Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Seeking New York by Tom Miller

Book Jacket for
Seeking New York: The Stories Behind the Historic Architecture of Manhattan - One Building at a Time by Tom Miller

On a rainy and muggy Tuesday evening I made my way over to The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York on 44th Street to attend a talk sponsored by The New York Landmarks Conservancy. Tom Miller, the author of one of my favorite blogs, A Daytonian in New York, has authored a wonderful new book Seeking New York: The Stories Behind the Historic Architecture of Manhattan - One Building at a Time published by Rizzoli, and he shared interesting stories of some of his favorite buildings along with the history and backstories that one is often unaware of. He writes daily, save for Sunday's and to date has profiled over 1600 buildings. The book showcases 50 buildings and is illustrated with photos as well as delightful pen and ink illustrations.

I have been in touch with Tom over the years, sharing a number of paintings that I'd done of buildings he has profiled. It was a pleasure meeting him in person and I went home with my very own signed copy of his book.

The building in which the talk took place has an interesting history as well. Here is a photo showcasing the sculpture of an arm wielding a hammer next to a beautiful Tiffany window.

As I left the sun had come out and was casting glorious golden shadows on the buildings lining the street. Took a few photos and think there might be a painting or two down the road.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Art and Healing

Last night I attended a reception at one of Memorial Sloan Kettering's facilities where 3 of my paintings - 2 in the permanent collection and one on loan - were displayed among 121 art works installed throughout the facility on several floors. Cast Iron SoHo and NAC, my painting of the National Arts Club, were beautifully installed and lit. As Sarah Campbell, the MSK curator explains in the handout for Vantage Points, "down to the subtlest details, these artworks on view were strategically positioned based on how near or far individuals would be from each artwork and even their scope of peripheral vision. Vantage Points demonstrates the necessity of embracing that patients and caregivers are unique individuals with diverse tastes, preferences and needs. By viewing treatment centers from the vantage point of each patient and caregiver, one can more thoughtfully make decisions to serve and inspire them."

Several of my paintings are also included in installations in other MSK facilities. Back in March, the online art magazine, Hyperallergic ran an article "Curating for the Cure: Medical Facilities Embrace the Power of Art" and some of my work was featured. Here is a link to the article.

As an artist and cancer survivor myself, I know first-hand the healing power that art - both creating it and viewing it - can bring.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Brooklyn Bridge Revisited

Brooklyn Bridge Looking East
Oil on canvas
10x10 inches

I just finished this painting of the Brooklyn Bridge, a view from lower Manhattan looking east. Never tire of looking at this magnificent icon of New York. I'd blocked this canvas in awhile ago and set it aside, waiting for the right time to tackle it. Not sure why I picked this time, as there is a lot of construction going on in my studio right now due to a restaurant remodel on the ground floor. Amid the sounds of drilling, hammering, welding and workmen coming in and out of my studio, I managed to finish this painting. Must have pretty good powers of concentration after all.

Currently working on two new paintings, larger scale this time. Just hoping an end to the construction is in sight.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

LIC - The Gantry

LIC Gantry II
Oil on panel
6x6 inches

Had a nice time during the LIC Arts Open Week-end. Saw several shows and visited some artist studios. Several friends from childhood joined me for brunch on Sunday at the Crescent Grill where I have 5 paintings on view in a group exhibition as well as several LIC-themed pillows. The pillows are almost all sold.

We went to see group exhibits in 2 old warehouse buildings, The Factory and the Falchi Buildings. Here we are standing in front of a deconstructed school bus sculpture, a fitting backdrop as we were in grade school together. In addition, I visited the Edison Price Lighting Gallery on Friday and was very impressed with their new gallery space. Among the studios I visited were those of Donna Levinstone, Elinore Schnurr, Zoe Morsette and Chi, all wonderful artists.

In all honesty, this 5-day event is a sprawling affair with way too many events and spaces to attend and visit. You really had to pick and choose. I saw some fine work, but I also saw some awful stuff. There is a lot of bad art being made today and one really has to sift through the junk to find those rare gems.

I'm posting this new study of the Long Island City Gantry today in honor of this past week's events in the neighborhood. Seriously thinking about working this one up into a larger painting.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

LIC Arts Open 2015

LIC manhole cover pillow

The Long Island City Arts Open is upon us next week and I will be participating this year in a group exhibition, STARS OF LONG ISLAND CITY, at the Dougherty Gallery at Crescent Grill. Opening Reception is Thursday, May 14, 6-8 pm. Located at 38-40 Crescent Street, Long Island City, NY. crescent

In addition to the paintings, I have created several LIC-themed pillows which will be available as well.

For a full festival guide listing, here is a link

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Citicorp building in LIC on the market

LIC 1889-1989
Oil on canvas
48x36 inches

Just read that the Citicorp building in Long Island City, constructed in the late 1980's is up for sale (see article). It is currently the tallest building in Queens, but might not be for long. I painted this while the building was under construction. An older brick building in the foreground was constructed in 1889 and I decided to tackle this subject to show how a neighborhood had changed over a century. Many of the places I've painted have disappeared, but in this case, it looks like ownership will change hands with the tower still stands in the ever changing neighborhood that is Long Island City.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Diego's Place IV

Diego's Place IV
Oil on canvas
9x12 inches

This is a recent painting of a rooftop view in Long Island City, looking toward the ever-changing Manhattan - and Queens - skyline. A commissioned piece, it was a challenge and I think I've caught the feeling of being up high and looking over the once thriving industrial landscape.