Tag Archive | David Bowie

Mike Weiss Gallery Presents Gymnasty By Cameron Gray

Gymnasty VideoScreen Tunnel
Photo of Gymnasty Video Screen Archway Courtesy of Mike Weiss Gallery. All Other Photos By Gail!

Sometimes, you just need to visit an art exhibit that is a bit over-the-top and, well, insane. It doesn’t even have to make much sense; as long as it embraces an energetic, inspired feel and a kind of controlled, creative chaos that assures you that you are at the Most-Happening-Art-Reception in the Chelsea Gallery District at that very moment. That is how we felt when we entered the vortex of madness that is Cameron Gray’s Gymnasty, which opened at Mike Weiss Gallery on October 30th. Seriously, what a crazy fun scene!

Video Screen Archway

Please Enter Through the Video Monitor Archway! More about that later!

Friendly Greeter
Please Meet the Friendly Greeter!

Gymnasty is a multi-sensorial pop culture experience that may or may not have something to do with working out. But if you want to follow that line of thinking, then you might consider it to be more like a gym for your mind and soul than one for your body. I don’t know. Maybe Gray just dropped some acid an made it up as he went along. Please enjoy some of my photos!

Gold Boy Go Go Dancer
Golden Boy Go Go Dancer – Very Popular!

Gold Boy Go Go Dancer

Achiever
Here he is again!

The opening reception was a ridiculous, performance art mob scene, so it was hard to get good, clear pictures of the “Art,” but nothing was really lost in that I think I captured a good deal of the energy of what had to be the best party of the night!

Hi There
“Hi There!”

Beach Tableau

Gymnasty Goes to the Beach!

Yoga Lady

Floating Gucci Logos and a Lady ready for Yoga!

Waterfall In a Slab of Marble

Look at this thing!

Waterfall In a Slab of Marble

Now, take a closer look: It is a video of a waterfall inside a slab of polished marble. I want to have it in my home.

The Universe

Also, here is a close up of The Universe expanding from inside another slab of marble. It makes you think deeply about things.

Miracles This Way

What’s behind this mysterious Black Curtain? Let’s Find Out!

Venus De Milo Aquarium

Venus De Milo Aquarium!

Diver and Fish
Dive! Dive!

Video Monitor Fire Place
Yuel Log Fireplace Video!

Video Projections

All kinds of ever changing video projections!

Video Projections

Muscle Man

Also, This Guy!

OK, Let’s take closer look at same of the pop culture images flashing across the screens in that explosively psychedelic Video Monitor Archway!

David Bowie

David Bowie, I love him.

Is This Gay

Yes, yes it is!

Lana Del Rey and Elvis

I see Lana Del Rey and, also, Elvis.

Rocky Horror

Rocky Horror: Obviously a HUGE influence.

Rick James

Rick James, Bitch!

You don’t need me to tell you that Gymnasty is totally Rad. See it while you can!

Cameron Gray’s Gymnasty will be on Exhibit Through January 3rd, 2015 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Cameron Gray Gymnasty Signage

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Recommended Viewing: David Bowie Is

David Bowie Is Movie  Poster

It seems hilarious to think that I was six years old when David Bowie released his self-titled debut album, which would have been on June 1st of 1967. Coincidentally, and in an act of incredibly bad timing on Bowie’s part, that was the shared release date of another album you may have heard of: The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. What a way to ensure that your most heartfelt artistic efforts are completely and totally eclipsed by another act! Bad Timing! In hindsight, also hilarious.

Point being that David Bowie has been part of the soundtrack for me since childhood. Surprisingly, this year (four decades on) I have learned more about the guy than I ever imagined I didn’t know. Just a couple of months ago, Showtime aired David Bowie: Five Years, a fantastic documentary spanning five key years in Bowie’s music career that was just one mind-blowing revelation after another. For example, I had no idea that Legendary keyboardist Rick Wakeman played piano all over Hunky Dory. Who even pays attention to stuff like that? Mind blowing. Five Years definitely deepened my respect and admiration for the man, his music and his insane contribution to global pop culture. David Bowie is a Musical Genius!

If you have ears and eyes and you are a David Bowie fan, then you’ve already also heard about David Bowie Is; the universally critically lauded, career retrospective that became the fastest-selling exhibition in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum’s history. David Bowie Is has already hit Toronto, Sao Paulo and Berlin, and on September 23rd, this exhibition – which features over 300 items including photos, costumes, artwork, hand-written lyrics, stage props, videos and other items from David Bowie’s Personal Archive — opened at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, which will be its only stop in the US.

