With its eight limbs, the octopus was an ingenious choice for a Chatelaine; a belt hook that carried small household items from its chains. Surviving records suggest that Gorham Manufacturing Company made two Octopus Chatelaines (this one is circa 1887).
At least one of these devices was equipped by the factory with its attachments, including scissors, a knife, a vinaigrette (small decorative box), a tablet, a pin cushion, and a needle case. The back plate is marked with the Gorham trademark and stamped with the date letter for 1887. The Octopus and its chains are sterling silver and the eyes are surprisingly not polished garnets, but red glass.
Octopus Chatelaine Installation View
Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
It’s bad enough that this adorable tiny Pink Octopus Toy designed for an infant crib was thrown out like so much garbage. It’s even worse that it was thrown out on the corner of a busy street (Second Avenue, to be exact) rather than being disposed of properly in a private garbage bin. For fucks sake, New Yorkers, have some respect for your city. Litterbugs are the worst!
The Octopus Finger (in Pink) was spotted by me at Flying Tiger, a fantastic design and gift store on the Upper East Side! I am only sorry that I did not take a photo with these Pink Tentacles on the tips of my fingers!
Probably the coolest thing you can buy in Manhattan for only $1! What a Bargain!
Geoffrey and I had no idea what to expect, exactly, when we were invited to attend Feeling Franklin, a comedy showcase at The Producers Club in Hell’s Kitchen, starring LA-based character comedian, Franklin Marshall The Third. Geoffrey was familiar with Marshall already from social media and a guerrilla marketing campaign in which he has blanketed the streets of both LA and NYC with stickers and stencils bearing the likeness of his face, as seen above. The show seemed like it would be a worthwhile way to spend a Saturday evening in NYC, where anything can happen!
When we arrived at the designated address for The Producers Club, a sign on the door assured us that we were in the right place. We felt like we were in for a magical evening!
We were then escorted to wait in the bar, where we lounged on a very comfy leather sofa and enjoyed some art, such as this fine painting of an Octopus.
Really nice, right? Soon, it was time for the show!
As you can see, Franklin Marshall’s stand up persona, which is that of a shy-yet-horny nerd boy, relies heavily on his physical resemblance to Pee Wee Herman-meets-Ed Grimley, with a little of South Park’s Mr. Garrison thrown in. You will know what I mean by that last reference if you see him live, but I do not want offer any spoilers right now, because the thrill of discovery is a huge part of the fun!
Franklin refers often to his well-worn notebook, as he bases his jokes and humorous stories on observational, everyday sorts of experiences and things, often contemplating how much he wants to score with hot chicks, but how the desired ‘scoring’ somehow eludes him. Everyone can relate, and in this way he builds a sense of intimacy with the audience. Here are a couple of my favorite jokes from the set that I can still remember, because this was a couple of weeks ago now:
Franklin asked the audience if we wanted to hear a racist joke. Not wanting to appear uncool and overly PC, we play along and say yes. And the joke is . . .“Donald Trump.” That’s the entire joke, and it’s brilliant in its utter simplicity and resonant truth! Because Donald Trump is a racist asshole! I hate him soooo much.
Franklin also had a fun joke about a brand of Darth Vader condoms whose slogan is “I am Not Your Father.” Hilarious!
After the one-hour set, Franklin served the crowd a tray of very delicious cupcakes, which are my favorite thing ever.
It’s nice that Franklin takes the time to meet his fans after the show and pose for selfies. Here he is with Geoffrey, who Franklin recognized immediately from the FaceBook. Special! The most hilarious thing though is that if you just look at Franklin, it’s not hard to imagine that if he stood up straight, put on some clothes that fit and shampooed the product out of his hair, he probably cleans up pretty good! For more information about Franklin Marshall the III, who has opened for comedy greats like Rob Schneider, Dave Chapelle, and Nikki Glasser, you can visit Franklin Marshall the Third Dot Com!
Platform Diving consists of seven glass mosaic murals commissioned by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the Houston Street subway station (at Varick Street) and installed in 1994 on the walls of the northbound and southbound subway platforms of the 1 Train, and in a waiting area by the token booth.
The mosaics depict undersea creatures — turtles, beluga whales, octopi, seals, and a manatee–swimming through the subway tunnels, platforms, and passenger cars. Occasionally, humans observe their movements. The concept behind the choice of imagery was to represent a fanciful, surreal encounter between the world we normally inhabit and the one we might encounter when we descend below the surface.
What’s so crazy is that these murals have been up for nearly 20 years, and I just them for the first time in early September, because I never get off at this stop.
