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Contents 21 / Go with the Grain Designer Joelle Andrew’s bentwood handbags gloriously blend nature and fashion 28 / Gordon’s Good Reads The place to find a good read 32 / What’s In Your Cellar? When to open, when to age

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34 / Events + Gatherings 42 / Turkish Tee’s Golfing and travel in Turkey 46 / Travel Costa Rica - An adventure for man and machine 52 / Appetite 73 Elm, Chef Brian Lewis’ sleek farm-to-table restaurant takes root in New Canaan 54 / DIMONscapes® Outside the lines with digital doyenne Roz Dimon Roz Dimon

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62 / Motoring Aston Martin One-77

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Cover:

"Psalm 19," a DIMONscape® created in 2009 by featured artist Roz Dimon. Visit ArtStory.net to take an on-line journey inside the thoughts and images that comprise this multi-layered digital painting.

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An incredible location in the heart of downtown, close to absolutely everything. The finest amenities available, elegantly designed with sleek lines, calming hues and inviting textures. This Parallel life is unlike anything you can find in Stamford, and it’s real. Think of it as a first class upgrade for your lifestyle.

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Following the success of Art Greenwich this past fall, we are pleased to present the premiere of Art Greenwich over Memorial Day weekend. The Fair will feature international galleries presenting 20th and 21st century contemporary art & design, art talks with noted experts, and al fresco dining and cocktails on the sky deck. Taking place at the Delamar Greenwich Harbor in partnership with the 2nd annual Greenwich Town Party, it’s the place to be Memorial Day weekend for fabulous art, music, food and festivities.

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CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


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Contents 66 / Boating Azimut Magellano 50 - The first modern and luxury long range yacht 70 / Music It’s Only Rock and Roll 72 / Art Barbara Rothenberg 76 / Art Serge Clement & Marina Kamena

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80 / Decorative Arts On The Block 81 / Comic Relief Mike Jacobs 82 / Stage February House, a daring new musical opens in New York 85 / Fox On FIlm Rex Reed: “Dreams? I’ve already Lived Them all.” 87 / Fiction Learning to Fly

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CONTEMPORARY CULTURE

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Showcasing local Arts, Culture, and Style without any contrived formality. VENÜ is published six times a year as a fresh yet discerning guide to art, culture and style throughout Connecticut and beyond. Not too artsy or too fussy, we’re thoughtfully written for the curious, the acquisitive, and those devoted to the one-of-a-kind and hard-to-find.

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President, Creative Director: J. Michael Woodside Vice President, Executive Director: Tracey Thomas Copy Editors: Cindy Clarke, Michael Foley, Brian Solomon Senior Arts Editor: Philip Eliasoph Film & Entertainment Editor: Peter J. Fox Decorative Arts Editor: Matthew Sturtevant Publisher: Venü Media Company Art, Design & Production: Venü Media Company Contributing Writers: Bristol Bowen, Cindy Clarke, Laura Einstein, Bobby Harris, Nancy Helle, Lorenz Josef, Lawrence LaManna, Ryan Odinak, Bruce Pollock, Bari Alyse Rudin, Lisa Seidenberg, Brian Solomon, William Squier Business Development: Shelly Harvey/Connecticut, Liz Marks/New York Legal Counsel: Alan Neigher, Sheryle Levine (Byelas & Neigher, Westport, CT) Distribution: Thomas Cossuto, Man In Motion, LLC Office: 840 Reef Road, 2nd Floor, Fairfield, CT 06824 +1.203.333.7300 Tel +1.203.333.7301 Fax venumagazine.com Advertising Sales: advertising@venumagazine.com Editorial Contribution: editorial@venumagazine.com Subscriptions: Call 203.333.7300 subscribe@venumagazine.com

The small print: No responsibility can be taken for the quality and accuracy of the reproductions, as this is dependent upon the artwork and material supplied. No responsibility can be taken for typographical errors. The publishers reserve the right to refuse and edit material as presented. All prices and specifications to advertise are subject to change without notice. The opinions in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. Copyright VENÜ MAGAZINE. All rights reserved. The name VENÜ MAGAZINE is copyright protected. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without written consent from the publisher. VENÜ MAGAZINE does not accept responsibility for unsolicited material. This is a bimonthly publication and we encourage the public, galleries, artists, designers, photographers, writers (calling all creatives) to submit photos, features, drawings, etc., but we assume no responsibility for failure to publish submissions. 18

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PEOPLE + IDEAS

ENTREPRENEUR

by Bristel Bowen

Go With The Grain

Supplii bentwood handbags gloriously blend nature and fashion Designer Joelle Andrew’s greatest professional achievement stemmed from what seemed like an undeniable failure at her craft. She was in architecture school, and struggled to master the process of creating a bentwood chair for a design assignment. She tried and tried to achieve the desired result using the methods taught in class, but continued to miss the mark. After the passage of many years, a little bit of trial and error and a lot of creativity, Andrew was finally inspired to take on the process again—to take something that simply would not work and turn it into something that would. It was with this

determination that she launched Supplii, a line of handbags made entirely out of bentwood, using a process that defies almost every commonly accepted convention in the industry. As she puts it, “I failed miserably on that bentwood project in school, and I have been trying to make amends ever since. The method taught was messy, cumbersome and generated a lot of wasted material. At scale, making a chair with bentwood proved to be unmanageable for one person to make without another set of hands or expensive equipment. So I have been consumed by the possibilities of a more simplified, achievable

process that could be extended to a variety of products at a variety of scales.” Andrew’s vision for Supplii is to apply the bentwood process – dating back hundreds of years, yet popularized by legendary designers like Thonet and Eames through modern furniture trends – to the handbags and wearable consumer products market. She wanted to extend the conventional techniques and discover something all her own, using a process all her own, and create something that had never been seen before. She studied the techniques of instrument makers and furniture designers in an attempt to constantly improve her process. Many craftsmen told her that what she was trying to achieve could not be done, but she pushed on, and with the help and support of her husband and two children, she finally landed on a process that was successful. With not a single thread, strap, hinge or zipper in sight, Supplii bags seem like an impossibility. Andrew’s propriety process allows the wood itself to act as the hinge, serve as the feet, offer the external shell and the interior space. She capitalizes on the tensile nature of wood to eliminate the need for additional materials. Andrew leveraged her diverse background in process-inspired design disciplines such as architecture, scenic design, and urban planning, to identify the previously unseen intersection between a historically relevant bentwood process and modern fashion accessories. She now utilizes her minimalist aesthetic to create fashion pieces that are not only unique and functional, but sophisticated and artistic. Launched in 2011, The Supplii Toolbox Series, includes a Tote, Clutch and the recently-added Mini-Clutch. The all-bentwood architecture of the Supplii handbag makes it like no other purse available. At less than twelve ounces, the wood is lightweight and durable. Every single handbag is distinct, reflecting the unique grain markings and striations of that particular piece of wood. The bags are surprisingly pliable, yet consistently true to the Supplli form. Each design is available in Maple or Black Walnut, and contains a silicon cranberry red interior floor. “Supplii is all about wood—fine surface grade veneer wood that makes up the entirety of the bag. Inspired by the amazing furniture designers who popularized and commercialized bentwood products with their modern masterpieces, these bags are for the minimalists who veer

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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PEOPLE + IDEAS

ENTREPRENEUR

The first all-bentwood handbag. Layered sheets of wood - organic, protective, structurally resilient - note and remember Supplii's Bauhausinspired persuasions by taking a form that feels incredibly comfortable in the hand and against the body.

toward modern lines and handbags with uncommon textile properties and for the admirers of natural wood’s organic beauty” says Andrew. With the functionality and utility that’s innate in a wooden handbag, it may seem easy to underestimate the beauty of the Toolbox Series, or perhaps doubt its femininity, but in fact the bags possess a striking, high-fashion aesthetic. The clean lines and luxurious craftsmanship of these handbags position Supplii seamlessly amongst the revered designer handbags of fashion editorial esteem. “Each bag is created by hand in my workshop in Austin. Automation only goes so far in the pursuit of art and luxury,” says Andrew. “Articulating a form out of natural resources requires detailed finishing and a personalized touch to tame the wood’s variations and unpredictable beauty. It’s what I do and I absolutely love it.” Andrew also works tirelessly to tread lightly on the environment. Given that the beauty of natural wood is what truly inspires her, she celebrates her materials by practicing sustainability in everything she does. Every Supplii bag is made with no- and lowVOC glues, water-based finishes, and wood

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CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

that has been sustainably harvested. “For me, there was no other option than to practice sustainability in creating Supplii. Working with a material as beautiful, organic and pure as wood has given me an appreciation for our natural resources,” Andrews says. “I’m grateful to be able to work, create and thrive everyday using this material that’s so integral to our environment, and I want to celebrate that.” Many galleries and museums have begun carrying the Supplii Toolbox Series in their gift shops, due to the unusual yet flawless blend of art and fashion the bags represent. It’s not unusual for an admirer to stop Andrew on the street while she’s carrying her Supplii bag, and ask where she got it. The line has also taken off internationally because of its clean, almost androgynous appeal and distinctive use of such a ubiquitous material.” Having mastered the bentwood process, Andrew is pursuing a patent and plans to take on new designs this year. Next up will be a new handbag line inspired by circles—a line that uses softer curves to further expand on the bentwood concept. She also plans to capitalize on the naturally masculine appeal of her wooden designs

by adding a men’s fashion accessory to the Supplii line-up. “My journey in creating Supplii has been one of discovery—of pushing my limits as an artist and designer to create something unexpected. I love showing people that the seemingly impossible is possible, and introducing them to something beautiful that they never would have experienced otherwise,” says Andrew. “With that in mind, I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. I can’t wait to see what pops out of my workshop next.”

The Supplii Toolbox Series can be purchased online at www.Supplii.com. Supplii’s next line is planned for launch this year.


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BOOKS

GORDON’S GOOD READS The place to find a good read...

by Gordon Hastings

It is time to ask oneself the perennial questions about summer reading choices. My recommendation is to make the summer of 2012 the summer of the Classics! Followers of Gordon’s Good Reads are familiar with my penchant for catching up with the great writers of the past and discovering the relevancy of the great book almost regardless of when it was written. There are many resources to find the classic “good read” but one of the best is The Modern Library 100 Best Novels. Modern Library www.modernlibrary.com actually provides two recommendations, The Editorial Board’s list and the Reader’s List, which include many similarities as well as some surprises. I also think you will be impressed by the names on the Modern Library Editorial Board that includes such great writers as Maya Angelou, Caleb Carr, Ron Chernow, Shelby Foote, Edmund Morris, Joyce Carol Oates, William Styron and Gore Vidal. Good company, great titles, good reads!

Unfulfilled Expectations - The Presidency The Nation Urgently Needed

Seymour Hersh Got It Right In 1997! Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh received heavy criticism for his 1997 book The Dark Side of Camelot, which is filled with assertions regarding the sexual exploitations of JFK, both in and outside the White House. Some of his critics went so far as to say Hersh “made it up.” Well, it now appears that he was right on! Mimi Alford’s Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and its Aftermath largely substantiates Hersh’s reporting in The Dark Side of Camelot, including the pool parties and the interns. Hersh’ s writing also includes much inside detail on more substantative political subjects including the Bay of Pigs Invasion and Kennedy’s relationships with mob boss Sam Giancana. Hersh may be best known when in 1969, he broke the story of the My Lai Massacre in The New York Times, in which hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese civilians were murdered by US soldiers in March, 1968. The report prompted widespread condemnation around the world and reduced public support for the Vietnam War in the United States. He received the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. So if you have doubts about Mimi Alford’s account and want to establish a base line reference add The Dark Side of Camelot to your reading. Truthfully, in The Dark Side of Camelot the sexual exploits are a side bar to a very well written inside look at the Kennedy Administration and all of the players in the cast. A “good read.”

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ARTS/CULTURE/STYLE//MAGAZINE

In Destiny of the Republic Candice Millard has composed a work of non-fiction on the assassination of the nation’s 20th president, James Garfield. In a book that reads like a historical novel, Millard weaves the true story of a man who never sought the presidency, but accepted the Republican nomination in 1880 with a sense of responsibility to the nation. Garfield, born into abject poverty, was the last of the “log cabin” presidents. He came into office at a time when the nation sorely needed a person with the vision to bring the country together and move on from the lingering tragedy of the Civil War’s division. Garfield rose to that challenge and was welcomed by the citizenry as a healer. Millard carefully combines the promise of the Garfield presidency with the tragedy of the bullet of deranged assassin Charles Guiteau that left Garfield clinging to life over four months. The author uncovers the fear of Vice President Chester Arthur, placed in that position by New York power broker Roscoe Conkling, who after Garfield’s death sought to return to the levers of power through Arthur. You will discover a positive turn of hand in this relationship. Destiny of the Republic also exposes the ignorance within the country’s medical community by it’s refusal to adopt the standards of modern antiseptic medicine developed in England by Joseph Lister. Tragically, Garfield did not die from Guiteu’s gunshot wound but rather from infection caused by the ignorance and ego of Dr. D. Willard Bliss, who’s unclean hands and instruments along with his enormous ego, caused the deadly infection that killed Garfield. Millard tells the story of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the


www.gordonsgoodreads.com telephone and admirer of Garfield, trying desperately to develop an instrument to find the bullet in Garfield’s body. Yes, it reads like a novel, but every word is true, including the revelation of the little known fact that Todd Lincoln was the only person present at the death of three of the four assassinated American presidents, his father, Garfield and McKinley.   I believe that Pulitzer Prize winning author Debby Applegate  who wrote The Most Famous Man in America correctly summarizes  Destiny of the Republic in her dust cover quote, ”Candice Millard has rediscovered one of the great forgotten stories in American history. Millard has turned Garfield’s story into a crackling tale of suspense and a panoramic picture of a fascinating but forgotten era.” Millard also wrote River of Doubt which was named best book of the year by the New York Times Book Review in 2006. River of Doubt is the story of Theodore Roosevelt’s journey into an uncharted part of the Amazon. For you Roosevelt fans, this is another great recommendation to add to the Roosevelt postings on Gordon’s Good Reads.

a nymph sinking on a leopard-skin, and with the native sweetness of her voice forcing him to listen till she spoke again.” In writing The Bostonians, James is coming back to his roots in the United States but in retrospect, the novel may well have been set in the parlors of New York. However, the venerable Miss Birdseye is definitely a Bostonian! Unlike his later novels, The Wings of the Dove and The Ambassadors, The Bostonians received little acclaim and was in fact scoffed upon by writers including Mark Twain. The Bostonians was made into a movie in 1984 starring Vanessa Redgrave and Christopher Reeve, which also received modest notices. A footnote. Henry James novels always seem to contain favorite words. In The Wings of the Dove the word is ”prodigious.” In The Bostonians time and again James uses the word “rejoinder,” which means to answer a question. Henry James , writing the word “answer” would be much too simple. ”Rejoinder” heightens the magnitude of simple prose. I believe Henry James accomplishes the same in every paragraph he wrote. While reading The Bostonians I wondered if in 1926 Sinclair Lewis could possibly have developed the idea for his Elmer Gantry after discovering Verena Tarrant in The Bostonians? Possible? The Bostonians is one more reason why looking back for a “good read.” is so rewarding. Great novels are never dated.

The Bostonians by Henry James The Bostonians (1886) by Henry James is another extraordinary example of character development and story telling. In that sense, The Bostonians is not unlike James’ The Wings of the Dove which he wrote in 1902.  A love triangle between two women and a southern gentleman set in Boston, New York and Cape Cod. Olive Chancellor, a wealthy leading citizen of Boston, becomes fascinated with a young and ravishing Verena Tarrant, who was being promoted by her parents as a sort of mystic for hire  to perform at fashionable Boston salons. Olive, a leader in the early feminist movement in Boston, sees Verena’s talents and speaking skills better used as an advocate for women’s rights. She literally buys her from her parents! A bit of satire from James about Olive, the zealot reformer. Arriving upon the scene is Basil Ransom, Olive’s distant cousin from Mississippi who outspokenly detests the feminist movement.  Instantly, Ransom falls in love with Verena. “My dear madam,” says Ransom to Olive, “does a woman consist of nothing but her opinions? I like Miss Tarrant’s lovely face better, to begin with.” I need say no more about where the narrative for this epic conflict takes the reader, especially as Ransom discovers  that Olive’s love for the young evangelist is equal to his own. Henry James has great ability to develop astonishing female characters in his novels. I first discovered that in The Wings of the Dove. The women in his books evolve in wonderful detail of personality and emotion. Verena: “She appeared to him as a creature of brightness, but now she lighted up the place, she irradiated, she made everything that surrounded her of no consequence, dropping upon the shabby sofa with an effect as charming as if she had been

Locked On – Hard To Put Down! Locked On by Tom Clancy with Mark Greaney jumps into the action literally on page one! There is no waiting to begin another Clancy journey and all of the familiar characters assume their roles as the saga continues! What other spy novel gets you up at 4 A.M. to see if Sam Driscoll gets extracted from prison in Waziristan? John Kelly becomes an enemy of the state in a bitter dispute with President Kealty whom Ryan is about to unseat. While the re-election of Jack Ryan Sr. as president is a given, nuclear war heads in the hands of Islamic Terrorists is a drama played out from beginning to end. All of Clancy’s high-tech innovations, clever and pointed tie-ins to current political events and themes permeate this new Clancy novel. The India-Pakistan conflict escalates and there is even a love interest for Jack, Jr and that too becomes a cliff hanger for the next edition. Did Mary Pat Foley make a good choice at as match-maker? We will have to wait for that answer. I am happy to place Locked On in my library next to my hard cover collection of his fifteen previous novels. If you are a Clancy fan I think you will feel them same way.

