This past weekend, Geoffrey and I finally made it to Surround Audience, the Triennial at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibit fills nearly every floor of the museum and, as such, is a bit overwhelming with all of its fabulous, arty things to take in over just one visit. Rather than recap the entire show, I decided to write about a few of my favorite individual pieces, one of which is this aquarium-like sculpture creation called Distant Feel, by NYC-based French artist Antoine Carala.
Distant Feel (2015) features a new symbol for empathy — E3, or two Es facing each other — and a communication campaign for a message with no product except feeling. Recognizing how an inundation of the various causes that are blared on the news and on social-media feeds can inure us to the pain of others, or the urgency of issues and movements around the world, the artist set out to rebrand Empathy and devise and distribute a more effective expression of this feeling. The project was inspired by the genesis of the peace sign and conceived as a potential generational update.
There are no fish in this tank, but the organic sculpture closely resembles a coral reef, supporting an assortment of live plants in pastel shades of pink and violet. It’s really lovely and calming to look at. I don’t remember if this piece is on the second or third floor of the exhibit, but I am pretty sure it is adjacent to the gallery with NSA Teletubbies — which is a must-see..
Find out more about the Triennial, on through May 24th, 2015, at This Link
The Venus De Milo Aquarium was created by California-based artist Cameron Grey for his very fun exhibit, Gymnasty, at Mike Weiss Gallery in New York City’s Chelsea Gallery District. See it through January 3rd, 2015!
Photo of Gymnasty Video Screen Archway Courtesy of Mike Weiss Gallery. All Other Photos By Gail!
Sometimes, you just need to visit an art exhibit that is a bit over-the-top and, well, insane. It doesn’t even have to make much sense; as long as it embraces an energetic, inspired feel and a kind of controlled, creative chaos that assures you that you are at the Most-Happening-Art-Reception in the Chelsea Gallery District at that very moment. That is how we felt when we entered the vortex of madness that is Cameron Gray’s Gymnasty, which opened at Mike Weiss Gallery on October 30th. Seriously, what a crazy fun scene!
Please Enter Through the Video Monitor Archway! More about that later!
Please Meet the Friendly Greeter!
Gymnasty is a multi-sensorial pop culture experience that may or may not have something to do with working out. But if you want to follow that line of thinking, then you might consider it to be more like a gym for your mind and soul than one for your body. I don’t know. Maybe Gray just dropped some acid an made it up as he went along. Please enjoy some of my photos!
Golden Boy Go Go Dancer – Very Popular!
Here he is again!
The opening reception was a ridiculous, performance art mob scene, so it was hard to get good, clear pictures of the “Art,” but nothing was really lost in that I think I captured a good deal of the energy of what had to be the best party of the night!
Gymnasty Goes to the Beach!
Floating Gucci Logos and a Lady ready for Yoga!
Look at this thing!
Now, take a closer look: It is a video of a waterfall inside a slab of polished marble. I want to have it in my home.
Also, here is a close up of The Universe expanding from inside another slab of marble. It makes you think deeply about things.
What’s behind this mysterious Black Curtain? Let’s Find Out!
Venus De Milo Aquarium!
Yuel Log Fireplace Video!
All kinds of ever changing video projections!
Also, This Guy!
OK, Let’s take closer look at same of the pop culture images flashing across the screens in that explosively psychedelic Video Monitor Archway!
David Bowie, I love him.
Yes, yes it is!
I see Lana Del Rey and, also, Elvis.
Rocky Horror: Obviously a HUGE influence.
Rick James, Bitch!
You don’t need me to tell you that Gymnasty is totally Rad. See it while you can!
Cameron Gray’s Gymnasty will be on Exhibit Through January 3rd, 2015 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
No matter where I am, I love having a new adventure. Just last month, I spent a few days vacationing in Boston (my first visit) on the back end of a cruise to Bermuda (recommended) and was a bit overwhelmed by all of the fun things there are to see and do in this historic, seaside city. If you find yourself in Boston and want to make the most of your time there, I suggest making a point to check out the New England Aquarium, a destination which is fun for all ages!
I have visited public Aquariums all over the country and would say that the New England Aquarium is comparable in size and scope to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, although it also has many impressive distinguishing features.
The New England Aquarium, which opened in 1969, is a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation, and is one of the premier visitor attractions in Boston, with over 1.3 million visitors a year. It is a great place to bring kids because the focus is very much on education, and they have lots of animal shows and talks that you can attend for free as part of your paid admission. Please enjoy some photos and highlights from our visit!
One of the first things we did during our visit was attend a Fur Seal Training Session. Many of the seals at the aquarium were at one time sick or injured/abandoned animals that were rescued and rehabilitated at the facility where they now have a safe home.
There are moms and dads and brothers and sisters all living there together. The show is about 15 minutes and you get to meet a family of Fur Seals and hear facts about them while the swim and do simple tricks like waving and spinning around, being rewarded with some tasty fish. Kids will love it.
They have very interesting feet!
This one, above, is still a baby.
On the ground floor, there is a huge habitat for adorable African Penguins, where they have lots of informational signage about these birds as well as feedings, facts and presentations ongoing throughout the day.
It is lots of fun to watch them swim!
They have a huge touch pool also where you can “pet” the stingrays and small sharks. Everything is very well-supervised by Aquarium employees who give informational talks about the inhabitants of the touch pool.
