99 Cents Dream (2020) is part of an eponymous series from photographer Graham MacIndoe taken primarily in New York City since March 2020, when the pandemic changed our lives practically overnight. MacIndoe took the opportunity to venture out into different parts of the city and was captivated by the quietness of the streets, the feeling of isolation, and people walking through the unfamiliar landscape of shuttered stores and restaurants. The estrangement of human interaction he often saw and felt made him view the city and its inhabitants differently. Things he may not have noticed before, like gestures, graffiti and shadows, became more pronounced because of the mostly empty sidewalks and streets. Many of the scenes he encountered brought to mind the book Lanark by the Scottish author Alisdair Gray, which in part describes the city and its disappearing residents. These pictures are about displacement and a lack of belonging and a feeling that something is not quite right, which of course was the case before Covid-19 arrived.
Photographed in The National Arts Club in Gramercy Park, Manhattan.
Morgan Maher, Nice Posture (January 2021) Polaroid Photo and Collection of Childhood Earrings (All Images Courtesy of Photential)
Photential is a bold global art platform whose DNA is to create an alternative and exciting way for photographers and multimedia artists to present their work to audiences worldwide. Starting February 4th, Photential is pleased to present The Nineties Project, a three-part presentation featuring photographic work inspired by the culture-defining era of the ‘90s. The foundation for what we know as ‘cool’ today, this was the decade that gave us the rave scene, Chloë Sevigny, super models and Meisel covers for Vogue Italia. The 90’s were also the birthplace of the digital age, paving way for the technological revolution and giving rise to the modern day social media influencer.
Image by Louis Chevalier
The Nineties Projectwill explore the history and nostalgia of this iconic decade and its impact on art, culture and fashion in three parts. The headlining exhibition will feature original photographs by thirteen ‘90s kids’ whose work will be accompanied by six curated features by Photential’s advisory board as well as a fashion collaboration. Beginning on February 4, 2021, Photential will release one aspect of the initiative every week until March 2021 on the platform, www.photential.art.
Award-winning aerial photographer Brad Walls, also known as Bradscanvas, has just released his highly-anticipated new series, Pools From Above – an ode to the beauty found in the shapes, colors and textures of swimming pools. This unique and never-before-seen perspective uses Walls’ clean, minimal aesthetic to visually showcase interesting pools from around the world.
Inspired by his travels throughout Southeast Asia and within his own home country of Australia, Walls’ journey initially began by capturing the bodies of water simply to document holiday memories. It wasn’t until picking up the bestselling Annie Kelly coffee table book Splash: The Art of the Swimming Pool, however, that Walls began investing time and passion into curating a series, stating that “As I turned each page of Kelly’s book, a wave of childhood nostalgia washed over me, spending hours in the pool over summer.” Paying powerful homage to Kelly, Walls’ series chooses to keenly focus on pools’ elements of composition from a bird’s eye view. “I fell in love with the lines, curves and negative space of the pools, which – without alternate perspective from a drone – would have been lost.”
Pools From Above is also an integral part of a much larger project which is aimed at a book release in the not-too-distant future, as Walls says “The response from viewers has been positive, asking for the series to be among their coffee table books.” Looking ahead, once the world finally re-opens, Walls has no plans of slowing down. He plans to capture even more world-renowned swimming pools across an array of idyllic locations, including Palm Springs, Mexico and the Mediterranean.
Since bursting onto the photography scene in early 2019, Brad Walls has gone on to produce award-winning photographs and garner worldwide media attention, with a primary focus on capturing aerial portraits of athletes like synchronized swimmers, gymnasts and ice skaters from unique perspectives and angles that audiences are normally unable to see. He is a featured artist for the Inaugural 2020 Aerial Photography Awards in October 2020, and already shortlisted for the Drone Photo Awards in Siena, Italy, within the Sport and People categories. You can view the Pools From Above series at This Link!
