The Madison Avenue building is at its end and the Koons exhibit has closed now, so let’s trash it. No, we’re not doing that but I’ll bet your Instagram feed at some point over the last few months might have shown you a selfie taken at “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective”. There were LOTS of shiny reflective surfaces so it was irresistible selfie bait. I did one myself, but I didn’t tag it properly –I guess, as I’m not their demo. Plenty of #KoonsSelfies were taken by youngsters because the Whitney had been passing out cards that instruct teens exactly how to share their love of the Whitney. “KOONS IS GREAT FOR SELFIES” the boldfaced message reads. “Take a selfie and post it on Instagram! Use: @whitneymuseum and #Koons #ArtSelfie”. No doubt this will continue at new Meatpacking District location which opens next spring. Check your Instagram feed, kids.
Yes, it seems by accident, (mostly reviled) appropriation artist Richard Prince gave an emerging conceptual artist his Gagosian debut. This is SUCH a convoluted idea, see if you can follow.
My friend Sean Fader is a conceptual artist and photographer. We met in 2009 at the casting call for Bravo’s reality series Work of Art and have remained friends ever since. I wrote about his project “Sup?” here, where he photographed 100 guys that he met on Grindr, before and after “dating them. His latest project has been #wishingpelt. The New York live event for his performance of #wishingpelt was at the PULSE Art Fair and previously at SPRING/BREAK Art Show. Over the course of nine days, Fader stood on a platform for a total of 80 hours and visitors were invited to whisper a wish in Fader’s ear, run their hands through his chest hair, and seal the wish with selfie tagged on Instagram or Twitter with #wishingpelt. I’ve also written here about Richard Prince’s current Gagosian exhibition New Portraits, where he “appropriates” other people Instagram photos, adding his own (some say misogynist) comments. It happened to feature an Instagram pic from Sean‘s #wishingpelt series. In May, one of those wish-granting selfies ended up in Prince’s Instagram feed, and is now a canvas at Gagosian. Sean told Hyperallergic;
“I’m really interested in the idea of re-appropriating my own work and taking the work out of the frame that he’s put it in, re-engineering it to continue the conversation that I was interested in from the beginning, and shifting the work back to that space. I struggled for a while to decide how I felt about it. When I went and saw it I was fuming. I would be psyched to be appropriated into work that was good. I just think the work is flat. It flattened the work in a way that I was not thrilled about its denial. By not communicating with me, by not talking to me, he denied every level of shared authorship, or engagement, all of those things that were so important to me in the work. That’s what irked me about the whole thing. So Prince made his move, now I’ll make mine.”
Instead of dwelling on the way that it felt to him and taking legal action, Fader staged an appropriation himself, sending out a press release (see crop of it below) inviting people to view his work at Gagosian “in an exhibition organized by Richard Price.” Smart, huh?
Richard Prince: New Portraits, including Sean Fader’s “#wishingpelt” photo, ends tomorrow at Gagosian, so if you’re on the upper east side, go over and take a selfie in front of it to make your own statement and repost on Instagram to add another more personal layer to this never-ending art story.
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Bronx, he's is best known for his masterful, Pop Art-infused sketches and colorful personality portraits. The late Antonio Lopez was one of the best fashion illustrators, if not THE best of his day – a day when fashion illustration as still a “thing”. While working in Paris with art director Juan Ramos, Lopez notably discovered then models, Jerry Hall and Tina Chow and befriended the likes of Jessica Lange and Grace Jones and others that what we now know, were at the top of their field. These rarely seen Instamatic photographs here featuring Karl Lagerfeld, Andy Warhol, Anna Piaggi and more were shot during Lopez’s downtime from assignments for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and The New York Times. Lopez’s candid images of his entourage basking in St. Tropez and Studio 54-era New York are merely the Instagrams of their day but. Designer Ana Sui says about Lopez, who would be 70 himself this year;
“I’m from the generation that came to New York to meet their idols. In my case it was Andy Warhol and Antonio Lopez.”
For more, the monograph to get is Antonio Lopez: Fashion, Art, Sex and Disco by the Padilha bros., Roger and Mauricio. It doesn’t matter the year, real glamour and style only gets moreso, as time passes, huh?
Jeremy Kost has been shooting Polaroids of hot guys for a while now. He began this recent project in 2011 kind of by accident, usually the way great things start. He got a multiple exposure after a shot of film got stuck in the camera. It’s proved to be both an aesthetic –and logistical experiment– for Kost who told Interview;
“I never know what the colors are going to be like until the first frame is shot. Even then, you start to get these chemical errors where the chemicals don’t spread across the image. The multiple exposure is almost like a collage collapsed into one frame. It’s all done in the Polaroid. There’s no digital, there’s no retouching, there’s no manipulation. It’s all one layer.”
