Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Visit From St. Nick (in New Jersey)

The local fire department in my hometown started a new tradition- spreading some late afternoon Christmas cheer by taking Santa through the streets of Riverton. Little kids and big kids alike wait expectantly on their porches while some of Santa's "helpers" distribute candy canes from door to door. Welcome, Santa!
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Philadelphia Style

Wanamakers Christmas Light Show Finale (photo courtesy of Mom)

Ever since I can remember, my mom and I have been making an annual trip to "center city" or Philadelphia. We would always make the drive part way there from the other side of the Delaware River in New Jersey, park, then take the "el" from the end of the line to the heart of Philly- Market Street and the Gallery Mall. We would make several stops to do some shopping and look at all of the latest, fancy, and unusual things that big cities had to offer. Sometimes, we would meet my dad at his office for lunch or come back home together at the end of his work day. The highlight of these trips was always the light show for kids at the Wanamakers Department Store. These many years later, we stilll make the trip. Now, we do very little shopping and have added a new lunch stop at a pub from the 1800s but the light show (now part of Macy's) remains a destination. Below, is a video snippet of the Rudolph medley. Enjoy! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

First Day of Winter

It may be unseasonably warm, but at least the days will start getting longer from here on out!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I'm A Statistic

Today is an anniversary of sorts. Four months ago, I lost my job. In fact, most people I know aren't working right now. It's no longer something that we just hear about on the evening news, joblessness has become something that has settled in closer and closer to home. 
Large mural by Faile - Williamsburg, Brooklyn (December 17, 2011)

An tongue-in-cheek piece of found objects by Skewville on the streets of Bushwick, Brooklyn (November 4, 2011) - thanks to Plaztikmag for the use of your camera.

While it was a relief to no longer have the mounting responsibility that came with the title at my previous employer, I now spend my days feverishly making phone calls, sending emails, checking for emails (again and again), and above all...WAITING. A few interviews have come and gone, but there always seems to be someone else out there who is slightly more perfect for the position. Rejection and frustration comes with the territory of being an artist, but with today's odds, it's hard to keep your spirits up. I never it would take this long to get back on my feet. While strolling my former neighborhood along streets of Brooklyn that I know so well, I found some comfort in these artworks expressing similar sentiments and in knowing that I'm not the only one.
This tire as a detail from the piece above pretty much sums it all up.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pelham Bay Wears Its Fall Colors

Yesterday, I enjoyed a really long walk around Pelham Bay Park to experience the mercurial fall weather. Overall, the  scenery reminded me of the pristine setting of the remote Port Clyde in Maine I visited a few years ago.

City Island was settled in 1685. I can only imagine this must have been a spectacular panorama shrouded with trees and assorted grasses for those settlers and the Native Americans living here at the time. It still is.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Monster Hands by Dan Witz, Greenpoint Brooklyn (January 11, 2011)

Friday, October 14, 2011

New Paintings with Scientific Undertones - October 2011

Below are some new paintings I've been working on this month. They appear on scientific book pages that have been carefully chosen to relate to the subject matter. The topics range from human anatomy to physics. Sometimes, the text underneath lends itself to the title. These pieces (among others) can be found here. Enjoy!
Of Sound (left) and Lift (right)

Elements of the Ocean (left) and Spring Bud (right)

Vitamin Chart (left) and Candyland (right)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

I knew that Steve Jobs was sick for some time, but was still shocked to learn of his sudden passing yesterday. I had to think back about how he has influenced my life, and our lives as a whole. My workouts at the gym are no longer done in silence. I can easily tune out annoying people on my commute (or just about anywhere).

Memorial at Apple Store on Fifth Avenue, NYC

I also thought about how many Apple products I've owned over the years- easily five. My family had an Atari 800 at home. It was the greatest toy ever. I used it for some typing and school projects in grade school, but mostly for topping my own winning score at Pac Man and Centipede during my free time. It got a lot of use during the summer months.
My intro to the world of Mac came when I got to college. My roommate had the first model of the Apple personal computer - one of those small ones that regularly displayed a sad face when it died. I was jealous of that small machine on her desk, but personal computing was still somewhat foreign to me. When she wasn't staying up all night and procrastinating by playing Tetris, she was writing papers without ever having to leave our room, whenever she wanted. How cool. What a concept! I trekked to the campus computer center and signed in to use one of those glorified typewriters. Occasionally, I would send an electronic note to friends at other colleges through the intercollege network, then known as vax mail. It was all so primitive. Now, home computing is commonplace.

Arguably, the Leonardo da Vinci of our digital generation, we can never know how much he has influenced our lives even in the smallest of ways. We've come a long way since vax mail! Thanks, Steve. Thanks for 'thinking different'.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Walk Around the Neighborhood - Chelsea Market and Meatpacking District

Last week, I found myself in the Chelsea/Meatpacking area on official business: an outdoor walk in perfect weather, some window shopping, and the chance to meet a friend for a glass of wine and some lunch. The area was buzzing with people (the new norm), but the day also coincided with the annual Food and Wine Festival. Cooking demos, bloggers, and famous chefs were found in some of my favorite haunts. Giada and I literally bumped into each other on more than one occasion. New York is in a state of constant flux and change - even the High Line, the newest resident, is no exception.
Cow Coffee Klatch Mural, Chelsea Market (above) and (below) a sculpture
by KAWS under the High Line and the Standard Hotel.