Yinka Shonbare MBE, Girl Girl Ballerina (All Photos By Gail)
What an amazing treat it is to have Flag Art Foundation founder Glenn and his wife Amanda Furhman share a selection of sculptures and assorted artworks from their own private collection with fans of their very cool gallery. Geoffrey and I attended the opening reception on Saturday (in the middle of a snow storm!) and were just blown away by an amazing collection that looks like it belongs in a museum. Here are a few of our favorite pieces!
Anish Kapoor, Blood Solid
This is may be my favorite small scale sculpture by Anish Kapoor The color and quality of the surface is just outstanding.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled
You might have seen Elaine Sturtevnat’s reproduction of the work of Gonzalez-Torres at her recent retrospective at MOMA.
Jim Hodges, First light (Beginning of the End)
You can see the Gonzalez-Torres piece reflected in this work by Jim Hodges which is composed of small tiles of mirrored black glass. Very beautiful.
Louis Bourgeois, Topiary
The Fuhrmans must be big fans of Louise Bourgeois, as this was one of three pieces by the late artist included in this show.
Louis Bourgeois, Couple
Maurizio Cattelan, Frank and Jamie
Imagine having this piece by Maurizio Cattelan in your private collection. How cool would that be?
Matthew Barney, Cremaster 1: Goodyear Lounge
I can run pretty hot and cold when it comes to the art of Matthew Barney, but this, I love. See a detail shot below.
Look at the art direction on this. Just look at it. Amazing.
Katharina Fritsch, Oktopus
What a fantastic and fun sculpture by German contemporary artist Katharina Fritsch. I love her work.
Thomas Schütte, Grosser Geist (1)
German Sculptor Thomas Schütte has done a series of these large statues called Grosser Geist — which means “Great Spirit” in German — though no two of these works are exactly alike.
Subodh Gupta, Spooning
I left the guard’s legs in the shot so you can see how large these spoons are. Another very fun sculpture!
Robert Gober, Untitled
This one looks like a over-sized stick of Butter in a Baby Crib surrounded by Yellow Apples. Everything in the crib is fabricated from Beeswax.
Ron Mueck, Two Women
Sculptor Ron Mueck creates startlingly lifelike miniature sculptures of people. These ladies stand about 33 inches high and you could swear they are about to talk to you.
Marc Quinn, Sphinx (Fortuna)
British artist Marc Quinn has created dozen of sculptures of supermodel Kate Moss in various contorted poses.
As you can see just from these few photos, this is an enormously exciting exhibit presenting a very rare opportunity to experience a private art collection of such high quality and displaying such exceptional taste. Absolutely do not miss this one!
A Secret Affair: Selections from the Fuhrman Family Collection will be on Exhibit Through May 16th, 2015 at Flag Art Foundation, Located at 545 West 25th Street, 9th and 10th Floors, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Brazilian sculptor Saint Clair Cemin has returned to Paul Kasmin for his third solo show at the gallery. Myth and Math finds a familiarity with Cemin’s minimalist approach while also delivering something new and unexpected. Check out the piece below:
What a cool idea to set this bronze “Octopus” sculpture section against mirrored surfaces, where the fractional piece (1/8th of the imagined whole) can be made to look complete and 3-D with assistance from the reflections. Just genius.
Love and Mathematics, 2014
Regarding the above piece, Love and Mathematics, Cemin explicitly combines the emotional and the rational, two seemingly contrasting concepts which he is able to jointly explore with his chosen artistic medium.
This one, Athina (2014) reminds me very much of an Umberto Boccione sculpture I saw at MOMA over the summer.
I don’t know why these sculptures remind me of expensive new foreign sports cars, but I think that should be considered a good thing.
Saint Clair Cemin’s Myth and Math will be on Exhibit Through December 23rd, 2014 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 293 Tenth Avenue (Corner of 27th Street), in the Chelsea Gallery District.
In September of 2103, NYC-based design firm Sagmeister & Walsh was commissioned by the DUMBO Improvement District in partnership with Two Trees Management Co and the NYCDOT Urban Art Program to paint two 80 foot long murals on the walls of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway underpass, on Jay Street in Dumbo. The firm collaborated with renowned Japanese illustrator Yuko Shimizu and created two large typographic messages to sit on the facing walls. A fierce Octopus and its tentacles form ‘Yes!’ on one side, and a graphic black and white version (not shown) covers the opposite wall. Both murals were hand painted by Coby Kennedy.
Takochu are little plastic/acrylic Octopus toys manufactured by the Japanese company Pine. They stack on top of each other and are incredibly cute. A little bit of research on the Google indicates that they’ve been around for about four years and no longer appear to be readily available to purchase except on eBay. Huge bummer.