Category Archives: Arts and Culture

Modern Art Monday Presents: Jasper Johns, Montez Singing

jasper johns montez singing photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

In Montez Singing (1989), the cartoonish eyes and meandering nose from Picasso’s Straw Hat with Blue Leaves (1936), along with a pair of  stylized lips, attach themselves to the edges of the painting, so that it becomes a face peering in on itself.  At the right of the canvas, mitered corners suggest a frame that dissolves on the left, while wispy strokes at the sides might read as hair and the circles below as breasts.

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The Pervasive Influence of David Bowie in Art and Pop Culture

bowies eyes by elena lobanowa photo by gail worley
Bowie’s Eyes By Elena Lobanowa (All Photos By Gail)

For more years than I can recall, I’ve been photo-documenting the proliferation of David Bowie’s likeness on assorted things ranging from art and street art, to holiday ornaments, toys, books, mugs, magnets, what have you. With a few exceptions, most of these photos never make it into a blog post: I just like to collect them. Because, David Bowie. After recently spotting two pieces of Bowie-inspired street art on the same block in Greenpoint, I finally decided to load them all into one big Bowie extravaganza. Please enjoy!

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Margin for Error: Glass Crib and Cradle By Beth Lipman

margin for error glass crib and cradle photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

In Beth Lipman’s Margin For Error (2014) an infant Crib and an adult Cradle are oriented to evoke the universal journey from birth to death. The crib tilts downward, sinking slowly into the floor, propelling its inhabitant toward childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age, at which point the cradle awaits occupation.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Cecily Brown, Fair of Face, Full of Woe

fair of face full of woe photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

This small-scale triptych demonstrates Cecily Brown’s characteristic use of highly expressionistic and densely layered brushstrokes that tend to blur distinctions between the representational and the abstract. Initially the painting appears devoid of recognizable subject matter, yet closer inspection reveals hints of bodily fragments entangled among lushly-rendered landscapes. There is a shared materiality between flesh and paint, which Brown suggestively exploits for both optic and erotic charge. Like the title, Fair of Face, Full of Woe (2008), which references an English fortunetelling nursery rhyme, the painting exists in constant flux, it’s visual fate determined by each new viewer.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.

Pink Thing of The Day: Artist in a Pink Bunny Costume

mika takeuchi photo by gail worley
Photos by Gail Worley

I have been known to good-naturedly refer to Art Expo as the Hotel/Motel Art Show of NYC art fairs, in that it hosts lots of art for people who do not really understand art. That means it is more about generating sales than blowing minds, and that is totally fine. Not everything can be as elitist and untouchable (read: fun) as Frieze. On the upside, the most recent Art Expo took place over Halloween weekend, so what it lacked in original artwork it make up for in A+ people watching. Take this woman dressed as a Pink Bunny, for example.

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PPE Vending Machine

ppe vending machine photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

A year or two before the pandemic was even a thing, I noticed a vending machine similar-looking  to this one installed in Union Square subway station.  Likely sponsored by CVS or Duane Reade, it was stocked with common hygiene and healthcare items — such as a toothbrush/ toothpaste, Advil, and Tampax — that you might need in an emergency on your way to wherever. Not a bad idea, really. Who hasn’t forgotten to put something important in their purse or bag and wished there was a drugstore in the subway. I’m sure I have.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Bertram Hartman, Trinity Church And Wall Street

trinity church and wall street photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

Skyscrapers loom over older buildings, planes fly overhead, and people crowd the sidewalks in this dramatic bird’s-eye view of Manhattan’s Wall Street. Bertram Hartman’s meaning may not be quite so straightforward, however. He painted Trinity Church And Wall Street in 1929, the year of a great stock market crash that devastated the nation’s economy. By showing the gothic series of Trinity Church overshadowed by skyscrapers, Hartman may have intended his viewers to contemplate the relationship between spiritual and material needs in modern life.

Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum.