Photos By Gail
In the midst of Black Friday bargain-hunting, I passed by this pair of large Silver Ears attached to the glass doors of a not-yet-opened business called, as the sign on the left door would indicate, Inked. A little Googling reveals that the ears belong to the future home of a retail shop and tattoo parlor affiliated with Inked tattoo lifestyle magazine. Originally scheduled to open its doors in October, Inked will inhabit an 8,500-square-foot space for an art gallery, tattoo studio” in this ground floor space in Chelsea. Inked will be the first retail location for the tattoo lifestyle company. The magazine was launched in 2004, reaching some 1.2 million readers, according to a press release.
The Inked Retail Store is (or will soon be) Located at 150 West 22nd Street Between 6th and 7th Avenues in Manhattan.
“Can You Hear Me Now?”
Photo By Gail
Edward Hopper’s Seven A.M. (1948) depicts an anonymous storefront cast in the oblique, eerie shadows and cool light of early morning. The store’s shelves stand empty, and the few odd products displayed in the window provide no evidence of the store’s function. A clock on the wall confirms the time given in the title, and indeed the painting seems to depict a specific moment and place. Yet a series of Hopper’s preparatory sketches reveal that he experimented with significant compositional variations, depicting a figure in the second story window. He even considered setting the painting at another time of day. His wife, Josephine Hopper, a respected artist herself, described the store as a “blind pig” — a front for some illicit operation, perhaps alluding to the painting’s forbidding overtones.
Study for 7 A.M.
Photographed in the Whitney Museum in Manhattan.
All Photos By Gail
These porcelain-enameled steel panels once clad the exterior of Best Products catalogue showroom in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Featuring a cheery floral pattern, they evoke both mass-market chintz textiles and Pop artist Andy Warhol’s silkscreened canvases. The building’s billboard-scale graphics and signage made it highly visible from the roadway — an improbable meadow springing from a suburban parking lot. During the 1970s, Best Products‘ founders commissioned firms like Venturi and Rauch, and SITE (Sculpture in the Environment) to design architecturally novel, often whimsical showrooms that set the chain apart from its competitors.
Installation View: Best Products Showroom Exterior
The ornamental big-box store exemplifies the postmodern architectural concept of the “decorated shed,” introduced by Venturi and Scott Brown — Robert Venturi’s firm with his wife, Denise Scott Brown — (with co-author Steven Izenour) in Learning from Las Vegas, their influential 1972 text on the built environment. The decorated shed describes any generic structure that relies on applied ornament and signs to convey its purpose.
Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
Photo Added on September 1, 2020
Photos By Gail
Graffiti artist and Muralist Jules Muck (aka @MuckRock) has added this fun likeness of guitar god Jimi Hendrix, alongside a border of multiple images of rabbits humping, to the façade of vintage clothing and record store Rags-A-GoGo. It looks like a fun place to shop! You can see more of Jules work at This Link!
Rags-A-GoGo is located at 218 West 14th Street, NYC.
Photos By Gail
With Half Mast, Derek Fordjour debuts a new work that reflects on the current national reckoning with mass shootings, and the relentless threat of violence against Black and Brown bodies. A portrait of this divided moment in U.S. history, Half Mast presents law officers, students, and ordinary civilians in one compressed, shared space. Alongside teddy bears and balloons reminiscent of street-side memorials, some figures appear marked with targets while others have been reduced to silhouettes.
Fordjour’s image holds no one person or group responsible for the violence, even as it speaks to loss and abuse of power. Painted brightly in his signature graphic style, the work points to possibilities of a future civic movement or celebration. Derek Fordjour first made Half Mast as a painting; here, in his first solo museum exhibition, it is presented as a public art installation in the form of a large vinyl print, located outdoors at the intersection of Gansevoort and Washington Streets, across the street ands down one block from the Whitney Museum, and directly across from the end of the High Line.