Tag Archive | Seinfeld

Photos from the Mr. Brainwash Life is Beautiful Exhibit

Brainwash Bowie Mural
All Photos By Gail. Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail.

While not necessarily a household name, Mr. Brainwash is arguably one of the most commercially successful street artists alive, and certainly one whose art panders to the lowest common denominator, Hallmark-Greeting-Card-sensibilities of the general public. What his heavily appropriated artworks lack in originality, Brainwash makes up in Chutzpah and being backed by a team who are geniuses at marketing and selling his brand. Right now — for how long, who the fuck knows — you can explore a warehouse-sized exhibit of Brainwash’s Greatest Hits at a pop-up space on West 14th Street, directly under the High Line Park. Entitled Life is Beautiful, the exhibit is the French-born, LA-based artist’s follow-up to 2010’s all-encompassing exhibit/happening, Icons; which was up for most of that year, it seems. Was it worth the wait? You betcha.

Christina's World

It is easy to criticize Brainwash’s Instagram-Nation-mentality visual puns and platitudes, but it is hard not to fall in love with pieces as hilariously snarky as this depiction of Tiger Woods playing through on Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World that i saw on socialproof.xyz. Talk about taking the piss out of beloved cultural icons.

Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell’s classic Americana portraiture also gets a liberal dose of the Brainwash Treatment, hybridizing these well-loved images with modern memes and technological gadgets.

Rockwell Trio

If you are my age or older, you probably grew up with Rockwell’s art in your house. In a way, this generational mash-up gives Brainwash’s  art an ideal cross-over accessibility, making it a fun exhibit to bring your parents to. In fact, I daresay there is something here for everybody.

Darth Painting

Do you like Star Wars? There are Star Wars characters in this exhibit.

Storm Trooper

Mickey Mouse

Look at all this stuff! It’s like Bansky’s attic blew up in your face.

Art Chair

Some of the art is disguised as stuff that you can sit on. Can you sit on this? Try it and find out.

Life is Beautiful Green

Cabinet of Toys

This cabinet stuffed with vintage toys appealed to my collector/hoarder mentality.

Toys Detail

If you look long enough, you’ll probably see something you used to own, before it was purchased for a nickel from the Goodwill, or scavenged from a landfill.


Maybe you remember the celebrity portraits created from meticulously pieced-together broken vinyl LPs that made up about 50% of the Icons exhibit. Well, they’re back for an encore appearance in Life is Beautiful. Some, like this ubiquitous image of Jimi Hendrix, now have psychedelic paint thrown onto the hair, for an updated effect.

Vinyl Record Portraits

Yeah, you remember these guys.

Living Room

Is it artsy recreation of a Midcentury Living Room, or is it a comfy place to rest? Again, why not see what you can get away with?

Brainwash Kitchen

Here, Brainwash offers a few redesign ideas for your kitchen.

Caitlyn Jenner

Renaissance Caitlyn Jenner manages to be both topical and mind blowing simultaneously.

Batman and Robin

And of course the art is nothing if not hyper-self-referential.

Tomato Spray Can

Another rehash from Icons but, like an old friend, always fun to see again.

Life is Beautiful Hirst

I wonder if Damien Hirst gets a cut of this one?

Seinfeld Cast

These stylized portraits of the cast of Seinfeld are probably my favorite pieces in the show.

Cow Parade

This one made me nostalgic for the Cow Parade. If you don’t know what that was, you should Google it.

Mr Brainwash
Thierry Guetta (AKA Mr. Brainwash).

I finally made in it to see the Life is Beautiful exhibit at 2:30 PM on a Friday, after three unsuccessful attempts; meeting a closed and locked door each of the previous times. So, if you feel lucky or have time to kill, why not see if your timing is right and you arrive on a day and time that someone with keys decides to open the door. Hours are not posted on Brainwash’s official website, nor can they be found anywhere on the storefront itself.  So it is really a crap-shoot that can get old fast, depending on your tolerance for being jerked around.


Don’t forget to hashtag the shit out of your photos.

Brainwash Exhibit as seen from the Highline.

UPDATE 8/25/15

The exhibit has moved to much smaller space just a few storefronts east of its previous home, and is now a Pop Up “Store” with hours clearly posted on the doors, as seen in the photo below:

Brainwash Hours
Photo by Geoffrey Dicker


Prince Street Pizza Serves Up a Delicious Slice With a Side of Local History

Prince Street Pizza Front Case
All Photos By Anne Raso

Here in NYC, we have a plethora of Pizza places going by the name of Ray’s, Famous Ray’s, Famous Original Ray’s, and endless variations on that ubiquitous moniker; it’s become a joke that even worked its way into the storyline of a Seinfeld episode. But the original Ray’s Pizza, the one that started all, was a joint located in Soho called Original Ray’s of Prince Street, which was first operated by Luchese crime family member Ralph Cuomo. Despite the checkered reputation of its owner, Ray’s was known for its fantastic Italian food and warm family atmosphere. Everybody went to Ray’s. Culinary history runs deep in the storefront restaurant at 27 Prince Street, and a new chapter to the story began on January 4th, when neighborhood local Frank Morano launched Prince Street Pizza in the same location where his family often ate Sunday meals together while he was growing up. Frank is an affable and customer service-oriented man; an already seasoned restaurateur who was seemingly born to contribute to the Pizza-making history of this particular address. Last summer, The Worley Gig proclaimed Donatella restaurant of Chelsea as the home of New York City’s best pizza, but we are now suggesting that, even if your current ‘hood has a pizza place on every corner, Prince Street Pizza could easily become the destination for your next slice – it’s that good!

