Frieze NYC 2019: Lots To See But A Bit Low Energy This Year

Frieze NYC 2019: Lots To See But A Bit Low Energy This Year

 

Rodrigo Padilla and I spent several hours at Frieze yesterday. We even bought art and it didn’t break the bank (see below)!

 

Frieze opens to the public today (Friday) and runs thru the weekend. Weather permitting, take the ferry from East 35th Street. It’s a sublime way to take in the sights of the city and arrive in style!

 

There are two must-see installations:

  • The Yayoi Kusama/Chris Ofili installation at Victoria Miro. It greets you as you enter the tents and it is stunning. Unfortunately, it also attracts idiotic fair goers who feel Frieze is an amusement park for their instagram selfies. One couple was sitting on the Kusama sphere orbs while two other women backed into the Ofili painting with their backpacks and were outraged when admonished not to do so. It will be a stressful few days for the Miro staff if they don’t get security up to snuff – or at least rope off the installation – and they better do it pronto!!
  • Steve Keene at P.P.O.W.  At first I thought this was an art world joke but I was incredibly intrigued to see this artist on his stage/platform painting pieces that were then available for purchase by fair attendees (cash-only!). And they were priced according to size from $10 to $50. We watched the performance, had lunch, I did some research and we hightailed it back to the booth. Rodrigo and I each purchased a newly minted artwork for $20 a pop. Keene has sold over 250,000 paintings over his 25 year career. Although a Yale MFA, his influences come from his friends in the music world e.g. Pavement and from back in the day when there were album covers. Video and photos of our acquisitions below. An absolute highlight of the fair and kudos to PPOW for having the vision to tap into this populist moment.

 

Scroll down and join Rodrigo and I as we daytrip through Frieze. Interesting art and some amazingly interesting fair goers as well.

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Hilma Af Klint Tops Attendance Record At The Guggenheim

Hilma Af Klint Tops Attendance Record At The Guggenheim

 

This show freaked me out. The work is phenomenal but what really blew me away was the absolutely bizarre experience I had while in one of the galleries.

 

I was reading the text about the artist’s mystical practices and séances when my hair literally stood on end and I got goosebumps – I was experiencing what’s known as the spiritual chills.

  • Hilma af Klint turned to spiritualism after the loss of her sister. Working with a group of women called the Five, she committed herself, in near-secret, to an epic cycle of mediumistically inspired abstract paintings.
  • I had never experienced anything like it before at any museum or gallery. However, when I broached the subject with one of the docents, she readily filled me in on how many people had the exact same experience.

Artnet concurs:

  • The af Klint show has benefited from its connections beyond the typical art audience. Witchcraft has been trending in popular culture in recent years.
  • Hilma af Klint may not have been widely taught in art history courses, but her work has a large presence in contemporary occult communities. During the Guggenheim show, devotees even offered free “psychic tours” where visitors are taught to “practice receiving spirit messages through select paintings as a group.”

Yesterday (Tuesday April 23) was the last day of this glorious show. I cannot stress enough how exceptional it is – it just knocks you off your feet. I’m also not sure if it is traveling to another city but if you hear that it is, make sure you run to see it.

Bottom Line.

Here’s how good the show has been:

  • It was the most popular show in the Guggenheim’s entire 60 year history. It attracted over 600,000 visitors since it opened in October 2018.
  • Museum membership increased by 34% during the run of the show.
  • More than 30,000 copies of the catalogue were sold, surpassing the previous record set by the 2009 catalogue Kandinsky.
  • Hilma af Klint–inspired merchandise has been flying off the shelves – accounting for 42% of all Guggenheim Store sales.

 

Scroll down for more photos from the show.

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Brant Foundation + Basquiat: THE Most Spectacular Art Experience Of The Year!

Brant Foundation + Basquiat: THE Most Spectacular Art Experience Of The Year!

 

The new Brant Foundation in the East Village opened last week with a spectacular Basquiat show. Tickets are SOLD OUT but get yourself on the Wait List. Forget about this year’s art fairs, this is THE art experience everyone will be talking about. Another outstanding example of the trend to private art museums. Major culture shift.