Image from Ellen von Unwerth’s Devotion! 30 Years of Photographing Women (All Photos By Gail)
If you live in the tri-state area and are on Instagram or FaceBook for even a few minutes a day, there is very little chance that you have not at least heard the name Fotografiska. Viral marketing ads for the NYC branch of this museum dedicated to modern photography were plastered all over social media for months prior to its opening to the public on December 14th, 2019. The cryptic ads featured dark, purple-shadowed images of the seven-story Gothic structure (built in 1892) housing the museum, which made it seem very mysterious and alluring. Everyone wanted to know: What the Hell is Fotografiska? Some people still can’t figure it out.
I finally had a chance to visit Fotografiska on March 5th, when I was invited to attend the opening reception for an exhibit by Julie Blackmon entitled Fever Dreams. One week after my visit, Fotografiska was forced to temporarily close its doors in compliance with New York State’s shelter-in-place order in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Image By Ellen von Unwerth Inside an Elevator at Fotografiska
My original plan had been to post a review of the Julie Blackmon exhibit in mid-March, to coincided with the celebration of National Women’s Month. But like so many of us on the planet, my life is completely different now than it was three or four weeks ago, so that did not happen. An up-side of being stuck in the house without the ability to visit an art gallery, or museum or cultural institution of any kind is that I get to bring you my take on Art in the Time of Covid right here on The Gig. Even though you cannot currently visit these exhibits in person, you can ‘Live Through Me’ and enjoy the photos vicariously. I hope this post will give you a sweet taste of what’s inside Fotografiska that will get you excited to check out the place once it reopens. Better late than never.
This was my first ‘exposure,’ so to speak, to Julie Blackmon’s work, but I immediately fell in love with her hyper-realist style. Fever Dreams is a collection of images that brim with fantasy and subtle satire, capturing a delicate balance between the darkness and charm of contemporary American life. It’s not unusual for a gallery to stage an exhibit in dim lighting, but this one is designed to be viewed almost completely in the dark, save for a bit of light bleeding in from an adjacent gallery, and dedicated spotlights focused on each work. While the lack of lighting presented a challenge in capturing decent images of the photos, it definitely set an important mood, which enhanced the viewing experience.
Adding to the surreal vibe of Fever Dreams was the wall-to-wall astroturf covering the gallery floors, which included this singular artificial Dandelion Puff. You will understand in a minute why it was helpful to feel like you were standing in someone’s backyard.
The playfully artful and chaotic nature present in the photographs of Julie Blackmon (b. 1966) are drawn from the everyday people and places that have shaped the artist’s life. These are the familiar and ordinary scenes of Blackmon’s daily routine in her hometown of Springfield, Missouri, which she describes as “the generic American town” in the middle of the United States.
Her scenes are often centered around children on their own in backyards, garages and neighborhoods where the absence of adults alludes to a looming potential for danger. Her photographs, otherwise innocuous domestic tableaux, are woven with fantasy and subtle satire that reflect a delicate balance between the darkness and charm of contemporary American life in suburbia.
One my favorite photos in the collection is this scene of children watching a screening of The Sound Of Music in a backyard. To me, it has an almost post-apocalyptic feel. Blackmon carefully sets her scenes, and like film and theater directors, she is in pursuit of unscripted moments that provoke, disturb, and challenged the viewer. Some of the images reference paintings by Dutch Masters, French impressionist, and modernists such as Edward Hopper and Balthus, but they are updated with a satirical, penetrating eye and Blackmon’s belief that artful fiction can capture the truth more memorably than the truth itself.
Speaking of her work, Blackmon explains, “I suppose I could make a work where everything’s just perfect, where the sun is shining and mom is lying out in the grass and everything’s happening perfectly and the kids are happy . . . but that wouldn’t interest me — and it wouldn’t be truthful. My aim is to create a more nuanced, subtly humorous and satirical portrait of the way we live today.”
Fever Dreams presents a selection of photographs from Blackmon’sHomegrown series as well as more recent works. It’s a fantastic exhibit and I hope its tenure at Fotografiska can be extended so that more people get to see it.
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, 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 (1960–2020). 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.
Bodega Chandelier, Manhattan Location on Avenue A Between 5th and 6th Streets (Photos By Gail)
If you’re a NYC resident who likes to ‘get your steps in’ by exploring neighborhoods both new and familiar, here’s a Street Art Safari that you can participate in whether you live in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens! Back and Forth Disco is an exhibition of newly-commissioned photographs by Farah Al Qasimi (b. 1991 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) that celebrate individuality and the aesthetic choices that make spaces and surroundings uniquely personal.
