Tag Archive | Madonna

The Haas Brothers Madonna at Marianne Boesky Gallery

Michelle O Palma
Michelle O Palma, Marble Sculpture (All Photos By Gail)

The last time I can recall entering an art exhibit that completely transported me to another world, I think I was here, or even here. So, yeah, it’s been a while. I nearly missed Madonna — not the pop star, but the first solo exhibition of work by The Haas Brothers — at Marianne Boesky Gallery, but I made a special trip after work just a few days before the exhibit closed on October 26th, because I knew, if the photos I’d seen were any indication, that I’d regret not having the opportunity to experience this whimsical group of flora and fauna in person. Even better: I had the gallery all to myself!

Madonna Installation View
Madonna, Installatation View

Madonna, which is also the title of the central figure in the gallery, features a new collection of beaded sculptures, created at a wide range of scales, from the intimate to the monumental, as well as two large-scale sculptures made with Portuguese Pele de Tigre marble.

Haas Brothers Pink Creature
Mouth-ew Broderick

The amazingly fun exhibition captures The Haas Brothers’ increasing interest in exploring nature and spirituality as part of their deep commitment to material experimentation and traditional craft techniques, while also encapsulating their vision of collaborative artmaking.  Since founding The Haas Brothers in 2010, brothers Nikolai (Niki) and Simon have been guided by a vision of creative experimentation, spurning perceived artistic boundaries and embracing instead the limitlessness of imagination and innovation.

Installation View

In the signature spirit of The Haas Brothers’ presentations, Madonna truly immerses viewers into an otherworldly realm, where fantastical animals and odd hybrids reside. Here, colorful sculptures and objects that resemble futuristic creatures are positioned among seemingly rare tropical plants, and connected into a cohesive environment through undulating platforms. Being amongst these creatures felt like I was exploring a natural history museum populated with fairytale beasts!

Haas Brothers Creatures
Deville Wakefield and Worm-man Miller

The featured works capture the Brothers’ wide-ranging artistic processes, from intricate beading techniques to monumental stonework to the incorporation of woven elements, and produce an incredibly tactile and evocative experience. The exhibition also highlights the artists’ diverse collaborations, including with workshops in California, South Africa, and Portugal, and encapsulates their deep engagement and support for those working in traditional craftsmanship.

Lanky Doodle Dandy
Lanky Doodle Dandy

The Haas Brothers were first introduced to beading in 2015, when they met a group of women artisans selling beadworks in a craft market in Cape Town, South Africa. They were enamored with both the complexity of the technique and the incredible artistry in the women’s work. Seizing the serendipity of the moment, the pair established a collaboration with the artisans, which led to the development of the Afreaks series, a group of beaded creatures that were shown at the Cooper Hewitt’s Design Triennial in 2016. Since then, this collaboration with the collective of women, who warmly go by The Haas Sisters, has grown and matured.

Two Creatures and Trees

Haas Brothers Pink Tree
Centurihanna

For Madonna, the collective supported the production of the featured beaded objects, guided by The Haas Brothers’ preparatory drawings, using a selection of Murano glass beads produced in Venice between 1880 and 1980, which the brothers purchased after the factory became defunct. As part of their work with different communities and artisans, The Haas Brothers establish fair pay systems that include both economic support for the creation of works as well as, in some instances, profit sharing from sales. That’s amazing!

Three Creatures
Above Creatures Left to Right: Blue Reed, Ball Lewitt, Centripeter Shire

Madonna Close Up

The beadwork in the exhibition is augmented by two sculptures made with Portuguese Pele de Tigre marble: The Madonna (above, which combines beadwork and carved marble) and the piece which is first visible upon entering the gallery, a partially-embedded stone palm (below) entitled Michelle O Palma. The Brothers first came to stone carving in their youth, learning from their father, artist Berthold Haas, and recently returned to the material. The solid, smooth, and monumental nature of the stone works provides a powerful counterpoint to the more delicate and finely detailed beadworks and highlights the range of The Haas Brother’s practice.

Haas Brother Giant Hand

Here too, community proves an important element, as The Haas Brothers’ engagement has helped spur the development of stone-carving as an economic engine at the quarry that they use.

Madonna Installation View
Installation View

Haas Brothers Creatures

Haas Brothers Blue Creature
Gator Tots

Haas Brothers Creatures
Dennis Eary and Green Latifah

Follow The Haas Brothers on Instagram Here: @thehaasbrothers!