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Saltmarsh, 6" x 12"

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Upcoming Art Show... and sale June 9th, 2012 Brenda Jacobsen, a local artist from Darien, CT will be exhibiting her paintings at the CCNS Art Show. For additional information please visit www.ccnsartshow.com.

brenda.a.jacobsen@gmail.com (203) 253-5634 brendajacobsen.com

BRENDA JACOBSEN brendajacobsen.com


Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s In Your Cellar?

By Lawrence LaManna, Founder, Sommelier Wine Academy

When to Open, When to Age?

Lawrence LaManna Wine Business Consulting Services Wine Educator Founder, Sommelier Wine Academy (est.1981) Contact: info@sommelierwineacademy.net

All too often for those of you with wine cellars, knowing when to open your cellared wine can end up being in a crap shoot. How do we really know when to show it off to our guests or loved ones? We really do not know. There are guidelines from the past, but can we rely on them for our personal collection?

W

ine is a living thing. Vines are alive, grapes are alive, yeast is alive, fermented juice in the sealed bottle becomes dormant, but it's still alive. How many years can this product last? Guidelines from the past tell us the alcohol, acids, sugar (if present) all are contributors to the longevity of the wine. Track record and history of the estate, winery, and product, are also use-

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able guidelines for your collectable. These factors are all part of the mix in determining usage as long as there is accurate cellar performance. 56 degrees â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 58 degrees with 60 percent humidity are the mandatory requirements for optimum collecting. Wineries, estates, producers, of top quality wines are very adamant about temperature. Their cellars are correct.

Problems do arise in the transportation of the wine. Estates of the highest quality demand temperature controls for their shipping and most container companies comply. The shipments then reach their destination (port) where another shipper (trucker), takes the wine to a warehouse and from there to a retail outlet. Retail outlets should have controlled storage where customers could be assured of consistency of temperatures. Any temperature change of 10 degrees or more in a day can result in a challenged longevity of the wine. Can we trust this system? We have no choice. All is well and good, but how do we know when the wine is ready? Fortunately, there have been many wines enjoyed


Wine + Spirits

and written about that create a track record. Bordeaux first through fifth growths have all been tasted young and rated by various writers to give us a path toward their future. Barolo’s and Tuscans, Riojas and Ribero del Dueros, California Cabernet Sauvignon Washington Reds all have great potential for aging. Many other appellations must also be included. South America, Lebanon, Germany, other French appellations, on and on. When do we open these wines? Let’s start with Champagne. If you are waiting for an occasion to open a great champagne, you are already missing out on its greatness. Let the champagne be the occasion. You won’t forget who you were with and where you were and what you ate. I guarantee it. The product tattoos a memory on your palate. Whites, with the exception of upscale Burgundy, Rhone, Bordeaux, Rioja, German, Alsace, Austria, and a few Italians (sparkling wine included) should all be consumed within 5-6 years of the vintage. Upscale whites should be of vintage specific specifications. The better the vintage, the more the longevity. White Burgundy up to 20 years old can be a great experience. German Rieslings’ can outlive most of us. Other great whites can range up to 20 plus years. All of this potential has to do with the optimum transportation and storage of these wines. Feeling comfortable that your collectables have been treated right, we have the dilemma of opening the wine or waiting on the wine. For an estate, Chateaux, or Domaine, of multiple bottles in your cellar, my suggestion is to open one of the bottles, enjoy and record,

what the effects of the texture, fruit, acid, length, and overall flavor is. This will always determine the wines potential or peak. Good and great wines will peak at their plateau for a good amount of time: years to be exact. Just as long as a wine takes to mature is just as long as wine takes to decline. The chart below of wine regions are recommended to drink, hold, or drink or hold. This is a

show their beauty. Any young wine can be opened and aerated to help the development to observe the potential. Nothing is better than enjoying a wine that has developed naturally. We, as Americans, drink our wines too young. We can’t wait. One reason is the retail outlets always have current vintages for the most part. Open some wine. Make the Wine be the occasion.

Region

Drink (Wintages)

Drink or Hold (Vintages) Hold (Vintages)

California Cab’s

94 or older

07,90,87,85,80

08,05,01

Bordeaux

88 or older, 91-94,97-99

95,90,89,85,82

10,09,05,00,86

Burgundy(Red)

89 or older

99,98,95,93,90

05, 03?

Burgundy(White)

All

06,96

08

Italy(Piedmont)

94 or older

08,07,90,88,86,85,82,79

04-08,89,78

Rhone(North)

99 or older

97,91,90,88

10,09,03,99,98,95,89

Rhone(South)

07,99,88,85 or older

09,06,04

05,95,89

Rioja

96 or older

05,04,01,95,94

09,08

Ribero del Duero

97 or older

04,94

09,08,07,05

Tuscany

98 or older

05,97,95,90

06,01,99

Germany

All

All

All 'til 83

Australia

All

All

partial list that can be used as a guideline. In regard to Germany, the Rieslings have a good long life even at the Kabinett level. The Australian reds are so fruit forward and jammy that they (in my opinion) don’t age well; 5 thru 10 years at best. There is no set rule for opening any bottle of wine .The younger the wine the less development (obviously). As an example Barolo should age, in a good vintage, ten years before they

SPIRIT INTEREST

New to the market is a beautifully crafted Bourbon from the rocky mountains in Colorado, Breckenridge Bourbon, Special Release. This bourbon is handcrafted at 9600 ft. above sea levelwith snowmelt used for the water, and spends twoyears in charred American oak. Notes: Wonderful rich bourbon smells with toasted aromas of vanilla, smooth and mouth filling along with a zing on your palatte, long and warm finish. If you are a bourbon enthusiast search for this one, DEMAND IT at your favorite retailer or restaurant!

Cellaring For the Future

After attending the release presentation of the 2009 vintage Bordeaux wine in NYC last month, I have come away with a wonderful sense of collectable opportunities for future gems in our cellars. Across the board the Chateaux have done a wonderful job stewarding the grapes to the bottle. Whatever Parrish on the left bank or region on the right bank, you can be assured of quality, elegance and longevity. My personal favorites (this year) were the Pomerols. SEARCH OUT- CHATEAU PETITVILLAGE 2009.Ch. Petit –Village is powerful yet soft and full, well balanced with rich smooth mouthwatering dark fruit flavors, incredible mouth feel and impeccable length. A REAL KEEPER.

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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events + gatherings

FCBUZZ AT THE WESTPORT COUNTRY PLAYHOUSE by RYAN ODINAK

Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County

E

ver walked into the Westport Country Playhouse and wondered why the rich red and gold stage curtain and balcony drapes seem a little familiar and well, playful? It may be because back in the 1930’s the original theater design, was based on a toy Victorian theater that wellrespected Broadway set designer, Cleo Throckmorton, had seen in his youth. He chose the design to transform the former 1835 cow barn and subsequent tannery into what became the Westport Country Playhouse. The Westport barn was purchased in 1930 by Lawrence Langner and his wife, Armina Marshall, successful theater producers, who had become residents of Weston and wanted to establish a resident acting company and experiment with new plays and reinterpretations of classics. At the time, Westport was already popular with Broadway’s theatrical community. Fast forward to 2000 when a major capital campaign to renovate the Playhouse was undertaken. When the renovated theatre reopened in 2005, that familiar red and gold curtain remained brighter than ever, and the cozy barn boards were still there resonating with history. In May, the 2012 season opens under the leadership of Mark Lamos, artistic director, and Michael Ross, managing director. First up is Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods (May 1-26th) A co-production with Baltimore’s CENTERSTAGE, it is a story of a dark and beguiling world of fairy tales, where the essential stories of youth are freshly revealed in all their sinewy complexity.

Both images are from the co-production between Westport Playhouse and Baltimore’s Centerstage of Into the Woods. above: Justin Scott Brown and Cheryl Stern right: (l-r) Lauren Kennedy, Erik Liberman and Danielle Ferland

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion follows (June 12 – 30). In the space of a single year, Didion experienced the sudden and unexpected loss of her husband while watching her only daughter become ever more gravely ill. Based on her National Book Award-winning memoir, it is a story of loss, grief, and renewal that explores our capacity to emerge strengthened from even the most shattering of life’s trials. In Moliere’s Tartuffe (July 17 - August 4), Orgon has fallen under Tartuffe’s spell, the most saintly man he’s ever known. But Orgon’s family believes Tartuffe a fraud, out to steal his wealth, bed his wife, and wed his daughter. The stage is set for a battle of wills. In Harbor by Chad Beguein (August 28-September 15), all hell breaks out when fifteen-year-old Lottie and her ne’er-do-well mother Donna drop in unannounced on the beautiful Sag Harbor home of Donna’s

brother Kevin, and his new husband, Ted. This is a world-premiere comedy by a Tony Award-nominated writer. The Season wraps up with A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry and directed by Phylicia Rashad (October 9 - November 3). This timeless classic tells the story of the Youngers, a black family in 1950s Southside Chicago, and their quest for a piece of the American Dream. A towering drama, this play of passionate intensity and raw emotion, with complex characters who work their way into the hearts and minds of an audience, A Raisin in the Sun is a genuine American masterpiece that is as stirring and powerful today as when it premiered over a half century ago. So get out and see the red and gold curtain go up at the Westport Country Playhouse. For tickets visit: www.WestportPlayhouse.org

Looking to add a little culture in your life? FCBuzz.org is the place to go for news on theater, exhibits, music, history and more. Visit FCBuzz.org to enrich your life and benefit from all Fairfield County has to offer. Created by the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County. www.CulturalAllianceFC.org. For more information contact the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County by emailing info@CulturalAllianceFC.org, calling 203-256-2329 or visiting the Web site at www.CulturalAllianceFC.org. 16 34

ARTS/CULTURE/STYLE//MAGAZINE CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


and invite you to experience

DIMONSCAPES® WEDNESDAY, MAY 9 PRIVATE RECEPTION AND VIP DINNER with special guest presentation by: Walter Liedtke, Curator The Metropolitan Museum of Art inquiries/tickets: dimondelamar.com

digital paintings by

ROZ DIMON

THURSDAY EVENING, MAY 10, 7 PM–10 PM OPENING GALA RECEPTION FRIDAY, MAY 11, 9 AM–6 PM COMMUNITY ART/EDUCATION DAY gallery reserved for visiting universities, EXHIBITION DATES: MAY 10 - AUGUST 31, 2012 IMAGE ABOVE: PSALM 19: STATE 9/12 BY ROZ DIMON

275 Old Post Road, Southport, CT 06890 ph: 203-259-2900 email: info@dimondelamar.com


events + gatherings

PAULA ELIASOPH Rediscovery of an American Post-Impressionist

will delight, music will fill the air, and visitors will have the opportunity to see artists in action as they demonstrate their talent. Participating businesses will stay open late and have some surprises in store as well. All art is juried by local artists and professionals and will remain in stores through Sunday June 26th.

Artist Bob Clyatt demonstrates sculpture during Art About Town 2011

For details, please visit: www.artabouttownwestport.com

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE GREENWICH FORMS LOCAL CHARITABLE PARTNERSHIPS FOR MONTH-LONG FUNDRAISING PROGRAM

D

Self Portrait, Spring 1929

P

equot Library’s Perkin Gallery was the venue for the first posthumous retrospective of post-Impressionist paintings, drawings and etchings by Paula Eliasoph (1895-1983) in an exhibit curated by her grandson, Dr. Philip Eliasoph, Professor of Art History at Fairfield University. The opening reception for the exhibit was Saturday, March 31 and ran through May 1. Paula Eliasoph was an honors graduate of Pratt Institute and the Arts Students League. She studied mural painting with Augustus Vincent Tack and artistic materials with Dr. Maximilian Toch. Well into her career exhibiting at New York galleries and museums in the 1920s-30s, she established her studio on West 57th Street. In 1927 she became a protégé of the internationally known Childe Hassam, learning firsthand the secrets of America’s foremost Impressionist with its distinctive cross-hatched painting strokes and color harmonies. She published a handbook on Hassam’s etchings in 1933 under his supervision. A recent Hassam exhibition catalogue at the Metropolitan Museum of Art called Eliasoph’s knowledge of Hassam the most “authoritative” information. Her musically scaled landscapes and still lifes experimented with a vibrant pointillism. Through her singular brushwork, post-Impressionistic undulations of line and form, she offered a poetic vision of the world. She was elected a Life Member of the American Watercolor Society and the Art Students League. The exhibit at Pequot Library -- the first time most of the works have been assembled in one space for over 75 years -- is comprised of artworks in private collections from the artist’s descendants.

uring the month of February, Saks Fifth Avenue initiated a program to give 5% of all registered purchases made with a Saks Fifth Avenue credit card back to local charity organizations. Customers selected which local charity from Saks Fifth Avenue’s roster they wished to allocate their 5% contribution. Saks Fi fth Avenue in Greenwich partnered with the local organizations Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich Ballet Academy, Jacob’s Cure, REACH Prep and The YMCA of Greenwich. A charity shopping evening was held on Thursday, February 23 at the store to benefit all five charities. The evening featured restaurant samplings generously donated by Cafe d’Azur and Spice Affaire and wine provided by W.J. Deutsch & Sons. Executives and board members from each organization were present to meet and greet with guests and provide more information. Students from the Greenwich Ballet Academy presented mini classes and a team from the YMCA of Greenwich presented an exciting Zumba demonstration. “Saks Fifth Avenue is committed to our local communities. We appreciate our customers’ charitable involvement and look forward to giving back locally with this exciting and newly implemented national program,” Steve Sadove, Chairman and CEO, Saks Incorporated, said. REACH Prep recruits motivated and talented black and Latino fourth grade students from low to moderate income backgrounds and prepares them for fifth or sixth grade admission to, and success in, rigorous independent schools in Connecticut and New York. www.reachprep.org.

ART ABOUT TOWN KICKS OFF MAY 24 WITH A STREET PARTY IN DOWNTOWN WESTPORT ART ABOUT TOWN brings original artists’ works to store and restaurant windows, turning the downtown Westport shopping district into one continuous gallery for strolling, appreciating, and purchasing quality art.

Emergence by Catherine Zappi

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ART ABOUT TOWN begins with a festive Opening Night Street Party on Thursday May 26th from 5:30-8:30 pm. That night, Main Street will be closed to vehicular traffic and the length of Main – and beyond – will be filled with art, entertainment al fresco dining, and fun for the whole family. Street performers

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

The Greenwich Ballet Academy is a ballet school which nurtures talented young students ages 4 to 21 toward a career in professional ballet. www.greenwichballetacademy.org. Community Health at Greenwich Hospital is the community-based outreach program at Greenwich Hospital devoted to improving the health status of the community by offering screenings, support groups and community health education. www.greenhosp.org. Jacob’s Cure is dedicated to raising the funds necessary to cure Canavan disease, a fatal genetic brain disorder that affects children at birth. www.jacobscure.org. The YMCA of Greenwich’s mission is to enrich the spirit, mind and body of all in our community through programs, services and personalized relationships based on our values of care, honest, respect and responsibility. www.greenwichymca.org.


