Tag Archive | NYC

Art On The High Line: Veit Laurent Kurz, Salamanderbrunnen

Salamanderbrunnen
All Photos By Gail

Veit Laurent Kurz (b. 1985 in Erbach, Germany) cultivates artificial ecosystems composed of a variety of living and nonliving materials, including plants, mosses, nondescript chemicals, biohazardous material containers, industrial plastic tubing, and paint.

Salamanderbrunnen

For the High Line’s Mutations series, Kurz created Salamanderbrunnen; a fountain that circulates Herba-4, Kurz’s imagined “herbal juice of the future,” asking us to imagine the new forms of nature that we create together.

Salamanderbrunnen

Salamanderbrunnen will be on Exhibit at the High Line, Closest to the Gansevoort Street Staircase, Through April 2018.

Salamanderbrunnen

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Must See Art: Mark Mothersbaugh, Myopia at Grey Gallery

Farewell Arches to Luxembourg City
All Photos By Gail

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Living in NYC Fucking Rocks! And if you’re looking for cool things to do in the City right now, why not let yourself experience the mind-blowing career retrospective of Mark Mothersbaugh: Lead singer of New Wave / Performance Art legends, DEVO, Composer, Artist and De-Evolutionary Genius. The exhibit is called Myopia, and you can see it at the Grey Gallery at NYU. Let’s a take look at all of the fun surprises that Myopia has in store for you!

Self Portrait with First Pair of Glasses
Self Portrait with First Pair of Glasses (2015)

In case you were unable to deduce by the exhibit’s title, the art of Mypoia has its roots in Mothersbaugh’s severe visual disability that he has suffered with since birth. The artist’s personal statement greets each visitor at the front of the exhibit, as follows.

“I grew up in Akron, Ohio and I had severe myopia that went undiagnosed until the second grade. My teacher would say things to me like, “Read what is says on the board,” and I’d ask, “What’s a board?” or I’d make a joke because I couldn’t see anything. My teacher disciplined me almost every day.

“When my sight issues were finally diagnosed, I was in the car with my dad coming back from getting my first pair of glasses. We came over a hill, and I saw smoke coming out of chimneys. I saw the tops of trees. Before then, I had only known the bottom part – the part that I ran into. I saw the sun for the first time and I just went, “Holy crap!”

I showed up at school with glasses, and I started drawing pictures. My teacher said, “Hey, you draw better than me.” It was the first time a teacher hadn’t either spanked me or put me in a corner. I knew then that I wanted to be an artist.”

Quite simply, Myopia is all about the truly unique world vision of Mark Motherbaugh. As the song says, it’s a beautiful world.

Farewell Arches to Luxembourg City
Farewell Arches to Luxembourg City (2014)

Kicking off the exhibit is a room-size, whimsical installation called Farewell Arches to Luxembourg City, which is a series of large scale, double-rumped sculptures inspired by My Little Pony toy figurines. The sculptures are part of Mothersbaugh’s Beautiful Mutants series (more about this to come), in which he uses mirrored imagery to critique distinctions between order and mutation. Here, the animal forms’ unnatural symmetry and smooth surfaces reveal their synthetic nature, which is underscored by the artificial grass and bright yellow backdrop.

4 DEAD IN O-H-I-O
4 DEAD IN O-H-I-O, Stamped Ink with Hand Drawn Additions (1977)

The exhibit then continues on to explore Mark’s formative days as an art student at Kent State University in Ohio.

Mark Mothersbaugh Vitrine of College Art
Vitrine Display of Mark Mothersbaugh’s College Art

Mark Mothersbaugh Student Journal
One of Mothersbaugh’s Art Student Journals

One thing you will come to understand later in the exhibit is that Mothersbaugh loves to journal!

Jocko Homo Pamphlet
Art Pamphlet Which Inspired the Title of the Song “Jocko Homo”

Circuit Bent Calculator
Circuit Bent Calculator (2014)

Mothersbaugh often manipulated exiting instruments as well as creating devices to generate novel sounds. He used this Calculator / instrument in several live performances with DEVO.  An amazing audio installation of his unique created sounds can be found in the Orchestrions Room, which further explores the composers relationship to technology.

Orchestrions Room Installation View
Orchestrions Room Installation View

Mothersbaugh has long been fascinated with machines, using them as a materiel to be manipulated in creating something new and personal. Working against technology’s tendency to generate predicable results, he alters mass-produced machines and assembles unexpected parts to form new, idiosyncratic hybrids. These unconventional, mutant machines embody his belief that originality arises from imperfection. As with his own myopia, he continually embraces flaws as a countermeasure to society’s tendency toward uniformity

Mothersbaugh’s music-making machines, or Orchestrions, feature discarded organ pipes and bird calls that he has been collecting for years. He first assembles the materials, the adapts his compositions to the quirks of the machine. The Orchestrions are a way to demonstrate his belief that flaws are the key to originality. According to the artist, “the limiting factor gives it something unique. It helps you to not fall into the cliche of twelve keys in a row. You’ve got five black ones and seven white ones that repeat all the way up the keyboard. But if you change something in that pattern, if you break one of those keys off the keyboard so that when you go for an F-sharp and it’s not there, it can force you to rethink how to say what you’re trying to say.”

The Orchestrions play a different composition, an example of which you can hear in the above video, every fifteen minutes or so. Very fun!

Rugs
Rugs During Wartime and Peacetime (2004 – 2007)

On the walls of the Orchestrions room, you will see a series of floor rugs created by Motherbaugh beginning in 1994.  The rug series started after the artist designed an entryway mat for his studio, based on one of his postcard-sized drawings. The versatility and functionality of his rugs demonstrates his interest in nontraditional art forms — especial those associated with consumer culture.

