Tag Archive | Tommy

Monumental Sculptures By Tony Cragg on The Park Avenue Malls

Runner By Tony Cragg
All Photos By Gail

It’s not always easy to keep up with all of the Public Art installed in and around Manhattan at any given time, but I stumbled on the piece above, a towering, abstract white and cream fiberglass structure entitled Runner (2017), by sculptor Tony Cragg, when I visited the Park Avenue Armory for Nick Cave’s The Let Go installion. Runner is right out front of the Armory at the corner of 67th Street. When I left the Armory, I snapped a few additional shots of Runner before heading back down town.

Runner (gebogen), 2017, Park Avenue at East 67th Street

Runner is one of five monumental, abstract sculptures by Cragg, which present an opportunity for a leisurely stroll over nearly 20 blocks on this almost suburban Manhattan thoroughfare. The commanding sculptures exemplify Cragg’s experimentation with a variety of materials include the aforementioned fiberglass, stainless steel and bronze.

Runner (gebogen), 2017, Park Avenue at East 67th Street

Runner with the Park Avenue Armory in the Background.

Runner (gebogen), 2017, Park Avenue at East 67th Street

Runner (gebogen), 2017, Park Avenue at East 67th Street
Runner, Detail

On the 4th of July, I decided to get some exercise and walk from 52nd to 79th Streets to check out the other four Cragg sculptures. Please enjoy my photos!

Mean Average, 2013, Park Avenue at East 52nd Street

Mean Average, at 52nd Street, is a weighty composition made of bronze.

Mean Average, 2013, Park Avenue at East 52nd Street

I tried to shoot each of the sculptures from a variety of angles.

Mean Average, 2013, Park Avenue at East 52nd Street

You can get such a different impression of the work, depending on your perspective.

Elliptical Column, 2012, Park Avenue at East 57th Street

Elliptical Column at 57th Street is a nearly 20-foot tall spire made of shiny, almost liquid-like stainless steel.

Elliptical Column, 2012, Park Avenue at East 57th Street

Elliptical Column, 2012, Park Avenue at East 57th Street

Hammerhead, 2017, Park Avenue at East 72nd Street

The same white and cream fiberglass used for Runner is also used for Hammerhead at  72nd Street, and the brightness allows the sculpture to really pop against the surrounding landscape.

Hammerhead, 2017, Park Avenue at East 72nd Street

Hammerhead, 2017, Park Avenue at East 72nd Street

Tommy, 2013, Park Avenue at East 79th Street

At 79th Street, the artist uses bronze again for Tommy, which has a blue-green patina. The vertical forms seemingly defy gravity while giving the impression of upward motion and kinetic energy, though they are static.

Tommy, 2013, Park Avenue at East 79th Street

This exhibition is presented in association with the Fund for Park Avenue  and Marian Goodman Gallery.

Tony Cragg’s Monumental Sculptures will be on Exhibit along Manhattan’s Park Avenue Malls at the intersections of 52nd Street, 57th Street, 67th Street, 72nd Street, and 79th Streets Through October 31st, 2018.

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Morrison Hotel Gallery Presents The Melody Maker Photography of Barrie Wentzell

Jimi Hendrix Color Portrait By Barrie Wentzell
Apparently, Jimi Hendrix Always Dressed Like This (all Post Photos By Gail, Click any Image to Enlarge)

Every picture tells a story. During his career, Photographer Barrie Wentzell collected an endless cache of unheard stories from and about many of rock’s greatest legends that would blow your head right off. From 1965 to 1975 – certainly one of the (if not the) most vibrant and fertile decades for Rock & Roll music and culture — Wentzell shot both live performance and candid, intimate photographs of everyone who was anyone: from Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles to The Kinks and Led Zeppelin for the UK weekly music rag, Melody Maker.

John Entwistle and Pete Townshend By Barrie Wentzell
John Entwistle and Pete Townshend During Recording Sessions for Tommy

His pay was about 20 pounds per week, but Wentzell will tell you even today that his dream gig during the Golden Age of Rock & Roll was never about the money; it was about the experiences he had with these artists.

Early Yes
An Early Incarnation of Yes

Right now, you can view a small portion of Wentzell’s extensive and wildly impressive career legacy at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in the comprehensively entitled exhibit, Melody Maker: The Best Years, 1965-1975, The Photography of Barrie Wentzell. Most of these pictures have never been published or viewed by the public. In fact, Wentzell admitted that, prior to staging the exhibit, he’d not viewed the majority of these photos since he first took them. And that is just shame, because his pictures are transcendent.

