Do you like Ketchup? I sure do. Ketchup is one of my top-three favorite condiments of all time — up there with Mayonnaise, and Trader Joe’s Green Tomatillo Chili Salsa, which is just insane — and if we are talking about Specialty Ketchups, don’t even get me started. If you can’t get your head around the thought of digging into a plate of crispy French fries without a generous side of ketchup for dipping, then let me introduce you to your new favorite thing: Vodka & Italian Tomato Ketchup from Spirit & Co.
Spirit & Co. is the first company worldwide to exclusively use premium liquor in each of its products. If you are a fan of Penne with Vodka Sauce, you already know that tomato and vodka is a distinctive pairing that delivers an umami flavor comparable to, say, adding truffle oil to almost anything. The flavor is unique and instantly recognizable, and even if you can’t pinpoint how the vodka makes the tomato sauce taste better, you understand that the result is crazy delicious. That said, I am willing to defend myself against accusations of being overly hyperbolic when I say that Spirit & Co.’s Vodka & Italian Tomato Ketchup will ruin you for all other ketchups: because it is absolutely the best ketchup I have eaten in my life.
Drums For Peace Knotted Gun By Ringo Starr ($1390) For The Non-Violence Art Project
Life is better with Art in it: it’s just a fact. Whether you are a seasoned collector, someone looking to start a collection by investing in a single piece for your home, or an art lover who just enjoys the inspiration and joy of browsing, the Affordable Art Fair is a great place to expose yourself to (and purchase) art of almost every tangible medium. Held in a dual-floor space inside the Metropolitan Pavilion, AAFNYC gathers contemporary galleries from across the globe in the spring and fall each year for a three-day event that’s always both educational and lots of fun. This season’s fair boasted the most diverse collection of high-quality, original art that l’ve noticed for as long as I’ve been attending. Let me turn you on to some of my favorite pieces spotted at this year’s fall fair!
This year’s lead booth was sponsored by the Non-Violence Art Project. The Non-Violence Symbol, also known as the Knotted Gun, was originally created by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd as a memorial tribute to John Lennon after he was shot and killed in New York City in December 1980. The Non-Violence Project Foundation is a non-profit organization promoting peace and social change through education.
One World Knotted Gun, $950
Imagine Knotted Gun By Yoko Ono, $1390
A portion of the revenue from the sales of these Limited Edition sculptures goes to the Non-Violence Project and contributes to social change and bringing increased peace to the world. Art for Peace!
I Need This Wilderness For My Heart to Beat By Adam Bridgland ($300,Limited Edition Print)
At every fall edition, Affordable Art Fair NYC releases a Limited Edition Print in collaboration with an artist commissioned by the fair. Established in 2013 with minimalist artist Chad Kouri, Affordable Art Fair has since worked with artists specializing in a variety of mediums, from large scale woodcuts to mixed media collage pieces, with each artwork incorporating the fair’s signature color, pink. Limited to an edition size of 10, the prints are exhibited and available for sale at the fall fair.
This season, the Limited Edition Print series featured the above artwork by London-based artist Adam Bridgland (of Jealous Gallery). The screen print with spray paint overlays is a love letter to the urban wilderness that is New York City, and a thematic continuation of a sculptural work that Adam created earlier in 2018.
Before I get any further, I must give a shout out to deliciously smooth Van Gogh Vodka, who sponsored this year’s open bar! In case you didn’t already know, the bar is hidden way in the back on the second floor of the fair. I always make sure to hit that action as soon as possible!
Let’s kick off this recap with some art featuring lovely ladies! This abstract portrait is entitled Joan and it is by Jean-Luc Almond ($7500), who is represented by Art Unified Gallery of Venice, California.
I Love Plastic By Brett Goldstar ($4400) at Tag Fine Arts of London
This collage of Marilyn Monroe’s face is created from hundreds of smaller images culled from vintage magazines.
Sister With Hat By Mart de Brouwer ($6,000) at Chiefs and Spirits, The Hague, Netherlands
Angele By Keymi ($4250) at Artered Gallery of Barcelona
I love this pop art portrait that looks like the pieces of a puzzle. Keymi (slang for Mickey) is the pseudonym of French painter and graffiti artist Stephan Raymond.
Sadly, I only managed to capture two of the Three Jumpers, a thread-based hanging sculpture by Moto Waganari ($9,300) at Connect Contemporary of Atlanta.
