Here’s another awesome Holiday Gift Idea for the art lover on your list who also happens to be a fan of David Bowie or Prince. Pay homage to Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie’s iconic persona from the early 1970s, or the late great Prince, with this modern take on Japanese Kokeshi dolls, which are customarily given as symbols of friendship. Each doll measures, 5.7 inches tall, is hand painted in vibrant colors, and is made of schima superba wood. Imagine the adventure these two could have together.
These cool little Dolls, which sell for $42 each, are available directly from the MoMA Design Store at the Museum of Modern Art, or online at This link!
Dissection of Spock, 2016, By Nychos (All Photos By Gail)
The Vienna, Austria-based artist known as Nychos has many admirable qualities: mad talent, an appreciation for his fans, and an uncanny resemblance to Mexican actor / heartthrob Gael Garcia Bernal. It was certainly a pleasure to meet him, look at his fun art and gaze into his face at the reception for his new series of deconstructed Pop Art portraits, IKONS — which opened at Jonathan LeVine over Pride Weekend.
Left: Dissection of Marilyn, Right: Dissection of Tweety
For IKONS, Nychos chose well-known subjects that include cartoon characters, Superheroes, and celebrities, both living and dead, whose likenesses have become ubiquitous. Looking for a new way to approach portraiture, the artists then “reveals” his subjects in a brutal and clinically precise fashion: dissecting the face, and sometimes the entire body, and layering the parts in a grotesquely cartoonish array. The results are absolutely captivating and ripe with dark humor.
Dissection of Spiderman
I love the graceful sense of motion that you see in the above rendering of Spiderman.
In the case of Barbie, and the Staypuft Marshmallow Man (below), the character’s inner workings are revealed as the flesh melts away as if they had been dipped in an acid bath.
Dissection of Lemmy
This one of Lemmy is really great. Geoffrey kept saying how much Nychos‘ work reminded him of Alex Grey, which I can also see on a very basic level, though not enough to assume he is an influence.
Nychos Signs for a Fan at Saturday’s Reception
Dissection of Supermario
Nychos has also contributed a mural to this years’ edition of the Coney Art Walls on Stillwell Avenue in Brooklyn, adjacent to Luna Park. We are looking forward to checking that out!
IKON By Nychos will be on Exhibit Through July 23rd, 2016 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
In 1965, Filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker released his enduring documentary, Don’t Look Back, which follows a young Bob Dylan emerging into worldwide prominence as the singer/songwriter of his generation. Maybe you weren’t born yet, but I was. In celebration of the 50-year anniversary of this now-legendary film – one which brings together an already iconic artist and a filmmaker who was in the process of revolutionizing the documentary, Morrison Hotel Gallery is currently hosting Don’t Look Back, a collection of photos taken of Dylan by Pennebaker during filming.
The show is thoughtfully curated and produced by industry vet Joseph Baldassare – in conjunction with MHG – and has the distinction of being the first gallery exhibit of Pennebaker’s work.
The show features original movie posters and 18 choice image stills from the film, printed from the enhanced negative. Pennebaker, now 90 years of age, was at the opening reception and he looked great. To this day, he remains a vital cultural force. He recently screened his newest documentary, Unlocking The Cage, at The Sundance Film Festival, which will air on HBO later this year
Bob Dylan with Singer/Songwriter Donovan
Pennebaker (Far Left) with Gallery Owners Peter Blachley (to his Right) and Henry Diltz (Center) and Fans
Says Baldassare about the show, “This exhibition at Morrison Hotel Gallery is a celebration of the artistry of both D.A Pennebaker and Bob Dylan – two pioneers that have shaped the way we see, hear and think.”
D.A. Pennebaker’s Photos from Bob Dylan, Don’t Look Back, will be on Exhibit Through June 14th, 2016 at Morrison Hotel Gallery, Located at 116 Prince Street in SoHo, NYC.