Westport Arts Center presents:

Landscape: Scene / Re-seen June 15 - September 2, 2012 Opening Reception Friday, June 15, 6 - 8pm Sponsored by The Andrew J. and Christine C. Hall Foundation Curated by Helen Klisser During, Landscape: Scene / Re-seen features 20 major contemporary photographers from the Andrew and Christine Hall Collection who explore the way we look at landscapes today as they are impacted by man’s footprint. Among the exhibiting are Bernd and Hilla Becher, Peter Bialobrzeski, Edward Burtynsky, Elger Esser, Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Catherine Opie, Thomas Ruff, and Thomas Struth. Westport Arts Center, 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT 06880 Gallery Hours: M-F 9am-5pm; SAT 10am-5pm; SUN 12pm-4pm Candida Höfer “U- Bahnstation Theaterplatz Oslo III” 2000, 61”x76” Image: Sonnabend Gallery, New York Copyright: Candida Höfer

Andreas Gursky “Cairo” 1992, 46”x 55” Andrew and Christine Hall Collection

ANDY HALL’S STATEMENT: Edenic scenes from the realm of the pastoral and bucolic or the awe-inspiring wonders of the frontier defined the classical notions of landscape, be it in painting or subsequently in photography. Nature was either presented in the raw without apparent evidence of human intervention or where man’s intervention had been seemingly benign and generally ameliorative.Today, the opportunities to reveal unfamiliar and “unspoiled” vistas such as these are few and far between and attempts to do so would anyway risk devolving from art into the realm of kitsch. Accordingly, the photographs presented in Landscape: Scene / Re-seen do not shy from manifesting mankind’s impact on his environment – indeed it is their overarching feature.Yet, while doubtless raising questions about the sustainability of our current arc, these works do not comprise a depressing catalogue of ecological and environmental despoliation. Beauty resides in unlikely places and improbable forms.Who for example cannot wonder at the magnificence of the nightscape of the modern city while perhaps suppressing a frisson of discomfort at its implications? Man’s impact on his surroundings is today so vast that it would be absurd to ignore it. Even the utilitarian structures that we have created in order to make possible our modern world possess their own grandeur and sculptural qualities that merits documentation. Landscape: Scene / Re-seen does not present an Arcadia but neither is this hell, it’s the world we live in.

Peter Bialobrzeski “Paradise Now #28” 2008, 51” x 63” Andrew and Christine Hall Collection

—Andy Hall Elger Esser “Blois Frankreich” 1998, 73 x 98 Andrew and Christine Hall Collection CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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events + gatherings

Silvermine Arts Center Celebrates its 90th Anniversary with a Gala and Special Exhibition

S

ilvermine Arts Center, located in New Canaan, CT is celebrating 90 years of bringing the arts to Fairfield County. To commemorate this historic milestone, the arts center will present a range of varied events throughout the year, culminating with a special exhibition of works by guild artist members and a 90th anniversary gala with Honorary Chairs Keith Richards and Patti Hansen. What better way to celebrate this historical milestone than with a special gala and benefit on May 5th. This year’s Honorary Chairs, Keith Richards and Patti Hansen, are pleased to be supporting the Arts Center, promoting the arts within local communities, through its outreach and scholarship programs. With the theme of the gala aptly titled, “Paint it Black,” guests will enjoy an evening of dancing to a reggae band, as well as live and silent auctions featuring unique experiences and services. There will be a special program journal for the benefit, with cover art work by Keith Richards, who is also an artist with an interest in drawing and painting. “90 years as an artist’s founded and led organization is truly worth celebrating” says Executive Director, Leslee Asch. “A tribute to this momentous occasion will be a commemorative book which will highlight the extraordinary history of this magical place and the people who have given tirelessly to make it great.” Artists have been drawn to Silvermine since visionary sculptor Solon Borglum moved here in 1906 and established it as a place for artists and art lovers to gather to appreciate, enjoy and learn about the arts. Located in the historic Silvermine area of New Canaan, Connecticut, the Silvermine Arts Center represents many things to many people. To the dedicated professional artist, it is a prestigious place to exhibit – a widely hailed showcase for talent from all over New England and beyond. For the budding artists of tomorrow, it is a source of excellent instruction in a variety of media. And to the community at large, the arts center offers an ongoing cultural and educational experience. In honor of the 90th anniversary and in conjunction with the Gala in May, there will be a celebration of the Silvermine Guild of Artists with an exhibition featuring current Guild Artist members. According to Gallery Director, Jeffrey Mueller, “In this 90th anniversary year, we take the time to honor Silvermine’s long and rich legacy by looking back and reflecting on its many transformations since 1922.” The exhibit will be an open call to all the current Guild members with the Gallery Director meeting with each of the artists to select one piece that is most representative of their work. 38

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

“This ambitious installation will weave together a diverse range of media and ideas explored by the Guild’s ceramicists, installation artists, jewelers, painters, photographers, printmakers, sculptors and multi-media artists. In many ways, this multi-generational exhibition will both celebrate and illustrate Silvermine’s legacy and its continued commitment to present some of the best artwork being produced in the region,” says Mr. Mueller. The exhibit will be revealed at the Anniversary Gala on May 5th and will be open to the public from May 9th and run through June 9th, 2012. The exhibition is sponsored by the Rosenthal Family Foundation in honor of Hinda G. Rosenthal, and media sponsor, VENÜ Magazine. The history of Silvermine began in the early 1900’s as a colony of artists settled in the Silvermine area, lured by the picturesque countryside. The artists gathered around noted sculptor Solon Borglum, who was to become the founding father of the Silvermine Guild and whose barn was the meeting place where these artists, the so-called “Knockers Club” came to socialize, exchange ideas and critique each others’ work. By 1920, the Silvermine Group exhibitions were attracting hundreds of viewers who came out from New York by train and from the surrounding countryside by horse and buggy or car. After Borglum’s sudden death in 1922, the group realized that they needed to organize themselves to hold onto the community they had developed. They began to plan for their future as the Silvermine Guild of Artists. The group formerly incorporated in 1924 as a nonprofit educational organization with a mission to “foster art appreciation, education and the cultural growth of the community.” They purchased a barn and moved it to its present location on Silvermine Road. As this colony of artists grew the cultural activities became even more sophisticated. On Saturday nights, the local talent put on performances incorporating poetry recitations, plays and musical programs, replete with costumes. These early theatrical endeavors helped set the stage for even more elaborate productions which came several years later, called “The Silvermine Sillies.” The Guild also began offering a few classes in the early 20’s and officially became the School of Art in 1924. Through the years, the school offered not only classes in the visual arts, but dance, filmmaking, and acting classes as well. Today, the Silvermine Arts Center is comprised of a Guild of over 300 professional artists, five galleries presenting new exhibitions every six weeks and sponsoring prestigious regional and national competi-

Karin Hillmer “The Book of Sand, without beginning – without end” C-print

David Dunlop “NYC Met Museum Maneuvers” oil on linen

Sergio Gonzalez-Tornero “Nuu-Chah-Nulth” acrylic on canvas

tions; a gift shop; a School of Art providing a wide range of classes for all levels of experience from ages 2 to 92; and outreach programs in the Norwalk and Stamford schools. A variety of programs, lectures, performances and special events are presented in the intimate setting of our auditorium or outside on the beautiful 4 ½ acre campus. Silvermine is the preeminent visual arts center in Fairfield County with more than 4,500 annual enrollments at the School of Art and 11,000 visitors to the award-winning galleries. The center provides its artist members, faculty, students and visitors with a common location where they can share ideas, work on projects, teach, explore new areas and grow in their creativity and talents. For more information about the 90th anniversary and other events at Silvermine Arts Center, call 203-966-9700 ext. 22, or visit our website at www.silvermine.org


Art and Antique Dealers League of America Announce the Second Edition of the Spring Show NYC May 2-6, 2012 at the Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue and 67th Street

T

he Art and Antique Dealers League of America (AADLA) is pleased to announce that the second edition of their Spring Show NYC will open to the public on May 2-6, 2012 at the Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue and 67th Street. Once again, the opening night invitation-only preview Wednesday, May 2, will benefit the ASPCA®, (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) with 1stdibs.com, the premier online marketplace for purveyors for luxury goods, as the show’s sponsor. “We are delighted to welcome back 1stdibs and the ASPCA as our partners, and look forward to building upon the success of last year’s inaugural fair,” said Clinton Howell, the League’s president. “We are particularly encouraged by the enthusiastic response from the League members.” added Howell. Among the premier galleries returning to the show are: Kentshire Galleries, Hyde Park Antiques, Douglas Dawson, Carlton Hobbs, Mary Helen McCoy Fine Antiques, George Subkoff Antiques, Dalva Brothers, Earle Vandekar of Knightsbridge, Leo Kaplan, Questroyal Fine Art, Patrick Bavasi, O’Sullivan Antiques, L’Antiquaire & The Connoisseur, Michael Pashby, Spencer

Marks, Alfred Bullard, Robert Simon Fine Art, Yew Tree Antiques, Vallin Galleries, and E&J Frankel. “1stdibs was thrilled to participate as the sponsor for the first annual AADLA Spring Show NYC,” said Michael Bruno, founder and president, 1stdibs. “The dealer mix was exceptional and the crowd of shoppers was stellar. We are very pleased to be participating again along with the ASPCA in 2012”.

Charles Joseph Watelet (1867 –1954) oil on canvas 65 x 54 ¾ inches(165 x 139 cm.) Lawrence Steigrad Fine Art, New York, NY

A Large Yellow Burmantofts Majolica Pottery Seashell Jardinere, circa 1880-90 Earle Vandekar of Knightsbridge Inc., White Plains, NY

Regency rosewood sofa/gaming table by Gillows, circa 1820. Stamped "Gillows Lancaster" Hyde Park Antiques, New York, NY

The BridgeporT hospiTal auxiliary spring 2012 gala WAll of HeAling

Honoring Dr. Bruce & BeTH McDonAlD Thursday, May 10, 2012 The Birchwood country club Westport, connecticut

media sponsor

Donated by the Bridgeport Hospital Auxiliary, october 2011

For more information, please contact Co-Chairs Ulla Atweh and Marlene Fischer 203.384.3331 • email: BptHospAux@gmail.com • Twitter: @BptHospAux • www.facebook.com/bhaux Contemporary Culture//MAGAZINE

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events + gatherings

Sculpture: On and off the wall in Westchester

By ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam

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pring is the time when nature’s sculpture is in full blast. We revel in the excitement of walking through or under or in and around the living body of work that is everywhere we turn. It is nature that has taught us to appreciate three dimensional works of art. At ArtsWestchester, we chose spring to launch our exhibion of Sculpture: On & Off the Wall on view through May 20th at our White Plains gallery. Starting off in “exploration” mode, we began by asking museum curators and gallery directors to tell us who in our region is doing interesting three dimensional work. We found 20 artists whose work spans monumental and miniature, figurative and abstract, intricate and minimal. For “On & Off the Wall,” Christopher Kaczmarek created a site-specific installation in which counter-levered planks jut out from the mezzanine railing into the main-floor gallery’s airspace. Sitting on the end of each plank, a human figure, an industrial tower, or small structure will capture viewers’ eyes. These forms call attention to space frequently overlooked by ArtsWestchester visitors, making the unseen seen, calling attention to the extraordinary in the ordinary.

old airplane hangar in Dobbs Ferry and is a graduate of SUNY Purchase. Barbara Segal explores sculptural forms born from memories of peering into her mother’s dressing room. She felt she could make clothing out of stone, in this case the clothing that she had seen as a child. In her latest series, Little Girl’s Dresses, light plays a critical role. By choosing translucent stones and carving delicate layers of lace and fabric, light passes through transforming a simple

est work, “Huddled Figures.” Daan Padmos shakes things up with his piece “Skid Row” – a collection of small-scale shanty shacks, made from steel and left to rust. The installation calls attention to American living conditions in the wake of economic crisis. Ceramic artist Mari Ogihara’s pristine white female figures, adorned with pearl and snake-skin-like accents, are beautiful and captivating works. Yet, these “Angels and Vixens” suggest there are secrets hidden behind their beauty. While the style, texture, size and themes of the sculpture featured in the exhibition Sculpture: On & Off the Wall could not be more diverse, the overriding fascination and delight in both light and form is contagious. ArtsWestchester is your connection to the arts. Founded in 1965, it is the largest, private, not-for-profit arts council in New York State; its mission is to provide leadership, vision, and support, to ensure the availability, accessibility, and diversity of the arts. ArtsWestchester’s nine-story neo-classical bank building at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue which has since been transformed into the Arts Exchange, a multi-use resource for artists, cultural organizations, and the community.

Photo : Leah Rogers

Clockwise from top: Susan Cox, Sunset; Mari Ogihara, Kneeling Ardor; Susan Manspiezer, The Living Shell; Malcolm MacDougall III, Rhizomes.

Enjoy the exhibition as a guest of ArtsWestchester’s private ArtsBash party on May 18th or through May 20th in White Plains. www.artswestchester.org Another artist in the show, Emil Alzamora, is intrigued by the human figure and the possibilities it holds as both a physical presence and a vessel for emotion. He plays with proportion, creating life-size figures with elongated limbs or exaggerated features. Their forms allude to moments of tension or particular emotions. Malcolm MacDougall III, the youngest artist in the exhibition, is inspired by the natural world. His sculpture, “Rhizomes,” a shimmering steel work that seems to hover over the ground, refers to the complicated root structure that supports earth’s vegetation. A life-long Westchester resident, MacDougall works in an

child’s dress into a lush, sensual memory. Segal is in various permanent collections around the country, including the White House Collection and the Neuberger Museum. After years of practicing architecture, artist Susan Cox has turned to glass as a more immediate means of exploring her ideas of light and space. Accented with bright colors, Susan Manspeizer’s sensual bent-wood sculptures fold like ribbons on their walls and pedestals and are inspired by discarded shells that are reclaimed as habitats for new life. The mystery and symbolism of Incan mummies motivated Jo-Ann Brody to explore themes of endurance and memory in her new-

Exhibiting Artists: Emil Alzamora, Jo-Ann Brody, Nancy Bowen, Susan Cox, Gordon Fearey, Sarah Haviland, Christopher Kaczmarek, Barbara Korman, Martin Kremer, David Licata, Malcolm MacDougall III, Clare Maker, Susan Manspeizer, Mari Ogihara, Daan Padmos, Barbara Segal, B. Avery Syrig, Craig Usher, Eric Wildrick, Steven Millar.

On view through May 20, 2012 Gallery Hours: Tues-Sat, 12-5PM Special extended viewing on Sunday, May 20, 12-5PM

Be in the know! Visit www.artsw.org THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE ARTS IN WESTCHESTER Like us on Facebook

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— NOTEWORTHY — COLLEEN BROWNING: THE ENCHANTMENT OF REALISM New Publication by Fairfield University Art Historian Details the Life and Art of a Pivotl American Realist Painter. Major Retrospective of Her Work Opens on May 24th at the National Academy of Design in New York slated for Fairfield University in Spring 2013.

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airfield University art history professor Philip Eliasoph, Ph.D., has authored Colleen Browning: The Enchantment of Realism (Hudson Hills Press), detailing the dramatic and prolific 70-year career of Colleen Browning (1918- 2003), one of America’s leading realists painters. The book, sponsored by the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art (SAMA) is the first extensive study and definitive work about Browning and details her distinctive brand of figurative painting. From depicting worshipers in a Guatemalan church to graffiti-covered Harlem subways, the artist was a child protégée who began exhibiting in her teens and was a major force in the American realist movement largely dominated by men. Browning and her husband emigrated from England and arrived in New York during the tumultuous New York art scene of the early 1950s. At this time, Abstract/Action painting was in ascendance and Browning quickly rose to the top ranks of the Magic Realists. This cadre – including Paul Cadmus, Jared French, George Tooker, Robert Vickrey and Andrew Wyeth – withstood the pressure of avant-gardism to explore human conditions and urban street scenes even in the face of being dismissed as being retrograde academicians. Dr. Eliasoph’s text re-evaluates Browning’s career in terms of this seismic shift, thereby contextualizing her achievements in a new light. Dr. Eliasoph has long championed the art of the Magic Realists by both researching and writing about their work and launching retrospectives that brought them back into the forefront of international art discussion. He is the author of Robert Vickrey: The Magic of Realism (Hudson Hills Press, 2009) and Paul Cadmus: Yesterday & Today (Miami University Art Museum, 1981). “I guess this latest monographic book project is best explained as yet another one of the hidden gems – American artists who were once critically acclaimed – who ended up falling by the wayside,” Dr. Eliasoph noted. “Inspired by so many of these superbly talented, multi-talented mid-century painters, my professional task has been to restore these artists – Paul Cadmus, Robert Vickrey, and now Colleen Browning – to their original positions as creative dynamos. In the era dominated by avant-gardism, I take comfort offering a second look at more traditional figurative painters whose pursuit of beauty was ridiculed. The post-modernist mindset – which exalts cultural anarchy bereft of academic, intellectual or technical standards – usually dismissed artists like Browning as somewhat uncouth, a bit archaic, essentially ‘un-cool’ or hopelessly passé.” During her initial New York City years, Browning achieved fame and recognition for her paintings featuring “American scenes.” These included views of life from her East Harlem fire escape featuring black and Puerto Rican children at play. Her work was shown at the Edwin Hewitt Gallery in New York, the destination for realist art during that decade of the 50s. The artist went on to depict life abroad on the Caribbean island of Grenada and other exotic locations. The breadth of her talent is evident in her subject matter which included Edenic gardens and lush jungles; portraits – herself and others at close range; her umbrella and “shielded” women series; still life nudes and bathers. Additionally, she created semi-abstractions; a subway series, mythologies and romantic fairytales and finally, the hidden psyche – mystics, clairvoyants and dreamers. This incredible body of work spanned over five decades and won Browning critical acclaim including the coveted Carnegie International Award. She was also a prominent contributor to the realist revival of the 1990s. Browning’s work has been included in the National Academy of Design’s yearly exhibition as well as shown at the Museum of Modern Art,

Philip Eliasoph, Ph.D.

