I recently enjoyed my first official cocktail-in-a-bar of the Covid summer and, fittingly, it was a Pink Drink! Pictured above is an enticing, frosty glass of Frosé (frozen rosé wine), which I procured at Versa; a cool ‘rooftop’ restaurant located on the fifth floor of the Renaissance hotel in midtown. While Versa is not literally on the hotel’s roof, which is maybe 20 stories higher up, its spacious patio emulates a rooftop experience, while also allowing for pandemic-compliant social distancing and other important safety guidelines. While enjoying the restaurant’s chill vibe, I happily discovered that if Frosé melts before you can suck it all down, it simply turns into chilled rose wine, as there is no diluting from added ice! Win win!
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.
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.
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!
It’s been a decade since the art of Jeff Koons – one of the contemporary art world’s wealthiest, most celebrated and undeniably wildly polarizing figures – has been the focus of a solo exhibit here in Manhattan. This week, he has two: a series of new works at David Zwirner and a retrospective (opening this evening) at the Gagosian Gallery.
The David Zwirner Gallery-hosted Gazing Ball opened last night and, even though the doors opened exactly one hour behind schedule, it was well worth waiting for.
For Gazing Ball, Koons has filled two conjoined spaces of the Gallery (located at adjacent addresses) with more than a dozen Las Vegas-style reproductions of ancient Roman statuary, each adorned with a strategically placed, royal blue stainless steel sphere flaunting the mirror-finish surface that has become so identifiable with Koons’ sculptures.
In each piece, the juxtaposition between the classic and the kitsch, to me, is conceptually fantastic and very visually appealing. But of course there are fans and then there are people live to talk smack about Jeff Koons, which I find puzzling.
It’s been said in Other reviews, and I tend to agree, that people who dump on Jeff Koons’ art must be suffering from some kind of misplaced envy or inferiority complex. If you don’t like Jeff Koons, and no one says you must, you are free to stay away from his art shows, but don’t come to a Koons’ exhibit and talk loudly about how much the art sucks, because it just makes you look pathetic and desperate to seem cool.
Jeff Koons’ Gazing Ball will be on exhibit through June 29th, 2013 at David Zwirner, Located at 525 West 19th Street, In the Chelsea Gallery District. Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 AM – 6:00 PM.
Here at the Worley Gig, we are especially fond of the contemporary art that embraces both the dark and the darkly humorous. Perhaps this is the reason we are really digging the latest exhibit over at Bold Hype Gallery: Bethany Marchman’s Bless Your Heart. According to Marchman’s bio, the artist aims “to create parallels between innocence and influence / history and popular culture. [Her] paintings are reflections of the awkward changes we experience as individuals and as a society, while questioning whether or not growth is synonymous with improvement.” Interesting!
Dealing largely with the anthropomorphism of animals, this new series is both playful and morbid. We just love it! Marchman’s use of traditional oils in a primarily dark color palette lends a renaissance feel to her work; one which is further enhanced by each painting’s ornate, gilt frame. So gorgeous! Each painting tells a story that the viewer can make up in his or her head. Here are some of the thoughts I was thinking while I looked at them.
Are these actually High School Year Book pictures of Goats? If so, what kind world do those Goats inhabit? I want to know.
Are these the skulls of animal characters that populate literary legend? Do they adorn the walls of a museum in a parallel universe? I want to go there.
Are these bunny rabbits in Victorian collars honored pets or regal children immortalized on canvas?
Does this distracted young scout realize that the Yeti is fast encroaching on her? Scary!
How can I get away with not paying my rent so that I can afford to buy the three paintings above?
Bethany’s paintings recall elements of the works of some of our favorite artists including Travis Louie, Ken Kearns and Mark Ryden. If the images in this post resonate with you, or if you dig any of the aforementioned artists, you should not miss this show.
Bethany Marchman’s Bless Your Heart will be on Exhibit Through October 6, 2012 at Bold Hype Gallery, Located at 547 W 27th St, 5th floor, New York, NY 10001. Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 12 Noon – 5:00 PM
Here at The Worley Gig, we like nice things. And we are always ecstatic with gratitude when writing this blog affords us the opportunity to enjoy nice things, which we can then share with you. Last night we were invited to attend a cocktail party celebrating the grand opening of a new restaurant in the Flat Iron district, called Mihoko’s 21 Grams. Mihoko is a Japanese restaurateur (and former ballerina) and 21 Grams is her first restaurant venture in New York City. In case you missed the 2003 movie starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts, “21 Grams” refers to the supposed weight of a human soul. So, is this place soulful? I would say so.
When visiting 21 Grams, you can prepare for an opulent experience the second you enter the front door. Mihoko is something of a collector (obviously, she likes to have nice things as well!) and instead of entering from the street directly into a traditional foyer, bar area or dining room, guests enter into what looks like a narrow museum shop, where shelves display tiny colorful teapots, aperitif glasses and various exotic glass items, dishes and table top collectibles, all of which are for sale at prices that will definitely make you think you are in museum. The elaborate entrance hall will pique your curiosity for what comes next, and it’s doubtful you will be disappointed once you enter the main space. I hate to fall back on corny descriptive phrases like “A feast for the eyes” but it’s appropriate when describing the interior of 21 Grams. Designed by Bruno Borrione, who has worked with Philippe Starck, the dining and bar space has a French Renaissance feel, with etched mirrors, school-of-Rembrandt-style paintings and fabric screens surrounding most tables, offering a welcome sense of intimacy. The restaurant also as a downstairs lounge flaunting a completely different, but equally gorgeous, décor. There’s a sushi bar at the rear of restaurant’s main room, and more screened-partitioned seating. No matter which direction you turn there is some object of beauty to fall in love with.
21 Grams’ broad menu, which includes modern interpretations of classic bistro fare as well as an extensive sushi menu, is “derived from the essence of contemporary French fare and the lightness of Japanese cuisine.” At Tuesday night’s event, we sampled the Wagyu Beef skewered with spiced carrots (find it on the menu under “Wagyu Beef Ribeye” at $21 per ounce) as well as amuse-bouche portions of other tempting menu items including the Heirloom Tomato Salad (with crisp, refreshing watermelon), Alaskan King Crab Croustillsant (with luscious avocado and dried citrus) and Chawan Mushi – an elegant Snap Pea puree with crème fraiche and porcini mushrooms – delicious! Miniature paper cones of Chick Pea fries (we guess they were a combination of pureed chickpeas and tofu, fried crispy) served with red pepper coulis for dipping were also a favorite, as were the many trays of passed sushi rolls that boasted unusual fillings like Eel & Foie Gras, and Asparagus & Black Truffle. For those with a Black Card,21 Grams offers two and three-course seasonal menus ($75 and $95, with dessert), and a nine-course tasting menu ($150). Be assured I’ll be saving up for a return trip.
Mihoko’s 21 Grams is Located at 16 West 22nd Street, West of Fifth Avenue, in the Flatiron district. Phone (212) 741-0021 for Reservations. The restaurant is currently open for dinner only.