Hey what’s up. I just got home from a very fun cruise to ports in Canada and Maine and enjoyed taking lots of holiday snaps of cool things which I will now share with you on this rad blog in the coming weeks. The Shark Attack Street Sign pictured above was spotted in Lunenburg, in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. There were all kinds of different fish depicted on colorful, elevated posts along the streets and they are a pretty cool addition to a very picturesque, historic town.
The Delancey and Essex Street Station is home to the J, M, Z, and F Trains, and also this colorful glass mosaic mural of two fish, which appear to be swimming on the surface of the water. Fun!
With minimal Googling, I discovered that the mural is called Shad Crossing, Delancey Orchard (2004) by artist Ming Fay. For the backstory, let’s go to Yelp Reviewer Tina C. from Queens, who writes:
Glass mosaics on platform and mezzanine walls symbolizes the the liveliness of the once thriving fishing marketplace in this storied Lower East Side community. Aquatic images are a metaphor for “crossing” in a glass mosaic mural on the Brooklyn-bound platform, inspired by the prominent DeLancey family’s eighteenth century farm, which stretched from the East River to the Hudson River. The farm’s cherry orchard was located where Orchard Street stands and is memorialized with radiant cherry trees on the Manhattan-bound platform.
The larger mural is adjacent to this underground directive (above) , but on the platform for the Brooklyn Bound F, you will also find these small tile mosaic Fish Heads at random intervals along the wall.
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 “Jonac” — which is what the signature appears to say. Any clues on the artist’s identity, please leave it in the comments – thanks!
Note: The artist has been correctly identified as Lonac in the comments below, many 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!