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Pink Thing of The Day: Giant Pink Mosaic Tile Cherry Blossom in the Subway

Pink Mosaic Tile Cherry Blossom
Photo By Gail

This giant Pink Cherry Blossom glass tile mosaic is located at the 77th Street 6 Train subway station, on the mezzanine walls above the stairs leading to the train platfrom. It is part of a larger wall mural, by artist Robert Kushner, entitled 4 Seasons Seasoned, commissioned for the station in 2004. For the mosaics in this mural, Kushner created bouquets of flowers – from every season – that reflect such influences as Dutch flower paintings and Japanese screens. Most neighborhoods have flower shops, but they are especially abundant on the Upper East Side, and have associations with many of the city’s finest hospitals, parks, and museums located there. A painter, sculptor and printmaker, Kushner has always been fascinated by organic motifs. A key figure of the Pattern and Decoration Movement, he continues to feature vegetal motifs in his works, often along with geometric patterns and architectural shapes. At 77th Street, he gives the community a blazing bouquet to brighten the day (and night)!

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Legless Cow Mural on Spring Street

Legless Cow Mural
Photo By Gail

Hey, check out this fun Graffiti Wall, which I spotted on Spring Street just west of Hudson Street, where the works of various different street artists are represented, including CON$UMR (Love Spray) and Libby Schoettle (Phoebe New York), among many others. What I want know though is who make this awesome Legless Cow? Tips in the Comments, Please!

Eye On Design: Thierry Mugler, Madonna Evening Ensemble

Thierry Mugler Madonna Evening Ensemble
All Photos By Gail

This ensemble by Thierry Mugler, entitled Madonna, served as the finale to his tenth-anniversary collection, which was staged at Le Zenith, and indoor in Paris. The model Pat Cleveland wore it as she was lowered from the ceiling of the auditorium in a cloud of dry ice, as if descending from heaven.

Madonna Evening Ensemble Installation View

Its placement this area —  a museum passage archway  — emphasizes links to ascension, and particularly the dogma of the Assumption of Mary, which asserts that her body and soul were assumed into heaven’s glory as her life’s end.

Thierry Mugler Madonna Evening Ensemble

The color of the dress refers to another dogma: the Immaculate Conception, or the belief that the Virgin Mary was born free from the stain of original sin. In artistic representations, (especially after 1854, when Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma), she often wears a white tunic with a blue mantle.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, On View Through October 8th, 2018 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (at both the Fifth Avenue and Cloisters Locations) in NYC.

Yes, It Exists: A NYC Loft Apartment Filled With Dirt

New York Earth Room
Photo By John Cliett Courtesy of the Dia Art Foundation

Do you like discovering weird stuff in NYC that hardly anybody else seems to know about? I sure do. A couple of years ago, Geoffrey told me about a visit he made to an art installation in SoHo which consisted of one loft apartment filled, wall-to-wall, with a waist-high layer of dirt. And I was like, “That sounds pretty weird.” Then I basically forgot all about it, until earlier this week, when I was looking for a way kill an hour between leaving the office and attending an art opening. The gallery I was going to just happened to be located around the corner from what I had been referring to as The Dirt Apartment, which is officially called the New York Earth Room, so I decided to check it out.

NY Earth Room Sign

The Earth Room is located on the second floor of an otherwise nondescript building on a block mostly occupied by prohibitively expensive designer clothing boutiques, and you have to be buzzed in from the street. A sign in the lobby tells you to walk one floor up the narrow stairs to reach your desired destination, and then you really can’t miss it. There’s a small reception area at the far end, with the viewing area of the Earth Room just past the entrance, on your right. When you first enter the space, it feels like you are in a sauna: hot, humid, almost stifling — but, despite the obvious lack of air-conditioning, the docent on duty, Brian, who was wearing a wool sweater, told me that after being in the room for a few minutes, it actually starts to feel cold in there. I was skeptical, but he was right.

The Earth Room is a loft space that spans half a city block. There are two support columns piercing the soil to your left and you can see windows on both sides of the loft. The windows on the right face Wooster Street, and ones on the left probably face a courtyard or airshaft. There’s a small, separate room directly across from the viewing area. The dirt is retrained by a Plexiglas barrier

What does it smell like in there? It smells like the earth.

