~BOATEL LAUNCH PARTY – MARINA 59 – the PIX !! – MORE PIX JUST WENT LIVE: THURS MAY 31 – 10:24 PM

FOR MORE BOATEL PIX – PART II: SCROLL DOWN


BOATEL LAUNCH PARTY – MARINA 59, FAR ROCKAWAY, NYC – SAT MAY 19, 2012


PORTS BISHOP, SERRA BOTHWELLFELS, KELIE BOWMAN . . .


SERRA BOTHWELLFELS’ boat – CHARLIE’S ANGELS.

something like 23 artists were given free rein to decorate 16 boats. the boats are really just the old hulls or shells of old boats – no engines, no plumbing. no stove or fridge – but . . . lots of romance. cheap, and with upgrade amenities, like bathrooms & showers, & some eats at the main dock. it’s definite bring your own food, beer and (swim) (sleep) (cooler with ice) gear !! you know. have fun, trip out on the water, and the sunsets – all the while staying, in one place. it’s the real deal. going far, by going . . . nowhere.


at left, MAMIE inside SERRA’S boat. the boats rent for an average $75 a night, and they seem to be booking, FAST !! you can’t take the boats tripping off into the waters, they have no engines !! but you can jump in the lake. (somewhat, it’s not exactly a designated swimming area.)
see: BOATEL – for more details


the hand-sewn quilt on Serra’s boat’s bed – matches the hand-painted Navajo-Indian, I’m guessing, inspired patterns on the wood details.
p.s. the distressed wood, on the walls and flooring, is also her doing, as is the tin ceiling, which you will have to go see for yourself.


Serra’s hand-sewn, pieced & knotted quilt – is based on an old Amish pinwheel pattern.


I liked how she left traces of her workroom . . .


as part of the finished interior.


KELIE BOWMAN’S boat – the SEA WOLF . . . was less artisanal retro cabin-in-the-woods rocking in the waters, and more like a rocking-you-to-sleep lullaby. a painted dream of a ship in a child’s poem, of running off to sea !!


STO, and KELIE BOWMAN – on Kelie’s SEA WOLF.



Kelie’s boat was a gentle rock and roller, very luminous in a soft way. like sun glancing off waves. hand painted through and through in a gentle giant’s pale blue spectrum, though also built up upon triangle elements come to think of it – !!


there was a hand painted braided sailor’s rope going along the wall, in Kelie’s signature delicate brushwork style – – along with with an endangered fish chart, ca 2000 !!


the Sea Wolf’s bed . . . the little hatch window in the back – opens onto the sea.


KELIE BOWMAN’S drawing on the little forward hatch – on the Sea Wolf !! thinking .. ‘land’ dreams on the ‘boat’ ride ?

UP-DATE: THURS MAY 31, 2012 – MORE !! – BOATEL LAUNCH PARTY – PIX !! – PART II


one of the two BOATEL SUMMER 2012 project curators: ORIEN McNEILL.


ANGIE KANG, the other BOATEL SUMMER 2012 curator.


midway on the BOATEL pier – a very outdoors communal lounge . . .


it was actually designed and put together by the BOATEL project co-curator, ORIEN McNEILL.


MAYRA CIMET & JASON SINOPOLI aboard their boat, the WHITE LOBSTER.


at the left, MAYRA CIMET. inside the White Lobster it was like a really hot summer night, your very own private clubland . . . . it was: disco ball – on waves !!


outside you could step out, and see planes overhead, but – the magic of being on the water, conquered all.


real fishermen, setting out.


someone even had a kayak – docked near by.


QUEEN ZENOBIA looked be fun, great graphics, walk like an Egyptian.


at the end of the dock, you could see the sunset just coming on – nothing beats a sunset on the water.


swimmers . . . and fur coats, BOATEL in a nutshell.


yep, it was !! hot enough to swim.


the pink flamingo (!!) on the CRUMB – LAURA McMILLAN’s boat, she of the fur jacket, just above, with the swimmers.


the NANCY BOGGS – was fun.


yep, those appear to be vintage stockings hanging – as curtains in the window.


inside the NANCY BOGGS, the day trippers, I mean renters, had arrived. get the party started. (!!)


the view of the marina – from inside the NANCY BOGGS.


inside the NANCY BOGGS, it was one of the bigger boats.


yep, those were faux ‘animal’ trophy heads !!


the bed looked very inviting. very comfy. that NANCY BOGGS crew were really into their – curtains !!


the NEW YORK, N.Y. by contrast seemed very modern, contemporary – it had a . . .


hand-stitched geodesic dome to keep you safe from the sun, on the rear deck. it was a real nice color too.


SIMON and GRISHA – inside their boat: NEW YORK, N.Y.


SETH KIRBY, one of the small group that had just arrived – to take over NEW YORK, N.Y. for the weekend.
Seth produces light shows for JOSHUA LIGHT SHOW, and . . .


he showed me some of his light show designs on his iPhone. that’s so NEW YORK, N.Y. !!


SETH KIRBY light show design. I liked this one in particular, because it echoed the geodesic dome on the boat, NEW YORK, N.Y. – which he and his pals had rented for the night.


the geodesic dome on NEW YORK, N.Y. one of the more contemporary-leaning boat designs. though actually aren’t geodesic domes . . a throwback back, too ? I mean, what’s that called: 60’s vintage modernism ?


the lantern on the stern of the NEW YORK, N.Y. the sun had really set, by now. sea board romance was on full glow.


good nite, BOATEL on FAR ROCKAWAY, a world away in many ways. and in Queens, the oft forgotten borough, art wise (!!) – no less.


