If you don’t know already, it will soon became apparent from my posts that I was recently traveling (on vacation) in the beautiful state of Utah! Our first stop on a ten-day road trip was Salt Lake City, where I was able to see this ‘floating boulder,’ entitled Asteroid Landed Softly (1994) by Japanese artist Kazuo Matsubayashi, from my window at the Marriott hotel!
Aside from being a stunning public landmark, Asteroid Landed Softly is a working sundial that also suggests the image of Southern Utah’s landscape. The sundial works through a slit in the tower (seen in the above photo) as a beam of sunlight is cast on the plaza floor.
The mirrored column supporting the pinkish-brown rock also beautifully reflects the changing faces of the surrounding office buildings and fluctuating weather patterns to offer a limitless number of perspectives that can be captured in photos. I did not realize when I took this particular photo that I had also captured a resting pigeon!
The above photo was taken a bit later in the day, so there’s a complete shadow on the face of the sundial. You can read more about this beautiful and functional work of public art at This Link!
Photographed at The Gallivan Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
In the early days of the Covid 19 lockdown, most of us — not just here in Manhattan but around the globe — were spending close to 24 hours a day in our homes. It was during this time that photos began appearing on the Internet and Instagram depicting places like Times Square and other generally heavily-populated ‘tourist destinations’ in states of complete abandonment. It was as if civilization as we know it had ceased to exist, and our cities been left to the elements. The world was looking more apocalyptic by the day. The only thing missing were the zombies.
I thought of these images immediately when I got an email from Hashimoto Contemporary Gallery about their latest exhibition, Quarantine by artist Scott Listfield — who is known for his paintings featuring a lone exploratory astronaut lost in a landscape cluttered with pop culture icons, corporate logos and tongue-in-cheek science fiction references.
The gallery is walking distance from my home, so I made an appointment to see these enigmatic and compelling paintings in person. I was the only person in the gallery at the time of my visit, which made the experience even more powerful. To say that Scott Listfield’s work encourages imaginative extrapolation is an understatement.
Frank Burns, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Pope Francis Are Just a Few of the Franks You’ll See Outside Dirty Franks Bar! (All Photos By Gail)
Dirty Franks a local dive bar in Philadelphia that dates back to prohibition. Geoffrey and I countered it as a stop on our hours-long walk of the city’s Mural Mile tour, which takes you through many different neighborhoods in search of unique street art, public artworks and memorable landmarks. Dirty Franks stands out for the murals painted on its multiple façades, which depict the likenesses of famous Franks. The mural was designed by David McShane, painted originally in 2001, and restored with additions in 2015.
Frank Sinatra, St Francis and Actor Frank Morgan from The Wizard Of Oz
Most of the Franks are quite iconic, so they are easy to identify, but some (such as the Philadelphia Phillies player seen in the top photo) I did not know.
Frank in a Bun and Aretha Franklin (RIP)
Aretha Franklin had recently passed when we visited Philly so it was nice to see her represented. RIP, First Lady of Soul!
Ben Franklin and Frankie Avalon
French Franc Coin, Frank Oz, Frank Perdue and an Unidentified Frank
You could make it into a fun game: Spot The Frank!
The Mural at Dirty Franks is Sponsored by the City of Philadelphia, Mural Arts Program. Dirty Frank’s is Located at 347 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
Hey whats up. I don’t know about you but, without getting into the gory details, my brain is about to explode from the non-stop, mortifying horrorshow that passes for news in this crazy world in which we now find ourselves living. Sigh. This morning, I would enjoy watching some colorful animated images bounce around on my eyeballs while thoroughly delightful pop music plays in the background. I found this hallucination-inducing clip from the band Hippo Campus (which is a part of your brain) buried in my inbox. I dig it. Maybe get yourself some pancakes while you check out this tune called “Buttercup,” which comes from the group’s debut album, Landmark, out now on Grand Jury Music. Enjoy!
