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Mark Manders Tilted Head at Doris C. Freedman Plaza

Tilted Head Front View
All Photos By Gail

Mark Manders’ Tilted Head is a work of fiction. It has the appearance of unfired clay combined with everyday objects but in fact is made entirely of cast bronze. The cracks and fissures that cover its surface imply an organic process of drying and decay, yet its metal form is fixed.

Tilted Head 1

It might suggest an incomplete model, abandoned in the artist’s studio, if not for the fact that its colossal size and civic location lend it the air of a grand monument. Eyes shut, the androgynous figure’s mask-like features are at rest, undisturbed by an abrupt slice through a third of its face. The unfinished side of the head is held as if in a splint by wooden planks, one tied with rope.

Tilted Head Rear View

At the back, chairs and a suitcase, all slightly reduced in size, protrude from a mass of formless material. These shifts in scale, unexplained objects, and trompe l’oeil bronze effects alter our perception and spark the imagination.

Tilted Head Back Detail
Back of Sculpture, Detail

Mark Manders (b. 1968, The Netherlands) has been interested in the human figure throughout his career, and is particularly fascinated with the head, which he sometimes depicts detached from the body and juxtaposed with different elements. These heads are always stylized representations rather than individualized portraits.

Tilted Head Side View

His approach creates a paradoxical sense of both immediacy and timelessness, of something newly made with fresh clay yet belonging to the traditions of classical statuary. With Tilted Head, Manders has rendered a compelling fiction of human form that inhabits a poetic space between representation and abstraction, serenity and rupture, life and mortality.

Tilted Head Right Side View

Mark Manders’ Tilted Head is Curated by Public Art Fund Director & Chief Curator Nicholas Baume. It Will be on Display at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Fifth Avenue and 60th Street, Adjacent to Central Park, Through September 1st, 2019.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Elizabeth Murray, Terrifying Terrain

Terrifying Terrain
Photos By Gail

Elizabeth Murray belonged to a generation of postmodern artists that challenged the austerity and impersonality of Minimalism and post-painterly abstraction by working in different techniques and styles simultaneously, blurring perceived boundaries between traditional media. Composed of multiple, irregularly shaped canvases that are seemingly combined haphazardly, Terrifying Terrain (1989 – 90) is a sculptural painting  — or a painted sculpture? — that conjures the precariousness of an awe-inspiring rock-climbing trip in Montana. Jagged, overlapping planes convey the mountainous landscape that the artist experienced there, as well as the constant threat and fear of falling. The opening in the middle simulates the effect of a climber’s vertiginous view down into a ravine.

Terrifying Terrain

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Video Clip of The Week: Band Of Skulls, “We’re Alive”


I can’t believe it’s been five whole years since UK Rock Duo Band Of Skulls made an appearance in this space; and yet, it is so. Needless to say, they’re back with a vengeance with this week’s video clip for “We’re Alive.” While this anthemic song ushers in a poppier sound for Band of Skulls, the heavy baselines, rich vocals and hooks galore haven’t gone anywhere. Shot entirely in tones of red and black, the video not only looks great, it also has an intriguing message.

As the band — comprised of Russell Marsden (guitar, vocals) and Emma Richardson (bass, vocals) — explains, the video is the second installment of a trilogy that began with “Cool Your Battles” (released in February), “using the same central characters who are losing themselves to the music. The song is life affirming, cutting through the mundaneness of modern life to proclaim ‘We’re Alive.’” Director Nate Camponi adds that he “wanted the video for ‘We’re Alive’ to be a vision of a surreal cult, built from this crazy cross section of characters, all dancing in sync. Where did these characters end up after they raved together at the end of ‘Cool Your Battles’?  Well, they ended up getting seduced into following this strange Guru character, who hypnotizes them with a bizarre dance. Ultimately, it’s a tongue-in-cheek study of power and brainwashing, and how we’ve seen countless historical figures stand up and assume total control. It’s a deep concept but hopefully it’s still lighthearted enough to get your foot tapping.” Mission accomplished!

“We’re Alive” appears on the band’s fifth album, Love Is All You Love (produced by Richard X), which is set for release April 12th, 2019 via So Recordings. Enjoy!

Band of Skulls 2019 Photo
Band of Skulls!

Pink Thing of The Day: Barbie’s Pink Glitter Roaster!

Barbie's Pink Oven
All Photos By Gail

On Saturday March 9th, 2019, I was fortunate to attend the wildly-anticipated Barbie 60th Anniversary Pop-Up Experience; a one-day only celebration of Barbie’s life and legacy marking the occasion of her 60th Birthday, so to speak. The free event, which had non-ticket holders queuing up for a quarter mile along Broadway in SoHo, was set up like an interactive Barbie museum. As much as the push-and-shove of instagramming hoards hindered me from getting any really great photos of this very fun and memorable event, I came away with some choice photo documentation, such the photos you see here. No Barbie Pop Up would be complete without a lifesize recreation of her famous Dream House, and this one did not disappoint.

Pink Glitter Chicken

Not only are Barbie’s kitchen appliances a delightful shade of Shocking Pink, but, apparently, she eats pink food as well. Behold: the Pink Glitter Roasting Chicken hiding in her oven!

Barbie's Kitchen

It’s great see Barbie Rocking the Pink at 60. You go, girl!

Kobra Anti-Gun Violence Mural, LES

Kobra Anti-Gun Mural
Photos By Gail

On one of my recent Street Art Safaris, I found myself walking east on Eldridge Street, where I couldn’t help but notice more than a few stickers and small murals supporting anti-gun violence messages.  And then I saw this one: another work by Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra, whose work is instantly recognizable for its kaleidoscopic mosaic of bright colors. Kobra’s Stop Guns is a multi-story artwork depicting a young boy posing for a selfie, with his phone held up in one hand and a pistol gripped in the other. Very sobering. Appropriately, the piece is located adjacent to a parking lot beside Cascades High School.

Kobra Anti-Gun Mural

This Mural, Which Went Up on August 8th, 2018, is Located at the Corner of Stanton and Eldridge Streets on NYC’s Lower East Side.

Eye On Design: Mila Schön, Blue Double-Faced Wool Coat

Blue Wool Coat
All Photos By Gail

By the 20th century, wool suits and coats were indispensable, practical elements of fashionable daywear for women. Double-faced wool, used here by designer Mila Schön for her Blue Coat (1968) is woven almost as two separate textiles, joined by a set of interwoven yarns, creating a thick, structural, spongy fabric.

Blue Wool Coat

The textile’s density supports this A-line silhouette, while the wool’s pliability eases the inset of Pop Art circles. The hems were self-finished by opening the layers and stitching the edges to the inside.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Fabric in Fashion, on View Through May 4th, 2019 at The Museum at FIT in Manhattan.

Blue Wool Coat

Frank Ape Metamorphosis Mural

Frank Ape Butterfly Mural
Photos By Gail

“Let Go of Who You Were, to Become Who You Are.” — Frank Ape

This fun and inspiring mural can be found on the security gate at East Village Collective, a vintage clothing store located at 545 East 12th Street (Between A and B), East Village, NYC. The mural went up in April of 2018.

Frank Ape Butterfly Mural