Local color


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Edward Ching is playful. Playful with paint, line, color, positioning, impasto, overlap and playful in how it’s applied – thickly being a plus. Yes, it’s impressionistic – but there are no sunflowers & scenic stuff here. (For that try the entirely painted current movie Loving Vincent. It made me wonder, where did he learn these tricks? are they tricks? It’s the same feeling I have with magicians: “How did he do that?” Perhaps it’s due to his bridging two very different art traditions. In any case, when it comes to painting this kind of questioning really doesn’t matter.
Ching paints New York, the city. In this hard, cold, atomic universe he creates on canvas of movement, songs of color, and sculptures of light – all seemingly celebrating life’s playfulness. Period. End of story. His scenarios in paint connect with the breath of life, the rhythms of living, and the play that is life’s essence. You can really get this when you go to the seven YouTubes of him going at it – in Washington Square Park, Union Square, Brooklyn and the Village. (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=edward+ching) His overall art is at his website, artist, http://www.edwardvisualart.com/corneliastreetcafe.html. And it has a whole section, Creating Art – where he does just that.
It makes sense then that his show is at the Cornelia Street Cafe through June. The opening was that of a painter’s painter. Other paint pals were in attendance – even a chalk street,Hans Honschar.

It makes even more sense that the film maker, Michael Jacobsohn, has done a documentary filming him – for this quintessential New York street artist actually “performs” painting works in NYC public spaces such as Grand Central, Union Square, and Washington Square.

As you know from my posts here I feel it’s extraordinarily important to show people the actual process of painting a painting. There is a natural beginning – middle – and end in doing a painting: washes, color, blocking, figures, lines, detail.

Let us remember: 70 million boomers are about to be liberated from paid work. But then what? In my practice helping people in a similar situation – suddenly disabled in mid-life – I found that art can replace work very well indeed. It’s important for people to realize that art offers a potentially rich future – without performance reviews – and it makes entrepreneurs out of everyone it touches.

Jacobsohn has also done a documentary on the street artist James Garland, Imaginary Distance. This is not just any documentary.  Michael tracked this deliberately-homeless born-again Christian artist for a year. The film is now being submitted to film festivals around the world.

Jacobsohn created two “art” films in the 60’s or 70’s, before his 30 year career at ABC. He talks about the Lower East Side art scene during the 60’s in this perceptive early interview: https://youtu.be/zqrWz0PGI3Y. I found this interview particularly relevant since I’d lived on the LES in the mid ’60s on a block where 3/4 of the buildings were abandoned, settled by squatters – and often by artists. Now that was a cauldron for New York City art – uniquely so! A few years after I was there another street artist, Basquiat, and his crowd settled into the LES. See the 1996 biographical film, Basquiat, with David Bowie playing Andy Warhol wearing Warhol’s own wigs – or in increasing accuracy Jean-Michel Basquiat the radiant child 2009 and the documentary La Stanza/Boom for Real: the late teen age years of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Now Michael has done a documentary about this other New York City obsessed street artist, Ching. It will be shown at New York’s Cornelia St Cafe on June 23rd at 2pm (where the show of paintings continues through June).

In fact Jacobsohn has also curated a first-Saturday-of-the-month afternoon (2pm) film series “Meet the Makers Matinee” series for this summer. It starts with a documentary about Erroll Garner on June 2, and continues with indie shorts July 7 and short films by the inestimable Lower East Side Girls Club on August 4th. (The $10 entrance fee includes a drink.)

The Cafe is an intersection of visual and video art – a true village oasis. Its owner, Robin Hirsch, has hosted this faithful welcome wagon for New York artists and those who love them for decades. See the documentaries which have been done about this hub of artistic life in the village: Gordon Skinner’s 30th Anniversary Video & Sharon Kaufman’s 35th Anniversary Tribute.

Robin’s an artist too – of course – author of Last Dance at the Hotel Kempinski (“one of the best books ever written on the long arm of the Holocaust”  Jewish Book News and FEG: Stupid Poems for Intelligent Children (“searingly smart and challenging”, New York Times). This Cafe is truly an intersection and art and pleasure – and this new documentary series is not to be missed.