Swirl By Pezhman ($8600) at Connect Contemporary of Atlanta
Check out the details on the skirt, below, which is made with paint and encaustic.
Swirl, Skirt Detail
Everyone loves flowers. One of the first pieces that wowed me at the show was September Harvest by Kristin Sjaarda ($4250), which I found at Eye Buy Art, an online photography gallery located in Toronto. Kristin creates contemporary still-life photography influenced by the Dutch masters. She arranges and photographs flowers she picked from her own garden, emphasizing the diversity and beauty of the world around us. Kristin also only uses the natural light coming in from her kitchen window. Her work is simply stunning.
Flores By Fran Mora ($7000) at Cube Gallery, London
This colorful abstract entitled Ria Formosa, by artist Joana Vasconcelos, looks like a bouquet of flowers on acid. Available for $6500 at Manifold Editions, London, the print was created using a combination of etching and block printing methods.
Dripping Dots, All In Love, Deep Red By Cindy Shaoul ($1000) at Lilac Gallery, NYC
City Window By Mathijs Siemens ($3500) at Chiefs and Spirits, The Hague, Netherlands
Mathijs Siemens is a Dutch artist who creates his unique artwork using thread. Check out the detail below!
City Window (Detail)
Ruined By James Talon ($4250) at The Public House of Art, Amsterdam
Transparencies (Sereis) By Salvador Santos at Soraya Cartategui Art Gallery, Madrid
Details Oriented in Space 3 By Laurence Jones ($4800) at Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery, London
I love these two paintings (above and below) of mid-century homes!
Casa Del Rey By Karen Lynn ($3250) Fine Art Consultancy of Tokyo and London
Gladys By Jeff Chester ($7500) at Decorazon Gallery, Dallas, New York City and London
Still Life By Colin Wilson ($1950) at Ronen Art Gallery, Amsterdam
Murdered Art By Artem Ryskin ($4500) at Artspace Warehouse, Los Angeles
This relief wall sculpture of a tube of paint is made from screws! Check out the detail below!
Murdered Art (Detail)
Rocks 2 By Perish The Thought ($2500) at Tag Fine Arts, London
AAFNYC is definitely the place to find unusual sculptures. These Man Bag sculptures by Debra Franses-Bean are $10,000 from Tag Fine Arts. Each piece, made from cast resin and found objects, is unique.
Mixed Media Sculpture By Patrick Bergsma ($4500) at Chiefs and Spirits
She Screamed for Ice Cream By Gillie and Marc ($2800) at Lilac Gallery
Music and musicians offer a huge source of inspiration for visual artists. This series of framed cassette tapes by James Talon were spotted at the booth for Public House of Art. They sell for $2,000 each.
Sex Pistols, Never Mind The Bollocks
Prince, Purple Rain
Ziggy By Blockhead ($2200) at Connect Contemporary, Atlanta
David Bowie continues to inspire us.
Let’s Surf By Cieu ($5850) at Galerie Envie d’Art, Paris
Walking With The Beatles By Tanner Lawley ($8,00 Set of Four) Lawley Art Group of Dallas
This impressionist study of the four Beatles walking across Abbey Road is a fun way to revisit an iconic scene. The Beatles are still massively popular, but none them have inspired more artwork than John Lennon.
Imagine Thought Circle by Cary Henrie, made from acrylic on aluminum, is $295 from Lawley Art Group.
This one is pretty great: Lennon Superman By Srin Joy ($3800) at Connect Contemporary.
That’s it for the Fall edition of Affordable Art Fair NYC. If you’re interested in any of the art you see here, please visit the galleries online! Cheers!
A limited-edition line of Heisenberg Blue Ice Vodka, inspired by the hit television series Breaking Bad, is currently available for sale in California, and online at Reserve Bar Dot Com, with nationwide sales coming soon. Three special edition bottles of Heisenberg by Blue Ice feature distinct graphics and infamous quotes such as “Say My Name,” “The One Who Knocks,” and “Tread Lightly.”
Continuing in the spirit of brilliant homage, Observer Dot Com just published a side-splitting list of The 10 Most Appropriate Times to Drink Blue Ice’s ‘Breaking Bad’ Vodka, which you can read for yourself at This Link. My Favorite:
Oh, are two killer twins after you? With axes? Because that is a horrifyingly specific weapon to use in this day and age. Do they have you cornered in a parking lot? After a peaceful day of shopping, no less? How awful. Oh there you go, you killed one with your car. Is the other twin bearing down on you, slowly, axe raised as you fumble for your gun? How very stressful. You deserve a nice chilled vodka, my friend. Then I suggest you break the bottle over the bumper of your Jeep Commando and prepare to fight.
