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)
Photographed at R & Company, Located at 64 White Street, NYC.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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’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.
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. BrainwashLife 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.