NYC – Enjoy art while you exercise during the corona outbreak.
Not everything is of-limits in New York City. Take for instance, a several-block stretch of the Bowery (street). from 1st street to 7th street. In the lower east side there have been many businesses that cannot open and have covered their windows with plywood. Thankfully, a group of artists decided to create some very interesting and colorful murals.
Artist, Sono Kuwayama decided to start a movement to “freshen up” the neighborhood. There are no restrictions on the subject matter; however, there is some input from the store owners. She hopes that it will be tangible artifact from this epidemic period.
This past week I spotted a community day [ free day] at the Poster House-the first museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to posters. The weather turned out to be nice and the event was free, so why not take a look. I thought how great it will be to see posters of movies that maybe I have enjoyed. It would be nice to see the posters that advertised them
The Poster House is just two blocks (west) from the Flatiron Building on east 23rd Street. And is close to Leggo Land, Madison Square Park and Sony Square.
The Poster House is a small exhibit space with a book-store and coffee shop. There is a fee on non-free days.
BAPTIZED BY BEEFCAKE: THE GOLDEN AGE OF HAND-PAINTED MOVIE POSTERS FROM GHANA Over-the-top posters were a key part of Ghana’s vigorous black market in American VHS tapes in the 1980s and ’90s.
These movie posters were all created by artists in Ghana to promote traveling movie shows and sell tickets to bootleg screenings of various western and local movies.
These posters range from quirky recreations of the original movies to WTF inducing paintings with imagery completely unrelated to the original content.
While the posters were very interesting, some might say weird, the descriptions were equally interesting and worth reading.
Recently, I was making my way down 6th Avenue from Central Park. I decided to go towards 5th Avenue on 57th Street. I have been on this street many times and it’s where I first discovered 6 1/2Avenue. Today, I found another pedestrian way that is open and full of surprises. Just a block away at west 40. It simply brings pedestrians from one street to another.
It is fully covered, yet door-less and brightly lit with welcoming, whimsical, sculptures lining the walls by the likes of Tom Otterness, Fernando Botero, Manolo Valdes, Jacques Lipchitz to name just a few.
Today sculptures by Tom Otterness formed a very inviting path.
(Everyone I know loves Tom Otterness’ “Life Underground,” the Fraggle Rock Doozer-like small bronze characters inhabiting the 8th Avenue L train station.)
The pedestrian walk is part of the Marlborough Gallery, located at 40 w57th.
Note: This location is on the edge of Midtown but is a short walk from Columbus Circle, Carnegie Hall and MOMA (Lower floor galley is free). Also, from Lincoln Center, you can walk down Broadway and pass near here and 6 ½ Avenue. You could then continue towards Rockefeller Center.
Over the years of writing this blog, I have uncovered many interesting items and pieces of art at Sotheby’s Auction House. I realize that I often visit Southeby’s as it is closer to my apartment. I have done this to the neglect of other excellent auction house but starting with today’s blog will attempt to broaden my horizons.
Several people have asked me if there were any places nearer the tourist areas (5th Avenue). They opined that when coming into the city for only a day, the location of Sotheby’s was too far to get to
Note: Visiting these auctions is a good way to look at expensive articles that not usually available to us outside of a museum. And the viewing if free! Don’t be intimidated by security in dark suits, just walk in the door and ask if any galleries are open… simple as that!
Here are two that are right in the thick of the tourist
area. If you have others, let me know and I will plan a visit to them.
Christie’s 20 Rockefeller Plaza, West Entrance is located at 49th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:30am – 5:00pm we are often open for weekend views, although the hours vary by sale. For specific viewing hours and other business matters, please contact Client Services at +1 212 636 2000
Bonhams – 580 Madison Ave (corner of 57th Street)
Hours: Monday – Friday: 9.00am – 5.00pm Preview days: 12.00pm – 5.00pm (please check as they are subject to change)
Several times a year I try to share some of the art work you find in NYC auction houses. Today, I visited Sotheby’s to look at auction items for sale on March 1. The subject of this auction is contemporary Art.
Many of these will most likely put into private hands and rarely seen again public.
Note: I noticed that the minimum bid at this auction was between 40k and 60k
New York City’s water towers are iconic, and a hundred of them are covered in artwork created by Jeff Koons, Maya Lin, and other artists. They are meant to raise awareness of global water problems and encourage New Yorkers to drink their tap water.
What are those wooden water tanks?
