Jonathan LeVine Presents: Masakatsu Sashie, External Effect

Corner Pocket
Corner Pocket By Masakatsu Sashie (All Photos By Gail)

Jonathan LeVine Gallery is currently hosting External Effect, a series of new works by Japanese artist Masakatsu Sashie. This is Sashie’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, and I somehow neglected to write about his first show, so I didn’t want to fail twice at sharing a series of artworks that is really special.

Installation View

In a body if work that will surely appeal to fans of dystopian sci-fi. Sashie’s hyperreal 0il paintings and sketches depict a post-apocalyptic world, or series of worlds. The bleak visions of a future that is also trapped in the past analyze the influence of technology on the circle of life. The level of detail in these paintings is extraordinary.

Invisible Rule
Invisible Rule

Modeled after Kanazawa, the town he was born and continues to reside in, Sashie’s landscapes resemble landfills – capsized by burning vehicles, antiquated technology and an overwhelming amount of man-made debris. Massive orb-shaped amalgams of industrially manufactured products are the focal point of every piece, hovering over desolate cityscapes, drawing attention to the paradox of the vastness of the universe yet the finite amount of space mankind has to exist.

Smoggy Memory
Smoggy Memory

Kanazawa is a small city in Japan that the artist describes as a miniature garden in which the obsolete and contemporary are fused due to its distance from an urban center.

Zero Sum (1 of 2)
Zero Sum (1 of 2)

Zero Sum (Detail)
Zero Sum (Detail)

Growing up within this isolation nurtured Sashie’s fascination with the notion of “the balanced aquarium,” a concept described by Nobel Prize winner Konrad Lorenz in his book King Solomon’s Ring: New Light on Animal Ways (1949).

Corner Pocket Detail
Corner Pocket (Detail)

Lorenz describes an aquarium as a self-sustaining environment depending solely on the natural interactions between plants and other living organisms for survival. Once outside involvement occurs, balance is lost and disintegration immediately begins.


The artist considers Lorenz’s biological phenomenon as the epitome of the world we live in; struggling to maintain stability among the complexities and demands of modern living. Revolving around themes of consumerism, globalism and environmentalism, Masakatsu Sashie’s self-contained environments are an archive of the past and a prediction of our future.

Installation View

Masakatsu Sashie’s External Effect will be on Exhibit Through November 12th, 2016 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 East 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Melt Into The Air Cool, Melt Into The Air Hot
Left: Melt Into The Air Cool, Tight: Melt Into The Air Hot

D*Face Mural on Broome Street, Soho

D*Face Blonde Mural
All Photos By Gail

I spotted this D*Face mural of a lovely blonde on Broome Street between Crosby and Lafayette Streets in Soho, NYC. These photos were taken around 5 PM, when the position of the sun makes it look pretty washed out. This mural is part of the Lisa Project.

D*Face Blonde Mural

Glenn Barr’s Invisible World at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Eveningwear By Glenn Barr (All Photos By Gail)

Jonathan LeVine Gallery is currently hosting Invisible World, a series of new works by Detroit-based artist Glenn Barr. Althoug his work has appeared previously in group shows, this is Barr’s debut solo exhibition at the gallery. It was worth waiting for.

Eye Witness, Hunger Cabin
Left: Eye Witness, Right: Hunger Cabin

In compositions on paper and wood Barr gives life to surreal creatures, specters and lonesome characters that live in a stark world, drenched in the grit and haze of a post-apocalyptic urban dreamscape. Drawing inspiration from pop and counterculture sources, such as pulp art and cartoons, he presents alternate yet interconnected realities that invite viewers to examine otherworldly narratives.

Tomorrows Child
Tomorrow’s Child

For Invisible World, Barr presents a universe of private intrigue where pink-haired waifs and haunted astronauts are suited up for the unknown.

Ransom, Monday Remembered
Left: Ransom, Right: Monday Remembered

He also brings us back to earth and into private moments where anti-heroines are trapped in telephone conversations filled with either rage, horror or quiet despair.


The artist elaborates, “Fiction; written on the page or visualized on celluloid, there has always been a narrative that exists parallel to our own. A counter culture. An invisible world. In keeping with this aesthetic, I’m exploiting voyeuristically a vision of life’s emotionally charged moments or its banality. I want to illuminate the problematic cracks in the human condition reflected in fringe urban settings or even in outer space.

The Spell, Wrecked
Left: The Spell, Right: Wrecked

“These paintings to me have a subtle emotional punch that reference the lonely solitude of life’s cruel existence and yet their plots seem unknown and open ended. But no matter what the underlying cryptic woes, I will sometimes just revel in the simple beauty and emotion of the human face.”

Installation View

Glenn Barr’s Invisible World will be on Exhibit Through November 12th, 2016 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 East 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Invisible World Signage

Channel 31
Channel 31

Eye On Design: Malitte Lounge Furniture By Roberto Matta

Malitte Lounge Furniture
Photo By Gail

Primarily known as a painter and architect, Roberto Matta (1911 – 2002) designed his Malitte Lounge Furniture in 1966. This colorful collection of polyurethane foam shapes (manufactured by Gavina, Italy) could be stacked into a rectangular wall or used as individual pieces of seating. The round, center piece serves as a table. The design is playful and flexible, Its interlocking organic shapes reflect Mattas training as an architect in his native Chile, as well as his Surrealist painting practice, which developed after his move to Paris.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Malitte Seating System

Ron English and High Times Magazine Present: Popaganja Pop Up Cannabis Bodega!

