• echelmanFromNorth1square_crop Night court studio e-001

    Janet Echelman’s Dazzling Aerial Sculpture: for Boston, the Sky’s the Limit

    Mark Favermann

    5519_Janet-Echelman-Sculp 1With this one project, Boston has gone from a public art also-ran community to a serious cultural player.

    One glimpses a surreal vision when driving out of the Route 93 Tunnel at Boston’s downtown Purchase Street Exit: a gigantic but benign jellyfish-like apparition is floating up in the sky. This diaphanous sculptural presence, gently dancing and fluttering in space, seems to be swimming on the wind. Artist Janet Echelman’s public art work, entitled As If It Were Already Here and hosted by the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, is a stunning achievement, an indelible image that manages to seem both ephemeral and permanent. xxxxxx (more…)

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  • Rodick, Portrait, crop Frances Rodick (red pearls), 2012, archival pigment print, 100 x 81 cm. Courtesy of the artist-001

    Toronto’s Articsók Gallery: In Conversation with Contemporary Artist, Frank Rodick

    Emese Krunak-Hajagos

    Rodick, Portrait, Frances Rodick, Time, 2012, archival pigment print, 190 x 95 cm. Courtesy of the artistE.K-H: You are an internationally acclaimed Toronto artist with many exhibitions to your credit and numerous articles about your photographs. This is your first solo show in the city. Why have there not been any shows of your work previously? How did you and Articsok Gallery find each other?

    Left: Frank Rodick, ‘Francis Rodick, Time’ (2012), archival pigment print. All images courtesy of the artist.

    F.R: Actually, it’s not my first solo show in Toronto, but it is the “first” in ten years. The simplest reason for that is I’ve been busy with exhibitions outside the country, mostly in the US, Latin America and Europe. I’ve generally shown where I’ve been invited. Articsók Gallery found me through LinkedIn and my website. xxxxxx (more…)

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    America’s Spectacle of Desire: Theresa of Avila Meets Abercrombie & Fitch

    Richard Friswell

    Editor’s Note: In light of the recent sentencing of Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the death penalty, it is timely and meaningful to re-post an essay that appeared in ARTES in 2013, soon after that horrific day that killed and maimed so many. The intention here was not to focus on the events of the day, but to shed light on the dynamics of our American–and by extension– Western European culture. A tradition of conspicuous consumerism has long been a source of alienation and disenfranchisement for many, particularly those new to this way-of-life. Marginalized and angry, many seek out the comforting and enabling message of radical and reactionary groups, in an effort to gain a sense of personal power. Today’s headlines are filled with the narrative of inner city communities struggling with those very issues. Here, an examination of the history and precedent that might lead to dramatic acts against a consumer-centric society are examined, in an effort to attribute motive to an otherwise senseless act of violence… 

    “In a world which really is topsy-turvy, the true is a moment of the false.”  ~The Society of the Spectacle ~Guy Debord, French philosopher (1931-1994)

    www.artesmagazine.com

    Paris in the 1880s– Streets lined with posters advertising consumer goods

    On the night police intercepted the alleged Boston Marathon bombers, they were on their way to New York City to wreak more havoc—their objective: Times Square. With hundreds-of-thousands of people walking or driving through the square each day, it makes an ideal ‘soft’ target. But that doesn’t fully explain why the locale has been such an appealing destination for terrorists over the last decade. The deeper and more profound answer to the question, Why Times Square? rests with its symbolic value as a blatant manifestation of Western capitalism and fetishistic, material excess. It is the towering and imposing, flashing-neon equivalent of photographer, Eugène Atget’s 19th century photographs of Paris’ poster-strewn walls and jammed merchandise display windows, during its nascent rise as a modernized symbol of urban consumerism. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Goodspeed’s ‘Guys and Dolls,’ Got the Show Right Here

    Geary Danihy
    www.artesmagazine.com

    Scott Cote (Nicely-Nicely) and the cast of Goodspeed’s Guys and Dolls. All photos © Diane Sobolewski

    Goodspeed Opera House, on the banks of the Connecticut River in Haddam, CT, starts its new season under the guidance of executive director Michael Gennaro with the same style, spirit and professionalism that marked the productions of the Michael Price era. Its first offering is Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls,” one of the most successful of the Broadway musicals of the 1950s. It’s easy to see why the original show ran for 1,200 performances, and why this revival will please audiences throughout its two-month run. The show is well cast, artfully directed by Don Stephenson, and boasts an eye-catching set and period perfect costumes. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Theater Royalty, Helen Mirren brings Queen Elizabeth II to Broadway in ‘The Audience’

    Edward Rubin
    www.artesmagazine.com

    Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in Broadway production of ‘The Audience.’ All photos: Joan Marcus

    Mary-Louise Parker and Bruce Willis hosted the nomination announcement for the 2015 Tony Awards. Given the fascination with two of the world’s most popular ‘royals,’ Queen Elizabeth ll and Dame Helen Mirren, England’s answer to our own Meryl Streep—albeit with a lot more sex appeal oozing from every pore—Mirren was nominated for a Tony in the Best Actress category for her performance as Queen Elizabeth in ‘The Audience.’ xxxxxx (more…)

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    Picturing the Universe: The Contemporary Paintings of Ejay Weiss

    David S. Rubin
    www.artesmagazine.com

    Ejay Weiss, ‘Aquarium #11, The Reef’ (2013-14), mixed media, 55 1/2 x 44 1/4 x 5″

