I first discovered Dana’s Bakery and their fancy and fabulous Macarons at a Summer Fancy Food Show a few summers back. When it comes to imaginative baking and creative flavor profiles, nobody does it like Dana’s. Just in time for our first Easter spent in nationwide quarantine, Dana’s Bakery has announced their special Pink Marshmallow Macaron! Each box includes 12 bright pink macarons with sweet marshmallow creme filling, rolled in sugar sprinkles! Always gluten-free and kosher, available for April in their Build-A-Box and Variety Pack. Visit This Link order!
If you live in the tri-state area and are on Instagram or FaceBook for even a few minutes a day, there is very little chance that you have not at least heard the name Fotografiska. Viral marketing ads for the NYC branch of this museum dedicated to modern photography were plastered all over social media for months prior to its opening to the public on December 14th, 2019. The cryptic ads featured dark, purple-shadowed images of the seven-story Gothic structure (built in 1892) housing the museum, which made it seem very mysterious and alluring. Everyone wanted to know: What the Hell is Fotografiska? Some people still can’t figure it out.
I finally had a chance to visit Fotografiska on March 5th, when I was invited to attend the opening reception for an exhibit by Julie Blackmon entitled Fever Dreams. One week after my visit, Fotografiska was forced to temporarily close its doors in compliance with New York State’s shelter-in-place order in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
My original plan had been to post a review of the Julie Blackmon exhibit in mid-March, to coincided with the celebration of National Women’s Month. But like so many of us on the planet, my life is completely different now than it was three or four weeks ago, so that did not happen. An up-side of being stuck in the house without the ability to visit an art gallery, or museum or cultural institution of any kind is that I get to bring you my take on Art in the Time of Covid right here on The Gig. Even though you cannot currently visit these exhibits in person, you can ‘Live Through Me’ and enjoy the photos vicariously. I hope this post will give you a sweet taste of what’s inside Fotografiska that will get you excited to check out the place once it reopens. Better late than never.
This was my first ‘exposure,’ so to speak, to Julie Blackmon’s work, but I immediately fell in love with her hyper-realist style. Fever Dreams is a collection of images that brim with fantasy and subtle satire, capturing a delicate balance between the darkness and charm of contemporary American life. It’s not unusual for a gallery to stage an exhibit in dim lighting, but this one is designed to be viewed almost completely in the dark, save for a bit of light bleeding in from an adjacent gallery, and dedicated spotlights focused on each work. While the lack of lighting presented a challenge in capturing decent images of the photos, it definitely set an important mood, which enhanced the viewing experience.
Adding to the surreal vibe of Fever Dreams was the wall-to-wall astroturf covering the gallery floors, which included this singular artificial Dandelion Puff. You will understand in a minute why it was helpful to feel like you were standing in someone’s backyard.
The playfully artful and chaotic nature present in the photographs of Julie Blackmon (b. 1966) are drawn from the everyday people and places that have shaped the artist’s life. These are the familiar and ordinary scenes of Blackmon’s daily routine in her hometown of Springfield, Missouri, which she describes as “the generic American town” in the middle of the United States.
Her scenes are often centered around children on their own in backyards, garages and neighborhoods where the absence of adults alludes to a looming potential for danger. Her photographs, otherwise innocuous domestic tableaux, are woven with fantasy and subtle satire that reflect a delicate balance between the darkness and charm of contemporary American life in suburbia.
One my favorite photos in the collection is this scene of children watching a screening of The Sound Of Music in a backyard. To me, it has an almost post-apocalyptic feel. Blackmon carefully sets her scenes, and like film and theater directors, she is in pursuit of unscripted moments that provoke, disturb, and challenged the viewer. Some of the images reference paintings by Dutch Masters, French impressionist, and modernists such as Edward Hopper and Balthus, but they are updated with a satirical, penetrating eye and Blackmon’s belief that artful fiction can capture the truth more memorably than the truth itself.
Speaking of her work, Blackmon explains, “I suppose I could make a work where everything’s just perfect, where the sun is shining and mom is lying out in the grass and everything’s happening perfectly and the kids are happy . . . but that wouldn’t interest me — and it wouldn’t be truthful. My aim is to create a more nuanced, subtly humorous and satirical portrait of the way we live today.”
Fever Dreams presents a selection of photographs from Blackmon’s Homegrown series as well as more recent works. It’s a fantastic exhibit and I hope its tenure at Fotografiska can be extended so that more people get to see it.
