Tag Archive | Sid Vicious

Must See Art: Blek Le Rat’s Ignorance is Bliss

Sweet Dreams
Sweet Dreams by Blek Le Rat (All Photos By Gail)

My vote for the first Must See Show of NYC’s Fall Art Season is iconic stencil artist Blek Le Rat’s Ignorance is Bliss at Jonathan LeVine Gallery. While Saturday’s opening reception was comparatively sparsely attended, this made for a great viewing experience, perfect photo snapping conditions and a chance to talk to the artist himself, who was on hand to sign cards, pose for photos and, in general, be an all around nice, cool guy. Blek Le Rat!

Rope Pulling
Rope Pulling

Ignorance is Bliss is Le Rat’s largest body of work to date and his second solo exhibit at the Gallery.

David with Kalashnikov
David with Kalashnikov

The exhibit features a series of works on canvas as well as one bronze, marking the first time the artist has worked in sculpture. The gilded bronze piece depicts Michaelangelo’s David holding a rifle, and is based on a stencil that Blek le Rat has stenciled on the streets of cities all over the world. The sculpture also features a small rat by David’s feet (sadly, the rat is slighting obscured by David’s leg in the photo above). This iconic rat is found throughout the artist’s work, and, coincidentally, is also found repeatedly in the work of Banksy, for whom Le Rat is a direct and prominent influence.

Avida Dollars
Avida Dollars (Salvador Dali Portrait)

Spray Can
Spray Can

Ignorance is Bliss fills all rooms of the Gallery — rare for the LeVine space, which can co-exhibit work by up to three featured artists at one time.
Sibyl and Power of Ignorance
Sibyl and Power of Ignorance

The Big Race
The Big Race

Vicious
Vicious

It’s always fun to see someone re-interpret this popular shot of the late Sid Vicious by photographer Dennis Morris.

Blek Le Rat is a legend and his work has influenced everyone, so do come out and see this show while you can!

Blek Le Rat’s Ignorance is Bliss will be on Exhibit Through October 5th, 2013 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor in the Chelsea Gallery District.

3 Blind Rats
3 Blind Rats

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Punk: Chaos to Couture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chaos to Couture Rainbow Wig
“Photography Not Allowed” (All Stealth Photos By Gail)

Thanks to a special allowance for the Memorial Day Holiday, The Met ended up being open on Monday and Geoffrey and I were able to head to the scenic upper west side on a very gorgeous, sunny day to check out the much ballyhooed fashion exhibit, Punk: Chaos to Couture. Photography is not allowed in the exhibit, which is a huge drag, but I was able to sneak in a few “stealth snaps” while the vigilant Art Nazis were distracted by other things, so please excuse the poor quality of my shots for this post as I was shooting in the dark with no flash! Punk Rock!

Chaos to Couture OldSchool Outfits3

The exhibit starts out with examples of actual DIY fashions worn by the original British punks of the late 1970s. These hand fashioned outfits then inspired pioneering designer Vivienne Westood and her business partner, Malcolm McLaren, to open the clothing shop, SEX, where they sold early versions of bondage trousers, Band T Shirts and other punk gear.

Chaos to Couture Sex Shop
Recreation of Vivienne Westwood’s Punk Rock Boutique, Sex

Chaos to Couture OldSchool T Shirts
Vintage Punk T Shirts

It is important to understand — and this cannot be emphasized strongly enough — that the phrase “Punk Fashion” is a bit of an oxymoron, as the early Punks were not interested in following or copying any kind of fashion, but rather were doing something completely original using clothes already found in their own closets.

Chaos to Couture OldSchool Outfits2
The Punk Aesthetic Begins its Influence on Haute Couture

Chaos to Couture OldSchool Outfits

Like 2011’s Savage Beauty, which showcased the genius of the late designer  Alexander McQueen, Chaos to Couture maintains a reverance to the Wearable Art status of these clothes and thus is expertly laid out via a series of connected galleries that often recreate the look of downtown clubs and alleyways where the original punk fashion aesthetic was born. The rear walls of most of these galleries are illuminated by video projections of the classic punk bands performing and I enjoyed hearing some of my favorite punk music of that era by great bands like The Buzzcocks and The Damned, which helped to authenticate the sensorial experience.

Chaos to Couture Multipel Outfits

As the exhibit segues gradually into runway designs by fashion houses such as Comme De Garcon, Dolce & Gabbana and Moschino (among many others), it becomes a bit more ridiculous that they are trying to maintain any kind of tenuous relationship to the Punk Rock movement, but the clothes are nevertheless fun to look at.

Chaos to Couture Gift Two Outfits

Still, paying $5,000 for a pair of shredded jeans because it has a designer label is not punk, it is just pathetic.

Chaos to Couture Black Dress
Chaos to Couture Blouse and Black Skirt
Chaos to Couture Fanta Dress

Be sure to also check out the exhibit gift shop, where you can see an exhibit based on a working class-founded movement that embraced the DIY ethic celebrated with overpriced, factory made souvenirs!

Vivienne Westwood Platform Shoes
Miniature Vinyl Platform Shoes Based on a Design By Vivienne Westwood

Two different people admonished me about taking this photo, even in the gift shop (!), so you can be assured that I made certain to get the above shot!

Pink Safety Pin Purse

This pink safety-pin studded clutch purse — that you could make for about $10 — sells in the gift shop for $1500! Not a typo!

Chaos to Couture Gift Shop

Punk: Chaos to Couture Runs Through August 14th, 2013 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Located at 1000 Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street.

Chaos to Couture Gift Shop Poster

Rock Star Birthdays on May 10th : Sid Vicious, Donovan and Bono


May 10, 1957 – February 2, 1979

Sid Vicious, (born John Simon Ritchie), bassist for the Sex Pistols and infamous pop culture icon, would have celebrated his Birthday today, if he had not died in 1979May 10th is also the Birthday of Sixties Pop Guru, Donovan (born in 1946) and some guy named Paul Hewson (born in 1960), who sings and pontificates for the band U2. Happy Birthday, guys!

Bob Gruen Brings Rockers Photographic Exhibit to NYC!

Rockers!

Rockers Exhibit Flier from Sao Paolo Brazil

For winter weather-imposed shut-ins like me, who practically haven’t left the house in six months, last night provided a fantastic entrée into spring, when legendary Rock Photographer Bob Gruen brought his Rockers exhibit to the Morrison Hotel Gallery (formerly CBGB’s Gallery). Let me tell you, it was quite the scene-making opportunity I’ve been craving.

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