This is a North Atlantic Right Whale Skeleton suspended from the ceiling, and below you can see the Penguins swimming.
The most impressive feature of the New England Aquarium is its four-story Giant Ocean Tank, located in the center of the building. The massive tank features a brand new coral reef, an underwater communications system and hundreds of Caribbean reef animals including sea turtles, stingrays, eels, small sharks and multitudes of colorful fish. I took the above photo from the very top of the tank just as a presentation was about to begin.
Be sure to pick up a visitor’s guide when you buy your ticket so you can check the schedule of all of the various talks, shows and presentations and plan your time to attend as many of them as you can.
Whenever I am visiting a new city, I like to find out if they have an aquarium; and if they do, I like to go there. I was in Seattle a couple of weeks ago on the front end of an Alaskan Cruise (so awesome) and spent a marvelous few hours at the Seattle Aquarium, which is right on the waterfront. The last time I was at the Seattle Aquarium, the Internet was not even a thing yet, so it was fun to see that they have made so many changes and improvements to the facility. With an emphasis on education, the Aquarium is dedicated to preserving local marine life and they have integrated many green practices into their daily operations, so it is not only a beautiful and fun place to visit, but an organization that you can feel good about supporting.
On the main floor of the Aquarium you will find many Tide Pools and Touch Pools, which are fun for kids because they can see the animals up close and even touch them. There are a few pools with large collections of anemones and brightly colored red and green Sea Stars, some with too many arms to even count.
My favorite feature of the main exhibit area is the archway-shaped Moon Jellies Illuminated tank of Sea Jellies (Jellyfish), in which the jellies appear to transition color as the recessed tank lighting runs the full colors of the spectrum. I would like to have this in my house.
The Aquarium is home to a giant Octopus who likes to hide in his tank so he is a bit hard to see. They can squish themselves up into fairly small spaces, apparently (see above photo). Several times a day you can watch them feed the Octopus, and that is really cool. If you see a scheduled feeding time listed, be sure to get yourself close to the tank about 15 minutes before the show starts, otherwise you will miss all the action. Did you know that the life expectancy of the average Octopus is only one to four years? I did not know that.
A tiny Clown Fish makes his home among the Anemones and Coral in this Pacific Coral Reef Tank.
Here is a very interesting type of Coral. I think this is called Plate Coral (judging by results from the very obvious search terms I put into Google when I got home and started writing this post) but I probably should have paid attention to its name while I was at the Aquarium. If you can confirm this coral’s proper name please leave it in the comments, thanks!
In the same tank as the Cow Fish I saw this Puffer Fish, who had an angry look on his face like he was about to Puff Up, but he did not.
These intriguing creatures are called Sea Pens, for their resemblance to the old fashioned, plumed writing instruments. Sea Pens can be found in the Ocean Oddities section of the Aquarium.
Like any aquarium that is worth its salt (water), The Seattle Aquarium has a separate, outdoors habitat area that houses aquatic mammals including River Otters, Sea Otters, Harbor Seals, Northern Fur Seals and various types of Aquatic Birds, which affords a very complete experience for all visitors. These cute little guys are Sea Otters, and the staff can tell you all about them including their names and ages and how they came to have a home at the Aquarium. I was so charmed by the Otter in the above photo, who was floating leisurely on his back while playing with a plastic bowl and an empty water jug. Adorable.
Another added bonus of visiting the Aquarium is that is it so close to The Great Wheel Ferris Wheel, also located on the pier, so you can head over there for a spin in the sky and lovely views of the Puget Sound after your visit with the fish. Visit Seattle Aquarium Dot Org to find out about special exhibits and get further information on the Aquarium so that you can plan your visit!
The Seattle Aquarium is located on Pier 59 on the Waterfront, 1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101-2015. Phone (206) 386-4300. Hours are 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM daily. Last entry is at 5:00 PM and exhibits close at 6:00 PM.
Cool Aquatic Sculpture On the Boardwalk Adjacent to the Aquarium
During the Christmas holidays I enjoyed a relaxing and fun stay in Southern California. One of the local sites I visited for the first time is the Long Beach Aquarium, also called the The Aquarium of the Pacific. I have visited Aquariums all over the country from New Orleans to Atlanta to Seattle and I must say that the Aquarium of the Pacific is home to many exotic fish and sea creatures that I had never even seen before. So it was pretty cool and we had an awesome time. Here are some of my favorite photos of cool sea life we saw that day.
This is a massive, floor-to-ceiling tank that they have out in the Main Hall. near the entrance I think this is a freshwater tank.
This tank stocked with colorful Clown Fish had all of the little kids screaming, “Nemo! Nemo! Dory!” It was somewhat annoying, to be honest. Just giving you a head’s up.
Bioluminescent Sea Jellies
Nudibranches! My Favorite!
Leafy Sea Dragon. Amazing.
Weedy Sea Dragon
They have a pretty cool Shark Tank full of Sharks and Rays but none of the Sharks would stop moving to pose for a photo. I did get a decent shot of the Giant Ray below, which was as a big as a small car.
A garden of Worm Fish!
Pretty Pink Coral!
Aquarium of the Pacific is Located at 100 Aquarium Way (just follow the freeway signs) in Long Beach, CA 90802, Phone(562) 590-3100. Hours are 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Every Day of the Year, Except Christmas Day and During the Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 19, 20 and 21, 2013). Adult Admission is $25.95 with Various Package Deals Available.