Tag Archive | In Memorium

In Memorium: Ten Photos of Daisy Berkowitz Wearing a Kilt

Scott and Skeleton Ts
Scott Putesky (aka Daisy Berkowitz): April 28, 1968 – October 22, 2017 (All Photos By Gail)

I believe that it is possible to live an entire lifetime in one day. I met Scott Putesky (sometimes better known as Daisy Berkowitz, founding member and original guitarist for the band called Marilyn Manson) in 2015 at mutual friend Mark Kostabi’s semi-annual Jazz Art Brunch. Mark, an accomplished musician himself, knows a ton of other musicians, and people always get up and jam with the band. At one point Scott played keyboards and sang a couple of cover songs. After he finished his set, I introduced myself, since I had written extensively about his band back in the day and I knew we had a few other mutual friends. Scott turned out to be very down-to-earth guy, and a terrific conversationalist, so we drank and laughed, talked about art and exchanged cards for a possible future meet up.

Mark Scott Gail Frieze 2015
Mark Kostabi with Scott and Me at Frieze 2015

I already new from hearing it in the media that Scott had been diagnosed stage 4 colon cancer, and in one of our first conversations he told me how he was undergoing chemotherapy sessions every other week to keep it in check. He wasn’t shy about discussing his treatment because he wanted people to understand that he was fighting as hard as he could, and that he was also determined to live his life to the fullest. At this point, his prognosis did not include the probability of a cure and recovery. He was just trying to buy as much time as possible.

Scott FB Profile Pic
Scott did not want to pose with this relief sculpture of two sunflowers, but I made him do it. He loved the resulting photo so much he used it as his FaceBook Profile Photo for nearly a year.

Scott was not only a musician, he was also a fine artist who had a voracious curiosity about art history. The annual Frieze Art Fair (which takes place on New York’s Randall’s Island) was coming up and Scott had never been, so we made plans to attend together. I thought it was hilarious when he asked me what he should wear. “You’re a Rock Star,” I reminded him. “You don’t  need me to tell you how to dress.” Scott showed up to the dock wearing a bespoke kilt made from Clan Scott Tartan along with the complete traditional accessories. It should not surprise anyone that once we arrived at Frieze, everyone asked “the guy wearing the kilt” to pose for photos. I took a few myself and will now share them with you, because I think they show a fun-loving side of Scott, and he would appreciate being remembered in this way.

Scott and Red McCracken

One of the works that Scott most wanted to see at Frieze is this Red Plank by minimalist pioneer John McCracken.

Scott With John McCracken
Scott With John McCracken Sculpture Vibes

Scott and Mood Machine
Scott Considers a Sculpture Called the Mood Machine

Mirror Selfie
No Art Fair Experience is Complete Without at Least One Commemorative Mirror Selfie

Scott and Gail Dots Background
Photo By Mark Kostabi

Scott Vampire

Sadly, I have neither any knowledge of the title of this work, nor the artist’s name.

Scott and Linder

This work is entitled It’s the Buzz, Cock by artist Linder Sterling. The image was famously used as the sleeve artwork for the Buzzcocks1977 45 RPM single release, Orgasm Addict.

Scott Serious

This piece is by an artist whose work I know, and whose name I should remember, but I just can’t recall it right now. Scott’s expression is hilarious to me.

Scott and I wore ourselves out at Frieze and took the ferry back into Manhattan around 5:00 pm to attend another hyped-up-the-ass exhibit opening, which turned out to be a bust. Not to be deterred from continuing our Art Safari into the night, we moved on to another exhibit just up the block, and then took the party to a place that was once the home of Manhattan’s longest bar for snacks and drinks, and more conversation. Later, we walked in a light rain from Houston to Union Square, stopping in at the occasional curiosity shop like this place (where Scott purchased a large bag of assorted Gummy Candies) before I finally dropped him off at the subway on 14th Street and then continued on to my home.

We had an entire lifetime in one day.

Even above all of the times I saw him onstage with Marilyn Manson, my favorite memories of Scott are of the day we spent at Frieze and then prowling downtown Manhattan like two friends who just loved art and NYC. Now, you have those memories as well. RIP Scott. You are very much missed.

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Photos From Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns on Governor’s Island!

Headless Horseman
The Headless Horseman (All Photos By Gail)

With Halloween falling on a Tuesday this year, holiday enthusiasts were able to enjoy three solid days of spooky-themed parties and events, which were happening all over the city this past weekend. Halloween in New York City: there is really nothing like it. I’m not much for dressing up, but I do love a good adventure, and this year Geoffrey and I had the most fun ever, at the Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns, which had a three-night run on Governor’s Island state park —  which is about 10 minutes by ferry from the southern tip of Manhattan. I’d never been there before, so I was pretty excited to see something new. Adventure time!

