Tag Archive | Portraits

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.

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 Basso’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 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.

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