Colleen Browning Self Portrait

the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial exhibitions, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Kennedy Galleries in New York and the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, which is today the largest repository of Browning works in the country. She was elected a National Academician in 1966, and served as an officer of the Academy. Despite her impressive body of work, Colleen Browning has been almost forgotten in contemporary times. A bequest from her estate left many of her paintings to the SAMA, headquartered in Loretto, Penn., which she visited in the 1990s as a lecturer. “Collaborating with the dedicated staff at SAMA has been a genuinely rewarding experience,” Dr. Eliasoph explained. “Out in the rural hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, a small regional museum is only to be complimented for having the vision to archive and collect most of Colleen Browning’s life work. Unquestionably, future generations will find the path into SAMA’s collections, which courageously have championed less-popular artists of demonstrated excellence. It was a challenging task to write the complete narrative of Ms. Browning’s artistic and social life. When I made several uncomfortable discoveries, I needed to consult an ethicist recognizing that the dead do not have the privilege of expressing their reply from the grave.” In large part because of this new book, SAMA has organized a retrospective of Browning’s most admired paintings, which opens on May 24 at the National Academy of Design in New York. It will then travel to the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art and the Thomas J. Walsh Gallery at Fairfield University, which will also host a concurrent exhibit of her early works at the Bellarmine Museum of Art on campus from January 24 through March 24, 2013. The exhibition continues on to The Butler University of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, and the Amarillo Museum of Art in Amarillo, Texas. Dr. Eliasoph was appointed Fairfield’s first full-time art history faculty member in 1975 and has taught undergraduates, graduates and lifetime learners in the classroom, on museum trips and on cultural tours in the U.S. and Europe. He is founder/moderator of the popular Open VISIONS Forum and received the Fairfield Alumni Association’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 2008. Dr. Eliasoph holds a bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University and a master’s and Ph.D. from the State University New York, Binghamton. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Golf

New Gloria Verde Course, Belek - Turkey.

Turk ish

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Old Gloria Verde Course, Belek - Turkey.


Tee's

Gloria Verde Resort, Belek - Turkey.

Written by Bobby

Harris

When you think of golfing destinations, you think Pebble Beach, the Old Course at St. Andrews, and even Bethpage Black. Turkey probably doesn’t even cross your mind. But, with fantastic weather, friendly locals, and rich history, it’s easy to see why Turkey is quickly becoming a golfing destination hot spot.

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olf in Turkey has actually been around since 1895 when the 9-hole Istanbul Golf Club was built. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s when the golfing culture really took off. In attempts to create a profitable new tourism venture while still catering to affluent residents, several areas of land next to the Mediterranean Sea were set aside for course development. Today, the area of Istanbul and Antalya are home to several world-class courses and Pro-Am tournaments. What is often referred to as the Turkish Riviera, the province of Antalya offers an amazing golfing sanctuary with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean from not only the courses but the unparalleled hotels and accommodations as well. Head north to Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, situated along both shores of the Bosphorus. The boom-

ing metropolis, where ancient structures of civilizations past still function amidst the modern buildings, provides the backdrop for this golfing site.

Where to Play

Lykia Links in Antalya is a golf complex that runs along the shores of the Mediterranean. The 18-hole, par 72 championship links course is by far the highlight. Opened in November 2008 and designed by architect Perry Dye, the challenging course will take you through the sand dunes along the sea. Breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding mountain peaks make your round of golf particularly unique. Watch out for dominant winds on the four holes that run directly along the coast. You will find the winds will chal-

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Golf

Lykia Links Golf Course, Antalya - Turkey Bosphorus Bridge, Istanbul lenge even the most seasoned golfer. The fairways are reminiscent of Scottish courses and require precise placement in the fairways to avoid the assorted bunkers that guard the greens. Try to play your shot short and use the roll to your advantage rather than see your ball shoot off the back of the green. The new Gloria Verde course located in the area of Belek is an 18-hole, par 72 course that was designed by celebrated French architect Michel Gayon. This challenging course has four big lakes and sixty-seven bunkers that require accurate shots off the tee. It is possible for a bad tee-shot to remain playable, however you will definitely be penalized on your approach shot. Be prepared for quick Bermuda greens and strategically placed bunkers that could really affect your score. The 18th hole is lake lined for a memorable finish. The highlight for this course, however, has to be the 17th hole replica of the famous ‘island green’ at The TCP Sawgrass. Club selection is crucial or your ball will add to the lake bottom’s collection. Klassis Golf & Country Club just outside Istanbul is an 18-hole par 72 is Turkey’s first international golf course. It was designed by the legendary golfer Tony Jacklin. The championship course is full of valleys and steep slopes and offers many fun yet challenging obstacles in a rugged, natural environment. A fifty-meter deep valley replaces the fairway on the 12th hole and a 171-meter lake guards the green on the 9th hole. This par-3 hole is played from an elevated tee across the lake to a challenging two-tiered green. Kemer Golf & Country Club is a scenic 18-hole course located just thirty minutes outside Istanbul. Designed by Joan Dudok Van Heel, the course provides aesthetically pleasing, natural holes that take players through the hills of the Belgrade Forest. The lush green fairways and sculpted bunkers that are beautifully positioned among streams and lakes make shots challenging. The fairways are short but tight and will add difficulty to your tee shot. No matter your skill level, you will find the course challenging and to high standards. And while you may plan your visit around golf, don’t miss out on all the other activities and attractions Turkey has to offer. With such a rich culture it will be hard to spend all your time on the cours44

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es. Whatever your interests (We know it’s not just golf!), Turkey has something for you. Head over to the Grand Bazaar, Kapali Carsi, in Istanbul to get your fix on shopping and culture. The grand bazaar, an important trading center since 1461, is one of the worlds largest and oldest covered markets with over 60 streets and 5,000 shops. A wide variety of goods that include jewelry, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices and antiques stretch as far as the eye can see. Friendly shopkeepers call out to visitors, attempting to sell their wares. Voices fill the air as banter and bargaining are encouraged. Turkey is a hotbed of architectural wonders. Head to the Sultanahmet district in the heart of historic Old Istanbul to find many Byzantine landmarks. The most extraordinary example of Byzantine architecture can be seen at The Church of Holy Wisdom, Hagia Sophia. Sun illuminates the interior of the church and dances across the marble and gold mosaics where Christianity and Islam provide contrasting religious themes. Next, head to The Mosque of Sultan Ahmet I. Find out why it’s commonly referred to as the Blue Mosque by examining the upper level interior tiles. (Hint: they are blue!) Other places of architectural interest include the Ba-


Kempinski Ciragan Palace, Istanbul How To Get There:

Turkish Airlines - Business Class www.TurkishAirlines.com

What To See:

Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Kempinski The Dome, Belek

Kempinski The Dome, Outdoor Pool silica Cistern, the Topkapi Palace, and the Hippodrome Square. If you’re looking to escape the city for an afternoon, try a cruise along the Bosphorus. This small straight that separates Europe and Asia offers cruisers the unique opportunity to see both continents at once. The hilly terrain of the coastline makes for breathtaking views and photo opportunities all while offering visitors a unique perspective on Istanbul.

Where to Stay

Kempinski Hotel The Dome in Belek is a spacious retreat that provides guests with recreational facilities and outstanding pools. Available activities include sunbathing, swimming and water sports on the sandy beach. Relax after a round of golf in a genuine Ottoman Hammam or Turkish bath where the soothing experience will cleanse and rejuvenate your body. Enjoy views of the Mediterranean Sea and Taurus Mountains framed by elaborate décor and mosaics on Belek’s beachfront. Antalya Gloria Serenity Hotel in Belek is situated in its own pine forest beside the Mediterranean. This hotel is great for all types of travelers particularly those on golf holidays. It has attractive and

relaxing views and is conveniently located close to Antalya. Ciragan Palace Kempinksi in Istanbul is positioned on the shores of the Bosphorus with gorgeous views overlooking the water. Watch the boats cruise up and down the water from the infinity pool or book a relaxing spa treatment and therapies. The hotel prides itself on superb hospitality and extraordinary service. It is easy to see why the country is quickly developing into one of the top golfing destinations. Turkey is a country where history and progression collide to provide visitors with the contrasting combination of old and new. The exquisite weather and magnificent location add further appeal to the outstanding Turkish courses. Whether you are golfing along the coast or exploring the ancient traditions of Istanbul, your Turkish golfing holiday is guaranteed to be memorable. Traveling to Turkey contact:

PAMFILYA TOURISM www.pamfilya.com.tr

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Travel

Costa Rica [An adventure for man and machine]

It’s a small roadside sign covered in dust, the kind of Costa Rican dirt that turns day into night, envelopes the chickens, the goats, the cows, the laundry hanging to dry, and turns leafy green rainforests the color of coffee. The sign reads simply, “Tiki Hut, 1 km.” There is no mention of it in our guidebook, the road itself just a dotted line on the map.

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by Jeff Blumenfeld Photo courtesy of Costa Rica Tourism Board

About the Author: Jeff Blumenfeld, a frequent contributor to these pages, is editor of ExpeditionNews.com, and author of the adventure CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE 47 sponsorship book, You Want to Go Where? How to Get Someone to Pay for the Trip of Your Dreams (Skyhorse Publishing, 2009).


Travel

Photo courtesy of Costa Rica Tourism Board

By now, day four of our weeklong exploration of Costa Rica, we knew to be wary of the dotted lines. Even the famed Pan American Highway, a solid blue and white line on our map, is nothing more than a two-lane road. Nonetheless, this is our annual eco-vacation and we pressed on regardless, down the bone-jarring, potholestrewn, kidney-bashing Central American road. Here on a dirt lane we know the ocean is close, but after a solid morning of driving rutted, washboard roads, we both question the sanity of continuing on the edge of lost, convinced that our rental car agency could never again rent the Hyundai Tucson we were in the process of trashing nicely. We finally make it to the Tiki Hut, an open-air restaurant, picnic table seating, gravel floor, owned by a Yank who greeted us warmly and proceeded to serve some of the tastiest arroz con pollo of our trip, washed down with a locally brewed Imperial beer and the most exceptional watermelon we’ve ever tasted. The place is so remote, the waiter walks down to the beach with a portable credit card reader looking for a cell signal to process our bill. After lunch we watch a group of surfers unloading shortboards from a minivan. We hear one exclaim, “Man, corduroy to the horizon,” which, not being surfers ourselves, we assumed is a good thing. We watch the group surf, young teens and gray pony-tailed boomers, and won-

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der why it seems as if every ride ends in an egg beater fall into the white foam. Our interest in learning to surf waned long ago and we weren’t about to start now, especially considering the pair of turkey vultures watching ominously from a nearby shack. Our visit to the Tiki Hut is just one of many experiences of a seven-day odyssey from the Arenal Volcano rain forest to the much drier Pacific coast of this tiny country of 4.6 million people, about the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined. It’s the most developed and stable country in Central America, a poster child for ecotourism, although somewhat asphalt-challenged. Our journey begins with a 5-1/4-hr. direct flight on JetBlue from New York-JFK to Liberia, the capital of Guanacaste province in northwestern Costa Rica. Arriving in the early afternoon, we pick up a 4x4 SUV, grab a local map, then made a quick stop at a nearby supermarket for bottled water, sandwiches, and a pound of intensely flavorful local coffee. Fully provisioned, we depart on a two-hour drive to the small tourist town of La Fortuna in the northcentral part of the country. Little did we know what lay in store. Thus began our first encounter with Costa Rica’s spider vein network of barely drivable roads, made more challenging at night by bridge reflectors practically in the road, and locals – nicknamed “Ticos” – in dark clothing


Photo courtesy of Costa Rica Tourism Board

Photo courtesy of Costa Rica Tourism Board

Photo courtesy of Costa Rica Tourism Board

walking the narrow shoulders of dark roads, pushing baby strollers barely a foot from passing cars, and riding bicycles against traffic with nary a reflector. Dogs wander freely, cows slowly amble across the street, and there are men on horseback, all adding to the vehicular mayhem. The 90-mile drive turned into a nightmarish, white knuckled 20 mph odyssey in driving rain and fog, a seemingly endless journey through dense rain forest. On three occasions, the road simply t-bones into a fast-moving stream that our SUV must ford. This teaches us an important lesson: let some other car go first, especially at night. Further along, we pull over and with a sandwich wrapper leftover from lunch, wipe off a dust-encrusted road sign to see if the arrow wants us to go left or right. There are route numbers on our map, but none on the highway signs. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Travel

Photo by Jeff Blumenfeld

The marriage survives the evening in a cute cottage at Arenal Springs Resort, with leather rocking chairs on a front porch surround by hibiscus, an overhead fan, flatscreen TV, and a rock-lined shower. Well rested, we’re ready for our next test: zip lining. What was originally a novel way to see nature from high above the treetops has become a big business in Costa Rica, considered the home of zip lining. Our two-hour, 11-stage tour with Canopy Los Canones begins with gear, lots of gear – climbing harness, helmet, and a thick leather glove that will serve as our brake. Together with 25 other adventurous souls ages six to 60, we proceed up a jungle road to the start of the tour. We listen intently to our instructor as if our lives depended upon it, which, come to think of it, it does. Hanging in front of us on a 20-ft. training cable, he warns: “Keep up your momentum otherwise you’ll get stuck half-way.” “Legs criss-crossed in front of you.” “Don’t try to readjust your harness. Leave the carabiniers alone.” “And never, never, stick your fingers in front of the pulley.” One-by-one and with much trepidation we clip onto a cable said to be strong enough to withstand thousands of kilograms and are given a slight push downward. As my speed increases I check to make sure the MediaAlert bracelet is visible on my wrist. I mentally strain to recall a long-ago sixth grade metric system lesson to assure myself that, indeed, I weigh far less than “thousands of kilograms.” Zip lining is a true rush, with an emphasis on the “zip” part. It’s one of those adventure sports that makes you feel truly alive. After completing the first stage we barely have time to catch our breath as we’re immediately clipped onto the next length of cable and continue to Peter Pan down the mountainside at 35 mph, the star of our own Cirque du Soleil. The 1-3/4-mi. descent is the highlight of our trip so far, and all within sight of the flanks of the dormant Arenal volcano which has erupted often over the past several decades. Our next Costa Rican adventure is decidedly more tame – Arenal Hanging Bridges, a series of 16 static and suspension bridges connected by a two-mile network of 50

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

Photo courtesy of Costa Rica Tourism Board

trails deep within the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Following a local guide we learn about industrious leaf cutting ants, the raccoon-like coati, colorful birds, and the curious mimosa pudica plant whose leaves fold inward and droop when touched or shaken, re-opening minutes later. The main attraction is seeing a three-toed sloth with a baby sloth clinging precipitously to her stomach, calmly eating bamboo leaves from the edge of a narrow branch. Then suddenly, the branch breaks, sending both mother and baby plummeting. Our group audibly gasps, relieved that the baby is still attached as the mother slowly, methodically, climbs yet another thin branch to keep munching greenery. From never seeing a sloth in our lives, we’re now in the middle of a National Geographic sloth documentary. Through it all, our visit to the Arenal volcano area is marked by incessant drizzle, a rain so persistent that we never sight the summit of the 5,437-ft. volcano. The rain sets off snarky remarks between the two of us like, “what part of ‘rain forest’ didn’t we understand?” and, back on the road, that childhood classic, “are we there yet?” Next stop is Tamarindo, a fun surfing town in the northwest. Nicknamed “Tamagringo” because of all the Norteamericanos who populate its hotels, bars and restau-


