Tag Archive | Mark Ryden

RIP NYC Gallerist Paul Kasmin

Claude LaLanne Apple Photo By Gail
Apple Sculpture By Claude LaLanne Photogpraphed at Paul Kasmin Gallery By Gail in January 2019

They say that celebrity deaths come in threes. This past week we said goodbye to playwright Terrence McNally, legendary Drummer Bill Rieflin and, on a local scale, NYC Gallerist and Photographer Paul Kasmin, whose renowned Chelsea galleries have provided Worleygig.com with amazing content for more than a decade. Having celebrated his 60th birthday in February, Kasmin was just one year older than me. Mark Ryden, Nir Hod, Will Ryman, Ian Davenport, Erik Parker, Ron Arad, Designer Mattia Bonetti, husband and wife artist team Les Lalannes, and Photographer David La Chapelle are just few of the eye-opening talents I was introduced to at various Kasmin Gallery shows. Geoffrey I had so many good times there.

Getty Sheep Station By Francois Lalanne 2013 Photo By Gail Worley
Getty Sheep Station By Francois Lalanne, September 2013

What follows is the gallery’s official statement on Paul’s passing:

It is with great sadness that we must give news of the loss of Paul Kasmin (19602020). Paul passed away early this morning, March 23, after a long period of illness.

Opening his first New York gallery in 1989, Paul devoted himself to a life celebrating art and artists. Those of us who have worked with Paul learned from his extraordinary eye for talent, his delight in the work of the artists he loved, and his rare sense of openness and generosity.

Paul took great pleasure in overseeing all aspects of the gallery until the very end, and it was his sincere wish, and in his plans, that his vision for Kasmin continue as ambitiously as ever.

In the last few years, Paul continued his lifelong passion for photography with renewed enthusiasm. Taking pictures of his family, friends, and the gallery artists and staff, he built a collective portrait of his artistic community. We invite you to view these works on our website, reflecting on the enormous contribution that Paul made to the arts during his lifetime.

Selections from Paul Kasmin’s photography portfolio can be viewed now via the Kasmin Gallery website at This Link. Thank you for all the great art, Paul, and Rest in Peace.

Mark Ryden Presents Whipped Cream at the Paul Kasmin Gallery

Dessert Counter
Dessert Counter By Mark Ryden (All Photos By Gail)

Good timing: it is a thing. Because we neglected to pay close attention to the unorthodox start time of the recent opening reception for Mark Ryden’s The Art of Whipped Cream exhibit at the Paul Kasmin Gallery, we arrived four minutes before they locked the doors behind us, and had to do a mad dash through the gallery to snap some photos for this post before they gave us the bum’s rush.

Mark Ryden Fans
Marky Ryden Fans Are Much Cooler Than You Are

The upside to our extreme tardiness is that gallery was nearly empty, and we were able to secure many decent, people-free photos! Winning!

Whipped Cream Installation View
Installation View

The Art of Whipped Cream features drawings, sketches and paintings created for the production of American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream. A concurrent exhibition of Ryden’s work for the ballet is running at Gallery Met, located at the Metropolitan Opera House, through July 8th, 2017.

Please enjoy our photos from the show!

Cotton Candy Curtain
Cotton Candy Curtain

Whipped Cream Drop
Whipped Cream Drop

Princess Praline and Her Entourage
Princess Praline and Her Entourage

Princess Praline Detail
Princess Praline, Detail

Parfait Man
Parfait Man

The Carriage
The Carriage



Church Tree Scrim
Church Tree Scrim

Installation View
Installation View

Plum Brandy

Mark Ryden: The Art of Whipped Cream will be on view through July 21st, 2017 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 515 West 27th Street,in the Chelsea Gallery District.

American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream will be Performed at the Metropolitan Opera House, NYC, Through July 8th, 2017. 

The Hospital
The Hospital

Nurse Corps de Ballet
Nurse Corps de Ballet

Dessert Counter Detail
Dessert Counter, Detail

I Went to Mark Ryden’s Dodecahedron Exhibit, And it Was Really Crowded

Aurora With Crowd
All Photos By Gail

Mark Ryden’s much-anticipated new exhibit, Dodecahedron, opened last Thursday at Paul Kasmin Gallery on 10th Avenue, and what a happening it was! A line of hardcore fans began snaking down the block 30 minutes before the doors even opened! Once we were let inside, promptly at 6 PM, it quickly became a mob scene and it was virtually impossible to get clear shots of any of the art, perhaps best exemplified by the photo above, where the epic, 12-foot high painting, Aurora, is obscured as high as 5 feet off the ground. It was evident that we would have to make a return trip for blogging purposes, which we did this weekend.