Grace Beauty Salon, Ave C between E 5th St and E 6th St, Manhattan
The 17 photographs in this new body of work isolate and highlight the beauty of seemingly inconspicuous moments amidst New York City’s visual and audible noise. Presented on 100 bus shelters across the five boroughs, the larger than life photographs are inserted into the paths of New York City commuters at eye level. Works are sited in clusters in over 18 neighborhoods to give the public an opportunity to see multiple photographs within walking or bus route distance. The bus shelters — platforms traditionally used for advertising — bring together images of people, street scenes, interiors, and surfaces to explore the experience of being an individual in a hyper-stimulating city.
Ceiling Mirror, Grand St between Pitt St and Ridge St, Manhattan
The artist has developed a photographic style that reads distinctly as her own, yet is continuously evolving. Over a month-long period in fall 2019, for the first time, Al Qasimi took New York City as her subject, primarily focusing on local communities where small businesses thrive. She has photographed neighborhood stores, barbershops, streets, and homes from Astoria, Queens to Chinatown, Manhattan to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Drawn to the idea of visual excess, rich textures, and brightly saturated colors—familiar to her from growing up in the Emirates — Al Qasimi captures vibrant instances of self-expression. The works highlight individual style and cultural traditions that break through the chaos and anonymity of the city.
Bodega Chandelier, Detail
Central to Bodega Chandelier is an elaborate crystal light fixture that dominates the ceiling of a Yemeni-owned bodega in Ridgewood, Queens, dwarfing the products on display. In Parked Car, garlands of artificial flowers from an Indian wedding decorate a polished gray car in Al Qasimi’s neighborhood.
Parked Car, Delancey St between Lewis St and Columbia St, Manhattan
Al Qasimi’s portraiture challenges traditional ideas associated with figuration by utilizing elements of camouflage, concealment, and revelation. Her process is both spontaneous and deliberate. She photographs friends and strangers alike, often returning to familiar places repeatedly or recreating moments she has seen in public space in more controlled environments. Her enigmatic portraits demonstrate her approach to the genre: the faces of her subjects are partially obstructed or altogether absent, while their vitality is instead accentuated through garments, hairstyles, and poses.
Woman in Leopard Print, Ave C between E 5th St and E 6th St, Manhattan
In Woman in Leopard Print, a single eye is revealed through a reflection in a compact mirror as the woman in a leopard-print headscarf studies herself. In Coco, a cockatoo who resides at a curtain store in Ridgewood, Queens is paid a visit by regulars in the neighborhood. A young boy looks at the bird but his eyes are hidden by his mother’s extended arm, allowing other features — such as the woman’s bright red nails — to become the focal point.
Bakery Window, Grand St between Jackson St and Columbia St, Manhattan
The photographs in Back and Forth Disco aim to draw out expressive details that spark recognition within communities. Acts of adornment, both to oneself and to the city, highlight the idiosyncrasies and beauty in environments that are often overlooked.
Bleached Sign, Grand St between Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive and Lewis St, Manhattan
Back And Forth Disco Is On View Through May 17th, 2020. Visit This Link For a Map of All Locations.
Woman on Phone, E Houston between 2nd Ave and Bowery, Manhattan
Dollar Story (Flipside of Grace Beauty Salon), Ave C between E 5th St and E 6th St, Manhattan
Vision or vandalism? New Yorkers had different reactions to the “tags” scrawled on subway trains in the 1970s. Many saw them as a sign of urban blight. Artist and photographer Jack Stewart saw them as a new American Art Form.
Stewart befriended many of the young graffiti writers, who by 1973 gathered regularly in his studio. Recognizing their irrepressible urge to mark every surface, he offered the inside of his bathroom door as a canvas, with the understanding that they would leave the rest of his studio untouched.
Stewart Studio Graffiti Door, Details
The door is a remarkable relic of 1970s New York City.
A Gift of Regina Serniak Stewart, the Stewart Studio Graffiti Door was Photographed in the New York Historical Society in NYC.