Photo courtesy of Costa Rica Tourism Board

In Costa Rica it’s best to slow down and enjoy the Pura Vida – a slogan seen everywhere on t-shirts and tourist brochures meaning alternatively either “plenty of life,” or “full of life.” rants, the town boast your usual t-shirt shops, overpriced jewelry stores, and pharmacies selling discount Viagra and Cialis. The region became internationally famous for its surfing when Robert August filmed a segment about Tamarindo in his Endless Summer II movie, One breezy night we eat at Nibbana Beach Bar & Restaurant which boasts a charming beachside garden setting, large portions, and two-for-one happy hour specials. The service is slow, but that is compared to what we’re used to in New York where waiters bring your meal almost before you decide. In Costa Rica it’s best to slow down and enjoy the Pura Vida – a slogan seen everywhere on t-shirts and tourist brochures meaning alternatively either “plenty of life,” or “full of life.” Accommodations are in a ground floor room at Tamarindo Diria Resort, a comfortable beachside hotel. On one side of a rock wall separating the hotel from a wide and miles-long Pacific Ocean beach is a lush garden and outside bar, pool complete with spouting rock monkeys, and dozens of white plastic lounge chairs full of people sunbathing, and, sad to say, connected to their devices. They’re on vacation blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, iPadding, iPodding, and whatever else people do when they can’t seem to unplug. On the beach side of the wall is the rest of the world, including a non-stop procession of salespeople selling fishing and dive trips, surf lessons, and river cruises. One Tico smoking a big stogy comes by peddling Cuban cigars. Others are selling beads, pottery, shells, bird whistles, and snorkel and sunset cruises. Not interested in spending the rest of our vacation soaking up free WiFi, as appealing as that might be, we book a catamaran cruise with Blue Dolphin Sailing. The owners promise a romantic afternoon of sailing and

snorkeling, with free lunch and an open bar. Now here’s the thing about these snorkel/sunset cruises: the experience depends upon your shipmates and whether you’re ready to get completely wasted by three in the afternoon. That sloshing sound you hear isn’t just the water slapping against the hull. The folks we were shanghaied with became well lubricated in no time. One Don Imus look-alike with bad teeth and a particularly loud mouth, returns from snorkeling bloodied and scraped from an encounter with some coral, but is well lit and seems completely anesthetized by rum. By sunset, as we try in vain to spot the elusive green flash, none of us were feeling any pain, adding a relaxing afternoon on the water to our list of Costa Rican memories. We end the week having enjoyed a wild and wonderful place, one teeming with exotic wildlife, simple but nourishing comfort food, and warm, friendly locals. The drive back to Liberia and the flight home is on paved roads this time, yet we find the smooth asphalt almost a letdown. We realize that if you don’t spend time navigating the gnarly roads of Costa Rica, well, you’re kind of getting ripped off. As we learned during our stay, Costa Rica is an adventure for both man and machine.

Trip Tips • Arenal Hanging Bridges (hangingbridges.com) • Blue Dolphin Sailing (bluedolphinsailing.com) • Canopy Los Canones (canopyloscanones.com) • JetBlue (jetblue.com) • Nibbana Beach Bar & Restaurant (nibbana-tamarindo.com) • Tamarindo Diria Resort (tamarindodiria.com) • VisitCosta Rica Tourist Board (visitcostarica.com)

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APPETITE

Love At First Bite

73 Elm, Chef Brian Lewis’ sleek farm-to-table restaurant takes root in New Canaan with modern American fare VENü’s appetite for exceptional eateries got even more ramped up when we stopped by New Canaan’s newest restaurant recently for a taste of Chef Brian Lewis’ seasonally inspired farm-to-table fare. Westchester County born and raised, the chef hails from Connecticut and is passionate about American cuisine that is rooted in European traditions and masterfully prepared with an innovative, fresh flavored spin. From what we saw, heard and tasted during our visit, everything about Elm speaks to his delectable vision of creating a world-class restaurant that has a real sense of community. Consider the restaurant’s name. Among the most widely planted ornamental trees in North America, and particularly popular along the streets in several towns and cities, the stately elm is said to symbolize the idyllic life, its shade being mentioned as a place of special coolness and peace. We got it the moment we walked into the sleek space, the essence of cool confidence played out in the minimalist décor through clean, straightforward touches and silver accents. Partner Laura Barker said the name simply comes from the restaurant’s location in the middle of Elm Street. But after being tantalized by a quiet parade of artful treats served without fanfare on environmentally responsible recyclable bamboo ware with ultra hip cutlery – imagine sensuous tear drop spoons and sculpted

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single tined forks that elevated the art of tasting with their striking good looks – we agreed that was an understatement. The owners invested a lot of thoughtful, strategic behind the scenes thinking in every nuance of this venture. It all started, we were told, after Laura and John Barker dined at Richard Gere’s Bedford Post restaurant in nearby Bedford, New York. Brian Lewis was the opening executive chef for this celebrity-studded country-dining venue where he wooed and won legions of loyal patrons with his creative cuisine. It was love at first bite for the Barkers who confessed that they couldn’t get enough of his cooking and sought out every opportunity to sample and savor the chef’s newest culinary creations. “We ate there so frequently we became friends with Brian,” explained Laura Barker as she gave me a personal tour of Elm. After he left the restaurant, their friendship continued, taking on new life after the Barkers asked him if he would be interested in participating in a silent auction fundraiser hosted by the New Canaan YMCA on behalf of children with special needs. Honored, Brian offered to prepare dinner for 12 for the winning bidders, setting in motion a series of synchronicities that planted the seed, if you will, for Elm. Johan and Kristen Eveland, today co-owners and partners in the restaurant, were the lucky

winners, meeting the Barkers and the chef for the first time that night in support of their shared charitable donations. So enamored with both the chef and his prize cooking, they eagerly joined in “what if” discussions with the Barkers, and Brian and his wife, Dana, as they wistfully dreamed of opening a restaurant, in New Canaan, together. Call it kismet, or fate, or just a very smart move, everything fell into place and the idea took root, ensuring a win-win partnership for each of them. It’s that kind of visionary, collaborative thinking that set the stage for Elm’s serendipitous debut on the first day of the spring equinox. It also is in keeping with the chef’s philosophy of working only with the best seasonal ingredients and local farms, like Millstone in Wilton and Greyledge in Roxbury, for his modern American menu. “For me, modern American cooking is part tradition, part innovation and part technique, and all intuition,” said Brian Lewis, explaining that it’s about sourcing the best regional products at their peak, adding other carefully selected elements that speak to the experience, and cooking them in just the right way to make it all feel right. Pair a melt-in-your-mouth golden brioche of prized Osetra caviar with gentle kisses of mandarin and ruby beet juice, and you’ll get an idea of the flavor surprises that go into every bite of his innovative recipes. Brian got his start at the age of 15 in the kitchen of an acclaimed trattoria near his home in Westchester. He was sidelined from his school’s football team with an injury that ultimately changed his playbook and redefined his goals. “I fell in love with the whole sport of it – the adrenaline rush you get in a good kitch-


by Cindy Clarke

It’s not about reinventing the character of the ingredients, a carrot is and always will be a carrot after all. It’s all in the way it’s prepared that takes its core spirit – and the diner’s senses – to new heights. en, and the team work and camaraderie of the cooks who could plate a dish that really kicked the entire dining experience up a notch.” Brian logged in upwards of 50 hours a week in the restaurant, much of it as an unpaid apprentice, before studying in earnest at the Culinary Institute of America. Now that’s a love of the game. He carried the ball through an impressive roster of restaurants, including New York’s Oceana, the Sign of the Dove and Lutece, and the Greene House and Vu in Scottsdale, before garnering critical acclaim as a chef back home where it all started. Now living with his wife in Wilton, Connecticut, literally a stone’s throw from one of the region’s most bountiful farms, Brian is on a mission to deliver delicious “roots, shoots, fruits and leaves” dining experiences to patrons of Elm. Everything at Elm makes a statement, from the pewter bar, a study in understated elegance that reflects both urban sophistication and New England traditions, to the simple farm tables that welcome the bounty of the harvest, the vine and the sea with distinctive utilitarian charm. Striking décor notwithstanding, food is the undisputed celebrity at Elm, ripe with flavor and impeccably prepared to blissfully marry textures and tastes to the unabashed delight of the diners. We were treated to a sampling of Elm’s signature specialties during our cocktail recep-

tion, while we sipped hand-selected artisan wines and indulged in the bartender’s Yuzu Sour, a refreshingly good gin-based libation that reinvented the ultimate party drink with hints of exotic citrus, lemongrass, ginger and Kaffir lime. First up was the Hudson Valley foie gras, a cloudlike dollop of mousse served on grilled bread – they bake their own bread here, naturally – dressed with apricot marmalade, pata negra (a thread of parma ham), and Sicilian pistachios, which all added up to subsequent taste offerings we couldn’t refuse! The caviar brioche made its way to us several times over the evening, each time promising heaven on a silver spoon, along with the grilled Spanish octopus, drizzled with black garlic aioli and served with tender, garden-fresh pea shoots, wild ramps and guanciale (a lean bacon made from pork jowl – locally sourced from a regional farm). Shots of delicate cauliflower soup were a special surprise, teasing our taste buds with whispers of vaudovan curry – the “it” flavor for gourmet chefs who know their way around complex French spices – and garden sorrel. A glass enclosed private dining room designed to accommodate up to 12 very lucky guests and a chef’s tasting counter for four sit in full view of the immaculate stainless steel

kitchen where the chef openly works his magic. During the party, I edged closer to the action to get an up-close look at the next taste sensation Brian Lewis was planning to wow us with. It turned out to be Crunchy Big Eye Tuna with sunchokes, soy and brown butter caramel, seriously, one of the most incredible seafood delicacies I have ever had and one that got me really hooked on the chef’s penchant for bringing out the true essence of the dish. And that’s just for starters. His full menu features a variety of house-made entrees that are driven by the seasons and that appeal to all manner of tastes and appetites. The chef told me it’s not about reinventing the character of the ingredients, a carrot is and always will be a carrot after all. It’s all in the way it’s prepared that takes its core spirit – and the diner’s senses – to new heights. That said, in an effort to ensure premier quality in his kitchen, he churns his own butter, makes his own pasta, handselects locally grown garden produce and fruits when they are in season, personally sources the best sustainable seafood and farm-raised, grassfed, antibiotic-free beef, pork and poultry, and insists on consistent creative excellence from his fellow chefs. He is hands-on and hands-down the consummate, and ultimately grounded, top chef. On staff with Brian is pastry chef Caryn Sabinsky whose baked goods and seasonal desserts made on site are sweet indeed as we can personally attest. We indulged in her light-as-air cocoa nibbed meringues with pistachio flakes, her signature citrus pâte de fruits dusted with pink peppercorn sugar, her delicate frosted cupcakes and her truffles, decadent chocolates that flirted with coconut and orange finishes. Her pastry kitchen in the restaurant’s lower level will also be open to the community for classes and workshops – an icing-on-the-cake opportunity indeed! Sous chef Mike Paez joins Elm from Momofuko, whose imaginative menus and amazing cookies have made it one of the most sought-after hip eateries in the New York City. Together the team at Elm promises to keep the community tantalized, mesmerized and energized with their ever-changing seasonal menu, leaving patrons with lingering, longing memories of a dining experience that is, in a word, delicious in every way.

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“I’ve been told my work connects to the European tradition especially when one sees the digital paintings side-by-side with the oil-on-canvas. But really my work is all about America."

outsidethelines By Cindy ClarkE

Pop artist Andy Warhol did it. So did Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci who made 3–D a reality, Dutch etching master extraordinaire Rembrandt, illuminating painter Hals Vermeer, impressionist Claude Monet, and many other breakout artists who defied convention to produce art that evolved with – and colorfully expressed – the times. In fact, artistic visions and “outside the lines” coloring have chronicled contemporary history through the ages, paying graphic tribute to cultural moves and lifestyles through time-stamped genre pieces and their allegorical, subtly politicized counterparts that everyone, art aficionados to everyday admirers, can enjoy today.

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Left: Frog Pledge, DIMONscape®, 13"x13", eight digital cibachromes with interactive website.

rtists have always employed an assortment of mediums and canvases to tell their stories, and like Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, widely credited with revolutionizing modern art, they often combine and layer different disciplines into a collage of techniques – printmaking, sculpture and painting among them. History has shown that as technologies change, so too does the artist’s palette. Think what the advent of photography and filmmaking did to the status quo, and you’ll find a new take on art imitating life. Armed with ever-changing creative tools, visual thinkers continue to introduce new perspectives, cross boundaries and disrupt expectations. Now digital doyenne Roz Dimon is doing it. Georgia born, New York City seasoned, artist Roz Dimon uses the computer as her paintbrush to create interactive multi-layered digital art called DIMONscapes® that viewers can deconstruct and reconstruct at will. Her computerized paintings – modern-day tapestries and social commentaries of the times – are boldly leading the way to an era of intelligent graphic communication not seen before in traditional art galleries. Until now. Her breakthrough work is making its springtime debut with a festive three-day kick off that CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Dimon’s work, like the artist herself, combines contemporary flavor with classicist details in a fluid, vibrant style that enhances the behind-the-scenes symbolism beating deeply inside each piece. begins on May 9 at the Delamar hotel in Southport, Connecticut. The Southport Delamar is a luxury hotel with boutique undertones and an on-site art gallery that cater to the unique interests and lifestyles of its discerning guests. “Roz’s work is exciting and innovative and speaks to the viewer on a variety of levels which invite introspection,” said Clifford Mallory, Consultant Art Director for the hotel. “I learned about Roz’s DIMONscapes from an international lifestyle company executive when I was living and working in Singapore. The more I discovered what this thought-provoking digital art was all about, the more determined I was to introduce it to Connecticut.”

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imon’s work, like the artist herself, combines contemporary flavor with classicist details in a fluid, vibrant style that enhances the behind-thescenes symbolism beating deeply inside each piece. “I’ve been told my work connects to the European tradition especially when one sees the digital paintings side-by-side with the oil-on-canvas. But really my work is all about America; all about freedom. I don’t think I’ve ever admitted this publicly before, but in my core I know it to be true that the answer to the question ‘what is the greatest influence on your work?’ – beyond my study of art or other artists – would be two things: living in America and yes, the American musical.” Take Frog Pledge, the star attraction of the exhibition. This eight-piece portrait explodes in electric colors and pixilated images that add new dimensions to the way you look at art. You’ve heard the saying that still waters run deep; just wait until you discover what’s under the aqueous surface of Dimon’s frog pond. “Frog Pledge is a little like the Emmy-winning TV show ‘Glee.’ It has melody of color, tightly constructed form, storytelling, humor, a serious edge underneath, (God or no God?) and concludes with an irreverent croak surrounded by M&Ms. Frog Pledge is a pledge of allegiance to the frog and a

Above: JetAge, commissioned DIMONscape® for law firm, 48"x36"digital cibachrome with interactive  website. Right: Psalm 19, DIMONscape®, 48"x36"  backlit digital cibachrome with interactive website.

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salute to the co-existence of science and spirituality. It recognizes the original Pledge of Allegiance which dictated the necessity of separation between Church and State and it pays tribute to the new age of painting and storytelling in the age of information.” “Like much of my work, Frog has a rather irrepressible energy and esprit somehow connected to the concept of freedom, and yes, what it means to be American: opposing views, spirituality, patriotism, diversity, humor, a tad outrageous, big, bold colors. There’s a tiny bit of sadness in the frog just like in our country. He’s fighting for his life. The frog is in danger of becoming extinct so on another level, he is a cry for us all to pay attention to our world.” The comment in his eye, “there’s no place like home” speaks volumes about our beautiful Earth and the new spinning “google like” globe. To appreciate the messages hidden within the one master painting, advises its creator, you have to take them apart and contemplate them individually. Until now these works could only be viewed virtually on Dimon’s website with a click of your mouse. A moving, booming narrative walks you through the pledge, lyrically and visually explaining the elements of the piece. But Roz Dimon says “they really need to be seen physically in their completed collage-like state ‘on the wall’ as


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Left: Pale Male: A Pilgrimage, DIMONscape®, 48"x36" backlit digital cibachrome with interactive website. Below: Washington Pig, backlit digital cibachrome, 40"x50".