Madonna Installation View

The Wack Donald’s Project By Mr. OneTeas

Wack Donalds Project Snow White
Photos By Gail

There sure was a lot of new street art to see in Williamsburg this past weekend, such as the McDonald’s-themed cartoon character parodies by a guy who calls himself Mr. OneTeas, dubbed The Wack Donald’s Project. Clever! The image of Snow White, above, was photographed on North 8th Street between Wythe and Bedford Avenues, while the images of Donald Duck and Sponge Bob are right by the stairs at the entrance to the L Train at Bedford and North 7th Street. I understand there is also a “Ronald Madonna” drawing, though I was not fortunate enough to come across that one.

Wack Donalds Project Sponge Bob Donald Duck

More Photos From The John Paul Gaultier Exhibit

Portrait of JP Gaultier
Photo/Portrait of Jean Paul Gaultier (All Photos By Gail)

As promised, here’s another stash of awesome photos from The Brooklyn Museum’s Jean Paul Gaultier Fashion Retrospective. These creations can be found in The Boudoir Gallery.

For background (the how and why, so to speak) information on the exhibit, please visit This Link.

Boudoir Pink Satin Outfit and Teddy Bear

Note the prototype Cone Bra-Wearing Teddy Bear, which set a precedent for many Cone Bras to Come!

Boudoir Pink Satin Outfit Detail

Detail from the photo above. This was one of my favorite outfits in the entire exhibit.

Boudoir Outfit with Umbrella and TV

Costumes Sketches for Madonna

It can be argued that Gaultier virtually created Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour persona with his elaborate corsets, bustiers and fetish-wear designed for the superstar and her dancers. Certainly there is ample evidence to that end on display here, in The Boudoir.

Costume Sketch for Madonna and Dancers
Let the Homoeroticism Begin!

Madonna Iconic Gold Corset
Madonna in Her Gaultier-Designed Iconic Gold Corset

Boudoir Gallery Champagne Satin Walls

The walls of this gallery are covered floor to ceiling in quilted, champagne colored satin. Very nice!

Boudoir Gallery with Crowd

This is what the gallery looks like with people in it.

Gaultier Colognes

Various scents of JPG Cologne in the now Iconic Bottle!

Outfits for Beth Ditto

Outfits designed for Beth Ditto of The Gossip!

Black Waistcoat and White Lace Gown

That White Lace dress is nice!

If these pics, and the ones posted previously, aren’t enough to inspire you to get your ass to the Brooklyn Museum for this exhibit, I have another set or two which will run probably next week. For logistical information (the when, where and how much) on the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit, please visit This Link.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk at the Brooklyn Museum

JPG Virgin Gowns
All Photos By Gail

If you’re a fan of costume and couture exhibits, and you thought that 2011’s Alexander McQueen exhibit, Savage Beauty (which dominated traffic at The Met for close to a year) was amazing, then your head will definitely explode when you see the Brooklyn Museum’s must-see extravaganza,The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. We arrived at the Brooklyn Museum not really knowing what to expect, and were so blown away by this expansive and wildly impressive exhibit that you can count on the 100 or so photographs I snapped during yesterday’s visit being spread out over several blog posts.

JPG Virgin Gowns
Photos Above and Below Examples of JPG Virgin Gowns

The exhibit is divided into six galleries and the photos in this post are from the very first gallery, The Odyssey, which is presented in the round. It includes three distinctive styles and is your introduction to the exhibit’s most unique and fun characteristics: facially emoting mannequins. These custom mannequins with interactive faces are created by high-definition audiovisual projections. To give you an example of what this phenomena actually looks like, it is very similar to the technology used at Disneyland for the Haunted Mansion, where a medium’s head encased within a crystal ball conducts a seance and headstones in the graveyard sing “Grim Grinning Ghosts.” Needless to say, it is extremely cool.

Talkign Mannequin Facial Close Up
Close Up of Mannequin’s Face

JPG Red Virgin Gown
You can see the Sacred Heart of Mary Influence in all of these designs

JPG Virgin Theme Gown

The Brooklyn Museum is the only East Coast venue for The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, the first international exhibition dedicated to the groundbreaking French couturier. Playful, poetic, and transformative, Gaultier’s superbly crafted and detailed garments are inspired by the beauty and diversity of global cultures.