Dodecahedron Installation View

For this exhibition, Ryden created his first sculpture cast from bronze, entitled Self Portrait as a Dodecahedron. Measuring one meter in height, the work consists of twelve pentagonal panels that join together to form the show’s titular Dodecahedron. Each panel is individually cast and features images and motifs that have been prevalent throughout the artist’s oeuvre such as; the Tree, the Eye, the Fetus, the Bee, the Ammonite, and Abraham Lincoln.


Here are some shots of the Dodecahedron’s various faces.

Bee and Baby

Abe Lincoln


The gallery space in which the Dodecahedron sits also displays framed study drawings for many of the oil paintings in the exhibit, which are featured prominently in the front gallery.

Horned Baby

This one is my favorite. Ryden’s attention to detail is crazy great.

Dymaxion Principle
Dymaxion Principle

Rock Skirt
Rock Skirt

Girl Looking at Amoeba

The painting above is entitled Euglena, which refers not to the little girl, but to the single-cell, flagellate organism on the table. On closer inspection, you can see that it bears anthropomorphic characteristics.

Euglena Detail
Euglena Detail

Guts Dress

Anatomia, also realized as a porcelain sculpture.

Guts Dress Sculpture

Aurora Full

And now let’s take a closer look at the star of the show, Aurora. A true masterpiece, Aurora depicts a prepubescent girl, standing armpit-high in a still body of water, the surface of which cloaks a primeval undersea world, rife with Ryden’s signature symbolism, and many other cool things.


Look, it’s a little Manatee hiding among the coral.

Eyes Detail

Multiple Eyes and a Fetus.

Bee Detail

A Bee.

Primeval Sea Bed

Behold, the Primeval Sea Bed, complete with Trilobite, ancestor to the modern-day cockroach.

Aurora Frame Detail

Even the frame is a work of art.

Mark Ryden’s Dodecahedron will be on Exhibit Through Jan 23rd, 2016  at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 293 10th Avenue (Corner of 27th Street) in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Dodecahedron Signage

Exhibit Poster

Rafael Silveira’s Unforeseeable at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Wild Life
Rafael Silveira, Wild Life. Oil on Canvas in Custom Carved Frame (All Photos By Gail)

Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to present Unforeseeable, new works by Brazilian artist Rafael Silveira in his debut solo exhibition in New York. This is one of my favorite exhibits ever at LeVine!

A Powerful Instinct
A Powerful Instinct

Rafael Silveira’s imaginative work combines figurative classical painting, comic-inspired imagery and surreal subject matter, resulting in a universe where dreams are blended with waking life and the impossible appears commonplace. His portraits reminded me such artists as Travis Louie, Mark Ryden and ever legendary cartoonist Tex Avery.

A Walk in the Garden
A Walk in the Garden

A Walk in the Garden Detail
A Walk in the Garden Blouse Detail

A Walk in the Garden Detail
A Walk in the Garden Skirt Detail

Silveira credits his native Brazil as a source of inspiration and describes his experience living in the country as having “daily contact with the bizarre, absurd and preposterous. It’s like walking through a wild forest where beauty and dangers reveal themselves in strange, random and haphazard ways.”

A Small Fragment of the Universe
A Small Fragment of the Universe

Paintings in Unforeseeable are like portals into an alternate dimension, one that exists without distinction between natural and artificial elements. Many of Silveira’s figures are hybridized, such as a woman with tree branches for arms (see photo above) or another with a popsicle for a head (see trilogy below).

Allegory of Time Opus 1 2 and 3
Allegory of Time Opus 1, 2 and 3

The absence of logic and reason allows a blurring of ascribed definitions: human, animal, plant or object. A vintage aesthetic and various themes including lingerie, tattoos, skulls and food converge in a visual expression of Silveira’s stream of consciousness.

Live Fast
Live Fast

A hallmark of Silveira’s work is the use of sculptural frames to compliment his canvases. The custom frames are designed by Silveira and carved out of wood by traditional master craftsmen who specialize in creating religious altars and ornate furniture. This unique collaboration brings the imagery of his paintings into the third dimension and allows for an interesting interplay between each external structure and what they contain, within.

The Anatomic Couple
The Anatomic Couple

Rafael Silveira’s Unforeseeable will be on Exhibit Through July 26th, 2014 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 5429 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Rafael Silveira Exhibit Signage

Art Truancy: Celebrating 20 Years of Juxtapoz Magazine at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

LeVine 23rd Street Gallery Storefront
Jonathan LeVine 23rd Street Gallery Storefront Display Celebrates 20 Years of Juxtapoz Magazine (All Photos By Gail)

Hey NYC Art Lovers, if you are free this evening (Thursday, May 15th) why not pop over to the two Jonathan LeVine Gallery locations (they are just 3 blocks apart!) to have your mind blown at the opening night reception of Art Truancy, the coolest contemporary art group show, maybe ever!