That same Tuesday, a documentary film about the touring art exhibition, also called David Bowie Is, had a one-night only screening in various theaters across the country. I saw the film in NYC and it was so exciting that it made me want spend a thousand dollars just to go to Chicago and see the exhibit. Directed by Hamish Hamilton, the film is an excellent primer and will greatly enrich your visit should you have exhibit tickets at the ready. But for those who will be unable to view the exhibition in person, this film is the next best thing. It may even inspire you to pull out all the stops in order to make it to the Museum of Contemporary Art before David Bowie Is moves on to its next destination in January of 2015.

In addition to a detailed tour of the exhibition’s key features, the film includes tons of back-story and insights from curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh who serve as onscreen hosts and narrators. And let me tell you, they know their shit. One of my favorite parts of the film is a viewing and explanation of extensive, illustrated storyboards that Bowie created for a film to be based on the Diamond Dogs album. It is unreal. You’ll also hear conversations with exhibit-goer-fans, and commentary about Bowie’s far-reaching influence with pop taste-makers such as Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker and fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto, who created the iconic costumes seen in the photo below.

David Bowie Costumes
Costumes Designed By Kansai Yamamoto: (left to right) Tokyo Pop vinyl bodysuit (1973), for the Aladdin Sane tour; Asymmetric knitted bodysuit (1973), for the Aladdin Sane tour; cloak decorated with kanji characters (1973), for the Aladdin Sane tour.

If you missed the September 23rd screening and want to see what this exhibit is all about, David Bowie Is will have additional screenings around the country on November 20th. Visit This Link for theaters, show times and ticket purchasing information in your area.

The Worley Gig Gives David Bowie Is Five out of Five Stars!

Video Clip of The Week: “Tonight” By Miss Guy


Miss Guy has been an icon of the NYC downtown music scene forever: not only as the dynamic lead singer of the awesome NYC Rock Band Toilet Boys, but also as possibly the best authentically Rock & Roll/First Wave Punk Rock club DJ on the circuit. In Miss Guy’s new video for “Tonight” (the second single off of his new EP God Save New York, which features guest appearances by Debbie Harry of Blondie) the Bowie/Blondie influences abound! Enjoy!

Must See Attraction: Seattle’s Experience Music Project

EMP Building Exterior
All Photos By Gail

When I was planning my recent four-day stay in Seattle, one of the attractions I knew I couldn’t miss was the Experience Music Project pop culture Museum. I’ve been curious about visiting the EMP. since it was first in construction, which was about 15 years ago. Originally, it’s my understanding that the museum was being built and funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen to house his extensive Jimi Hendrix memorabilia collection. But obviously, it’s expanded quite a bit since that original, rather narrow concept.

Space Needle Reflected in EMP Building Exterior
Space Needle Reflected in the Exterior of the EMP

Conveniently located in the Seattle Center, literally in the shadow of the Space Needle, and adjacent to several other top tourist attractions, the EMP is certainly one of the most unusual examples of modern architecture I’ve ever seen. When viewed from the top of the Space Needle, this Frank Gehry-designed structure looks like a Giant took a handful of various boxes of different shapes and colors, and stuck them all together. But this unique approach to modern design has created a fantastic space that provides exhibit halls for not only local music history and an extensive trip down memory lane with the Jimi Hendrix Experience in London, but separate wings for science fiction, fantasy film and literature, horror movies, and the current temporary exhibit highlighting Women Who Rock. Here are a few photos I took during my visit this past July.

Hendrix Experience in London

Any Jimi Hendrix fan is going to be blown away by the Hendrix Experience Hits London section, which fills several ground floor galleries.

Hendrix Experience Costumes

Not only will you see vintage, authentic stage costumes worn by Jimi, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, but the walls of the galleries are plastered with photographs, news clippings, magazine articles, vinyl albums and posters that telegraph the band’s rise to stardom after their initial visit to the UK. All I can say is, it must be nice to be Paul Allen.

Nirvana In Utero Prop

Around the corner from the Hendrix exhibit is an exhaustive documentation of the Nirvana’s impact on the Seattle grunge punk music scene during the 90s. You could easily spend a couple of hours in this section, just reading all about some of the best bands that came from this genre-defining region of the country such as Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and many other Sub Pop signings as well as projects from legendary genre producers such as Jack Endino.

Kurt Cobain Green Sweater

In addition to extensive documentation, Photos, Personal Letters, CD covers, magazine articles, costumes and props, there’s also one of Dave Grohl’s drum kits and other one-of-a-kind memorabilia. Whoever created this part of the museum did so with a good deal of love.