A Memorial Day Delight


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The Lower East Side Festival of the Arts
MAY 25 – MAY 27
Friday 6 PM – 1AM, Saturday Noon – 6PM Outside 6PM – 1 AM Inside, Sunday 6 PM – 1 AM

The festival includes hundreds of well-known and emerging artists ranging from theater to dance, music to movies, a street fair and art exhibit.
The whole festival is FREE FREE FREE!

This theater complex has four points of focus. The stream of performances is nonstop from Friday 6pm through Sunday night at 1am. There’ll be a street fair outside at 155 First Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets. I lived on the LES on 7th Street between C&D when it was 3/4 abandoned buildings and squatters. It has come a long, long way….

Silent Gen – sometimes we need to expand our definition of art….

Kanopy.com, the fantastic movie site of the NY Public Library available for every library card holder, has 30,000+ films and documentaries – all totally free. The #1 film about grey gays, Gen Silent: Discrimination Against LGBT Seniors, by Interrobang Productions / Stu Maddux Films is rarely free on the internet – but occasionally it is: and now is the time. It is available on Kanopy.com in an abridged version and in its full 89 minute version.


Here is the text from Kanopy.com about this well-done film:
– The generation that fought hardest to come out of the closet is going back in to survive.
– What would you do if you were old, disabled or ill – and the person feeding you put down the spoon and said that you are going to hell unless you change your sexual preference?
– Sound absurd? Social workers around the world say it’s happening every day.

    Gen Silent is the critically acclaimed documentary from filmmaker Stu Maddux that asks six LGBT seniors if they will hide their friends, their spouses- their entire lives in order to survive in the care system.

Running Time 89 mins 2 videos included
Filmmakers Joseph Applebaum, Stu Maddux

3D Street Art WorldWide

Sometimes you just get an idea, and think “let’s google that…”

I’m a 3D photographer from my teen years in the 1950s. Then Kodak stopped developing 3D slides in the 1970s. At that time there were only about 300 of us left. We’d haunt antique camera fairs. But mounting 3D slides while creative (you can make tigers leap out of the picture – stuff like that – by simply varying the distance between the two images)… is real hard work. Tweezer stuff. So I have what my teen brain was able to produce. But not much more.

But what if you just had chalk… ? Well, that thought has occurred to enough people worldwide to produce some very entertaining and thought provoking imagery… take a look at the Crevasse link below for the making of one of these images.

Is it art? Who cares? yes, of course it is – if art is defined as what’s just pure fun. That’s art isn’t it? it’s letting go with a brush and color and letting whatever’s been caged up go at it….

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50 Absolutely Stunning 3D Street Art (Paintings) – Hongkiat

3d Street Art, often known as 3d chalk art is 2-dimensional artwork drawn on the street … This drawinglooks like an old, classic painting, similar to paintings in …

The 5 Most Talented 3D Sidewalk Artists | Bored Panda

He is also probably the most famous on the Internet of all five 3D street artists featured in this … His illusion they can be traced back to Kurt Wenner pastel drawings.

44 Amazing Julian Beever’s 3D Pavement Drawings | Bored Panda

44 Amazing Julian Beever’s 3D Pavement Drawings … Spiderman to the rescue above and below this London street. … Arctic Street Conditions with Soft Drink …

3d Street Painting by Master Madonnaro Manfred Stader. … Pavement painting, pavement drawingand sidewalk chalk art is done by artists from all over the …

3d street painting for dummies or how to do 3d anamorphic painting …


Mar 17, 2016 – It just so happened we started to call in our country “3d drawings on the asphalt “, probably because in childhood we told: “ Drawing with chalk …

3D street art around the world – in pictures | Art and design | The …

Nov 17, 2011 – British artist Joe Hill’s creation has broken records for the longest and largest surface area for a 3D painting, according to Guinness Book of World Records …

NYCxDESIGN: cauldron of creativity

Larry Qualls simply put in his daily art events blog (www.LarryQualls.blogspot.com) the following post: NYXxDESIGN, various events around the city; see https://www.nycxdesign.com/

Be overwhelmed – and delighted: go to https://www.nycxdesign.com/blog/ or /events/ and discover an avalanche of design events all focused on NYC. Everyone from the dept of sanitation to Turkish architects – plus all the education players in the city – are having a Design Fest. Rarely have I ever seen something so rich, complex and appetizing.

