Saturday, March 24, 2012

Observations from the Gallery 3.24

This is never going to morph into some sort of travel blog but I wanted to mention a few stops I made yesterday. I'll start with a bit art history for you and finish with cocktails. Pretty much a normal day for me.

The Luxembourg & Dayan Gallery will soon be showing 15 of the absorbed and abstract paintings of Italian realist painter Domenico Gnoli. I went to see them yesterday not because I'm a fan, I'm far from it, but because his work is so rarely seen in public. Gnoli didn't create a large body of work, only some 80 paintings, of which most is held in private collections.

Born in 1933 to an art historian father and artist mother Gnoli was a successful illustrator and set designer who turned to painting full time late in life. He created large canvases that featured close-up details of dress and hairstyles, pearl buttons on a woman’s chemise, the pocket of a man’s trouser, long raven locks. He also made black & white renderings of chimerical beasts in everyday settings such as sitting on a sofa, or in the back of a limo. His work vaguely reminds one of Pop Art, but the feeling is still mostly surreal. Gnoli passed away in 1970 just months after his first solo show at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York. This is the first show of his work since than and officially begins later this month.

Later my bar tour of the island continued as Ash and I played Soviet for the night and stopped at the Vlada Lounge in Hell's Kitchen. The bar, owned by Russian expat Vlada von Shats, has a mix of gay, lesbian, drag, and hopelessly outnumbered straight clientele. The main draws here, besides the self proclaimed 'nice guy' von Shats, are the DJs, the thirty foot ice bar, and most of all the house infused vodkas. I was told the menu changes with the season but always has well over a dozen flavors and last night they ranged from plum to garlic. Personally I had a few too many sips of the pomegranate version, just awesome.

You haven't lived till you have heard Lady Gaga dubbed in Russian.

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