Tag Archive | Marilyn Monroe

Eye On Design: Bocca Sofa

Bocca Sofa
Photos By Gail

The iconic Bocca Sofa (also unofficially known an the Lips Sofa) was created by the radical Italian design team Studio 65 for the famed Italian manufacturers Gufram back in 1972. Based on an original design by none other than Surrealist Salvador Dali, who took Mae West as his inspiration, Studio 65 looked to that other iconic beauty, Marilyn Monroe, to create this famous sofa. Both Studio 65 and Gufram are known for being places where the art world and design world collided, and their kaleidoscopic fusion of pop art, conceptual art and modernist design reached their zenith with this piece.

The voluptuous Bocca Sofa has gone down as a design classic, the perfect blend of playfulness and serious design. It goes without saying that it’s a statement piece, as this sofa would dominate the design scheme of any living room. At a sizable 83 inches in width, the Bocca will comfortably seat three and, despite its artsy background, it retains excellent functionality, being both extremely comfortable and coated with easy to clean polyurethane, while an inner frame of chromium plated steel lends solidity and quality. A guaranteed conversation starter, this is a sofa that expresses a bold personality through its design. (Source)

Bocca Sofa

Photographed at R & Company, Located at 64 White Street, NYC.

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Final Week to See Sam Tufnell’s Inappropriation at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery

Sam Tufnell Installation View
All Photos By Gail

Some art is just better in the dark. I discovered the completely enchanting artworks of Sam Tufnell this year at the Context Art Fair and was instantly delighted by his vibrantly-colored, translucent sculptures of pop culture subjects that sit on illuminated pedestals. Fantastic.

Marilyn Bust

When I heard about Inappropriation, Tufnell’s current exhibit over at Castle Fitzjohn Gallery, I knew I had to bring you some serious photos and news of this cool happening. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am a little bit late to the game at this point, and now we are in the final week of the exhibit, so there is no time to waste! Get thee to Castle Fitzjohns, post haste!

Rainbow Darth Vader Heads

Sam Tufnell is a graduate of the SVA, who exploded on to the art scene a few years ago with his unique style of visually appealing, yet intrinsically satirical, illuminated sculpture. After selling out consistently at major art fairs, his first Museum show last year (where a piece was stolen!), a collaboration with the New Museum, numerous public installations, such as Gnome Mountain (which I have also seen referred to as “Gnomes on the Mountain”) not to mention — but you can see I am about to —  his works becoming a hot item with major collectors, Castle Fitzjohns decided it was time for a full on solo show, and  Inappropration was born.

Same Tufnell Clear Work

Sam Tufnell Rainbow

Sam Tufnell Pink Detail

Tufnell has created a totally immersive illuminated environment that encompasses the full gallery space. Viewing the work in this unlit setting, it becomes an almost HD experience from a visual perspective. The subject matter of these works encompass a mini-retrospective of the different series that have been been a hit for the artist over his career, as well as new works created just for the show.

Same Tufnell Multicolored Work

Same Tufnell Detail

Sam Tufnell Alien

Tufnell’s cast resin works are almost otherworldly to see scattered across a full, darkened gallery setting. The translucent plastic, gathered in assemblages of the strange objects that our culture creates and leaves behind — crumpled cans, Darth Vader heads, Batman figurines, booze bottles, coffee cups, toys and small scale busts of Marilyn Monroe, Jesus and Benjamin Franklin — create a remarkable beauty with their tones of dayglo pink and yellow, blue and green, like a random commentary on the modern world crafted in Jello. It reminded me of Mike Kelley’s expansive Superman Origin Story that was up at Hauser & Wirth a couple of years ago. If you saw that exhibit, you will understand the comparison.

Sam Tufnell

Sam Tufnell Pink Monster

Sam Tufnell’s Inappropriation Will Be On View Through June 30th, 2017 at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery, Located at 98 Orchard Street, Just South of Delancey, in NYC.

Sam Tufnell Installation View

Sam Tufnell

Sam Tufnell Gnomes

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Brainwashed: New Works and Old Favorites By Mr. Brainwash at Taglialatella Galleries

Installation View with Horse
All Photos By Gail

You might recall that last summer we made three or four unsuccessful attempts (before finally lucking out with our timing) to see the massive Mr. Brainwash Life is Beautiful pop-up exhibit, which was located under the High Line at 14th Street for a few months. Seriously, that shit was just never, ever open.

New York Word

Fortunately, this summer’s Mr. Brainwash “Happening” is at a legitimate art gallery with a real address and clearly-posted hours of operation and everything! Yay! In fact, Brainwashed, which opened at Taglialatella Galleries on August 18th, unofficially christened the gallery’s new two-level, 5,000 square foot space at 229 Tenth Avenue, adjacent to its long-time home at 231Tenth Avenue (between 23rd and 24th). The new space is being treated as a pop-up venue until the gallery takes over full occupation of the new building in November.

Smile
Smile!

Cold beverages for the evening were provide by Stella Artois, who has partnered with the gallery for future events, to make sure we can get a buzz on while enjoying the art! Stella!