Jean Paul Gaultier Mannequin
John Paul Gaultier Welcomes you to his exhibit.

JPG Sailor Outfits
Above and Below JPG’s Signature Sailor-Themed Designs

JPG Sailor Outfits

The remainder of the exhibit is divided into five additional custom galleries including The Boudoir, Skin Deep, Punk CanCan, Urban Jungle and Metropolis and features approximately 140 haute couture and ready to wear ensembles from the designer’s earliest to his most recent collections. Besides clothing ensembles you’ll see accessories, sketches, stage costumes, excerpts from films and documentation of runway shows, concerts, and dance performances, as well as photographs by fashion photographers and contemporary artists who stepped into Gaultier’s world, which explore how his avant-garde designs challenge societal, gender and aesthetic codes in unexpected ways.

Look at these cool gowns and designs inspired by Mermaids:

JPG Undersea Theme Gowns

JPG Gold Mermaid Outfit

JPG Undersea Theme Gowns

As I said, if you were Wowed by Savage Beauty, the Gaultier exhibit is equally impressive, while it lacks the extreme fetishism of the McQueen exhibit. And it goes without saying, but you can see I am about to, that it blows The Met’s uneven Chaos to Couture Punk Fashion exhibit completely out of the water. Check back during the week for more photos!

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is on Exhibit Through February 23rd, 2014 at the Brooklyn Museum, Located at 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052 (Take the 2 or 3 Trains to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum). The Exhibit is in the Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing and Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery on the 5th Floor. Admission to the Exhibit is $15 and is separate from General Admission to the Museum. Students with ID and Corporate Members Pay $10. Members see Gaultier for free. On-site ticket sales end at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and 9:00 PM on Thursday. Hours are Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Thursday: 11:00 AM –10:00 PM, Friday – Sunday: 11:00 AM– 6:00 PM.

Video Clip of The Week: “2025” by Until the Ribbon Breaks

It’s always a pleasure when the visual aspect of a video rises up to meet the quality of the song, or vice versa. Sadly this is not a given, but When the Ribbon Breaks, which I am lead to believe is just one guy, has created this lulling, startling visual montage with a comfortingly familiar retro-future feel that also manages to evoke a mild feeling of dystopia. Well played! The sound is what I’d call Electronic White Soul: Like Paul Young singing with Kraftwerk, if I can get old school with my references, as I am wont to do. Enjoy!

RIP Legendary Music Producer Phil Ramone

Phil Ramone
Image Source

Fourteen time Grammy winning record producer Phil Ramone passed away in New York today, March 30th, 2013. The cause of death has not yet been disclosed. Ramone was 72 years old (though I have seen two sources cite his age as 79, not sure where that is coming from as his year of birth is given as 1941). A brief list of artists Ramone worked with includes Burt Bacharach, Bono, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder. CNN has more information and celebrity remembrances in a nice obit at This Link. RIP, Phil!

Single Fare 3 Metrocard Art Exhibit at RH Gallery

Single Fare 3 Metrocard Art Exhibit
All Photos By Gail Except Where Noted

If you think that an artist would be creatively limited by being restricted to use of a canvas that’s only the size of a NYC Transit Metrocard, you’d be surprised! In an open call for artists, Single Fare 3 (the third in a series of semi-annual art exhibits whose only guideline is that the art must incorporate a Metrocard), Single Fare curators Jean-Pierre Roy and Michael Kagan were flooded with thousands of submissions for this year’s show at RH Gallery in Tribeca. The art ranges widely from classic portraiture, cartoons, sculpture, interactive pieces, famous people, pop culture references, Metrocards re-purposed as utilitarian objects, lots of nudes and even an old fashioned rotoscope device!

I was lucky to arrive early and be one of the first dozen people admitted to the gallery, when it looked like this:

Single Fare Sparse Crowd

But within half an hour the place looked more like this:

Single Fare 3 Heavy Crowd
Photo by Cojo of ArtSucks.com

Here are photos of some of my favorite art from the show!
Single Fare 3 Metrocard Art

Click on any image to enlarge for detail.

Single Fare 3 Metrocard Art
These tiny paintings have the look of classic oil portraits.

Single Fare 3 Metrocard Art
Little Monsters!

Single Fare 3 Metrocard Art
A little Neon Bling!