 

 

Peter Brant bought this building in 2014 after Walter de Maria’s death in 2013. It had served as the legendary artist’s home and studio for over 30 years.

I was incredibly lucky to tour the building (a former Con Ed substation) shortly afterwards in December 2014.

  • The space at that point was authentic to how de Maria had lived/worked e.g. unenclosed toilet and kitchen sink next to each other was his only hat tip to domestication.
  • The Dan Colen show was installed in the untouched space – and it was fabulous.
  • Link here to the show with photos from my visit.

Four years later, after a major overhaul, the space has reopened with an absolutely stunning Basquiat show organized in collaboration with the Fondation Louis Vuitton (Gagosian appears to be involved as well possibly because he represents the Walter de Maria estate?).

Tickets are sold out but after having added myself to the wait list for pretty much all the days/times from opening til May (when it closes), my diligence was rewarded with two tickets for this past Sunday. I’m still hyperventilating. So good!

Address: 421 East 6th Street (between 1st Avenue and Avenue A)

 

Scroll down for photos from our visit.

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Fantastic Mid-Century Modern Is To Be Found In Boise.

Fantastic Mid-Century Modern Is To Be Found In Boise.

 

Who knew Boise was such a mecca of mid-century modern?

 

Friends and I are headed to Boise in August. Can’t believe I’ve never been, especially since I keep hearing how cool it is.

  • I’ve also heard that Boise is the number one relocation destination for Seattleites moving out of the Puget Sound Region (?).
  • In planning this trip I had absolutely no idea the city was a hub of Mid-Century Modern (MCM) – both housing and design (furniture, housewares etc.).
  • I should probably not have been so surprised since the initial attraction for me was the city’s Modern Hotel and Bar (where we’ll be staying). I’ve been following this former Travelodge on Instagram for a while and it’s 100% Mid-Century Modern.

Here’s what else I’ve uncovered to date about Boise’s MCM roots:

  • Notable architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Cliff May, Charles Hummel, Art Troutner, Nat Adams, Joe LaMarche, and Victor Hosford have all built amazing homes in Boise that many enthusiasts are preserving and living in.
  • Art Troutner is considered the Frank Lloyd Wright of Boise.
  • I’ve also been following Mid-Century Homes by Moniker Real Estate on Instagram. This Boise realty firm was founded by TJ Pierce as a ‘niche market real-estate team’ specializing in homes built during the 1950s & 1960s.
  • They had/have the listing for one of Art Troutner’s most original, unique and untouched homes (above pic, left).
  • I also discovered Idaho Modern, an advocacy group for Modern design. The group’s leadership, called the Mod Squad, plans tours, exhibitions and lectures, researches landmarks, and organizes field trips.
  • From their site, I learned that Idaho experienced a building boom during the 1950’s thru 70’s which left it with significant architectural gems, as well as many living architects and designers who contributed to the MCM landscape. Sadly, despite their best efforts, Idaho has lost several important mid-century modern buildings due to a lack of awareness of their value.
  • Boise Boys, a new HGTV show focusing on two house flippers in Boise has been renewed for a second season and frequently features MidCentury homes as well. It’s produced by the Fixer Upper team.

 

Read on below for more on the booming demand for Mid-Century Modern, PLUS the role Palm Springs’ Modernism Week is playing in raising awareness.

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Q+A With Artist Scooter LaForge: Painter In The Spotlight!

Q+A With Artist Scooter LaForge: Painter In The Spotlight!

 

Scooter LaForge, “full-time wizard with the paint brush” is a celebrated East Village artist renowned for his unique painting style. It is immediately recognizable, a blend of nostalgic pop and cartoon imagery with a nihilistic punk execution, and a sense of humor. He’s as famous for the work done on canvas as he is for his collaborations with the fashion world, especially with legendary downtown fashion doyenne, Patricia Field.

LaForge has also collaborated with Belgian designer Walter Van Bierendonck and Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard, and was chosen to be a keynote speaker at the Montreal Fashion & Design Festival. He is a recent recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award.