Story Continues, With More Photos, After the Jump! Continue reading
Christian Dior’s “New Look” was central to the postwar revival of the Paris couture system. In addition to selling individual couture dresses to private clients, Dior also sold licensed copies, like this one of his Columbine dress, which was produced in the US for American department stores. The number of such high-end reproductions was limited, but there were also mass-produced garments that catered to the desire for at least “a copy of a copy of a Dior.”
The Dress Pictured Here is a Licensed Copy of Dior’s Columbine Dress by I. Magnin and Lord & Taylor circa 1947. Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Paris, Capital of Fashion at the Museum at FIT in Manhattan.
They say that celebrity deaths come in threes. This past week we said goodbye to playwright Terrence McNally, legendary Drummer Bill Rieflin and, on a local scale, NYC Gallerist and Photographer Paul Kasmin, whose renowned Chelsea galleries have provided Worleygig.com with amazing content for more than a decade. Having celebrated his 60th birthday in February, Kasmin was just one year older than me. Mark Ryden, Nir Hod, Will Ryman, Ian Davenport, Erik Parker, Ron Arad, Designer Mattia Bonetti, husband and wife artist team Les Lalannes, and Photographer David La Chapelle are just few of the eye-opening talents I was introduced to at various Kasmin Gallery shows. Geoffrey I had so many good times there.
What follows is the gallery’s official statement on Paul’s passing:
It is with great sadness that we must give news of the loss of Paul Kasmin (1960–2020). Paul passed away early this morning, March 23, after a long period of illness.
Opening his first New York gallery in 1989, Paul devoted himself to a life celebrating art and artists. Those of us who have worked with Paul learned from his extraordinary eye for talent, his delight in the work of the artists he loved, and his rare sense of openness and generosity.
Paul took great pleasure in overseeing all aspects of the gallery until the very end, and it was his sincere wish, and in his plans, that his vision for Kasmin continue as ambitiously as ever.
In the last few years, Paul continued his lifelong passion for photography with renewed enthusiasm. Taking pictures of his family, friends, and the gallery artists and staff, he built a collective portrait of his artistic community. We invite you to view these works on our website, reflecting on the enormous contribution that Paul made to the arts during his lifetime.
Selections from Paul Kasmin’s photography portfolio can be viewed now via the Kasmin Gallery website at This Link. Thank you for all the great art, Paul, and Rest in Peace.
As citizens of NYC (and the globe) struggle to find a groove of normalcy in the Covid-19 Shelter-in-Place reality, it is not just isolated walks in the park that will help to get us through with our sanity intact, but also home delivery — specifically home delivery of food and booze. Here in Manhattan, filmmaker Steven Soderbergh’s branded spirit Singani 63 (also known as the national drink of Bolivia) and NYC cocktail den The Garret have teamed up to comfort you. Next time you place a Seamless order, take note that The Garrett is offering 750ml (approximately 25 ounces) “Staff Support” bottled cocktails available for Delivery throughout Manhattan. All proceeds will benefit the bar’s out-of-work staff. The Garret also offers lunch and dinner menu items.
In addition to the Singani 63 bottled cocktail, The Garret offers a ready-to-sip Old Fashioned, Negroni, Donkey Horse, Margarita and other favorites. Each of the eight available cocktails, priced at $50 per bottle, simply need to be poured over ice and are ready to serve. The featured Singani 63 “Staff Support” Bottled Cocktail is a take on the classic Vesper Rouge, containing Singani 63, Gin, and Lillet Rouge (a lightly spiced, bitter aperitif wine). Order now via Seamless! Cheers!
The sitter of this arresting work, Portrait of a Young Man (1530s) remains unknown, but he was part of Bronzino’s close circle of literary friends in Florence, and probable holds a book of poetry. The artist was himself a poet, delighting as much in the beauty of language as he did in the witty and fanciful details of his paintings. Here, viewers would have appreciated the carved grotesque heads on the table and chair, and the almost hidden, mask-like face suggested in the folds of the youth’s breeches as comments unmasks and disguises. Bronzino has delineated a sophisticated visual identity for the sitter.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
Oh, what fun it is to spot treasures in the trash. I can’t help but wonder what decided the sad fate of this very fun-looking pink toy car, whose official name is the Disney Minnie Mouse Hot Rod Coupe Ride-On Toy by Kid Trax. While this polka dot marvel does not look terribly Hot Rod-like to me, it sure is a sweet ride. Let’s check it out!
This car features a Reclining Passenger Seat, and the dual side mirror appears to be in good working condition.
Drive in luxurious comfort with the spacious Minnie Mouse-Shaped Driver’s side Headrest! Also note: Vanity License Plates!
