landscape, painted upon his return to New Bedford, Massachusetts. He revisited Switzerland numerous times between 1867 and 1897 to do more sketching.

In this dramatic view of the most famous mountain located in the Swiss Alps, Sunrise on the Matterhorn, the artist depicted the cloud–in circled peak in the distance, strikingly juxtaposed with a low, rocky foreground. The vertical thrust of the mountain is reinforced by the towering pines at the lower left.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Video Clip of The Week: Publicist UK, “Away”



I find that, more often than seems to make sense, a very melancholy, gloom-tinged song can also be simultaneously uplifting. Maybe that only works if you are already a happy person at your core. I don’t pretend to have any answers regarding such philosophical matters; I speak only for myself. This week’s Video Clip — which is called “Away” by an American band called Publicist UK — fully embraces a super dark and foreboding vibe, and yet it also feels exhilarating: kind of what you might experience if you sensed the unavoidable approach of a bad break up with a person you loved, and yet knew in your heart was a total asshole. Because, with the pain there would also come an overwhelming sense of relief that could not be denied. Now that is a situation I can definitely speak directly to. But we are not talking about me.

On “Away”, vocalist Zachary Lipez explores what might happen if Scott Walker listened to Lloyd Cole’s “Perfect Skin” about a hundred million billion times and then decided to cover a lost Bauhaus song. Yes, it is that great. The song shifts aurally from tranquil to super heavy around the 3-minute mark without ever losing focus on the melody, while finely-nuanced drumming by Dave Witte (who also drums for Burnt By The Sun) serves the song while showcasing his exceptional percussive talents. Win win!

Visually, the clip opts for impressionism over realism, transitioning between grainy, black and white stills, stop motion, and action snippets, interspersing a fun recurring op-art effect of rapidly pulsating concentric red and black targets, all of which create dynamic visual engagement. I like it.

“Away” comes from Publicist UK’s debut album, Forgive Yourself, which you can digitally pre-order right now via Bandcamp and physically own on or after its release date of August 21st. Relapse Records is handling distribution. Enjoy!

Publicist UK Band Photo
Publicist UK Band Photo By Scott Colby

Efflorescence Summer Group Show at Unix Gallery

Machiko Edmondson, Sign
Machiko Edmondson, Sign (All Photos By Gail)

Nothing says it’s Summer in the Chelsea Gallery District quite like the ubiquitous Summer Group Show. So many are doing it, with varying degrees of success. And while we’ve seen a few galleries (that shall remain nameless) totally phone it in, Unix Gallery maintains their high standard of showing provocative, quality contemporary art with its group show, Efflorescence, which is up now.

Efflorescence features new works from Zhuang Hong Yi, Machiko Edmondson, Ellen de Meijer, Gavin Rain, Pino Manos, KwangHo Shin, and Alexi Torres, plus a few assorted piece from artists, such as Desire Obtain Cherish, who’ve previously exhibited in solo shows at the gallery.

Pino Manos Trio
A Trio of Works By Pino Manos

Pino Manos, Sincronico Rosso,
Sincronico Rosso

I hadn’t seen the work of Pino Manos before, but I really loved his three pieces in this show, which are created Acrylic on Extroflexed Canvas — an exciting aesthetic twist on minimalism.

Zhuang Hong Yi, Untitled 38
Zhuang Hong Yi, Untitled 38

Zhuang Hong Yi’s Chinese training combined with Western Impressionist elements produces a vast collection of work. With studios in Beijing and Amsterdam, this cross-cultural artist brings traditional Chinese motifs such as rice paper and ink into the modern era, fusing contemporary form and culturally significant media.

Mom and Child Portrait

Ellen de Meijer’s paints a unique contrast of tension and pathos. Her portraits show figures of successful repute, yet vulnerable with an empty gaze. They are armed with digital gadgets, which refer to our zeitgeist of access to information and power. This proliferation of technology becomes a point of dependency while human instincts docilely move to the background. Often they brandish small, bizarre objects or wear gloves symbolic of a societal obsession with sterilization and unattainable perfection.

Gavin Rain

Gavin Rain draws from traditional pointillist studies with a mix of the Russian avant-garde of the early 1900’s and modern digital images. His layering of styles communicates a particular message: “I usually dislike art that doesn’t communicate anything.” (Note:I fee similarly about works that are titled “Untitled”).

Gavin Rain Detail
Detail From Above Work

Rain’s works aims to stimulate the eye and mind simultaneously, creating a constant fluctuation of information being transmitted between the work and the viewer.

Justin Bower
Art By Justin Bower

Portrait with Capsules
Art By Desire Obtain Cherish

Portrait with Capsules
Detail of the Above Portrait

Intensive Care Unit By DOC
Intensive Care Unit By DOC

It was fun to see a few works by Desire Obtain Cherish — who had such a fun show at the gallery in back in May of 2014 — mixed in with the new stuff. His art is so clever.

Jewel Pacifier
Jewel Pacifier, By DOC from his Married to Success Series

Efflorescence will be on Exhibit through August 22nd, 2015 at UNIX Gallery, Located at 532 W 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Efflorescence Signage

The Rocky Horror Picture Show 40th Anniversary Celebration To Be Highlighted By Re-Mastered Limited-Edition Soundtrack

RHPS 40 Year ST Release

40 years after movie audiences began singing along to such hits as “The Time Warp,” “Sweet Transvestite” and “Dammit Janet,” The Rocky Horror Picture Show fans can own a piece of history with the newly re-mastered Absolute Treasures soundtrack. Due out July 31st on Ode Sounds & Visuals and distributed by The Orchard, the soundtrack will be available as a limited-edition Red Vinyl two-disc set, and CD and as a digital release, which includes a bonus track will be available on August 21st.