He recently participated in shows at the Leslie Lohman Museum in New York, Friedrichshof Museum in Vienna, and Spirit museum and Absolut Art Collection in Sweden.

His upcoming show of 5 mural-size paintings opens next Thursday. If you’re in NYC, check it out. I’ll be there!

Scooter LaForge “Homo Eruptus” at the Howl! Happening gallery, 6 E. First St., on Thurs., Feb. 14, Opening reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

 

Read on below for Scooter’s Q+A:

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Check Out This Awesome Lego Art Installation

Check Out This Awesome Lego Art Installation

 

Musicians and YouTube celebrities are into Lego art – art galleries and museums take note!

 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO OF THIS INSTALLATION AND ITS SECRET ROOMS

 

Zedd, a major record producer and DJ (he’ll be at Coachella this year) had Miami artist, Dante Dentonicreate this amazing installation at his house – actually in the walls of his house. The recreation of the Vegas club he’s worked at is phenomenal. I stumbled across it on twitter – here’s a link. The video on twitter has gotten over 6MM views.

Jake Paul, brother of Logan Paul, also has a Dentoni installation at his house in Calabasas. You may have heard of him for recently being fired by Disney for being an idiot and a miscreant (all in the name of creating content).

Unfortunately, I can’t post an original youtube video of Dentoni’s Lego installations because youtube has classified me as a miscreant also. I’m currently on a 3 month probation for posting a nude image from a 2017 art fair in NYC (thanks to a sculpture by NYU MFA grad, Peter Clough).

 

While still on social media, I also want to comment on Instagram’s 20 most popular photos of all time:

  • 17 of the 20 are from 2018 (says a lot about the platform’s growing popularity).
  • 5 of the 20 belong to Kylie Jenner including the #1 favorite with over 18 million likes.

The world increasingly belongs to the social media star (just look at our President and the Democrat’s new socialist wunderkind, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who now has 1.6 million followers on Instagram (I believe she had 250 at the start of her campaign). She has more social media savvy than anybody else in Washington – which clearly is what got her a star appearance on 60 Minutes recently. More on this subject later this month.

 

See below for the top 6 most-liked Instagram Pictures of 2018. Read More >

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This Is The Most Spectacular, Modern Tree I’ve Ever Seen

This Is The Most Spectacular, Modern Tree I’ve Ever Seen

 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays Everyone! And thank you Ian Schrager for bringing all this gorgeousness into our neighborhood.

 

The only information available on this tree is that Ian Schrager personally came up with the idea and oversaw its creation for the garden at the Public Hotel on Chrystie Street in NYC.

  • It consists of 100 glowing LED orbs, programmed in different colors and patterns that change over the course of 24 hours.
  • During daylight hours it glows white and as the afternoon progresses it becomes more and more colorful.

Scroll down for more photos of how it changes throughout the day as well as pics of other popular festive trees in NYC.

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Retail 2019: One Big Shift Is The Lighting. It’s Bright!

Retail 2019: One Big Shift Is The Lighting. It’s Bright!

Carla Sozzani, Creator/Founder 10 Corso Como

 

Has anybody else noticed how brightly lit some stores and restaurants are getting? 

I first noticed it at 10 Corso Como (the store and the cafe – pics above). Every time I go there, somebody invariably comments on how bright it is. I’ve always sloughed it off as being an “Italian thing” but there may be more to this.

  • Carla Sozzani, the store founder, has been quoted as saying: “the Internet is about fast shopping, and 10 Corso Como has always been about slow shopping—enjoying life, taking your time.”
  • I’ve read that bright lights are more stimulating and create a more energetic vibe. Something I would translate as meaning they want me in and out fast. However, 10 Corso Como has never made me feel like I should be hurrying – either in the store or at the cafe.
  • The vibe is just so pleasant there I can linger under the bright fluorescents all day long.
  • I’m sticking with my initial idea that Italians, like a moth to a flame, like brightly lit cafes and stores. It makes them feel alive and they have big enough personalities to stand up to bright lights (all conjecture on my part).

 

Read on below for two more examples of retailers giving the dark mood lighting the heave-ho.

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