It may have been as long ago as last summer that I met Christian, as he set up a table near the corner of 10th Avenue and 23rd Street in the Chelsea Gallery Distinct to hand out his amazing coloring /activity books that he makes himself.
On each of the book’s pages you will find an icon of the art, fashion or music world along with a famous original quote of theirs. Here is Andy Warhol, my favorite artist ever in the Universe of all time, also accompanied by my favorite quote of his, “Art is What you Can Get Away With.” That is so true.
Here we see Freddie Mercury and Grace Jones (as seen on the cover of her legendary CD, Island Life).
Elton John, I love him!
I can feel Bjork on this quote, because people asked me the same thing when I got home from an Alaskan Cruise. Really people? Eskimos? It was cruise, not an anthropological expedition!
Andre Leon Talley is an eccentric fashion mogul who sometimes gets himself into trouble, because he has a very sassy mouth!
There are alossome fun games and activity pages in the book, such as this cool maze to help Andy Warhol find funding for his art, or something like that!
Also, you can connect-the-dots to draw designer Karl Lagerfeld. So fun!
Find out more about Christian and see how he has colored and decorated some of these pages himself on his Facebook page, Christian Loves Sparkle!
Albert Einstein with Euclid’s Elements Diptych (All Photos By Gail)
You can say this much about art exhibits comprised of Portraits of Pop Culture Icons: EVERYBODY DOES IT. Seriously, Ev-Ree-Bah-Dee. What keeps an exhibit of Pop Culture Portraiture from being a total yawnfest is the defining twist that the artist puts on his or her work (see Erik den Breejen’sThere’s a Riot Goin’ On at Freight and Volume for an excellent example of what I’m talking about).
So, it’s a huge relief that David Datuna’s Elements – the artist’s eighth solo show at Birnam Wood Galleries – is a portrait-based exhibit with one of the coolest visual spins I’ve ever seen. Although from a distance it appears that each image is mounted behind a layer of marbled glass, on close inspection you can see that Datuna has employed a unique conceptual device of layered optical lenses to focus and diffuse his distinct visual imagery. Talk about Ways of Seeing!
Detail from Above Portrait
According to the exhibit’s press release, the title Elements is taken from the centerpiece of the show, a diptych that pairs Albert Einstein with Euclid’s Elements, the seminal work of mathematics written in the third century BC. Described as the second most widely published book after the Bible, the book’s findings underpin much of logic and modern science. Its influence is immense. Einstein said it kindled his interest in science. Abraham Lincoln insisted it was the most influential book of his life.
I love the little details Datuna adds, such as printing amd framing Andy Warhol in bright yellow, a color that Warhol used often in his own signature silkscreen portraits of celebrities.
David Datuna’s Elements is definitely worth adding to your next Art Crawl. Just make sure you schedule it before June 7th.
Damien Dot: Portrait of Damien Hirst by John Grande (All Photos By Gail)
Wedged between viewing rad new art by both Lynda Benglis and Herb Alpert, we popped into Jim Kempner on 23rd and 10th during last Thursday’s Art Crawl to check out a very fun exhibit. Taking Appropriation Art to a hilarious new level, painter John Grande presents his new series of portraits depicting pop culture icons superimposed with the distinctive design of Damien Hirst’s famous Spot Paintings. That Hirst himself is honored in the show is pure brilliance.
Some of the celebrities featured in the series include Whitney Houston, Truman Capote, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Judy Garland and Andy Warhol. The portraits are borrowed from Richard Avedon and other renowned photographers. He must have had a good time dealing with all of the licensing!
Jim Kempner is the rare gallery that always has a few things going on in addition to their featured exhibit, so drop by next time you are in the neighborhood.
John Grande’s Oh You Pretty Things Will be on Exhibit through February 23rd, 2014 at Jim Kempner Fine Art, Located at 501 West 23rd Street, on the Northwest corner of 23rd Street and Tenth Avenue in the Chelsea Gallery District, NYC.