In Honor of Earth Day: Ten Photos Of Spring Flowers!

cherry tree blossom photo by gail worley
Cherry Tree Blossoms in Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery (All Photos By Gail)

Today, April 22nd, is Earth Day, so I wanted to celebrate something from the earth that adds value to my life each time I leave my house. For me right now, that means spring flowers. We didn’t get to fully enjoy the unique beauty of spring in 2020, due to the pandemic lockdown, but now many parks and botanical gardens are reopened and in full bloom. On the weekends especially, I try to spend as much time outside as possible, and flowers are my favorite subject to photograph. Please enjoy this carefully-curated selection of ten beautiful flowers taken during my recent adventures in and around the NYC area.

purple tulips photo by gail worley

As soon as weather turns from winter to spring, you are going to see a full spectrum of jewel-hued tulips pop up all over NYC. These guys were hanging out in a public planter in the Flatiron District.

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Eye On Design: Chess Set By Man Ray

chess set by man ray photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

Man Ray enjoyed chess, relishing that the game, by design, requires both strategy and spontaneity to play. Though Man Ray remained “a third-rate player,” as he put it, his interest in the game “was directed towards designing new forms for chess pieces.” Manufactured in 1926 and based on his design for an earlier turned-wood set, the artist’s Chess Set (made from silver-plated and oxidized silver-plated brass) converts the familiar form of every chess piece into a more stylized shape that relies on associations — such as the connection between a king and an Egyptian pyramid —t o reveal each piece’s identity. The sets tallest piece measures 4-inches high.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

chess set by man ray photo by gail worley

In Celebration of 4/20: Ten Rad Art Bongs!

trapped by coyle photo by gail worley
Trapped By Coyle (All Photos By Gail)

In January of 2015, I was invited to an art show  billed as an exhibit of “Functional Art Glass.” It turned out to be a show of amazing glass bongs, water pipes and other smoking paraphernalia,  hosted by the online headshop  1 Percent. Tommy Chong was even there! While digging around for a pot-related image in my photo archives, because 4/20, I uncovered my stash of pix from that evening, so I am dusting them off here where you can enjoy them  again, or for the first time,  depending on how long you have been reading this blog.

high class bong photo by gail worley

Do you like to think about milking cows while you get high? If so, then you might like High Class, a collaboration from glassblowers MTP and Jake Vincent.

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Modern Art Monday: Arnold Böcklin, Island Of The Dead

island of the dead photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

In 1880 Maria Berna, the American-born widow of a German diplomat, visited artist Arnold Böcklin in Florence, where she saw an unfinished version of this painting, Island Of The Dead (1880) — now in the Kunstmuseum Basel— on his easel. She commissioned the present work as a memorial to her husband, requesting the additions of the draped coffin and the shrouded female figure. Prodded by his dealer, Böcklin painted three other versions by 1886. This romantic image would become one of Germany’s most beloved, widely circulated through poor reproductions as well as a related etching in 1890 by Max Klinger (18571920).

Photographed In the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Pink Thing Of The Day: Iridescent Pink Fanny Pack!

iridescent pin fanny pack photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

I’m not sure who is trying to make the Fanny Pack come back into style, but I admit that I was at least a wee bit tempted to snatch up this iridescent Pink version of the reviled fashion accessory when I saw it hanging from a display at the local Lot Less closeout store on 14th Street. Only $4.99 – what a bargain!

iridescent pink fanny pack photo by gail worley

Reccomended Reading: Alice Cooper in the 70s: Decades By Chris Sutton

Alice Cooper in the 70s Book

In September of 1970 the band called Alice Cooper had been living out of their suitcases for a year; playing gigs across the country nonstop since leaving California in 1969. Choosing to put down roots in just outside of Detroit, in the center of the Midwest rust belt, proved to be one of the best decisions the band ever made, both creatively and financially. With two commercially unsuccessful albums behind them, Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Vince Furnier (aka Alice Cooper), Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith were at the threshold of turning their music into Gold and Platinum for the first time. In the dawn of a decade bookended by The Beatles and Punk Rock, Alice Cooper exploded as a revolutionary force in theatrical American Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Alice Cooper in the 1970s: Decades, a new book by UK-based author Chris Sutton explores the story of Alice Cooper  from their early years as band of five guys through to the end of the decade, when Alice launched a solo career after the band dissolved.

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Eye On Design: César Expansion Table

cesar expansion table photo by gail worley
Installation View With Rene Gabriel’s Bridge Armchair (All Photos By Gail)

The celebrated French artist César (born Cesare Baldaccini) was a founding member in 1960 of the Nouveaux Réalistes group. His amorphous bronze and glass Expansion Table (1977) is one of the rare works in which César applied his Expansion technique to a functional object. Whereas he also created a handful of bronze ashtrays, lamps, as well as the console commissioned by Henri Samuel, the Expansion Table is the object in which César philosophy — his belief that life and art are one entity, indivisible —achieves its apex.

cesar expansion table detail photo by gail worley

Some background on César’s Expansions: One of the artist’s great breakthroughs in the late 1960s took the form of sculptural spills called Expansions. Realized with liquid polyurethane foam, a novel material at the time, each spill involved actively pouring specifically tinted foam, allowing it to expand, and then leaving it to set in a process that resulted in soft forms several times larger than their original liquid volume.

cesar expansion table detail photo by gail worley

César was moved by this material’s freedom and energy — rather than conforming to the matrix of a mold, it actually spread and expanded in what would famously become a critically admired analog for the new spirit of liberation that marked the era. As Pierre Restany noted in 1970, “César’s expansions reveal a new phase in his work, the phase of maturity: the mastering of the technique allied to the freedom of form.”

cesar expansion table installation view photo by gail worley

Photographed at at Demisch Danant, Located at 30 West 12th Street in NYC.

A Blog Of Neat Things!

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