Friday, February 26, 2010

Dirty Fingers: Banned IPhone Apps & I Dream of Jeannie

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

The 2010 Whitney Biennial: What's it all about?

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

Antelope Canyon and other Slot Canyons

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

Spencer Tunick extends an invitation to his fan, Lady Gaga

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: Art + Craft fashion show at Chambers Fine Art

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

Miroslav Tichy, the Original D.I.Y. photographer at the International Center of Photography

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

Keith Haring, David LaChapelle, the Brants, Daphne Guinness at Tony Shafrazi Gallery

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

Marina Abramovic: The Energy Blanket from More Art

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

The passing of Alexander McQueen

I'm in shock at hearing the news today that perhaps the greatest fashion designer of his generation, Alexander McQueen has died at the age of 40, apparently only a week after his beloved "Mum" passed away. R.I.P.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kiki Smith: Sojourn at the Brooklyn Museum

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

Yesterday's and Tomorrow's Snowflakes

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

Anne Collier & The Eyes of Laura Mars

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

Tino Sehgal: To Each His Own

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

Bright Star: Three Such Days...

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

Don DeLillo's Point Omega inspired by Douglas Gordon's 24 Hour Psycho

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

I'm Late for a Very Important Date: Tim Burton's Alice in 3D

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

X Initiative: BYOA... Artists: Come On Down!

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.

Terence Koh, Sir Elton John and Lady Gaga

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 Life Aquatic: Underwater Hotels in Istanbul and Fiji and Key Largo

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, Calvin Klein and L.A.N.D.

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.