CHASSY – the night watchman, and yes, he had designed a boat in the show. which one ?
the CHEMICAL REACTION !!


who could forget the CHEMICAL REACTION ? Chassy’s boat – it had an upside down, seatless wooden chair on the hood of the former cabin cruiser’s cockpit. now that’s a great metaphor – figure it out, for yourself.
BOATEL 2012 ? very nice. super special, way to go summer – on the water – you rule !!

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH. BOATEL, MARINA 59, FAR ROCKAWAY, NYC, NY. MAY 19, 2012




~MINT & SERF . . . INK PLUTONIUM DEAL !!

FILE UNDER: . . . most glorious photo !!

MAY 21, 2012: MINT & SERF – aka MIRF when they work together on the same piece !! – SIGN A DEAL WITH PLUTONIUM PAINT COMPANY !!

p.s. that’s SERF on the left, and MINT on the right – and together that spells MIRF !!

watch: the video !!

see: MINT & SERF – THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE

and, NOT just most glorious photo, but most glorious photo – with the best timing !!

just as we say a bitter-sweet good-bye to the old school Jersey Italian godfathers – anybody in BROOKLYN !! will tell you the – new bullies on the block – are the HASIDS, and the newest wave of gangsters – are the Russians.
likewise on the small town – that is the web !!
the ‘ultra-orthodox’ want to shut down the ‘internet’ – too much ‘schmutz’ !! and if you’ve ever been re-directed, to hardcore porn or fractured links – from our art world breaking news – you know (!!) it’s the Russians who are doing the URL hijacking !! and google messing !!

though, like all battles – it gets complicated locally – because the ‘ultra orthodox’ are also dominating this week’s racy tabloid headlines with their in-bred sex crimes against their very own children, not to mention spawning last summer’s notorious – Butcher of Brooklyn !!
talk about: have ‘schmutz’ will travel !!

how bout: clean up your own ‘schmutz’ first, bye the way, that’s ‘filth’ to you who maybe don’t know, as in porn, not lint !! yiddish – such a glorious , not to mention w eloquent language, or what !!
before take censorship up to the next level. though yeah, for their part: the Russians could use some serious hipster etiquette training – before the web becomes – totally useless.

. . . BUT BACK TO PAINT !! and 3 cheers for the art world !! now you know – why we love it !!

MINT & SERF ANNOUNCE: that after weeks of negotiating, that as of MAY 21, 2012 – “we are now part of the PLUTONIUM PAINT COMPANY . . . Plutonium Paint is an American Made high quality spray paint born and raised in DETROIT.” (!!)

(p.s. DETROIT – been in the news, too this week !! that’s one of the “hollowed-out” urban cities in crisis – where MAYOR BLOOMBERG wants to mandate new immigrant entry, for at least 5 years – to re-vitalize the industrial wasteland, or something, pretty much along those lines. look it up – yourserf !!)


IMAGE: PLUTONIUM PAINT


SAME . . . MIRF ROOF – NYC. IMAGE COURTESY: MIRF

MINT&SERF: CLEAR CANVAS at SOHO HOUSE, NEW YORK – TODAY !!

P.S. HEADS UP, or is that – CAPS UP !! TODAY, THURS MAY 24, 2012 at 9 PM – MINT&SERF would like to invite you – to participate in a ‘Clear Canvas’ event at Soho House. Clear Canvas is an “expansion on the idea of painting parties we have been hosting at the BROADWAY CHAPTER, our new studio.”
note: This is a LIMITED CAPACITY event, so they ask you to RSVP only !! if you are planning on attending !!

RSVP@MINTANDSERF.COM

so, how’s that for a nice – thunderstorm rainy day – read !! art world gangstas !!

UP-DATE: DUE TO BAD WEATHER, THUNDERSTORMS in NYC – THE CLEAR CANVAS EVENT – WILL BE HELD TO-DAY – SATURDAY, MAY 26 at 9 PM !!




~JON D’AMORE . . . and THE REAL ‘FAMILY BUSINESS’ – PIX from the BOOKSIGNING, JERSEY CITY, MAY 21, 2012

FILE UNDER: THIS is the real family BIZ !!


JON D’AMORE at a local booksigning for his new book, ‘THE BOSS ALWAYS SITS IN THE BACK’ – a “novel based on a true story” – of growing up in the “family business” . . . aka as “the mafia”. with him, longtime childhood friend, DIANE LOMBARDI FLEMING – The Five Corners Branch Public Library, Jersey City, N.J. May 21, 2012.

so, how far do Jon and Diane go back ? Diane relates that their moms were pregnant at the same time – they were friends who both worked at the Lipton Tea Co., and their dads both worked at Union Textile, in Secaucus – in the 50s.


the crew !!
Cousin Jerry, Uncle Dominic and Rocky D’Amore, (Jon’s dad !!), North Hudson County Park, North Bergen, NJ, 1947.
“Shortly after Rocky returned from the Army. Three men Jon grew up loving. Jerry would become Jon’s Godfather.”

Jon was born about 5 or 6 years later.
His dad, Carmine “Rocky” D’Amore had been shipped overseas to fight for the American forces, in WWII, when he was 20, and stayed on in Germany for two years after WWII as a sergeant in the American Military Police.


“JON D’AMORE, Belmar, NJ, Summer, 1979: With LAS VEGAS just a memory and his music career doing very well … Jon took a break down at the Jersey Shore to see some friends.”