Featuring the works of over 40 artists, Art Truancy celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Juxtapoz Magazine at a revered gallery space that has been around almost as long. Artists whose work you will see in this exhibit include Alex Gross, Alex Pardee, Andrew Schoultz, Brett Amory, Camille Rose Garcia, Chloe Early, Conor Harrington, Doze Green, Faile, Jeremy Fish, Jeff Soto, Marion Peck, Mark Ryden, Maya Hayuk, Miss Van, Neckface, Parra, Pushead, Robert Williams, Saner, Seonna Hong, Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Thomas Campbell, Todd James, Todd Schorr and others. I’m happy to be able to say that I was familiar with the work of so many of these great artists after having been introduced to their work at previous LeVine Gallery shows.
Last night I attended a press preview of the show and will now share with you some of my favorite pieces.

From the 23rd Street Space:

Robert Williams

Art by Robert Williams, perhaps most famous for his painting, Appetite for Destruction, which was used as the back cover artwork for the Guns ‘N’ Roses album of the same name.

Abe Lincoln by Mark Ryden
Abe Lincoln by Mark Ryden

Obey Records By Shepard Fairey
Obey Records By Shepard Fairey

Shoes Lamp By Grotesk
Sneakers Lamp By Grotesk

Clayton Brothers and Tim Biskup

Art By Clayton Brothers (left) and Tim Biskup (right).

I did arrive on 20th Street a few minutes before they were officially open, as the two venues staggered visitors so that people would show up first at 23rd Street and then at 20th Street an hour later (I am just too quick!) so I would like to thank the Jonathan LeVine Staff (especially Malena Seldin) for allowing me to shoot while they were actually still hanging the show!

Here’s a preview of what you’ll see at 20th Street:

Gary Baseman

Art By Gary Baseman

Jeremy Geddes

Art By Jeremy Geddes

Ron English

This Triptych Mural By Pop Surrealist Ron English was inspired by Picasso’s famous painting, Guernica.

Octopus Sculpture By Scott Musgrove

One of my favorite pieces in the show is this Octopus Sculpture By Scott Musgrove, which also holds tiny tea lights. I believe it might be a study for a large painting also on exhibit at 20th Street.

Alex Gross

Art by Alex Gross.

Andrew Schoultz Alex Pardee and Don Ed Hardy

Left to Right: Andrew Schoultz, Alex Pardee and Don Ed Hardy



Art By Jeremy Fish

Art By Jeremy Fish

Olek Faile How and Nosm

Center Gallery: Crocheted Cat Habitat wth Mickey Mouse By Olek. Left Rear: Faile. Right Rear: How and Nosm.

As you can see, this is a do-not-miss event!

Art Truancy opens Tonight (5/15!) with a Reception at 557C West 23rd Street from 6 – 8 PM and at 529 West 20th Street from 7 – 9 PM, and runs through June 14th, 2014! Regular Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM.

Must See Art: Ray Caesar’s A Gentle Kind of Cruelty

Kingdom, By Ray Caesar

Fans of surrealist illustration will not want to miss the latest exhibit at Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea, A Gentle Kind of Cruelty, featuring works by Toronto-based artist Ray Caesar. In this collection, according to the gallery’s press release, “Caesar expands upon his signature aesthetic by taking a more painterly approach, rendering new imagery with softer edges and greater movement than in previous work. The artist’s digitally created dreamscapes, set in elaborately furnished Rococo-style interiors, feature haunting doll-like female figures with delicate features and porcelain complexions. The hybrid characters, part-child-part-woman, some sprouting tails, tentacles and other animal appendages, all wear elaborate costumes that reference fashions of the past and often incorporate futuristic elements as well. Caesar works in Maya (a 3D modeling software used for digital animation effects in film and game industries), using it to create his figures as well as the virtual realms in which they exist.”

Silent Partner

The results of Caesar’s technique are really quite spectacular, and photos can’t possibly reveal the depth of detail in these illustrations, which appear almost 3-D and beg to be meticulously examined for their gift of revealing new, previously hidden aspects on each viewing. I couldn’t help but think of the work of Mark Ryden, another gifted contemporary surrealist, by way of comparison. Like Ryden, his work is haunting, dark and somewhat twisted, but also breathtakingly beautiful. As they say, every picture tells a story. I really loved the sense of texture and surface translucence in each scenario. This was my first exposure to Ray Caesar’s art and it has definitely piqued my interested in exploring his body of work. What a fun show!