Single Fare 3 Metrocard Art Titanic
Various Scenes from the film Titanic

Single Fare 3 Metrocard Art Van Halen Lemmy Madonna
Eddie Van Halen, Lemmy, Madonna

Metrocard Art The Shining
Characters from The Shining

Metrocard Art 3D Sculptures
3D Metrocard Sculptures

Metrocard Art Nightlights
Metrocards Transformed Into Nightlights

Metrocard Art Eric Richardson
One of Two Pieces in the Show by Eric Richardson

Metrocard Art Kinetic Taxi Sculpture
Kinetic Taxi Sculpture

Metrocard Art Kinetic Pin Up Calendars
A Year of ’70s Pin Up Calendar Pages

Metrocard Art Flamingo
Flamingo

Metrocard Art Ouija Board
Ouija Board

Metrocard Art Subway Train
Subway Train!

Metrocard Art Various Shoes
Shoes!

Metrocard Art Monsters
More Little Monsters!

Metrocard Art With Pink Yarn Fringe
Metrocard With Pink Yarn Fringe

See more great photos of the show at Art Sucks Dot Com!

Single Fare 3 is On Exhibit Only Through February 22nd at RH Gallery, Located at 137 Duane Street in Tribeca, NYC (Just East of West Broadway. Take the 2 or 3 Trains to Chambers Street and Walk Uptown Two Blocks). Hours are Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 AM –7:00 PM.

Bacon Thing of the Day: Madonna Album Cover Parody


Madonna Loves Her Some Bacon!

OK, this is a fairly hilarious parody of the cover for Madonna’s CD, Hard Candy. See the original cover after the Jump!

Thanks to Tres and Geoffrey for the Image!

Continue reading

Nine Year Old Boy Lipsyncs and Dances to Madonna's "Vogue"

ME AT NINE, PERFORMING TO MADONNA IN SUMMER ’91! from Robert Jeffrey on Vimeo.

Back Story from Robert Jeffrey: I performed to Madonna’s “Vogue” in the Summer of 1991 when my parents took me to Hampton Beach Casino in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. A business in the casino at the time gave tourists the chance to lip-synch to their favorite pop songs in front of a blue screen background, and I was lucky enough to partake that summer. In honor of the twentieth anniversary of Madonna’s Truth Or Dare and in celebration of Madonna’s upcoming “W.E.,” here is my nine year old self paying tribute to the woman who changed my life and continues to inspire me just as much today as twenty years ago.

Best. Video. Ever. Enjoy the weekend everybody!

Rasputin Restaurant & Cabaret: A Taste of Russia!


Welcome to Rasputin! ( Image Source)

On the topic of a visit to Brooklyn’s famous Russian hotspot, Rasputin Restaurant & Cabaret, whether you read an online review or ask people who’ve been there what to expect, what you’ll likely hear is that you are in for a real “Experience” – capital E intentional. Rasputin successfully combines an evening of multi-course fine dining with a full sensory night of entertainment that progresses from live singers to a Las Vegas Style floor show to an afterhours disco inferno. Every step of the way you can immerse yourself in an authentic slice of Russian American culture.

Pomegranate Bliss Cocktail: Drink a few of these to start the night off right! (All Photos By Anne Raso)

Upon arriving, my friend Anne and I were greeted warmly by the manager, Serge, who promptly seated us at the “best seats in the house” –  one of two tables arranged at the front of a beautiful, horseshoe-shaped second floor balcony overlooking the stage, dance floor and all the diners down below. From where we sat, we felt like we were spying on a very lavish wedding feast and its accompanying reception; and though we were slightlyremoved from the immediate festivities (being seated away from the dance floor) we felt very much a part of the jubilant atmosphere permeating Rasputin on a Saturday night.  It did seem apparent that many people come to Rasputin specifically to celebrate a special occasion (birthday, anniversary or whatever), or at the very least to just enjoy dining with a large group of friends. With the plentiful food served family-style on huge platters, this place is the ideal venue for a one-stop festive evening of dining and dancing.