JON’s talk at the booksigning, was brief, too brief – he didn’t want to give away the whole story !!
but the bits and pieces – were fascinating.

he seems to have taken after his mother – and yes, she was a real original Italian Jersey babe, and so was Diane’s mother !! the “family business” just wasn’t in his genes – music was !! but somehow, he got caught up in the prevalent “culture”. as he relates, you couldn’t avoid it, it was just family. it was just how the newest wave of immigrants to America – took care of “business” . . . kept order, and made some dough along the way, esp – cousin Jerry !!

but more importantly, he said he always felt from day one: that this was a time, and a place – and a group of real characters, whose story needed telling, and he was determined to do it – the crew was down with that, but, he was told: he had to wait until 3 key players were dead (!!) . . . so the book was a long time, in the making.


JON D’AMORE went on to become a local musician of some considerable renown, & charm (!!) playing in bar bands, and as a studio musician on the Jersey Shore, and other local hangouts. looks like he got a whole lot of other stories, of his own, to tell, too !!

top left: “JON D’AMORE, Fort Lee, NJ. November, 1977: A favorite photo of Jon’s, this was taken in Palisades Interstate Park directly under The George Washington Bridge.”
top right: “JON D’AMORE, Belmar, NJ, 1979.”
bottom: “Jon D’Amore, 1980: In the studio doing what he enjoyed the most.”


“Jon (holding the machine gun) and Friends, May 1, 1982: It was a day to party and dress up. The car was used in The Godfather.”

yep, JON is a man with a story to tell, and tell it well – he does !!
the book also has a small, but real nice selection of archival photos – including one of his family at a dinner table – with a young FRANK SINATRA !! in LAS VEGA, NEVADA, circa 1957 !! but I’m with Jon – if you want to see the pix – BUY THE BOOK !!


“JON D’AMORE, LAS VEGAS, 1976: on the balcony of his 25th floor suite of the original MGM Grand on the Vegas Strip.”

Apparently Jon at one time worked for a union, guesting members in Vegas on a hefty expense accountant, but the real story, is the famous casino ‘scam’ his family pulled off. apparently Jersey-bred cousin Jerry took a trip to Las Vegas, took one look at the early frontier of legalized gambling – and didn’t come back. THIS is Jon’s story – as he relates how his “family” pulled off one of the biggest scams in the city’s history, and how he got sucked up into it. It all started when he was 22, and his cousin Jerry invited him down, for “his birthday” . . . !!

as Jon relates, it was just the culture of the times back then . . you had the corporate, educated white collar crooks, in high places, and the new immigrant Italian mob – on the other side of the game. all playing for big stakes. all crooks. (so, what else is new ?) he said his Italian “family” were just the newest wave of immigrant underdogs in the game, uneducated, and rough – but “they were very creative” when it came to thinking up new scams, and making off with big big piles of dough. he was, and still is, very respectful of their unorthodox ways – and he said ultimately, it all came down to one word: respect. and, they were all “larger than life.”

he said you couldn’t get away with something like that today, “too many security checks”, ha. so, the notorious caper, 100% true, and apparently way huge, a original Jersey-bred “family”-in-Vegas scam – is pretty much the dominant focus of his book, ‘THE BOSS ALWAYS SITS IN THE BACK’, and he seems pretty proud of it, too. it is – what it was !!

just one flip of a random page – will tell you it’s – a real page turner !! 100% entertainment through and through.

JON D’AMORE – ‘THE BOSS ALWAYS SITS IN THE BACK’ – cover art by IRENE A. LoPRESTO, copyright 2012.

so, YEAH !!

JON D’AMORE’S – ‘THE BOSS ALWAYS SITS IN THE BACK’ – ‘A Novel Based on a True Story’ – by a real Jersey ‘boy’ who grew up with “Family biz” all around him – looks to be the sleeper hit – and best beach read – of the summer of 2012.

yep, it’s the REAL DEAL !!

PUBLISHED BY JON D’AMORE, 2012, with 311 pages, it’s $13 for the soft cover, and $22 for the hard cover edition.

you can order it: directly from Jon, for now !!

it will be available – at BARNES & NOBLE, by this AUGUST 2012.

IT’S also available, right now !! in e-book format at Amazon for KINDLE – & – Barnes and Noble for NOOK.

for more info, on the book & author, see: THE BOSS ALWAYS SITS IN THE BACK – OFFICIAL WEBSITE

PHOTO OF JON D’AMORE and DIANE LOMBARDI FLEMING at THE JERSEY CITY BOOK SIGNING – & – the ARCHIVAL PHOTO SCANS BY: NANCY SMITH, COPYRIGHT MAY 21, 2012.

JON D’AMORE, ‘THE BOSS ALWAYS SITS IN THE BACK’
– REVIEWED BY: NANCY SMITH, ARTLOVERSNEWYORK.COM – MAY 22, 2012.




~JON D’AMORE – THE BOSS ALWAYS SITS IN THE BACK / booksigning today . . .

. . . and, the one time he didn’t – was his last !! yep, he got whacked, by the guy in the back seat. true story.

MEET the AUTHOR – JERSEY-BORN & BRED . . . JON D’AMORE – who will talk about his new book, THE BOSS ALWAYS SITS IN THE BACK – in which he reminisces about his (accidental) mob life, funneling millions of dollars out of LAS VEGAS and saving – the NEW JERSEY DON – from 40 years in prison !!

TODAY – MONDAY – MAY 21, 2012 / 6 PM at THE FIVE CORNERS BRANCH LIBRARY – 678 NEWARK AVE, JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY.

JON D’AMORE was born and raised in northern New Jersey. His father and his cousin were connected to the mob. A talented musician and writer, Jon never had aspirations to fall into the “family business.”

Little did he know that his career as a musician would make him useful to the Mafia, or that he would play a role in one of the largest scams in LAS VEGAS history !!

