Sunday, January 31, 2010

Boom Boom Room

Sometimes you just want to be one of the boys. Things might be easier, or so I think. Marc Jacobs was there on Friday in his wonderful all black caftan or skort, and Saturday was Hirst's little soiree after his End of an Era exhibition uptown. Though freezing outside it's nice when you have an "in" and can penetrate up into the fabled glass towers to look out over the whole of NYC.
Though the door can be painfully difficult for some to navigate, once you're inside the warmth is undeniable; not only warmth from the fireplace but also from the cute staff in their white dresses and the guys in brown but of course, the one and only Kamil.
And of course anyone is welcome to boom boom before 9, or rather 8.30pm when last call is made, and the doors close at 9 to reopen at 10...

Damien Hirst: End of an Era at Gagosian Gallery

Though Hirst stood for most of his time at the gallery, with his back to the crowd near the reception desk at the elevator on the 6th Floor, Emmanuelle managed to snag a photograph of herself with him. You've got to admire her chutzpah when a back-to-the-crowd is pretty clear body language saying, "I don't want to engage. Please don't approach me." Except of course, if you're a trusted friend, art dealer, advisor or Emmanuelle...

Emmanuelle Gauthier and Damien Hirst at the opening of End of an Era. Image courtesy of Emmanuelle's blackberry.

DAMIEN HIRST: End of an Era

Saturday, January 30 – Saturday, March 6, 2010
Opening reception for the artist: Saturday, January 30th, from 6 to 8 pm

Gordon Burn: If you got to make a fool of somebody, who would it be?
Damien Hirst: God.

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present “End of an Era”, an exhibition of new paintings and sculpture by Damien Hirst.

The exhibition takes its title from the central sculpture in the exhibition, a severed bull’s head with golden horns and crowned with a solid gold disc. Suspended in formaldehyde and encased in a golden vitrine, this totemic sculpture acts as a powerful coda to The Golden Calf (2008). End of an Era proffers a sacrificial head, here dismembered from the majestic body of the earlier sculpture. While The Golden Calf symbolized the worshipping of a false idol, with End of an Era (2009) Hirst demystifies the biblical tale and, by extension, debunks his own myth-making.

Also included in the exhibition is Judgement Day (2009) a thirty-foot long gold cabinet filled with close to 30,000 manufactured diamonds. A series of photorealist paintings of famous diamonds including The Golden Jubilee (2008) The Agra (2006) and The Premiere Rose (2006) are shown together here for the first time.

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Painful Memories/Forgotten Tears, 2008
Gold plated, glass and Cubic Zirconia
Diptych: 72 3/16 x 108 3/8 x 4 inches each (183.3 x 275.3 x 10.2 cm)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Future Generation Art Prize: For any artist from anywhere in the world

The only restriction: AGE!

The Future Generation Art Prize established by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation is a worldwide contemporary art prize to discover, recognize and provide long-term support to a future generation of artists.

Artists around the world, without restriction of gender, nationality, race or artistic medium may enter the competition through online application.

20 shortlisted artists will be selected to show their work in an exhibition at the PinchukArtCentre (Kiev). These artists will be judged by an international Jury who will award one main prize and up to five special prizes.

The first prize will receive $100,000. Apply now!

B&A present Erwin Olaf opening at Hasted Hunt Kraeutler

B&A is a fabulous company in which my friend Louisa is a partner. I love what they do. Last night, with baby in tow, she was out to support one of her artists Erwin Olaf.

Panda: A new cafe/bar/artspace

I went to the opening of this space this week and it was a truly cool LES vibe. Most times I'm not impressed by the small spaces on the LES but every now and again someone does something big and here's one of them. Remy Amezcua is featured prominently in the space, so they've started well with the art too...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Let's get excited about...Marina Abramovich at MoMA!

One of my all time favorite artists; Marina Abramovich. Here we will have another chance to see her live and direct at MoMA in March!

Image: Marina Abramovich. Portrait with Flowers. 2009. Black-and-white gelatin silver print; photo: Marco Anelli. © 2010 Marina Abramovich. Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Ace Hotel

My only question is why can't all these multi-million dollar luxury residences be so beautiful inside as this hotel? With its high ceilings, wonderful antique lighting and art everywhere, perhaps developers think such beauty is just too expensive and too much to live with on a day to day basis. Right?
Ace gets it right with a Warholesque photo booth in the lobby!
Image: Metropolis magazine courtesy of

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Spirit of Deitch lives on in NYC: No Longer Empty at the old Tower Records

With Deitch quitting his gallery everyone's wondering what now? Who's going to represent the downtown art scene? Well there are many candidates and No Longer Empty is pretty high on the list. With lines around the corner to get into the openings one has to wonder who else is a contender. Manon Slome definitely knows how to pull it together, and with the help of her co-curators and NLE staff, it's only a matter of time before the rest of the art world pays attention.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Philippe Jacquet at Axelle Fine Arts

L'abri-cotier, 31½" x 31½". Courtesy of Axelle Fine Arts.

