Jeff Koons Debuts New Work at Gagosian Gallery
The anticipated solo show features some new paintings and sculptures.
May 15, 2013
New works by New York contemporary artist Jeff Koons are among the highlights of the artist's anticipated solo show at Gagosian New York. Running through June 29, the exhibition features paintings and sculptures that, together, represent a sampling of the Koons' major bodies of work.
Since his first solo show in 1980, Koons' conceptual constructs have spanned the spectrum of literal to Baroque. Whether his work finds inspiration in comic book characters, classical art, or iconic pop culture figures, recurring themes include innocence, beauty, sexuality, and happiness.
Among the works being shown at the new exhibition are Koons' Antiquity paintings. Against a highly detailed backdrop (ranging from expressionistic abstraction to an Arcadian vision), each scene features an oil painting rendering of a famous ancient or classical sculpture, symbolizing love, ardor, potency, or fertility. Surrounding this central image are paintings of other figurines, figures sourced from popular culture. The Antiquity series also includes two "Venus" sculptures made from mirror-polished stainless steel.
Consisting of paintings, precision-machined bronze sculptures, and granite monoliths inspired by inflatable toys and cartoons, the Hulk Elvis series is sure to be another exhibition treat. The eight-foot tall black granite Gorilla sculpture, for example, is based on a toy that Koons bought from a vending machine at the Los Angeles Zoo.
Finally, three new mesmerizing, large-scale sculptures, Balloon Swan (Blue), Balloon Rabbit (Yellow), and Balloon Monkey (Red), sit in dialogue for Koons' Celebration series, which is inspired by childlike consciousness. Sounds like a dreamland worth visiting. 555 West 24th St., 212-741-1111
La Palina Launches Limited Edition Cigar
The Goldie Laguito No. 5 is named after the company's matron and rolled by Cuba's first female cigar roller.
May 15, 2013
La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 5
Meet the Goldie Laguito No. 5, the latest cigar from luxury cigar brand La Palina. Limited to 2,500 numbered boxes, the cigar is named after Goldie Drell Paley, wife of La Palina founder Samuel Paley, and celebrates women in the cigar industry. As such, the Goldie Laguito No. 5 is produced at Miami's El Titan de Bronze factory by master roller Maria Sierra. As one of the very first women trained to roll cigars in Cuba, Sierra's 32 year career includes training by Fidel Castro’s personal cigar roller.
“Whether experienced alone, or in the company of old friends or new acquaintances, smoking a cigar is a supremely pleasant gift to oneself,” says Bill Paley, who relaunched La Palina in 2010 and is excited to introduce the new Goldie Laguito No. 5. And Paley knows of what he speaks—he is, after all, the grandson of Samuel Paley. “The first thing that one experiences with a cigar is how it looks. A cigar, like fine food, should excite the consumer visually. It should promise the smoker a sensual event. The color, whether dark rich brown or black, light tan, or rosy, should communicate the essence of the product within.”
From the cigar's look to how it feels in the hand to, of course, the “cutting of the cigar,” and then, Paley explains, the “dry draw,” in which the cigar is placed between the lips and cool air is brought through and tasted, every moment of the ritual is part of the experience. On taste, Paley instructs that “the tongue is sensitive to four tastes: sweet, bitter, acidic, and salt.” The balance of these elements is the cigar maker’s most important task. And with Sierra attending to the new Goldie Laguito No. 5, a harmonious mix is ensured.
Spring at The Lambs Club; NYC 4 Boston at Porter House New York
Plus: the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, a Portuguese seafood boil at Louro, and more food news.
