Last Rites Gallery Presents Transfigure Group Show

Sarah Joncas Otherworldly
Sarah Joncas Otherworldly (All Photos By Gail)

Last Rites Gallery is currently hosting Transfigure, a group exhibition featuring new paintings by Sarah Joncas (whose work we first saw at Last Rites way back in 2011), along with Alex Garant, and husband and wife collaborative duo Kit King and Corey Popp, known creatively as Oda & King. This is a fresh group of artists that are bringing something cool and dark to contemporary portraiture.

Last Rites Installation View

Oda & King Creation
Oda & King, Creation

Transfigure explores the overall theme of transforming one idea into something more beautiful or elaborate. The shared goal is to inspire discussion which bridges the gap between styles, mediums and other aesthetic factors existing within the realm of artistry.

Alex Garant

For this exhibition, each artist has chosen to move beyond his or her central medium and explore the convolution of experiences, which stem from the creative process. Alex Garant has painted a collection of women’s traditional portraits with a surreal edge; where each subject not only appears to have Multiple Eyes, but multiple countenances, entirely. The painting above, of a young girl holding her pet rabbit, is absolutely astounding.

Alex Garant, Boudoir
Alex Garant, Boudoir

Oda & King, Our Little Secret
Oda & King, Our Little Secret

My eyes sting just looking at this one.

Sarah Joncas Wither
Sarah Joncas, Wither

Oda & King Refugee
Oda & King, Refugee

This presentation of shifting techniques examines the complex relationship amongst artists, object, and form as well as the formative innovations that occur when one decides to move beyond their comfort zone.

Transfigure will be on Exhibit through October 3rd, 2015 at Last Rites Gallery, Located at 325 West 38th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues) in NYC.

Sarah Joncas Schizogony

Skate Decks By Cacho Falcon

Skate Decks by Cacho Falcon
All Photos By Gail

These skateboard decks, featuring highly stylized likenesses of (left to right) Freddie Mercury, Jackie O as Marilyn Monroe, and President Barack Obama, were created by designer/painter Cacho Falcon.

Photographed in Three Monkeys Eyewear on Spring Street.

Three Money Eyewear Signage

Yes, It Exists: Jabba The Hutt Playset

Jabba
Photo By Gail

It makes sense that I am not the biggest Star Wars fan, because I had no idea that a Jabba The Hutt Playset even existed until I saw this one on display at the Museum of the Moving Image (visit recommended) in Queens over the weekend. It just seems so…wrong. I don’t know.

But yes, this is a thing made by the Kenner Toy Company in 1983 as a tie-in to Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. As a tableau, the details are pretty cool and you can see it comes with Jabba’s trademark Hookah pipe and his little Court Jester guy, Salacious Crumb. As far as I can a tell though, Slave Leia is not included.

If you now feel like you simply must own one, these things sell on eBay for between $30 and $100, depending on the condition. Not too dear at all.

 

Photos from Saturday Night Live: The Exhibition!

SNL The Exhibition Signage
All Photos By Gail

It’s funny to think that so many adults have never known a life where NBC’s late night comedy sketch program, Saturday Night Live did not exist, but it’s not so weird considering the show is currently celebrating its 40th year on the air. If you’re even a casual fan of the show and you live anywhere near NYC, you should make a point to see Saturday Night Live: The Exhibition, an independent and ridiculously comprehensive showcase collecting sets, props, photos, costumes, film clips and every type of random ephemera covering the show’s history, from the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players up to today.

SNL Skyline

Just as the exhibit takes chronological journey, let me guide you through some of the highlights with photos I took when I went to see it with Geoffrey last weekend.

Introductory Room

Entry to the exhibit hall is very loosely timed, so that they can send groups in together and create a cohesive, immersive experience. When you first enter, a short history of the show’s highlights plays on the screen seen in the above photo, and you can sit and watch it and get all excited for what  you are about to experience. Consider it a kind of “warm up act” for the exhibit.

Wayne and Garth

If you’ve been to a taping of SNL, you might recall that as you walk into Studio 8H you pass through a hallway lined with photos of the show’s many memorable characters from the past and present, such as Wayne and Garth, or Stefon. They have that here as well.

Stefon

Just looking at a photo of Bill Hader portraying Stefon, Weekend Update’s Nightlife Correspondent, makes me laugh out loud.