Stella Artois Print

The Stella Artois brand identity could be seen on various exhibited artworks, and the new collection also features an exclusive, limited-edition Stella Artois print, available only at Taglialatella Galleries.

Beatles 1965
Beatles 1965

Beatles 1966
Beatles 1966

Hey look: Brainwash is still making portraits of (mostly dead) Rock Stars from bits of broken vinyl records. It. Never. Gets. Old.

Bucket Heart
Bucket Heart

Here’s what’s great about a Mr. Brainwash exhibit: Just because we’ve seen it all before doesn’t mean it’s not fun to see it all again! Also: free alcohol!

Maxspray
Maxspray

This piece references the classic ’80s Maxell Tape ad (the UK version of which featured Peter Murphy of Bauhaus – TRIVIA!) and mashes it up with the iconic Brainwash-ala-Warhol Campbell’s Soup Spray Can. So. Many. Influences.

Pink Kate Moss
Pink Kate Moss

It’s interesting to note that this sparkly portrait of Supermodel  Kate Moss veryvery closely resembles the work of Russell Young, who’s also occasionally represented by Taglialatella.

Marilyn
Marilyn

Even though I could easily live without ever, ever again seeing this ubiquitous portrait of Marilyn Monroe appropriated and recycled for the million-billionth time by any artist, I do like the soft pastel colors on this version. He has another with colors that recall the cover of that Police album, the title of which I am too lazy to look-up. You know the one I am talking about, though.

David Bowie
David Bowie as Aladdin Sane

Bowie, yeah, I like it.

More Art Upstairs

There’s More Art Upstairs! Also, Pinkness!

Brainwash Kitchen

Someone needs to give this kitchen a good scrubbing.

Mickey and Lennon

Mickey Mouse made of recycled vintage tin signage. Just behind him, John Lennon gets another vinyl record treatment.

Stella Spray

Brainwashed will run through October 16th, 2016.

Store Front

Modern Art Monday Presents: Rosalyn Drexler, Marilyn Pursued By Death

Marilyn Pursued By Death
Marilyn Pursued by Death, 1963 (Photo By Gail)

Roslyn Drexler (b. 1926) is usually associated with Pop art, but her work often explores the darker backstories and seedier manifestations of postwar media culture and gender roles. She clipped her subjects from printed materials — here, a news photograph of Marilyn Monroe fleeing the paparazzi with her bodyguard in tow — then enlarged and collaged them onto canvas, and painted over the image. In the artist’s words, her source images were “hidden but present, like a disturbing memory.” On the day that this source photograph was taken in 1956, Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller were to announce their upcoming marriage; in the frenzy to cover the event, a car carrying reporters crashed, killing at least one member of the press. Drexler’s painting is an eerie evocation of the sometimes tragic results of our society’s insatiable desire for celebrity news.

Photographed at the Whitney Museum in NYC.

Pop Culture Icons Get Dissected in Nychos’ IKON, at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Dissection of Spock
Dissection of Spock, 2016, By Nychos (All Photos By Gail)

The Vienna, Austria-based artist known as Nychos has many admirable qualities: mad talent, an appreciation for his fans, and an uncanny resemblance to Mexican actor / heartthrob Gael Garcia Bernal. It was certainly a pleasure to meet him, look at his fun art and gaze into his face at the reception for his new series of deconstructed Pop Art portraits, IKONS — which opened at Jonathan LeVine over Pride Weekend.

Dissection of Marilyn, Dissection of Tweety
Left: Dissection of Marilyn, Right: Dissection of Tweety

For IKONS, Nychos chose well-known subjects that include cartoon characters, Superheroes, and celebrities, both living and dead, whose likenesses have become ubiquitous. Looking for a new way to approach portraiture, the artists then “reveals” his subjects in a brutal and clinically precise fashion:  dissecting the face, and sometimes the entire body, and layering the parts in a grotesquely cartoonish array. The results are absolutely captivating and ripe with dark humor.

Dissection of Spiderman
Dissection of Spiderman

I love the graceful sense of motion that you see in the above rendering of Spiderman.

Barbie Meltdown
Barbie Meltdown

In the case of Barbie, and the Staypuft Marshmallow Man (below), the character’s inner workings are revealed as the flesh melts away as if they had been dipped in an acid bath.

Marshmallow Meltdown
Marshmallow Meltdown

Dissection of Lemmy
Dissection of Lemmy

This one of Lemmy is really great. Geoffrey kept saying how much Nychos‘ work reminded him of Alex Grey, which I can also see on a very basic level, though not enough to assume he is an influence.

Nychos at Reception
Nychos Signs for a Fan at Saturday’s Reception

Dissection of Supermario
Dissection of Supermario

Nychos has also contributed a mural to this years’ edition of the Coney Art Walls on Stillwell Avenue in Brooklyn, adjacent to Luna Park. We are looking forward to checking that out!

