Tag Archive | Portraits

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.

Staircase

Skull Wallpaper: Classeh!

Lounge

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 Blasso’s exhibit of mixed media assemblages, Mise En Scene. Here are some of our favorite pieces from the show!

Poe
Edgar Allan Poe

Smile
Smile

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

Models
Collection of Models Used for The Series

Very Fun! Welcome back Last Rites! For detailed information on William Blasso 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.

Signage

Paul Insect, 2033: Original Works Created in 2014 at Allouche Gallery

Paul Insect
All Photos By Gail

Geoffrey and I were trying to figure out why the address of 115 Spring Street sounded so familiar, and yet neither one of us could recall having been to the Allouche Gallery, which resides at that address, prior to the Paul Insect exhibit, the opening reception of which we attended on Saturday night. Once we walked in the door, however, we recognized the space as having formerly been the  home of Opera Gallery — which, who even knew that it had closed? Obviously, not us.  RIP Opera Gallery. I do not miss you that much.

Paul Insect

I like Paul Insect’s work a lot. To bring up a reference from Pop Culture, his unique portraits remind me a lot of the costumes and make-up designed, worn and made infamous by the late Leigh Bowery.

Allouche Gallery Bar
Hey, Free Wine!

And if you are going to reference another contemporary painter doing something similar, perhaps George Condo comes to mind as well, although I prefer Insect over Condo.

Paul Insect

The exhibit’s press release simply states that “Paul Insect’s 2033, Original Works Created in 2014, features a series of striking new montage works on canvas and paper, projecting a world in which people want more, thrive to be the best and pretend to be who they are not.” I like that. Here are more of our favorites from the show.

Paul Insect Diptych

This Diptych (above) and the trio (below) are a little bit different stylistically from the others.

Paul Insect Trio

Paul Insect Abstract

This one has maybe a bit more of a collage feel to it. I love his use of bright colors.

Paul Insect

This one reminds me of Me and Geoffrey when we go out looking at the Art.

Paul Insect

Paul Insect Installation View

Here is a bit more of an installation view. It really is a very nice space.

Paul Insect

The Red in this is just remarkable, although it doesn’t translate in the photograph. It is one of my favorite pieces in the show for sure!

Go see this exhibit, because it is awesome.

Paul Insect, 2033 will be on Exhibit Through January 11th, 2015 at Allouche Gallery, Located at 115 Spring Street in Soho.

Paul Insect

Andy Warhol, 1950s Drawings at Anton Kern

Female Portrait
All Photos By Gail

Don’t think for one second that I didn’t fully appreciate the fact that Anton Kern Gallery painted its walls Pepto Bismol Pink for its current exhibit of Andy Warhol Drawings. Because I did.

Andy Warhol: 1950s Drawings brings together 150 never before seen works on paper from the late 1940s through 1960. They show Warhol as a skilled draftsman and great experimenter. Using ink and graphite, he investigated the possibilities of the hand-drawn line, and in the course of this developed his characteristic blotted-line technique, which involved tracing projected photographic images onto paper and blotting the inked figures to create variations on a theme. This exhibition reveals a lesser-known side of Warhol and provides unique insight into the foundation of Pop Art.

Love is a Pie
Love is a Pie

If you only know Warhol through his most popular works such as the mass produced, silk screened Celebrity Portraits and Campbell’s Soup Cans, this exhibit will really show you where the artist came from and reveal how truly talented he was. I mean, the guy could draw a face.

Warhol Male Portrait

This one reminds me of John Lennon.

Warhol Drawings Installation View

You can see by the above photo that every wall is covered with drawings, so you could spend well over an hour here just looking at each one and finding your favorites.

Warhol Peacock

I like this Peacock.

Warhol Looks Like Morrissey

This one looks like Morrissey to me.

Warhol Female Figures

This one is so great.

Lady in the Leaves

The group of drawings currently on view was discovered in the flat files at the Andy Warhol Foundation’s warehouse space in 2011-2012, and marks the third exhibition by the American artist at the Anton Kern Gallery. Very highly recommended.

Andy Warhol 1950s Drawings will be on Exhibit Through December 20th, 2014 at Anton Kern gallery, Located at 532 West 20th Street, In the Chelsea Gallery District.

Andy Warhol 1950s Signage

Martin Schoeller, Portraits at Halsted Kraeutler

Russell Brand
Russell Brand (All Gallery Photos By Gail)

Hasted Kraeutler is currently hosting a major retrospective of Martin Schoeller’s unique portrait photography, which has been organized to coincide with the release of his Portraits Coffee Table Book, spanning 15 years of the photographer’s illustrious career.

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga

Schoeller’s work has a playfulness that reminds me a little it of Annie Leibovitz from back when she was all the rage. These portraits are very challenging to shoot because you can’t get a direct shot without getting yourself in the glare of the frame’s glass, so apologies for so many side angle shots, but it could not be helped. Here are a few of our favorites from the show!

Steve Carell

Steve Carell, star of The Office, has tape over his face. Clever.

Jeff Koons

I believe this shot of artist Jeff Koons was taken for his New York Magazine exposé in 2013. Gazing Ball had just opened at David Zwirner gallery. Good times.

Cate Blanchett

Here is actress Cate Blanchett. She is so beautiful, and also an excellent actress!

Zach Galifianakis

Zach Galifianakis: I saw his standup comedy routine once and it was hilarious.

Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman, also a very funny lady

Christian Bale

Everybody knows this photo of Christian Bale, which references his character in American Psycho. The movie was not very good, but I just could not bring myself to read the book.

Ozzy Osbourne

I love this photo of Ozzy Osbourne.