‘THE BOSS ALWAYS SITS IN THE BACK’ tells the story of Jon and his relationship with his cousin – Godfather Jerry. Not interested in working for one of the five New York Mafia families, Jon carves out his own path and becomes a musician. However, an invitation to spend his twenty-second birthday in Los Vegas with Jerry leads Jon to unsuspectingly become part of a scam that would go down in Vegas history.

Later, when Jon is summoned by mob boss ROCCO CASIANO, his knowledge of recording techniques saves the boss from 40 years of prison by proving the New Jersey State police edited audio tapes. Suddenly Jon is the honorary Godson of The Boss, and christened “The Kid.”

‘THE BOSS ALWAYS SITS IN THE BACK’ – “a novel based on a true story” (!!) – is a humorous, suspenseful retelling of actual events that led to the demise of the mob in New Jersey.

for more info on Jon D’Amore and his book, see: Jon D’Amore – The Boss Always Sits In The Back

and check out the up-dated OFFICIAL WEBSITE: with more info on the book & author – and, key (!!) – the ‘BUY THE BOOK’ – ‘ORDER IT NOW: DIRECT LINK !!




~KELIE BOWMAN parties at BOATEL this SAT !!

NOTE: PIX – FROM THE BOATEL OPENING PARTY – GOING LIVE – THIS WEEKEND: MAY 26 – 27, 2012

JUST IN TIME for: MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND !! !! !!

KELIE BOWMAN, co-founder with STO of CINDERS, is wrapping up her recent residency at BOATEL in FAR ROCKAWAY . . . with an OPEN HOUSE – PAR-TAY !!

this – SAT MAY 19, 2012 – from 3-8 PM.

COME OUT and see 16 FLOATING INSTALLATIONS – by 16 artists who have been living & working for a month and a half on their boats – PLUS !! – the beach is only a couple of blocks away. just right – cause it’s gonna be one hot summer-like weekend, in the city !! with one big – early blazing – hot !! – SUN over MANHATTAN . . .

see: KELIE’S ‘BOATEL PROJECT’ REPORT – with (many great !!) PIX !!

SUBWAY: take the FAR ROCKAWAY bound A train to BEACH 60th ST & exit on 59th ST – then walk LEFT 2 blocks.

for more info: on BOATEL

TOP IMAGE/PHOTO: CINDERS
BOTTOM IMAGE/BOATEL POSTER: BOATEL




~VENUS OVER MANHATTAN lands in NEW YORK


PHOTO OF DASH SNOW – ARTIST CREDIT TO BE POSTED
IMAGE: VENUS OVER MANHATTAN – INAUGURAL CATALOG, MAY 2012
note: . . . and yes those are his REAL day of the dead tattoos, T-SHIRT, NOT !!


JEFF KOONS, ‘Violet Ice (Kama Sutra)’, 1991
IMAGE: VENUS OVER MANHATTAN – INAUGURAL CATALOG, MAY 2012

ART MAVEN SIMON CERIGO was at the inaugural opening of New York City’s latest addition to the art world’s big money stratosphere – and reports:

ADAM LINDEMANN’S NEW EXHIBITION SPACE TO OPEN WITH ‘A REBOURS’ on MAY 10, 2012.

the gallery, titled VENUS OVER MANHATTAN, ‘V over M’ for short – is located at 980 MADISON AVE, between East 76th and 77th Streets on the 3rd floor – and is open to the public Tuesday thru Saturday from 10AM to 6PM. the inaugural show, ‘A REBOURS’ runs thru JUNE 30, 2012.

SIMON RELATES:

to catch the hi-end auction crowd from the SOTHEBY’S CONTEMPORARY SALE, and to be in-your-face, the opening started at 10 PM to rivers of champagne, absinthe, tiny gourmet chocolate, and beautiful women. With this enterprise, ADAM LINDEMANN, that very vocal collector who pens a column on the art world for the OBSERVER – is out to make a ‘hopefully’ compelling aesthetic statement.

Besides the work, the tone of the presentation was very downtown, not uptown. The interior of the approx. 6,000 sq. ft. space was left raw, and the lighting was as dark as a nightclub, except for spotlights trained on the work. The ‘faux antique’ catalogs were also haphazardly stacked on the floor at the right of the entrance, just like you might find in Brooklyn !!

Leaving behind all the other art world baggage Mr. Lindemann brings to the already over-wrought New York art scene, VENUS OVER MANHATTAN is the latest example of a new trend, “collector turns into dealer”, joining the MUGRABIS and PETER BRANT. With this show, Mr. Lindemann is staking out a position – as an “arbiter of taste”.

Like his writings, this ‘romantic’ show which features work from the 19th century to the present, and from primitive, a ‘Royal Hawaiian feather cloak’, c. 1750, to Mr. Jeff Koons, aspires to achieve a ‘shock’, in that all the work presented expresses an extreme emotional state. There is a lot of poetry here, enough to sustain the opening night, but whether it’s enough to make a whole program – is what everybody is talking about.

An opinionated blue chip player, who looks and acts like a young Marlon Brando in a leather biker jacket, in a sea of suits, he is out to rattle the establishment. he’s on record for writing that the ethics of the art world – are worse than those on Wall Street. But, he also creates his own controversy. A recent example would be that he was famously called out for slamming MIAMI BASEL, as being played out, but then shows up. (!!)

