Tag Archive | Artist

Modern Art Monday Presents: Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea By Mark Rothko

Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea
Photo By Gail

From Moma Dot Org:

Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea pictures two creatures dancing between sea and sky, surrounded by arabesques, spirals, and stripes. The forms “have no direct association with any particular visible experience, but in them one recognizes the principle and passion of organisms,” Rothko said. For him art was “an adventure into an unknown world”; like the Surrealists before him, Rothko looked inward, to his own unconscious mind, for inspiration and material for his work.

Mark Rothko applied the paint in transparent layers — a practice he retained when he abandoned representational images and began to develop his large–scale color field paintings a few years later.

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Pumpkinhead – Self Portrait By Jamie Wyeth

Pumpkinhead Self Portrait
Photo By Gail

Jamie Wyeth (son of artist Andrew Wyeth) began painting Pumpkinhead (1972) as a portrait of his friend, Jimmy Lynch, but eventually finished the painting himself, wearing the pumpkin as a mask.

Cropped at the ankles and and wearing a too-small military jacket, he stands alone in a hazy field strewn with dry autumn leaves. To the artist, the jack-o-lantern carries an eerie charm. “I always  loved the carved face just leering at you…” he admits.

Photographed By Gail at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

If There Is To Be a Revolution, There Must Be a Party

Afronauts
Photo By Gail

This photo by Cristina De Middel was originally part of her series, The Afronauts, which tells the real, re-imagined story of the Zambian space program to conquer Mars. Here, it has been repurposed for her recent exhibit Seven Stories at Dillon Gallery in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Elad Lassry Nailpolish

Elad Lassry Nailpolish
Photo by Gail

Elad Lassry (born 1977, Tel Aviv, Israel) is an Israeli-American artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. His chromogenic color prints — still life compositions, photocollages and studio portraits of friends and celebrities — never exceed the dimensions of a magazine page or spread and are displayed in frames that derive their colors from the dominant hues in the photographs. I love how this photo looks so much like an ad, and thus succeeds on the same level as the work of Andy Warhol to elevate commercial images to the realm of fine artwork.

Nailpolish (2009) is a new acquisition to the photography collection of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Recommended Listening: Mark Kostabi’s Kostabeat!

Kostabeat CD Cover

Some people have all the talent, it seems. It’s no secret that world famous pop artist Mark Kostabi is also a phenomenally gifted pianist and composer – and fortunately for us, he is not shy about sharing his music with a global audience. Mark Kostabi!

Kostabeat! is Mark’s new CD collaboration with Italian drummer, Tony Esposito. The album’s press release tells the fun story about how the two “met at one of Kostabi’s extravagant parties in Rome [where the artist lives for half the year. Nice]. Kostabi was on piano in the middle of a jam session when Esposito suddenly got on drums and Kostabi was blown away by Esposito’s commanding, percussive drive. They immediately agreed to collaborate on an album. Three years and 50 concerts later, Kostabeat! exists!

Of course, Mark and Tony gathered a group of top-shelf musicians to play on the album as well. Paul Kostabi (Mark’s brother, a musician of some repute who is also an artist), plays guitar on most of Kostabeat!’s songs, and he is joined by Italy’s most famous saxophonist, Stefano Di Battista; Lino Pariota providing his expertise on a variety of keyboards; and Antonio Nicola Bruno playing bass on all eleven tunes. Esposito produced the album in collaboration with Paul Kostabi.

As with 2011’s The Spectre of Modernism on which Kostabi collaborated with the legendary founder of Free Jazz: Ornette Coleman, drummer Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel) and Bass/Chapman Stick master Tony Levin, Kostabeat! achieves a multi-genre, crossover appeal and is notable for being Kostabi’s first not-entirely-instrumental album. Here, Mark’s Playful and provocative lyrics are sung by a team of female vocalists: Mollie Israel (daughter of film directors Amy Heckerling and Neal Israel) Elizabeth LoPiccolo, a very talented and fiery, emerging Brooklyn singer and Monica Marziota: a Cuban-Italian singer who also has careers in opera and Latin pop music. All technical proficiency aside, it sounds like everyone involved had a fantastic time making this record.

