Yes, It Exists: Divine Fashion Dolls

Divine Dolls Gold Outfit
All Photos By Gail

The Goldberg Company (those responsible for the original 1978 Dolly Parton doll) fashioned an impressive set of four Divine character dolls in 1984. While the full line was on shelves in time for Christmas, most never made it under the tree. Most units were left unsold, even after being discounted as much as 90%. Goldberg was banking on Divine’s disco career creating the necessary interest to sustain the line, but it was an appeal that did not translate in the toy department.

Divine Dolls Full Set

It appeared that American girls under 12 were not ready for this kind of Barbie, which is unfortunate given Goldberg’s future plans to add six more figures to the line.

Divine Doll In Pacakging

Upcoming fictionalized Divine characters included Astronaut Divine, Party Girl Divine, Divine as Shirley Temple, President Divine, Waitress Divine (Dawn Davenport) and Surf’s Up Divine.

Divine Dolls

Photographed as Part of the Lost Merchandise of the Dreamlanders Exhibit at La MaMa Galleria in NYC.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Stuart Davis, Percolator

Percolator
Photo By Gail

Influenced by the Cubist language of flat, overlapping planes and wedges, Stuart Davis (1892 – 1964) used geometric shapes in related colors to create this still life, Percolator (1927). Here, he deconstructs the cylindrical forms of a mass-produced, percolator coffeepot and renders the everyday object both abstract and undefinable. By choosing an industrially produced consumer product as his subject, Davis put a new spin on the spatial innovations of the previous decade’s European avant-garde art movements.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Final Week to See Sam Tufnell’s Inappropriation at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery

Sam Tufnell Installation View
All Photos By Gail

Some art is just better in the dark. I discovered the completely enchanting artworks of Sam Tufnell this year at the Context Art Fair and was instantly delighted by his vibrantly-colored, translucent sculptures of pop culture subjects that sit on illuminated pedestals. Fantastic.

Marilyn Bust

When I heard about Inappropriation, Tufnell’s current exhibit over at Castle Fitzjohn Gallery, I knew I had to bring you some serious photos and news of this cool happening. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am a little bit late to the game at this point, and now we are in the final week of the exhibit, so there is no time to waste! Get thee to Castle Fitzjohns, post haste!

Rainbow Darth Vader Heads

Sam Tufnell is a graduate of the SVA, who exploded on to the art scene a few years ago with his unique style of visually appealing, yet intrinsically satirical, illuminated sculpture. After selling out consistently at major art fairs, his first Museum show last year (where a piece was stolen!), a collaboration with the New Museum, numerous public installations, such as Gnome Mountain (which I have also seen referred to as “Gnomes on the Mountain”) not to mention — but you can see I am about to —  his works becoming a hot item with major collectors, Castle Fitzjohns decided it was time for a full on solo show, and  Inappropration was born.

Same Tufnell Clear Work

Sam Tufnell Rainbow

Sam Tufnell Pink Detail

Tufnell has created a totally immersive illuminated environment that encompasses the full gallery space. Viewing the work in this unlit setting, it becomes an almost HD experience from a visual perspective. The subject matter of these works encompass a mini-retrospective of the different series that have been been a hit for the artist over his career, as well as new works created just for the show.

Same Tufnell Multicolored Work

Same Tufnell Detail

Sam Tufnell Alien

Tufnell’s cast resin works are almost otherworldly to see scattered across a full, darkened gallery setting. The translucent plastic, gathered in assemblages of the strange objects that our culture creates and leaves behind — crumpled cans, Darth Vader heads, Batman figurines, booze bottles, coffee cups, toys and small scale busts of Marilyn Monroe, Jesus and Benjamin Franklin — create a remarkable beauty with their tones of dayglo pink and yellow, blue and green, like a random commentary on the modern world crafted in Jello. It reminded me of Mike Kelley’s expansive Superman Origin Story that was up at Hauser & Wirth a couple of years ago. If you saw that exhibit, you will understand the comparison.

Sam Tufnell

Sam Tufnell Pink Monster

Sam Tufnell’s Inappropriation Will Be On View Through June 30th, 2017 at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery, Located at 98 Orchard Street, Just South of Delancey, in NYC.