May 14, 2013
Roasted beets with fromage blanc, watercress and blis elixir at The Lambs Club
New Spring Menu at The Lambs Club: Geoffrey Zakarian’s The Lambs Club has a new spring menu that, like the restaurant itself, is both classic and elegant. Try the house-made spaghetti with Maryland blue crab, black trumpet mushrooms, chili flake, and fish roe. Also perfect for the warmer months ahead is the roasted Chatham cod with artichokes, polenta, Castelvetrano olives, crispy garlic, and grilled ramp vinaigrette. “We really tried to creatively embrace the spring products in two ways: one, simply served by themselves with a minimum of fuss, and second, married to an appropriate dish or protein to really highlight the creativity of the chefs involved,” says Zakarian.132 West 44th St., 212-997-5262
NYC 4 Boston at Porter House New York: On Wednesday, May 15, chef Michael Lomonaco invites New Yorkers to help raise funds for The One Fund Boston. Dine at Porter House New York or Center Bar and ten percent of your tab will go straight to the cause. Part of a citywide NYC 4 Boston campaign, other nearby spots, including the Stone Rose Lounge and Epicerie Boulud, will also take part in the fundraiser on this night. 10 Columbus Cir., 212-823-9500
Portuguese Seafood Boil at Louro: Chef Dave Santos (an alum of kitchens at Per Se and Bouley) has quietly made his restaurant Louro a gem in the West Village. A new spring menu and a Monday night "Nossa Mesa" supper club add to to the draw. At the supper club ($55-$75, BYO), expect everything from guest chefs to a Portuguese seafood boil on May 28.142 West 10th St., 212-206-0606
Women's Speed Rack National Finals: Top female mixologists take center stage at the Speed Rack National Finals on May 16 at Element Night Club. They’ll be competing shaker-to-shaker to see who can make the tastiest Negroni or Tom Collins in the shortest amount of time. Tickets, $30 in advance or $35 at the door, get you drinks and bites beginning at 6 p.m. The competition is also helping raise funds for breast cancer research. [Tickets] 225 East Houston St.
Manhattan Cocktail Classic Kickoff Gala: With a slew of events, lectures, and both parties and afterparties, this five-day event kicks off on May 17 with a hugely popular gala at The New York Public Library in Bryant Park. While many of the Classic's events have sold out, some tickets are still available. [Tickets]
New Exhibit: 1963 in Pictures
A new photo exhibition takes a second look at the year when everything changed.
May 13, 2013
What's in a year? Well, a lot. Especially in the case of 1963, a year of tremendous change in America's political and social history, a year of hope and innocence, as well as tragedy and disillusionment. From Beatlemania to civil rights protests; the Vietnam war to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s unforgettable "I have a dream" speech; and of course, President John F. Kennedy's assassination, so many 1963 events continue to affect contemporary culture.
A striking new photo exhibition at Howard Greenberg Gallery (though July 6) pays tribute to this pivotal year, and by consequence, invites us back in time to understand how history shapes our present day reality. Shot by a variety of photographers, images exhibited include a photograph of Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking the famous words of his aforementioned speech in Washington, D.C. (shot by Bob Adelman); Paul McCartney getting a haircut (shot by Dezo Hoffman); a boxer named Cassius Clay (aka Muhammad Ali) getting his mouth taped before a big fight with Doug Jones (shot by George Silk); actress Natalie Wood on the set of Sex and the Single Girl (shot by Bill Ray); and an iconic image of firemen hosing down civil rights demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama's Kelly Ingram Park (also shot by Bob Adelman).
The exhibit is divided into three sections, one corresponding to each major historical event: the treatment of civil rights protesters, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech, and the assassination of President Kennedy, with additional images of music, fashion, science, and sports. 41 East 57th St, Suite 1406, 212-334-0010
Sixties-Inspired Swimwear by Lauren Moffatt
Moffatt's fun and feminine collection takes us back to the tennis courts of the 1960s.
May 13, 2013
From 1920s Gatsby looks to 1980s punk style, retro fashion is all the rage these days. And with summer just a whisper away, womenswear designer Lauren Moffatt has launched a playful yet sexy flurry of '60s throwback bikinis, one-piece bathing suits, and cover-ups. The collection ($186-$395) is the designer's first foray into swimwear. Inspired by "prim and proper" '60s tennis regalia, as well as nostalgia for the "chaotic" public pool scene, pieces boast fun patterns and bright colors, with ruffle detailing and modern peek-a-boo cut-outs. Silhouettes are classic and incorporate a variety of tried-and-true cuts: triangle and bandeau tops, bikini, hipster, and high-waisted bottoms, and lovely one-piece suits. Cover-ups feature custom-designed silk prints like multicolored dots, breezy cotton voile, and hand-crocheted cotton. Known for her passion for art and design, and flair for vintage influences, Moffatt has been tagged by Vogue and WWD as a designer to watch. Last year she was inducted into the CFDA.
Q&A: The Stars of 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist'
Kate Hudson and Riz Ahmed discuss the film set in pre- and post-9/11 New York City.
May 10, 2013
Kate Hudson literally waltzes into the room. Wearing a cozy hot pink sweater with matching stilettos and skinny black pants, her aura is megawatt, the mark of a true celebrity. Following behind, with his hands tucked inside his pockets, is Riz Ahmed, who Hudson costars with in The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a riveting drama (based on a book of the same name) that screened at the Tribeca Film Festival.