It’s far too complicated for a simple list. That’s why you need to dive into the nycxdesign site and wander around. Use the map and search function. Whatever you can imagine, they probably have a discussion or workshop or exhibition on.

For those linearly oriented here are four events sponsored by Manhattan’s design districts:

-Tribeca Design District – Taking place on May 17, the event will host showrooms that include Colony, David Weeks Studio, and Stillfried Wien. May 17, 7–10 pm, various locations.

-NoMad Design District – On May 18, this white hot design district opens its collective doors to the public. Myriad showrooms will be hosting cocktail parties, activations, and individual events throughout the district. May 18, 6–9 pm, various locations.

-SoHo Design District – On May 19, the SoHo Design District will host several NYCxDESIGN event hosts and attendees in their participating showrooms. May 19, 6–9 pm, various locations.

-East Midtown Partnership – The Partnership includes the A&D and D&D Buildings, and additional home decor and decorative arts retail locations and showrooms on East 58th, East 59th, and East 60th Streets.

If you’re old fashioned and don’t like your world imploding on you, take this link – https://www.nycxdesign.com/content/uploads/2018/05/NYCxDESIGN-May-Kickoff-Release-Final.pdf – to go to the 13 page press release from hell. It lists every aspect of this design monster six-years-in-the-making. Throwaway statistics like “The design industry makes up 25 percent of manufacturing jobs in Brooklyn” will startle you.

This juggernaut is hurtling towards May 23 for its culmination. Get onboard! if you’re into design, this is a phenomenon designed to please….

Romance & Reason at a little known rendezvous point

Romance and Reason presents the transformations of a Classical past engaging illuminated Islamic manuscripts. It has works from the 11th through 18th centuries.

This outpost of NYU, the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at 15 East 84th Street has its last showing of this gem of a show Sunday. The Institute is the perfect adjunct to a day at the Met – or an afternoon stroll in Central Park. www.isaw.nyu.edu/exhibitions

Jazz Democracy at the UN


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International Jazz Day started the week off here in NYC – on April 30th. Appropriately the Greek mission to the UN sponsored at the UN a forum and performances of Jazz Democracy. Jazz figures from all over the world pulled together to showcase how much jazz has become global – and how it epitomizes democratic values. (That’s where the Greeks came in, with justified pride at being the birthplace of democracy.) Many pointed remarks were made as to how democracy was still under the gun, still needed celebration and reinforcement – how the need for jazz and its democratic values was more important than ever.

The event took place in the Trusteeship Chamber Hall and was MC’d by Dimitri Vassilakis. Dimitri and his jazz artists highlighted elements in jazz performance that can be used in the work environment, social relations, and political issues. The highlight of the evening were videos from Georgia Tech of the use of artificial intelligence – and robotic drummers. Since two of the evening’s performers were drummers it was extremely interesting to gauge their reactions as to whether these robots were their replacements – or equal players who could increase the dialogue in the equality-based conversations which are at the core of jazz. A reception in the great entry hall of the recently refurbished UN capped off a challenging, thoughtful, and heartfelt evening.  Jeanne Bresciani and members of the Isadora Duncan International Institute gave a dance performance with Dimitri Vassilakis’s jazz sax playing in the reception area at the same time. I left the UN’s festivities and celebration of democracy feeling that this conversation has only just begun….

