Tag Archive | Portraits

John Singer Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends at the Met, Closing October 4th!

Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau) 1884
Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau) 1884 (All Photos By Gail)

I think I sat on this a little bit longer than I should have, because I expected this exhibit to be up for a couple more months instead of ending this coming weekend. My bad! You are advised to act fast and make it to The Met to take in Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends before it closes next Sunday! Here are a few of my favorite paintings from the show, along with background on what you’ll see!

La Carmencita, Dancer, 1890
La Carmencita, 1890

Throughout his career, the celebrated American painter John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) created exceptional portraits of artists, writers, actors, dancers, and musicians, many of whom were his close friends. As a group, these portraits — many of which were not commissioned — are often highly charged, intimate, witty, idiosyncratic, and more experimental than his formal portraiture. Brilliant works of art and penetrating character studies, they are also records of relationships, influences, aspirations, and allegiances.

Claude Monet 1887
Claude Monet, 1887

Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends brings together ninety-two of the artist’s paintings and drawings of members of his impressive artistic circle. The individuals seen through Sargent’s eyes represent a range of leading figures in the creative arts of the time such as artists Claude Monet and Auguste Rodin, writers Robert Louis Stevenson and Henry James, and the actor Ellen Terry, among others.

Shakespearean Actor Ellen Terry As Lady Macbeth 1889
Shakespearean Actor Ellen Terry As Lady Macbeth, 1889

The exhibition features some of Sargent’s most celebrated full-length portraits (Dr. Pozzi at Home, Hammer Museum), his dazzling subject paintings created in the Italian countryside (Group with Parasols [Siesta], private collection), and brilliant watercolors (In the Generalife, The Metropolitan Museum of Art) alongside lesser-known portrait sketches of his intimate friends (Vernon Lee, 1881, Tate). The exhibition explores the friendships between Sargent and his artistic sitters, as well as the significance of these relationships to his life and art.

Shakespearean Actor Edwin Booth 1890
Shakespearean Actor Edwin Booth, 1890 (Brother of John Wilkes Booth)

A Dinner Table at Night (Edith and Albert Vickers), 1884

Garden Study of the Vickers Children, Billy and Dorothy, 1884
Garden Study of the Vickers Children (Billy and Dorothy), 1884

Mrs. Hugh Hammersley (Mary Frances) 1892
Mrs. Hugh Hammersley (Mary Frances), 1892

Robert Louis Stevenson 1887
Robert Louis Stevenson, 1887

Isabella Stewart Gardner 1888
Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1888

The story of Sargent’s relationship with each of his subjects is posted next to each painting and it is such a fascinating history lesson and a rapturous trip back in time to imagine what life must have been like for these people. What’s even more exciting is that photography is allowed, and that almost never happens, so please try to see this exhibit before it closes.

Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends, will be on Exhibit Through October 4th, 2015 in Gallery 999  of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Located at 1000 Fifth Ave at 81st Street, New York, NY.


Gallery View

Chuck Close, Red Yellow Blue at Pace Gallery

Self Portrait Grid
All Photos By Gail

Artist Chuck Close is renowned for his highly inventive investigations into how we process information. Celebrated internationally, Close uses the absolute minimum amount of information necessary to render likenesses. In the new works for his sixteenth exhibition with Pace, entitled Red Yellow Blue , Close continues his involvement with the grid as an organizing device, creating full-color paintings out of only cyan, magenta, and yellow pigments, and layering colors in singular brushstrokes; applying multiple thin washes of  red, yellow and blue paint in each cell of the grid, until they accumulate into extravagant full-color images.

Red Blue Yellow Self Portraits

Although the works represent a new direction for Close, they are also a revival and reconsideration of processes he first used in the 1970s when he first restricted his palette to three colors, coaxing different saturations of paint and hue into photorealist portraits; however, this time the color has no relationship to reality.

Cindy 2013
Cindy, 2013

The earliest works in the exhibition — portraits of  Cindy Sherman and Cecily Brown — reveal the beginnings of this process, leaving the painting’s development visible.