One thing’s for sure – the spirit of downtown, was definitely uptown – at this inaugural party. Lindemann’s wife, the well-known art dealer AMALIA DAYAN, was a stand-out at the opening in her skin-tight one piece couture jump suit. by the time I noticed her, I was already a little drunk, so I can’t quite remember if it had fishes, or were those trees ? printed all over it. Fashionistas, sorry to let you down on the details, but stunning – is the final word.

see: VENUS OVER MANHATTAN




~PIX from the CHESTER HIGGINS Jr. opening at TEKSERVE

ART@TEKSERVE PRESENTS:

‘MY SOUL FLIES HOME TO AFRICA’ – ‘IMAGES FROM AN ONGOING JOURNEY by CHESTER HIGGINS Jr.’

this in-store exhibition of a selection of documentary photographs by Chester Higgins Jr. is up thru JUNE 13, 2012

see more info: on Mr. Higgins & the show

TEKSERVE – 119 WEST 23 ST – CHELSEA, NYC

PIX – FROM THE CHESTER HIGGINS Jr. OPENING PARTY – at TEKSERVE. SAT MAY 5, 2012


CHESTER HIGGINS Jr. with the show’s poster – outside the TEKSERVE store.


Brooklyn-based CHESTER HIGGINS Jr., a staff photographer for the NEW YORK TIMES since 1975, grew up in Alabama before and during the Civil Rights era. Since his first trip to Africa in 1971, he has returned for 6 weeks every summer, returning more than 30 times . . . to photograph the people, ancient sites, ceremonies and small town life in ETHIOPIA, MALI, SENEGAL and GHANA.


some friends stop to congratulate Chester on his show. with Chester Higgins Jr., JUANITA BROWN (in back at left) with her family, a young JAH’SUN in front, his sister MICAELA LANDELL in the (lovely) hat, and beside Mr. Higgins, their mom, CHAPELLE.


left, documentary filmmaker & media consultant ERIC V. TAIT, Jr – a long time friend of
Mr. Higgins’. with him, BILL RANDOLPH.


back in the store: CHESTER HIGGINS Jr. with DJ UNIVERSE, who was spinning (great) African beats.


many photographers, and media people attended the (super) lively & packed event.


DJ UNIVERSE PRESENTS: THE LUXURY W.H.I.T.E. PARTY – SATURDAY JUNE 2ND, 2012 @TORO LOUNGE/NYC @THE SMYTHE HOTEL (!!)


PHOTO BY CHESTER HIGGINS Jr.
there are stunning, and absolutely intriguing large scale full color prints arrayed along the wall – above the store’s stock shelves, whose top most shelf display the store’s famous vintage radio collection !!


PHOTOS BY CHESTER HIGGINS Jr.
“As a 25-year old, I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew that I was not traveling to Africa to see the animals.” – CHESTER HIGGINS Jr.


PHOTO BY CHESTER HIGGINS Jr.
note: the beer bottle – ‘cap’ headdress. (!!)


PHOTO BY CHESTER HIGGINS Jr.
there are also multi images running in short loops – on the store’s display screens.


PHOTO BY CHESTER HIGGINS Jr.


PHOTO BY CHESTER HIGGINS Jr.


PHOTO BY CHESTER HIGGINS Jr.


there are also display cases throughout the store with selections of smaller black & white prints . . . which in many ways were even more astonishing for the feelings they conveyed – despite the smaller size and limited palette. the thing about Mr. Higgins’ work, is not only is it an amazing record, a ‘talking’ pictorial & archival history – but the images are meaningful – in the deepest sense.


BLACK & WHITE PHOTO BY CHESTER HIGGINS Jr.
Grand Mosque. Djenne, Mali. 1993.


BLACK & WHITE PHOTO BY CHESTER HIGGINS Jr.
Hebrew Wedding at Commandment Keepers Synagogue, Harlem. 1982

perhaps the most intriguing of the black and white photos – is the small series found in the display cases near the TEKSERVE PRO-AUDIO room. titled: ‘FINDING THE AFRICAN DIASPORA IN NYC’ – it showcases very intimate and moving portraits of the African-American Hebrew community, here in NYC.


BLACK & WHITE PHOTO BY CHESTER HIGGINS Jr.
Beth Shalom Synagogue, Brooklyn. 2010.


BLACK & WHITE PHOTO BY CHESTER HIGGINS Jr.
Bar Mitzvah preparations at Binah, Bronx, 2005.


‘TEKSERVIANS’: from left, SESIMA KAMARA and MAUREEN COOTER. Maureen helped produce the show, alongside curator JAN ALBERT. Sesima and Maureen are both wearing African print dresses, handmade and designed by – Sesima. (!!)


SESIMA KAMARA at the CHESTER HIGGINS JR, ‘MY SOUL FLIES HOME TO AFRICA’ opening party, an exhibit of documentary photographs – proudly presented by ART@TEKSERVE, as as in-store exhibit, which is up thru June 13, 2012.
SESIMA works in the finance dept at TEKSERVE, but apparently aspires to be a dressmaker. she picks up the material, and sometimes has her African-inspired dresses stitched, in Liberia – which she visits very often to check in with family. a nice last look at the opening party, for a show with deep spiritual roots – that also manages to sit, right on the cutting edge.

PHOTOS OF THE OPENING & INSTALLATION: NANCY SMITH




~PLEATED SKIRTS – SWEEPING FASHION

PLEATS, PLEATS & MORE PLEATS !!

