The Ethiopian-born artist Julie Mehretu is a member of the increasingly rare breed of a major contemporary artist, one who makes work both technically complex and visually compelling and conceptually relevant.
If you are a frequent reader of our magazine, you will know that our love for Alexey Titarenko’s ghostly grayscale photography is certainly not understated.
If you happen to be in Dallas or within driving distance of it, you may treat yourself to one of the most quietly exciting exhibitions to kick off 2021, that of the fashion photographer Paolo Roversi.
For the followers of art and design May in New York is a busy month. There are art fairs, design fairs, the Met fashion exhibit, and a myriad of events. Before long, the entire thing starts resembling your social media feeds – colorful, bubbly, but ultimately quite tiring and unfulfilling. You long for a quiet corner of the world where your brain can get back into a contemplative mood. The new exhibit of Deborah Turbeville’s photography at Deborah Bell’s gallery on the Upper East Side is just the ticket. It is an intimate show of intimate photography in an intimate setting. By god, it is restful!
Paolo Roversi is one of those photographers that tends to frustrate you not because he is bad, but because he is do damn good. Roversi has been responsible for some of the most iconic imagery from Comme des Garcons and Yohji Yamamoto, and more than a few memorable portraits and fashion editorials. Along with Sarah Moon and Deborah Turbeville, he has managed to make fashion photography transporting, taking you to a place that’s quieter, more contemplative, more intimate. The frustration comes from the lack of avenues to experience his sensual, touching work. There are few books that capture his output, and there are few exhibits. In 2005, when I was just starting to write and I scarcely new his work I had a chance to review his Studio book, published by Steidl. I passed on it, and I still kick myself for it. You can now get it on Amazon, for $600.
The photographer Robert Mapplethorpe is inextricably woven into the fabric of the New-York-Before-It-Sucked (that is the ‘70s and the ‘80s) cultural mythology. He’s always been that for the art circle, and he’s become that for a wider circle after Just Kids, a Patti Smith’s memoir about their friendship wildly popular amongst those who weren’t there. For fashion people, Raf Simons most recently popularized the name by devoting an entire collection to Mapplethorpe’s work.
Unapologetically gay, unapologetically promiscuous, unapologetically bohemian, Mapplethorpe was indeed a fixture on the New York cultural circuit, hanging out at Max’s Kansas City, rooming with Patti Smith, circling the requisite Warhol circle, and so on – the stuff of legend to be sure.
This year the ever savvy Guggenheim is capitalizing on the legend by holding a year-long two-part exhibit on Mapplethorpe, called Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now. The show is timely, as the LGBTQ rights continues to be a hot-button topic that attracts millennials. Why not attract them to a museum to see the granddaddy of it all? Because Mapplethorpe remains supremely important when it comes to highlighting the gay scene in New York. And not only highlighting it, but sticking it in the face of America. Contrary to the title, I find nothing implicit in the tensions Mapplethorpe put on display with his work.
By the time the Belgian designer Martin Margiela was appointed as head designer of the storied maison Hermes in 1996, he was widely seen as being at the forefront of the fashion’s avant-garde.
One of the several questions that came to me as I was leaving the press preview of the “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was, “Who is this exhibit for?” Or, to reframe it in broader context, what is the role of museums today?
We would like to present to you unpublished images from the Boris Bidjan Saberi exhibit 0-11 now on view at CAM Raleigh, NC until May 7.
If art is supposed to reflect the world around us, than the American artist Robert Rauschenberg is an artist par excellence. Rauschenberg was one of the most important artists in the burgeoning, energetic New York art scene of the mid-2oth Century. His ability to gather materials from the dilapidated, grim streets of New York and morphing them into art remains unparalleled, and his influence on the likes of Andy Warhol, who was heavily influenced by Rauschenberg’s silk-screening techniques, is undeniable.