“Unexpected” is how you might sum up the variety of music you’ll hear on Kostabeat! The CD’s lively opening track, “New Muse” leads with Mark’s gorgeous classically-inspired piano, layered with hand percussion, before flowing into a staccato synth riff and distinctly world beat vibe highlighted by Marziota’s otherworldly vocals. “Oriental Scale” finds Di Battista toying with an arabesque motif on his sax over an insistent and undeniably groovy beat. The exultant “Eternity Now” seems a natural choice for a remix treatment by any one of the moment’s top DJ’s (and it would certainly pack the dance floor in any night club) but it’s sure to find that audience just as it sounds on the disc. Rave on!

Things get a little laid back with “Echoes of Twilight,” which begins with the delightfully seductive, spoken lyrics, “Thank you for a lovely invitation, but I already have plans for the evening.” The instrumental “Megatron Horizon” is a bit of genre-bender that will appeal to the electronic dance contingent, but things get sultry again with “Glide With Me.” Bruno’s funky bass lines anchor the song before LoPiccolo’s gorgeous vocal delivery has a chance to fully intoxicate you. Love this track!

Of course, we did not miss the significance of the title on “11:11” – which is number we seem to see very time we look at the clock. The lyrics, “Eleven Eleven, a sign from heaven” prove that Kostabi the lyricist is on the same page. We appreciate the uplifting lyrics on a non-rock song that truly rocks! “11:11” is also an example of the meticulous arrangements that feature on each song. Getting back to the CD’s lyrics for a moment, “Mine Tonight,” a song about, er, spending the night with a hooker, features a spoken word interlude that I’d guess was culled from Kostabi’s FaceBook feed, to wit: “just so you know, I feel very grateful for the times we shared together and I’m so glad that we are still friends. You’re a very special person and I hold you in high regard. I enjoy seeing your posts and watching her life evolve in positive ways.” So, who says FaceBook is a waste of time?

Last but not least, we would like to offer that “All The Way Jose” manages to mention guacamole and margaritas and cheekily name-check Roger Daltrey while favorably recalling the very best of Steely Dan. Kostabeat! Is an ideal soundtrack for entertaining a group of any size or just lounging around by your bad self. Nice work, guys (and gals)! Kostabeat! is available via iTunes and on the historic Italian record label Azzurra Music at This Link!

GRADE: A

José Parlá’s In Media Res at Bryce Woklowitz Gallery

In Media Res Concrete Walls
All Photos By Gail

Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is currently hosting In Medias Res, the second solo exhibition of Brooklyn based artist José Parlá. The exhibition features new paintings, sculptures and a large-scale mural installation.

In Medias Res Concrete Wall Detail
Detail from Concrete Wall, Above

In Medias Res Front View

In Medias Res White and Pink Canvas

In Medias Res is a chronicle of Parlá’s life, beginning with his childhood and including his extensive travels around the world. Through choreographed, painterly works, the artist creates impressions of life-altering moments that have impacted his art making process.

In Medias Res Large Work

The artist’s distinctive method of conceptual and abstract storytelling unfolds and insists on its own vivid layers. The material densities of the works infuse the imagery with a sense of visual narration.

In Medias Res Pink Canvas

Parlá’s paintings exist somewhere between transcription and revelation – the accumulation of words, signs and markings evolve into a complex and unpredictable symphony. Time is very much at stake, and each image is an effort to demarcate the passing of time.

In Medias Res Detail

In Medias Res by José Parlá will be on Exhibit through October 18th, 2014 at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, Located at 505 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

In Medias Res Signage

Modern Art Monday Presents: Stuart Davis, Odol

Odol
Photo By Gail

Long before Andy Warhol and other Pop artists mined the world of trademark brands, Stuart Davis (1892 – 1964) incorporated imagery from logos, commercial signage and modern packaging into his paintings. The artist created the above work in 1924 – during the Golden Age of Advertising – as a sleek, streamlined ode to a bottle of mouthwash.

Odol is part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.