A Gentle Kind of Cruelty runs through February 19, 2011 at the Jonathan Levine Gallery, located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor (West of 10th Avenue) in New York. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM.

Consort Study

Separated at Birth: Rush Limbaugh and The Fat Guy on the Cover of a Warrant CD?

You Decide.

Last Rites Gallery Presents Jason D' Aquino and Lead Poisoning Exhibits

The Dimming Room By Chris Mars

One thing really stands out when I look back on this past weekend: it was an amazing couple of days for checking out rad, edgy new art in New York City. Sometimes an art exhibit is made all the more impactful by the space in which it’s displayed. This is definitely true when it comes to a venue I visited for the first time on Saturday night. If you can remember back to the time, about ten years ago I think it was, when the Limelight nightclub was in full swing and much of the club’s interior resembled something from the most horrific pages of a Clive Barker novel, then you will want to check out an art space called the Last Rites Gallery. Like your darkest, Halloween-meets-Hellraiser nightmares, Last Rites, which is also a tattoo parlor, is a trip in itself before you even get into the gallery space, and really must be experienced to be fully appreciated. People who really know me know that I like dark, fucked up shit, so I just fell in love with the place immediately and will absolutely be returning for future exhibits.

Right now, Last Rites has two cool shows running simultaneously. The first, curated by Jason D’Aquino and entitled Lead Poisoning, is a group show with contributions from over forty artists who work in a black, white and grayscale palette. A few of my favorite artists including Greg “Craola” Simkins, Ron English, Robert Williams and Michael Mararian have pieces in the show. This exhibit definitely fits into the realm of dark art that Last Rites is reputed for. Loved it.

The second exhibit is a solo show by D’Aquino featuring drawings and sketches in his whimsically twisted signature style, executed in graphite on ledger paper and other unorthodox canvases such as actual matchbook cover interiors. D’Aquino’s passion for mixing almost storybook innocence with violent, sexual or otherwise disturbing images reminded me a lot of the amazing work of Mark Ryden. My favorite drawing was one depicting a sailor who has just harpooned a mermaid under the watchful eye of a smiling full moon. Unbelievable! Jason has also made some interesting modifications to Milton Bradley’s classic Operation board game that you will appreciate if you ever owned that game as a child.

Photo By Geoffrey Dicker (Click to Enlarge)

The Brave Words heavy metal news site has a super informative post which will go into a lot more detail about both exhibits than I am going into here, so I suggest you check that out at this link if you have any questions about what you are going to see. But mostly, I would just suggest that you don’t miss these exhibits.

Last Rites Gallery is located at 511 W. 33rd Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10001. Both shows run through July 25th, 2010.

Must See Art Exhibit: Mark Ryden’s Gay 90s Olde Tyme Art Show

All Photos By Geoffrey Dicker

Here’s the thing: the moment I gazed upon Mark Ryden’s painting entitled Incarnation, a six-foot high canvas which depicts a young girl in a lush Victorian garden, wearing a dress made from various cuts of raw meat, I knew I had to see more of this artist’s work. Luckily for me and anyone else who is able to get to the Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York City, Ryden’s latest collection of paintings and sketches are the subject of the delightfully surreal and downright bizarre Gay 90s Olde Tyme Art Show, which opened with a festive reception last evening. While the up-the-ass-hype machine surrounding this show prompted Geoffrey and I to arrive in advance of the scheduled start time of 5:00 PM, there were only a few fellow art lovers in the gallery when we first entered, which gave us time to see and attempt to really soak in the splendor of the entire collection in a mercifully un-crowded space. This was not the case twenty minutes later, when the gallery grew dense with hardcore Ryden fans, most of whom were dressed in authentic gay nineties-period fashions. Very cool!

For those unfamiliar with Ryden’s work, I’d say he favors mixing the mundane and anachronistic with the utterly fantastic, creating visual tableaus which often border on themes of science fiction and even horror. The Gay 90s collection incorporates many of his reoccurring icons including Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, raw meat, embryos, bees, root vegetables and doe-eyed child-women. I find his paintings to be completely captivating. It is no wonder that each piece in this exhibit has already been sold or put on reserve. I will definitely be going back for another viewing, and bringing friends.

The Paul Kasmin Gallery is located at the corner of 10th Avenue and 27th Street, where Mark Ryden’s Gay 90s Olde Tyme Art Show runs through June 5, 2010.