Darkness & Light

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Klara Kristalova’s glazed stoneware figurines carry a duality of spirit that is contained in one’s own self. In her show Big Girl Now at Lehmann Maupin it’s as if each sculpture has emerged from some sort of magical forest, crawled onto stage, and is now beckoning, you could be me, you could join me. Subconsciously drawn to the ones I think I could see myself most in are Goosegirl, Keyhole Woman, and The Invisible. What is so enamoring is the sense of transformation that is taking place. Although each work contains an inherent darkness, they tip towards the light with a sense of poise and hope. Kristalova refers to the title Big Girl Now as “a feeling of being ready for something new, stepping out, and leaving some things behind.” Weaving myself into the tale I chose this dramatic yet delicate ruffle dress by the new line Karie Laks. Conveying a ready-to-play attitude characterized by fresh alluring fabrics and cuts, the line is made for the mysterious fun girl, who like these sculptures will give you chills and enchant you at the same time.

Karie Laks ruffle dress, stretch velvet bra & bloomers, Chanel shoe socks

Lehmann Maupin, Klara Kristalova, Big Girl Now

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Photographs by Tylor Hou

Woven Geometries

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Blurring the lines between art, design, crafts and architecture are Sheila Hicks’s woven forms. Currently on view at The Whitney Biennial is her Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column, what I believe to be one of the strongest pieces of the show. The last Biennial that will be held in the Marcel Breuer designed building, Hicks engages the building’s somewhat brutalist bones with a waterfall of colorful cords cascading from the ceilings open coffers. Unfurling through space Hicks activates the strong modernist architectural elements that are an innate part of the building and its programming. Interestingly, as Marcel Breuer was a Bauhaus-trained architect, Hicks studied under the former Bauhaus instructor Josef Albers at the Yale School of Art, perhaps giving her a unique understanding and appreciation of the space. Albers believed that art is spirit, and only the quality of spirit gives the arts an important place in life. It is this open-ended spirit of discovery and experimentation that is the common thread through Sheila Hicks’s work. Wanting more I led myself to her concurrent exhibit at Sikkema Jenkins & Co., where she again engages the space with her soft supple forms. I chose this bright-purple embroidered lace dress by House of Holland. Detailed with rock candy like buttons and floral cutouts, the dress is at once about so many things woven into a beautiful geometry.

House of Holland dress, Miu Miu sandals

The Whitney Biennial & Sikkema Jenkins & Co., Sheila Hicks

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Photographs by Tylor Hou

Happy Clouds

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Giving us blue skies in a seemingly endless winter is Olaf Breuning’s installation, Clouds. Presented by the Public Art Fund, six flat but fluffy feeling clouds form a new vibrant gateway to the south east corner of Central Park. Cut from a hand drawing by Breuning, the bright blue clouds on stilts bring a cheery pop of color and cannot help but make you smile and pause. As an artist Breuning is no one trick pony—his work has touched film, installation, sculpture, photography, drawing, and music. In an interview with Olivier Zahm he describes his movement between different media, “I feel that reality is so colorful around us; it’s changing too fast and I want to keep up with that. This is my life, this is the time, and I want to go further. I did all these things in my work that made me happy.” Invoking my own happiness I chose to go matchy in this powder blue and primary yellow floral embroidered set by MSGM. The bright combination was quite popular with passersby, I even got a high five. This and Breuning’s work, one part childlike imagery, one part heartfelt sentiment, are reminders that sometimes happiness can be found in the silly simple things.

MSGM dress & biker jacket, Topshop sandals

Public Art Fund, Olaf Breuning Clouds

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Photographs by Tylor Hou

Bright Bohemia

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Crashing the birthday party of traditional abstraction is Sarah Cain’s exhibition Burning Bush at Galerie Lelong. Her spirited paintings are marked by the use of unusual materials such as string, balloon, beads, necklaces, even a hula-hoop. Cain’s experimentation, willingness to expand past the perceived limits of painting, sculpture, and installation result in a body of work that is bright, refreshing and free. She creates a sort of modern bohemia where true innovation is born through the embracing of the unknown and the intervention of chance. I was taken by her use of color and the way it drew me into the works and the space. In an Interview Cain explained feeling that a lot of times artists go back and draw from their first memories of color and form. She described hers as when she was three growing up in upstate New York, “they would have these hot air balloon landing days, where they would all take off and land in this huge field of white snow with all these crazy, beautiful colors hot pink and orange balloons.” Inspired to draw upon my own first memories of color and form, which revolve around dance recitals and sequins, I chose this truly amazing purple iridescent sequined set by Acne. The cherry on top of the sequin sundae are these cake cake cake sunglasses from Nylon Shop. Their super fun and unique pieces will maybe inspire you to break out and wear/do something that makes you feel wild and free.

