Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Guilty Angel (5) - Candle in the Wind 2007
Once in a while, I run across an artist that is actually saying something rather than creating your typical "couch art" or something just superficially "pretty" and nonthreatening to the cerebellum. Feng Shuo, a young Chinese painter from Beijing, is one of those artists. As I walked through the Marlborough Gallery in Chelsea, I was captivated by the sculptures that often were the subject matter of his large scale paintings. I was also surprised at just how "European" and illustrative his work was, refreshing in this era of the contrasting "photo real" and what I call splash and dab art. Granted, I suppose his work could be considered dark as some of the people I went to the open with considered it so, but "dark" makes you think. And remember, art is supposed to make you think. Good art, anyway.
"At first glance, one may feel that Feng’s works are too soft or too graphic, too elementary or even too cute, but upon closer examination this first impression quickly gives way to solemn realizations of grave irony, and sometimes even distress and despair. He is not a slave to novelty or gimmick; he rejects the “culture of reaction” as well as the homogenizing effects of mass technology. One can recognize in him the thought expressed by Roland Barthes: “Suddenly, I became indifferent to not being modern.” The strength of Feng Shuo rests in his absolute sincerity as an artist. His calligraphic brush strokes slide and cut freely and fluidly across the canvas. The empty space surrounding his subjects creates a window allowing us to peer deeply into his universe, where eerie flashbacks of his dreams and nightmares reveal recurring themes of sadness, alienation, and anger."-excerpt from Marlborough Gallery press release.
I couldn't find many examples of Feng's work online but for this and a few. There are many more complex pieces in the gallery. I highly suggest you check it out. His show is up until May 17th.
545 West 25th Street
New York, New York 10001 USA
Sunday, April 20, 2008
photo by tricia chatterton
I'm having a sentimental NYC moment. These are the songs that tug on my heartstrings when I'm traveling and feeling homesick for the city. Take a listen when you're stuck in a dodgy hotel in Houston for business. It helps.
Of course, since The Verve are coming to NYC at the end of the month, my number 1 has GOT to be "New York" by Richard Ashcroft. Enjoy...
1. "New York"- Richard Ashcroft
2. "I Love New York"- Madonna
3. "New York"- U2
4. "Leaving New York"- REM
5. "Fairytale of New York- The Pogues
6. "NYC- Interpol
7. "A Heart in New York"- Simon & Garfunkel
8. "Sullivan Street"-Counting Crows
9. "Marching Bands of Manhattan"-Deathcab For Cutie
and last, but not least...
10. "New York, New York"-Frank Sinatra
Friday, April 11, 2008
Last night was gallery open night and I had the pleasure going to Shai Kremer's photo show at the Julie Saul Gallery in Chelsea. Shai takes what should be very ugly life scenes and creates beauty from them.
"Without going as far as Dostoyevsky claiming that beauty will "redeem the world”, I do believe in the ability of aesthetics to affect change.
I would relate to R. Misrach saying that “beauty can be a very powerful conveyor of difficult ideas”.
This seven year project portrays the ominous imprint of the Military on the Israeli landscape - and reflectively, on the Israeli society.
The aesthetic, orderly compositions parallel the defence mechanism of Israeli citizens striving for normalcy, while the scars concealed in the landscape correspond to the wounds in the collective unconscious of the country.
The landscape, infected with loaded sediments of the ongoing conflict, becomes a platform for discussion.
If the accumulation of ruins and military remnants turns out to be a defining trait of the Israeli landscape, what to think of the society that grows out of it ?"- artist statement from his site http://www.shaikremer.com/
If you have a chance to make it to Chelsea, I highly recommend this show.
Julie Saul Gallery
535 West 22 Street
New York, NY 10011
photos by tricia chatterton
A few months ago, I saw this attractive wall installation using clear office pushpins and now I'm seeing this sort of art on 5th ave in stores. It's a simple idea that can create a subtle yet elegant artistic effect to a room. l found this piece quite interesting to look at, even calming...and simple to do. Sketch out the design on your wall (circular designs seem to be hot but you go with what feels right for you as YOU are the artist) and start pushpinning away. If anything, it will satisfy that obsessive compulsive side to you.