Sam Tufnell Installation View

Sam Tufnell

Sam Tufnell Gnomes

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Video Clip of The Week: Celebration, “Rolling On”

What I love most about the visual aspect of this week’s clip, “Rolling On” from progressive-pop (a genre description that I just coined right this minute) trio, Celebration, is that it feels like you’re watching the video catalog of an extremely cool art installation. And I see a ton of art, as you may know, so I think that’s a valid assessment. And if this video were just here to serve as an introduction to an art exhibit that was coming soon to a gallery near me, you can bet I would be there in a heartbeat. Also, the song, which was described in a press release as “a flurry of soulful vocals, bass swagger and organ-driven sassiness” is exceptionally cool.  Win Win!

As a video created in the cut-out animation style, “Rolling On”  hangs together with a series of  cohesive and compelling imagery,  conveying a message of enlightenment, transformation and rebirth (pay attention to the cocoon) that pays off big time. Celebration vocalist Katrina Ford (who directed the video) offers that the wheel was a theme that “represents never ending change, rolling with the punches until a favorable wind, ever morphing, life.” Ford’s bandmates in Celebration are her husband (multi-instrumentalist and organist) Sean Antanaitis and drummer David Bergander. “Rolling On” can be found on Celebration’s latest album Wounded Healer, which is out now via through Bella Union. Enjoy!

Celebration Band

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Pink Thing of The Day: To Be Titled By Lynda Benglis

Linda Benglis Pink Untitled
Photos By Gail

The 2017 edition of the annual Frieze Art Fair on New York’s Randall’s Island Park was a huge disappointment compared to previous years, or even to the Context Art Fair at the pier just one day earlier. The weather was the suck and most of the art was complete garbage. That said, I did get to see a handful of artworks  that moved me. One of those is this large, egg shaped and wall-mounted cast polyurethane sculpture, To Be Titled (2017) by legendary artist Lynda Benglis.

Linda Benglis Pink To Be Titled

It makes a pretty cool Pink Thing of The Day!

Cone Fixing Cylinder By Tom Otterness

Cone Fixing Cylander
Photos By Gail

Do these guys look familiar to you? If you’ve ever spent any time in the subway station at 14th Street and Eighth Avenue, you will recognize them as being creations of Tom Otterness, the artist behind the Life Underground installation found in that popular transit hub.

While an adjacent plaque identifies the artwork as Cone Fixing Cylinder (2014), and references its home as the Marlborough Gallery, located at 40 West 57th Street, 2nd Floor, the sculpture is actually tucked away in an access passageway between two adjacent buildings, connecting 57th Street with 56th Street just east of Sixth Avenue. The corridor is home to perhaps a half dozen other sculptures from various aritist. Check it out when you are in the neighborhood!

Cone Fixing Cylander
“Let Me Help You With That…”

Eye On Design: Piet Hein Eek’s Past and Future Found Glass Chandeliers!

Eek Chandeliers
All Photos By Gail

We saw these gorgeous light fixtures at ICFF and just fell in love with their Rococo look! Not only are they beautiful to look at, but the story behind them is also fantastic! Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek’s work embodies the concepts of transformation and reinvention. Spanning furniture design, architecture and fine art, Eek elevates discarded, quotidian and unorthodox materials into pieces that make a strong case for the Design-as-Art conversation. This is likely why Eek was presented by Paris-based glass lighting manufacturer Veronese with a dream job: to give a second life to their found glass pieces.

Eek Chandelier

The project began when Veronese’s creative director Ruben Jochimek came across a forgotten stockpile of spare glass pieces — all hand blown by skilled Italian artisans of Murano — in the basement of their Parisian showroom. Comprised of over one-thousand pieces, the collection had been building up since 1931. These ornate glass pieces — stored on dusty shelves for nearly a century — included crafted cups, drops, rings and flowers.

Past and Future Collection Signage

Piet Hein Eek took  Veronese’s found glass objects and came up with the Past and Future collection of chandeliers! An eclectic feast of styles and colors, the resulting product blends glass parts from different collections, giving a second life to Veronese’s long-forgotten glass pieces. Upcycling at its finest!

Eek Table Lamp

The lamps are made of 40cm glass tubes, equipped with LED lighting into which the spare parts can be slotted.  Each model is 40cm high and 25/30cm in diameter, creating a suspension composed of three modules. The tubes can also be assembled to create longer chandeliers. Visit Veronese online at This Link!

Eek Chandelier
Photographed at the ICFF 2017 at the Javits Center, NYC