Popaganja Brand
Image Source

If you dig the art of Ron English, and you also like to smoke weed, put down the bong for a minute and read on. English is taking his signature Popaganda brand and teaming up with High Times Magazines’ newly established Lifestyle & Apparel division to create a line of merchandise you can buy both online and at a pop up retail boutique and art gallery, opening in lower Manhattan on Tuesday, October 25th.

Popaganja Unisex Hoodie

For the pop up Cannabis Bodega, Ron English takes his signature brand-parody style and gives it a cannabis twist. Think: a KFC container that says THC, or the words Shredded Weed emblazoned on a Shredded Wheat cereal box. Oh, the cleverness.

Popganja Hoodie With Characters

And, I think I know where all of these photos were taken: Right Here!
Popaganja Clothing Fatigue Jacket
I am guessing that they will also have Ron’s art, and hilarious art toys, on sale in the store as well. Find out more about Popaganja, and (if you’re not in Manhattan and can’t make it into the shop), buy stuff online at This Link.

The Ron English x High Times Popaganja Pop Up Cannabis Bodega Will be Open From October 25th until November 8th, 2016 at The Wood Shoppe, Located at 147 Orchard Street, LES, NYC.

Popaganja Flyer


Salesman With Briefcase on Hamster Wheel By Kai

Man on Hamster Wheel By Kai
Photo By Gail

This piece of NYC Street Art depicting A Salesman With a Briefcase Running on a Hamster Wheel is by LA-Based artist Kai Aspire. It was spotted on the side of an apartment building stoop at 92 Orchard Street in Lower Manhattan.

Japanese Confectioner Malebranche Launches Maru Cha Cha Cookie With a Fun Party At The Whitney!

Maru Cha Cha Packaging
All Photos By Gail

Food and Art go together; so what better venue could there be for throwing a cookie launch party than an actual art museum? We were recently invited to the Whitney Museum of American Art on Gansevoort Street to celebrate leading Japanese French-style confectioner Malebranche’s U.S. launch of its Maru Cha Cha matcha-based  biscuits, and the evening was a terrific mix of food, art and Japanese culture.

Whitney Museum Exterior Elevation
Whitney Museum with the High Line in the Foreground

The event went beyond the traditional cocktail party to include not only cocktails and delicious passed appetizers, but also tastings of the unique Maru Cha Cha cookies, including an indulgent Trifle dessert recipe by James Beard Award-winning Chef Michael Anthony. Guests had the chance to meet and mingle with the Japanese brand-influencers behind Malebranche  (a high end bakery in Japan) and to learn what Matcha — the key ingredient in the Maru Cha Cha biscuits — is all about.

Malebranche Interior
Above and Below, Inside a Malebranche Bakery Cafe in Kyoto.

Malebranche Interior

Maru Cha Cha Signage

Matcha is a powdered green tea made from the young tea leaves that are ground in a stone mill. Matcha can be enjoyed in thick (koicha) or thin (usucha) variations. Koicha, the base of Maru Cha Cha biscuits, is made with higher quality matcha, resulting in a richer flavor and allowing you to taste the inherent sweetness of the green tea.

“We believe that, as of late, Japanese cuisine and culture are gaining immense popularity in the U.S., but we barely see the Japanese biscuits or snacks,” said Satoshi Isohata, director of Malebranche. “As our Maru Cha Cha biscuits are inspired by Kyoto culture and tradition, we hope that they will become a new treat of choice for New Yorkers’ daily routines and, at the same time, one that will give them a taste of Japan.”

James Beard Award Winning Chef Michael Anthony
Chef Michael Anthony Addresses Party Guests

Similar to green tea, matcha holds even greater nutritional value. And since you are consuming the entire leaf, rather than drinking a steeped tea, you get a higher concentration of antioxidants. These antioxidants of matcha are proven to help fight cancers, reduce the risk of heart disease, boost calorie burn and even offer some anti-aging benefits. In addition, matcha is rich in the amino acid L-theanine, which can help you focus and reduce stress and anxiety.

Biscuits and Tea

Beyond the benefits of matcha as a main ingredient, Maru Cha Cha biscuits are gluten free, do not use animal fat and are a great treat to snack on alone or paired with tea and coffee. The simple ingredients include rice flour, sesame oil, cocoa butter and matcha.

Steak Tartare

Some of the savory snacks we enjoyed at the party included  flavorful Steak Tartare (pictured above).

Charred Broccoli
Charred Broccoli with Shaved Parmesan

Chicken Salad
Chicken Salad

Maru Cha Cha Trifle Dessert
Maru Cha Cha Trifle Dessert Recipe By Chef Michael Anthony


While we took our desserts out onto the terrace to enjoy the lovely views, we were treated to an authentic Japanese live performance of Ikebana — the Japanese art of Flower Arrangement! The Ikebana artist took the display from the state you see above…

Maru Cha Cha Ikebana Completed

To this beautiful finished composition! It was fun to watch it all come together!

Maru Cha Cha Party Jazz Band

There was also a Jazz Trio! They really thought of everything to create a very memorable — and delicious — evening!

Maru Cha Cha cookies are available for purchase in specialty stores, including Dean & DeLuca, for a suggested retail price of $8 per 10-piece box and $14 per 20-piece box. They are also sold at Bon Marché in Paris and by Malebranche in Kyoto, Japan.

Maru Cha Cha Party Crowd

Everyone Had Fun!

Whitney Terrace View

And just look at that view!