Some Statistical Background:

The New York Earth Room (1977) is the third Earth Room sculpture executed by the artist Walter De Maria (1935 – 2013), the first being in Munich, Germany in 1968. The second was installed at the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Darmstadt, Germany in 1974. The first two works no longer exist.

How Much Dirt Is in This Room:

250 cubic yards of earth (197 cubic meters)
3,600 square feet of floor space (335 square meters)
22 inch depth of material (56 centimeters)
Total weight of sculpture: 280,000 lbs. (127,300 kilos)

Brian was very enthusiastic about answering all of my questions and he explained that the space was formerly a commercial gallery, where the Earth Room was created as a regular exhibit. Somehow, the gallery owner decided to donate the loft  to the Dia Art Foundation so that the work could remain on long-term installation (or something like that. I am likely omitting many details). The New York Earth Room has been on long-term view to the public since 1980. This work was commissioned and is maintained by Dia Art Foundation.

The New York Earth Room is a work of art meant to be viewed, not entered. You are asked to not touch the dirt. Photography is not permitted, in accordance with wishes of the Artist.

Another interesting fact: the caretaker, Bill Dilworth, has taken care of the dirt for 28 years. The dirt is watered on a regular basis, and churned, so that the soil looks fresh.

You may not think that many people want to visit an apartment filled with dirt, but you would be incorrect. Brian told me that I was the 100th person to visit on that day, and most days there many more visitors.  I am not fronting when I suggest that being in the Earth Room may inspire you to engage in deep contemplation of the meaning of life and the existence of all things. I am now in love this exhibit and can’t wait to visit again many times. Earth Room!

The New York Earth Room is Located at 141 Wooster Street (Between Prince and Houston), 2nd Floor, SoHo, New York City. Hours are Wednesday – Sunday, 12–6 PM (closed from 3–3:30 PM). The New York Earth Room closes for the summer on Sunday, June 17th, 2018. It will reopen on Wednesday, September 12th, 2018. The installation is also closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Admission is Free.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Duane Hanson, Housewife

Housewife
Photo By Gail

Sculptor Duane Hanson (1925 – 1996) often identified the figures in his artworks by their occupation or social roles, rather than their names. His photorealistic sculptural portraits — cast from life, painted and dressed in clothes corresponding to their roles — are thus transformed into ethnographic types. Their positions subtly critique their social realities as well as the context of their display. Hanson’s typically lower-and-middle class characters are empathetically portrayed in private or mundane moments, and their appearance is at once startlingly present, yet distinctly at odds in a gallery setting, where they are encountered almost voyeuristically, thus amplifying their isolation.

Housewife Detail

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Like Life: Sculpture, Color and The Body, at The Met Breuer, NYC.

Housewife

Video Clip of The Week: Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters, “The May Queen” (Live)


Do you like Led Zeppelin? I sure do. You may be excited to know that the legendary, and eternally soulful, Robert Plant, backed by his band, the Sensational Space Shifters, has released a new, live video for the song “The May Queen,” which is this week’s Sunday Jam. The video was shot during a performance at the O2 Apollo in Manchester, England, during the group’s sold-out UK tour in November of 2017. I’m not going to say too much else about it except to say that it is pretty sweet, and you can listen/watch and judge for yourself. Because Led Zeppelin! “The May Queen” is the fourth in a series of videos from the new album filmed at this same concert, and is directed by Ryan Mackfall while being produced by Crashburn Media.

“The May Queen” can be found on Plant’s latest album, Carry Fire</strong> released by Nonesuch/Warner Bros. Records in October of 2017. Enjoy!

Robert Plant Carry Fire

Pink Thing of The Day: Discarded Abby Cadabby Doll

Abby Cadabby Doll
Photo By Gail

Oh man, what is sadder than an abandoned toy? I spotted this rag doll,  a Sesame Street character who is a magical fairy called Abby Cadabby, tossed between a dumpster and a garbage bag near Campos Plaza on East 14th Street. Her Bright Pink yarn hair caught my eye immediately. I feel sadness. I’m sorry I could not save you, littler Pink-haired fairy muppet doll!