I knew it !!

the very day after I posted that great photo by CHESTER HIGGINS JR. of the tough-looking street-wise flashlight totin’ fashion forward girls in Ethiopia – I caught a local beauty, on the 6 train – wearing a long pleated skirt, in much the same tone, and cut !! she told me she borrowed it from her mother !!, but “it was bought here, they have them everywhere !!”


these street-wise Maale girls, got their street-style fashion flair nailed down, no doubt about it !! pleats, colors, vibe and beads. they empty the batteries out of those flashlights and use them to carry all their essentials . . . and, maybe there’s even a couple of ‘loaded’ metaphors to be found, in that straightforward accessory re-adaption ? it’s pretty a pretty striking get-up, all in all. shine on, tough sisters. you rule.
PHOTO BY CHESTER HIGGINS JR. IMAGE COURTESY/TEKSERVE
p.s. the CHESTER HIGGINS exhibit, ‘MY SOUL FLIES HOME TO AFRICA’ is up through JUNE 13, 2012 – and yes, it’s wonderful.

PIX FROM THE OPENING – POSTING TUES MAY 15th . . .

more info: ART@TEKSERVE


PHOTO BY NANCY SMITH. . . . cutting edge street fashion rides the 6 train, NEW YORK CITY, MAY 6, 2012.

of course, if there was any doubt about the new pleats frenzy – sure enough, a few short tabloid days later – up pops a photo in the NEW YORK POST – of cutting edge super model & courtroom warrior LINDA EVANGELISTA – and, yes !! she’s wearing PLEATS !!

voila – the world in a nutshell . . .


PHOTO:AFP/Getty Images/courtesy: NEW YORK POST, Tuesday, May 8, 2012.

WE’RE ‘LINDA’ MONEY – Linda Evangelista arrives at court in Manhattan yesterday, after reaching a child-support settlement deal . . . with billionaire baby-daddy FRANCOIS-HENRI PINAULT, the CEO of the Paris-based conglomerate that owns GUCCI and YVES ST. LAURENT, among other top tier luxury businesses.
what’s really amazin’ is that, M. Pinault, a big time, as in mega art collector – and major art world player over in Europe, Paris and Venice – could time his court appearance – to auction week !!

FAB, FAB and, more FAB !!

read: all about it




~NOODLE BEACHES for MEETING WITCHES

heads up: JAMES MOORE is going to be SHOWING EXCERPTS from his upcoming VIDEO PROJECT – ‘SACRED RIVER’ – after Thursday’s APOCALYPTIC SUNSET !!

NOODLE BEACHES for MEETING WITCHES
THURSDAY – MAY 10, 2012 / 7PM – 12 PM
BIG SNOW BUFFALO LODGE
89 VARET ST – BROOKLYN – bet GRAHAM & HUMBOLDT
J/M to FLUSHING or L to MONTROSE

see: FACEBOOK

VIDEO: Amanda Wong, Ting Ting, James Moore, Berebere, Warra Hugh, EwE (Solyi Suh and Min Ji), Andrew H. Shirley

ARTISTS: Heather Benjamin, Aehee Kang Asano, Alex Dyck, Greem Jellyfish, Lindsey Elseasser, Dana Wood Zinsser, Asher Penn, Zoo Lion, Ian helwig, Richard Abel, Molly Stene, Fumie Ishii, Chanae Marie

MUSIC:
11:00 id m thft able
10:30 addbeefrrall
10:00 Jazz Massagers
09:30 ashcanorchestra
05:00 dj Noah Sparkles

UP-DATE: THURS MAY 10, 2012 / 9:04 AM

well, they sure nailed that, alright !!
everybody in NYC waking up to a beyond bright, sunny, super saturated sunny !! hot beach-ready day, after weeks of rain & cold and damp and drizzle. already the early morning has the feel of a blow-out beach summer day, with beyond, brilliant – blue skies !!
p.s. the FACEBOOK invite says: wear your best beach attire !!
o.k. noise music isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – but when there are conjuring ‘chimes’ involved – and dead-on astronomy – you got to stop and count the planets. MERCURY & VENUS – doing their May magic. and creating the hyper luminous sunsets, and the week’s eerie bright, positively glowing, man-in-the-moon looking down at us.
I guess, witches ? yes !!




~ELI BROAD . . . PIX from the NYC BOOKSIGNING

PIX – FROM THE ELI BROAD – 92Y, NYC – BOOKSIGNING – MAY 6, 2012 !!


mega art collector & mega philanthropist – ELI BROAD, flew in from the West Coast for the big contemporary auctions – and while here, gave a low-key talk at 92Y, this past Sunday, May 6, 2012. CHARLIE ROSE moderated, and the easy flowing talk was followed by a booksigning for Mr. Broad’s newly published hardcover book, a semi-autobiography framed as an ‘how to succeed’ manual: ‘THE ART OF BEING UNREASONABLE’ – subtitled, ‘LESSONS IN UNCONVENTIONAL THINKING’, WILEY, (2012).


on the right: EDYE BROAD, Mr. Broad’s wife who shares his passion for art, and philanthropy big time – and the well-know curator, NORA HALPERN, at left.
see: NORA HALPERN


also present, DAVID MUGRABI of the WARHOL and BASQUIAT collecting & selling, NYC-based, MUGRABI clan, and a cutting edge collector in his right.


LA-based art world kingpin – ELI BROAD, now 78 – signs his new book.
the advance publicity for the event advised that the talk would center on ‘business’ advice – not the art world, but I was banking, NOT !!
and I was right !!

no matter what you may have heard about the guy – up close and personal, you could easily see he has a real deep-rooted passion for the arts – and not only did that sentiment dominate the stage, it was the final destination of many a sentence – that might have started out elsewhere !! CINDY SHERMAN and JEFF KOONS, in particular with their hyper-visual, yet super smart intellectually-infused work, seem to have really caught him hard. though he did mention in passing, that he had seen a young JEAN MICHEL BASQUIAT’S work in the basement at ANNINA NOSEI’s now ‘infamous’ gallery on Prince St. in Soho, in the early 80s. which is also about the same time he first stumbled upon a young CINDY SHERMAN’s work at the original METRO PICTURES Gallery on Mercer St., also in Soho – which was really happening, hard and fast back then. and definitely the place to be.