An evening at Rasputin is as much about the entertainment as it is about the food, and while the two take place simlutaneous, let’s get to the food first. Since there were just two of us, the restaurant staff tailored one of the simpler “banquet” menus to accommodate our small party. I would recommend dining at Rasputin with a minimum party of four, because this place definitely has a “the more the merrier” vibe, which is reflected in the menu’s array of “banquet” prix fix menus ranging in price and extravagance from The Noble Banquet, which we were served ($75 pp Friday and Sunday, $100 pp Saturdays and Special Events) up to the Banquet Rasputin ($145 pp Friday and Sunday, $165 Saturdays and Special Events). Each Banquet features literally dozens of dishes including appetizers, first and second courses, entrees and desserts – so no one is leaving hungry, that is for sure. They do offer an ala carte menu, but if you really want to taste a lot of different Russian foods, as we did,  you’ll get the best value by choosing one of the banquets. Drinks are another matter entirely. Anne and I cut ourselves off after two cocktails, but it is customary to order a bottle of vodka chilled on ice for the table and just let it flow freely throughout the evening.

Our first courses consisted of an array of mayonnaise-based salads such as potato salad with boiled eggs and vegetables, chicken salad studded with sliced grape tomatoes (seasoned with just a pinch cayenne pepper) and a delicious shredded crab salad served with boiled shrimp (pictured above). Of note was a delicious selection of Seared Ahi Tuna with a Sesame Seed Crust served with Creamy Wasabi Sauce that was absolutely mouthwatering. The hot foods were up next!

Yukon Gold Potatoes & Mushrooms a la Moscow were hearty and delicious.

Parisian Pierogi stuff with Mushrooms, Meat and Cheese. The flaky croissant pastry elevated these pierogis to a level above the boiled or fried variety that you’ll find at a Ukrainian diner such as Veselka.

Roasted Quail with Wild Rice: The bird was tiny but tender.

Next up: Lambchops and Chicken Kabob with Whipped Potatos. The chicken was super tender while the lamb came off the bone easily and was perfectly juicy. The fresh rings of raw onion added a kick of flavor.

A “light” dessert of mixed fresh fruit and mini, mousse filled pastries was challenging to sample because we were so stuffed from all of the delicious foods we’d already indulged in. Most of the portions could have easily fed two more people. Fortunately, our attentive waiters were happy to pack up most of our leftovers so that the feast could continue the next day.

And now, a few words about the entertainment!

The pre-show entertainment features a variety of talented nightclub singers who take turns performing solo or in duets, accompanied by a live guitarist and backed by prerecorded rhythm tracks. The two female singers performed what might have been Russian pop dance standards (we could not understand the lyrics but everyone in the place seemed to know the songs very well) mixed with American pop favorites, and even a medley of Gypsy Kings covers which packed the dance floor with energetic couples. The music was great and we were soon swept up in a feeling of celebration. It is easy to see that Rasputin is where many Russians go not only to be reminded of their home country, but also to seriously party!

Close to Midnight, it was time for the main event! The lights went down as projections on the screen behind the stage announced that we were about to be treated to “Pure Emotions.” Pure Emotions consisted of a series of elaborately costumed and choreographed musical dance numbers, meant to interpret various emotions, such as Joy, Love and Ecstasy among others. Despite the show’s overt cheese factor (think: Chris Angel), I have to admit it was a lot of fun! The dance numbers range from a traditional Russian dance by a lone male dancer to a quartet of dancers clad in black robes and white, glow-in-the-dark Phantom of the Opera-style face masks, to a group that Anne and I nicknamed the “Russian St. Pauli Girls,” who danced an upbeat routine to Madonna’s “Respect Yourself.” One of my favorite sections of Pure Emotions was entitled Ecstasy, where a stage full of dancing gypsy girls dressed in peasant blouses and full  skirts somehow managed to reveal layer upon layer of different colored fabric so that their skirts changed color  from black to green to red to a floral print as they danced. The finale, Triumph, was soundtracked by an earnest cover of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” and featured actual aerial acrobatics – not as impressive as Spiderman: Turn off The Dark, but still pretty cool!  

According to Michael Levitis, Vice-President of Entertainment and Marketing, and part of the family that owns the restaurant, “Rasputin is modeled after the leading Moscow cabarets and nightclubs.” We called it a night close to 2 AM with the disco dancing still in full swing, feeling that we had just experienced a little bit of Moscow’s nightlife in Brooklyn!

Rasputin is located at 2670 Coney Island Ave in Brooklyn, NY. Phone (718) 332-8111 for Reservations. Expect a well-dressed crowd and plan your wardrobe to impress!