When I first started visiting the city I noticed that the City’s skyline is dotted with wooden water towers. My first thought was to mistake them for vanishing relics of a bygone era. Maybe like seltzer bottles and street gas lamps.
But what I didn’t realize is the towers are hardly antiques — in fact, most drink and bathe from the water stored in them every day. We think they are old because they look as though they are. While many are more than 30 years old, even new ones look old because they are made of wood that isn’t painted or chemically treated (so as not to taint drinking water).
Though the technology has become more efficient, the concept of gravity delivering water from a wood tank hasn’t changed in decades. The average wood tank holds 10,000 gallons of water and costs around $30,000.
Only three companies build the ones you see on the NYC rooftops, and to get an idea of how much in use they are, Rosenwach Tank Company (which has been in business for over 100 years) builds approximately 300 new tanks a year.
This system may be “old” but it sure is reliable. About 15,000 buildings still use this system today.
How it works:
– A water tower is a simple device that uses gravity to provide water pressure.
– They provide water for domestic uses and fire supply.
– Most structures taller than six stories need some sort of water tower and pump system of their own.
– Water is fed to buildings through pipes in the basement.
– Electric pumps push the water from the basement to roof.
– From the roof, gravity sends water to pipes throughout the building.
– As tenants use the water, the level in the tank goes down and, just like in a toilet, a ballcock lets more in.
Walking down 41st street towards the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public library, pedestrians can get a sample of the literary treasures that await them before even entering the building. The two blocks between Park and 5th Avenue, dubbed Library Way in 2003 by legislation signed by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, are lined with 32 intricately designed bronze plaques emblazoned with quotes from literary giants like Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein, William Butler Yeats, and Ernest Hemingway. The quotations were selected in 1996 by a distinguished panel of literary experts and librarians who chose excerpts from some of literature’s most prominent works that best represented the importance and impact of literature. The best time to walk is on the weekend.
Walking in NYC can be fun and often leads you to find something different and new. Many of us are busy looking up, at our urban mountains but as I walked towards the library from Park Avenue (actually, I was at Grand Central) , I decided to forego 42nd street and walk along 41st street..
The best time to walk is on the weekend.
Also, it may be the only street where you don’t mind people stopping and partially blocking the sidewalk.
The School of Visual Arts (SVA), unveils a public art installation
Storefront window displays are not the only glass-enclosed structures turning heads on Madison Avenue this spring.
The School of Visual Arts (SVA), unveiled a public art installation consisting of 16 original chairs that represent each artist’s inspiration to create. These “Chairs that Inspire” can be found in eight-foot tall, Lucite-enclosed displays scattered along the sidewalks on Madison Avenue between East 57 and East 86 Streets until May 18.
Click photo to enlarge
Art of Junk
Corner News stand
For many of the student artists, being featured on Madison Avenue is a dream come true. For close to a month, the students’ work will be on display on one of the busiest avenues in New York.
Bonham’s Auction House (57th/5th ave)
I have added this short piece to the above store because many people do not know that Bonham’s can be a free museum. They have very high quality work and the location (57th and 5th Avenue (SW corner) is where most people travel down 5th Avenue – may be worth a visit!
Now that the warmer season is upon us the city begins, almost weekly, presenting us with interesting things for us to see. I happened to be on Broadway on the upper west side and noticed a new sculpture being placed in a plaza. Later I read a few press reports and decided to share the information on my blog.
Some of the material comes form an article written by Barbara Hoffman in the NYPost. I have both edited and added material to the story. I drove by each piece of sculpture and added a photo or two.
A guide to the craziest new outdoor art in NYC by Barbara Hoffman
“It’s amazing what you’ll see in the city streets — rhinos in the East Village; Snoopy and friends in Hudson Square, and half-men, half-forest creatures roaming Broadway.
After an endless winter, sculptures and murals are springing up all over. And although the mediums are different, their messages seem largely the same: Can’t we all just get along — and, while we’re at it, save the Earth? At least, that’s what the artists’ statements suggest. You may look at their work and discover something entirely different.
So get out there with your cellphones and cameras. At the very least, you’ll class up your Instagram”.
Along Broadway there are several pocket parks at various intersections Six interesting sculptures were placed with the parks with 64th and 157th Streets.Kathy Ruttenberg, an upstate New York artist who combines human, animal and plant forms created them that portray characters from a fairytale-like dream and aims to brighten the day of passersby.
Here is a brief look at some of the art. I refer you to the lead photograph for the location and Title.
Also, get a load of the peanuts gallery downtown
However these murals are in a somewhat removed part of Manhattan – Hudson Square.