All Photos By Gail Except Where Noted (Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)
Hey what’s up? Today we are having our first official snowfall here in NYC, and it is lovely, but mostly it makes you start pondering how are we going to get through the winter months, and still have fun, without leaving the house. If you are looking for ideas of fun outings you can take in the borough of Manhattan that involve indoor activities, and which are all pretty close to public transportation (i.e. limiting required outside time) then you should plan to head over to the Discovery Center in Times Square for the Star Wars and the Power of the Costume Exhibition, which is just outstanding.
Each Section of the Exhibit Leads With a Poster Like This, Which Indicates the Theme of the Costumes You Are About to See
Perhaps you are thinking that you have not seen all of the Star Wars films, and won’t have fun because you don’t know all of the specific minutia of the backstory for each character that wore a particular costume, so I am here to tell you that it does not matter. All you need is a loose grasp of the franchise and the names of a few main characters and you’ll be good to go, because there is such clear and compelling narrative that follows each display. I learned so much and was so intrigued that it made me want go back and see the films I haven’t seen yet. Even the ones everyone whines about.
Let’s get to the costumes!
Jedi Robe of Anikan Skywalker and Gown of Queen Padme Amidala from Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (Photo Credit: Geoffrey Dicker)
The exhibit galleries are scattered with quotes like the one above, from Director George Lucas, and others who worked on the costumes, which add a new dimension of understanding to what “The Power of the Costume” means.
The Jedi Vs Sith Gallery has interactive features and also the best lighting of any gallery, which is helpful, because flash photography is not allowed.
Darth Maul, what badass.
Robe worn by adult Luke Skywalker next to child costume of the young Anakin Skywalker, the future Darth Vader. Heavy.
The Droids have one small gallery.
Early Sketch for C-3P0, Which was Modeled on the Robot in Fritz Lang’s Silent Film, Metropolis
C-3PO, BB-8 and R2-D2
Princess Leia Robe, and Padme Amidala Pre-Senate Robe, Which was Modeled After the Japanese Kimono
The Phantom Menace costumes were inspired by the art of the Pre-Raphaelites — 19th Century English painters – who had particular visions of heroines and female beauty. The use of rich color influenced the fashions of Padme’s handmaidens and the citizens of Naboo.
The Yellow Throne Room Costume (above) included a hood, constructed to extend out and create deep shadows, used to hide the faces of the handmaidens and give them a sense of mystery. This also enabled Padme to travel in disguise as one of the group.
The elaborate costumes of the first three episodes generally serve to emphasize the point that, once The Empire falls to The Dark Side, fashion goes out the window.
Imperial Navy Uniform
Few costume designs in the history of film are as iconic as the Imperial Stormtroopers. This “Spooky White Space Armour” was inspired by designer Ralph McQuarrie’s knowledge of medieval armor.
This is a mirrored room filled with suspended Stormtrooper Helmets. Very cool and super hard to photograph!
Assorted Light Sabers
Senator Amidala, Chancellor’s Office Gown
Robe of Emperor Palpatine
There is a deeply fascinating backstory on the de-volution of Senator/Emperor Palpatine that accompanies several of the costumes worn by actor Ian McDiarmid.
Costumes of Jango and Boba Fett
Tusken Raider Female and Male Costumes
Princess Leia Boushh Bounty Hunter and Slave Bikini
Truth: the famous Leia Slave Bikini looks very jenky up-close. I can’t even imagine how uncomfortable it was to wear (look out for Carrie Fisher’s hilarious quotes to that effect, somewhere in the display narrative).
Chewbacca the Wookie, and Han Solo
There is no argument that actress Natalie Portman got to wear the best costumes of any character. Padme Amidala’s clothes are simply stunning.
Padme Tatooine Homestead Dress
Padme Meadow Picnic Dress
Padme Twilight Nightgown
This the costume Padme is wearing when the audience first sees that she is pregnant with Luke and Leia.
Padme Lake Retreat Arrival Dress
Padme Geonosis Arena Costume, and Naboo Starfighter Pilot Costume
Anakin and Padme Wedding Scene
Padme’s Funeral Gown
There is no question that Padme Amidala stole Darth Vader’s thunder in the costume department, but as we all know, he got the last laugh.
Darth Vader Costume
Geoffrey and I visited the exhibition at 6 PM on a Saturday, when attendance was sparse (read: it’s a good time to go, as the exhibit is open on Saturdays until 9:00 PM). A highlight of our time there was when we overheard one of the exhibit attendants excitedly tell another attendant that a guest was “on her knees, fully worshiping the Darth Vader Costume.” Hilarious.
Darth Shadows– HAHA!
The final gallery of the exhibition is dedicated the latest episode in the franchise, The Force Awakens, which I saw over the Christmas holidays, and just loved.
First Order Stormtrooper, First Order Tie Fighter Pilot, First Order Snowtrooper Costumes
Costumes Worn By Finn, Ray and Poe
After having all kinds of crazy fun, it was time to Exit Through the Gift Shop and ogle the vast bounty of Star Wars swag available for purchase!
A Little Boba Time T Shirt
“I Woke Up Like This” Darth Vader T Shirt
If only this shirt had come with long sleeves, they would have made an easy sale.
Backpacks and Lunch Sacks For The Kids!
Darth Vader Bobble Head
And for the truly lonely, Actual-Size Cardboard Character Stand Ups!
Get More Information on Star Wars and The Power of the Costume Exhibition and the Discovery Center Times Square, Including Address and Directions, Hours, and Purchase Tickets Blah Blah Blah, at This Link!