Ceclily, 2013
Cecily, 2013

Cecily Close Up
Cecily, Detail

When viewed up close, the portrayed subjects disintegrate into grids of color evocative of Paul Klee’s Magic Square paintings. These works attest to a heightened interest in the effects of color and suggest a new way of challenging the processes through which his portraits are constructed. It allows the arrtist to create distinct works from the same image through different saturations and juxtapositions of hue.

Chuck Close Self Portrait

Chuck Close: Red Yellow Blue will be on Exhibit Through October 17th, 2015 at Pace Gallery, Located at 534 West 25th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Chuck Close Self Portrait

Chuck Close Signage

Preview: Russell Young’s Fame/Shame at Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, Reception September 17th

Red Elvis
All Photos By Gail

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 17th (6-8pm) 

Bertrand Delacroix Gallery is thrilled to announce FAME/SHAME, a one-time special collaboration between the gallery and famed British artist Russell Young. The artist is internationally renowned for his colorful enamel screen-print paintings of celebrities, often coated in shimmering diamond dust. In Anna Wilding’s documentary on the artist, he states:

“My art is best described as fame and shame.”

This is exemplified in this exhibition’s mix of glamorous celebrity photos and mug shots.

Morrison Pacino

Young’s signature technique combines painting and photography to produce a unique effect. He sources the photographs from newspaper cuttings, auctions, celebrities themselves and even police departments.

Michael Jackson

Afterwards, he is intimately involved in every step of the screen-printing process. In fact, he is known for his sensational silk-screen performances, where he often signs his work with his own blood.

Pink Marilyn

In 2007, he started to incorporate diamond dust into his work, a process, which not only distinguishes his work but also makes each piece unique as the crystals are individually applied. The final results are bold and provocative representations of American media. The iconic pop portraits capture the glamour, pain and anguish that come with being in the public eye. They do not seek to simply idealize the famous but to question the culture of fame and its effect on both those who attain it and those who worship it.


Born in York, England in 1959, Young studied photography, film and graphic design at the Chester Art College and then attended Exeter Art College. Afterwards, he moved to London and gained recognition photographing R.E.M., the The Smiths, Morrissey, Bjork, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and Paul Newman during the late 1970’s.

Frank Sinatra Mug Shot

Afterwards, the artist transitioned into the music industry, where he directed over 100 major music videos for MTV during the 1990s. In September 2000, while living in New York City, Young started to focus on his passion for art and painting. It was at this time that he first collaborated with BDG founder Bertrand Delacroix and master printer Luther Davis, of Axelle Editions in Brooklyn, New York – a sister company to BDG. He began to create the enamel screen-print paintings on linen of celebrities. Davis remains the only printer that Young works with on his art and the artist remained close friends with Bertrand Delacroix until Delacroix’s passing in 2015. This exclusive 3-week collaboration celebrates this long-standing partnership.

Jimi Hendrix

Young has established himself as one of the most collected artists of our time; his work has been shown in London, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, Detroit, Miami and Los Angeles and is in the private collections of President Barack Obama, David Bowie, David Hockney, Marc Jacobs as well as in the Saatchi Gallery in London, the Polk Museum in Florida and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. His works have sold at auction in the US and UK through Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips de Pury.

Red Bowie

The artist currently resides in California. He will attend the opening reception on Thursday, September 17th.

Russell Young’s Fame/Shame will be on Exhibit Through September 29th, 2015 at Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, Located at 535 West 25th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Fame Shame Signage

Mick Jagger

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

Last Rites Gallery Presents: Chet Zar’s The Demon Show

Chet Zar Demon Show
All Photos By Gail

Do you like Monsters? I sure do. And one thing I know is that artist Chet Zar likes to draw Monsters, and no one does that better than him.

Chet Zar Demon Show

Chet Zar’s monsters are the stuff that the very best nightmares are made of, which is why it makes sense that he has worked as a make-up and effects specialist for the horror film industry, and has also been involved with videos for bands like Tool, whom I am sure you will agree have produced some fucked up videos.

Chet Zar Demon Show

Through July 3rd, 2015, Last Rites Gallery is hosting Chet Zar’s latest exhibit, The Demon Show, which is a must-see for all fans of horror and dark pop surrealist art.

Chet Zar Demon Show

These are so great.

Chet Zar Demon Show

I think the guy on the left in the above photo is one of my favorites. I can imagine him in a movie.

