Monday, December 27, 2010
During the Summer I was working in my old neighborhood in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn and needed to get out of the 95 degree weather. I stumbled upon a film, I Am Love at the local cinema and saw that Tilda Swinton who has been one of my favorite actresses for years was starring so I did something I rarely do, went to a matinee. I thought the film would be the standard 90 minutes but it wasn't so I couldn't see the ending because I had an appointment. It was an intriguing film and I never got to see the ending until I got the opportunity to see it on DVD several months later. I was blown away. This is a must see.
Recently while in Miami for all the Art Basel Miami Beach festivities I went to the Pringle of Scotland party at the Webster on Miami Beach and Tilda Swinton was the guest of honor. The event, 195 Collaborations was presented by the Serpentine Gallery, an exhibition space where she once did a collaborative performance with Cornelia Parker where she slept in a sealed glass cabinet. I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with her briefly because I arrived early. I told her that I thought that I Am Love was the best movie I've seen this year and her performance was stellar and she replied to me, "You are so kind Renee". To hear this from one of the greatest living actresses made my entire trip. She was gracious enough to let me take this photograph of her with a custom designed Pringle of Scotland sweater designed by Ryan McGinley. Photograph: Renee Riccardo
Friday, November 12, 2010
I am very excited about the upcoming Making the Leap: Crossing Borders at A.I.R. Gallery which I am the guest curator/juror for. The exhibition features the work of 14 Asian-American women Immigrant artists who confront issues of identity, separation from the familiar, and deviation from conservative social structures and gender roles with diverse perspectives and methods. It will be exciting to see the show come together with a whole group of fresh faces at a gallery with such a rich history of support for women artists. The show opens December 1st, with a reception from 6-8 p.m. on December 2nd and runs through January 2nd. A.I.R. Gallery is located at 111 Front Street, Studio#228 in the D.U.M.B.O. section of Brooklyn. Image: Photograph by Yijun Liao.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Been listening to some new sounds from the talented, beautiful young singers, Zooey Deschanel, Nellie McKay, and Meaghan Smith...I'm fascinated by how in touch they are with their "girlie" side. They seem to like to channel singers like Doris Day, Patsy Cline, and other assorted crooners of the past with their retro hairstyles, vintage clothes and videos that echo another era. The amazing thing is they all pull it off in a fresh and inspiring new way...
Saturday, March 13, 2010
After attending art fairs and all that commercial activity the previous week, it was a great relief to attend the opening of Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present retrospective, organized by Klaus Biesenbach at MoMA this past week. It opens to the public today. The first thing I saw was Marina in the Marron Atrium at a small wooden table in a dramatic long red dress sitting across from anyone who would volunteer to sit opposite from her and stare into her soul. Everyone who participated seemed like they were visiting a goddess and truly moved by the experience. I saw a young girl walk away and wipe a tear away from her eye. Marina will be performing this work for several hours a day for a total of 700 hours during the run of the show. On the sixth floor there were fascinating live reperformances of Abramovic works by other performers amongst photographs, video, and the famous stage from her piece, The House With an Ocean View where she lived on a spare stage at Sean Kelly Gallery for several days in 2002 with an audience observing every move that she made. Abramovic's perseverance, focus and discipline (as well as the stamina of the people reenacting her pieces) is so moving that when you leave the show it almost feels like you're levitating...Photo: Renee Riccardo
Friday, February 26, 2010
I was reading a review on the 2010 Whitney Biennial in the New York Times and a sidebar ad caught my eye about a "Sexy IPhone apps banned" article (also in the Times) in the Technology section. One of the banned Apple IPhone apps called "Dirty Fingers" features a young sexy girl clad in a bikini that has glass cleaner in her hands so it appears that she's inside your IPhone cleaning your screen. I thought this was such a bizarre concept, sort of an "I Dream of Jeannie" redux. If this was in the 2010 Whitney Biennial on a pedestal people would probably be amused...