    As a high school student, Ejay Weiss did not excel in physics classes because he found the mathematical formulas that filled his textbooks to be abstract and meaningless. Yet, all his life, Weiss has been fascinated by the kinds of questions that physicists seek to answer: How did the universe get here? How does it work? How does one event impact another? For Weiss, speculative answers to such questions needed to be identified using a different language than the one that was being taught. As a practicing artist for more than fifty years, he has pursued investigations that are quite analogous to those of a physicist, but he has relied more on a creative process than a measured one, a process that expresses itself through visual thinking rather than numerical calculation or complex notation. Additionally, his investigations evidence the possibility for a peaceful coexistence between scientific and spiritual explanations. xxxxxx (more…)

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    In the Realm of Spectacle and Dreams: 19th c. Artists and Writers Shape a New America

    Richard Friswell

    639 coverCurator’s Note: This virtual gallery ‘exhibition’ will examine the self-image of America during the Gilded Age, Mark Twain’s derisive term for a period of U.S. industrial and cultural expansion during the last quarter of the 19th century. It offered rich material for some of America’s best-known artists and writers. This exhibition focuses specifically on the cities of the Northeast and their rural environs. The art selected for inclusion in not intended to illustrate the text in any direct or literal sense; any more than the narrative excerpts are meant to be descriptive of the meaning or intent of any painting. Rather, they combine to provide a contemporaneous view of the painters’ visible world and writers’ literary sphere. The pairing of ‘narrative’ painting with a ‘painterly’ narrative yields a multi-sensory experience for the virtual gallery visitor which will hopefully prove larger than the sum of its parts.

    Part I of this ‘exhibition will focus on the late 19th c. New England city. Readers may want to familiarize themselves with the text of William Howell’s The Rise of Silas Latham (1885). In it, the author offer a rich and colorful narrative ‘picture’ of city life in Boston at the turn of the century. His ‘naturalistic’ style of story-telling set the stage for a new brand of novel—one in which everyday events and the interior lives of his characters are central—clearly the way for a new form of ‘modern’ literature in the next century. xxxxxx (more…)

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    At Hartford’s Atheneum: ‘Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008’

    Richard Friswell

    athen LunaParkEntrancelg“The best show is the people themselves.” –Reginald Marsh

    The lights of Coney Island glowed on the horizon like a distant inferno, visible from miles at sea. A modern marvel of the Industrial Age, thousands flocked from the metropolis of New York to this beach-side park to witness the marvel of electricity, a crush of humanity drawn to its magical power like moths to a flame. The trap was cleverly set by its designers, combining the timeless allure of the beach with a garish display of carnival rides and circus-like freak show attractions, pushing the limits of human form and abilities. Towering edifices outlined against the night sky with rows of incandescent light bulbs too numerous to count served as a lure for the curious and seasoned visitor, alike. An acres-long boardwalk traced a line between the natural beauty of the sea and manmade wonders of the park. An ‘island’ in name only, the appellation itself—Coney Island—represented more a state of mind, free from life’s cares, than the physical reality of a narrow strip of real estate tucked along the margins of a sprawling cityscape. xxxxxx (more…)

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  • Venus Sandro_Botticelli_crop 2_La_nascita_di_Venere__-_edited

    Editor’s Letter: April, 2015

    Richard Friswell

    033“A work of art is the trace of a magnificent struggle.” ~Robert Henri

     

    Left: Henri Matisse, ‘Seated Woman’ (1935), Private collection

    Venus Rising

    The planet Venus hangs low in early spring air, gently pulsating in a jewel-toned, cobalt evening sky. A narrow band of deep orange and crimson still grips the horizon behind the distant tree line, reluctant to forfeit another day’s warming trend—harbinger of more sultry days to come. Almost too brilliant to be taken for a celestial form, this spherical object tricks the eye into believing it is an aircraft’s light, suspended in a holding pattern awaiting further instructions. Each night, Venus is joined on a near-collision course by the waxing or waning moon. Yet, the Old Man passes harmlessly and without fail on its course to the other side of the world. All this, in spite of the dim red glow of nearby planet Mars, a playful traffic light in the vastness of galactic space, appearing to signal “Stop!” This spectacle is not only beautiful, but awe-inspiring. One can easily imagine the ancients observing similar events high overhead, as they imparted meaning and message to these mystical planetary migrations. xxxxxx (more…)

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    At Westport Country Playhouse: In Lies There’s Truth. Of Course, Forsooth!

    Geary Danihy

    If you have the time, and don’t mind rhyme, that is, to verse you’re not averse, “The Liar” ‘tis, I’m sure you’ll find, a bit of show biz that’s rather fine. Left: Rusty Ross (Clinton) and Aaron Krohn (Dorante) in David Ives’ “The Liar,” at Westport Country Playhouse, All photos by Carol Rosegg. The opening production of »more

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    New Haven’s Long Wharf Theater: Margaret Colin and…

    Geary Danihy

    …Conflict. It’s the essence of drama. No conflict—no drama. There simply has to be something up for grabs, and the degree and intensity of the grabbing quite often dictates the emotional involvement of the audience. So, how involved is the audience in “The Second Mrs. Wilson,” a new play by Joe DiPietro in its world »more

  • Laurel Casillo in ELEVADA by Sheila Callaghan, directed by Jackson Gay. Photo by Carol Rosegg, 2015.

    Yale Rep’s ‘Elevata': A Tangled Tango of Relationships

    Geary Danihy

    If you glance through the program for “Elevada,” a new play by Sheila Callaghan that is enjoying its premiere at the Yale Repertory Theatre, you might think you are in for an excursion into 21st-century urban techno-realism, or perhaps a ponderous, solipsistic, pseudo-agonizing reflection on the world of electronic alienation and self-absorbed slaves to the »more

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