Modern Art Monday Presents: John Kane, Self Portrait

John Kane Self Portrait
Photo By Gail

While Self Portrait (1929) realistically depicts John Kane’s body in his late sixties — detailing his veins, chest hair and wrinkles — it is also an object of decorative display, with a frame painted around the canvas edges and arches defining the figure’s head. Rendered in muted colors, the bare-chested artist faces his viewers against a stark background, recalling classic self-portraits and images of Christ. Kane explained, “Chiefly, I am impressed with the works of the old masters. These I cannot study enough.” Working by day as a laborer, Kane could not attend formal art classes, but he devoted much of his spare time to studying and practical painting.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Flamingo Tabletop Statue

Pink Flamingo Tabletop Statue
Photo By Gail

Nothing says “I live in a mid-century modern design-filled home” quite like a Pink Flamingo statue proudly displayed on the coffee table. Or so I am told.

Crispy Cheese Quesadilla at Old Town Mexican Cafe

Crispy Cheese Quesadilla By Gail Worley
Photo By Gail

Growing up in Southern California, I developed a passion for authentic (“California style”) Mexican food, because — and I mean this sincerely — even the simplest Mexican cuisine, when done right, is the best comfort food in the Universe. When I moved to New York City, I was horrified by numerous aggressively bad excuses for Mexican food, such as goat cheese quesadillas and enchiladas made with flour tortillas, which, just no. Thirty plus years later, New York City boasts a handful of decent-to-very-good Mexican restaurants, but nothing can compare to anything you can find at the Old Town Mexican Cafe, located in Old Town San Diego. Behold, the Crispy Cheese Quesadilla, one of Old Town’s specialties. This restaurant is famous for making its own flour and corn tortillas, and this unique, open-faced take on the quesadilla begins with a freshly-made, large flour tortilla, which is grilled to a flaky crispness before being smothered with mixed cheeses and served hot to your table with a side of sour cream. Mmmmm, deliciosa!

Old Town Mexican Cafe Menu By Gail

Eye On Design: Glass Flower Necklace By House of Chanel

Chanel Glass Flower Necklace By Gail Worley
Photo By Gail

One of the enduring legacies of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was her elevation of costume jewelry to high fashion. Maison Gripoix, a house that has serviced the couture industry since its founding in 1869, was among her earliest and most frequent collaborators. The company’s specialized pate de verre (glass paste) technique was developed by the founder, Augustine Gripoix, and passed down generationally. Instead of the kiln method employed by other manufacturers, the house pours molten glass directly into the sophisticated metal settings that frame its designs. This meticulous an costly process allows for greater freedom of coloration and form, and lends a subtle effervescence to the floating glass components. This wreath of graduated translucent flower heads (circa 1938) was produced by Gripoix for Chanel and reflects the late 1930s vogue for romantic nature-based motifs.

Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Product Review: Banana Wave Non-Dairy Banana Milk

Banana Wave Cartons By Gail Worley
All Photos and Story By Gail

Do you like Bananas? I sure do. Whether I’m eating a fresh banana (which is considered to be possibly nature’s most perfect food) or enjoying virtually anything banana-flavored, I am all about this versatile, bright yellow fruit. There isn’t much you can’t do with a banana, except get it to give juice — and puréeing it in a blender is not the same thing. If you are a Banana Fan, let me enlighten you to the fact that yes, you can drink a Banana, because Banana Wave Banana Milk is a thing that exists.

Banana Wave Display By Gail Worley

Successfully formulated in 2015 by life-long banana enthusiast Steve Gelerman, Banana Wave is the world’s first non-dairy milk made from whole bananas. As a delicious alternative to dairy, nut, soy, and rice milk, it comes in three flavors: regular banana, strawberry, and chocolate. It’s also the only non-dairy, shelf-stable banana milk in the world. Wow!  Being plant-based, you know its good for you, but it is also kosher, soy-free and gluten-free, with no added high fructose corn syrup, or artificial ingredients of any kind, so it’s something  that you can feel good about giving to your kids.

Banana Wave Label Stats 2

Banana Wave is truly an exciting product, and more than just a tasty beverage to enjoy by the glass. Picture it as a perfect partner for freshly-baked cookies. You can easily substitute it for regular milk on your breakfast cereal, or add a splash to your coffee or tea, and it can be used as an ingredient in recipes calling for milk to accommodate those on restricted diets. While I confess that the Chocolate Banana Wave is my personal favorite, both varieties I tried taste amazing!

Banana Wave Chocolate and Regular Cartons By Gail Worley

Packaged in recyclable, juice-box-style cartons with an attached straw, Banana Wave is perfect for your child’s school lunch box, for a snack at the office, or as a grab-and-go-pick me up. Find out more abbot Banana Wave and get a coupon good toward your purchase by visiting Bananawave.love!

Read More Fabulous Facts About The Banana After The Jump!