In fact, he seemed very proud of the fact that he had purchased his very first Cindy Sherman photograph in 1982, from Metro Pictures, still her dealer, for $200. Charlie Rose then asked him: if he had seen the big CINDY SHERMAN retrospective, currently up through JUNE 11, 2012 at MoMA, and, what he had thought. Mr. Broad, could barely muster “of course” – the memory of that show, obviously being so awesome to him, he was rendered momentarily speechless.

so, there it was in a nutshell.
forget about ‘branding’ collections – as the reason to buy art, and/or business advice.
bye the way, he never once mentioned the money-making aspects of the art world, not once !!
but just mention CINDY SHERMAN, and there was the hard-nosed self-made businessman billionaire, to whom Charlie Rose termed, right to his face as: “tough, tough, and more tough. . . and if you want gracious, see Edye !!” – and you’d see the big guy fall fall falling into such a momentary state of transcendence, such a moment of pure delight and speechless reverie !! – it was almost tactile. and you wish it could only be contagious. I think it was seeing this head-on mix between the stubborn hard-boiled corporate number cruncher and the deep-ending visual dreamer – that shocked and awed me, the most. talk about 6 pack to heaven.

Mr. Rose also let drop, in a slightly more alarming ? enlightening ? phrase that: “negotiations with Eli Broad are said, never to be over – until they’re really over ” !! ha. in other words if you’ve ever inked a NYC lease – you know what he’s talking about !! just when you’ve shook hands, and you think the deal’s done, the guys tells you, and oh by the way, I want the . . . . . . . corner office, for life, for free. and the table in it !!

p.s. the big guy didn’t bat an eyelash. if butter could melt in his mouth it would. he was very charming throughout. and Mr. Rose did try to get a rise from him, every here and there. but no could do. but if you really looked hard – you could see a deep-rooted fierceness, down there hand-in-hand with the art passion, which made his total presence, his live persona – very compelling. you only wish you could put a cap on it, and sell it.


the book includes a few pages of archival photos. this is Mr. Broad with his striking beautiful wife, EDYE, still a lovely and very chic woman – and their young family. apparently Mr. Broad had been working on a more extensive autobiography, but it was “taking too long” – so he jumped straight to the chase – with this book. why do I get the feeling, that’s the story – of his life !!

MR. BROAD, rhymes with road, went on to relate that he and his wife have 2,000 artworks in their ‘private’ collection, by 110 different artists . . . and that they buy a new piece every year, from Cindy and Jeff. and, he told Charlie, of course, one of his big thrills is being invited back to an artist’s studio. Mr. Broad did credit his wife with being an important force behind the collecting – he called it an “addiction”. yep, when you can really get the art – it sure can sweep you up, and hit you hard.

one funny story he related was how early on in the making of his fortune, they started collecting art in 1972, EDYE had seen an early ANDY WARHOL soup can that was going for $100. but she hesitated on buying it, thinking her husband would consider her nuts. he admits that he didn’t really get Andy right away, but eventually came to see him as a modern master, big time . . right up there with Duchamp, etc. Flashforward, they were both at a big contemporary auction when one of those very soup cans came up for bidding. someone won it for $10 million !! and Mr. Broad relates that Edye turned around to him and said: “what idiot just bought that, and for that much ?” and it was – him !! and, he lamented to us . . . it was a torn one, too.


the FRANK GEHRY-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A. Photo source: TOM BONNER

of course, Mr. BROAD is justifiably proud of how he has contributed to, and led the revitalization of downtown Los Angeles, including the souvenir postcard-ready WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, above, a project that had been stalled, until he came onboard . . . and the art scene as whole, down there. he says, and it’s quite true, that before he came on the scene, you had to be a New York-based artist – if you wanted to make it, and now that isn’t quite true anymore, and even as a New York-centric scenester, I’d have to concede – that, yes, that was indeed correct, though with not quite as much conviction. and, the artist that I have in mind, RETNA !! is probably not one that Mr. Broad is referencing – though RETNA did benefit from the big street art push at the ELI BROAD supported – MOCA. but yes, this was unthinkable a decade ago.

Mr. Broad went on to say, that he and his wife live in a Frank Gehry-designed home, and “they love it”. but, as a quick-to-read between the lines, character myself – I gather there was / is some incredible controversy / power struggle, and why not !! or maybe: how not !! that ensued between these two powerful men !! because Charlie Rose kept on trying to catch him, trip him up, from time to time, saying things like: “are you sure, you two are good friends ?”, or “you guys are on speaking terms ?” to which Mr. Broad would always counter: yes, of course they were on speaking terms, it fact they were good friends “who meet for dinner once a month” . . ” or something like that . . . ha. if only to be a fly on in the wall – in that game !!

Mr. Broad did let slip, things like delays with construction papers for building permits, and that he had slowly come to realize that every time Mr. Gehry said he needed to make an adjustment – “it meant he was gonna change the whole design from top to bottom” !! in other words one might surmise – that whatever a non-stoppable bulldozer Mr. Broad was in the business world, as he amassed his two huge FORTUNE 500 companies and vast billion+ dollar empire – that when he hit the art world – he hit the wall. ha. welcome to the art world. and the mind of the creative genius. though he did also footnote that: he thought architecture was a true art form, unlike the sculptor RICHARD SERRA, who he related, did NOT. though he did clarify that Serra was a great “sculptor”. and Gehry obviously a genius.
(it’s funny to consider how they both, Serra and Gehry, share a love of huge curved metal forms.)