Monday Schedule

There are galleries dedicated to the activities of each of the six days that it takes to produce each show: from pitching sketch ideas to writing and revising the scripts, to set design and building (which takes place in a warehouse in Brooklyn), costume design, rehearsal, the live broadcast, and through to the after show party; there aren’t any details left out of what you’ll learn regarding the behind-the-scenes goings on of SNL.

Lorne Michael's Desk

This is producer Lorne Michaels actual desk from one of his two offices at 30 Rock.

Original Cast

The original Not Ready for Prime Time Players, before Billy Murray joined after the departure of Chevy Chase at the end of season one.

Land Shark
Land Shark Costume

Nick Winters Lounge Singer
Jacket Worn By Bill Murray’s Nick the Lounge Singer

Stuart Smalley
Costume of Stuart Smalley, Originally Portrayed by Al Franken, Now a Senator from Minnesota!

Mock Up of the Writers Room
Mock Up of the Writers Room

Schedule
The Night’s Schedule for Each Show is Created with Index Cards on a Cork Board, for Easy Changes!

Wayne and Garth
Wayne’s World! Wayne and Garth Costumes Worn by Mike Myers and Dan Carvey

Wayne's World Set

You can take photos of yourself and friends on the Wayne’s World Set. If you are by yourself, an exhibit employee will happily snap one or two for you. Excellent!

Dooneese
Dress Worn By Dooneese, the Girl with the Creepy Voice and Teeny Tiny Hands, Portrayed By Kristin Wiig

Dick in a Box
Dick in a Box

Bobby Moynihan as Yoda
Yoda Cowl Prosthetic Worn by Bobby Moynihan

Racial Tension Headache
Excedrin Racial Tension Headache Formula, Tressant Supreme Hair Color with Crack Cocaine

There’s a large display case filled with the various Fake Products featured in SNL Commercial Parodies over the past 40 — years, many of which I am sure you will remember with a chuckle!

Corn Chip Nail Tips
Chewable Pampers, Short & Curly Pubic Shampoo, Shirt in a Can, Corn Chip Nail Tips

Balz Off
Balz-Off Testosterone Blocker

King Tutt Costume
King Tut Costume Worn By Steve Martin

When the exhibition Treasures of Tutankhamen toured in the 1970s, the US was gripped by Tut-Mania. My parents even took us to see it! Steve Martin parodied the craze when he hosted in April of 1978. At the time, the King Tut sketch was SNL’s most expensive production. It became one of the show’s most iconic sketches and the song was  a million-selling single for Steve Martin, who resurrected the character for the 40th Anniversary Special.

Hans and Franz
Costumes Left to Right: Donatella Versace, Hans and Franz, Stefon

Seeing all of these great costumes from so many memorable characters that Saturday Night has brought into our lives, it is also a poignant reminder that some of the actors and comedians who portrayed them are, sadly, no longer with us.

Matt Foley , Opera Man
Costumes Left to Right: Matt Foley (RIP Chris Farley), Opera Man, (Behind Opera Man) Coneheads, Mary Catherine Gallagher

Sweeney Sisters
Costumes Worn by the Sweeney Sisters (RIP Jan Hooks)

Fire Bad
“Fire Bad!” RIP Phil Hartman

John and Gilda
RIP John and Gilda

Stack of Cue Cards
A Stack of Cue Cards for Just One Show!

Assorted Cue Cards
Assorted Cue Cards. Can You Name the Sketch Each One is From?

Cue Card

This one is my favorite: from Martin Short’s opening monologue for the 4oth Anniversary Special. Hilarious.

Control Room

This is a replica of the studio’s control room, where you can experience a 10 minute virtual recreation of what goes on during the live show! So cool!

Stage with Tina Fay

And here we are in an exact, smaller-scale replica of Studio 8H, where a virtual Tina Fay comes out to give a fun monologue created just for this exhibit! As you can see, the experience is quite immersive and interactive.

Weekend Update Desk Set

Get your photo taken on this old Weekend Update set from some random year in the 1980’s for $20! To be fare, they also superimpose your favorite Weekend Update Anchor into the shot with you! Almost worth it!

Gift Shop Overview

Exit through the gift shop – it is massive!

Californians Mug

Buy some swag, like this mug from The Californians’ sketch, which is insanely right on!

Ambiguously Gay Duo Magnet

Or an Ambiguously Gay Duo Magnet!

