Saturday, October 21, 2017

Artist Magdalena Suarez Frimkess

Chelsea Morning
We have had a string of incredibly beautiful days. Sunny and crisp, golden trees, blue skies. On one of these mornings I traveled to the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. The weather put me in an euphoric state as I strolled slowly down West 22nd Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. The street is lined with trees and stately brownstones. Residents have lined their steps and small front gardens with Autumn touches. There are Chrysanthemums, pumpkins and the odd skeleton and tombstone, as Halloween is near. 
I was walking on air, it seemed.
I thought to myself, "Something great is
going to happen today."
What I love about these elegant neighborhoods
is that they are so artful compared to my
scrappy Lower East Side.
A creative arrangement of gourds and
the big cabbage thing.
Shadows play on a Chelsea facade.
 I would hire Dutchman Contracting
based on their sign alone.
 My destination this day was the Kaufmann Repetto
Gallery where there was a solo exhibition of the work of
Magdalena Suarez Frimkess.
 Suarez Frimkess works in small-scale ceramics
which are hand-painted and glazed.
Her work is fanciful; the tentative
quality heightens a sense of poetry.
This stern little tiger cat exemplifies
her imaginative approach.
 88-year-old Magdalena Suarez Frimkess was born in
Caracas, Venezuela and lives in Venice, California.
She is inspirational to me as I
hope to be creating art at her age. 
She often uses pop, cartoon characters in her work.
I love the broken-down quality of this cup.
These heads remind me of Paul Klee's puppets.
 A drawing by Suarez Frimkess.
She selects her subjects from her day's encounters,
which she says is like selecting a dish from a menu.
A teapot with a funny drawing.
A scary cup.
A drawing on clay with a rogue's gallery
of cartoon characters.
Teacup with one of my favorites flowers: the pansy.
A mouse or a dog? in a dress.

Something great did happen. A couple asked
me how to get up on the Highline, the railroad line
running above Chelsea that has been made
in to a wondrous park.
She was from Paris, and dressed in pretty things and
colors. We spoke French.

A Bientot!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Exploring Fashion at
The Museum at FIT
My friend, Debra Rapoport, let me know about a free fashion symposium at FIT (the Fashion Institute of Technology). Yesterday I met Debra and some other friends to attend this fascinating event and see the two accompanying exhibitions: Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme and Force of Nature.

The symposium began with a presentation by Patricia Mears, deputy director of the museum. She is a fabulous presenter, beginning her talk with the opening music from 2001: A Space Odyssey. She gave an overview of the exhibition which essentially draws relationships between exploration of extreme environments and its influence on fashion.
Exploration of the North and South Poles
led to designers like Joseph Altuzarra
designing parkas.
Here is Jenna Lyons, formerly of J. Crew,
looking lovely in the snow in the
Altuzarra parka.
 The scaling of Mount Everest was a factor in
designs for down-filled garments and puffer jackets.
Here is a color-block ensemble
by Junya Watanabe for Comme des Garcons
from the 2004 collection.
 A beautiful paisley, fur-trimmed coat
by Yohji Yamamoto echos the Arctic theme...
 as does this Isaac Mizrahi ensemble of
a flowing taffeta skirt paired with a parka.
 The moon landing is another of the extreme
explorations covered in the exhbition.
Here are two geometric dresses
displayed in a structure meant to bring to
mind a space capsule.
 Intermission found us having lunch at
Kobeyaki. Judy ordered a spicy roll.
 This was my lunch, a chicken Teriyaki burger.
It was delicious and I loved the packaging.
The afternoon program featured 
Patricia Mears interviewing the
iconic Norma Kamali.
 Norma relayed many anecdotes. She exercises
every day, and loves to swim hence the importance of her swimsuit line.
Paramount to her philosophy is her
desire to live a creative life.
The famous Farrah Fawcett poster. 
She is wearing a Kamali suit.
Norma Kamali's "sleeping bag" coat
appeared in the late 1970s. 
She was camping and had to pee. She picked up
her sleeping bag and went out into the woods with
the sleeping bag around her shoulders. This
gave her the idea for a coat. She went home and cut the
sleeping bag up and used every part of it for the coat.
She is still using the same pattern today. 

À Bientôt!