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Yellow Quadrangle By Rhod Rothfuss

Yellow Quadrangle
Photo By Gail

“A painting should be something that begins and ends in itself,” Rhod Rothfuss wrote.  With this cut-out frame, the artist put his principle into practice: in Yellow Quadrangle (Cuadrilongo Amarillo, 1955) the slender yellow rectangle on the left juts out, and the support takes on the shape of the painting itself . While his work was indebted to that of Joaquin Torres-Garcia and to European abstract artists such as Mondrian, Tothfuss was also influenced by vernacular practices. The alkyd resin present in this work was also used by the artist to create floats for carnival parades in his native Montevideo.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Club

Pink Club Sign
Photo By Gail

You might think that a place calling itself Pink Club would be either a store selling pink merchandise exclusively, or a club for people who love the color pink, but you would be incorrect in both cases. Pink Club is a women’s clothing store that sells a variety of fashion merchandise (in many colors besides just pink) which are suited to the climate of Palm Desert, California, where this store is located.

Visit Pink Club at 73130 El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA 92260.

Loaded Potato Pancake at Juniors in Times Square

Loaded Potato Pancake
Photo By Gail

Do you dig comfort foods like loaded potato skins or loaded baked potatoes? If so, then you might be intrigued to know that the Loaded Potato Pancake is a thing that exists. I discovered this decadent fried delight when I visited Junior’s Restaurant in Times Square with my friend Jamie last week for a post-theater snack, and I was blown away by its extreme tastiness. Seriously; I am going to be talking about it for the rest of my life.

If you are not fortunate enough to live near a Junior’s, and you would like to try and emulate the Loaded Potato Pancake at home, here is what I believe you must do.  First, make a huge potato pancake with shredded potato and onions, and fry it until it is golden and crisp. For your potato pancake to taste as insanely delish as Junior’s, the onions will need to get very crispy, so that they add a sweet crunch when you bit into it. Next, top the pancake with a generous portion of cheddar cheese (guideline: there is no such thing as too much cheese), and,  if needed, melt the cheese with a brief pass under a broiler. After that, you can sprinkle the cheesey goodness with crispy bacon, and top with a dollop sour cream and fresh chives. Et Voilà! Enjoy!

Eye On Design: Enchanté Wall Sconce By Misha Kahn

Enchante Wall Sconce
Photos By Gail

Furniture designer Misha Kahn’s work exists at the intersection of design and sculpture, exploring a wide variety of media and scales. Kahn’s approach melds an array of processes, from casting, carving, welding and weaving, to imaginative and singular modes of production. According to John Maeda, former president of the Rhode Island School of Design (where Kahn earned his BFA in furniture design in 2011), “Misha creates work for a parallel wonderland, where traditional perception of material and structure is pushed to the edges of the room to make space for one big party.”

Enchante Wall Sconce

This whimsical wall sconce, with its crown-like polished bronze fixture and extended lime green glass hand takes its name from the French word for ‘enchanted,’ which is commonly translated as ‘nice to meet you.” You might also hear “Enchanté” uttered by a character in a cheesy movie while kissing the back of a lady’s hand, which I am told is considered rude.

Enchante Wall Sconce

This piece is produced on-demand and can be purchased for $18,000 at this link.

Photographed in the Friedman Benda Gallery Booth at The Salon Art and Design in New York.

Rose III By Isa Genzken

Rose III By Isa Genzken
All Photos By Gail

It’s so hard to see all of the beautiful things there are to seen NYC; especially when you don’t even know what you’re missing. It can take going just a few blocks out of your way by complete accident to discover a breathtaking work of public art that’s already been in that location for a year or more. And you never would have seen it if you didn’t have to get a new iPhone battery at the Apple Store located in the Oculus mall adjacent to the World Trade Center. These were the circumstances that brought me face-to-face with German artist Isa Genzken’s monumental sculpture, Rose III, which was erected in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park in September of 2018.

Rose III By Isa Genzken

Standing at a height of 26-feet, Rose III is forged from painted steel and is on long-term loan to Brookfield Properties, which owns the park. Genzken, who is known for capturing the fragility and impermanence of roses in her public sculptures, rendered a Yellow Rose that was based on an actual rose she picked and developed for production, in Switzerland.

Rose III By Isa Genzken

Ric Clark, senior managing partner and chairman of Brookfield Properties, has praised Genzken’s sculpture as being a “captivating addition to Zuccotti Park and the landscape of lower Manhattan.” It certainly is a fantastic subject to photograph with the nearly endless perspectives and dramatic backdrops created by the panorama of high-rise buildings surrounding the park.

Rose III By Isa Genzken

It’s completely surreal. Manhattan’s iconic skyline is said to have inspired Genzken’s work, as many of her sculptures stand tall and narrow. Some of her other notable works have been installed throughout Manhattan. One that I am very familiar with, Rose II (2007) is installed at the Museum of Modern Art, where it is part of the museum’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden.

Rose III By Isa Genzken

“The Rose is both an homage to a city that Genzken knows and loves, and a strong statement for unity and equality that every passer-by in this city of millions can enjoy,” said Laura Hoptman, a curator who organized the installation of Rose II at MoMA. “It is a simultaneously a reflection of the empathy of the artist as well as the humanity of its spectators. Like all great art is.”

Rose III By Isa Genzken