“No matter how conceptual the art may be or what medium they work with, it is still a language of marks in space, a visual language that gives voice to the artist and the art of drawing.” well as in their immersive story on the web, where you can peel back the layers of the creation before you and become one with it.” I agree. Having first seen them small-screensized on my laptop, I did not adequately grasp the big impact they made until I saw them in person, paraded out in front of me in developing stages, dressed in all their Technicolor glory. That’s when I really got it. “The DIMONscapes are all about connection – a different kind of connection between viewer and art – one that invites a person into the work on a deeper level.” To make that connection even easier as well as instantaneously interactive to keep pace with the times, Dimon has linked Frog Pledge to a QR code that can take you right into the creative process of the piece, right now. Once inside, you can dive into each multifaceted layer to the accompaniment of the frog’s

voice as he enunciates his way from one lily pad of imagery to the next. Frog’s pledge sounds remarkably similar to the original, but is imbued with the artistic liberties and provocative imagery that blur established boundaries and invite reflection. Much like you’ll find in another signature Dimon piece, Washington Pig, commissioned by one of her top patrons for his private collection, who had it back lit and custom installed in his private “just the guys” billiards room in his home in Newport, Rhode Island. “Pig is a precursor to Frog,” explains Dimon, eager to share her thoughts on what she calls her “classic” digital painting and one that is very central to her oeuvre. “Pre DIMONscape, it’s where all the layers in a digital painting started to speak to me in new way, and apparently to others as well, in a work that is both a celebration and a critique. What do people say when they see it? ‘LOVE THE PIG.’ Because for all our faults, people still love America, CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Through a DIMONscape, stories, whether they are customized for an individual or a corporate client, live on and are truly interactive, revealing unique aspects that together celebrate the essence of the subject. This alone makes the work, which can cost in the thousands, priceless. we represent something big, and these paintings are distinctly that.” To see what we are talking about, go to her website at www.ArtStory.net and click on the image of the George Washington on a crowded dollar bill. As Dimon humbly describes it, it was painted “with a Mac G4 Powerbook, 16 million colors, and a Wacom pen and tablet.” Technology notwithstanding, some of her notable earlier works created in traditional media celebrate pencils, simple, functional tools, “that appear almost reverential surrounded by our technostamped world” and that are an important part of our pop culture. “No matter how conceptual the art may be or what medium they work with, it is still a language of marks in space, a visual language that gives voice to the artist and the art of drawing.”

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hat voice, in her world, has morphed, pixellike, into cyberspace with imaginative “rozolutions” since 1984 when she first starting producing artwork on computers. To hear her say that she can’t even operate a toaster gives us pause for she can truly work multi-faceted magic with electronic palettes. (She attributes some of her computer navigation skills to her husband James who is not only computer savvy, but who is an expert at using technology to ferret out information, often as multi-layered and concealed as the images in his wife’s paintings.) Working in a seemingly impersonal medium, she makes her work intensely personal. Take the storytelling portraits she customizes for individuals who want a pictorial memoir of their lives. As their ghostwriting artist, Dimon works closely with her clients, interviewing them about their most poignant and meaningful moments, the important people and places in their lives and the thoughts they want to immortalize in the portraiture. The process “layers a multiplicity of digital images – photography, video,

Above: Nail This, DIMONscape®, 36"x36" backlit digital cibachrome with interactive website. Right: DIMONscape® portrait, Estate of Neale Bearden, digital cibachrome with private interactive website.

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paintings, drawings, words – so that they have the power of the big story, but contain the images of each separate story that compose it.” Once complete – like books, projects like these take months to conceive and execute – the content-driven artwork exists in two realms, on the wall and on the web. Through a DIMONscape, stories, whether they are customized for an individual or a corporate client, live on and are truly interactive, revealing unique aspects that together celebrate the essence of the subject. This alone makes the work, which can cost in the thousands, priceless. Classically trained in art and painting and exceptionally attuned to the evolving palette of the time, Roz Dimon’s vision, perfectly executed in her chosen medium, shines with the same innate brilliance of the multi-faceted gem that sounds similarly like her last name. Coincidence? We think not. As Walter Liedtke, Curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, remarked, “her studio is something of a blend between Rembrandt’s and a lab at Apple or IBM.” Upon seeing one of her digital art exhibitions at a studio in Soho, “It struck me at the time that computer art was analogous to Rembrandt’s experiments in etching, then (ca. 1625 onward) a new, faster and more flexible form of making prints, which allowed fairly widespread distribution. Learning of Roz’s original work in oil painting, which of course was Rembrandt’s main concern, reinforced the connection, which simply illustrates how many breakthroughs in artistic expression are linked with formal and technical innovation.” He added. “I feel that I’ve seen the future and it’s better than previously assumed.” Thanks to Clifford Mallory and the Southport Delamar, Connecticut can see it now too.


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motoring

“Some love is fire, some love is rust. But the finest, cleanest love is lust.” -James Bond in “Goldfinger”

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Aston Martin One-77 for 007? by Lorenz Josef

IN Ian Fleming’s novel, “Goldfinger”, James Bond, also known as 007, said those words about a woman. However, I would bet that if he had a chance to drive the all new One-77, he’d be lusting after this latest creation from Aston Martin, as I did when I recently saw it at Miller Motorcars in Greenwich, Connecticut. Ever since Fleming penned the novel in 1959, Aston Martin cars have become synonymous with James Bond. In the book, Bond’s 1st Aston Martin debuts in Chapter 7, entitled, “Thoughts in a DB III.” Bond’s car of choice was one of the most sophisticated sports cars of that time, the Aston Martin DB Mark III (aka DB III). Road & Track Magazine called it “A car for connoisseurs” in their 1959 review. It was also rare, as only 551 DB IIIs were produced between 1957 and 1959. At a price of approximately $7,500 for a standard car, which was about 50% more than a standard Cadillac that year, few could afford one of these performance cars. However, 007’s car was nowhere near standard. In addition to all the secret gadgets which Britain’s Secret Service built into

the car, we also know that Bond’s car was fitted with the dual exhaust factory option to increase his Aston’s horsepower by 16 ponies. A fact which Fleming reveals when he wrote: “He motored slowly over to Reculver, savouring the evening and the drink inside him and the quiet bubble of the twin exhausts.” When the movie came along in 1964, the producers wisely upgraded James Bond’s ride to the then current Aston Martin DB-5. The new car’s 280+ horsepower engine is credited for the Aston’s 140 miles per hour top speed which made it a breeze for Bond to outrun his pursuers. Of course, once again, that Bond car was filled with all the latest technology. The DB 5 proved to be a big hit in that movie and was driven by Bond in four more movies. Since then, Bond has also taken a turn behind the wheel in other Aston Martins, including the DB S, Vantage Volante and Vanquish models. In a couple of years, the Aston Martin Company will celebrate its 100th anniversary, although they were off to a slow start and didn’t actually produce any of their own cars until 1919. From that point on, they quickly made up for lost time. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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motoring

Within a few years Aston served notice it was going to be a leading manufacturer of high performance automobiles. In fact, they broke 10 world records during the 1920s and their cars competed in many racing events in Europe and England. After World War II, the company was purchased by the successful tractor manufacturer, David Brown (hence the subsequent use of the DB model designation). Brown then merged it with another pre-war, high performance car company he had recently acquired: Lagonda. Aston Martin got an immediate shot in the arm from this merger with the availability of Lagonda’s high tech, dual overhead camshaft, six cylinder engine, designed by none other than W.O. Bentley (Lagonda’s Chief Technical Manager since he separated from his eponymous company in 1935).With an influx of funds from the tractor business, Brown went about re-establishing Aston Martin’s reputation for speed and comfort. In fact, in the early 1950s, Aston’s Press literature called its new car, “the race-bred luxury sports car” and further went on to state that “speed is built into its every line.” Their first post-war race was the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans and the results were not great. However, a little later that year Aston scored its first big success when their car came in 3rd overall in the Spa (Belgium) 24 Hour race behind a first place Ferrari! Aston continued to use racing to develop their cars and won many races in their class. Ten years later, around the time that Ian Fleming was writing “Goldfinger”, all their investment and engineering paid off. A racer named Carroll Shelby (later of Shelby Cobra fame) co-drove an Aston Martin to 1st place overall in the prestigious Le Mans race, setting the stage for Aston to take the 1959 World Manufacturer’s Racing Championship to boot. More than 50 years after that great racing achievement, the new One-77 truly embodies Aston’s quest for excellence. Just as the Lagonda engine was a best in class power plant in the mid-1940’s, the One-77’s engine, a 7.3 liter V-12 be-

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hemoth, is the most powerful naturally aspirated motor (i.e. no turbo or supercharger) in the world! This engine is made of lightweight alloy, has 4 camshafts and features 48 valves. It boasts an incredible 750 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. At Miller Motorcars, Cyndi Koppelman told me that this was the most radical Aston Martin to-date. She explained that the central tub was constructed entirely out of carbon fiber and also featured some aluminum body panels. Then she gave me a detailed walk around the One-77 in her showroom in Greenwich. I could see the family resemblance with previous Astons, but this new car was very different in many respects. First, the


This latest Supercar from Aston Martin is clearly the best car they have ever built. With a 0 to 60 mph acceleration in less than 3.7 seconds and a top speed in excess of 220 miles per hour, it can easily outrun anyone sent to destroy Bond by the likes of Auric Goldfinger, Ernst Blofeld, Hugo Drax or Dr. Julius No.

design is very aggressive, fresh but with a distinct link to the racing Astons of the 1960s. Plus, there was carbon fiber visible everywhere! For example, the aerodynamic diffuser under the rear bumper looked like an eight-pronged carbon claw. Even the rear wing and the two supporting struts were made out of shiny new carbon. Under the hood there were huge carbon fiber braces framing the engine and a plaque proudly proclaiming “Handbuilt In England”. Looking into the rear hatch I found a pair of sturdy looking carbon fiber rods which sup-

ported the suspension. I also noted that the rear springs were visible underneath 2 kidney shaped windows built into the luggage area, which reminded me of those skeletal back watches which allow one to see the movement through a glass. Cyndi then opened up the doors to allow me to sit in the One-77. First I noticed the sculpted carbon door panels and then the sill plate which was engraved “No. 25 of 77”. I eagerly jumped into the leather seat which was elaborately stitched in light grey. Even the floor was bare carbon and was covered by two leather-bound, wool floor mats which were affixed with cute little belt buckles. Inside, I fired up the engine. The stainless steel sports exhaust shouted out an exciting roar which reverberated throughout the showroom. Cyndi then pressed the “Sport Mode” button and the engine sound got even more ferocious. Despite the extensive race-car like use of carbon, the interior does not lack any imaginable amenity. In fact, the sound system is courtesy of Bang & Olufsen. Curiously, the luxurious, leather wrapped One-77 steering wheel is somewhat square shaped, but felt very comfortable in my hands. As we sat in the car, Cyndi gave me some interesting facts. First, the car is made up of 3,500 separate carbon fiber parts. I think I counted all of them! Second, as in a race car, the engine is set way back under the base of the windshield and thanks to a dry sump oiling system, the engine sits 100 millimeters (about 4”) lower than any other Aston ever. Finally, the 6 speed automated manual transmission is mounted in the back for better weight distribution. These critical drivetrain layout decisions made during the initial engineering of the One-77 are what gives this car its phenomenal surefootedness and handling at speed. I also learned that it takes 27 technicians about 2,700 man hours to assemble each car. Further, Aston uses 10 hides to craft the 100 individual leather pieces which make up the interior. However, when ordering a car, the buyer has the ability to go to the factory and meet with Design Director, Marek Reichman to further personalize his or her car and truly make their One-77 into One of 1! This latest Supercar from Aston Martin is clearly the best car they have ever built. With a 0 to 60 mph acceleration in less than 3.7 seconds and a top speed in excess of 220 miles per hour, it can easily outrun anyone sent to destroy Bond by the likes of Auric Goldfinger, Ernst Blofeld, Hugo Drax or Dr. Julius No. Plus at a price tag of $1.4 million it is a bargain when compared with the DB-5 Bond drove in that famous movie almost 50 years ago, which sold for more than $4.6 million at an auction in London in 2010! Will 007 drive the One-77? James Bond movie aficionados can only hope! CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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The first 50â&#x20AC;&#x2122; motor yacht that can sail continuously, everywhere, and with the greatest respect for the environment, thanks to her NMMA Certification (Class CE A approval) and, Rina Green Plus class notation.

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Boating

Azimut Magellano 50 The first modern and luxury long range yacht She is the first of the “New Classic” vessels to offer an abundance of light and large windows throughout the lower deck; and absolutely the first 50-footer to offer an outdoor salon in the bow and four alternative layouts below deck, responding perfectly to the owner’s requirements.

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he Magellano 50 appeared for the first time in the United States at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show last year. She's had quite a successful year, in fact, just after the official presentation at Genova 2010 Boat Show, The Magellano 50 has been sold in all the 5 continents! She is the mid-sized model in the new Magellano range, created by Azimut for all those yachtsmen who are seeking an increasingly authentic cruising experience, where a love of the sea and the pleasures of boating are the starring players. A high level of eco-compatibility, safety, long range, easy handling and fuel efficiency, top comfort for extended stays on board and a natural exquisite taste: these are the characteristics of this innovative craft, where for the first time, modern style and seafaring tradition have come together in perfect harmony. An avant-garde classic for cruising and experiencing the yachting lifestyle in total freedom has arrived.

meets all the requisites demanded: from her low-emission engines (the Magellano 50 is powered by two brand-new latest-generation 425 mHP Cummins common rail engines, with electronic fuel-consumption management) to her high-performance hull and propellers; from the anti-UV film applied to reduce heat exchange through the glass surfaces to the tracking of consumption and tank levels, with a charging and discharging log; and from the LED lighting to the infusion lamination of the prin-

cipal fibreglass components, a procedure carried out in the Azimut shipyard in Avigliana, which has been awarded the ISO 14001 Environment standard certificate. Designed to be experienced The dimensions of the external area spaces are surprising. Starting from the stern, the Magellano 50 has a cockpit partially projecting over the bathing platform with a living surface of more than 12 square yards equipped with

Optimum eco-compatibility For many years now, Azimut Yachts has considered the quest for optimum ecocompatibility as one of its top priorities. For this reason, being the world’s first shipyard to achieve RINA “Green Plus” notation in the mid-sized vessel segment is an exceptional triumph for the company’s design team. The Magellano 50 CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Boating

To speak of a modern contemporary style, but also “timeless” would seem a paradox, but the design and luxurious atmosphere created by Azimut’s Style Department for the Magellano 50 suggests this reflection.

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a “C” bench and a table for 6 persons. Wide lateral walkways go to the bow section where a second open-air lounge area is situated. With the tender housed on the bathing platform, the whole flybridge is at the disposal of life onboard, with a large lunch zone equipped with a mobile bar and a separate sunbathing area. The central mast, apart from supporting the antennas, accommodates a shower and the stereo

or a second dinette and guest cabin, or, finally, a studio and separate laundry area, with washer and dryer, additional storage space or an extra folding bed. This possibility of customizing the vessel strengthens the bond between the owner and his Magellano 50. Light reaches the lower deck through multiple openings, filtering down from the windscreen left in view and also from the large windows that are present in all

private bathroom with a large separate shower cabin. The second queen-size bed cabin, in the bow, features an incredible luminosity from a large skylight and two comfortable armchairs.

speakers, whilst the base acts as added storage space. On the main bridge, the two sliding access doors slide on a guide that permits complete opening. The galley is positioned strategically halfway between the cockpit and the interior dinette to offer maximum convenience onboard. It is an open space environment to be lived in a family and informal way. The “C”-shaped sofa of the lunch area is slightly raised up and positioned to the side of the pilot’s seat to share the pleasure of navigating with the pilot. Storage zones placed all over the bridge and an extra area of 64 US_GAL has been recovered in a useful locker integrated into the ceiling. The lower deck is a masterpiece of design, and is the only one in the world offered in motor yachts of this length that allows the owner to choose between 4 options. In the spacious area between the master cabin, located midship, and the VIP cabin in the bow, it is possible to choose the studio and guest cabin configuration, or studio and second dinette,

environments. Also natural ventilation is ensured in each area by portholes that can be opened on both walls. The master suite is midship, equipped with double wardrobes, drawers, additional lockers underneath the bed, a vanity zone and

atmosphere created by Azimut’s Style Department for the Magellano 50 suggests this reflection. Wood is used in profusion but without excess to avoid weighing down the environments. The essence is Canaletto walnut with vertical

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Interior design: a modern timeless style To speak of a modern contemporary style, but also “timeless” would seem a paradox, but the design and luxurious


grain. Solid wood finishes the furniture, and the tops are finished in Saffiano leather, whilst natural fiber textiles in light tints decorate and finish the seating (all covers can be removed for cleaning). The shape of the furniture suggests memories of the past without nostalgia, conferring a decisive personality but always discreet. On the lower deck is waist-high wooden panelling that decorates the bulkheads and walls of each environment. Handrails, perfectly integrated into the furnishings, are embellished with leather inserts. The attention to the environment that permeates the whole project also influenced the choice of interior decoration where, apart from utilizing natural textiles, leathers were introduced that were not treated with chrome. On the first unit, the fabrics used for the interiors

come exclusively from the collection of Loro Piana Interiors. Timeless elegance and the best natural materials (linen, cotton and cashmere) are the outstanding features of the products from this range. The Magellano range by Azimut Yachts The Magellano range is the latest product of the great innovative capacity, design expertise and manufacturing technology that make Azimut Yachts a leader in the world yachting industry. A mere year since the launch of the first model, the Magellano 50 will take her place beside the larger Magellano 74 and will soon be followed by a third model in the 40â&#x20AC;&#x2122; series, with the objective of developing a Magellano range in a few short years, which is suited to the diverse requirements of owners.

