There’s some new wildlife prowling around the Park Avenue Malls between 34th and 38th Streets, but it’s no reason for alarm. These creatures — which range from Gorillas and Buffalos to a T Rex and Saber Tooth Tiger are part of a public art installation sponsored by Patrons of Park Avenue (POPA). French / Tunisian artist Idriss B has created a fantastical menagerie in his signature origami-like, polygonal style, which has taken up residence in the Murray Hill-adjacent neighborhood for a full year. Let’s meet some of them! Continue reading Idriss B’s Geometric Animal Sculptures Take Over Park Avenue→
Rhyndacus (2014) By Walton Ford (All Photos By Gail)
Paul Kasmin Gallery’s Tenth Avenue space is currently hosting Watercolors, an exhibit of new paintings by Walton Ford. For Watercolors, Ford continues to explore the visual and narrative scope of traditional natural history painting with his monumental watercolors, chronicling encounters between human culture and the natural world.
The Tigress (2013)
Several pieces in this exhibition expand upon Ford’s longstanding practice of incorporating written marginalia in his work, and feature for the first time musings penned by the artist from the perspective of his animal subjects.
Bosse-de-Nage 1898 – “HA HA!” (2014)
As in his previous work, Ford draws upon his ongoing natural history research, mining literary sources, folklore and historical anecdotes for inspiration and imagery. The painting Rhyndacus (2014) is derived from an account in Aelian’s De Natura Animalium. This ancient Roman miscellany of the natural world briefly mentions an impossibly large, sixty-foot serpent inhabiting Phrygia (present day Turkey) that was said to magically lure prey into its open maw. The artist has vividly realized the imaginary snake in a strikingly detailed portrait towering nearly 10 feet tall. By depicting native Turkish flora and fauna, Ford conjures a monstrously majestic Ancient Roman vision of the East.
The Graf Zeppelin (2014)
In another work, The Graf Zeppelin (2014), Ford engages the story of Susie, the first female gorilla brought to the United States. She arrived in New York in 1929, having crossed the Atlantic in a first class cabin aboard the German airship. Ford depicts Susie mid-flight and has written marginalia from her point of view, carefully channeling her observations and state of mind.
Windsor, May 1829 (2014)
A third recent work, Windsor, May 1829 (2014), focuses on a formidable mandrill named “Happy Jerry” who lived in Edward Cross’s menagerie in London during the early nineteenth century. In his 1870 book Heads and Tales, Adam White describes Happy Jerry sitting at table, drinking port, smoking a clay pipe and dining with King George IV. Ford, again through meticulous research, recreates this unusual luncheon at Windsor. As he did with Susie, Ford incorporates Happy Jerry’s postprandial thoughts and sensations in the watercolor, writing from the primate’s point of view.
Because the paintings are behind glass, and owing to the natural light coming into the gallery from the street, capturing glare-free imagery in a photograph is quite challenging. So, let me just add that my photos do not do the works adequate justice and it is best to see them for yourself.
Walton Ford’s Watercolors will be on Exhibit through June 21st, 2014 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Locted on the corner of Tenth Avenue and West 27th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
This Blue Gorilla perched atop an archway on Market Street in Venice Beach, California was painted by artist Isabelle Alford-Lago. Apparently, his name is Vincent. Find out more about Isabelle and her work at This Link.
Italian jewelry brand Iosselliani celebrated the launch of its Holiday 2013 Capsule Collection, which is exclusive to its New York Flagship Boutique, with a fun and festive reception and showcase this past Friday evening. Designers Paolo Giacomelli and Roberta Paolucci, the power duo behind the brand, were on hand at the event to mingle and answer questions about their uniquely gorgeous designs.
But First, let’s talk about the 800 Pound Gorilla in the room.
This ceiling-high Giant White Gorilla (Associates in the store told us it was an art piece purchased in Chicago) sits at the rear of the sleek, intimate showroom and adds a cool, fun vibe to the store. It has nothing to do with the jewelry, but we could not resist photographing it for this story. Because, Giant White Gorilla.