As Ahmed doubles back to an adjacent room for something he forgot, I’m left alone with Hudson for an amount of time that seems both too long and too short. We make small talk about her lack of sleep and wish that she could attend the film's premiere "in a puffy coat." Then, just as we get on the subject of Long Island, my home, which Hudson seems curious about, Ahmed returns and the sands in the interview hourglass begin to fall.
With her legs perched up on the chair in front of her, Hudson seems comfortable and ready for the usual film press routine. Commenting on my question about what it was like to play a more serious role, as opposed to her usual comedic parts, she says with a sly smile, “From a journalistic perspective, I understand [the question].” Here starts a constant back and forth, during which I seem to be asking “provocative” questions, according to Ahmed.
“This isn’t your first political movie,” I say to Ahmed while recalling his role in 2006’s The Road to Guantanamo. “What attracts you to these kinds of parts?” I ask. “It’s funny you say that, because I think the personal is political," he quips. "I feel like the attempt to label some works of art as political and others as not is actually misguided. I kind of feel like it marginalizes things away from the mainstream cultural conversation, when actually that conversation lies in the heart of culture.”
I move on to the film's setting, 9/11, and plot, which sees Ahmed as a bright, young Pakastani immigrant living in New York City with a job in finance and a doting girlfriend (Hudson). However, when the Twin Towers crumble, his American Dream turns into a nightmare.
“Did you feel like the movie truly portrayed what it was like to be in New York on that day?” I ask Hudson, who was living in New York at the time of the attack. “That’s a tough question,” she says. “It is, in our time, not a defining, but the most defining moment in our history. For me, it was actually amazing. New York, as a city and as a community, is just phenomenal at times like that. I did not feel fear. I felt very safe. I felt very sad. It makes me emotional even thinking about it.” As her eyes begin to glisten, she pivots, “But that’s not what this movie is about . . . This movie uses [9/11] as a defining moment to tell a story about how when something shakes people in their life, it creates a sense of urgency.”
After discussing the impact they hope the film will have (Ahmed: "We wanted to give them something to talk about." Hudson: "And bridge the gap"), talk turns back to Hudson's rom-com oeuvre. "I get a little frustrated when people try to take [the] female comedy thing and put it in the 'rom-com' box. Because, well, I'd love to know . . . What do you call Wedding Crashers? People are calling Bride Wars a 'rom-com,' so Wedding Crashers must be a 'bro-com.' I don't like stereotypes," she says.
Ahmed jumps in, "That's what a lot of this film is about, resisting pigeonholing."
photography by Quantrell Colbert (slide 1, 2); ishaan nair (slide 2, 3)
Copyright Reluctant Films II, Inc.
What We're Reading
The Met Gala's punk shortage, lunch-hour dance parties, the most influential Millenial...
May 10, 2013
Allison Williams' Met Gala gown gets the Fug Girls' seal of approval
The Fug Girls lament the overabundance of non-punk fashion at the punk-themed 2013 Met Gala while also applauding the ten women who "actually made an effort." [New York]
Characterized by their competing desires to do nothing and have it all, Millenials (the generation born between 1980 and 2000) are the subject of TIME magazine's latest cover story. Who's the most influential Millenial? The magazine's website has a poll going to find out. No surprise, Lena Dunham is a contender. [TIME]
Why not boogie your lunch hour away? The New York Times Style section offers this fun trend piece about New York's burgeoning lunch-hour dance party scene. [The New York Times]
Well, the reviews are in for Baz Luhrmann's rendition of The Great Gatsby. The New Yorker scribe David Denby balances his review of the film with insight and historical perspective. [The New Yorker]
New Tolstoy-Inspired Popera and Supper Club
The production takes a page from War and Peace, with a side of caviar and a shot of vodka.
May 09, 2013
Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812 at Kazino
However you choose to describe Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, just don’t tell producers Howard and Janet Kagan that this electro-pop opera is dinner theater. While the War and Peace-inspired work follows in the footsteps of productions like Sleep No More with interactive moments between the audience and actors, there’s another component that sets it apart—the food.
Each guest is served a Russian dinner from a menu that includes everything from borscht and potato dumplings to smoked fish and caviar atop slices of toast. And of course, bottles of ice-cold vodka are placed at each table—some guests even indulge vodka flights. Bartenders create special cocktails and wine is poured throughout the night. Plus, at one point in the show, actors break the third wall and ask audience members to take a shot of vodka.