Keys to NYC’s Art Scenes


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  Two sites are indispensible for daily alerts as to art openings & events.
  The first is qualitative http://www.LarryQualls.blogspot.com. It appears each day (about 7:30am) and has only those events that someone with 40+ years of experience in NYC’s art world with a seasoned staff could select. Exquisite. Encyclopedic. (Suggestion: look up Larrry Qualls in Wikipedia)
   Here’s what ArtStor says about Larry: Larry Qualls is an American visual arts archival documentarian, editor and art critic whose library of images the “Larry Qualls Archive” (100,000 images documenting 30 years ofNew York City gallery exhibitions) was acquired by ARTSTOR.[1] Qualls is a former associate editor of Performing Arts journal,[2] an academic publication for which he also authored many articles over the course of several decades. He is a frequent presence on the New York City art scene and his appearances are often noted by among other sources the New York Social Diary.[3]
  Larry Qualls’s blog is based on his many years of experience, profound academic expertise, and rolodex from hell – so it offers more hi-quality events – especially those where a press release never gets released. Plus it has a large scope, including book signings, Embassy & Cultural Affairs events, lectures, discussions, and even high-end product launches – all free, or if there’s a charge, it’s nominal.
  The second is quantitative, http://www.artcards.cc for it lists openings & events for the next 7 days in Metro NYC. But ArtCards relies more on press releases so it has far fewer listings and a narrower choice of offerings. ArtCards.cc has a remarkable feature that may make it worthwhile using alongsideLarryQualls.blogspot.com: you can click those galleries you’re interested in; it’ll create a list; and it will map them out for you – all on your cellphone. An art map of the shows you’ve chosen in your hand. You  can also click the galleries and/or the artists and get linked to their respective websites. (We hope and pray that Larry Qualls & his staff include this feature soon!)
   There is a third resource for touring art galleries: the M Maps. You’ll find these in the three major art districts of the city: Madison Ave on the Upper East Side; the new Chelsea/High Line pop gallery area; and the sophisticated SOHO area. They’re affiliated with M Magazine. But keep in mind that they list on the maps only those galleries which have paid to be listed – and being in print they may be out of date. But they are convenient.
     I have my own list of the days & times when NYC’s cultural institutions have free admission – that’s on my art blog,www.PerOnArt.wordpress.com – or text/email me and I’ll send it to you.
    But I recommend the list from NYC-Arts.org. See also http://www.nyc-arts.org/categories/museums for 134 listings of lesser known groups, galleries & for profits whose focus is art. For PBS’s other arts programs see their other website http://www.nyc-arts.org/collections/35/free-museum-days-or-pay-what-you-wish
     I’ve some listings not on that list – and vice versa. And I’ve found two errors in the PBS list – for things always are changing in the art world. But this is a minor flaw – and the NYC-Arts.org list has the convenience of giving you the ability to click on your choice to get more information right away – a very useful feature missing from Larry Qualls’s daily listings.
     Their introduction sums up the NYC art scene very well: “New York is known as an expensive city, but it can be generous to New Yorkers and tourists. Many of the city’s premier attractions, museums, galleries and performances offer free entry or pay-what-you-wish options, be it for a select day of the month or evening hours every week. Those seeking a bargain can use the no-cost or low-cost admittance options nearly always available to take a chance on the unknown or to return to a favorite art work, exhibit or gallery/museum again and again. Below is a just a selection; there are other free places, such as the galleries and museums at the many area colleges and universities.”
     Lastly, you can find events by going to the Eventbrite website. See https://www.eventbrite.com/d/ny–new-york/food-and-drink–events/. They also have an app. The problem many feel at first is that Eventbrite has too many offerings – and by signing up you may get lots of junk email – so you may drown in their overkill. The solution to that is to use their search function. If you read about an event, look it up on EventBrite – and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
     Now let’s move on to theatre  tickets. First, there are half price tickets available at the Tickets booth at Times Square. But that means going there to try your luck.
     Instead, try the best of the 4-5 theatre clubs whose job it is to paper the hall, to fill empty halls with people. All the true (ie good) ones charge about $100 a year for two tickets, pay a processing fee of about $5.
     But all have strict rules: come a half hour early to pick up your tickets, sit in your assigned seat, stay through at least the first act, and do not bad mouth the production within hearing distance of the theater. Violate the rules – and lose your membership.
      In order of reliability here they are: PlayByPlay.com (definitely #1 http://www.play-by-play.com/ $99+$16 processing fee); #2 is AudienceExtras. There is also TheaterExtras (focus on concerts, rock shows, sports) and TheaterMania’s GoldClub but I haven’t heard feedback about them – except that they’re not as good as the first two.
     Also see these sites:
http://www.newyorkclassical.org/https://www.nycgovparks.org/events/free summer theater. And don’t forget NYC’s treasure in Chelsea, the High Line: www.thehighline.org/activities. The highland has entrances on 14, 16, 18, 20, 23, 26, 28,30;
(the ones with elevators are bold-faced)  www.bsmny.org/‎.
CONCERTS – and everything else you can, and cannot yet, imagine
     Lastly, there is Club Free Time which has been reviewed in the NY Times. It simply lists free tickets of all kinds – and costs a nominal $18/year. It’s also a good way of keeping up on cultural events that you might otherwise miss. I’m including the review of the Times of this immigrant’s creative way of seeing NYC events free after the list below from NYC-Arts.org of the days & times that NYC’s museums and major cultural institutions are free.
     One last tip: the cultural institutes of the cultural institutes of Europe’s  major embassies in NYC are excellent sources of events, art openings, lectures, and films. Simply sign up via their websites. I recommend Germany, Austria, Sweden, France, Ukraine, and Ireland – and I’m sure I’ve overlooked some.
     And for further tips you can search my art blog, www.PerOnArt.wordpress.com. I try not to repeat what’s available in the sites mentioned above. My focus especially is on what impossible to find out about and the utterly delectable. And your suggestions are always welcome.