All of the designs I've seen seem to be clear pushpins on white walls, but if you get ultra creative and try color, send me a pic and we'll post it.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Whether or not you live in NYC, there are a couple of bars you really ought to check out, Gstaad in Manhattan and eco-friendly Oulu in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Both have the same owners and both are exquisitely designed (Dwell did an article on Oulu). I particularly liked the VIP room in Gstaad; it's PERFECT for events.
43 W 26th St. (Between 6th and Broadway)
"Sleek and chic as a designer lodge, Gstaad is apres-ski cool all night long. Although one wall of the lofty space is given over to trippy loops of snowboarders careening down slopes, the atmosphere still feels sophisticated. Witty touches like tree-trunk stools dot the front, and the bar makes ample use of the rest of the tree throughout. Large prow-like structures create seating areas and divide sections of the large room like user-friendly Richard Serra sculptures. "-ny.citysearch.com
And check out the grass growing on the exterior walls of Oulu.
170 North Fourth St.
"Inside and out, this posh cocktail den (named for a city in Finland) is both stylish and sustainable. Approximately 35 panels of soil, each planted with green succulents, are screwed into the bar's facade, creating a vertical garden. Behind a glass garage door, the walls are swathed in curvaceous slats of warm-colored wood that was harvested from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. At the bar, low-wattage bare bulbs hang overhead, and mixologists stir up such inventive cocktails as the Victorian--gin mixed with Earl Grey tea and apple juice."-ny.citysearch.com
You can find directions and more information about both bars on http://gstaadnyc.com/
Thursday, April 3, 2008
photo by tricia chatterton
6 Ways to Go Green at Work
I'm not going to get all kinds of granola on you and start dying my hair with henna, use that crystal rock for my pits (so does NOT work, by the way), and live in the woods. But, I am going to make an effort to evolve into my greenness- as we all should. Here's this week's tips to break you into your new green lifestyle.
1. Be bright about light
Artificial lighting accounts for 44 percent of the electricity use in office buildings. Turn your lights out if you're not using them and make it a policy to buy Energy Star-rated light bulbs and fixtures, which use at least two-thirds less energy than regular lighting, and install timers or motion sensors that automatically shut off lights when they're not needed.
2. Maximize computer efficiency
Computers in the business sector unnecessarily waste $1 billion worth of electricity a year.
Turn off your computer when you're not using it—and the power strip it's plugged into—when you leave for the day. Otherwise, you're still burning energy. (Check with your IT department to make sure the computer doesn't need to be on to run backups or other maintenance.) During the day, setting your computer to go to sleep automatically during short breaks can cut energy use by 70 percent. Remember, screen savers don't save energy. And make sure you recycle old computers/electronic equipment.
3. Print smarter
The average U.S. office worker goes through 10,000 sheets of copy paper a year.
Try to print on both sides or use the back side of old documents for faxes, scrap paper, or drafts. Avoid color printing and print in draft mode when possible.Make it a policy to buy chlorine-free paper with a higher percentage of post-consumer recycled content. Also consider switching to a lighter stock of paper or alternatives made from bamboo, hemp, organic cotton, or kenaf. Recycle toner and ink cartridges and buy remanufactured ones. According to Office Depot, each remanufactured toner cartridge "keeps approximately 2.5 pounds of metal and plastic out of landfills...and conserves about a half gallon of oil."
4. Go paperless. Make it a habit to think before you print: could this be read or stored online instead? When you receive unwanted catalogs, newsletters, magazines, or junk mail, request to be removed from the mailing list before you recycle the item. Make it a policy to post employee manuals and similar materials online, rather than distribute print copies. They're easier to update that way too.
5. Watch what (and how) you eat. Bring your own mug and dishware for those meals you eat at the office.
Institute a policy to provide reusable dishes, silverware, and glasses. Switch to Fair Trade and organic coffee and tea, and buy as much organic and local food as possible for parties and other events. Provide filtered drinking water to reduce bottled-water waste.
6. Create a healthy office environment. Use nontoxic cleaning products. Brighten up your cubicle with plants, which absorb indoor pollution. Suggest to management that they should make it a policy to buy furniture, carpeting, and paint that are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and won't off-gas toxic chemicals.