SAVANNAH ARTS: World-Class Shows at SCAD and at The Jepson Center

SAVANNAH ARTS: World-Class Shows at SCAD and at The Jepson Center

Carlos Cruz-Diez installation

So fortunate to visit Savannah this past week for the opening of several major shows at the SCAD Museum of Art. And because my hosts are major supporters of the arts – and SCAD in particular – we got a pre-opening tour with the new curator, Humberto Moro. This was an absolute highlight of the trip for me – along with the fact that many of the artists were on site during our walk-thru including Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jose Parla, Hernan Bas, Hank Willis Thomas, Glen Fogel and perhaps (?) Chiharu Shiota (video above – her installation is MAJOR!).

I was under the impression that this was one large group show but apparently not – so while all opened on February 21, each artist’s show has a different closing date –  with most up thru August.

Read on below for more on Nick Cave’s show at the Jepson Center – as well as more photos and video from the SCAD shows at the end of the post.

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TOP HOME & GARDENING TRENDS: A Strong Retro-Vibe All Around

TOP HOME & GARDENING TRENDS: A Strong Retro-Vibe All Around

1. IKEA’S SPRIDD

Missed the launch event but will get out to IKEA in Red Hook ASAP now that the weather is nicer and I can bike out.

Check out the video above with British fashion designer Kit Neale who IKEA teamed up with to create this “modern nomads” collection. Some think it’s bizarre, I love it. Available at all US IKEA stores as of February.

See below for 2017 gardening trends (from attentive gardening to heirloom seeds) and more.

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Two Sophisticated Men’s Streetwear Brands You Should Know About

Two Sophisticated Men’s Streetwear Brands You Should Know About

Recently discovered two menswear brands – one just launched its first concept shop after 3 years in business, the other is brand new.  Aime Leon Dore and Outlaw by Braydon Alexander both offer smart, elegant streetwear styling. I’m also crazy about both of their concept shops – one definitely a pop-up, one a longer-term lease.

AIME LEON DORE (ALD) – photos on lower row above
179 Mott Street
Til May, 2017

This elevated men’s streetwear line from Queens-born designer Teddy Santis was founded in 2014. Santis had worked in a high-end optical store which inspired him to pursue his love of fashion and design.

Since launching the label, Santis has also done some collaborations with major brands including streetwear legend KITH. When a lookbook drops, the collection is made available for pre-order exclusively through the brand’s site. Then the clothes are made and consumers get the product in about a month. The brand’s drops generally sell out in a few hours.

The store on Mott Street opened in early November and was scheduled to stay open until late December. I was told this week that it will be open thru May. Check it out – great aesthetic, very chill vibe.

Read on below for Braydon Alexander’s Outlaw and to see more pics of both lines.

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Graffiti and the Archaeology of Contemporary Street Art

Graffiti and the Archaeology of Contemporary Street Art

This past weekend, as I walked by a building site at the corner of Lafayette and Great Jones, I felt like an archaeologist documenting rare cave drawings. Peeping in, I saw layers of graffiti history being unearthed by the construction crew and shot the above video. If anyone knows the names of these artists, let me know.

All through the 90’s, this was a favorite building of mine because of its gigantic COST REVS murals. The murals, done in 1993, are the ones COST is most proud of (pic above) – they feature Mt. Rushmore-style busts of Andy Warhol, REVS (postered), COST (postered) and  Keith Haring.

This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the massive Eleven Spring street art show (hosted by the building owner as a last hurrah before he sold the building – to one of the Murdoch sons it turns out!). The show was phenomenal with many of the ’00s era art heavyweights in attendance including Shepard Fairey, Swoon, JR, Faile.

I’ve been a collector and fan of street art for years. While some complain about the commercialization of the art and even its role in gentrification, I believe street art serves many purposes from straight up beautification to fighting crime (LED street art in South Philly) to raising political awareness to being fun for people who don’t know anything about art. And I am grateful that there are more opportunities for artists to make a living through street art both from commercial endeavors and from the collector class. I do not agree that for street art to be legit, it needs to be illegal.

See below for murals in my neighborhood as well as some absolutely stellar pieces from around the globe.

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CADILLAC HOUSE: The Most Spectacular New Mecca for Selfie Culture

CADILLAC HOUSE: The Most Spectacular New Mecca for Selfie Culture

Wrote about Cadillac House when it first opened and was underwhelmed. Since then, they have dialed up their game thru collaborations with Visionaire and Neuehouse. Am still not convinced that any of this will move the needle one iota to make Cadillac more desirable for young influencers (the only person I saw anywhere near the cars, was a security guard, asleep at the wheel of one!!).

For those of you who are not familiar with Cadillac House, it functions simultaneously as a gallery, retail space, café and exhibition area for the brand’s new vehicles—a venue with an ever-evolving Cadillac point of view on subjects beyond automotive design.  It is located on the ground floor of their new headquarters in Soho. The move from Detroit was designed to show the brand’s commitment to innovation as well as make Cadillac cooler and more aspirational for millennials.