Hello Kitty fans surely will appreciate the Bow detail on the windshield. Factory-fresh models sell for $267.00 (plus shipping) on sale now at Walmart!
Spotted On Avenue C Between 5th and 6th Streets, East Village, NYC.
Covid Life, it is now a thing. I’ve been working from home for two weeks already and I’ve fallen into a daily routine of taking a walk after lunch in the most isolated areas I can find, just to get exercise and prevent (delay) the onset of Cabin Fever. It cheered me immensely to discover this colorful mural by Kenny Sharf, populated with his trademark whimsical faces. Since I’ve been exploring new turf more than usual, I see his stuff all over doorways and gates. Who knows how long this has been here?
Spotted on Norfolk Street Between Rivington and Stanton on the LES.
“When I think about pinafores and jumpers and compromised purity, it’s actually quite punk. Go further back and it’s all about mod and Twiggy and dolly birds and thousands of school girls like me pouring over magazines, reading articles from the front lines of pop culture.”
Throughout her career, Anna Sui has summoned the youthful spirit of the school girl but was an edge, embracing the complexity of teen-hood. For the fall 1994 Schoolgirl collection, Sui focused on Yves Saint Laurent‘s most iconic designs, which she reinterpreted in high-tech sportswear materials.fall 1994 Schoolgirl collection, Sui focused on Yves Saint Laurent‘s most iconic designs, which she reinterpreted in high-tech sportswear materials.
Saint Laurent was also a superb colorist, as reflected in the collection’s use of bold colors. The sportswear sensibility extended to a series of outfits inspired by cheerleader uniforms, many of which Sui accessorized with pom-pom hats by James Coviello.
Jacket Front and Back Detail
Schoolgirl Collection Installation View: Cheerleader Ensemble (far right) worn with plastic/wool pom-pom hat by James Coviello for Anna Sui; Plastic belt, two necklaces, and bracelets by Erickson Beamon for Anna Sui; fishnet nylon hose and acetate/satin-covered domestic cowhide short boots by Emma Hope for Anna Sui.
Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan.
The ritual of Spring Cleaning can include many different tasks. While we typically associate the phrase with doing a deep-cleaning of our homes, or sorting through our closets to donate any items that no longer fit or ‘spark joy,’ spring cleaning can also mean making a point to replace often-used personal items such as pillows or toothbrushes. In a time when we are all taking extra care to wash our hands and avoid the spread of germs, you may not even realize that your toothbrush can be a breeding ground for bacteria. It’s scary, but it’s true; and if you are replacing your toothbrush only when you visit your dentist for your twice-yearly routine cleaning, you may be putting your health at risk.
I was recently sent a new travel toothbrush from Dr. Plotka’s Mouthwatchers, an oral hygiene brand which aims to reduce the spread of germs that can come from your toothbrush. Invented by a dentist and employing an embedded silver technology, Dr. Plotka’s Mouthwatchers toothbrushes eliminate 99% of bacteria from the bristles within 6 hours after using the brush.
Since the model I received is a travel-style design, I had originally planned to keep the toothbrush in my office for use after I eat my lunch, but since I am now working from home (like so many of us), I started using it as my regular toothbrush last week. So far, I am thrilled with my experience using the Dr. Plotka’s brush.
The above image explains how Dr. Plotka’s naturally antimicrobial bristles work, and how the fact that they’re made from polyester rather than traditional nylon allows them to last 33% longer. The brush also has dual-layered ‘flossing’ bristles, for reaching food particles that can get trapped between teeth. I especially love this feature of the Mouthwatcher brush, because I have two rear molars with a bit of space between them. Some foods (especially meat or fresh fruit) can get stuck between my teeth, so that I feel the need to floss immediately after eating. This toothbrush helps to remove that trapped food, so that I can wait until the end of the day to floss (which is something you should be doing regularly anyway).
The above image illustrates how Dr. Plotka’s toothbrush bristles are designed to have an extended reach that regular toothbrush bristles do not offer.
Dr. Plotka’s Mouthwatcher Brushes come in a variety of colors and styles including Travel, Adult Manual, Youth Manual, and an electric Power model with replacement heads also available. I encourage you to give these brushes a try. Not only will your teeth feel like they just had a dental cleaning, but you can rest easy knowing you and your family are using clean bristles each time you brush, lowering your chances of illness from your toothbrush.
Find out more about Dr. Plotka’s MouthWatcher Toothbrushes, and shop for them online, by visiting Mouthwatchers Dot Com. Even better, sign up for their mailing list and receive a 15% discount code on your first order!