More textures from the area- colorful windows in the High Line and a mod cement grid at the Standard Hotel (above). Below, the newly renovated location for what was one of the last official hold-outs, Florent.
The rooftop terrace that made a great backdrop for a glass of wine and artwork
in the staircase to the penthouse by Faile.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years Later

Last night, I happened to be on a boat after dusk. Looking towards the city as I often do, I was stunned (now annually) to see the two beams of blue light reaching into the night sky. The powerful rays kept going until they faded into oblivion, sometimes blocked by a low-lying cloud or two.

I recently moved and came across some memorabilia that I saved from the tragedy on 9/11. I thought today of all days, the ten year anniversary, would make this collection of clippings and other ephemera from that day more than relevant. It includes headlines from the New York Times, a Vanity Fair photo spread of everyone touched by this event, a new subway transit layout, an envelope requesting support from Nino's Restaurant (where first responders ate for six months), an email a year an a half later from Nino's to volunteers to celebrate all that was accomplished, a photograph that I bought from an exhibition entitled, "Here is New York- A Democracy of Photographs" of a teapot covered in WTC dust, and an article later appearing in the NY Times about the significance of that tea set to the family who owned it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Review: Vanished Smile - The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa's special display room, Louvre (Paris - May 27, 2005)

One hundred years ago today (also a very hot summer day in Paris), arguably the most famous painting of all time disappeared from the Louvre Museum. Although her true identity remains a mystery, she is known as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa or La Gioconda (dated c.1503-1506). I read the book, Vanished Smile, a few months ago thinking it was fiction based on reality. Though I went to graduate school for art, this event was strangely absent from the curriculum.

The book chronicles her mysterious disappearance through the periodicals of the day and makes for a very interesting read. Two days later, amidst turmoil and confusion, the new vacancy at the museum was the headline of all the Paris newspapers. The curious events surrounding her escape occurred at a time when security systems were lax; the advent of photography also played a big role. Her disappearance added to her world-renowned charm. Suspicion throughout the city grew worldwide. Even Picasso and his cronies were on the list of possible suspects. Who took her? How and when was she returned? Here's a hint, but I guess you'll just have to read all about it.

Today, she lives once again back at the Louvre in a special room with a multi-million dollar security system as she receives visitors who have to stand in line to get a short-lived glimpse of that famous enigmatic smile.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Art on Governors Island - The Better Than Jam Pop-Up Shop

This summer, I'm selling some of my artwork with other New York Etsy artists on Governor's Island. We've taken over one of the yellow houses in Nolan Park. The house is filled with gifts for yourself or for others - beautiful things like ceramics, clothing, and photographs. You could also find anything from housewares to jewelry to affordable artwork. If you've been to Governor's Island before, why not check out some of the work by us local artists? And, if you've never been to the Island, don't wait too long- our big sale is only running for approximately another month!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Monday - Lobster Dog

This is Lola, my favorite pug, frolicking at Virginia Beach last week with her human and doggie pals. Out of four of our canine companions, she's the only one who loves to ham it up and pose for onlookers in her lobster costume. Hope you are enjoying your summer as much as Miss Lola.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Back to Brooklyn - Bushwick Pool Party

What could be better than soaking yourself in a very large kiddie pool on a blistering hot day in the midst of a never-ending heatwave in NYC? I helped celebrate a friend's birthday in her Bushwick courtyard. It was very girly with nailpolish, bubbles, margaritas (and other umbrella drinks), sandwiches, birthday cake, blow pop rings, top 40 hits playing on the radio, boys!

All wall art by Sweet Toof.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Before and After - Knox Martin on the West Side Highway

I recently discovered a maquette of this piece in a catalog I had sitting around from 1997 of work by Knox Martin. It was entitled simply, Early Work, published by the Janos Gat Gallery located on Madison Avenue (now located on the Bowery). The maquette (pictured below) was originally exhibited by the Jack Gallery (New York) in 1978. The mural itself is located on 19th Street and the West Side Highway on the side of a ten-story facade. It is now virtually obliterated by a modern building giving way to New York's ever-changing real estate development. I'm curious about how the artist feels about this. After walking past it hundreds of times, I finally learned that this piece is called Venus, and was created in 1970-71 on the site which was chosen by the artist specifically for it. 

As it appeared in the late afternoon as the sun was setting (February, 2000)
Maquette from the catalog.

"Traditionally the goddess of love and fertility, Venus represents woman, erotic and supple, but it also conveys Knox Martin's love affair with New York. Venus is his love poem to the city where he has always lived, a place that is part of his being. The feminine, curvilinear shapes of the iamge are in direct contrast with the straight forms that intersect the composition. The overwhelming size of this enormous mural only intensifies the experience of female shapes, the linear aspects of the painted composition, and of the surrounding architecture. In an era when art was reaching out to the masses with pop culture, this huge mural was Knox Martin's way of touch a public that would never venture into an art gallery."

-by Marilyn Kushner (from the catalog)
Giving way to New York's modern age, as it appears now with a new signature.