19th century Bengali craftspeople found an export market in Britain for decorative chess sets carved from ivory.
The two sides were sometimes carved to represent opposing armies of local soldiers and Europeans. The example seen here, with relatively simple carving is unusual as signs of wear and repair suggest it was used for playing games rather than as a showpiece for display. Hand-carving has produced variation even between pawns of the same side.
Photographed in the British Galleries at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
With Halloween falling on a Tuesday this year, holiday enthusiasts were able to enjoy three solid days of spooky-themed parties and events, which were happening all over the city this past weekend. Halloween in New York City: there is really nothing like it. I’m not much for dressing up, but I do love a good adventure, and this year Geoffrey and I had the most fun ever, at the Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns, which had a three-night run on Governor’s Island state park — which is about 10 minutes by ferry from the southern tip of Manhattan. I’d never been there before, so I was pretty excited to see something new. Adventure time!
This is the view of the lower Manhattan skyline in the Financial District, as seen from the island. It is very breathtaking, as you can see. To give you a little background on the park, in 1776, during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), troops raised defensive works on the island, which they used to fire upon British ships before they were taken. From 1783 to 1966, the island was a US Army post, and later, from 1966 to 1996, the island served as a major US Coast Guard installation. There are historic buildings all over and at night it looks like you are wandering around one of those abandoned mental institutions where they do the ghost hunting shows. Very Scary!
The Jack O’ Lantern trail features more than 1,000 illuminated pumpkins, carved by artists from around the tri-state area, set along a festive, paved, tree-lined pathway among the backdrop of centuries-old buildings. The more ornately carved Jack O’ Lanterns are staged on raised pedestals, and the smaller pumpkins help to light the footpath. It looks pretty cool!
Please enjoy a selection of my favorite photos, which I have grouped together in categories, just because. Let’s get to the Pumpkins OK?
Monsters and Horror Movies and Halloween Iconography
Vincent Price as a Vampire
HP Lovecraft Creation, The Cthulhu
Frankenstein’s Monster and his Bride
Here on the left we have Its‘ Pennywise the Clown as portrayed by actor Bill Skarsgard, and I’m not sure what is on the right. What did not quite make it into the frame is one of the featured artists, who was talking to visitors about what tools he uses to carve the designs and that sort of thing. That was fun.
Jack Skellington the Pumpkin King
Here are some spooky trees that I am throwing in the mix as a palate cleanser.
Halloween’s Original Bad Boy, Michael Myers
Of course it wouldn’t be Halloween without some Day of the Dead Skull Action.
Fairy Tales and Kid-friendly Characters
The Wicked Queen, Snow White and The Poison Apple
Celebrities and Pop Culture
Game of Thrones
Of course, it would not be as spooky and Halloween-themed if the Jack O’ Lanterns did not also pay tribute to recently departed celebrities. There were some really good ones!
Adam West as TV’s Batman
Mother and Daughter Actresses Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher passed away just one apart in December of 2016. Unbelievably sad. This pumpkin was a beautiful tribute to two very talented ladies.
While it’s too late for you to make it to this year’s walk, why not bookmark This Link right now, so you can be sure to not miss next year’s Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns!
In the mid- 1800s, German immigrant John Henry Belter was New York City’s most important cabinetmaker, producing Rococo Revival style furniture for the luxury market. Belter garnered an international reputation for the suites of drawing-room furniture he manufactured, many of laminated and deeply carved rosewood. This large and exuberant sofa, embellished with bountiful carved bouquets of naturalistic blooms, epitomizes his best work. The modern damask covering was chosen because fragments of the original dark red sill upholstery were found on the sofa’s frame during recent conservation
Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
Rafael Silveira, Wild Life. Oil on Canvas in Custom Carved Frame (All Photos By Gail)
Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to present Unforeseeable, new works by Brazilian artist Rafael Silveira in his debut solo exhibition in New York. This is one of my favorite exhibits ever at LeVine!
A Powerful Instinct
Rafael Silveira’s imaginative work combines figurative classical painting, comic-inspired imagery and surreal subject matter, resulting in a universe where dreams are blended with waking life and the impossible appears commonplace. His portraits reminded me such artists as Travis Louie, Mark Ryden and ever legendary cartoonist Tex Avery.
A Walk in the Garden
A Walk in the Garden Blouse Detail
A Walk in the Garden Skirt Detail
Silveira credits his native Brazil as a source of inspiration and describes his experience living in the country as having “daily contact with the bizarre, absurd and preposterous. It’s like walking through a wild forest where beauty and dangers reveal themselves in strange, random and haphazard ways.”
A Small Fragment of the Universe
Paintings in Unforeseeable are like portals into an alternate dimension, one that exists without distinction between natural and artificial elements. Many of Silveira’s figures are hybridized, such as a woman with tree branches for arms (see photo above) or another with a popsicle for a head (see trilogy below).
Allegory of Time Opus 1, 2 and 3
The absence of logic and reason allows a blurring of ascribed definitions: human, animal, plant or object. A vintage aesthetic and various themes including lingerie, tattoos, skulls and food converge in a visual expression of Silveira’s stream of consciousness.
A hallmark of Silveira’s work is the use of sculptural frames to compliment his canvases. The custom frames are designed by Silveira and carved out of wood by traditional master craftsmen who specialize in creating religious altars and ornate furniture. This unique collaboration brings the imagery of his paintings into the third dimension and allows for an interesting interplay between each external structure and what they contain, within.
The Anatomic Couple
Rafael Silveira’s Unforeseeable will be on Exhibit Through July 26th, 2014 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 5429 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
This massive, black walnut wood carved sculpture of what appears to be a mirrored image likeness of Snow White stands about 14 feet tall and can currently be seen on display as part of Paul McCarthy’s Sculptures exhibit at Hauser and Wirth’s cavernous new 18th Street space. However, McCarthy calls this character White Snow, since he is riffing on the classic German fairy tale and also the Disney adaption from the late thirties. If you think this is wild, you should see what he does with the dwarves…
Sculptures By Paul McCarthy will be on Exhibit Through June 1st, 2013 at Hauser and Wirth, Located at 511 West 18th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.