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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not since the Fancy Animal Carnival of 2016 has a menagerie of exotic of creatures like those you’ll see in Hacer: Transformations been set loose in NYC’s Garment District. For just a few more weeks, New Yorkers and visitors to Midtown Manhattan can experience a series of seven gigantic, origami-inspired sculptures that comprise this public art exhibit, which features two dark turquoise coyotes, two medium turquoise rabbits, a magenta elephant, a yellow dog and a green bear cub.