Acne sequined shorts and shirt, J.Crew metallic pumps, Gasoline Glamour sunglasses ℅ NYLON

Galerie Lelong, Sarah Cain: Burning Bush

Photographs by Tylor Hou

Whimsical & A Ball

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In honor and in the spirit of the upcoming Brooklyn Artists Ball at the Brooklyn Museum I paid a visit to Wangechi Mutu’s exhibition, A Fantastic Journey. Upon entering Mutu’s fully immersive environmental installation I am transported into her world. Mutu was born in Nairobi, Kenya and lives and works in Brooklyn. Her work is reflective of this remove from her source and seems to be a sorting out of all the issues that have surrounded her such as gender, race, war, colonization, globalization, and the eroticization of the black female body. What results is visually ravishing. My favorite works are her collage, which join unlike and discordant elements into a fractious and electric harmony. Such as her 2003 diptych entitled Yo Mama, inspired by a Nigerian political activist whose native form is clad in a mica-flecked unitard as she nails the head of a snake with her stiletto heel, all in the midst of a pink desert. Adding another veil through which to view her works is a multipart suspended structure of black garbage bag balls enveloped in and dangling from gold thread. This is the beauty of Mutu’s work; at one moment light and whimsical while closer examination reveals unexpected and slightly jarring details. I chose this multi-layered silk organza dress by Erdem from the lovely local Brooklyn boutique Pink Label. Also, I am very excited to be a Dance Party Host this year for the Brooklyn Artists Ball on the evening of April 16th. For those of you who can, I would love for you to Join Me in celebrating and supporting the borough’s dazzling artistic community.

Erdem dress, Alexander Wang heels, Eddie Borgo bracelets

The Brooklyn Museum, Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey

Clothing and Jewelry by Pink Label Boutique, Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Photographs by Tylor Hou

Brooklyn Artists Ball, April 16th, tickets here

Punk Opulence

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Carlos Rolon a.k.a Dzine puts on a show at Paul Kasmin Gallery that seems to memorialize the epoch of an era. The era is his childhood growing up as a first generation immigrant in Chicago. Drawing on his Puerto Rican roots and the importance of boxing in Latin American Culture, Rolon pulls you into the exhibition with a myriad of glittering exuberant works. Paintings, mirrors, and sculptural fabric on panels are accented with excess: sequins and gold chains, bedazzled with crystals, and highlighted with glitter. The pomp splendor that abounds references the flamboyant garb of boxers and perhaps the damask papered walls and decorative mirrors within the formal room of a working class family home. In the spirit of all that glitters I wear a gold brocade dress by Dolce & Gabbana. For added flavor I glitter streak the part of my hair and ice out in gold and emerald stackable rings by elegant with an edge jewelry line Tarin Thomas. I try to position myself in that delicate in between as Dzine so beautifully has.

Dolce & Gabbana brocade dress, Marni platforms, Tarin Thomas rings

Paul Kasmin Gallery, Dzine: Born, Carlos Rolon, 1970

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Photographs by Tylor Hou

New Bloom

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In the Persian culture a carpet is more than a decorative element in a space, it may just be its soul. Kour Pour has captured this in his intricately beautiful paintings now on show at Untitled. Lush all over patterns of hunting scenes, exotic animals, floral motifs, and medallions are elements in the rugs dating from the 16th century to the 1960’s that Pour has carefully chosen to reference. What I love most is that although these paintings are reminiscent they are markedly different, like they’ve been delivered from their historical past and elevated into a new modern life. To achieve this delicate balance each painting may take several months incorporating many techniques such as under-painting using a broomstick, silkscreening, meticulous hand painting, sanding, and then repainting what is lost. So fresh also is the color palate which is muted yet vibrant, subtle greens pop to kiwi and salmon to neon pink. The delicate sophistication of this work is what I crave. I will own a Kour Pour one day but for now this pink Isabel Marant embroidered tunic will be my stand in.

