Tag Archive | Lou Reed

Erik den Breejen’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On at Freight and Volume

Lou Reed
As Pure and Strange as What I See (For Lou Reed), 2013 (All Photos By Gail)

Painter Erik den Breejen is back at Freight + Volume for There’s a Riot Goin’ On, his fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. Den Breejen’s paintings play with a mosaic of text, color, and pattern, and the embodiment of music, film, comedy and literature. He uses lyrics, quotes, jokes, and poems of iconic figures from the early 1970s to express the collective – and sometimes tragic – unconscious of the time.

Lou Reed Lyrics
Loud Reed Lyrics make up the Image of Reed, Seen Above

The title of the exhibition, There’s a Riot Goin’ On, comes from the 1971 Sly & The Family Stone album of the same, which itself was named in response to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On album (also 1971). In a one-two punch, the paintings use text to create both mosaic-like portraits as well as project the voice of these cultural icons.

Richard Pryor
Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor Bits
Detail of Richard Pryor Image

There’s a Riot Goin’ On takes a commanding look back at the early 70’s and specifically explores the lives and work of creative revolutionaries such as Richard Pryor, Harry Nilsson, Marvin Gaye, Joan Baez and Allen Ginsberg, among others. Den Breejen investigates the role of the artist as messenger from another state of consciousness.

Nilsson Schmilsson
Nilsson Schmilsson (Harry Nilsson)

Nilsson Lyrics
Detail of Harry Nilsson Image

These artists, comedians, musicians, poets, and rock stars channeled their inspiration to confront the rules and norms of their time. Den Breejen chooses as his subject radicals who engaged and challenged their generation. His portraits revisit and transform their observations. His recent paintings tell a history that has been recorded, portrayed, lived and felt by these people. In this sense, his technique can be seen as a kind of time travel.

Karen Carpenter
Karen Carpenter

Karen Carpenter Lyrics
Detail of Karen Carpenter Image

One cool thing about this exhibit is that the further away from the image you are, the clearer and less pixelated the image appears to the naked eye. I also enjoyed searching for certain lyrics in the paintimgs, and trying to recognize images I didn’t immediately know from what was written on the canvas. You can make a fun game out of it when you go to see this exhibit!

Liza Minelli
Liza Minelli

Liza Minelli Lyrics
Detail of Liza Minella Image

Erik den Breejen’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On will be on Exhibit Through June 7th, 2014 at Freight and Volume, Located at 530 W. 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Erik den Breejen Signage

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Rock Paper Photo Releases Online Lou Reed Photo Tribute

Lou Reed by Michael Zagaris
Lou Reed at the San Francisco airport in November 1974, Photographed by Michael Zagaris

Just over a week ago, the music world lost Singer, Songwriter, Producer and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Lou Reed. In honor of his life, fine art photography archive site, Rock Paper Photo has released an online dedicated gallery, including 2 never before seen Andrew Kent images of Lou, that can be viewed at This Link. Fans will not want to miss it.

Lou Reed, Dead at 71

Lou Reed Portrait By Chuck Close
Portrait of Lou Reed by Chuck Close (Photo By Gail)

Lou Reed, a pioneering and wildly influential rock guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, passed away today, October 27th, 2013 in NYC.  Although Reed just underwent a liver transplant in May of this year, he cause of death appears to be liver failure. Very sad. Reed was 71 years old. Rolling Stone has a career comprehensive Obituary and This Link. Favorite Lou Reed Songs: “Perfect Day” and “Satellite of Love.” RIP.

Shagadelic Baby! Shag’s Thursday’s Girl Comes to Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Thursdays Girl By Shag
Thursday’s Girl by Shag (All Photos By Gail, Click on Any Image to Enlarge)

Retro-Modern Design, Tiki Bar Culture, Cocktail Parties and Vinyl Records. Everything fabulous and swingin’ that made the late sixties and early seventies the best time to be alive are reoccurring themes in Thursday’s Girl, the new series of paintings by artist Josh Agle, known as Shag, on exhibit now at Jonathan LeVine Gallery.