For further information contact: Azimut Yachts Executive Offices Via M. King, 9/11, 10051 Avigliana - Turin (Italy) Tel. +39 011 93 161 www.azimutyachts.com CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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MUSIC Novel: "It's Only Rock and Roll"

By Bruce Pollock

It's Only Rock and Roll [ Chapter One ] He had become by then a figure of gossip and speculation, of rumor and misconception. Dressed in jeans and a black velvet jacket, cowboy boots, V-neck T-shirt with a pocket for keys, spare change, chewing gum, scraps of paper bearing the scribbled phone numbers of available women, black hair creeping past his collar, the subject of this idle chatter, double talk in singles bars, differences of opinion in neighborhood laundromats, claimed to be a New York City expatriate named Bloom, who fled a bookkeeper’s pension to pursue his humble dream of playing his songs in front of a real audience. But what few cognoscenti there were in the tiny upstate New York town of Elvira didn’t believe it. There was no way a slick wordsmith like Bloom, two parts Mose Allison, one part Randy Newman, with the melodic chops of a Carole King could have remained undiscovered, even by his mid-20s. According to the rumblings and the mumblings at the comic book store, there was something too familiar about the way he stood up to bash the low notes on the piano. Something too practiced about his between songs patter, two parts Jean Shepherd, one part Ramblin’ Jack Elliot. He was obviously a pro, or a former pro, here in hiding from an ex-wife or two, a string of lawsuits, the remaining members of his band. Some thought he could be Lloyd, of Lloyd’s of London, the crazed Glam outfit that used to burn their amplifiers and all their equipment onstage after every concert until they went bankrupt in 1976 after two gigs. Except for the fact that he had no British accent. His easygoing nasal twang was more Austin, Texas by way of New70

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ark, New Jersey. Others claimed he was the ex-lead singer of the Bleeps, an area group that stood on the brink of making it in 1973, courted by a&r men from three major labels, all of whom wanted to strip him from the band and make him a solo artist. No one could recall his name, just the legend, perhaps an exurban legend, that he refused their offers, wouldn’t turn his back on buddies he’d known since grade school. Too bad the buddies weren’t as loyal when they kicked him out of the band. Whoever he was, his songs, his very presence, fueled the daydreams of the populace, who perhaps saw their obscure town should he manage to put it on the map as the logical successor to San Francisco in the sixties, or Akron, Ohio of just a few years before. They’d been packing the Black Hole for his once a week appearance every Saturday night for the past two years. “I’m not exactly new in town anymore,” said the young man called Bloom above some chords as the crowd got quiet, “but I’m finding out more and more about this place every day. Especially for an alley cat like me, used to being awakened at all hours of the night by frantic careening taxicabs, those eerie, wobbling fire sirens, or high-strung bleached blondes on amphetamines, the country life is like a revelation. I’ve never known such silence. Even in the beach town where I grew up, you had waves crashing in, college kids burning rubber on their roller skates, practically burning down the campus when the team finally won a game. I got out of there fast. I always wanted to live in the mountains, surrounded by stars,


with no fears coiling up inside my small intestines of who’s waiting, crouched, around the next mammoth oak.” His own best audience, he laughed at his private joke. “I’d say it was like summer camp all year round, except I hated summer camp the year I went. I think it was the shorts.” “Maybloom!” a voice cried out in the darkness, “you’re still a flake.” If the sound of the name pierced the piano man like a bad review he recovered quickly enough by diving into song. “In the backwoods of the world,” he sang, “there’s a place you can find/far from the city’s pace/just a quiet space in time...” “Maybloom, I love it,” the heckler shouted. Bloom continued singing. “It’s a place to clean your mind/we’ll make our little world shine.” “You’ve still got it, babe. You’ve still got it.” “Shut the hell up,” a concerned listener offered on Bloom’s behalf. “Give the people what they want!” the heckler replied, before subsiding. Out of the applause Bloom segued into another tune, and then another, successfully navigating the set past the obnoxious drinker. By now he knew who he was. And he couldn’t say he hadn’t been expecting him. Or that mixed in with the anger and the shock of being discovered at last wasn’t a bit of a thrill to come across one of the few souls on the planet who knew he’d once killed a man. And given birth to another. “They told me you were up in the sticks, Maybloom,” said Ezra Child, popping his head into Bloom’s makeshift dressing area, the size of a voting booth. “They didn’t tell me you were in the sticks of the sticks.” Moving into the room, in a leather raincoat, wide-brimmed leather hat, Child forced the skinny piano player into a corner. “Who’s ‘they’?” said Bloom. He knew Ezra wasn’t just passing through here for the hunting and the fishing or the strawberry jam they served with the pop tarts at the Elvira Inn. “Later for naming names, my friend,” said Ezra. “And speaking of names--Bloom? That’s not much of a disguise. Even less of a pun.” Bloom collected some sheet music from his changing bench, straightened out the pages, and put them into a worn portfolio. “I didn’t know I was in hiding.” Ezra’s laugh rumbled in his ample gut. He wore knee high leather boots and a shaggy, handlebar mustache. In Elvira he’d be taken for either a heavy metal rocker or a truck driver. Over the course of his long career, he’d been both. “If you’re not in hiding, then why did I have to come looking for you? On a Trailways bus? In the middle of the winter?” Bloom smirked. “I’m sure you’ll tell me.” The older and larger man took a tentative perch on a nearby three legged stool. “All the accoutrements, huh?” he said, surveying the landscape. He opened his leather raincoat. He’d lost weight, was down below 250 for the first time since high school. Then he took off his leather hat, revealing himself to be totally bald. “Whoa...” said Bloom, still clutching his portfolio to his chest, as if it might protect him like a bulletproof vest. “You weren’t even losing it last time I saw you.” “Time flies when you’re not having fun,” said Ezra. “I had a lot of things then that I don’t have now. But enough about me. What about you? Are you happy here?” “Oh yeah,” said Bloom, for a second thinking Ezra really cared about his well being. “I mean, I pay my own rent, grow my own rutabagas, bike to work,” he said, lying about the last two. “I don’t have a TV or a stereo set, but the owner here lets me use the piano during the day to write songs, so I guess you could say I have everything I need.” “But Eu-gene,” said Ezra, dwelling mournfully on the initial syllable of Bloom’s also discarded first name, “you never even dropped me a line. Not even a Merry Christmas or a Happy Hanukkah.” “I’m sorry, Ezra. I lost track of time.” Ezra rubbed his head sadly. “Let me tell you something I never told anyone else. I didn’t want to be famous like you, famous by 21. I just wanted to make it before I lost my hair. Well, obviously, I blew that one, like everything else. Later for my hopes and

dreams. But you, man, I thought you were my friend. We worked together for three and a half years.” “Together?” said Bloom. “I was the one doing all the work. You just sat back and collected.” Ezra sighed. “There was nothing to collect.” Bloom agreed. “You didn’t even accept my collect phone calls.” At the doorway a girl with curly blonde hair peeked in. “Closing time,” she said. She edged her way into the miniscule room, back to the wall, hands in the pockets of her hooded parka. “You have any sway with this bird?” Ezra asked her. “I should hope so,” she said. “We’re engaged to be engaged.” “To be engaged,” Bloom added. “Mazel tov,” said Ezra. “Hey,” said Bloom. “Keep the hell out of my personal life.” Ezra raised his hands to defend his best intentions. “Sue me for being polite.” “Maybe I should go,” said the girl. “No, stay,” said Bloom. Then he changed his mind. “We’ll both go. I’d invite you to crash at my place, Ezra, but Greta is allergic to leather.” “No problem,” said Ezra. “I was planning to find a room at the Inn.” “There ain’t no Inn,” said Bloom. “Unless you’re talking about the Elvira Inn, and that’s pretty pricey.” “There’s a Best Western over in Sparta,” said Greta. Bloom glared at her, but she glared back undaunted. “Perfect,” said Ezra. “I trust I can trouble you people for a lift?” “Of course,” said Greta, “if you don’t mind sitting in the back of a pickup truck.” Although the sight of his former manager huddled in the wind hanging onto a spare tire gladdened his heart for a bit, Maybloom didn’t like the way Ezra had uttered that last perfect. It was as if he were planning on pitching a tent here, digging in. If so, it could be an even longer winter than usual.

LISTEN TO A SONG FROM BRUCE POLLOCK'S

IT'S ONLY ROCK AND ROLL The first song to be released from It's Only Rock and Roll will be "Maiden Voyage," written by Pollock with Andy A.J. Gundell and Stephanie Ann, who also sings it. A teenager, from Greenwich, CT, Stephanie Ann plays the part of the novel's leading love interest, Cassie Morgan. Stephanie Ann will be using the song as part of her auditions for the next season of the popular TV singing competition, The Voice. You can download "Maiden Voyage" at CDBaby.com

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barbara rothenberg:

And There is always just enough Time for one more day...

Written by

Laura Einstein

louds are higher and the sky more blue,” Barbara Rothenberg sings at the beginning of the film, Barbara Rothenberg: Art Out of Longing and Song that her daughter-in-law, Jaanika Peerna, made. Music has had a strong influence on Barbara throughout her life. Peerna is an artist and videographer who regularly exhibits her work at ARC Fine Art with owner Adrienne Ruger Conzelman. Now, Barbara will have her own one-person show focusing on her collages and assorted other work at ARC entitled Fragments: New Work on Paper. The show will open May 6, 2012, and run through June 12, 2012. Barbara will exhibit works that have not been exhibited before. Gallery owner Adrienne Conzelman states, “Having shown the work of her daughter-in-law, Jaanika Peerna, for several years, I was intrigued to view the work of Barbara Rothenberg. Immediately after visiting an impressive exhibition of her students’ work at the Silvermine Guild of Artists, I rushed to the studio of this gifted teacher and artist, anxious to discover her world. What unfolded before me, in a rambling mid-century home designed by her late husband, Abraham Rothenberg, was a trove of five decades worth of paintings, drawings and prints inspired by the flora, fauna and flowing river that is just outside her studio door. In addition to miniature jewels, I was enchanted by a set of large-scale, abstract paintings on paper. The strong hues of black and red offer a glimpse into Rothenberg’s grave reality – the recent death of her husband of fifty years and her own ongoing struggles with ovarian cancer.” Barbara links collage with the beginning of her professional artistic career in the 1970s. Collage is about texture, and it is this transforming of a surface that she finds interesting. She admires the 72

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renowned collagist, Kurt Schwitters for transforming the mundane so beautifully in his work. As Conzelman further states, “I was especially intrigued by her series of gem-like collages on paper, never before seen by the public. Intimate in scale, modernist in tone, these works sing with a subtlety of color and a harmony of shape and line, evoking the early twentieth century collages of Rothenberg’s muse, Kurt Schwitters.” For Barbara the collage process of pushing and pulling and moving objects around to create her composition is compelling, and perhaps could be related to the intermixing of melodies in a string quartet. She isolates the sections of her collages so that each section balances another section. The interrelationships between art and music are important to Barbara’s creative process. Barbara creates her compositions while listening to the melodies of perhaps a Bach cantata, one of her favorites, or alongside music produced from an Indian sitar – music that supports the creative process but does not impose upon it. The miniature tradition influences Barbara’s collages as it did other Western artists who looked at these small treasures for inspiration. Henri Matisse was fascinated by Persian miniatures and the modern artist Howard Hodgkin looked at Indian miniatures from the 16th and 17th centuries. Barbara notes the compositional features such as spatial relationships of figures within an abstract base that is constructed by shapes, intense color, interrelationships of minute detail and the contours of geometric form within that abstract matrix.  She jauntily states, “shapes, shapiness, color intensity, minute detail and with an abstract base…”


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Rothenberg is a talented and versatile artist in many senses of the word: a painter facile in oil stick, pastel, and oil paint, a printmaker, collagist and photographer, singer, dancer and naturalist. In 1993 she received an Indo-American Fulbright Fellowship for a project to study the meshing of music and art through the ragamala. Ragamala is a form of Indian miniature painting that is based on the raga, Indian musical pieces that combine art, poetry and classical music in a medieval Indian tradition that dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Rothenberg was fascinated by the rich color found in every aspect of Indian life – in particular, the area of Rajasthan in the northwest region of the country, and one of the main hubs of the production of miniature paintings in India. or Barbara, creating a finished collage is a multi-step process that is based upon a desire to balance form and texture. She has created her own vocabulary and small worlds through collage. She is ultimately concerned with the balance of the interrelated found objects and torn papers whether photography, bits of typography, newspaper articles, sandpaper or objects found on a recent walk. She likes the touch of the sandpaper, the staining with tea and coffee of her Japanese mulberry paper and stiff Arches paper. Barbara also uses Indian handmade paper and Nepalese paper for their varied textures. She mixes her photographs with other materials like typography from newspaper articles, advertisements, and the lettering on the reverse side of sandpaper. Barbara’s photographs are

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embedded within her works using a process that encorporates Xerox lithography as a means of photo transfer. For the collage series she has completed a group that she considers small, medium, and large works that measure from 4"x6" to 22"x30" keeping the measurements generally consistent. Rothenberg is a talented and versatile artist in many senses of the word: a painter facile in oil stick, pastel, and oil paint, a printmaker, collagist and photographer, singer, dancer and naturalist. For Barbara, art is the vehicle for her life story. Art and nature for her are metaphors for life. She is increasingly aware of the passage of time and she speaks of nature and change through her works of art. When asked, “Why do you make art?” She states, “I make art out of desire – desire to experience life and to make something wonderful out of basically nothing; to teach, out of love, out of love of life, out of the joy of a sunny day…” Spirituality and a sense of time, for Barbara come out of her unique creative process and way of viewing life and the passing of time. Other works included in this exhibition are a series of oil paintings on paper called Mutation, a six-part piece whose subject matter explores the translation onto paper of what she imagines a cancer gene mutation might look like. Because Barbara deals with her own ovarian cancer this is a personal reference for her, one that continually impels her work. The piece is as bold and striking as a painting by


Arthur Dove, an early Westporter that Barbara has long admired. Also included is a suite of oil paintings on paper called Milkweed, with a toned-down color key of grays and blacks. A series of sumi ink paintings and collage on Indian paper called, Small Rain I and Small Rain II is included and also a series of Elegies whose title refers as easily to the death of her husband Abe as it relates to a melancholy or sad piece of music. This piece includes printmaking, trace drawing and hand staining of the Indian paper on which forms are articulated. In some of her larger pieces, Rothenberg incorporates the form of silver dollars into beautifully crafted diaphanous forms that relate to the lush saturation of black sumi ink as it courses over the paper with a calligraphic sweep.  These pieces are remarkable for their subtle integration of form, color and texture.  Other forms found embedded within these work include fern, fungi and seeds in a variety of forms. The fern image begins with an embryolike shape which opens up to a skeletal spread, and then withers and folds down at the end of its life symbolizing her own mother’s passing away from Alzheimer’s disease. Sadly, the fungi form emanates from the stroke that ravaged Abe, her architect husband, with the mushroom assuming the shape of his affected brain.  Conversely, seed forms joyously relate to the birth of Barbara’s first-born grandson, Umru. othenberg credits her parents with introducing her, as a young child in Queens, to art and music. Her father, a dentist by day, would develop photographs in their Queens home at night and on the weekends her parents often toted Barbara, an only child, along with them to concerts in Manhattan.  She commuted to Manhattan by herself at the age of eleven, studying art with a private instructor, and then she went on to the High School of Music & Art.  Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia started this school as a place where the most gifted and talented public school students of New York City could pursue their talents in art or music, while also completing a full academic program of instruction. It is clear to see that music and art are the foundations for Barbara’s lifetime of creativity. 

