The comprehensive Yayoi Kusama exhibit, Kusama Cosmic Nature, runs through October 2021 at the New York Botanical Garden, and it’s all kinds of crazy fun to explore. The garden recently added one of the legendary Japanese artist’s super popular immersive Infinity Mirrored Rooms to the mix, and for just $10 you get a whopping 45 seconds to enjoy the light show and take as many insta-worthy photos as you can: not much time really to work on your composition, but was it work it? Oh yeah! Especially since purchasing these limited-availbilty tickets in advance means pretty short lines as compared to the time I nearly crippled myself waiting to get into one of these things for three hours. Ugh, never again.
Going shopping in your closet: it is a thing. I have not had to buy a gift for anyone since the beginning of Covid life since I keep finding new shit I forgot I owned hiding inside bags in my closet. Just being serious.
Case in point: I was looking for something to re-gift for a friend’s upcoming Birthday when I discovered these awesome Flying Pig String Lights hiding at the bottom of a bag of old tights, of all places. I have a vague memory of receiving them from my sister for Christmas several years ago, and I can guess that the only reason they were not put up in the Chickpad immediately is that I already had a set of Pig String Lights (recently retired to storage) hanging over the exact book shelf where these now reside.
In the first week of December, I was invited to a fantastically fun Tree Trimming Party at The Norwood House, a private Arts and Culture club located in a multi-story townhouse on West 14th Street in Manhattan. The club is filled with beautiful contemporary artworks, rare collectibles and antiques, and eye-catching oddities throughout its many rooms. While I was exploring, I spotted this string of large, irregularly-shaped colored lights, which were draped around a bust nestled on a stairway landing, and they grabbed my attention right away. Because, colored lights.
A close examination revealed that the lights are made from a variety of empty plastic bottles, which have been dyed a spectrum of colors and fitted through the bottom with a single light in each. Crafty!
Is this a likeness of Rasputin? Who knows!
I did some Googling to see if I could find instructions on how to make this specific style of upcycled plastic bottle lights, but I was unsuccessful in my quest. Perhaps you can scrutinize these pictures to figure it out for yourself! Good luck!
Are Unicorns still trending? Who cares! Are you perhaps even a grown adult women who needs to own Pink Unicorn String Lights for her bedroom or bathroom? Well, here you go! And at only $8.00, what a bargain!
Spotted in the Flying Tiger Store on Third Avenue at 73rd Street in NYC.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957 – 1996) was an active member of the artist collective Group Material (1979 – 1996), which supported an agenda of feminism, civil rights and gay rights in a time of increasing political conservatism. His own understated installations consist of everyday materials such as light bulbs, newspapers, and candy, and address concerns both wholly personal and universal – impermanence, love, loss, and the cyclical nature of life. With Untitled (Toronto), 1992, Gonzalez-Torres has imbued light bulbs, common utilitarian objects, with poetic significant. The lifespan of each bulb, like that of a person, is of a particular duration and will ultimately burn out.
Photographed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Circle Portal A By Keith Sonnier (All Photos By Gail)
Maccarone Gallery is currently hosting Portals, 14 new wall-mounted neon sculptures by artist Keith Sonnier. Sonnier’s by-now iconic work is emblematic of a generation of artists who sought to liberate the artistic encounter from the formal constraints of Modernism to produce a sensory and emotional experience that also extended beyond the Spartan affect of Minimalism. The category of post-Minimalism, however, does not adequately describe both the unique wit and visceral impact that Sonnier’s work displays.
In his latest series, Sonnier take the orphic allegory of the portal and explores its many different historical manifestations. Whether the portal serves as an entrance or an exit, the plane itself is a threshold — a doorway that contains both birth and termination. Taking this metaphor to its logical end, the works in Portals can be thought of as doorways to various different periods in human design — whether it be the neoclassical extension of a line into space or Romanesque arcading, each work is a luminous referent to specific architectural pathways.
The artist also displays a perversely delightful humor with the libidinous allegory of the portal as human orifice. Neon phallic protrusions punctuate the joints of these architectural gates, playing at the double-entendre embedded in the show’s title. Sonnier challenges the two-dimensionality of neon sculpture through twisting spatial arcs and juts that demand that the viewer change his or her own perspective to deduce what components of the work are exiting or entering. This tension between penetration and accommodation gives each work a wry corporeal undertone that is simultaneously abstracted by architectural allusions. Sonnier evokes art, the body, and architectural history in this polysemous suite of neon works.
Palermo Portal Detail
Here are a few of out favorite pieces from this fun show!
Wall Portal B
Gallery View from the Opening Reception!
Foreground: Wall Extension B. Background: Helmut Portal
Above and below are, I think studies for Sonneir’s sculptures.
Dough Boy A and Wink
Circle Portal B
Portals by Keith Sonnier will be on Exhibit Through December 19th, 2015 at Maccarone Gallery, Located at 630 Greenwich Street, NYC 10014.