IKON By Nychos will be on Exhibit Through July 23rd, 2016 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Dissection of Darth Vader's Head
Dissection of Darth Vader’s Head

Dissection of Batman, Arnie Meltdown
Left: Dissection of Batman, Right: Arnie Meltdown

Limited Runs Presents the Marilyn Monroe Red Velvet Collection

Marilyn Monroe Red Velvet Series
Marilyn Monroe Red Velvet Series By Tom Kelley, 1949 (All Post Photos By Gail)

There would probably be little argument that Marilyn Monroe is the most legendary and iconic Hollywood Movie Star to have ever lived. Countless contemporary artists — from Andy Warhol to Ron English, Ad Infinitum — have captured and re-appropriated her likeness into their own works, and her image still turns heads wherever it appears. While she did not have a long life, she certainly has achieved immortality in a sense. Limited Runs, a company that specializes in Classic Hollywood and other Fine Art Photography has just released the Marilyn Monroe Red Velvet Collection, which  features her famous nude shots circa 1949 that originally appeared on promotional calendars. Now you can all own prints of these gorgeous photographs that were at one time so controversial, they had to be “dressed” in superimposed lingerie in order to be sent through the mail.

Marilyn Monroe Red Velvet Series Calendar

Above is an example one of these calendars, where Monroe’s breasts have been blocked out to avoid being labeled as pornography — pretty hilarious when you consider the types of fashion photography and figure modeling that has become acceptable, and even mainstream, in the past 70 or so years. One of the Red Velvet poses made her the first Playboy Sweetheart — the prototype for the centerfold-featured Playmates who would follow in years to come.

I had the chance to see this series in person at a reception held by the 360 Design Gallery in Tribeca, where they were on view for only two days as part of a 2015 Summer Tour, which traveled to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago and finally New York.   It’s easy to forget how stunning and arguably perfect-looking Monroe  was a until you see photos like this and remember that she was really and truly an original.

Marilyn Monroe By Gene Lester

The series  is also features a number of candid shots of Monroe, such as these captured in 1954 by photographer Gene Lester while she was on a cigarette break during filming of one of her movies.

Marilyn Monroe By Gene Lester

Marilyn Monroe By Gene Lester

This one, which captures multiple reflections, is really fantastic.

Marilyn Monroe Birthday Cake 1960

Marilyn Monroe, Birthday Cake, 1960 (Photographer Unknown)

This one is also amazing.

Marilyn Monroe Jane Russell Howard Hawks

Here she is with co-star  Jane Russell and Director Howard Hawks during the filming of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in 1953.

See the full collection and buy online at Limited Runs Dot Com.

Preview: Russell Young’s Fame/Shame at Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, Reception September 17th

Red Elvis
All Photos By Gail

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 17th (6-8pm) 

Bertrand Delacroix Gallery is thrilled to announce FAME/SHAME, a one-time special collaboration between the gallery and famed British artist Russell Young. The artist is internationally renowned for his colorful enamel screen-print paintings of celebrities, often coated in shimmering diamond dust. In Anna Wilding’s documentary on the artist, he states:

“My art is best described as fame and shame.”

This is exemplified in this exhibition’s mix of glamorous celebrity photos and mug shots.

Morrison Pacino

Young’s signature technique combines painting and photography to produce a unique effect. He sources the photographs from newspaper cuttings, auctions, celebrities themselves and even police departments.

Michael Jackson

Afterwards, he is intimately involved in every step of the screen-printing process. In fact, he is known for his sensational silk-screen performances, where he often signs his work with his own blood.

Pink Marilyn

In 2007, he started to incorporate diamond dust into his work, a process, which not only distinguishes his work but also makes each piece unique as the crystals are individually applied. The final results are bold and provocative representations of American media. The iconic pop portraits capture the glamour, pain and anguish that come with being in the public eye. They do not seek to simply idealize the famous but to question the culture of fame and its effect on both those who attain it and those who worship it.

Barbarella

Born in York, England in 1959, Young studied photography, film and graphic design at the Chester Art College and then attended Exeter Art College. Afterwards, he moved to London and gained recognition photographing R.E.M., the The Smiths, Morrissey, Bjork, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and Paul Newman during the late 1970’s.

Frank Sinatra Mug Shot

Afterwards, the artist transitioned into the music industry, where he directed over 100 major music videos for MTV during the 1990s. In September 2000, while living in New York City, Young started to focus on his passion for art and painting. It was at this time that he first collaborated with BDG founder Bertrand Delacroix and master printer Luther Davis, of Axelle Editions in Brooklyn, New York – a sister company to BDG. He began to create the enamel screen-print paintings on linen of celebrities. Davis remains the only printer that Young works with on his art and the artist remained close friends with Bertrand Delacroix until Delacroix’s passing in 2015. This exclusive 3-week collaboration celebrates this long-standing partnership.

Jimi Hendrix

Young has established himself as one of the most collected artists of our time; his work has been shown in London, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, Detroit, Miami and Los Angeles and is in the private collections of President Barack Obama, David Bowie, David Hockney, Marc Jacobs as well as in the Saatchi Gallery in London, the Polk Museum in Florida and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. His works have sold at auction in the US and UK through Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips de Pury.

Red Bowie

The artist currently resides in California. He will attend the opening reception on Thursday, September 17th.

Russell Young’s Fame/Shame will be on Exhibit Through September 29th, 2015 at Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, Located at 535 West 25th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Fame Shame Signage

Mick Jagger