I passed by this enigmatic mural, located on the north side of 2nd Street, just west of First Avenue, (right next to Julie’s Vintage) while on the way to meet Geoffrey for lunch. Part Eagle, part, Eyeball and part Fish, this work of street art really has everything! The artist’s signature is visible in the lower, right corner of the above image, but I am unable to decipher it or find him or her via a search for “Jomac” — which is what the signature appears to say. Any clues on the artist’s identity, please leave it in the comments – thanks!
Can you believe it’s been four years since Jeff Soto’s previous exhibit at Jonathan Levine Gallery? You know who reminded me of that fact? Jeff Soto! So crazy! I had engaged Jeff at the reception for The Sotofish Society, which opened September 10th, to say Hey and tell him how much I loved his Oreo Cookie Subway Ad (praise which he graciously received), and comment on my excitement that he has continued to incorporate favorite identifying motifs from Decay and Overgrowth in this new body of work, and he was like, “That was four years ago.” Point: it seemed much more recent to me. Anyway, Jeff is a super nice guy who will take the time to have a personal conversation with fans at his shows, and his wife Jennifer is also very nice. Jeff Soto!
This new exhibit, The Sotofish Society does, in fact, include paintings and drawings that reinterpret elements of Soto’s work. Viewing the series as a rebirth, the artist continues to transplant viewers to an alternate universe, while going back to his roots and evolving iconic characters, such as yetis, reapers, robots and the Sotofish. As Jeff explains, “I always feel like an artist’s entire body of work should be fair game to use. My cast of characters and the worlds I create are The Sotofish Society.”
Soto depicts friendly creatures and personifications of earth’s forces that thrive in a dystopian environment plagued by the complexities of modern living. These otherworldly creatures roam the surreal landscape and are surrounded by overgrown greenery, deteriorating technology and overall societal decay. However, Soto’s use of vibrant colors and organic shapes evoke a sense of hope and effort to revitalize, communicating themes of family, nature, life, and death.
For this exhibition the artist focused on creating work based on instinct and emotion, resulting in dynamic paintings with many layers, silhouettes and design elements.
Along with acrylic compositions on wood and paper, The Sotofish Society includes a selection of watercolors, which are rarely exhibited, as well as limited edition relief prints. By merging a refined selection of graffiti and mixed media techniques, Jeff Soto continues to bridge the gap between street art and pop surrealism.
Jeff Soto’s The Sotofish Society will be on Exhibit Through October 8th, 2016 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located 529 West 20th Street, 9th Flor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
If you are looking for cool stuff to do and see in NYC, head down to Battery Park and ride the Seaglass Carousel! I have been obsessed with riding this carousel since it opened in August, and I finally got down there this past weekend. It was worth the wait.
On the Seaglass Carousel, you can take a 3-minute ride inside a Fish or a Seashell, and it is the most fun you can have for five dollars. Just take a look at the video I took of my ride!
OMG so fun! The music they play is also pretty cool and festive. Since the fish light up, it is perhaps a bit more of an “Experience” (as Jimi Hendrix would say) if you ride at night.
Each fish is available for sponsorship. I think that is what this little plaque was about, which was inside my Pink Betta Fish! Ride the fish!
The Seaglass Carousel is located in Battery Park very close to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. The M15 SBS Bus will take you right there. Admission is just $5 and the Carousel is open daily from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM! Get more information at This Link!
In Paul Klee’s painting, Around the Fish (1926), a garnished platter of fish is surrounded by a constellation of seemingly disparate elements — a cross, full and crescent moons, an exclamation point, a forked red flag — all hovering against a dark abyss.
Some of Klee’s iconography grew out of his teaching. The arrow, which he initially used as a teaching tool to indicate force and emotion for his students at the Bauhaus, here points confrontationally towards a stylized head, possibly alluding to human consciousness. Although they are often enigmatic, Klee believed his personal hieroglyphs and figurative elements had wider connotations: “The object grows beyond its appearance through our knowledge of its inner being, through the knowledge that the thing is more than its outward aspect suggests.”
Around the Fish is part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and is currently on view on the 5th Floor, in Painting and Sculpture I, Gallery 7.
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!
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.
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.
The Giant Ocean Tank’s large windows make its active and wildly engaging interior visible on any floor of the Aquarium, and a circular ramp allows visitors to walk its circumference from the top of the tank to the ground floor, taking in full 360 degree views.
This photo shows a tank full of Miniature Seahorses. Very tiny!
Tiny bioluminescent Sea Jellies!
What is this thing? I don’t know!
Sea Dragons are the Coolest!
It’s a Moray Eel coming out to say Hello!
The New England Aquarium is located at 1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110. Hours are Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Saturday – Sunday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM. To learn more about activities and exhibits at the Aquarium and to buy tickets online visit This Link.
Placoderms were the earliest group of vertebrates to achieve widespread success as predators. During the 50-Million-Year span of the Devonian period, they diversified worldwide to become the dominant fishes of that time. But despite this success, they rapidly declined and became extinct toward the end of the Devonian.
Placoderms are characterized by heavy body armor covering the head and trunk regions. To me, it looks like a Tiger’s face with a Fish body. I like it.