Michael Douglas

Here is actor Michael Douglas. Did you see him in the Liberace movie? He was amazing.

You should go see this exhibit.

Martin Schoeller’s Portraits will be on Exhibit Through January 3rd, 2015 at Halsted Kraeutler, Located at 537 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Martin Schoeller Signage

David Datuna Presents Elements at Birnam Wood Galleries

David Datuna Einstein
Albert Einstein with Euclid’s Elements Diptych (All Photos By Gail)

You can say this much about art exhibits comprised of Portraits of Pop Culture Icons: EVERYBODY DOES IT. Seriously, Ev-Ree-Bah-Dee. What keeps an exhibit of Pop Culture Portraiture from being a total yawnfest is the defining twist that the artist puts on his or her work (see Erik den Breejen’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On at Freight and Volume for an excellent example of what I’m talking about).

So, it’s a huge relief that David Datuna’s Elements – the artist’s eighth solo show at Birnam Wood Galleries – is a portrait-based exhibit with one of the coolest visual spins I’ve ever seen. Although from a distance it appears that each image is mounted behind a layer of marbled glass, on close inspection you can see that Datuna has employed a unique conceptual device of layered optical lenses to focus and diffuse his distinct visual imagery. Talk about Ways of Seeing!

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe Detail
Detail from Above Portrait

According to the exhibit’s press release, the title Elements is taken from the centerpiece of the show, a diptych that pairs Albert Einstein with Euclid’s Elements, the seminal work of mathematics written in the third century BC. Described as the second most widely published book after the Bible, the book’s findings underpin much of logic and modern science. Its influence is immense. Einstein said it kindled his interest in science. Abraham Lincoln insisted it was the most influential book of his life.

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol

I love the little details Datuna adds, such as printing amd framing Andy Warhol in bright yellow, a color that Warhol used often in his own signature silkscreen portraits of celebrities.

Walt Disney
Walt Disney

David Datuna’s Elements is definitely worth adding to your next Art Crawl. Just make sure you schedule it before June 7th.

David Datuna Elements Signage

John Grande’s Oh You Pretty Things at Jim Kempner Fine Art

Damien Hirst By John Grande
Damien Dot: Portrait of Damien Hirst by John Grande (All Photos By Gail)

Wedged between viewing rad new art by both Lynda Benglis and Herb Alpert, we popped into Jim Kempner on 23rd and 10th during last Thursday’s Art Crawl to check out a very fun exhibit. Taking Appropriation Art to a hilarious new level, painter John Grande presents his new series of portraits depicting pop culture icons superimposed with the distinctive design of Damien Hirst’s famous Spot Paintings. That Hirst himself is honored in the show is pure brilliance.

Ian Curtis By John Grande
Ian Dot

Some of the celebrities featured in the series include Whitney Houston, Truman Capote, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Judy Garland and Andy Warhol. The portraits are borrowed from Richard Avedon and other renowned photographers. He must have had a good time dealing with all of the licensing!

Judy Garland By John Grande
Judy Dot

Whitney Houston By John Grande
Whitney Dot

Jim Kempner is the rare gallery that always has a few things going on in addition to their featured exhibit, so drop by next time you are in the neighborhood.

Kurt Cobain By John Grande
Kurt Dot

John Grande’s Oh You Pretty Things Will be on Exhibit through February 23rd, 2014 at Jim Kempner Fine Art, Located at 501 West 23rd Street, on the Northwest corner of 23rd Street and Tenth Avenue in the Chelsea Gallery District, NYC.

Jimi Hendrix By John Grande
Jimi Dot

Hedy Klineman’s Ancestral Spirits, African-American Portraits at Smart Clothes Gallery

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits
All Photos By Gail

Hedy Klineman’s Ancestral Spirits, African-American Portraits, is a solo exhibition of more than twenty paintings from two series on view at Smart Clothes Gallery through December 20th, 2013.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits
Detail from Painting Above

The genesis of the African-American Portraits is framed by two significant events. In the eighties, Andy Warhol presented Klineman with a pair of his glasses, which she would incorporate into one of her “Fashion Portraits,” marking her first use of the silkscreen technique. Donning the eyewear, she exclaimed that she ‘saw the world Andy sees.’ Years later, she received an African mask on her birthday. Instinctually, she put it on, repeating the gesture in a silkscreened self-portrait. These gifts and their presentation echo a kind of ceremony, and their performance would give Klineman new perspective on her art.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits Russell Simmons

Since then, Klineman has been commissioned to create portraits for some of the most eminent members of the African-American cultural community, including Russell and Danny Simmons, Mary Schmidt Campbell, dance choreographer Bill T. Jones and actor Malik Yoba. Her choice of masks reflects a sensitivity to the cultural significance of these objects and their innate beauty. Ancestry is reawakened through the masquerade of photographic superimposition. The earlier sister series, Ancestral Spirits, is a celebration of indigenous sculpture in the tradition of modern art’s fascination with these objects.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits

If these paintings are in the mode of Pop icons, Hedy Klineman’s spiritual counter-narrative for the process is entirely her own. Employing an understanding of essence influenced by Eastern philosophy, her silkscreened paintings hold the presence of their subjects within. Coupled with colorful grounds that relate tothe artist’s history as an abstract painter,

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits Statues

Ancestral Spirits, African-American Portraits is a celebration of ancestry and community.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits

Hedy Klineman’s Ancestral Spirits, African-American Portraits will be on Exhibit Through December 20th, 2013 at Smart Clothes Gallery, located 154 Stanton Street (Corner of Suffolk St), New York, NY 10012. Hours are 12:00 Noon To 6:00 PM
Wednesday to Sunday.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits Signage