Shag Party Scene

Couple Detail from Party Scene by Shag
Detail from Party Scene, Above. Notice that the men in this painting have horns on their heads. I will let you figure out what that is supposed to mean

There’s a party — or party vibe — of some kind going on in nearly every painting: whether it’s a large gathering of hedonistic revelers, the exterior shot of the house inside which the party is happening, or simply Thursday’s Girl shown playing her guitar as she relaxes with a martini and her cat.

Girl Guitar and CatCat Detail By Shag

Each painting has a  QR code next to it which, when scanned, will tell you something cool and informative about what is going on in the painting. I couldn’t read these little secret stories, however, because I have no smart phone. Don’t forget to bring your Smart Phones!

Key Party in the Cul De Sac
Painting Detail. There is probably a Key Party going on inside this house.

If you read the official Press Release on Thursday’s Girl, you will learn that “this series of paintings were inspired by All Tomorrow’s Parties, the classic Velvet Underground song in which lyrics written by Lou Reed spoke to New York’s downtown art scene found in places such as Warhol’s Factory.” The underlying theme turns out to be kind of a bummer — like a visual depiction of Poison’s “Fallen Angel,” if you will — but I didn’t want to focus on that. To me, these paintings were like a cross between Disneyland and Mad Men — two of my favorite things in the world. So, I choose to remain ignorant of their darker meaning.

Sixites Band By Shag

I think we can agree that this is supposed to be the Velvet Underground.

And the party was not just going on within the art. As the minutes ticked on, Saturday’s opening reception turned into quite the social scene. I was very happy to run into artists Beau Stanton and also Joseph Arthur, whose current exhibit is still up at Able Fine Art. Party at Jonathan LeVine!

Party Scene 2 By Shag

Party Scene 2 with Girl Detail By Shag

You should definitely go see this exhibit while you can, because it is just amazing. Shag Rocks!

Thursday’s Girl By Shag will be on Exhibit through May 4th, 2013  at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Girl on Sofa By Shag

Girl on Vespa by Shag

Happy 70th Birthday, Lou Reed!

Lou Reed Holding a Cigarette

Lou Reed, whom I think we can all agree is a Rock Legend, was born on this day, March 2nd in 1942. I can wish Lou a Happy Birthday for giving us great songs like “Perfect Day” and “Satellite of Love,” but I can’t seem to get past that mortifying horrorshow of an album he made with Metallica last year.

Steven Kasher Gallery Presents Rude And Reckless: Punk/Post-Punk Graphics, 1976-82


Killing Joke, Gang of Four, Bauhaus, Et Al (This Photo by Geoffrey Dicker)

Walking into the Steven Kasher Gallery last night for the opening reception of Rude And Reckless was very much like flashing back to my teenage bedroom, whose walls were plastered floor to ceiling with Punk Rock posters, show flyers, stickers and album cover art until I moved out of my parents house to go to college. Punk Rock – at a time when Punk Rock was really something vital and alive – was everything to me at that time, and I was an avid collector of 7” Punk singles (which I’d pick up by the dozens at Zed Records in Long Beach, California) and punk/new wave badges. A lot of what I collected, and probably still have, seems to have been magically curated into this amazing collection of memorabilia that is sure to delight anyone who has fond memories of the British, New York or LA/Orange County punk scenes in the late ‘70s to early ‘80s. Good times.


Poly Styrene
X-Ray Spex, Oh Bondage Up Yours!, 1977

Rude and Reckless: Punk/Post-Punk Graphics, 1976-82 is the first New York exhibition surveying the extraordinary diversity of Punk and Post-Punk graphic design. The exhibition showcases a wide range of American and British artistry, with influences that include the Bauhaus, Futurism, Dadaism, Pop Art, Constructivism and Expressionism. The exhibition features over 200 rare posters, along with fanzines, flyers, clothing, badges and stickers.


