Famous for his depictions of modernist icons such as the Brooklyn Bridge, the Italian-born Joseph Stella immigrated to New York in 1896. There, he produced Cubo-Futurist compositions of the city that captured the tempo and dynamism of urban life. In later years, however, Stella returned to Italy and focused increasingly on religious themes. In The Virgin (1926) the Virgin Mary appears against a dense array of fruits and flowers — common symbols of fertility — with a view of the Bay of Naples in he background. Reinterpreting Italian Renaissance altarpieces through a brightly saturated palette and bold modeling of form, Stella’s Madonna embodies the early twentieth-century interest in region and spirituality.
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 BoeskyGallery, 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, 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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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!
Above Creatures Left to Right: Blue Reed, Ball Lewitt, Centripeter Shire
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.
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.
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.
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.
Note the prototype Cone Bra-Wearing Teddy Bear, which set a precedent for many Cone Bras to Come!
Detail from the photo above. This was one of my favorite outfits in the entire exhibit.
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.
Let the Homoeroticism Begin!
Madonna in Her Gaultier-Designed Iconic Gold Corset
The walls of this gallery are covered floor to ceiling in quilted, champagne colored satin. Very nice!
This is what the gallery looks like with people in it.
Various scents of JPG Cologne in the now Iconic Bottle!
Outfits designed for Beth Ditto of The Gossip!
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.
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.
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.
Close Up of Mannequin’s Face
You can see the Sacred Heart of Mary Influence in all of these designs
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.
John Paul Gaultier Welcomes you to his exhibit.
Above and Below JPG’s Signature Sailor-Themed Designs
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:
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.
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!
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!
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:
But within half an hour the place looked more like this:
Photo by Cojo of ArtSucks.com
Here are photos of some of my favorite art from the show!
Click on any image to enlarge for detail.
These tiny paintings have the look of classic oil portraits.
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.
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.