As you can see, we had a fantastic time at Saturday Night Live: the Exhibition, which is sponsored by Premier Exhibitions, and Located at 417 5th Avenue New York, NY 10016. Adult tickets are $31 (includes a $2.00 service charge) which you can book at This Link, or buy on site, but you should definitely do some Internet footwork before you pay full price, because I’ve seen significant discounts offered through GoldStar, Gilt, and Groupon. The exhibit is expected to run though the holidays!

Video: Tim Hawkinson’s Gimbled Klein Basket at Pace Gallery



Artist Tim Hawkinson explores the fourth dimension with his 2007 Gimbled Klein Basket, which creates an analog rendering of an impossible object. With a porous, gridded bamboo structure, Hawkins then recreated the Klein Bottle and suspended it from the ceiling like a Calder mobile, envisioning an object which is at once knowable, and of another dimension. This video was created at the Pace Gallery on W. 25th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District, as part of the Eureka exhibit, which has now closed.

Recommended Reading: Shootin’ The Shit, Volume One: Conversations with Rock Anti-Heroes, Icons and Metal Gods By Vinny Cecolini

Shootin the Shit Cover

Way, way back, when I used to interview Famous People for a (meager) living, I acquired a valued reputation as a bit of a Rock Star Whisperer for my ability to get musicians to open up and talk about anything — even subjects or revelations that they had never made before to another journalist. This happened all the time. And while I take full credit for honing this skill through interviews with members of bands like Motley Crue, Duran Duran, Alice Cooper, The Sex Pistols and Led Zeppelin, I did have a couple of valuable mentors in fellow rock journalist friends who showed me the ropes when I was just an egg, and who taught me to me fearless. One of those friends was veteran rock journalist Vincent “Vinny” Cecolini, a Metal God in his own right, whom I have been friends with for twenty years. Vinny is the bomb.

Vinny has just published his first book of his collected interviews with some of the biggest names in metal and extreme rock, which is called Shootin’ the Sh*t — Volume One: Conversations with Rock Anti- Heroes, Icons & Metal Gods. Unlike typical collections of rock star interviews,  Vinny’s first eBook is a compendium of conversations with artists  that were conducted during pivotal moments in each of their careers. Plans for pop culture domination; The truths behind long-debated rock ‘n’ roll legends; the inspirations for — and true meanings of — classic song lyrics; the decisions for leaving and returning to major bands; the struggles with such un-rock ‘n’ roll experiences as fatherhood and maturity: these are just a few of the revelations contained within the pages of Shooting the Sh*t Volume One: Conversations with Rock Anti-Heroes, Icons & Metal Gods. Each conversation focuses on the artist and not the writer. This is a must read book!

“Fans want to read the artist’s words,” Vinny explains. “They want to read exact, contextual quotes. They don’t care about a journalist’s musings and meanderings. If they did, they would immediately flip over to a magazine’s reviews or editorial section.” As the title suggests, the author never treats his artist chats as paint-by-numbers question and answer sessions, but as friendly, naturally flowing conversations.

“Straight-forward interviews are the kiss of death,” Vinny continues. “When promoting something new, most artists are subjected to a cattle call of interviews. And nothing will bore an artist quicker than hearing the same sterile questions over and over again; nothing will frustrate or turn them off quicker than watching a ‘hack’ journalist stammering as he or she fumbles with a list of questions.

“If a journalist lets the conversation flow naturally, it may take him or her in a different direction than intended, but that is fine. Even if given an agenda by a publication (to talk about a new album, DVD or tour), eventually, the conversation will find its way back to topic.” This practice has resulted in a number of amazing chats with artists such as Neil Young, Meat Loaf, Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson and the late, great Ronnie James Dio. Metal!

During his 25-year career, Vinny’s work has appeared in dozens of publications including Hit Parader, Metal Maniacs and Bikini. He was also the head writer for cable network VH1 Classic during the short window when that station actually played music videos. Like many veteran journalists, Vinny accumulated conversations that, for a variety of reasons, had never been published. Shooting the Sh*t is Vinny’s opportunity to help these amazing and often highly candid conversations  a new audience. The idea was born as the author lamented over an unpublished chat with a pre-American Nightmare Marilyn Manson.

Shooting the Sh*t Volume One: Conversations with Rock Anti-Heroes, Icons & Metal Gods is available now an e-book on Kindle now and will be available on other formats this week! Get it on Amazon right now at This Link!