Tag Archive | NYC Art Exhibit

Must See Art: Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty at the MET

Alexander McQueen was not so much a fashion designer as he was an artist who created wearable works of art. When McQueen died by his own hand at the age of 40 in February of 2010, the world lost a staggering genius whose contribution to the art world was, at that point, already unfathomably huge. Thanks to curator Andrew Bolton, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has installed a phenomenal retrospective exhibit called Savage Beauty that showcases the Haute Couture collections of McQueen in a way that will undoubtedly touch the heart and stir the mind of everyone who sees it, making the tragedy of his early death almost unbearably poignant.

All Images Courtesy of The Met. Click on Each Image to Enlarge for Detail

Savage Beauty is divided into six consecutive galleries entitled The Romantic Mind, Romantic Gothic and the Cabinet of Curiosities, Romantic Exoticism, Romantic Nationalism, Romantic Primitivism and Romantic Naturalism, and each one is a mind blowing experience on its own. On display you will see garments made not only of traditional fabrics such as silk, wool and synthetics but also many natural materials including feathers, horsehair, metal, glass, fresh and fabric flowers, wood, and even razor clam and muscle shells. McQueen also created unique, thematic accessories to accent his garments, such as elaborate headdresses made of carved wood, metal, animal horns, and butterflies among many other materials. His signature “Armadillo shoe” can be seen in a variety of styles and is easily recognizable as a style of footwear that Lady Gaga has made popular just recently.

While McQueen also designed ready-to-wear clothing, as stated previously, the clothing on display here dwells in the realm of exotic costuming and wearable art that was not really made for everyday use. Much of it also borders on fetishistic, and that adds to its incredible beauty and enigma. For example, there is one striking headpiece on display called the Crown of Thorns Headdress that must really be seen to be believed. Further, Savage Beauty is a multi-sensory experience, consisting not only of the stunning visuals created by McQueen’s clothing and accessories but also by the design aspects of the individual galleries in which the garments are displayed. One gallery is decorated in a surface treatment of ancient mirrors while another is contained amid walls of grey concrete, and yet another collection is displayed in a room with walls made of rusted metal. In one of the final galleries you’ll see the walls adorned in McQueen’s own drawings, which were blown up to create wall treatments.

The exhibit  takes on an almost Disneyland-esque feeling, where it seems like you are on more of a theme park ride than walking through a staid art museum. Each gallery has accompanying visuals such as video screens on the walls or embedded in the ceiling and there is an amazing 3-D hologram of Kate Moss from one of McQueen’s later shows on display in one of the final galleries. Of course, no fashion show would be complete without a soundtrack, and there is music that ranges from modern abstract rock to tribal rhythms to Mozart, as well as sound effects such as the sounds of a beating heart and shallow breathing in one gallery while another gallery is filled with the low rumbling of an excited crowd. All of these different sensory aspects come together to make Savage Beauty’s “Oh Wow” factor leap off the charts.

You can watch an eight-minute video about McQueen that also previews the exhibit at this link. I cannot recommend this exhibit highly enough. In fact, I loved it so much, I actually bought the catalog ($45, on sale in the gift shop).

Savage Beauty runs through July 31, 2011 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, located at 1000 Fifth Avenue, near 85th St. in New York City. The entrance line for the McQueen exhibit closes at 4:30 PM on weekdays and at 8 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. Expect to wait at least one hour in line for entrance to the exhibit, but be assured that it will be very well worth it.

Must See Art: Jason Limon’s Blood/Nectar Exhibit at NYC’s Bold Hype Gallery


Flourishing By Jason Limon (Media: Acrylic on Panels)

On one of the rainiest Thursday nights in recent history, Geoffrey and I got soaked to the bone splashing through ankle-deep puddles and dodging the deluge while gallery hopping from Chelsea to Soho. Urban Art Safari! One of my favorite exhibits that we were fortunate to make it to that night is Jason Limon’s Blood/Nectar, currently on view over at the Bold Hype Gallery, which is a must see for fans of surrealist painting. Jason paints in acrylics on canvas and wood panels as well, with his subjects incorporating fusions of organic matter, such as birds that have evolved to be part plant or part machine.

