When I was a small child, growing up in southern California, my parents used to take the family on camping vacations to Yosemite National Park. I probably went there four or five times up to the age of 8 or so. While these vacations are many decades in the past for me now, my very vivid memories of the park and its many tall and fragrant redwood trees, crystal clear shallow streams, majestic mountains, tumbling waterfalls, and other uniquely beautiful natural sights and smells stay with me to this day. Yosemite is breathtaking. Continue reading David Hockney’s The Yosemite Suite at Pace Gallery
Matthew Marks Gallery is currently hosting a retrospective of thirty-four Drawings from the estate of Ken Price, most on view for the first time. If you are not familiar with the work of the late ceramic artist and printmaker, this exhibit is an excellent introduction. Continue reading Ken Price, Drawings at Matthew Marks Gallery
I’m sure I am not alone when I say that I haven’t really felt centered since I heard the news of David Bowie’s death when I woke up at 6:00 AM on Monday morning. No matter how many bittersweet memories of seeing Bowie in concert back-in-the-day, or engaging personal accounts of ways in which David Bowie profoundly impacted countless lives that I read in my FaceBook news feed — and, trust me, the verbal tributes haven’t stopped coming — this news just doesn’t seem like it could be real. It’s almost like I need to ‘see the body,’ so to speak, for it to really sink in. Because I thought David Bowie was going to live forever. Didn’t we all?
I like to think of myself as being respectful of other’s personal space but, despite being somewhat mortified at the thought of exploiting David Bowie’s death in any way, or getting in his family’s face when they just want their privacy, the more I thought about it, the more I felt compelled to just go to his house; to make my own pilgrimage to visit the memorial shrine that fans have built over the two short days since he passed, which is growing in front of the building where David Bowie lived with his wife Iman and daughter Lexi. I didn’t know exactly where the building was, but I know downtown pretty well and I recognized a fairly distinctive landmark from seeing many on-the-scene TV reports, so I was able to figure out where to go.
A light mist was falling as I walked uptown from the subway station, and the air had that still crispness, indicating that it could just start snowing at any minute. I hoped it would not start snowing just yet. And then I saw the crowd.
My photos are not great because I forgot to turn on my flash for some of them, and also I was trying not to step on, or in front of, anyone else who wanted to get pictures of this very beautiful tribute of love for a man whose music touched almost everyone I know. The collection of beautiful, fragrant flowers, personal David Bowie artwork, toys, gifts, and a small collection of Jesus Candles, is surrounded by metal police barricades, but if you have something you want to add to the shrine, the police will let you walk around and lay it where you feel it should rest. Everyone was very, very cool and respectful.
Up front: The cover story from Tuesday’s issue of AM New York, a free morning daily, generally available as you enter or exit the subway.
There is so much artwork left by fans, and I can’t even imagine what has already been covered and buried deep under flowers and mementos.
Here’s a sentiment we all wish were true.
I wonder who left that little Teddy Bear, and if it held any special message meant for David.
Bowie’s music played unobtrusively as I stood and took in this scene, and I could hear people sniffling, but a reprieve from the wracked sobbing that I imagine we have all been doing a bit of. It was very peaceful. I think David would have really loved to see such an outpouring of adoration from his fans.
I wish everyone who loved, and now mourns David tonight could see how beautiful this place is, and feel how much love went into creating it. I didn’t want to intrude on his family’s grief, but I almost felt like I had to go so I could represent for those who are not able to be near this energy.
God Speed You David Bowie. We will Miss You Forever.
Jonathan LeVine Gallery is currently hosting Bust a Move, a series of new works by Japanese artist Taku Obata, in his debut solo exhibition in the United States. Bust a Move features Obata’s dynamic wooden sculptures, drawings and lithographs of b-boys, or break-dancers, with a distinctly interpreted fashion style. A b-boy himself, the artist has a precise understanding concerning the forms of the human body and how they move, creating works that are bursting with the kinetic energy found in this urban dance form.
The life-size (and larger!) sculptures in Bust a Move are captured in freeze stances, poses that complete every breakdance battle, and are adorned in brightly-colored jumpsuits with accessories sampled from the old-school b-boy style. Surreally elongated hats, glasses and gloves create the illusion of movement, in contrast with the stagnant demeanor of Obata’s subjects. The works have a dominating presence and by portraying modern dance through the ancient technique of Japanese wood-carving, the artist effectively merges popular culture with his cultural roots.
Obata fully immerses viewers in the environment of this subculture through his 3-D works, with the goal of enhancing our awareness and physical senses. In his own words, “I am not simply creating a b-boy, but I aim to create an atmosphere, a cool space with a certain strange and interesting tension.”
LeVine is also displaying a collection of Obata’s drawings of b-boys in action, wearing bright, neon colored outfits.
Taku Obata’s Bust a Move will be on Exhibit Through December 20th, 2014, at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Don’t think for one second that I didn’t fully appreciate the fact that Anton Kern Gallery painted its walls Pepto Bismol Pink for its current exhibit of Andy Warhol Drawings. Because I did.
Andy Warhol: 1950s Drawings brings together 150 never before seen works on paper from the late 1940s through 1960. They show Warhol as a skilled draftsman and great experimenter. Using ink and graphite, he investigated the possibilities of the hand-drawn line, and in the course of this developed his characteristic blotted-line technique, which involved tracing projected photographic images onto paper and blotting the inked figures to create variations on a theme. This exhibition reveals a lesser-known side of Warhol and provides unique insight into the foundation of Pop Art. Continue reading Andy Warhol, 1950s Drawings at Anton Kern