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Monday, February 27, 2017

PATERSON 2/27/17








 Saw PATERSON - a Jim Jarmusch film that is unbelievably tender with a light delicate touch - the dialogue is minimal as we observe a week in the life of a New Jersey  Transit bus-driver who happens to be a poet named Paterson (Adam Driver,) living in Paterson, NJ - the home of his idol the great poet, William Carlos Williams, He resides with his beautiful, dreamily eccentric wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), who spends her days painting curvy black and white lines on everything in their home - her clothes, the shower curtains, the walls, etc. fantasizing about being a great country singer OR owning a cupcake shop OR learning to play the guitar…envisioning is indistinguishable from attainment.  Marvin the bulldog is another character in this quiet film, protective and possessive of Laura, and jealous of Paterson - a presence hard to ignore, but an indispensable addition to the coziness of their contented existence.




 Only a special audience could appreciate the subtle and leisurely pace of PATERSON. The day begins at approximately 6:15 AM waking up, nestled against his wife, still in a hypnogogic state as Adam Driver’s large frame gets up from the warmth of the rumpled bed, sliding his watch on his arm, and silently leaves their bedroom going into the kitchen for breakfast - the same daily cup of Cheerios and begins to write while eating - inspired  by the beauty of occasionally glimpsed objects; memory intrudes and what is usually unseen becomes visible through words strung together with stunning  simplicity and filled with magic and color.

Days are routinized and drama is in the ordinariness of life occasionally disrupted by the drifting of conversations heard as he drives the bus, the history of Paterson revealed by young 21st century “anarchists,”,  two men giving advice on how to connect  with the opposite sex; eating lunch on a bench at the foot of the majestic Great Falls, and every night after work Paterson, while walking Marvin stops at a neighborhood bar for a glass of beer, the dog waiting patiently outside. Phrases are eternally floating about in Paterson’s head and written into his “secret notebook” whenever he gets a moment to write. The simple pleasures of life, a box of wooden matches, looking down into a glass where the translucent color of a drink, all have the potential to be transformative.


A disciplined life without excess melodrama can be very conducive to the unfolding of an artist’s interior perceptions. But interruptions in one’s ordered life are inevitable; small shards of chance - such as Paterson’s touching encounter with a Japanese poet - alter the compass of this poet’s orientation and therein lies the lyricism of this lovely film. 


Saturday, February 11, 2017

BONNIE LUCAS RETROSPECTIVE 3/28/2014 REPOSTING - for her exhibition at JTT GALLERY, NYC

REPOSTING my 2014 reflections on Bonnie Lucas' work.


CLICK ON LINK TO SEE IMAGES FROM HER 2017 EXHIBITION:





Bonnie Lucas’ 2014 retrospective at the Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Gallery, 417 Lafayette St. 4th floor, NYC is an exhibition that is fiercely personal, bitterly moving, and joyfully idiosyncratic dealing with seduction, defiance, and rejection. A comprehensive show comprised of mixed media pieces, watercolors, and paintings – all dealing with Lucas’ psyche, but one that cracks through and enters into every female’s core being.

The color pink often dominates along with ribbons, satin fabrics, notions, toys, and dolls - illuminating childhood dreams which often become adult nightmares. As young girls, we are wrapped in sunny halos of future illusions  - wedding gowns, happily-married-after scenarios, efficient and joyful housewifely duties, loving caregiver and caretaker – floating bubbles in a rainbow atmosphere of fairyland hope and desire.

Bonnie Lucas is able to convey that vision but also the perverse, impure and heinous reality which is imperceptibly swimming in these assemblages –camouflaged inside this universe of white gloves, hankies, and satin. High heels that are both destructive and coquettish lures;  handcuffs painted a seductive bluish-purple; knitting needles and coat hangers all disguised under the mantle of pastel colors - sharp pointy objects that look like vaginal speculums referencing abortion and punctured longings.

The artist skillfully incorporates a myriad of iconography – oh so easy to look at – but like Cassandra an impending cautionary warning.  Diaphragm-like coils, broken heads, baby blankets – are woven into the soft, luxurious mix – one can weep from the depth of grief that awaits growing up into the unknowable future, but that is the journey that unfolds with time.

Over the years there has been a real consistency to Bonnie Lucas' work. I first remember her shows in the East Village and those “classic works” such as LUCKY LADY (1985), PRINCESS OF POWER ( 1988), PINK DRESS  (1981) are in the show, along with wonderfully delicate watercolors that contain images that are often an ironic view of childhood incorporating children’s drawings, crayons and collage - feminist surrealism joined with anger and foreboding. Yet there is a delight in the beauty of the rendering – sensitive to the exquisitely fragile nature of innocence.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

GRACE VISITS: DARIA DOROSH 2/7/17

I am privileged to have had the opportunity to visit with Daria Dorosh and write about her artwork for Women's Voices For Change.

Here is a link to the article: Please comment on the Women's Voices For Change site if you wish. Enjoy!

