IKON by Nychos at Jonathan LeVine Gallery



Kurt Vonnegut said, “To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.”  I believe we all have an innate desire to create — to produce something we can call our own, however big or small — whether we’re painting, baking a cake, taking a photograph, or writing.  Every now and again an artist is able to hone his or her craft to the point of achieving a signature style, one so recognizable that it’s associated instantly with that individual.  Nychos, the Austrian illustrator and urban street artist, is fortunate to be one of those talents. Continue reading IKON by Nychos at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Manus X Machina at the Metropolitan Museum of Art



I have a confession to make: I am terrible at being a girl.  I’m tragically unromantic, I’m disastrously undomestic, and I’m really not much of a nurturer.  I pluck my eyebrows only when they’re one step away from becoming a unibrow, and I mostly sport unpainted, barely trimmed nails.  But I love fashion.  (I spoke a little about my fashion obsession in this post.)  When I find myself in the presence of pretty, pretty clothes, it’s the only time I feel 100% like a girl.  So I was thoroughly excited to finally make my way to the Manus X Machina exhibition at the Met to indulge my oft-neglected girly side. Continue reading Manus X Machina at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

[disrupt] at Story



As a typically angst-ridden, rebellious teenager living under the crushingly onerous, authoritarian regime of my strict, socially conservative parents, there was a particular allure to novelty shops such as the seedy, provocative Spencer’s Gifts and the subversive, iconoclastic Hot Topic.  Fortunately, one or the other could be found in virtually every mall in the American Midwest. And even though I rarely, if ever, purchased anything at these establishments, I fondly recall the hours surrendered perusing the shelves and racks filled with random, quirky objects, never knowing quite what it was I’d find on any given visit. But eventually I grew up, my sensibilities evolved and interest in such trivial things waned. Continue reading [disrupt] at Story

Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival


Meet Felipe Rangel, a talented artist who constructs colorful, dramatic vejigante masks.  The vejigante is a folkloric figure central to the Puerto Rican Carnival that takes place in Ponce every February. With its characteristic snout, sharp teeth, and multitudes of horns, vejigantes are a distinctive part of the cultural celebration.  Much like with the Mardi Gras Indian costumes (you might recall them if you watched Treme), there is tremendous pride in the craft of creating the mask, and Felipe was on hand to show it off at the recent Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival organized by the Museum at Eldridge Street last Sunday.   Continue reading Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival

She Loves Me on Broadway



When I was younger, our family would spend the Christmas holidays visiting family in Singapore.  My uncle was a fan of musicals and often had the recordings playing during our stay.  I’d grown familiar with the scores of Cabaret and Jesus Christ Superstar, but had never actually seen a production.  Then during the Grammy Awards in 1988 they featured a performance from Phantom of the Opera, and I became obsessed.  When I finally made it to New York City, watching Phantom of the Opera was at the top of my to-do list, and it was the perfect culmination of my Broadway dreams.   Continue reading She Loves Me on Broadway

Shining City at the Irish Repertory Theatre


Ten years after a successful and critically acclaimed Broadway production, the Irish Repertory Theatre’s revival of Conor McPherson’s Shining City has very, very big shoes to fill — and to our delight, fill them they have, indeed. Continue reading Shining City at the Irish Repertory Theatre

The Cloisters


“Could I get a knife and fork?”

“There were no utensils in medieval times, hence there are no utensils at Medieval Times. Would you like a refill on that Pepsi?”

“There were no utensils but there was Pepsi?”

Cable Guy, 1996

Everyone’s a fan of Arthurian legend, whether you fell in love with The Sword in the Stone as a child, or with Monty Python and the Holy Grail as an adult.  Your favorite Arthur might be Sean Connery, while your favorite Guinevere might be Ava Gardner.  You might’ve liked Steinbeck’s traditional retelling, or Mark Twain’s humorous alternative history version.  There’s just something about the warrior king, the code of chivalry, the mysticism, drama and romance of the time that intoxicates.  And it’s those same magical elements you’ll find at The Cloisters. (No dinner and jousting though, sorry.) Continue reading The Cloisters

Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit



The boots, sweaters and coats of winter have long since gone to storage. The loafers, khakis, and jackets of spring have surreptitiously migrated to the bottom of the chest of drawers. And now, mercifully, the time for sundresses, chino shorts and flip flops — the compulsory uniform of summer — has finally arrived and New York City, in its typically brash, exploitative, never-halfway approach to everything, doesn’t just passively accept this change, it embraces it with something nearing pathology.  Continue reading Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit

Cindy Sherman at Metro Pictures Gallery



Cindy Sherman is the definition of a controversial artist — which, according to some, makes her a true artist.  Some find her work distasteful, or lacking in depth, while others find her work inspiring, innovative and provocative.  Regardless of which side you find yourself on, her influence in the art world cannot be denied.  Cindy Sherman is an American artist who is best known for turning self-portraiture on its head.  She acts simultaneously as photographer and model, but her pieces are narratives within a scene, so she also fills the role of writer, creative director, set designer, costume designer and makeup artist.  Her collections might capture her likeness as movie actresses, or as historical figures, or as clowns.  She has employed prosthetics and masks to alter her appearance or as standalone props.   Continue reading Cindy Sherman at Metro Pictures Gallery

Vulture Festival and Film Club at the Crosby Street Hotel



My obsession with New York City started early, and when I was a college student in Cleveland I would regularly fantasize about a life in the big, bright city.  I browsed through the New York Times’ real estate listings and weekend magazines, perused the New Yorker’s articles and cartoons, and pored over New York Magazine’s news and reviews.  I’m still a New York Magazine subscriber today because it was quick to move into the online digital arena, where, like the growing majority, I choose to get most of my news now.   Continue reading Vulture Festival and Film Club at the Crosby Street Hotel