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I like this website

27 Aug

This is my kind of website. Barb and Bear, an online gallery of emerging New York artists, curated by a masked duo who have trolled “every flea market, gallery, boutique, and back alley” to bring these pieces to one marketplace, for your shopping pleasure.

I like it.

Vive L’Art!



Protest – by Air…and Hu Bing

1 May

After a day that started out very rainy and pajama-worthy, it seems Mother Nature decided to shed her dreary grey coat and welcome the NYC May Day protesters with sunshine and 60 degrees. Don’t quote me, but they marched from Bryant Park down fifth avenue to Union Square, with musicians leading, chanting “We are the 99 percent”, all as a part of worldwide marches in a call for better wages and more jobs, but don’t take my word for it. It was pretty hard to ignore the 1,000 to 3,000 marchers singing, shouting, banging and strumming their way through the flatiron area in an awesome – in the true sense of the word – display of anti-government sentiment. I have to say, there was a spry, feel-good vibe to the march (even from all the way up there), and yet there were arrests and the usual tyranny from the bullies-cum-police officers, but like I said, don’t quote me. I can only hope that the weather, and the change in tone are a sign that the protests, and their outcome, are taking an upward turn. But once again, I, like Fox News, should not be quoted.

And in Less Police-Brutality-Evoking Flatiron News

As a part of an art series in the Flatiron building, artist Hu Bing currently has a display up, “Shattered Debris Sheer Transformation”, with reimagined broken bottles and windshields draped and smashed, melted and remolded, and subsequently suspended in panty-hose .

As a fan of Dalí, I had to take in this exhibit. Bing has managed to mold glass to move like Dalí’s melting clocks. The best part is, the display is in the very tip of the Flatiron, ground floor on the street for all to see. All you have to do is walk by.

Shattered Debris
Sheer Transformation
by Hu Bing
Closes June 2nd

Go. Protest. Create.


You Have 3 Days Left to See Jane Fine

20 Apr


“Each painting is a creative battle whose outcome is redemptive. Using painterly invention as a sign for optimism, the work becomes celebratory. There’s room to dance, even if all the party guests are scarred and bandaged.” I (kinda) recently attended the opening of Formulas for Now, Jane Fine‘s art exhibit currently on at Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn. It was an impromptu jaunt over the bridge, but one I’m glad I made. Like Jackson Pollock, Edgar Allan Poe, and Philip Roth before her, Jane Fine deals in forms of chaos, or more appropriately, their aftermath. But what is perhaps most extraordinary this exhibit is her quasi-Pollock-like technique, using dripping, as well as strokes and washes, yet without any direction, or plan or blueprint. And yet she still manages to capture a pretty accurate depiction of when the dust settles, and we are left amid the debris.


She replaced some of her usual saturated colours with a darker, more neutral (maybe even more ominous) palette, but the effect is an organic experience with pieces like “Taking a Plunge into the Nasty Unknown”.


If you haven’t deduced by now, when an artist creates a painting using materials like markers, constructing without a plan, no piece can be recreated. So every piece is truly one-of-a-kind.

(Three days)


This is Fine’s fifth one-person exhibit at Pierogi but she’s no stranger to the national art scene, having had, or been a part of, shows in San Fran, LA, New Orleans, Boston, Houston. The show ends on April 22, so if you want to look like this guy, I suggest you go.


Jane Fine
Formulas for Now
Pierogi Gallery
177 North 9th St.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
11:00 AM – 6 PM


Plunge into the Chaos,


Long Live the (Mc)Queen

11 Feb

“Beauty can come from the strangest of places, even the most disgusting places.”— Alexander McQueen

It’s February 11th, the 2-year anniversary of the death of Alexander ‘Lee’ McQueen. I was fortunate enough to be in New York at the time of his Savage Beauty exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the above is the only remnant of the pictures I tried to sneak, and has been the background pic on my phone ever since). I’ve never had the fortune to see an Alexander McQueen show, but I can only imagine how marvelous and visceral it must be. McQueen has said that he didn’t care if people liked his work, he just wanted them to leave his shows feeling something. I couldn’t leave the Savage Beauty exhibit not feeling something. As someone also in the arts (the creative writing grad programme at Hunter College), I do understand something about the process of inspiration and the subsequent translation of that inspiration into creation. It is arguable that no one, in fashion at least, did it better than McQueen.

Like all artists, he started with the autobiographical, the place that birthed him (Scotland) — but not so singularly that he forgot the place that raised him (England) — and then branched out into timeless muses: nature, other art (namely Literature), the cultures of the world, particularly their national dress. Yet, McQueen dove to dark depths with each collection and story, making clothes that told macabre tales of opposites, light and dark, tyrant and subject, destruction and redemption, the marginalized and the mainstream. That dark romanticism permeated all of the work produced in his epic 19-year career, and the exhibit at the Met was a journey through a fiercely driven and constantly-constructing creative mind. McQueen was an unyielding promoter of freedom of expression, and throughout the whole exhibit, there seemed to be a consistently underlying theme of struggle against the confines of what fashion can be.

Accessories like armour and bondage, rigid corsets, horns protruding from jackets, and who could ever forget the incredible “armadillo boots”; it’s as if McQueen was equipping his designs with the weaponry to fight against any attack. It should come as no surprise that he was inspired by Darwin, and the final collection in the exhibit, pieces from Plato’s Atlantis (spring/summer 2010), drew directly from On the Origin of the Species. It reflected McQueen’s thoughts on nature’s devolution with the prospect of the melting ice caps. It was a reptilian cornucopia, with scales (and who else but McQueen could channel that into armadillo boots!), kaleidoscopic prints, metallic textures, all while remaining true to the romantic ideal of the Sublime. After all, when you get swept up in a rushing hundreds-of-feet-high wave of hypothermic ice-cap water, I have to imagine that a certain calm will come over you as you are crushed in a muted death. But hey, that’s just me.

By the time the exhibit closed on August 7th, it was the most visited in the Met’s history. I waited in line for 2 hours, and of course it hurt my heart to have to spend that much time listening to some jock-infested family from the Midwest, or somewhere, with two 20-something boys, the father and the mother, with the latter being the only one who wanted to see the exhibit, though she didn’t know why. Assuredly, the men were going on about the wait and the only thing the mother could say was, “Everyone says it’s something to see.” And worse, they were in front of me! But I guess, if some knuckleheads can see such beauty and imagination and leave with more inspiration and knowledge than they had before, then I can let that one slide.

I’ll leave you with a quote by McQueen: “I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people would perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it.” I’m grateful he had that ability, as he gave the world a pure outpouring of all that he was, and it was truly beautiful.

To Beauty,


P.S. Check out a review of a Fall 2011 Alexander McQueen show from Paris Fashion Week that I did for Fashion Pulse Daily.

Happy Thanksgiving!

24 Nov

I was walking down St. Mark’s Place in the East Village the other day and I saw these guys unloading zillions of pumpkins in this handy little relay system (there’s another guy under the stairs). It took 13 shots and constantly pausing for the plethora of pedestrians weaving in and out of the mêlée but I thought this scene was so indicative of holidays in the city: over-the-top, quick, completed with efficiency and practicality, yet with just the right hint of wistfulness. After all, here is a ridiculously excessive pile of pumpkins in the middle of the at times very cynical East Village. But it just goes to show, even in the most blasphemous of hoods, we all want, and are thrilled to see, a little bit of the rural small town.

Enjoy all the delicious drama and have a happy holiday.


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