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.
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.
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!
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.
Hey look: Brainwash is still making portraits of (mostly dead) Rock Stars from bits of broken vinyl records. It. Never. Gets. Old.
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!
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
It’s interesting to note that this sparkly portrait of Supermodel Kate Mossveryvery closely resembles the work of Russell Young, who’s also occasionally represented by Taglialatella.
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 as Aladdin Sane
Bowie, yeah, I like it.
There’s More Art Upstairs! Also, Pinkness!
Someone needs to give this kitchen a good scrubbing.
Mickey Mouse made of recycled vintage tin signage. Just behind him, John Lennon gets another vinyl record treatment.
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.
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
I love the graceful sense of motion that you see in the above rendering of Spiderman.
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.
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 Signs for a Fan at Saturday’s Reception
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
James Rosenquist (born November 29, 1933) is among my favorite living American artists. Rosenquist’s large-scale paintings reflect the flat, uniform, and graphic style of the commercial billboards he made while working as a sign painter. Later, as a visual artist, Rosenquist drew inspiration from advertising and mass media. Many of his works are based on found images from magazines, collaged together and reproduced at a large scale, powerfully juxtaposing people, objects, visual symbols, visual texture and text to create new and sometimes cryptic meanings.
Rosenquist painted the above work, Marilyn Monroe, I (Oil and Spray Enamel on Canvas) in 1962. Gripped by the suicide of the screen icon and sex symbol, he created a stylized, fragmented, and inverted portrait of Monroe interwoven and superimposed with disjointed parts of Marilyn’s name, image, and the trademark script of the Coca-Cola logo. By fragmenting Monroe’s image and combining her with another popular product, Rosenquist comments on how the late actress’s life and career had been co-opted and consumed by her superstar status (Source).
Marilyn Monroe, I resides in the permanent collection of NYC’s Museum of Modern Art.
Albert Einstein with Euclid’s Elements Diptych (All Photos By Gail)
You can say this much about art exhibits comprised of Portraits of Pop Culture Icons: EVERYBODY DOES IT. Seriously, Ev-Ree-Bah-Dee. What keeps an exhibit of Pop Culture Portraiture from being a total yawnfest is the defining twist that the artist puts on his or her work (see Erik den Breejen’sThere’s a Riot Goin’ On at Freight and Volume for an excellent example of what I’m talking about).
So, it’s a huge relief that David Datuna’s Elements – the artist’s eighth solo show at Birnam Wood Galleries – is a portrait-based exhibit with one of the coolest visual spins I’ve ever seen. Although from a distance it appears that each image is mounted behind a layer of marbled glass, on close inspection you can see that Datuna has employed a unique conceptual device of layered optical lenses to focus and diffuse his distinct visual imagery. Talk about Ways of Seeing!
Detail from Above Portrait
According to the exhibit’s press release, the title Elements is taken from the centerpiece of the show, a diptych that pairs Albert Einstein with Euclid’s Elements, the seminal work of mathematics written in the third century BC. Described as the second most widely published book after the Bible, the book’s findings underpin much of logic and modern science. Its influence is immense. Einstein said it kindled his interest in science. Abraham Lincoln insisted it was the most influential book of his life.
I love the little details Datuna adds, such as printing amd framing Andy Warhol in bright yellow, a color that Warhol used often in his own signature silkscreen portraits of celebrities.
David Datuna’s Elements is definitely worth adding to your next Art Crawl. Just make sure you schedule it before June 7th.