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
My mind is still wondering what the current 2010 Whitney Biennial is all about. The opening night's continuous rainfall didn't stop the masses of art enthusiasts that were curious to see what curators, Francesco Bonami and Gary Carrion-Murayari are presenting as the artists of the moment. There are many standouts including Tauba Auerbach, the Bruce High Quality Foundation, George Condo, Suzan Frecon, Kate Gilmore, Josephine Meckseper, Aurel Schmidt, Charles Ray, Piotr Uklanski, Pae White, Leslie Vance and Robert Williams to name just a few. After spending several hours viewing the 2010 Whitney Biennial I ventured upstairs to the 5th floor to see the stellar display of artists from past Whitney Biennials, Collecting Biennials and I wondered what would last the test of time from the current 2010 exhibition. I look forward to returning to the Biennial to get a better grasp on what the curators deem important in their selections. I also look forward to the Bruce High Quality Foundation's answer to the Biennial, The Brucennial 2010:Miseducation opening in Soho this week. Image: Bruce High Quality Foundation, We Love America and America Loves Us, Photo: Renee Riccardo.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I saw a report this morning on Slot Canyons of the American Southwest and I was blown away by their beauty and mystical presence. Here is an image of the famous Antelope Canyon in Arizona. They seem like they are natural inspirations for the work of James Turrell and Anthony McCall.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Today when I read an early report that Lady Gaga had done her thesis about my friend, Spencer Tunick a few years ago I knew that it would please him. A few minutes later I read in another paper that Spencer has taken the opportunity to invite her to participate in his upcoming installation at the Sydney Opera House. We shall see if she accepts. I think she should hire him to direct her next video...Top image: Lady Gaga. Bottom image: Spencer Tunick, Dusseldorf 4 (Museum Kunst Palast), 2006
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Sally Wu, fashion designer, curator and producer launched her amazing first Fall fashion line, Art + Craft to a very satisfied intimate audience. The models strutted their curves diagonally down the exhibition, Yin Xiuzhen at Chambers Fine Art's new location on West 19th Street, Chelsea's new row of stunning gallery and residential spaces. Photo: Renee Riccardo
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Looking forward to seeing the recently opened exhibition of the eccentric Czech photographer, Miroslav Tichy in his first American museum show at the International Center of Photography. Over 80 years old, he has gained international recognition only within the past 5 years for his voyeuristic photographs of women taken with a handmade camera made of cardboard and thread spools. The filthy and torn photographs were rescued by a neighbor after they'd been left to decay. Also on view, Twilight Visions: Surrealism, Photography, and Paris and Atget, Archivist of Paris.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Had a wonderful time running around Chelsea on yet another blustery winter's day with my Belgian friend, Barbara running in and out of galleries to see shows and to keep warm. Visited the Patti Smith and Steven Sebring show at Robert Miller Gallery again and Patti was there and said "Hello" with that famous smile of hers when I opened the door. Then we walked over to the opening day of the Keith Haring 20th Anniversary show at Tony Shafrazi Gallery and ran in to none other than Naomi Campbell, David LaChapelle, Daphne Guinness, Peter Brant and his two children, Peter Jr. and Harry. David LaChapelle was very gracious telling us stories of his memories of his friend, Keith Haring and what a thoughtful and giving artist he was. David (who's film Rize is incredible) took the opportunity to photograph Peter's beautiful children with his good friend and muse, Daphne Guinness with the Haring works and 80's music playing in the background. I took some pics with my phone to record the moment of the brilliant photographer and director finding his inspiration for the day...Photos above: Renee Riccardo
Friday, February 12, 2010
Everyone knows that Marina Abramovic has been the ultimate performance artist in contemporary art. Her deeply moving and controversial works of endurance and self examination have been known to bring people to tears. A performance, The House with an Ocean View,(where she lived and fasted on a special stage that she didn't leave for 12 days) at Sean Kelly Gallery was so popular that it was imitated by an actor on a Sex and the City episode. More Art, a non-profit outreach organization is producing The Energy Blanket by Abramovic to coincide with her upcoming career retrospective, Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present at MoMA. This seems like the perfect affordable gift of art to give right now in this dark time of winter when we need some healing. It comes with instructions and an outline of Abramovic's body on the blanket with drawn points to receive energy from the magnets provided.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
What better artist than Kiki Smith to create a site-specific installation exploring ideas of creative inspiration and the cycle of life in relation to women artists? For her exhibition, Kiki Smith: Sojourn, this mystical artist has created an elaborate installation in the galleries of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art and in the nearby Decorative Arts galleries of the museum, taking as her point of inspiration an important eighteenth-century silk needlework by a young woman named Prudence Punderson, The First, Second and Last Scene of Mortality (Collection of the Connecticut Historical Society) who's independent spirit proved to be way ahead of her time. Image: Kiki Smith, Singer (detail), 2008. Courtesy of the artist and PaceWildenstein.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Looks like everyone in NYC is anxious to see what the great blizzard of 2010 brings to our great city. I remember many years ago walking down the middle of 34th Street during a blizzard having a snowfight with all traffic halted. We all know the magic of snowflakes and the exhibition, Snow Crystals, Vintage Micrographs by Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley at Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago (which just closed) had some of the earliest documentation of the unique design of every flake. Interesting to see how the big snow effects our fast pace...