Women's Voices For Change Article

More images in the order that they are mentioned in the article: CLICK ON IMAGES and THEY ENLARGE:



Doily Face (front view), 8"x8"x9", textile sculpture, 2012

To Look, 19.5"x23.5", digital print with custom antique frame, 2012


Baby Face, 9"x10"x6.5", textile sculpture with shelf, 2012


Little Boy Lost, 9"x6.5"x5.5",  textile sculpture with shelf, 2012



Mama's Boy, 9"x10.5"x5",  textile sculpture with shelf, 2012

Teacher's Pet, 15"x10"x5.5",  textile sculpture with shelf, 2012


Baba Yaga, 14"x12"x8.5",  textile sculpture with shelf, 2012

To Wait, 18.25"x22.75", digital print with custom antique frame, 2012


Pink Pearl, 5"x10.5"x8.75,  textile sculpture with shelf, 2012

DETAIL: To Relax, 22"x17", digital print with custom antique frame, 2012


Owl Princess, 10"x5"x3",  textile sculpture with shelf, 2012

Owl Princess Reveals The Destruction of Babylon, 16"x18.5", digital print with custom antique frame, 2012


Narcissus 1, series 4, 22"x17", digital print with sewn textiles, 2016


Narcissus 3, series 4, 22"x17", digital print with sewn textiles, 2016

Daria Dorosh Website









Friday, February 3, 2017

ELLE 2/3/17




In director Paul Verhoeven’s new film, men are brutes. The men in ELLE, a psycho/sexual/sadistic thriller, are cheaters, liars, wife-beaters, and “gamers’ who produce video games that are an extension of their puerile fantasies - bloody and savage. The movie begins with a close-up of a cat’s vertical eyes - narrowed and expressionless observing a violent rape scene; we hear the pounding and stifled screams of struggle, but do not witness the scene until later when the victim relives it…over and over.  We eventually meet the rapist, costumed in anonymity who can only reach ejaculation’s pinnacle of pleasure through rough, furious acts of inflicting pain as his launching platform for intense sexual rapture.

Isabelle Huppert plays Michelle - a stylishly successful business woman who with her good friend runs a company which produces wildly graphic, titillating videos - where women are attacked by creatures who invade every orifice of their body with monstrous tentacles, etc - the more horrific the better. Safe from the fantasies that she peddles, Michelle has now become a victim of an uncontrollable psychotic - and like her cat, she does not reveal any emotion, nor does she report the event, preferring to plot revenge in her own distinctive way as she attempts to search out her attacker. 

The film slowly reveals the psychological underpinnings of Isabelle - her relationship with a father who was imprisoned when she was a young child for heinous crimes, her mother whose desperate relationships with very young men, in an attempt to maintain her youth, is broadcast on her taut stretched face - the scars of surgery. And Michelle’s handsome adult son, who has not yet found his way and is about to become a father, though still being supported by Michelle.

Sexual tension, desire and intimacy permeate this film. Isabelle Huppert is cool, amoral and calculating, seduced by the power of a sadomasochistic urgency into a dangerous situation which is audaciously grotesque. Walking a tightrope over lies and deceit creates collisions that pull and strain one’s conception of self. 


When I left the theater, I kept wondering if I just saw a horror-porn movie or a titillating morality tale? Is Isabelle a victim or a participant? Ethical ambiguity permeates ELLE - and Isabelle Huppert is at the center of every scene - the ELLE of the movie - dominating every moment; a beautiful woman who is an enigma,  rarely giving any indication of her thoughts or feelings, as we witness her shell slowly cracking.

Monday, January 23, 2017

WOMEN'S MARCH IN NYC - WE MAKE AMERICA 1/21/17



Had a great time on the Women's March in NYC, though I never got to 5th Avenue. Started at Grand Central Terminal at 10:30 AM and walked up to 45th and 2nd Ave to Dag Hammerskjold Plaza - BUT there were so many people that we were stalled on 45th...and finally turned around to go back to 42nd St. But that took 4 hours....Finally got back to Grand Central at 3:30 and got out of the "holding area" and walked to Fifth Avenue....but so crowded that there was no way to march to Trump Tower. 
Senator Chuck Schumer

Grace with Statue of Liberty Crown

Artist Helen Oji with Statue of Liberty Crown which she made

Joan Semmel artist

Artist Mimi Smith and daughter Jenny

Woman with Torch declaring TRUTH

Woman marching alongside me

Grand Central Terminal around 3:45 pm

Angry woman


Here are some images and a VIDEO so you know what it feels like to be in the MIDST of a MARCH that is so filled with people standing up for their beliefs that it was difficult to move. I am so proud of this peaceful demonstration where there was no violence and only a feeling of deep camaraderie among the participants. 