A couple of weeks ago, my friend Mark threw a fabulous brunch party, where I was introduced to a delicious alcoholic beverage called Maven. An entirely original cocktail, Maven is created by the infusion of fine wines with premium vodka — two beverages which I love on their own, but would never, ever have thought of combining. Can I just tell you that the result is a great-tasting cocktail that kind of blew my mind a little.
At the brunch, I also met Maven’s creator, Stephenie Harris; a terrifically charming lady who really knows how to talk about her product. The thing is though, once you taste Maven, it really sells itself. Committed to making a top-shelf product, Maven uses the best all-natural ingredients, resulting is a truly high quality, ready to drink cocktail. By combining gluten-free vodka, which is distilled 6 times, with super premium Chardonnay from the Edna Valley, or Pinot Noir from Sonoma, Maven has perfected the proprietary blend that is used to create their cocktails. And the proof is in the tasting. You would probably not think that Wine and Vodka would blend into such a smooth, delicious tasting cocktail, but once you try Maven you will be won over.
One of the things I love about Maven Cocktails is its single-serve, frosted glass bottle with a reseable cap — gorgeous, and also smart design! Not only does glass help to maintain the integrity of the natural flavors, but the cap is super convenient. Say you are in a club and want to hit the dance floor between sips; you can just reseal your drink and drop it in your bag or purse without fear of spillage. The cap is also a good security measure that reassures you no one has slipped anything into your drink. No one likes to think about that, but it happens!
Also, not that I ever think about this, because I don’t, but for the calorie conscious: a full (6.8 ounce) bottle of Maven is just 171 calories (6.3 carbs), while the average mixed drink, such as a Cosmo or Mojito, is over 200 calories and over 10 carbs. Mostly, Maven is just a great tasting cocktail that I will be drinking again, and encouraging others to try, in the future. For more information about Maven Cocktails and to find out where to purchase Maven in your area, visit Maven Cocktails Dot Com.
Above Photo By Gail. Cocktail Photos Courtesy of Cascade Ice.
Are you on the lookout for a few fantastic new cocktail recipes to provide liquid refreshment for your Valentine’s Day / Eve festivities? Then you’re in luck, because Cascade Ice just sent me a selection of their latest delicious and unique flavors including Cranberry Pomegranate, Black Raspberry, Pomegranate Berry, Blueberry Watermelon and Peach Mango. Yummy!
Cascade Ice fruity sparkling waters – which are free of calories, sodium, caffeine, gluten and sugar – have a delightful “fizz” combined with natural fruit juices and are absolutely ideal as cocktail mixers. I always try to have a few bottles chilling in the fridge. Here are three easy and delicious cocktail recipes that are fully appropriate to the mood of the day!
Love Potion Pizzazz:
To mix up the irresistible potion, mix 2 oz of Cascade Ice Pomegranate Berry with 1 oz of vodka. Add a garnish of fresh cherries and you’re ready to go!
Passion Pucker-Up Cocktail:
Mix up this tantalizing drink by pouring 1.5 oz of tequila and 3 oz of Cascade Ice Black Raspberry over crushed ice into your mixer. Next, add the juice of a lime wedge and a handful of raspberries. Garnish the cocktail with an orange wedge and you’re ready to serve!
Mix 1 oz of whipped cream vodka, 4 oz of Cascade Ice Pink Grapefruit, the juice of a lemon wedge and a handful of ice in a mixer. Pour the cocktail into a chilled glass and garnish with lemon wedges.
Cascade Ice is available for purchase in all 50 states, at retailers such as Albertson’s, Safeway, Ralph’s, QFC, A&P, Raley’s, Coborn’s, HEB, Market Basket, Shoprite, Food City and Price Choppers, among many others. Click Here for a full map of retailers.
6 oz Cascade IceOrange Mango
1 oz of Orange Vodka
2 oz of Whipped Cream flavored Vodka
Red or Black Liquorice (Optional)
Mix 6oz Cascade Ice Orange Mango with 1oz of Orange Vodka and 2oz of Whipped Cream flavored vodka in a glass with ice. Garnish your drink with a vine of red or black liquorice, if desired. Sip and Enjoy!