Isabel Marant tunic, Sergio Rossi pumps

UNTITLED, Kour Pour

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Photographs by Tylor Hou

Tracks & Ikat

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So vibrant are the colors of Ingrid Calame’s large-scale pounce wall drawing that I am initially pulled in from off the street. Wrapping four walls this composition is the centerpiece of Calame’s exhibition Tracks at James Cohan Gallery The colors are evocative of the most dazzling natural settings or moments happening all at once. Like standing at sunset in a field of wildflowers that turns to beach grass that gives away to aquamarine ocean. Within the immersive environment so much more is revealed. Throughout her career the artist has been tracing forgotten relics, such as stains on a sidewalk, graffiti on a riverbank, paint blobs on a studio floor. In this case Calame traced skid marks from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and translated it by using an ancient Renaissance technique used to prepare frescoes. She explains the process, “pouncing causes little explosions through each hole that radiate out. It is an event, like a drawing/dance.” Also beautiful and otherworldly is this cashmere tunic dress by new designer line Baja East Made out of the thickest most luxe cashmere that has ever touched my body, this tunic is everything. The loose modern fit, abstracted ikat, and soft but striking color is altogether perfect. Fully enveloped here by so many good things.

Baja East cashmere tunic, J.Crew metallic pumps

James Cohan Gallery, Ingrid Calame, Tracks

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Photographs by Tylor Hou

Delicate Drama

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One of my favorite galleries about town, Galerie Perrotin is home to an interesting new exhibition by Berlin-based artist Gregor Hildebrandt. In this darkly romantic minimalist installation Hildebrandt uses materials that are record carriers for sound and film such as cassette tapes, videotapes, and vinyl records. These materials are deconstructed to take on elemental new beginnings. Most striking are the large surfaces he creates to juxtapose his cassette tape and acrylic paint works on canvas. One such wall is composed of vinyl records shaped into bowls and stacked almost to ceiling height. Another is a jet black shiny curtain wall made entirely from the hanging of tapes from videos. Monumental yet delicate and intriguing is the balance that the artist strikes throughout. An undertone of themes like immortality, sadness, yearning, and transience pervades which may too be reminiscent characteristics of  Berlin’s own visual language. I paired the work with this cracked leather shift dress by 3.1 Phillip Lim along with a leather embossed statement bow to add a layer of drama to the look, one in which the exhibit begged for.

3.1 Phillip Lim leather dress, Isabel Marant boots

Galerie Perrotin, Gregor Hildebrandt, Die Geschichte läuft über uns

Hair by Brandon Shin at Brush NYC, Photographs by Tylor Hou

Land Art, Leather & Fringe

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Aside from Donald Judd there is one other iconic name that the town of Marfa conjures up. Prada Marfa in all of its roadside beauty is a pop land art project conceived by the artists Elmgreen & Dragset. On the open road of US 90 this full scale replica of a Prada boutique is a paradoxical misplaced gem that appears out of nowhere like a mirage even to those who are expecting it. Behind the glass windows of this forever closed “store” are twenty shoes (rights only, to discourage theft) and six bags (without bottoms) all generously provided by Miuccia Prada herself from the fall/winter 2005 collection. Although Prada donated the goods and permitted the use of its logo it is important to note that Prada Marfa has no commercial link to the brand itself and is a non-profit project supported entirely by funds from foundations and individuals. The antithesis of commercialism Prada Marfa is a critique on the luxury goods industry, a store in the middle of seemingly nowhere. Ironically Prada Marfa is now in danger for all that it does not represent. After eight years roadside, the installation has been classified as an “illegal outdoor advertising sign” by the Texas Department of Transportation. Although the department has not yet decided what action it will take, it would be crushing for this brilliant icon to be no longer. Along for the ride are my ivory fringed crepe top by Jason Wu and leather pants by Current/Elliot. In my own play on interpretations this is not your typical fringe, it is sequin fringe! Sometimes what you see is not what it seems, or is it, go see for yourself and don’t forget to show your support, Save Prada Marfa.

Jason Wu top, Current/Elliot leather pants, Alexander Wang heels

US 90, Elmgreen & Dragset, Prada Marfa

Photographs by Wynn Myers