All of these elements fuel a sometimes over-the-top storyline about young lovers and the mystery and debauchery surrounding them. The characters are representative of elite Russian society at a time when many tried to mimic the French tastes for gourmet food and elegant wines. “This is a show about the wealthiest slice of society in early 1800s Moscow,” says Howard Kagan. “When people are in this room, we want to make them feel like they’re in this world.”
Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 opened on May 1 and will run through September 1 at Kazino, a Meatpacking District pop-up space that was created for the production. West 13th St. and Washington St.,866-811-4111
photography by Chad Batka
Weekend Recommender: May 9-12
John Turturro in The Master Builder, Rebecca Minkoff's bi-annual sample sale, and more.
May 09, 2013
The Master Builder opens this Sunday at BAM
Rebecca Minkoff Bi-Annual Sample Sale
May 10-11, 10 a.m.
Take mom on a pre-Mother's Day shopping spree at Rebecca Minkoff's anticipated sample sale, which comes but twice a year. Whether you fancy accessories, footwear, or clothing, prices are slashed up to 75 percent. 260 Fifth Avenue Showroom, 260 Fifth Ave.
"Endless Bummer II / Still Bummin’" and "Drew Heitzler: Comic Books, Inverted Stamps, Paranoid Literature" Open at Marlborough Chelsea
May 11, 6 p.m.
Two simultaneous group exhibitions open this weekend at Marlborough Chelsea Gallery. Curated by Drew Heitzler and Jan Tumlir, Endless Bummer II / Still Bummin' is a group exhibition inspired by the Southern California surf lifestyle, its dark side as well as its light. Meanwhile, "Drew Heitzler: Comic Books, Inverted Stamps, Paranoid Literature" is comprised of 37 works on paper and a new film, and continues Heitzler’s figurative treasure hunt through the past, as the artist discovers the invisible threads that link seemingly disparate sources. Both shows continue through June 29. 545 West 25th St., 212-463-8634
The Master Builder at BAM
May 12 at 7 p.m.
John Turturro stars in Henrik Ibsen's The Master Builder, opening this Sunday at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Also starring Boardwalk Empire's Wrenn Schmidt, the psychological tale tells of a love triangle between the megalomaniacal Halvard Solness (Turturro), his wife Aline (Katherine Borowitz), and the young and beautiful Hilde (Schmidt). Andrei Belgrader directs. Tickets start at $25 and the show runs through June 9. BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton St., Brooklyn, 718-636-4100
New Play: 'Nikolai and the Others'
Richard Nelson's new play takes us back to the creation of the ballet Orpheus.
May 08, 2013
A scene from Nikolai and the Others
Picture it: Westport, Connecticut, 1948. A bunch of artistic Russian ex-pats—choreographer George Balanchine, composer Igor Stravinsky, conductor Serge Koussevitzky, painter Sergei Sudeikin, and composer Nikolai Nabokov—are hanging out together one fine (and fateful) spring weekend. This is the setting of American playwright Richard Nelson's new play, Nikolai and the Others, which world premiered this Monday at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater of Lincoln Center.
Although the Russians-sequestered-in-the-country setup sounds quite Chekhovian (consider Uncle Vanya and The Seagull) Nelson puts his own unique stamp on a familiar story of human nature, as he did in his previous Lincoln Center Theater works like Some Americans Abroad and the Tony-nominated Two Shakespearean Actors.
Starring Stephen Kunken, Michael Cerveris, Kathryn Erbe, Alvin Epstein, John Glover, and Blair Brown, and directed by David Cromer, Nikolai and the Others, though imagined by the writer, takes us back to real life events, when Balanchine and Stravinsky famously collaborated on the ballet Orpheus—which went on to become the New York City Ballet's inaugural production.
While the play explores themes of controversial American post-Cold War art funding, it's really about the relationships between all of the aforementioned artists, their friends, lovers, and of course, their dancers. (In fact, in a lovely twist of art and life, Balanchine, who passed away in 1983, is credited as choreographer of Nikolai and the Others, as the play features scenes of his original Orpheus choreography.)
And Cromer's direction is always worth watching, as seen in his award-winning Off Broadway production of Thornton Wilder's classic Our Town, and more recently, Nina Raine's Tribes. Among his Broadway directing credits are The House of Blue Leaves (starring Ben Stiller and Edie Falco), and Brighton Beach Memoirs. [Tickets] 150 West 65th St., 212-239-6200
photography by Paul Kolnik