Manhattan Skyline FiDi

This is the view of the lower Manhattan skyline in the Financial District, as seen from the island. It is very breathtaking, as you can see. To give you a little background on the park, in 1776, during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), troops raised defensive works on the island, which they used to fire upon British ships before they were taken. From 1783 to 1966, the island was a US Army post, and later, from 1966 to 1996, the island served as a major US Coast Guard installation. There are historic buildings all over and at night it looks like you are wandering around one of those abandoned mental institutions where they do the ghost hunting shows. Very Scary!

Atmosphere Shot

The Jack O’ Lantern trail features more than 1,000 illuminated pumpkins, carved by artists from around the tri-state area, set along a festive, paved, tree-lined pathway among the backdrop of centuries-old buildings. The more ornately carved Jack O’ Lanterns are staged on raised pedestals, and the smaller pumpkins help to light the footpath. It looks pretty cool!

Row of Trees 2

Please enjoy a selection of my favorite photos, which I have grouped together in categories, just because. Let’s get to the Pumpkins OK?

Monsters and Horror Movies and Halloween Iconography

Vincent Price

Vincent Price as a Vampire

Cthulhu

HP Lovecraft Creation, The Cthulhu

The Mummy

The Mummy

Werewolf

Werewolf

Freddy Krueger

Freddy Krueger

Frankenstein and his Bride

Frankenstein’s Monster and his Bride

Pennywise with Monument

Here on the left we have Its‘ Pennywise the Clown as portrayed by actor Bill Skarsgard, and I’m not sure what is on the right. What did not quite make it into the frame is one of the featured artists, who was talking to visitors about what tools he uses to carve the designs and that sort of thing. That was fun.

Jack Skellington

Jack Skellington the Pumpkin King

Row of Trees

Here are some spooky trees that I am throwing in the mix as a palate cleanser.

Halloween Michael Myers

Halloween’s Original Bad Boy, Michael Myers

Halloween Michael Myers

Sugar Skull 2

Of course it wouldn’t be Halloween without some Day of the Dead Skull Action.

Sugar Skull

Fairy Tales and Kid-friendly Characters

Snow White and Apple

The Wicked Queen, Snow White and The Poison Apple

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

Monsters Inc.

Monsters Inc.

Celebrities and Pop Culture

Barbra Striesand

Barbra Streisand

GOT

Game of Thrones

In Loving Memory

In Memorium

George Romero
George Romero

Of course, it would not be as spooky and Halloween-themed if the Jack O’ Lanterns did not also pay tribute to recently departed celebrities. There were some really good ones!

Florence Henderson

Florence Henderson

RIP Adam West as Batman

Adam West as TV’s Batman

George Michael

George Michael

Debbie and Carrie

Mother and Daughter Actresses Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher passed away just one apart in December of 2016. Unbelievably sad. This pumpkin was a beautiful tribute to two very talented ladies.

While it’s too late for you to make it to this year’s walk, why not bookmark This Link right now, so you can be sure to not miss next year’s Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns!

Night of 1000 JackOLanterns

See You Next Year! Happy Halloween!

Chris Cornell Memorial Video Clip of The Week: Soundgarden, “Outshined”


I got up feeling so down
I got off being sold out
I’ve kept the movie rolling
But the story’s getting old now, oh yeah
I just looked in the mirror
And things aren’t looking so good
I’m looking California and feeling Minnesota, oh yeah

So now you know, who gets mystified
So now you know, who gets mystified

Show me the power child
I’d like to say
That I’m down on my knees today
Yeah, it gives me butterflies, gives me away
Till I’m up on my feet again
Yeah I’m feeling
Oh, I’m feeling outshined, outshined, outshined, outshined

Oh yeah
Yeah
Someone let the dogs out
They’ll show where the truth is
The grass is always greener
Where the dogs are shitting, oh yeah
I’m feeling that I’m sober
Even though I’m drinking
I can’t get any lower
Still I feel I’m sinking

So now you know, who gets mystified
So now you know, who gets mystified

Show me the power child
I’d like to say
That I’m down on my knees today
Yeah, it gives me butterflies gives me away
Till I’m up on my feet again
Oh I’m feeling
Oh, I’m feeling outshined, outshined, outshined, outshined

Oh yeah, hmm

Outshined, oh oh

Oh, so now you know, who gets mystified
Show me the power child
I’d like to say
That I’m down on my knees today
Yeah, it gives me butterflies gives me away
Till I’m up on my feet again
Oh I’m feeling
Oh, I’m feeling

Show me the power child
I’d like to say
That I’m down on my knees today
Yeah, it gives me butterflies gives me away
Till I’m up on my feet again
Oh, I’m feeling
Oh, I’m feeling
Outshined, outshined, outshined, outshined

Chris Cornell
Image Source
Chris Cornell: July 20, 1964 – May 17, 2017. Rest In Peace.

