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Get Lost! (Lost in Battery Park, that is)

monuments_sphere

                                                      Fritz Koenig’sThe Sphere

          It is the stillness after the storm, a place for reflection on the violence that occurred nearby in lower Manhattan. It is what Mayor Michael Bloomberg called a symbol of the “power of art to heal.”

            The Sphere, a globe sculpted by the German artist Fritz Koenig, is the only structure to survive and remain standing after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The 45,000-pound steel and brass work, its face dented, chipped, fragmented, scuffed and scratched, now rests in a quiet place in Battery Park, a short distance from Ground Zero.

            More than survivor, the Sphere plays the role of witness, a witness that bears physical evidence of the assault. According to an interview in the online magazine Echo Germanica with Koenig’s translator, Percy Adlon, “They found the innards of one airplane inside a hole that was ripped open in the top of the sculpture. They found a bible in there, an airline seat, papers from offices on the top floor.  It became its own cemetery.”

            Originally, Koenig was opposed to resuscitating this small graveyard, but, later told the World Trade Center Commemoration on-line, that he eventually realized that, in its scarred survival, the Sphere “has a different beauty, one I could never imagine…it has its own life-different from the one I gave to it.”

              This sculpture conveys a symbolic spiritual message. Unknown forces transcend human limitations and the struggle for power and domination. The moment when the sun hits the Sphere, casting off gold flecks, marks the transition from minor to major, melancholic cords yielding to harmony.  

Confused at the panoply of memorabilia on the lawn, a little boy asks his mother, “What do we take?”

 Embarrassed, his mother scolds him, “We don’t take anything. We’re just looking at it.”

 But looking is itself a form of appropriation. Each person takes away something different. Observing the scene was Asia Henderson, a Park Enforcement officer from the city, someone who sees The Sphere every day. When asked what the statue meant to her, she paused. “It’s a symbol of hope. Life goes on.”

Upon exiting the Battery Park gates, you will find yourself on the New York Streets with the bustle of cars, red sightseeing buses, taxies, sirens, and honks. Life goes on, on the streets, near Ground Zero, in Manhattan skyscrapers, in private homes.

Anyone who yearns for that moment of stillness after the storm should Get Lost, lost in Battery Park, and visit the tree-sheltered Sphere.

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Gen Art’s The New Garde: LA Fashion Week, March 2008

 Since 2003, Gen Art has given the opportunity to emerging fashion talent to display their work in high-profile group runway shows and fashion presentations in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago. Designers debuted by Gen Art include: Zac Posen, Rebecca Taylor, and Philip Lim for Development.

Taking place during L.A’s Fashion Week, the New Garde sashayed at the Park Plaza Hotel,showcasing designers including Jessie Kamm, J. Mary, and Le Sang des Betes.

 Upon Entering the Park Plaza, guests were greeted with a Singing in the Rain and Grecian Goddess motif. Three young gamines, encapsulated in clear white boxes and holding transparent umbrellas, smiled bravely while faux raindrops splashed upon their fetching bright blue dresses. They carried parasols labeled Botox, a cynical insinuation that a wrinkle-free complexion can keep rainy days at bay?

 

 

 A few steps beyond, tall, willowy Graces in floor-length yellow and white draped gowns, stood atop platforms, like Aphrodite or Galatea, ready to spring to life. The blue dresses conveyed a sense of playfulness, outfits to wear to paint the town red. On the other hand, the yellow and white gowns expressed formality, attire for a wedding, while the fringe hinted at the potential for kicking up one’s heels, a throwback to the Charleston, Roaring Twenties, and visions of Daisy Buchanan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J. Mary’s demi-couture employs structured feminine tailoring, evoking Film noir, enthralling Femme Fatales of the 1940’s in their trench coats and power suits.   J. Mary favors dark colors, and the rotating runway of the Gen Art show hinted at smoke and mirrors, a mystery lurking behind the curtain.

                                                     J. Mary

Jessie Kamm displayed her collection in an Out of Africa Motif, a tableaux of models standing inside a khaki-colored tent replete with exotic plumage and plants. On the pulse of fashion, Kamm’s work corresponds with the popular safari trend that has taken the runways by a Botswana storm. Kamm’s clothes are eminently wearable, from the classic white shirt and khaki pants that can take one from work to travel in the Serengeti. Kamm’s work reminds women to put their best foot forward; it is, afterall, a jungle out there.

Jesse Kamm

  Nature is a recurring motif in Kamm’s work; a trip to Joshua Tree National Park, inspired her Desert Death collection. Monarch Butterflies, tortoises, and rabbits transform tunics, tanks, and hooded capes into wearable art. (See http://www.jessekamm.com/).

 Kamm draws the original designs by hand. Vogue calls her work, “artisinal hipster” clothing, but her ethic goes beyond the simply hip. Kamm, along with her scientist husband, Lucas Brower, own land in Panama that they are converting into a sustainable sanctuary which runs on solar power and rainwater. Beyond the runway, the fashion, and the spectacle, looking to the Earth for inspiration and striving to protect her is what is truly beautiful.

 

 

 Text and Photography Copyright © 2008 LMS

 

 

 

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Peripatetics: Jump into LA’s only cultural cab

You are not alone

For those in Los Angeles, Cultural Cocktail Hour can also serve as a menu to cultural events around the city. If you would like to entertain out of town guests or are looking for your own artistic adventure, consider this your Cultural Taxi (and yes, I will be covering New York as well!)

Cultural Cocktail Los Angeles

1 Part Dudamel

2 Oz of The Getty Malibu

2 Teaspoons Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

And a Splash of BCAM

Shaken, Not Stirred

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Good evening from your Resident Mixologist

 

Time to A-Muse Ourselves!

Calliope, Erato, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Company.

Time to A-Muse Ourselves!

 

Welcome!

Cultural Cocktail Hour is a happy hour in which we can share shots of music, swizzles of fine art, chasers of literature, frappees of fashion, and nips of theater.

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