The late Supreme Court Justice and champion of women’s rights, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has been honored with a gorgeous collage mural depicting her face among vibrantly-colored, iconic images that reflect her wildly-accomplished career. Created by street artist Elle over a period of about ten-days in the first two weeks of November, the mural’s location at the southwest corner of First Avenue and 11th Street was formerly home to this mural by Shepard Fairey, which was completed in October of 2016. With the way this year has been going, we needed a fresh and inspiring new artwork in this space, and Ellereally delivered.
The mural is close enough to my home that I was able to visit the site at various stages of completion; my very first sighting occurring on November 13th, during one of my twilight-time walks. What luck to also capture this very colorful graffiti box truck, which was parked on First Avenue at the time.
See More Photos of Elle’s RBG Memorial Mural After The Jump!
For true pop music devotees — and particularly for those who came of age in the ’70s and ’80s — 2016 delivered a year of The Day The Music Died-level emotional trauma on a monthly basis. Like some kind of Plague Upon the Rock Stars, 2016 wiped out an entire lifetimes’ worth of legends, including David Bowie in early January, then Keith Emerson in March, Prince in April, Leonard Cohen in November and, as the year’s final fuck you — on Christmas day no less — we lost George Michael.
George Michael’s death at age 53 was especially devastating to my close friend Geoffrey, for whom Michael was not only a favorite recording artist but also a creative inspiration and role model. In March, George Michael’s personal art collection will be sold by Christie’s Auction House in London, with all proceeds going towards continuance of Michael’s philanthropic work. But before the collection hits the block to be sold worldwide for millions of pounds, an exhibit of representative pieces is touring a few cities where Christie’s has offices, so that George Michael fans can experience the joy that Michael surely felt while living with these beautiful and moving works of fine contemporary art — many of which are by artists with whom Michael had personal relationships. Geoffrey recently relocated from Manhattan to Chicago, so when he asked me if I would attend the exhibit at Christie’s headquarters in Rockefeller Center, I said that I would. “Take Pictures of Everything,” he implored me, and I did. Sadly, out of the 200 pieces to be sold, the NYC leg of the exhibit only had twelve artworks on display. This is what I saw.
Over the course of a career that stretched from the 1920s to the 1980s, Alice Neel painted portraits of hundreds of friends, family members, lovers, artists art historians, writers, and political activists, believing that “people are the greatest and profoundest key to an era.” Seeking to express psychology above absolute physical likeness, she often used exaggerated colors and expressive brushstrokes and eliminated extraneous details in order to capture the inner lives of her subjects.
Neel was a longtime supporter of leftist causes. In the painting of Pat Whalen (1935), she depicts the Communist activist and union organizer for the longshoremen of Baltimore as a paragon of social justice. Whalen’s creased face and expression — along with a copy of the Daily Worker, the official newspaper of the Communist Party USA, resting beneath his large, clenched — suggest both a noble archetype of the blue-collar worker and an all-consuming commitment to the working man’s cause.
Blowing the fashion world away with Blue Steel and teaching us that there really is more to life than being really, really ridiculously good looking, Derek Zoolander first became an icon back in 2001. Now that he’s about to hit our screens again in Zoolander 2 (opening February 12th) how much do you know about the male supermodel that’s SO handsome it makes the rest of the world throw up and feel bad about themselves? Catch up, or recap, with our new infographic of essential Zoolander trivia, most memorable quotes and some of Derek Zoolander’s most hilarious Instagram posts. Enjoy!
It may have been as long ago as last summer that I met Christian, as he set up a table near the corner of 10th Avenue and 23rd Street in the Chelsea Gallery Distinct to hand out his amazing coloring /activity books that he makes himself.
On each of the book’s pages you will find an icon of the art, fashion or music world along with a famous original quote of theirs. Here is Andy Warhol, my favorite artist ever in the Universe of all time, also accompanied by my favorite quote of his, “Art is What you Can Get Away With.” That is so true.
Here we see Freddie Mercury and Grace Jones (as seen on the cover of her legendary CD, Island Life).
Elton John, I love him!
I can feel Bjork on this quote, because people asked me the same thing when I got home from an Alaskan Cruise. Really people? Eskimos? It was cruise, not an anthropological expedition!
Andre Leon Talley is an eccentric fashion mogul who sometimes gets himself into trouble, because he has a very sassy mouth!
There are alossome fun games and activity pages in the book, such as this cool maze to help Andy Warhol find funding for his art, or something like that!
Also, you can connect-the-dots to draw designer Karl Lagerfeld. So fun!
Find out more about Christian and see how he has colored and decorated some of these pages himself on his Facebook page, Christian Loves Sparkle!
Hey, all of you Game of Thrones freaks out there! How excited does it make you to learn that you can get this rad GOT saying on a flaming heart, emblazoned on anything you might desire: from a simple T-Shirt to a Smart Phone Case to a Baby Onesie (appropriate!)?
As Pure and Strange as What I See (For Lou Reed), 2013 (All Photos By Gail)
Painter Erik den Breejen is back at Freight + Volume for There’s a Riot Goin’ On, his fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. Den Breejen’s paintings play with a mosaic of text, color, and pattern, and the embodiment of music, film, comedy and literature. He uses lyrics, quotes, jokes, and poems of iconic figures from the early 1970s to express the collective – and sometimes tragic – unconscious of the time.
Loud Reed Lyrics make up the Image of Reed, Seen Above
The title of the exhibition, There’s a Riot Goin’ On, comes from the 1971 Sly & The Family Stone album of the same, which itself was named in response to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On album (also 1971). In a one-two punch, the paintings use text to create both mosaic-like portraits as well as project the voice of these cultural icons.
Detail of Richard Pryor Image
There’s a Riot Goin’ On takes a commanding look back at the early 70’s and specifically explores the lives and work of creative revolutionaries such as Richard Pryor, Harry Nilsson, Marvin Gaye, Joan Baez and Allen Ginsberg, among others. Den Breejen investigates the role of the artist as messenger from another state of consciousness.
Nilsson Schmilsson (Harry Nilsson)
Detail of Harry Nilsson Image
These artists, comedians, musicians, poets, and rock stars channeled their inspiration to confront the rules and norms of their time. Den Breejen chooses as his subject radicals who engaged and challenged their generation. His portraits revisit and transform their observations. His recent paintings tell a history that has been recorded, portrayed, lived and felt by these people. In this sense, his technique can be seen as a kind of time travel.
Detail of Karen Carpenter Image
One cool thing about this exhibit is that the further away from the image you are, the clearer and less pixelated the image appears to the naked eye. I also enjoyed searching for certain lyrics in the paintimgs, and trying to recognize images I didn’t immediately know from what was written on the canvas. You can make a fun game out of it when you go to see this exhibit!
Detail of Liza Minella Image
Erik den Breejen’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On will be on Exhibit Through June 7th, 2014 at Freight and Volume, Located at 530 W. 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.