Monday, February 8, 2010
One of my favorite films as a teenager was The Eyes of Laura Mars starring the fabulous Faye Dunaway in her prime. The film had it all, a very stylish Faye Dunaway as a photographer that had premonitions about crimes that were about to happen. I was also an aspiring photographer, slightly psychic and dreamed what it would be like to be like her in NYC. I remember Laura's photographs were reminiscent of Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton's fascinating staged images. Anne Collier is having her first solo show at Anton Kern with a special slide projection piece, Woman with a Camera(35 mm) that borrows images of the film of Laura having a premonition and shooting but this time you are looking right at her and you become the strange object of her desire. Collier's smart and quirky images about images in the main room are stunning and stick with you. Image above: Anne Collier, Woman with a Camera (35 mm), Courtesy of Anton Kern Gallery.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Last night, I talked for hours at dinner with someone about my memories of all the amazing galleries, artists, performers, musicians and posers of the East Village Art Scene in the 80's. I worked at a gallery, Mo David, owned by artist extraordinaire, Mike Osterhaut on E. 9th St. The gallery had very early shows of Tony Oursler, Robin Winters, David Ireland and Karen Finley. Karen used to leave extremely long messages on the phone machine which were like her performances. I mentioned that I wished that I had recorded the messages because they were so funny and bizarre. I see that The New York Times has Tino Sehgal in a bit of a tizzy because it published i-Phone photos of his basically empty Guggenheim show (except for the lovers on the ground floor who are enacting Seghal's, "The Kiss") when the artist and museum clearly have a sign that no photos are allowed. I thought to my myself that it was bold of The New York Times to break the artist's rule and preserve images for us all to remember. Can't wait to visit the bare Guggenheim, walk the rotunda, engage with the "interpreters" and make my own visual memories.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Just watched Bright Star, Jane Campion's brilliant depiction of John Keats and Fanny Brawne's three year intense relationship and the exquisite letters that they exchanged. Abby Cornish gives an incredibly moving performance of young Fanny who's obsession with the beautiful, devoted Keats, is wonderfully complemented by the fragile, waifish, Ben Whishaw. This movie has everything: a wonderful soundtrack, stunning scenery, incredible costumes, beautiful cinematography and a great depiction of young love and the struggles of an unknown artist. Campion's earlier masterpiece, The Piano has always lingered in my mind. I can hardly wait to catch the exhibition of eccentric Victoriana, Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Read a brief piece in The New York Times today about Don DeLillo's new novel, Point Omega which was inspired by his visits to Douglas Gordon's, 24 Hour Psycho exhibition at MoMA in 2006. It's interesting to note that DeLillo's good friend, Paul Auster wrote an earlier novel, Leviathan that was based on a Sophie Calle book, The Shadow, where she was followed for a day by a private detective, who had been hired (at Calle's request) by her mother.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Anxiously awaiting Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. His interpretation of Lewis Carroll's 1865 masterpiece, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has an amazing cast of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, (of course), Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Anne Hathaway (pictured above) as the White Queen, Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat, Crispen Glover as the Knave of Hearts, and newcomer Mia Wasikowska as Alice...