“JEFF KOONS has become one of Eli and Eyde Broad’s dearest friends and (one of the) most treasured artists in their collections. The Broad collections have 27 works by the artist.” – the caption under the archival photo in the book.

one: collections – plural is right. apart from their very own private collection of 2,000 contemporary, they only collect contemporary, artworks that are hung in their homes, (homes – plural, I’m assuming ?), Eli and Edye Broad have, maintain, and/or otherwise support and bankroll several other major collections in many other guises and housed in other institutions, mostly museums, and they are instrumental in the leadership and even the building of those other museums. as tonight’s talk went, these offshoots – did not get that much specific attention.

though he did say that he moved to L.A. in 1963 because of the wide open housing market, one of his key businesses, and mostly that he liked that L.A. was in his words a “meritocracy” where talent and ideas, not who you knew, could get you ahead. he and his wife are big into philanthropy, and have contributed immensely to the education, science, medicine, and art platforms in California. and we are talking like 400 million here, an additional $200 million there, etc. etc. he seems to have taken educational reform to heart, and he believes in giving away your wealth in your lifetime, (as he put it: “at least you know where it’s going that way”) and putting it back into the community. in other words, as he sees it, the real race to succeed and accumulate all that wealth – is really – just to give it way in a meaningful and focused way. He referenced ‘NATION AT RISK’ (1983), as a great inspiration.

two: I, personally – used to think not so much of Mr. Broad’s collecting because it seemed to stop with the 80’s, and it’s 2012 !! it seemed not to go forward from that point on, as if not much had happened past Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons . . . but the one really BIG thing I took away from this talk – was how much, and it’s a huge amount dollar-wise & commitment-wise, the Broads direct to supporting fine art and design education in California, the number of colleges, universities, and design schools that receive their support – is almost a truly blanket reality.

SO, SERIOUSLY, if you’re not so much in touch with the cutting edge happening art, yourself – how great, not to just continue to be cherry-picking from the elitist & narrow gallery-commerce scene . . . which in effect – is just putting the money pack into the FEW private pockets, of a few chosen artists or dealers – but to seriously spread the wealth among the entire creative scene, by endowing, supporting and nuturing a whole web of higher education and museum platforms for the arts, especially one with an eye towards what’s – popping !! hot !! getting the art world: the art experience, the art skills, the whole creative brain wave – out there – in the broadest, pun intended – way possible.

case in point: one of the most impressive young artists I’ve come across recently, DEREK WEISBERG, who was NOT showing his on-point porcelain sculptures in any of the predictable and established art venues here, but at the Greenwich House Pottery’s small storefront gallery (!!), has a resume that seems to mark him as a product of that BROAD-inspired California arts educational landscape. Mr. Weisberg received his BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts in 2005, and even if that school is not a direct recipient of the Broads inspired largesse, I’m not sure specifically, though I’m thinking yes ? – I’m sure that Derek Weisberg benefited from the cultural richness – that the Broads have brought to that part of the country. same with RETNA. who showed at that big street art exhibit that happened at MOCA.
and, so I’m down with that. I guess keeping it real, is the key.

three: ok. just to get back on point !! and bring everything back home !!
it was truly shock and awing !! to see this tough as nails, brilliant, apparently hard as diamonds businessman, who built two Fortune 500 companies, from the ground-up, present himself so humbly – in the face of what we all live and breathe for – the art world !!
here’s a guy who started off as a cut-and-dry C.P.A. in Michigan – and goes on through the housing business, to build up SUN AMERICA INSURANCE, based on retirement funds (!!) – and sells it to AIG (Hank Greenberg, ha – would have liked to have seen those two in motion, just saying . . .) for 18 billion – and Jeff Koon’s stainless steel ‘Rabbit’ will bring him to his knees – every time.

footnote, FILE UNDER: MAYBE, YOUR TIGER MOM ISN’T ALL THAT RIGHT, AFTER ALL.

SO: it was so jolting to see two young, well, twenty-something, Asian-American girls in the small audience, (figuratively) jump on Mr. Broad during what was supposed to be a Q&A. the first aggressively challenged Mr. Broad to look at her work right then & there, after the talk. that really woke up a spark in Mr. Rose, who immediately got right in there, and told her how rude it was for her to ask this of his guest, and he refused to allow her put Mr. Broad on the spot like that – and he was right !! and, then wouldn’t you know, just 10 mins. later – the second girl, like as if the rebuke had never happened, jumps up and starts with the ‘how amazing you are, you changed my life’ approach, will you look at my work after the talk, and if not, why not !! and what do I need to do, to make this happen, and, will this huge stuffed animal, I think it was even a rabbit !! I have brought along to give you, help ?

of course, the on-a-scale of 10, rating not-even-a-fraction, SUZE ORHMAN wannabe. cropped mannish hair, beige khakis and suspenders !! in other words – the whole deal. was even more scary. she seriously inquired of Mr. Broad, what she should do – she was moving to Arizona !! and would he recommend she buy a house, and when he said, of course, the best time to buy a house is a down market, she went on, so persistently we all thought, what ? is she was going to pull out her income tax file . . . and go down it, line to line. just shows you how desperate every one is for the big idea, the big fortune.

as for myself, after the signing I did get in a question, too !!

so, are you gonna buy that JEFF KOONS LOCOMOTIVE hanging from a crane, the response:
“I don’t know – he wants $25 million” !!

PHOTOS & TEXT: NANCY SMITH, NYC, MAY 6, 2012