Adam Green used to be part of the “Anti-Folk” duo known as Moldy Peaches, a “Band” whose music was just not that good. Just being honest here. But I can’t hate on Adam Green for his responsibility in making Moldy Peaches a thing, because the guy is just too cool and hilarious to not be crazy about. As a visual and performance artist, Green strikes that perfect balance of being serious without taking himself seriously. His current exhibit, Hot Chicks by Adam Green & Friends is lots of fun. Here are some photos from the show, accompanied by my insightful commentary.
Right off the bat, I have to give Adam credit for making a lot of drawings for the show.
Two Hot Chicks
The first part of Hot Chicks is comprised of Adam’s interpretations of women, or specifically: juvenile, cubist-inspired “figure” drawings with lots of boobs and weenies in them. The weenies make me think there may be some dudes involved also, but I guess that is open to the viewer’s interpretation. Maybe they are not Weenies but just very long thin Boobs: Discuss.
This one reminds me of Princess Leia.
I love that he changed it up by throwing in this sculpture, while maintaining the cohesive feel of the show as a theme.
This one I believe shows the strong influence of Picasso or Mondrian in Adam’s distinctive style.
That looks like a Peen to me, but maybe it is a leg or arm. Please excuse the unintended image of the gallery’s fluorescent strip lights as they reflect off the glass. How gritty.
The second part of the show features fun works by some of Adam’s friends. I am a little bit jealous that he has such cool friends that can at least pretend to make art.
Here is a Hot Chick from bona fide artist Todd James, whose work is pretty rad. This was probably my favorite piece in the entire show.
Collage Art By Macaulay Culkin
Big Bird as a sort of Dominatrix, By Johnny T. Yerington (AKA Adam Green)
Art By Har Mar Superstar
Art By Alia Shawkat from Arrested Development
Worleygig’com gives this exhibit Two Boobs Up.
Hot Chicks By Adam Green And Friends will be on Exhibit through January 31st, 2014 at The Hole, Located at 312 Bowery (at 2nd Street), NYC. Visit The Hole NYC for Gallery Hours and More Information.
The idea of “repurposing” — taking something old and giving it a new life — is an exciting concept that creates a world of possibilities. Sacred Gallery explores those possibilities (with an inclination towards the darker side of imagination and reality) with a highly amusing new group exhibit entitled Re-Thrifted. To create Re-Thrifted more than two dozen artists started with Thrift Store art finds and recreated the original piece as a new work of art. There are both paintings and sculptures in the exhibit and it was so much fun to view the show and compare the new artworks to their more humble beginnings, as many of the pieces are hung alongside tiny prints showing the pieces that inspired their genesis.
Three Cherubs Get a Visit from The Jetson’s Rosie the Robot
An excellent example of this type of work in its simplest form is Virgin Leia, a kitschy painting of the Virgin Mary recreated as a portrait of Princess Leia from Star Wars. Appropriate!
Above, a group of picnicking Renaissance children become flesh-eating members of the Undead.
The painting above features a picturesque Parisian Street Cafe that has been infused with images from pop culture, turning it into a surreal nightmare. Check out some of the cool details from this work in the shots below.
Walter White from Breaking Bad
Pennywise The Clown Peering from the Sewer
Note that this Herd of Zombies includes Michael Jackson as he appeared in the Video for “Thriller.” So clever! If this awesome painting wasn’t already sold I would have snapped it up in a heartbeat!
What was once an angelic choirboy has transformed into a demonic embodiment of the proverbial principle to “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.”
A menacing, medieval Dragon invades an otherwise idyllic forest scene in this painting by the artist Gothic Hangman.
You can tell that the participating artists were very inspired and that everybody had a blast creating their art for Re-Thrifted. Kudos to Kevin Wilson at Sacred Gallery for hosting yet another very cool show!
The Re-Thrifted Group Exhibit is on Display only Through November 3oth, 2013 at Sacred Gallery, Located at 424 Broadway, 2nd Floor (Between Howard and Canal Streets), so be sure to add it to your list of “Must See Art” while you can!
Even though I live right in the heart of hustling, bustling Manhattan, I do not tend to see a lot of Broadway shows, particularly since being made to suffer the tortures of the damned that is Spring Awakening. But when Geoffrey came back from having seen Carrie Fisher’s one woman show, Wishful Drinking, with non-stop rave reviews, I knew I had to check it out. Because Geoffrey knows his funny. Knowing that my BFF Sue would be in town visiting me from LA this past weekend, I purchased a couple of tickets for us to see Wishful Drinking on Saturday evening. (BTW Goldstar Events has tickets for selected show dates on sale for half price, so I recommend checking that site first before going to the box office/Ticketmaster). Needless to say, we were not disappointed.
In Wishful Drinking, Ms. Fisher, the actress best known to everyone as the iconic Princess Leia from Star Wars, candidly enthralls the audience with various excerpts from her recent autobiography of the same title. From the flow-chart-style examination of her convoluted “celebrity” family tree (her parents are actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher) to her “behind the scenes” tidbits about working with director George Lucas on Star Wars, to her marriages, bouts with drug rehab and ongoing treatment for Bipolar Disorder, Carrie takes a brutally frank approach to peeling back the layers of her darkly comic and extremely fascinating life. Mental illness was never so hilarious! Sue and I completely fell in love with Carrie while laughing our asses off. Immediately after the show ended, we ran around to the back of the theater and hovered briefly by the stage door, from which Carrie soon exited and cheerfully signed our Playbills! Yay for souvenirs! Trust me, even if you think Star Wars blows, this is one Broadway show you will not want to miss if at all humanly possible, because Carrie Fisher is awesome.
Wishful Drinking runs through January 3, 2010 at the Roundabout Theater (formerly Studio 54), 254 West 54th Street; (212) 719-1300. Running time: 2 hours & 20 minutes (including a 15 minute intermission). Continue reading →