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Starting February 3rd at 11:00 a.m. X Intiative is having their last blow out show entitled, Bring Your Own Art (BYOA). This is a show where anyone can bring their own art and display it. Should be crazy fun...The show will last for 24 hours. They are also providing a stage for performers to do whatever they feel like doing. It reminds me of the massive Art Exchange Show at 60 Broad Street in the Wall Street area which I co-curated with John Good in the mid-nineties where we invited artists, galleries, curators, anarchists and musicians to take over an abandoned office building and do whatever they felt like.
Just in... I received an e-mail from none other than the inimitable Terence Koh himself that he created the custom charred pianos for the opening performance of the Grammy's played by Lady Gaga and Sir Elton John..I'm sure we'll be seeing clips from this for years to come. Here's Lady Gaga's personal tweet..."piano designed by my famous and dear friend TERENCE KOH, inspired by and in honor of my little monsters, and their sweet little hands."
Monday, February 1, 2010
The Underwater Hotel In Istanbul and the Poseiden Undersea Resort in Fiji, or for smaller budgets, the existing Jules' Undersea Lodge in Key Largo are designed for underwater relaxation. They look like the future or something from a Wes Anderson film. Whether they ever will be realized or not is yet to be determined. I wonder if it would be easier to fall asleep or not; perhaps, if they piped in early David Bowie music...
Jean Shin's installation of pattern cut-outs paired with actual Calvin Klein designs for the Spring Collection was presented by Calvin Klein and the Los Angeles Nomadic Division (L.A.N.D.). The collaboration coincided with L.A.’s arts month and the Art Los Angeles Contemporary. (ALAC). I've had the pleasure of working with Jean on an exhibition that I curated in 2004 and I've been following her work since I accidently discovered, Umbrellas Stripped Bare while riding my bicycle at Long Island University in Brooklyn in 2001. Her installations always enchant me. She has a great knack for taking all the things that are discarded in the world and recycling them into a fascinating study of consumerism.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
In the past, the Grammy Awards has been a mixed bag of the melting pot of what American music has to offer. This year's performances had some kind of electricity that was contagious. Starting with Lady Gaga and Elton John's amazing duet to Beyonce and the Black Eyed Peas who both practically blew off the roof, to Pink's touching and incredibly sensual performance of "Glitter in the Air" where she was lifted into the air, spun on a trapeze and was dipped in water and lifted up again, all while singing her heart out live and twirling into a frenzy. It had the audience in tears...
Had a great day yesterday passing the Chelsea Hotel on the crosstown bus, thinking of the history of the place and its legendary inhabitants (including Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe). Despite the frigid temperature outside, I had a wonderful time visiting the delightful shows of Andy Warhol and Annette Lemieux at Paul Kasmin's two spaces, breathtaking abstractions by German painter, Christian Hellmich at Lehmann Maupin, the ethereal worlds of Patti Smith and Steven Sebring at Robert Miller, Anthony McCall at Sean Kelly (I had a nice private conversation with him discussing his mystical work), the fascinating Superflex, a Danish collaborative at Peter Blum with a must see 21 minute film entitled, Flooded McDonald's, and the hypnotic Gelitin show at Greene Naftali with blindfolded scantily clad men and their assistants creating sculpture for an audience with piano accompaniment. Nothing like interesting visual art to warm the soul...Image: Superflex, Flooded McDonald's, 2009 at Peter Blum Chelsea.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart star in this film about Joan Jett, Cherie Currie and The Runaways, directed by artist, Floria Sigismondi premiering at Sundance...How can I resist watching these two looking exactly like the way I dressed in high school? I had the same jeans, shag haircut and Buffalo platform sandals... Can't wait.
Can't wait to see these two concurrent exhibitions, The Visible Vagina at David Nolan Fine Art and at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art...Inspired by the Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues, it's even ruffling the most esteemed critic's feathers who can't even seem to utter the word. In the early 90's in my first gallery space, ARENA in Soho I exhibited the work of an artist, Judith Braun, then known as Judith Weinperson with a show entitled, Sacred Order of the Burning Bush. She created an enormous, red wall-size abstracted photographic self-portrait of her female genitalia. The reactions of the visitors were of shock and delight... Image above: Carolee Schneemann, Paralell Axis Lying Down, 1975 at David Nolan Fine Art
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Some of the most dynamic women artists in the contemporary art world are premiering their films this week at the Sundance Film Festival 2010; Pipilotti Rist with Pepperminta, Shirin Neshat with Women Without Men and Sam Taylor-Wood's biopic of the young John Lennon with Nowhere Boy. Can't wait to see what these brilliant women present.
