Street Artist BD White painted a few of his Astronauts on Bowery just south of East Second Street. This one is my favorite.
Zuccotti Park in the Financial District is perhaps most famous for being ground zero for the Occupy Wall Street movement, but it’s also home to several pieces of monumental public art. For example, behold this bright red, 70-foot-high painted steel installation by sculptor Mark di Suvero, entitled Joie de Vivre (Joy of Life), which went up at the corner of Broadway and Cedar Street in June 2006. The sculpture is comprised of “open-ended tetrahedrons” as described by di Suvero, and was formerly located at the Holland Tunnel rotary.
John I. H. Bauer, head of the Brooklyn Museum‘s Department of painting and sculpture from 1936 to 1952, here appears seated in an interior space, perhaps his office. His body, cropped at the head and ankle, fills the frame. Painted in 1974, Alice Neel captured idiosyncrasies such as his slightly rumpled suit, wrinkled face, and veiny hands. One of her guiding principles as a portraitist was, in her words, that “every person is a new universe unique with its own laws.“
Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum.
The Covid Life walks have lead me to all sorts of unexpected, magical discoveries! That might have something to do with the fact that I am now regularly exploring streets that, three months ago, I did not know existed. Case in point: Columbia Street. “Where The Fuck is That” you ask? It’s on the LES near Delancey, and walking north it eventually turns into Avenue D. But it was on Columbia Street, that I saw this box truck idling in front of a grocery store, bearing Buff Monster’s awesome pink tag, along with his signature Mr. Melty character. Sweet.
Living the Covid Life in its Manhattan epicenter is hardcore. New Yorkers are survivors though, and we still love our city. Queen Andrea wants to make sure we don’t forget how hard NYC rocks. She completed this beautiful mural on Avenue A between 3rd and 4th Streets on May 14th, 2020, which is why it still looks fresh!
This painting, entitled Anywhere Out of the World (1915 – 19) may be a self portrait. Mark Chagall (1887 – 1985) bisected the head of the figure because, as he explained it, it “needed a bank space right there“ to strengthen the composition. The pictorial strategy, which appears in some of his earlier paintings, could be a rendition of the “luftmensch,“ a Yiddish term used to describe a person who is concerned with intellectual pursuits rather than with the practicalities of life. The sideways cityscape adds tension to the scene. The painting’s overall geometrization is reminiscent of El Lissitzky’s Proun paintings — abstract compositions meant to be looked at from various vantage points.
Photographed in the Jewish Museum in Manhattan.
This week I went on an adventure! I had to make a trip down to Wall Street for the first time since our work-from-home directive went down in mid-March, because I had dermatologist appointment. Wee! After braving my masked-up, socially distanced subway ride, I had about 30 minutes to kill before my appointment time, and I enjoyed walking about in the financial district in relative solitude. It was awesome. And what a fun surprise to see artist Arturo Di Modica’s now-iconic bronze statue, Fearless Girl, rocking a face mask to reflect the Covid Life we live in. Inspiring! If you happen to be in that area, you can find her on Broad Street standing across from the NYSE.
In Florine Stettheimer’s frequent group portraits, her family and friends are not only clearly identifiable, but represented in attitudes that express their inner selves — an idea with roots in Symbolist painting of the late nineteenth century. In Family Portrait I (1915), she shares an elegant afternoon outdoors wither sisters and mother. Ettie, at left with a Japanese parasol is turned away, conversing with Carrie, who gazes at the viewer. Florine, too, looks outward, presiding over each bouquet of flowers and a dish of fruit that pays homage to the apples of Paul Cezanne. Their mother, Rosetta, the proper Victorian in black, is reading a novel by Ettie, the family intellectual.
Thick brushwork, deep jewel-tone colors, shallow perspective, and wealth of surface pattern all suggest Stettheimer’s familiarity with Post-Impressionist painters such as Pierre Bonnard and Paul Gauguin, infused with her own brand of social perceptiveness
Photographed in the Jewish Museum in NYC.
This illuminated diorama-like construction contains eleven, parallel painted-glass panels. Both pictorial illusion and actual depth produce a sense of receding space, from the proscenium arch of the front panel to the sky on the furthest, with various bizarre objects, figures and scenarios sandwiched in- between.
This unusual work may have been Dali’s attempt to recreate “a large, square box” he had seen as a boy: “It was a kind of optical theater, which provided me with the greatest measure of illusion of my childhood. I have never been able to determine or reconstruct in my mind exactly what art was like.
Salvador Dali’s The Little Theater (1934) Was Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
This pink spray paint rendering of what I interpret to be the Head of a Mayan Warrior is tagged on a brick wall on East 10th Street between Avenues B and C. I was originally going to include it in this past Tuesday’s post on My East Village Covid Experience, but thought better of that, because I needed a Pink Thing for this week. Any port in a storm.