Ray Davies Plays Pool By Barrie Wentzell
Ray Davies Plays Pool

Pete Townshend with Toys By Barrie Wentzell
Pete Townshend & Friends

I have seen many, many great rock photography exhibits and I must say that this is the first one where the words “Fine Art Rock Photography” – which is what Morrison Hotel Gallery is known for – really resonated with me when experiencing Barrie Wentzell’s photos. The oddest reaction I had was while silently gazing at a black and white photo of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, taken while both were still in their early 20s. They just looked so young and unjaded, with their entire lives and careers ahead of them. I thought about the first Elton John songs I ever heard, like “Mona Lisa’s and Mad Hatters,” “Mad Man Across the Water” and “Sixty Years On.” And unexpected tears of deep nostalgia welled up in my eyes. It was embarrassing to dork out in public like that, but it was also such an amazing feeling to be so fully transported back to a time when Rock Stars meant everything to me. Barrie Wentzell’s work is truly as magical as the music of that era.

Jimmy Page Color Portrait By Barrie Wentzell
Jimmy Page

Read more about Barrie Wentzell, and view some of the photos in this do-not-miss show, at This Link.

Barrie Wentzell with Pete Townshend Photo
Barrie Wentzell

Morrison Hotel Gallery is Located at 116 Prince Street (Loft) and 124 Prince Street (Store Front) in NYC’s Greenwich Village.

David Bowie By Barrie Wentzell
David Bowie

Cat Stevens By Barrie Wentzell
Cat Stevens

Led Zeppelin Live

This Photo of Led Zeppelin In Concert Fully Captures the Energy of the Performance in a Static Medium. Amazing.

See the Photo that Made Me Cry After the Jump!

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Director Ken Russell Dies at Age 84


Roger Daltrey as the composer Franz Liszt in Ken Russell’s 1975 film Lisztomania

British film Director Ken Russell – who directed two of my favorite films starring Roger Daltrey (Tommy and Lisztomania) has passed away in a hospital on Sunday (11/27/11) following a series of strokes. He was 84. BillBoard has a nice obit and recap of Russell’s career at This Link.

The Who Record Pinball Wizard


Pinball Wizard Picture Sleeve (German Release)

On This Date, February 7th in 1969: The Who recorded “Pinball Wizard” at Morgan Studios in London. Although it was not one of songwriter Pete Townshend’s favorites, it went on to become by far the most popular song from the rock opera, Tommy, reaching #4 in the UK charts and #13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. “Pinball Wizard” remains part of The Who’s live set to this day. Perhaps they will perform it later today when they provide musical entertainment for the half time show at the Super Bowl (aka The Stupid Bowl), which I will be doing everything in my power to avoid watching!

Happy Birthday Dennis Dunaway, Original Bassist of the Band Alice Cooper


Dennis is on the Far Left

Dennis remembers: “I spent my 26th birthday (December 9th, 1972) at the opening of The Who’s Tommy at the Rainbow Theater in London. Neal (Smith, drummer) drove us there in the Rolls Royce he had just bought that day.”

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DVD Recommendation: Privilege

Privilegle Movie Poster

Privilege is a 1967 film that just became available on DVD last month, and I was fortunate to snag it rather quickly on Netflix. This film is just awesome, flaunting a combination of aesthetic elements that recall films like The Magic Christian, Tommy, Velvet Goldmine and Nicholas Roeg’s Performance. I would recommend Privilege to anyone who enjoyed one or more of those films.

Part dark comedy and part scathing sociopolitical satire, Privilege was literally decades ahead of its time. Briefly, the film takes place “in the near future” (1970), where the British government is using Steven Shorter, a popular rock star (played by the very handsome Manfred Mann front man/singer Paul Jones) to channel the impulses of rebellious teenagers. While his “duties” include promoting/endorsing commercial products and shilling for public service announcements, Steven is referred to in an opening voice over as “The most desperately loved entertainer in the world.” So you know he’s been set up with some big shoes to fill.

As the government re-engineers Steven’s image to assist in more tightly controlling teenage society, he eventually rebels, with disquieting results. ‘60s Supermodel Jean Shrimpton co-stars as Vanessa, a sultry, uber-mod painter commissioned to paint Steven’s portrait, who soon becomes his only ally.  “Swinging London” imagery is in abundance throughout the film and there’s an exceptional original soundtrack featuring Paul Jones providing his own vocals. As a classic film that thoroughly entertains as well as making you really think about how we are all manipulated through the media, Privilege gets two thumbs up from The Worley Gig!