After reading about the torn Picasso a few days ago, it's amazing how many freakish accidents have happened to masterpieces over the past few years. This 15th-century marble statue by the Venetian sculptor Tullio Lombardo from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection toppled off a buckled base a few years ago. It looks like a restorer's dream: to mend Adam...
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Last year I launched Art/Picnic/Yoga Excursions, a special outing to Governors Island that included a yoga session by some of the best yogis in NYC, a picnic carefully chosen and an art tour that I gave of exceptional exhibitions on the island. It was an incredible experience that I hope to repeat this year. I see that yoga and food is becoming a trend as in this story, When Chocolate and Chakras Collide by Julia Moskin in today's New York Times. Photo: Tom Cenicola
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Excited to hear Joanna Newsom is coming out with a triple album entitled, Have One on Me, available on Drag City Records February 23rd. Here's one of the songs,'81. Saw her once at Webster Hall and she is mesmerizing..No one like her.
Read an excerpt from "Just Kids" in Rolling Stone of the fascinating early years of Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe's relationship as young struggling artists in NYC. Fascinating read of a humbler time in New York when everything was cheap and magical. Patti Smith & Steven Sebring (who made a film, Dream of Life about her) are currently showing at Robert Miller Gallery.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Look at the gleam in the eyes of this seasoned 13 year old paparazzo, Austin Visschedyk. A new doc, Teenage Paparazzo by Adrian Grenier premiering at Sundance this week looks intriguing. Listen to Elvis Mitchell's interview with the new director of the Sundance Film Festival, John Cooper.
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I read this morning in the New York Times that a woman had accidently fallen during an adult education class and tore a rare masterpiece, The Actor (1904) by Picasso at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I saw a report this morning about an amazing singer, Melody Gardot. As I am an avid biker, I was amazed to hear that after she experienced a near fatal biking accident, it was music that saved her life. I think she's one of the best jazz singers today...Listen to Worrisome Heart and Baby I'm a Fool...
Still thinking about the bizarre imagination of Derrick Adams. His show, Welcome to Monument City at Collette Blanchard Gallery on the L.E.S. sticks with you. All his references to brick walls always remind me of the cult classic by Wolf Rilla, Village of the Damned. Featured above: The Root of it All.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
I've been reading, Various Positions, a fascinating bio on Leonard Cohen and interestingly enough, Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris sang Hallelujah on Hope for Haiti Now. One of the best and most touching performances of the evening. I've seen Rufus Wainwright perform this many times and it's heartwrenching.
Had a wonderful stroll today on the L.E.S. checking out some exhibitions. Diane Carr's solo show at Gallery Satori was just what I needed. I've known and followed her work for a few years now. I've shown the work of her close confidant, Doug Morris at ARENA and in group shows I've curated at other galleries. I think they're both amazing...
Before Jay-Z and Alicia Key's celebratory video of this great city, there was Paul Strand's and Charles Sheeler's great silent film, Manhatta. Here it is with title quotes by Walt Whitman and a new soundtrack by Sinc.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Recently I rode my bike at dusk to see the opening of Double Take, an exhibition at Metrotech produced by the Public Art Fund. This sculpture, Pilgrim Ghost by Johannes VanDerBeek is pure magic. Photo: James Ewing
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Please check out Alexandra Peers' article in New York Magazine's online Vulture Column entitled, How Jeffrey Deitch’s MOCA Appointment Changes the Art World. I'm quoted in the section with the heading Burlesque Dancers and the New York Avante-Garde...
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
One of my favorite singers and songwriters, Kate McGarrigle passed away yesterday. She was always there at the concerts I attended for her children, Rufus and Martha when they were just starting out. Although they never were officially a "group" they would always support and perform together.