Interfuse

His paintings are really cool and remind me a lot of one of my other favorite contemporary surrealist painters, Greg “Craola” Simkins. Jason Limon is getting added to my list of cool artists to pay attention to. Check his stuff out while you can!

Jason Limon Poses Next to His Work

Blood/Nectar runs to November 12, 2010 at the Bold Hype Gallery, located at 547 West 27th Street (West of 10th Avenue) Suite 510, New York, NY.

Brion Gysin Dream Machine Retrospective at NYC’s New Museum


Original Dreamachine Sculpture by Brion Gysin – 1916 -1986 (Image Source)

It is a wee bit of an understatement to say that I see a lot of art. I always find it to be such a curious surprise when discovering something “new” in the art world involves me being introduced to an artist’s body of work decades after that artist’s death. Usually, the works are so vast and impressive that I can’t believe I never heard of that person before. It happens more than I would like to admit. Geoffrey and I had this experience again yesterday when we popped in to the New Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Manhattan and were delighted by Brion Gysin: Dream Machine – neither one of us being at all familiar with Gysin’s amazing art or very interesting life story.

Brion Gysin: Dream Machine is the first US retrospective of Gysin’s work, which includes a comprehensive variety of mediums or par with, say, Andy Warhol. The exhibition includes over 300 drawings, books, paintings, photo-collages, films, slide projections and sound works, as well as an original Dreamachine – a kinetic light sculpture that utilizes the flicker effect to induce visions when experienced with closed eyes. In 1959, according to he museum’s write up on the exhibit, “Gysin created the Cut-Up Method, in which words and phrases were literally cut up into pieces and then rearranged to untether them from their received meanings and reveal new ones. His Cut-Up experiments, which he shared with his lifelong friend and collaborator William S. Burroughs, culminated in Burroughs and Gysin’s The Third Mind, a book-length collage manifesto on the Cut-Up Method and its uses. Transferring this notion to experimenting with tape-recorded poems manipulated by a computer algorithm, Gysin created sound poetry and was among the earliest users of the computer in art.”

Artists, poets and musicians citing Gysin as an influence include John Giorno (who was Gysin’s lover), Brian Jones, David Bowie, Patti Smith, Genesis P-Orridge and Keith Haring, among many others. I really enjoyed all of the works on view and especially loved learning something about how Gysin lived and his philosophy of art and life, but my favorite of Gysin’s works at the New Museum were his many colorful, abstract paintings that include his use of calligraphy-like writing that was inspired by both Japanese and Arabic scripts. Beautiful and intriguing.

The New Museum is super-strict about not allowing any photography of their exhibits (even Geoffrey, who is usually so talented when it comes to avoiding the gaze of the Art Nazi’s, was unsuccessful at getting any images in his camera) so I can’t give you much of a preview of the exhibit. You are going to have to drop by yourself, but trust me, it will be worth it.

Dream Machine runs through October 3, 2010 at New Museum (second floor gallery) 235 Bowery, NYC.

Gail's Rad Adventure at the Guggenheim Museum!

Spiritual America is at the Guggenheim through January 9, 2008

The first snow of the season fell on NYC overnight and this morning, honestly, it was absolutely gorgeous outside! Before the lovely pristine blanket of white could transform into grey slush and filthy mounds flecked with soot and dog feces, I decided to bundle up like an Eskimo and enjoy one of the greatest simple pleasures of life in New York City: a Sunday trip to the Guggenheim Museum. The Guggenheim currently features a career retrospective of American artist Richard Prince, and his work is just fantastic. I laughed my ass off at a lot of his “Joke” canvases, avoided slipping into a “Museum Coma” and was back downtown in Union Square in time to do a little Holiday shopping at the crafts market. Read more about the exhibit and see photos of some of Prince’s featured work after the jump. Spiritual America runs through January 9, 2008.

More After The Jump!

Continue reading