Saint Bowie Exhibit at Stephen Romano Gallery

Installation and Signage
All Photos By Gail

“I didn’t even know he was sick” sounds like the punchline to a joke, but I think it’s what we are all saying when we find ourselves speaking of David Bowie in the past tense. Because, how could he be gone? Bowie’s profoundly shocking death in January of this year  still does not seem real. In the spirit of continuing to celebrate David Bowie’s life and music while extending a sense of comfort and community to the bereaved, gallerist Stephen Romano has mounted a David Bowie Tribute Exhibit,  Saint Bowie, and it was well worth the trip to Bushwick to check it out.

Romano describes the show as, “An exhibition of artist made reliquaries, ex votos, Santos, sigils, altars, ephods, spirit photos and much more objects dedicated to communing with Bowie on the other side.” The majority of the works in this show were created specifically for the exhibition, with participating artists including: Dolorosa De La Cruz, Barry William Hale, Tine Kinderman, Linnea Strid, Caitlin McCormack, Lori Field, Natan Alexander, Rene Pierre Allain, Colin Christian + Sas Christian, Nyahzul Blanco, Lauren Levato Coyne, Lizz Lopez, Rory Coyne, Inge Vandormael, Travis Lawrence, Chris Haas, Erin O’Shea, Ellen Stagg, Donnie Green, Matt Nolen, David Van Gough, Kim Bo Yung, Alexis Murray, Nyugen Smith, and Craig LaRotonda.

Bowie Bikini Girls

As we have come to expect from a Stephen Romano Joint, the exhibit’s opening reception was a fun party where Bowie fans could drink free wine and hang out among friends while enjoying the beautiful and very moving art. David Bowie Bikini Girls were also on hand to add to the celebratory atmosphere in the gallery. Please enjoy a few of our photos from the evening!

Natan Alexander “Everybody Knows Me Now”
Natan Alexander, Everybody Knows Me Now  (2016), Illuminated Glass and Mixed Media.

The piece above was perhaps the most talked about contribution to the show. You just could not stop looking at it.

David Van Gough "Starcophagus" 2016
David Van Gough, Starcophagus (2016)

David Van Gough "Starcophagus" Detail
Starcophagus Detail

Lori Field 'Heathen'
Lori Field, Heathen

Lori Field, one of our favorite artists that we discovered through the Romano Gallery, contributed two fantastic pieces, both done in her inimitable and highly recognizable style.

Lori Field China Girl
Lori Field, China Girl

Lizz Lopez, Bowie Ouja Board

Bowie Ouja Board Detail

Lizz Lopez, Bowie Ouija Board (Above) and Planchette Detail

Linnea Strid "Sunken Dream"
Linnea Strid, Sunken Dream (2016) Ink Transfer on Wax Candle

I’m quite sure that I saw this one get set alight at the reception, so hopefully it’s available in a multiple edition in case someone wants to purchase!

Tine Kindermann "Haitian Style Voodoo Bowie Floating In A Tin Can"
Tine Kindermann, Haitian Style Voodoo Bowie Floating In A Tin Can

Dolorosa De La Cruz "Now I Leave Them All In The Never Never Land"
Dolorosa De La Cruz, Now I Leave Them All In The Never Never Land

Inge Vandormael "Lazarus"
Inge Vandormael, Lazarus and Detail, Below

"Lazarus" Detail

While there was a good selection of artworks featuring very classic Bowie personas that we know from his early career, many artists also drew inspiration from Bowie’s most recent album, Blackstar; specifically the song “Lazarus” and its accompanying video.

Buddy Nestor "We Are Made of Stars" 2016
Buddy Nestor, We Are Made of Stars (2016)

I can’t even watch the Lazarus video because it is way too creepy.

Erin O'Shea "He Fell On Diamond Days"
Erin O’Shea, He Fell On Diamond Days (2016) Digital Fabric Print and Soft Sculpture

Rory Coyne "Rebis"
Rory Coyne, Rebis

Here’s a fun piece that also incorporates a bittersweet tribute to the late Freddie Mercury.