Last night, he had a book signing at BookMarc on Bleeker for Fractured, his new book featuring this work. And a limited edition of prints, on exhibit at the Calvin Klein Collection, 654 Madison, are available on Paddle 8. The proceeds will benefit ACRIA, to help those living with HIV/AIDS. And for more cute, mostly naked guys, you can follow Jeremy on Instagram here.
You might not expect that a Metropolitan Museum of Art fashion exhibit would be named after the cult film Death Becomes Her. Strange as it seems, the passing of fashion legend Oscar de la Renta, fashion and All Hallows Eve have converged at The Met. This new exhibition explores the evolution of funeral attire from 1815 to 1915 with some 300 dresses worn during the mourning period that was once a part of life after death. The cultural implications will be illuminated through mostly women’s clothing and accessories, showing the progression of appropriate fabrics from mourning crape to corded silks, and the later introduction of color with shades of gray and mauve. The social implications of the day, from the distance of the early 21st century, seem bizarre. Curator Jessica Regan says;
“The veiled widow…(was) a woman of sexual experience without marital constraints, she was often imagined as a potential threat to the social order.”
Featured in the show is the dress worn by Queen Victoria to mourn Prince Albert I. She worn mourning clothes for the rest of her life, btw. THAT is love – and fashion – and tradition, all rolled into one royal.
Death Becomes Her; A Century of Mourning Attire opens today at The Metropolitan Museum‘s Anna Wintour Costume Gallery and runs through February 1, 2015
I’ve known photographer Roxanne Lowit for more years than I care to count. She’s been shooting fashion and the New York social scene for decades and save for Patrick McMullen or Bill Cunningham, no one can touch her archive or eye. She’s a no-nonsense charmer and her friendship with the late genius of fashion, Yves Saint Laurent has produced a new book, published by Thames & Hudson. From 1978, when she first met YSL, to the last show he gave in 2002, it represents Lowit’s backstage look at Saint Laurent’s shows: whether surrounded by the top models or peeking out at the catwalk from the wings, every moment was a photo opp. Steven Kasher Gallery opens an exhibit of the work next week. October 29th – November 4th at Steven Kasher‘s new space at 515 West 26th Street New York.
Doris Duke, the wildly rich tobacco heiress, was just 22 when she got married to James Cromwell in 1935. As newlyweds they traveled through the Far East and when they reached Honolulu Doris Duke’s architectural taste has been permanently altered. From the NY Times:
They had planned to build a Mughal-style newlywed wing on the grounds of the estate of Mr. Cromwell’s mother in Palm Beach, Florida; [but] it morphed into a five-acre Islamic flight of fantasy on Oahu, at the base of Diamond Head on the Pacific. For the next six decades, Ms. Duke poured passion and millions of dollars into the 14,000-square-foot white rectangular structure of modernity and magic that she called Shangri La.
Cecil Beaton, who photographed Shangri La several times called it a “really fabulous Arabian Nights dream Persian house.” You can see here it really was. Her foundation just completed a restoration of the house and grounds and have opened her private bedroom wing, much as it was when she was in residence there for 7+ decades. Why would you ever want to leave?
Paul McCarthy’s contribution to The FIAC art fair in Paris is an 80-foot sculpture in the Place Vendome titled Tree. But you know, as does ANYONE with sight that is over 21, that it looks much more like a HUGE green butt plug. A story in the french paper Le Monde says that a REALLY angry Parisian accosted the artist in the street, punching him three times in the face! That’s pretty mean –McCarthy is almost 70! But hey, the Vendome column, like most monuments and skyscrapers super-phallic to start with, so McCarthy is just inverting the idea at the other end, right? And, France, don’t poo-poo his art, you could have gotten the piece below that was shown last year in Hong Kong instead. Merde!
At first glance, theses photographs from Robert Voit’s series “New Trees” seem to show us everyday foliage and plants, set apart only by their oversized proportions. But on closer inspection you can see that these are in fact cell phone towers camouflaged to blend in with both urban and rural surroundings. Voit’s “New Trees” are really the perfect intersection of the natural world and technology that we keep inserting into it. I love these images and can see a HUGE print in your Palm Spring mid-century modern getaway.
Robert Voit: ‘New Trees’ and ‘The Alphabet of New Plants’ opens tonight at ClampArt and runs through November 15 in New York.
Gagosian devoted its whole booth at Frieze Art Fair in London to the artist Carsten Höller’s “Gartenkinder,” which is a actually giant playground. Höller uses his training as a scientist in his work as an artist, concentrating on the nature of human relationships. His New Museum show last year incorporated a merry-go-round and a slide installed through the floor of the gallery. Well, of course this installation looks fun and because it’s a playground, kids LOVE IT. They are allowed to play with giant Scrabble pieces and bouncy balls climb inside the dice and they look pretty cute doing it. This is interactive sculpture but to save $$, you could just install a see-saw inside your loft.