David Bowie Costume from Labyrinth

Fantasy film enthusiasts will not want to miss the Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic exhibit where I enjoyed seeing costumes such as those worn by David Bowie in the film Labyrinth as well as many other props and costumes from classic films such as The Hobbit, the Wizard of Oz and Clash of the Titans, to name but a few.

Wizard of Oz Guard Uniform

Captain Kirk Chair and Tribbles
Captain Kirk’s Enterprise Command Chair and Tribbles

On another floor there’s an exhibit dedicated to Icons of Science Fiction. Not only are there props and costumes from science-fiction films, but also there are small exhibits on popular books of the genre that laid the foundation for much of the visual media that came in their wake.

Dalek from Dr. Who
Dalek from Dr. Who

Lure of Horror Films Signage

Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film is also a very fun exhibit. Aside from the expected props and costumes, you can personalize your experience by participating in interactive exhibits including the Scream Booth and Philip Worthington’s interactive shadow monster installation – which is just insane.

Creature from Black Lagoon Mask

Rest your weary feet with time spent in a dozen video kiosks where you can sit in near darkness and watch horror film clips (commentary included) curated by directors Roger Corman, John Landis and Eli Roth. Super fun and also very educational!

Pretenders Kim Gordon EMP
Outfits Worn by Chrissie Hynde and Kim Gordon (Image Courtesy of the EMP)

The museum’s top floor is home to a large interactive studio recording exhibit, where you can actually play instruments and record your own music. It’s also where you’ll find the museums latest exhibit, Women Who Rock, which just opened in June. Women Who Rock does an ambitious job of documenting female artists from the 50s through to present including pioneers such as Brenda Lee, Leslie Gore, Loretta Lynn, Ronnie Specter and many of the girl groups through to the punk rock movement, groundbreaking all-female rock groups such as The Runaways and The GoGos and on to superstar solo artists from Madonna to Shakira and, of course Lady Gaga. Unfortunately, my camera battery ran out just as we were entering this particular exhibit, so the only photos I have are ones I pulled from EMP’s website.

Rihanna Awards Outfit EMP
Rihanna Music Awards Outfit (Image Courtesy of the EMP)

The Experience Music Project is a must-see destination for any music and film fan’s trip to the beautiful and vibrant city of Seattle. Exhibits change from time to time so make sure you consult the museum’s website to find out what they have in house during your planned visit.

If Six Was Nine Guitar Sculpture
If Six Was Nine Kinetic Guitar Sculpture

The EMP Museum is located at 325 5th Avenue N, Seattle Center, WA, convenient to the Seattle Center Monorail. Hours are 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Daily. Visit This Link for additional exhibit schedule and admission information.

Video Clip of the Week: Art Decade, “Breeze”

Art Decade adopted its name from a Brian Eno-produced David Bowie instrumental track, which gives the band a sort of built-in, arsty fartsy clout right off the gate. Their new video for the song “Breeze” — soothing, Sunday morning orchestrated pop taken from the band’s 2012 album Western Sunrise — was filmed on a beach with bunch of 3-D geometric effects tossed in during post production. The visual result is like Pink FLoyd’s Dark Side of the Moon…on the Beach.

Here’s what Ben Talmi, Art Decade’s vocalist/guitarist/arranger has to say about this clip: “With the animation skills of Whitney Alexander and Kipp Jarden, I saw the opportunity to combined the Impressionistic styles of painters like Degas, Renoir and Turner with the world of surrealists like Dali and Ernst in a setting of the beach, which was influenced by Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal and Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2. The animated subconscious dreamscapes Whit and Kipp created in the video are just like what I see when I close my eyes.”

Art Decade is putting the finishing touches on 11 songs that will make up their new self-titled album due in September of 2013. Enjoy!

Must See Show: Tesla at NYC’s Theatre 80

Tesla Play Banner

In the 2006 film, The Prestige, Serbian-born Physicist and Inventor Nikola Tesla (played by David Bowie) serves as a sort of ‘Mad Scientist’ inspiration and mentor to a competitively obsessed magician/illusionist portrayed by Hugh Jackman. It’s probably not a complete accident then that in the eponymous new play (written by Sheri Graubert and Directed by Sanja Bestic) Tesla is referred to repeatedly as a ‘Magician.’ While Tesla’s scientific legacy includes contributions as varied as design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system and early developments in Remote Control and X-ray technologies, his name is perhaps best known these days for having been adopted by an ‘80s Hair Metal band. And that’s just a shame. Hopefully, Tesla will be able to move on to Broadway after its Off Broadway run, exposing a wider audience to Nikola Tesla’s genius and futuristic vision.