My friend Derrick H has been asking me to visit this gallery with him for ages. Finally I went yesterday because, coincidentally, someone else who knows the owner asked me to stop by an opening with him. I liked the work of this French artist named Philippe Jacquet. The prices are very reasonable and the gallery makes it easy for you to start collecting. The skill of this artist is apparent from the first view and what I like especially is that he seems a spiritual heir to Magritte.

Michael Rees's Social Object: Sculpture and Software exhibition at CAM

Michael Rees has created a software that allows a visual language to emerge from text and the results are incredible. There are several languages available, involving different images for different words and letters, and anyone can make up their own language once they know what they want to show/say. Moving to the next level is creating an actual object from the 3D image on the computer screen, which the software program also allows you to do.
“The only works of art America has given are her plumbing and her bridges.” - Marcel Duchamp. Rees used this as a jumping off point for the work you see with the sewer pipes!

Google Chrome and Bob Partington

Bob Partington was an important part of the team that put that Google Chrome video together. To say he's a great artist is a bit of an understatement. He's a genius. Here are some pics from the party for them. Bob of course built all the sets...

The Art of Wine Making: Les vins de Castelmaure

Castelmaure was one of several vineyards that I visited in Languedoc. I love when they make it clear that the wine is still made by hand, and not by machine. I liked this vineyard too because it was very "artsy". They used color, and had stories for everything; very poetic ones written on the labels of the bottles and on a big board at the entrance where you taste the wines.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


"Sometimes you just want to retreat into a James Cameron movie and forget about the "real" world ;)" - Facebook post from a few days ago.

I saw this movie in Europe (without 3D goggles) and I still loved it. There was a discussion on facebook last week which I got involved in, unfortunately I think. Usually I never get into those silly discussions, but I was on vacation and had time. It's amazing the lowest common denominator people get down to in those discussions. I mean the lowest. After awhile I gave up but not before telling the loud mouth dumb asses just how dumb I thought they were. God knows it's no easy task to do anything, much less write, produce and direct a movie. And anyway, the question of what's art and not art is old already. If we are to judge by what's being sold as art in galleries and what's being written about in magazines etc., who the hell knows? And forget about commercialism. After all, we are in America and still a capitalist society.

Like I said on my facebook post, but substituting "tableau" for "a work of art"; "Le premier mérite d'un tableau est d'être une fête pour l'oeil"-Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863). Same applies to movies. For those out there who love beauty, who embrace the idea of alternate realities, of other worlds or dimensions, who value nature, spirituality and the unity between all things, this is a great movie to see.

Musee National Eugene Delacroix

The exhibition "Une passion pour Delacroix: La collection Karen B. Cohen" goes through April. It's worth seeing what passion as a collector can accomplish. I believe this collection will go to the Met at some point. To know more about this exhibition click here.

Eugène Delacroix. Coucher de soleil. © New York Collection Karen B. Cohen

Regis R: Prince of Plastic

I think it was Leo Castelli who said something to the effect, you know the quality of an artist's work by looking at his character. Well Regis R has tons of character and it doesn't hurt that he was a designer in the studio of Philippe Starck. I met him in the fall during the Slick art fair and this time we sat with his manager at Cafe des Deux Moulins in Pigalle and chatted about all things art.

Image courtesy of

Paul de Pignol

I met this artist at a friend's dinner where we played with her rabbits all evening. She's been friends with him for more than a decade. He sculpts and draws in the tradition of Giacometti and shares a sculpting studio with another artist on the outskirts of Paris but draws in a small studio that looks out over the city and the Eiffel Tower. It was incredibly fun to go around with him one day. You had the sense of being way back in the last century, perhaps 75 or more years ago when Paris was still the center of the art world. If you click the title you'll get to his website and see more of his work.

The Queen's Gallery Buckingham Palace

What a wonderful exhibition of Treasures From the Royal Collection. Some of the best old masters are on view here. It's a good reminder that royals have been some of the biggest patrons of the arts, commissioning works, before the whole contemporary art buzz made "collecting" such a game of keeping up with the Joneses.

Pythagorus advocating vegetarianism. c.1618-30.Sir Peter Paul Rubens and Frans Snyders.Acquired by Queen Victoria.

The Browser One Year Anniversary and Christmas Party

The Browser's first anniversary and Christmas party in a wonderful art deco building in West London was a mix of intellectuals, fashionistas, art worlders and finance guys. Al Breach certainly knows how to throw a party, stateside or abroad ;)