Malcolm Garrett & Linder Sterling
Buzzcocks, Orgasm Addict, 1977
Vintage Poster

Rude and Reckless documents an era that produced a great burst of applied graphic-design creativity, one of the most subversive of the 20th Century. Vivid, violent and frequently acid-tongued, the works in this exhibit represent one of the truly authentic DIY youth culture movements of the Western World. The exhibition is timed to coincide with the 35th anniversary of Punk Rock; both the release of the first Ramones album, and the mythical (and notorious) Anarchy in the UK Tour were seminal punk events in 1976. The exhibition is based on the collection Andrew Krivine, who began collecting in 1977. Curated by Krivine and Steven Kasher, the selection comprises the rarest and finest examples culled from an archive of more than 800 punk/new wave/post-punk posters and ephemera.

Article continutes with more photos and exhibit information after the Jump!  Continue reading

Mick Rock Promotes New Coffee Table Book with Photo Exhibit at Morrison Hotel Gallery


Outtake From Cover Shoot for Queen II, 1973, By Mick Rock

Anyone who grew up in the 70s, loving bands like Queen and David Bowie, knows the legacy of photographer Mick Rock. Along with the equally phenomenal Bob Gruen, Rock is a photographer whose skilled eye captured images – fleeting moments in rock history – that were every bit as important to the times as the music being made by those he was shooting. It is not at all surprising that Mick Rock is also known as “The Man Who Shot the 70s.” Mick Rocks!

Beginning October 27, 2010, the Morrison Hotel Gallery (located at 313 Bowery, the former home of CBGB Gallery and Lounge) will host an exhibit on the photography of Mick Rock that includes many of his most iconic music-star images of the era – the aforementioned Queen and Bowie plus Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Blondie, The Ramones and so many others – as well as today’s superstars such as Bono and Lady Gaga. I attended the opening party last night and it was total glorious chaos – just like the 70s!

Just three feet into the Morrison Hotel Gallery, I couldn’t help but notice a small sign, maybe eight inches square, blood red with white block lettering perched on the front desk, which declared to all who entered “NO PHOTOGRAPHY.” How hilarious. Not only were there cameras everywhere (from fans snapping shots on their cell phones to pros toting huge amounts of gear), but the friend I was with was actually physically lifted off the ground and smacked in the head with a camera when she got caught up in a swarm of overzealous photographers desperate to get the best access to Mick as he made his way through the crowd. It was insane. As difficult as it was to squeeze through the throng of local celebs, aging scenesters and others who, like me, go out of their way to live in the past, the photos – which ranged in size from 30”x40” to 8”x10” – are simply amazing. They just don’t make rock stars like they used to, but at least Mick Rock was there to document the glitter, the glam and the drunken debauchery, so that today we can look back on that time and wish it never had to end.

The Morrison Hotel show is basically just PR for Rock’s new coffee-table book, Exposed: The Faces of Rock n’ Roll which includes 200 of Rock’s iconic photos that were previously unreleased. I’ve seen the book and I would most definitely classify it as “Must Own, dependent on whether or not you actually own a coffee table. Because NYC apartments, they are so small and short on storage space. Mick Rock!

13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests with Live Musical Accompaniment by Dean & Britta

Andy Warhol is widely regarded as the most important artist of the second half of the 20th century, and he brought the vision of a successful artist to his film-making activities. Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests are beautiful and revealing portraits of different individuals, shot between 1963 and 1966. The subjects – both famous and anonymous – were visitors to his studio, The Factory. They were asked to pose, lit with a strong keylight, and filmed by Warhol with his stationary 16mm Bolex camera on silent, black and white, 100-foot rolls of film. Each screen test lasted only as long as the roll of film. The resulting 2 ¾ minute films were projected in slow motion so that each lasted four minutes.

13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests is a project jointly commissioned by the Andy Warhol Museum and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Indie rock luminaries Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips have composed music for thirteen of Warhol’s four-minute, silent film portraits, the Screen Tests, which takes the form of a multimedia performance featuring large scale video projection of the Screen Tests above the musicians performing live on stage.

If you are a fan of Andy Warhol, surely this event is not to be missed.

13 Most Beautiful comes to New York City’s West Village at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, October 22, 2010.