The New York Botanical Garden’s annual Holiday Train Show just closed for the season this past weekend, so if you missed it, there’s always next year! I had the chance to check it out with a friend on the Saturday when we had that amazing snow storm here in the city, and it was a pretty sweet time. The Train Show — which is about so much more than just model trains — takes place inside the enchanting setting of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, where you can travel back in time, it seems; wandering through miniature landscapes featuring more than 150 scaled iconic buildings, private mansions (many of which do not exist today) and other structures which stretch out amid the plants, under thousands of twinkling lights through various rooms of the conservatory. Also, there are model trains, but they are not necessarily the show stoppers!
Inside the glass domed conservatory is an authentic city in miniature, where famed New York architecture is recreated using bark, leaves, and other natural materials. The recent exhibition had expanded since the previous year, with more trains, an all-new Queensboro Bridge, and a true New York finale featuring a whimsical tribute to the iconic Coney Island amusement park’s architecture and attractions, which was one of my favorite assign with cluster of some of NYC’s most iconic, landmark towers.
Here’s another view of the section which featured the NY Stock Exchange, the Flatiron and Chrysler Buildings, the Empire State Building and, up front, Rockefeller Center.
There was even a miniature replica of the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, flanked by the gold statue of Prometheus, who represents the ancient Greek legend of the Titan, bringing fire to mankind. And I even managed to get a train in this picture — not always easy to do, as they can zoom by quite quickly!
Find out more about the NYBG Holiday Train Show, and start planning your visit for late 2017, at This Link!
Ziegfeld Theater Exterior the Morning after Winter Storm Jonas (All Photos By Gail)
The legendary Ziegfeld Theater closed its doors for good on Thursday, January 28th with a 10 PM sold-out showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What a way to go!
We’d heard the rumor for just over a week that the place would be shutting down to be renovated into an event space, so Geoffrey wisely suggested we head over for a matinee of Star Warson the day after Winter Storm Jonas dumped two feet of snow on the city. It proved to be a good call, because I had, for whatever reaosn, never been there before. Better late than never, you aren’t kidding.
Creating haunting representations of iconic LES storefronts, California-based artist Brett Amory puts a surrealist spin on paintings done in the classic style of Edward Hopper.
Jonathan LeVine is currently hosting Amory’s third solo show at the gallery, entitled This Land Is Not For Sale: Forgotten, Past and Foreseeable Futures, and it is pretty sweet.
Economy Candy, Detail
In This Land is Not For Sale, Amory paints a visually gorgeous protest against the transformation of New York’s famed Lower East Side into a gentrified wasteland — something that you will hear NYC natives and long-time residents moan about on a weekly basis, as one landmark neighborhood treasure after another gets bulldozed to make way for a Starbucks or faceless chain store.
Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery
Brett Amory first earned international critical acclaim for his Waiting series: urban settings such as London and San Francisco portrayed as lonely abstracted landscapes of vanishing human assertion.
Cup & Saucer
Pyramid Club, Still Located on Avenue A
This new series offers viewers an insider’s historical road map of East Village radical underground sensibility, from ABC NO RIO and The Nuyorican Poets Cafe to the headquarters of The Catholic Worker, The Pyramid Club and even Moshe’s Bakery.
Amory not only captures the breathtaking physical presence of these neighborhood landmarks but also movingly conveys the sense of the artist as witness. By delivering a painterly personal testimony and protest against the disappearance of these businesses, his work is an example of painting as real-time archaeological retrieval.
The artist’s foremost achievement in paintings, drawings and installations has been to document evolving personal, existential and political credo into masterfully rendered, aesthetically transcendent works of fine art with broad cosmopolitan appeal. In This Land Is Not For Sale he gives his most pointed evidence yet of his urgent need to merge his personal and social consciousness with the unsparing aesthetic demands of his art.
This one is my absolute favorite.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Amory has installed a faux construction site underpass leading to the gallery to parody the constant sledgehammering of gentrification. The show will also include the documentary ‘Captured’, the story of LES legendary photographer Clayton Patterson, as well as a display of LES posters and other neighborhood marginalia.
Brett Amory chats with a fan at last week’s Opening Reception
Brett Amory’s This Land is Not for Sale: Forgotten, Past and Foreseeable Futures will be on Exhibit Through November 14th, 2015, at Jonathan Levine Gallery, Located at 557C West 23rd Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.