The red vinyl was created to honor the film’s legacy and the devotion from fans to create something unique to celebrate this historic occasion. “The Rocky Horror Picture Show has always had a mind of its own fueled by the insight and direction of its fans,” says producer, Lou Adler.

The influence of the cult classic, which has been entertaining movie audiences since its debut, now spans four generations. “I recently heard a story about a man who went to see Rocky in the early 70’s,” says Adler. “He later had a daughter who went to see Rocky in the 90’s, and she now has a son, who just turned 15, and is seeing Rocky in the 2000’s. Proves that what I always said: ‘Rocky Horror is a family film.’ Because The Rocky Horror Picture Show is generally screened at midnight, age is a factor. But as tweens become teens, they come to be the next generation of fans. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is in a way a right of passage.”

RHPS 40 Year Red Discs

The digital release of Absolute Treasures will include the movie’s vocal version of “The Sword of Damocles.” According to soundtrack producer Richard Hartley, “There were two artists who recorded ‘The Sword of Damocles.’ Director, Jim Sharman and I were looking/listening for the ‘Glam’ rock sound of a Bowie and or a T. Rex. We wanted a falsetto voice for Rocky, because after all he was just born. The vocal performance in the film is that of an Australian singer. It was recorded live on the set–I think on the 19th of December 1974. And that’s the version that’s in the film. The one that has been included on soundtrack albums is the alternate take by one of the backing singers, which was used as something for the actor playing Rocky to mime to.”

The Rocky Horror Picture Show — the longest distributed theatrical release in motion picture history — debuted as a London theatre production in June 1973. The show came to America in 1974 with nine months of performances at Adler’s Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles. On September 26, 1975, The Rocky Horror Picture Show held its U.S. premiere at the UA Westwood Theatre in Los Angeles.

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW ABSOLUTE TREASURES track listing is as follows:

Science Fiction/Double Feature

Dammit Janet

Over At The Frankenstein Place

The Time Warp

Sweet Transvestite

The Sword of Damocles

I Can Make You A Man

Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul

I Can Make You A Man (Reprise)

Touch-A,Touch-A, Touch Me

Once In Awhile

Eddie

Planet Schmanet Janet

Planet Hot Dog

Rose Tint My World

A. Floor Show

B. Fanfare/Don’t Dream It

C. Wild And Untamed Thing

I’m Going Home

Super Heroes

Science Fiction/Double Feature (Reprise)

Hogs & Heifers, A Legendary Meatpacking District Fixture, to Close on August 23rd!

Hogs & Heifers
Photos By Gail

This summer, I’ve forgone an extended vacation away from NYC in favor of taking Fridays off from my day job, and the shortened work week / extended weekend has added immeasurable value to my life. I highly recommended it.

As tempting as it is to just stay inside with the AC blasting and stare at my iMac all day, I make sure to plan a little urban adventure each Friday so I can get outside and enjoy the lovely sun and hot hot heat. Because if you are lucky enough to live in NYC, you owe it to yourself and your surroundings to cultivate an Explorer Mentality!

This past Friday, the stars aligned and I was finally (after three unsuccessful attempts) able to get my timing right and show up at the Mr. Brainwash Life is Beautiful exhibit when it was actually open (easier said than done, as there is no information anywhere on the website nor are exhibit hours posted on the door. More about that, coming soon). And since I was already in the Meatpacking District, I took a walk.

Just a couple of blocks southeast, at the corner of Washington and West 13th Streets, I strolled past the infamous (and unmistakably filthy exterior of) Hogs & Heifers Saloon, a long-standing Biker Bar which is closing its doors in August after having its rent hiked a gazillion percent by evil bastard landlords. I had no desire to go in, but I wanted to take a couple of photos, you know, to remember what was once here on this corner after they raze it to the ground and open another designer fashion boutique that I can’t afford to shop at.

Hogs & Heifers  Signage

I have been in Hogs & Heifers exactly one time, and that was in the late ’90s (best guess: 1997 – 1999) at an Atlantic Records-sponsored album release party for the band Fountains of Wayne – because record companies used to throw lots of parties like that, and I used to get invited to them at a pretty steady clip.

What I recall vividly about the Hogs & Heifers party is that the bar smelled like stale sweat and the Fountains of Wayne guys acted like smug dicks. I had fun though, because soft rock heartthrob Duncan Sheik was also at the party, and I had a little crush on him at the time. Later in the evening, on the sidewalk just outside the bar, the soon-to-be famous Sandwich Photo (me posed between Duncan and his adorable publicist, Ken Weinstein) was taken. Good times.

The World is a different place now, and nothing stays the same. You can read more about the closing and learn a bit of interesting trivia about Hogs & Heifers, including their legendary Bra Collection at This Link.

Katherine Gray’s A Rainbow Like You

A Rainbow Like You
All Photos By Gail

No matter how confident I ever am that I know most of the street level galleries in Chelsea, today I stopped it to the Heller Gallery on Tenth Avenue and asked how long they’d been open, since this was the first time I’d noticed them. The answer, which was quite unexpected, is that they’ve been at that location almost two years! How have I missed that? I have a few ideas.

A Rainbow Like You

What had initially sucked me in off the street was a collection of blown glass works in the window. When I stepped farther back into the gallery, however, my eyes were dazzled by this piece by artist Katherine Gray, entitled A Rainbow Like You (2015); an installation of blown glass, acrylic and lightning. I couldn’t help but think of the work of artist Dale Chihuly; specifically, in his Persian Ceiling Gallery, which is beyond breathtaking.

A Rainbow Like You 2

This work sells for $25,000.

Heller Gallery is Located at 303 10th Ave. (between 27th and 28th Streets) in the Chelsea Gallery District.