Prince Street Pizza Rice Ball Stuffed with with Meat and Peas
Sicilian Rice Ball

Prince Street Pizza features a small but keenly focused menu offering a selection of unique starters, fried to order calzones and pizza options in both the Neapolitan (round pie) and traditional, thicker crust Sicilian (square pie) – the latter of which has spawned the in-house specialty slice known as the SoHo Square (Original Catch Phrase: “No Other Square Can Compare™”). Before delving into the hearty pizza options, we enjoyed a sampling of Prince Street’s amazing deep-fried Rice Balls in each of three varieties: Stuffed Prosciutto Balls (with Ricotta, Mozzarella and finely chopped Prosciutto), Neapolitan (gooey with melted Mozzarella and Romano Cheeses) and the Sicilian Rice Ball stuffed with a mixture of Chopped Beef and Peas in a Marinara sauce. Frank provided us with a selection of the savory sweet homemade marinara sauce and the creamy vodka sauce for dipping, which added to the comfort-food aspect of enjoying these crispy treats. The rice balls were a bargain, with an order of four being only $1.20 (for the Sicilian or Prosciutto) or 99 cents for the cheese only variety, so there is no reason not to start out your meal with an order. Dipping sauces (in 5 varieties) are .75 / .99 cents each. We were looking forward to trying the Crazy Calabrese (broccoli rabe & garlic wrapped in a Chinese egg roll and served with sweet chili sauce) but they were, sadly, not available on the day of our visit (providing us with a reason to go back!)

Prince Street Pizza Humble Ham Calzone
Humble Ham Calzone

Excited to try the Calzones, we chose the Humble Ham (just $7.00, wow!), which was huge and easily shared among three people. Overstuffed with tender, thinly sliced Ham, Mozzarella and a heavy curd Ricotta, the cheese melts and blends together to such a creamy consistency that my dining companions were convinced they were tasting a Béchamel sauce. All calzones, including Paulie’s Pepperoni (Stuffed with Cheese and Spicy Pepperoni, $7.00) and the classic ‘Cheese Please’ Calzone ($6.00) are served with a side of Marinara for dipping, or ask Frank for the sauce of your choice.

Prince Street Pizza Spicy Spring Pepperoni Sicilian Slice
The Spicy Spring SoHo Square

The feast continued with a fresh from the oven selection of Prince Street’s signature pizza slices. Named for neighborhood streets, the SoHo Squares include the Prince Perfection (Fresh Mozzarella with secret sauce) the Mercer Margarita (thin crust pizza, marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil and garlic), the Broadway Breadcrumb (a cheeseless pie with seasoned breadcrumbs and tomato sauce) and the Spicy Spring (Fra Diavalo sauce, spicy custom-sliced pepperoni and fresh mozzarella). The Fra Diavolo sauce on our spicy Spring Square was tantalizing to our taste buds but not painfully hot, and it provided the perfect base for the custom-sliced pepperoni that curls up the edges and gets crispy in the oven. The crust on these pies is crisp on the bottom with a light fluffiness under the sauce and has just the right amount of chewiness. It’s easy to down several slices and feel like you have room for more. SoHo Squares are available by the slice for $3.50 /$3.75 or a whole pie for $24 / $26.

Prince Street Pizza Smoked Mozzarella Slice
Neapolitan Slice Topped with Fresh Smoked Mozzarella

Prince Street Pizza also features four Neapolitan pizza options including an old-school Marinara & Mozz called the Original Prince, the Boozy Broome (Vodka sauce, fresh mozzarella) and the Green Machine, topped with Pesto sauce, Cheese and Gaeta Olives. We enjoyed the fragrant smoked fresh mozzarella on our Fancy Prince slice, which you can ask for in place of the non-smoked variety. Again, the thin crust on these 20″ pies is crispy and light, so you can indulge in a few slices without literally feeling weighed down. The pizza here is absolutely, eye-rollingly delicious. Dare we say it? The Best in the City! Neapolitan pizzas are $2.95 / $3.75 per slice, depending on toppings, and $18 / $26 per 20” Pie. Additional toppings such as Anchovies, Italian Sausage and Sautéed Onions with Green & Red Bell Peppers can be added to your pizza for a nominal charge.

The restaurant is intimate – seating only a total of twelve customers (at two counters, one on either side of the room) at one time, but they do a brisk take-out business and offer a limited delivery radius. Prince Street Pizza also offers “curb side pick up,” allowing customers to phone in their orders, then drive or bike up to the storefront and have their order brought out to them. The complete menu can be viewed in its entirety at This Link, so get your order ready now!

Prince Street Pizza is located at 27 Prince St (Between Mott & Elizabeth Streets) in Soho, New York. Open late, phone (212) 966-4100 for specific store hours and more information.