Art Expo NY Suggestions

This is the last day of the magnificently outrageously exuberant show at Pier 94. Yes, I’m going there first – before I hit the Cherry Trees in Branch Brook Park and Central Park for nature’s ideas about art. Here are my suggestions for a last minute circuit tour today:

Pako Campo DW-10, for the Hong Kong pix – prize winners, for which there are numerous videos online

Nan Feldman 351 in the Artavita area, who teaches are all over the world

Juraid Senechal-Senekal 5120, liquidic flowing sculpture & painting, animal connector & translator, “just enough…let them fill in the details”, a growing, evolving, developing artist who has shown everywhere

Stanek 349 for Dantesartwork.com, an art explorer par excellence, with a seasonal quality but for far more, representing fearless, mixed media, powerful artists – yoked together to take you on an art ride rarely offered

Bustamente for Latin American Fine Art 5104, especially for collectors

Lynette Melnyk 234 for her breakaway black & white piece – for which there is a video

Mandar Jadhav 5112, who has painted the sounds made in India ragas, a bridge to the Asian arts

Junaid Senechal-Senekal from South Africa 5120

Michael Quadland, architectural acrylic & concrete on panels from Morris Ct 359

And last but not least, Steve Kaufman, 355, epitomizing the exuberant American pop experience that seems joined by a startlingly active international presence in this show of shows.

All this should get you oriented, and unleash the art power within the artists – and within yourself.

Onishi Gallery, NYC: refuge for Japanese national living treasures + launchpad for Japan’s avant garde



    Sadly, this review was not posted at the time of the show. But I want to post it now as a tribute to the kind of avant garde + traditionalist Japanese artist that Onishi Gallery has made its province.
    Onishi Gallery has again gone on a talent hunt. But this time not to a near-forgot island of Japan but to the streets of Tokyo and the worlds of anime. And she’s come up with a young confident, competent young old soul – a Japanese Keith Haring.
    Why does Keith the Kid come to mind when seeing this artist? They both treat technique and media as skateboards, both treat content as the goal, and both know how  to wield art as a knife to reveal the truths of life. There are no near misses in their craft, no mistakes, no wasted energy. There is focus – and it’s on simple important messages.
    To say Keith comes to mind is not to say they’re the same, cut from the same cloth. Both use the tools of their time: Keith the unmistakeable line, the swaths of color.
Both impale commercialism on its own petard, but not like Warhol who was from an entirely different generation – who only had to copy the idiocies of labels to make them art. Onishi’s artist takes a big name t shirt and turns it inside out, visible only from the painting’s backside – and memorializes the label and tracking number – in bold color.