Craig LaRotonda "Major Tom's All Time Low"
Craig LaRotonda, Major Tom’s All Time Low

This piece by Craig LaRotonda conveys such beautiful delicacy, and I love the title.

Nyahzul Blanco "Starman"
Nyahzul Blanco, Starman (2016) Photomontage on Aluminum

All gallery proceeds from sales of exhibition works will be donated to support Shadia Dot Org, an American organization which works toward breaking the cycle of poverty, gender inequality and education, empowering and trying to give economic self-sufficiency to girls – help them avoid early marriage, being forced into prostitution, or being trafficked.

Saint Bowie will be on Exhibit Through March 29th, 2016 at Stephen Romano Gallery, Located on the Southeast Corner of Harrison Place and Porter in Bushwick Brooklyn. Take the L Train to the Morgan Exit and Walk a few Blocks East on Harrison to Porter Avenue. There’s a Vietnamese Restaurant Across the Street.

Gallery Signage

David Bowie: 1947 – 2016

David Bowie By Rugman
David Bowie as Aladdin Sane By Rugman (Photo By Gail)

Planet Earth is Blue, and There’s Nothing I Can Do…

It seems hilarious to think that I was six years old when David Bowie released his self-titled debut album, which would have been on June 1st of 1967. Coincidentally, and in an act of incredibly bad timing on Bowie’s part, that was the shared release date of another album you may have heard of: The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. What a way to ensure that your most heartfelt artistic efforts are completely and totally eclipsed by another act! Bad Timing! In hindsight, also hilarious.

Point being that David Bowie has been part of the soundtrack for me since childhood. Surprisingly, in 2014 (four decades on) I learned more about the guy than I ever imagined I didn’t know. First, Showtime aired David Bowie: Five Years, a fantastic documentary spanning five key years in Bowie’s music career that was just one mind-blowing revelation after another. For example, I had no idea that Legendary keyboardist Rick Wakeman played piano all over Hunky Dory. Who even pays attention to stuff like that? Mind blowing. Five Years definitely deepened my respect and admiration for the man, his music and his insane contribution to global pop culture. David Bowie was a Musical Genius!

David Bowie Young

If you have ears and eyes and you are a David Bowie fan, then you also probably heard about David Bowie Is; the universally critically lauded, career retrospective that became the fastest-selling exhibition in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum’s history. The David Bowie Is exhibition — which featured over 300 items including photos, costumes, artwork, hand-written lyrics, stage props, videos and other items from David Bowie’s Personal Archives toured Toronto, Sao Paulo and Berlin, and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art — its only stop in the US, among other destinations. At that same time, a documentary film about the touring art exhibition, also called David Bowie Is, had a one-night only screening in various theaters across the country. I saw the film in NYC and it was so exciting that it made me want to spend a thousand dollars just to go to Chicago and see the exhibit. Directed by Hamish Hamilton, the film was an excellent primer and would  certainly have greatly enriched your visit, should you have had exhibit tickets at the ready. For those who wwere never able to view the exhibition in person, this film is the next best thing.

In addition to a detailed tour of the exhibition’s key features, the film included tons of back-story and insights from curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh who serve as onscreen hosts and narrators. And let me tell you, they know their shit. One of my favorite parts of the film is a viewing and explanation of extensive, illustrated storyboards that Bowie created for a film to be based on the Diamond Dogs album. It is unreal. You’ll also hear conversations with exhibit-goer-fans, and commentary about Bowie’s far-reaching influence with pop taste-makers such as Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker and fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto, who created the iconic costumes from the Aladdin Sane tour that you’ve been looking at in photos for years.

Everybody who loved him has a David Bowie Story, but I was never so fortunate as to meet him in person or even interview him over the phone, and the only time I saw Bowie play live was when he toured with Nine Inch Nails; a show which I recall absolutely nothing about. So, my story is to recommend watching these two films, if you have not yet seen them. David is gone now, and all we have are our shared memories of him and a life well-lived. Godspeed.

Beastie Boys Mural, Lower East Side

Beastie Boys Mural
Photo By Gail

Mural by artist Danielle Mastrion spotted on Ludlow Street at the Southwest Corner of Rivington.This is the location of the cover shot for the band’s album Paul’s Boutique.

Remembering Amy Winehouse on Her Birthday

Amy Winehouse Poster By Bruce Pavlow
Amy Winehouse Poster By Bruce Pavlow (Photo By Gail)

Singer Amy Winehouse was born on this day, September 14th, in 1983 (the year I graduated from college). Amy was found dead at her home in London, England on July 24th, 2011. RIP.