2 More Rugs

Always exploring new means of production, Motherbaugh has transferred his rug images into animations, which add elements of drama, spectacle and technology.

2 Rugs

Myopia Installation View
Gallery Installation View

If you are mostly interested in Mark’s work with DEVO, Myopia has no shortage of photos, videos, listening stations, props, ephemera and memorabilia on the band from its inception to present.

Myopia Installation View 2

In its original configuration as a quintet, DEVO included two sets of brothers, Mark and his younger sibling Bob Mothersbaugh, Gerald Casale and his younger brother Bob, who died in 2014, and Alan Myers, who passed away in 2013. RIP!

DEVO Press Photos
Collection of DEVO Press Photos

Devo as The Beatles
DEVO as The Beatles Press Photo

The Truth About De-Evolution

DEVO’s first home video release, The Truth About De-Evolution (1976) plays on an endless loop in the gallery. It includes the music videos for “Jocko Homo” and the band’s classic cover of “Secret Agent Man.”

Mongoloid 45 Release Lyric Sleeve
Jock Homo B/W Mongoloid 45 Release Sleeve with Song Lyrics

Stage Props
Stage and Video Props Left to Right: Booji Boy Mask, New Traditionalists Hairpiece, Energy Dome

DEVO Honda Scooter Ad
Still from DEVO Honda scooter kopen Commercial, 1982 – 84

Mirror Images and Mutants Entryway

Don’t forget to head downstairs to the basement where you will discover the wonder oftwo of Mothersbaugh’s fascinating series of visual artworks: Mirror Images and Beautiful Mutants!

Mirror Images
Mirror Images

DEVO Hostess Truck
DEVO in front of a Hostess Truck

Mothersbaugh first began to use mirror images in his journals of the early 1970s, and he continues to use symmetrical forms in his most recent work.

Beautiful Mutants Gallery Installation View

In 1990, he began work on his most prominent mirror-image pieces, the Beautiful Mutants series of photographs, where he transformed historical and traditional figures into mutants. His interest in mirrors is concurrent with his longtime interest in eyes, which was triggered early on by his own severe myopia.

Beautiful Mutants Baby

In a show that is so over-the-top mind blowing, the Beautiful Mutants gallery was my favorite part of the exhibit, and totally unexpected. Be sure to look for the hidden signage leading you downstairs, otherwise you will miss it, and that would be a huge bummer for you! Let’s check out more of these crazy creatures!

Two Beautiful Mutants

Beautiful Mutant

Beautiful Mutants Vitrine

Beautiful Mutant

Beautiful Mutant

Beautiful Mutants Trio

Beautiful Mutant

Beautiful Mutants Diptych

Postcard Diaries Installation View 2

Last but not least, be sure to spend some time in the room which holds Mark’s collection of over 30,000 postcard-sized drawings from his visual diaries.

Postcard Diaries

The artist draws on at least one postcard-sized piece of paper every day, a practice that he started decades ago, when DEVO was first out on tour in the 1970s. These small artworks inspire many of his larger projects across different media.

Postcard Diaries

Postcard Diaries

Postcard Diaries

These post cards are all individually filed in protective plastic sheets inside binders for your perusal.These works have never been seen in an exhibition until now.

Postcard Diaries Installation View

Mark Mothersbaugh Mypoia Will Be On Exhibit Through July 15, 2017, at the Grey Art Gallery, New York University, Located at 100 Washington Square East, (between Waverly Place and Washington Place, Facing Washington Square Park) NYC 10003. Suggested Admission is $5.00. For Hours and Other Information Visit This Link!

Exhibit Signage

Paparazzi Dogs By Gillie and Marc, Greenwich Village NYC

Paparazzi Dogs
All Photos By Gail

We were having a divine Italian lunch at Olio e Piu when I glanced out the window and spotted — on the tiny traffic island wedged between the cross streets of Sixth Avenue, Greenwich Avenue, and Christopher Street, which is formally known as Ruth E. Wittenberg Triangle — what looked liked a group of Dogs with Cameras (#dogswithcameras). Once we finished our delicious meal, we went outside to investigate. This is where we found the four Paparazzi Dogs.

Paparazzi Dogs with Jamie

The Paparazzi Dogs, by husband and wife team Gillie and Marc, have traveled from Australia to Greenwich Village, a place that hosts thousands of photo shoots each year. Gillie and Marc invite you to let the Paparazzi Dogs take your photo here, and become your own celebrity!

Mary and Jaimie and Paparazzi Dogs

Dog owners Jaimie and Mary show the Paparazzi Dogs some love!

Pap Dogs

The Paparazzi Dogs are brought to you by the NYC Department of Transportation and the Village Alliance. No Word on how long they’ll be on view so get your selfies now!

Paparrazi Dogs
Smile and Say Cheese!

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Fright Wig

Pink Fright Wig
All Photos By Gail

This bright Pink Wig, which I stopped to snap while walking south on 8th Avenue near Madison Square Garden, reminded me immediately of the  crazy, disheveled fright wig that Andy Warhol famously sported in his later years.  I’m picturing it on Andy’s head even as I type this.

Mane Beauty Supply Store Front

Spotted in the window of Mane Beautify Supply, located at 412 8th Avenue between 30th & 31st Streeta, New York, NY 10001.

Nespresso Boutique Storefront and Window Display, Soho

Nespresso Storefront
Photo By Gail

The Nespresso boutique, located on southeast the corner of Prince and Mercer in Soho, really went the extra mile on their Mothers’ Day, decorating, adorning facade of the building in oversize, Pink Blossoms. Happy Mother’s Day!

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