But business objectives aside, big kudos to VISIONAIRE and TOILETPAPER Magazine (co-created by artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari) for this spectacular ‘more is more’ installation.

Judging by what I experienced this past Sunday, these wild, psychedelic domestic settings will become THE mecca for Selfie Culture. Expect to see your Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook flooded with images of visitors creatively inserting themselves into different parts of the installation. SO MUCH FUN!! Check it out in the video above as well as the pics below.

The show opened early February for NYFW and will run through April 12. It’s open 7 days a week and it’s FREE!
The Gallery at Cadillac House
330 Hudson Street New York City
Mon–Fri 8am–7pm Sat–Sun 10am–5pm

See below for more on the show and many more pics!

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Are Mega-Museums Too Big For Their Own Good?

Are Mega-Museums Too Big For Their Own Good?

Met crowds Left and top right; smaller museums lower right: New Museum and Whitney

 

Mega-institutions like the Met aren’t suffering from a lack of customers but the business model – and the consumer experience – is structurally broken.

The Met, along with many other major institutions around the country, are having significant problems staying afloat. The overhead is too high, even as museum visitors are pouring in at an unprecedented rate – 7MM this past year across all the Met venues. However, the revenues from ticket sales and retail are falling.

And the Met is not alone: MoMA, the Brooklyn Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art are all struggling to raise enough money to stay competitive and avoid layoffs.

But the problems may run deeper than just financial. For example, I always dread going to see any show at the Met. It is grueling to navigate my way thru the museum. And everywhere I look, all I see are hordes of exhausted visitors.

The exact opposite of what I experience at smaller art venues like The New Museum, the Whitney or the Met Breuer. Shows I experienced at these museums recently left me, and my fellow museum-goers, energized and thrilled vs. exhausted and bedraggled.

Bottom line, going to the Met is an ordeal not dissimilar to going to Macy’s at some huge, anonymous mall. I would be interested in seeing if any studies have been done on the satisfaction level of locals vs. tourists. I imagine for tourists, the bigger the better while for locals, the exact opposite is true.

My recommendation for museums looking to get out of this quagmire: study the winners and losers within the retail sector – especially malls and department stores – which are the retail equivalents of “encyclopedic collections.”

Today, people are increasingly looking for more personal and individualistic spaces and experiences. Use those insights to avoid the missteps that are rapidly taking down the retail industry.

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KILLER SHOW: Raymond Pettibon at the New Museum

KILLER SHOW: Raymond Pettibon at the New Museum

Raymond Pettibon, one of the most subversive artists alive today, is finally getting a major retrospective in NYC. The show opened to the public this past Wednesday and will run thru April 9th. After that, it travels to the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht, the Netherlands, where it will be on view from June 1–October 30, 2017.

“Raymond: Pettibon: A Pen of All Work” features 700 drawings from the 1960s to the present. It also includes some of his early self-produced zines and artist’s books, as well as several videos made in collaboration with fellow artists. He’s frequently described as a surf-punk artist and much of his early work was for flyers and album covers for his older brother Greg Ginn’s now-legendary band Black Flag.

He is one of the greatest, most influential chroniclers of contemporary American history, evoking the country’s shifting values across time, from the idealistic postwar period in which he was born (1957) to the collapse of the American counterculture in the ’70s and ’80s to the military and social conflicts of the present.

The New Museum and Massimiliano Gioni (artistic director) are on a curatorial roll. The shows just keep getting better. Loved last year’s amazing Pipilotti Rist show, now Pettibon. Next up, Carol Rama, another favorite who will be getting her first retrospective in the States in late April.

The New Museum also hosted an outstanding retrospective of Jim Shaw in 2015. His self-taught aesthetic and punk rock roots (Destroy All Monsters) are reminiscent of Pettibon’s. Kudos to the New Museum for championing this genre of art.

See below for photos from the Pettibon show.

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How amazing Is this vintage Bronco?

How amazing Is this vintage Bronco?

Saw this gorgeous Bronco parked on my street recently. And then, just a few days later learned that Vintage Ford Broncos are going for $47K – double what they were just five years ago.

Per Bloomberg, younger buyers love vintage SUVs. One dealer, Barrett-Jackson, sold 12 of them at the recent Scottsdale Car Auctions.

The rarer, more highly restored, the higher the prices. One sold recently in Florida for $110K. And the world record for any Bronco sold at auction is $500,000, for a 1969 Bronco sold in 2013.

Millennials with money to spare want vintage SUVs because that’s what they grew up with so it’s their earliest point of reference (vs. baby boomers who are primarily into vintage muscle cars). The most coveted Broncos are “first-generation” which Ford made from 1966 to 1977.

2017 is also expected to be the year that the number of millennials searching online for collector car values will surpass searches by baby boomers.

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