Chet Zar Demon Show

If you are an art collector, or even just a wanna-be collector fan, who thinks you could never afford art this amazing, I am now going to tell you that you are incorrect. These paintings have a price point that is very accessible. While I am not sure if that bad ass tentacled-skull frame is included, even if that cost extra, it would be worth it. Maybe you would not want to hang one of these guys over your bed, but then again why not keep your dreamscape interesting?

Chet Zar Demon Show Gallery View

Chet Zar’s The Demon Show will be on Exhibit Through July 3rd, 2015 at Last Rites Gallery, Located at 325 West 38th Street (Between 8th and 9th Aves) in NYC.

Demon Show Signage

Pink Think of The Day: Elizabeth Taylor by Russell Young

Pink Elizabeth Taylor
Photo By Gail

Russell Young (born March 13, 1959) is a British-American artist. In the late 1970s, while living in London, he gained recognition photographing the early live club shows of Bauhaus, R.E.M. and The Smiths. During this period he shot portraits of Morrissey, Bjork, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, New Order, Diana Ross, and Paul Newman. In 1986, he shot the Faith sleeve for George Michael. In the following ten years he directed more than 100 music videos during the heyday of MTV.

In September 2000, while living in New York City, he began to concentrate on art and to devote himself to painting. Young is best known for his enamel, screen-print paintings on linen, which explore celebrity, rock and roll, death and history. His earliest notable works as an artist are his “Pig Portraits” – life-size Police mug shots of celebrities screened onto canvas. First shown in 2003, they proved a critical success and were exhibited in London and the United States.

Russell Young is represented by Taglialatella Galleries in NYC and you a can see a good selection of his large, glittery portraits any day, just by popping in during regular business hours. I took this shot of Young’s portrait depicting a stunning Liz Taylor at the opening reception for the launch of his new print of Jackie O. You miss so much when you don’t live in NYC.

William Basso Mise En Scene at Last Rites Gallery

Installation View
All Photos By Gail

If there were ever an art gallery that offered a fully immersive sensory experience reflective of the art it most expertly represents, that would be Last Rites Gallery. Hitting its stride as the perfect comforting /disquieting mutation of a Victorian Gothic sitting room and an abattoir, Last Rites showcases the best of contemporary Dark Pop, Surrealism and Horror Art like nobody’s business. Brooklyn’s Stephen Romano Gallery certainly mines a similar vein (and we are, of course, huge fans), but there is only one Last Rites. Also: there’s a tattoo parlor in the basement.

Adam Wallacavage Octopus Lamp
Octopus Chandelier by Adam Wallacavage

A while back, Last Rites escaped the impending urban sprawl of its former neighborhood — a windowless loft space in the West 30s (just inches from the West Side Highway) — and moved locations to a Hell’s Kitchen-adjacent street level storefront that transforms the gallery into clearly bisected realms of darkness and light. While the ground floor gallery space is flooded with natural light pouring in from floor to ceiling windows (quite advantageous, for an art gallery), the upstairs bar/lounge and basement level tattoo salon maintain the incredible vibe of fabulously seductive gloom. Let’s take a look.


Skull Wallpaper: Classeh!


Lots of room to relax and drink, blood or whatever.

Door with Gate

Keep Out. You don’t have to tell me twice.

Cardboard Prop with Injury
Cardboard Prop with Injury

So, the facelift was all for the best, and while a few wrinkles were smoothed over, Last Rites is still quite recognizable as the place we love to see scary art and bring straight friends to freak them out. And there sure is some good art there right now, in the form of William Basso’s exhibit of mixed media assemblages, Mise En Scene. Here are some of our favorite pieces from the show!

Edgar Allan Poe


Of his work, the artist offers, “The characters in my work exists in a distant, half-remembered place, where even Halloween can last forever.” We like it.

Tea Time
Tea Time

Collection of Models Used for The Series

Very Fun! Welcome back Last Rites! For detailed information on William Basso and the works in this exhibit, visit This Link. Or, you know, just go check it out in person.

William Basso’s Mise En Scene will be on Exhibit Through May 16th 2015 at Last Rites Gallery, Located at 325 West 38th Street (Between 8th and 9th Aves) in NYC.