 WOMEN'S MARCH - WE MAKE AMERICA 1/21/17

Friday, January 13, 2017

GRACE VISITS: CICELY COTTINGHAM 12/29/16

I am privileged to have had the opportunity to visit with Cicely Cottingham and write about her artwork for Women's Voices For Change.
Here is a link to the article: Please comment on the Women's Voices For Change site if you wish. Enjoy!

Women's Voice For Change Article
https://womensvoicesforchange.org/grace-visits-artist-cicely-cunningham.htm

Cicely Cottingham Website

More images in the order that they are mentioned in the article: CLICK ON IMAGES and THEY ENLARGE

PHOTO OF CICELY - DETAIL IN FRONT OF PAINTINGS IN STUDIO

SOMBRE STRETCH, 26”x80”, charcoal with pastel on paper, 1984 


WINTER MOON, 30”x22 1/2 “, charcoal on paper, 1984

NIGHT TREES 4, 30”x22 1/2 “, charcoal on paper, 1987

WHEN YOU DREAM YOU’RE INNOCENT, YOU’RE INNOCENT WHEN YOU DREAM (FROM A SONG BY TOM WAITS), 8”x10”, oil on wood, 1987/88

THROB, 8”x10”, oil on wood, 1988




SHE WAS AS A TREE AGAINST A CLOUD OF VAPOR, 15”x11” ea. panel (4 panels), oil on wood, 1990 

THE PREMONITION, 24”x18” ea. panel (4 panels), 1992

TRUE BLUE CONTINUED #6, 64”x48”, oil on wood panel, 1998



16 PAINTINGS FOR MARJORIE (GONE), 64”x48”, acrylic on wood panels, 2000/2003



16 PAINTINGS FOR MARJORIE (MARJORIE’S GARDEN), 64”x48”, acrylic on wood panels, 2000/2003

Now you feel how nothing clings to you (raw and tender), 15”x11”, Oil stick on wood panel, 2011



Now you feel how nothing clings to you (Kaieteur), 16”x12”, Acrylic on panel, 2012


EVERYTHING IS SKY (here is your home), 20”x16”, Acrylic on panel, 2014

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

HOLIDAY SEASON: A TIME FOR CHILDHOOD REFLECTIONS 12/21/16




Flashbacks of people and events that have touched my childhood hover before my eyes, particularly during the holiday season; commonplace and ordinary incidents, but as extraordinary as an unexpected kiss. I feel the onset of tears for the loss of those moments in time, moments that will never be relived except in the part of the brain reserved for activating nostalgia. The smell of that special hot apple pie with its burnt around the edges brown crust, preserving the taste of butter and cream cheese  - that special dessert my mother baked  as she watched me greedily gobbling up my first slice fast enough in order to eat 3 more slices before it was all gone - a behavior I have still not outgrown.


Getting my head stuck in the apartment’s protective window gates -  valiantly trying to catch a glimpse of the lone tree on the block’s newly budding leaves; my head squeezed between thin rusty iron bars until my beloved Omi (grandmother) came to the rescue, her strong rustic hands pulling the rods apart. And the time the same temperamental Omi, while  babysitting for my sister and me, when my parents were at work, having experienced some unknown slight to her sensitive psyche, decided to turn on the oven and stick her head inside - a dramatically perverse gesture, one that was nullified by the fact that she first opened all the kitchen windows.

Walking hand in hand with my twin sister at 3 years of age - barely getting one skinny foot in front of another - tripping and stumbling off to Mrs. Lang’s kindergarten where we would draw and hear stories of the blonde-haired Roxanne - a name I still treasure - a vision of a princess in braids giving me an exhilarating reason to dream. My first crush, I am sure. 



This was an antidote to Max and Moritz and Heinrich Hoffman’s 1845 classic Struwwelpeter - the darkly humorously illustrated tales that were read to us at home - wild and rebellious children who incurred brutal punishments for their misdeeds. I remember mutilation with scissors figured prominently as did other grotesque humiliations. Strange that my parents, refugees from Nazi Germany would impart these Teutonic morality tales on their children.Being a very easily frightened child, at night after the requisite milk and cookies,  I would pull my cover sheet and blanket so tightly around me that I was barely able to turn around, in order to prevent any other presence from entering into my bed. On the other hand, my more robust sister would tricycle around with abandon - much braver and happier shrugging off the effects of visions of children being baked into pies, etc. 


On a lighter note, Sundays were spent at Fort Tyron Park - where there existed the largest hill I had ever seen - we would begin at the very top rolling down the grass, over and over, a never-ending flight over greenery - a trip into the carelessness of oblivion. And then off to The Cloisters - a frightening Palace of sorts - dark and dank - the beauty of unicorn tapestries and wooden sculptures took me decades to appreciate, finally getting over my fear and fascination with this medieval treasure.




And the end-of-the-day ice cream treat -  black and white popsicles bought from the man with a cart filled with goodies,  watching the melting  chocolate-covering slide off the white creamy interior, quickly licking away before it dripped all over what I was wearing - a sensual  and satisfying respite to the day’s activities. A memory I cherish.