In this engaging play, an older Tesla (played by Jack Dimich) sits in his New York City Hotel room, kept company only by his memory and occasional visits from the Bellhop (Luka Mijatovia). There, he reflects on the accomplishments of his past while mentally confronting his many professional adversaries who exploited him with varying degrees of opportunism, indifference and cruelty. James Lee Taylor (who, if you look up any actual photos of Tesla, is a dead ringer for the inventor during his late thirties) portrays Tesla as a younger man, and carries the bulk of the action on his very capable shoulders. Over the course of ninety minutes, the story of Tesla’s amazing career unfolds in ways that are both wildly inspiring and devastatingly heartbreaking.

Taking place at a time when the world was a Wild West for Scientific invention, many inventors were coming up with similar ideas for technological advancements at the same time as their peers. Even those who managed to make it to the patent office first didn’t always maintain a tight rein of control over their inventions. This is emphasized best in a reoccurring appearance by Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi (played with brilliant comic effect by Jeff Solomon) who is repeatedly denied a patent for his invention of the Radio – a field of research and development also pioneered by Tesla. It is implied that Marconi and Tesla remained lifelong adversaries.

The onstage action, which takes place in a static three-part interior set, is occasionally augmented by the incorporation of black and white film clips, starring the play’s actors, which provide a newsreel-like back-story or help to advance the story line in a way that dialogue will not suffice. Such clips are used most effectively in a G-Rated – but nevertheless quite passionate – love scene between Tesla and his implied romantic interest, Katherine (Samantha Slater), that illustrates the bittersweet, largely unfulfilled state of their affair.

Other historical figures fleshing out this extremely fascinating and vibrant play include Tesla’s early employer, Thomas Edison (Tom Cappadona), financial tycoon JP Morgan (portrayed as being pretty much an ego-maniacal prick by Adam Pagdon) and actor Allessandro Colla in a dual role as George Westinghouse and Mark Twain. Colla’s over-the-top physical mannerisms employed in his portrayal of Westinghouse are a highlight among the performances of a universally outstanding cast.

Nicola Tesla died of heart failure in 1943 at the age of 86: penniless, in debt and alone in the hotel room in which he lived during the final days of his life. Was he ahead of his time? No doubt. Was he a mysterious genius? Most definitely.

Tesla is Showing at Theater 80, Located at 80 St Mark’s Place (East 8th Street between First and Second Avenues) in New York City through June 8th, 2013. Showtime is at 8:00 PM Daily with a 3:00 PM Matinee on Sundays. Phone 212-388-0388 or visit http://www.teslaoffbroadway.com for Tickets and Further Information.

David Bowie Celebrates 66th Birthday, Announces New Album!

David Bowie 2012
David Bowie by Larry Busacca, WireImage / Getty Images

From Ultimate Classic Rock Dot Com:

David Bowie will release a brand new studio album, The Next Day, in March, 2013. It will be the recently reclusive rocker’s first new record since 2003′s Reality. Bowie wasted no time this morning (January 8th) kicking off his 66th birthday celebration, launching a new website mere minutes after midnight ET with the announcement and the release of a video for the record’s first single, “Where Are We Now?”

The video for the melancholy, restrained piano-based ballad features the faces of Bowie and a woman superimposed on the heads of a pair of mannequins dressed in fur bodysuits in an artist’s loft. Near the end we get our first non-paparazzi look at the always fashion-forward rock star in years, and it seems his new sartorial statement is… jeans and a t-shirt? Who cares, Bowie’s back! Maybe it was casual Friday.

As his site explains, David Bowie The Next Day will be released on March 8 in Australia, March 12 in the U.S.A. and March 11 everywhere else. A 14-track standard edition and a 17-track deluxe version of the album are currently available for pre-order on iTunes, and you can pick up the new single there as well.

David Bowie The Next Day Track List:
1. ‘The Next Day’
2. ‘Dirty Boys’
3. ‘The Stars (Are Out Tonight)’
4. ‘Love is Lost’
5. ‘Where Are We Now?’
6. ‘Valentine’s Day’
7. ‘If You Can See Me’
8. ‘I’d Rather Be High’
9. ‘Boss of Me’
10. ‘Dancing Out of Space’
11. ‘How Does the Grass Grow?’
12. ‘(You Will) Set the World on Fire’
13. ‘You Feel So Lonely You Could Die’
14. ‘Heat’

Deluxe Version Bonus Tracks:
15. ‘So She’
16. ‘I’ll Take You There’
17. ‘Plan’