If you happen to take the N, R or Q trains to the Fifth Avenue and 59th Street stop on your way to the Central Park Zoo, be sure to first participate in the underground Subway Art Safari that’s going on in the station, as you will not only encounter this colorful flock of Parrots, but also tiles mosaic murals of Penguins, Horses, Monkeys and other creatures.
Photo By Gail
French artist Edgar Degas (1834 – 1917) made sketches of this composition, Young Woman with Ibis during his second stay in Rome (1857 – 58). Originally conceived as a depiction of a pensive woman, the painting assumed a mysterious air when Degas added the imaginary Middle Eastern cityscape, the pink flowers, and the two red ibises around 1860- 62. About the same time, he also considered adding the brilliant birds to his large historical painting, Semiramis Building Babylon, which resides in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
One of the reasons to visit the American Museum of Natural History is taking part in the Art Safari that you get to enjoy on your way out of the subway! Every time we arrive on the C Train stop at 81st Street and Central Park West to enjoy another urban adventure at this fantastic Museum, we find a new tile mosaic that we’ve not seen before. This pair of colorful parrots rest on the stairway handrail, exiting to the street.
El Gato Chimney is a fantastic, Milan-based surrealist whose compelling work I doubt I would have come to know and love so well if it weren’t for the Stephen Romano Gallery, which has lovingly featured El Gato’s work in each of their eclectic group shows.
Currently, the Romano Gallery is hosting De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things), a show dedicated entirely to this young artist’s exciting work.
The artwork of De Rerum Natura is accompanied by a high quality catalog, which includes several intriguing and extremely insightful essays, one of which is by fellow surrealist Martin Wittfooth. By way of introduction to El Gato Chimney’s enigmatic images, I offer a brief but richly descriptive passage from Martin’s essay:
El Gato Chimney’s paintings are a kind of visual alchemy: a unique witch’s brew or shaman’s potion of mysticism, therianthropy (the mythological ability of human beings to metamorphose into animals by means of shapeshifting), mythological and religious symbolism, and visionary fractals.
These works echo the technique and compositions of the naturalist painter John James Audubon, while envisioning a psychedelic menagerie summoned on paper from the often-diabolical nether realms of Hieronymus Bosch. Crowned hydras, chimeras, masked birds and crucified crows inhabit a barren world, wherein sacred hearts, disembodied eyes, mysticist dice, skeleton keys and beehives float above or lie upon the landscape.
El Gato Chimney’s imagination implores us to contemplate our collective symbolical archive, while simultaneously offering alternative allegories and personal readings of these devices.
Here are more pictures from the show!
El Gato Chimney’s De Rerum Natura will be on Exhibit Through April 30th, 2015 at Stephen Romano Gallery, Located at 111 Front Street in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Please note that this will be the final snow at this location before Stephen Romano moves to its new, storefront Gallery space at 145 Plymouth Street in Brooklyn!
This must be some kind of mating ritual, I suppose, but with the backing music it just made me chuckle. So cute!
Thanks to Buzz60 For The Tip!
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!
This is a Cow Fish: The Most Awesome Fish Ever In the Universe of All Time. The Cow Fish swims so very fast around the circumference of the tank that he was hard to photograph, but I got him. Moo.
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