Her artistic career is also rooted in both art history and studio art, and she has taught both for half a century. After a brief stint at Bennington College, Barbara transferred to the University of Michigan, majoring in art history and studio art, and where she wrote her undergraduate thesis on Vassily Kandinsky and his utilization of color and sound. Barbara laments that there was no professor of Indian art at this time, only China and Japan. Barbara and Abe’s own children David and Daniel have developed careers that are as questing as theirs have been. As a young boy David regularly ran the slide projector for Barbara when she lectured on improvisation and 20th century art. Not coincidentally, David has written several books on the relationship between humanity and nature. He authored Why Birds Sing, on making music with birds and most recently Survival of The Beautiful, dedicated to Barbara: “For my mother, a great artist and teacher.” David is also a composer and jazz clarinetist, and he has nine CDs out under his name. Daniel as well has traveled throughout the world advocating for human rights from Afghanistan and Iraq to South America and within our own borders in Florida where he has advocated for rights for migrant farmers. Daniel’s new book, Memory of Silence, is a retelling through oral histories of thirty-four years of Guatemalan violence and killing as documented in the Guatemalan Truth Commission report. Barbara Rothenberg continues to live a life of intellectual inquiry, creativity, and a love of all that nature presents to her daily.  She has lived in her Westport home for forty-three years. The river that flows just outside her patio door has provided a constant source of inspiration and peace.  She enjoys her children, grandson, and creating art each day. An old Yiddish saying spans the upper wall of Rothenberg’s studio: “Out of longing, and out of song, time was created. And there is always just enough time for one more day.” “What would I like to do tomorrow?” she muses. “Perhaps sing cabaret!”  This might be her next creative outlet. In the meantime, stay tuned for Barbara’s exhibition at Adrienne Ruger Conzelman’s Gallery, ARC Fine Art LLC and the activities that have been planned in connection with this compelling exhibition. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Reference Rene Magritte: Les Marches de L'ete

Reference Pisanello: Portrait of a Princess

Serge Clement & Marina Kamena:

E

'Preserving' Post-Modern Pop

ntertaining a steady stream of creative colleagues, literary types, and loyal patrons at their Westport home-studio, the artistic duo of Serge Clement and Marina Kamena are usually at the eye of a cultural hurricane. More like stopping in at a little thatched cottage village refuge out in the Loire valley, we enter an inimitably art salon milieu. Unsuspecting first time diners think they are being well fed; veterans know they are being gorged by an inexorably moveable feast of artistic abundance. Well after the vin rouge carafes have been emptied, we sneak down into the secret subterranean studio. Wonders continue – like peeking into the magical sets for Georges Melies “Le Voyage dans Le Lune” [recently revived in Scorsese’s awardwinning “Hugo”], It’s all intoxicatingly, joy76

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by Philip Eliasoph, Senior Arts Editor ously, and deliciously : à la française. While hostess Marina [she’s from a family displaced by Tito’s goon squads in the former Yugoslavia] ushers us around various gallery-like rooms, Serge dons his chefs apron finishing off his preparation of some bivalves. He’s partial to pearl-like oysters prepared in the customary manner of Brittany which he attends while lording over various pots with simmering sauce for a succulently prepared lamb roast. Let’s not be blasé. The fact that this cosmopolitan couple also make headspinning, jaw-dropping fine art completes this picture. We are not in the midst of those who either pose or propose to be artists. This is most definitely how artists live, think, imagine – and as a sideline, invent first-class gourmand delicacies.

Arriving like Lafayette to help conquer America’s hearts and minds, Clement & Kamena are a delightful, beguiling, and enchanting addition to our regional arts community. With the diplomatic assistance of important local supporters, they made their trans-atlantic passage, finding Westport in 2000 as their permanent residence. Two years earlier they created 10 perfect renderings as the sceneography for Charles Matton’s bio-pic on “Rembrandt.” With remarkable verisimilitude, they literally painted in the faces of the starring actors into the Rembrandt paintings as perfect matches. Yes they are a married couple. No, they won’t divulge who does what part of each art project. Secrets are kept for pillow-talk. No wonder New York Times art critic Grace Glueck opened her critique exclaiming


Reference Rubens: The Massacre of Innocents

“over the top we go” with these boundlessly imaginative artists. And just in time for the geraniums and hydrangeas to bloom in Connecticut’s earthly paradise, they are opening their latest series: “The Jar Memory Project” at Southport Galleries for June and July. Take a simple object – how about the generic trademark of the Mason Ball Jar. Patented by the Philadelphia tinsmith, James Landis Mason in 1858 as a practical way for canning fresh foods. With its wide mouth, winter beets and summer strawberries could be safely ‘preserved’ in its tight, vacuum seal. Now add two masterful illusionists –the tag-team of C&K – into the mix, stir up the post-modern visual contexts and voila! Is it a double-entendre, sight gag or paradox of what needs to be lovingly kept from spoilage in our contaminated, toxic world? Abracadabra – it’s the history of art is transformed into a perfectly “preserved” set of iconic images flash frozen into their wildly creative original paintings and limited edition prints. If Andy Warhol could transform the banality of soup cans and detergent packages into “Pop” art, and Jeff Koons had the idea of making plastic beach toys of lobsters into

titanium sculptures, then C&K have pushed the post-modernist irony to its ultimate extreme. Art History’s heavyweights are each playfully canned. Each jar is filled with the memories of Leonardo, Titian, El Greco, Ingres, Picasso, Matisse, de Kooning, Pollock, Kahlo, Warhol and Lichtenstein and more. “We are attempting something more real, more intense than reality,” Marina explains. Quoting his Parisian comrades – Jean Baudrillard, Umberto Eco, and Marc le Bot – Serge speaks in thickly layered Gallic metaphors. But art of this nature – ponderous, deliriously experimental, marvelously creative – needs no pretentious analysis. In their crammed-packed, richly illustrated book, “The Joy of Art: A Creative Guide for Beginning Painters,” [Harry N. Abrams, 2000] C&K propel our vision from the primordial art of the caves to the sublime techniques of the Old Masters. Along this golden road, we learn from their notes and witty illustrations that all great art is comprised of newly invented creative methods. Studying one of my favorites from the “Jar Memory Project” is a floating nude torso in a sea of puffy clouds against a ceru-

Reference Ingres: Le Bain Turc

lean blue sky. It was painted by the Belgian Surrealist Rene Magritte who noted: “Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” And for Serge Clement and Marina Kamena those mysteries are being tightly sealed with their unbelievably UN-canny appeal. ~ INTERVIEW ~ Venü - After a so long journey - with you coming together in life, marriage, and creativity – what prompted you at this moment to create the “Jar Memory Project”? C&K - Painting was born 25,000 thousand years before writing and we can see it today on the cave’s walls of Chauvet, Lascaux, Altamira. Geology invented the first recipients containing human genius. Which words come to our mind then: Conservation, Preservation. A jar was there, on the table, and aroused our attention. The term Conservation suggests both the museum case and the grocery shelf. Preserving peas in a transparent glass could it be compared to preserving Mona Lisa? Are the caves the first “Jars”? Are the Met, the CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Reference Vermeer: Young Girl With Pearls

Louvre, the Prado and the Uffizi big “Jars”? A word can occasion laughter if it brings together the Wedding at Cana and green peas. Depicting words in the language of illusion using the painting becomes our chosen task. Venü - Let’s go back to the beginning. Serge, tell us about your early life in Paris, what it was like training at l’Ecole des Arts Appliques and how did that initial philosophy guide the rest of your career? Serge - I remember the American soldiers in the streets when I arrived in Paris in 1944. The following day, my mother brought me to the Louvre Museum. It was astounding. I had no opinions, I was running to every painting, I loved them all. From that day, I started drawing. Then, in 1950, I was accepted to the School of Arts Appliques. Teachers were all great masters. After a training course in each branch I chose the lacquer studio. With Jean Dunan, my teacher participated to the realization of the extraordinary lacquers of the Normandie, still today regarded as the most beautiful boat ever built. She 78

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Reference Magritte: La Grande Guerre

burned in the port of New York in 1941. The school was also organizing meetings with very famous artists: Raoul Dufy, Henri Matisse, Herbin, Jean Cocteau. Then I started to realize lacquer panels, lacquer screens, theater sets. Venü - Now Marina, you met Serge at what point? And share with us about earliest inspirations and influences. Marina - We met in Paris at the Crazy Horse Saloon. Bunch of adolescents, friends of the owner's children was gathering there on Saturday nights, there was all kind of beautiful performances. As a child, I have been a music lover. At each special occasion, a friend of my father brought me magnificent classical records whose covers and booklets were full of photos and illustrations. I was really entering the images while listening to music. Thanks to the Beatles, I discovered other exciting images when I was a teenager. In fact, later on, I made a number of covers for famous French singers to make a living. Three art shows knocked me down: Picasso

in London, Francis Bacon and Giorgio Morandi in Paris. I decided I wanted to paint. Venü - And after you met, how did this collaboration develop with four eyes, four hands, but one harmonious artistic vision? It’s a smooth dance as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers- or it is more a” push-pull “ struggle like most domestic couples? And how do we know who does what, it is your secret, or why is it not really an issue? C&K - It’s impossible to have a common vision of the world and especially in the art field. If it were the case, boredom and sclerosis would have swiped us off. To live and paint in couple, it’s necessary to develop creativity day to day. Strategists who do not boost the game become soloists, “Separati in casa.” And being two, painting on a same canvas is neither new, neither peculiar, nor frustrating. Romanticism has created this idea of “lonely creator” in his ivory tower with his painful ego. No doubt there is complicity between Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire in the miracle of their dancing. There is also complicity with four hands and six eyes [Think of the third eye].


Reference Christo: Pseudo

Venü - You two are often traveling between Paris and Connecticut on a regular basis. What do you think characterizes the French aesthetic impulse versus a distinctly American vision? Do you think you are transatlantic artists in that sense – taking the best of both worlds? C&K - Not sure that we can talk of French or American impulsion today. Any traveler will discover walls covered with same tags in New York or in Paris. Major part of contemporary museums is showing the same artists. Contemporary art is global. Internet changes the deal, you can virtually visit shows in different museums in the same time. In the Renaissance, Venice school was very different from Florence or Rome, the distance from one another was important. Today, web erases distances. It does not change human condition though. What you are, where you are and what you have been taught is a particular cocktail. We think perhaps we would not have started this project in France, but we started it here. Venü - Of visual arts in our culture today. Would you care to explain how the contemporary art world – or parts of it – are very truthful

Reference Lichtenstein: Alright

about life today? And which part of the art scene do you reject as more commercial but less about artistic ideals or humanistic virtues?

intentionality and purpose? Help us understand what these marvelous images – from Ingres to de Kooning- are all about.

C&K - There has always been an art market. No art without art market. Stephen Jay Gould told “Life emerged as soon as it has been possible”. Likewise for Contemporary Art. Contrary to its predecessor Modern Art, Contemporary Art showed more “Vouloir faire” [want to do] than “Savoir Faire” [know how to do]. – What is a visual art that says with vehemence what cannot be mastered in term of accomplishment. In other words: Intentional argumentation is not enough to be an artwork. – Is it easier to promote? Contemporary art is dressed in a commercial trademark label of secure value. Today, it seems that credo in investment takes advantage of intellectual and spiritual disarray arising in our world.

C&K - We’re the witnesses and the actors of a phenomenal consumption of visuals called “art”. Depicting Pompei, Piero della Francesca, Ingres, Picasso, Robert Ryman, in jars comes from a playful desire to make a break, a cheery confinement to an hysterical movement that has vocation of opening all the windows on the impenetrable mystery of a work of art. To this utopia, we propose another one, based on the words: conservation, memory, patrimony. It confines, in the laps of an intermission, all possible works with no distinction of epoch or style. Our paintings are not imitations but quotations carefully painted. They take on a new visual aspect that our archival project did not quite plan.

Venü - Now let’s “ de-construct” the meaning of the “Jar Memory Project”. Are these art works about imitating art or do they take on a new and wonderfully magical new levels of

“The Jar Memory Art History Project” will be shown from June 1 - July 31 at Southport Galleries, 330 Pequot Avenue, Southport, CT. For more info: www.southportgalleries.com

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Decorative Arts

ON THE BLOCK by Matthew Sturtevant

“I was walking along a path with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.” The image is instantly recognizable, and is one of very few images, which transcends art history and reaches a global consciousness. The Scream arguably has evolved into an even greater power today than when it was conceived. Which is why most experts feel the work could fetch as much as $80,000,000. While you digest that be aware of what might lurk in your attic, closet, or perhaps even your garage. At Bonham’s Oxford, on March 3rd, a 1961 Ferrari 250GTE 2+2 Series 1 Coupé belonging to Oscar winning producer Agostino De Laurentiis hammered down for £101,180 against a presale estimate of £40,000 – 60,000. The current owner realized that the car might have some value, which had not been registered since 1975 and decided to put it up for sale. The very successful sale was 100% sold and grossed £1.29 million. Christie’s also announces the sale of The Pieter & Olga Dreesmann Collection of Dutch Old Master Paintings, which will be offered in the Old Master & British Paintings Evening Auction on Tuesday July 3rd. The Dreesmann family name is synonymous with connois-

Image courtesy of Simon Clay / Bonhams’

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seurship, passion and generous philanthropy in the arts. Crowned by Rembrandt’s masterpiece A Bust of a Man in a Gorget and Cap (estimate: £8 million -12 million), offered at auction for the first time in almost 40 years, the outstanding collection, formed by Pieter and Olga Dreesmann, comprises a group of 15 exceptional works by 17th Century Dutch Masters of the ‘Golden Age.’ The group constitutes the most important single-owner collection of Dutch paintings of this period to come to the market in recent years and is expected to realise in excess of £19 million.

1961 Ferrari 250GTE 2+2 Series 1 Coupe. Estimate £40,000 - £60,000

Edvard Munch (1863-1944) The Scream, Signed E. Munch and dated 1895 (lower left), Pastel on board in the artist’s original frame. Executed in 1895, 79 cm by 59 cm Sotheby’s New York. Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale Auction, May 2, 2012.

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn A Bust of a Man in a Gorget and Cap. Estimate £8 Million to 12 Million.

Image courtesy of CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2012

One of the most recognizable images in both art history and popular culture, perhaps second only to the Mona Lisa will hit the block this month. The Scream by Edvard Munch will be offered for sale on May 2nd 2012 at the Impressionist and Modern evening sale at Sotheby’s New York. This version of The Scream, pastel on board, which dates from 1895, is one of four versions of the composition and the only version still in private hands. The other versions can be found at the National Gallery, Oslo, which holds one painted version, dated 1893. The Munch Museum, Oslo holds the other painted version dated 1910 and one pastel. A Norwegian businessman Peter Olsen currently owns the offered lot, whose father Thomas was a friend and patron of Munch’s. Munch referenced his concept of The Scream in his diary headed Nice 22.1.1892.


COMIC RELIEF

What's So Funny About Following Your Dreams by Bari Alyse Rudin

Besides being a comedian myself for over 20 years, I have spent much of my career scouting fellow comedians for late night network TV shows and for programming on Network and cable television. My love of comedy runs deep and I still get the same excitement and enthusiasm when I see a great comedian for the first time. When I was 22, I worked as a talent scout for the Vice President of late night programming at NBC. My boss was in charge of high-profile shows like Saturday Night Live, and the David Letterman Show. Years later, at the tender age of 28, I was the comedy producer for the Keenan Ivory Wayan’s Late Night talk show where I was regularly looking for comedians ready to make their national television debut. The rush and exhilaration of being the one to find exceptional new talent was, and as I found out last fall during some workshops I took in the city, still is, one of the most incredibly fulfilling experiences of my career. Here I was honing my own material and comedic timing and I found myself enamored with this comic who was attending the same fall workshops. I saw him several times and each time found his new jokes – and even ones I had heard before – to be fresh, clever, cute, and endearingly funny without being dirty. Being able to pull that off in comedy is the true art. Whenever I‘ve witnessed that kind of talent and the comic is not yet a known, household name, I time travel back to the days when that was my job and become incredibly excited about letting the world, or at least our national audience, know about this new act. I really feel like it would be keeping an unfair secret to not spread the word about a talent that would bring joy and laughter to people’s lives. Plus, who doesn’t like feeling like they’re in their twenties again. Meet Mike Jacobs. Is he a twentysomething comic I’m about to introduce you to? No, one of the things you’ll notice about Mike is that he may be one of the more mature comics you’ve seen, and not just because he’s not doing beginner, potty humor jokes. He’s distinguished with silver hair, and you will learn from one of his jokes that he recently celebrated his sixtieth birthday. When I saw him first performing

material about growing up poor in Hartford, Connecticut and the hilarious stories he told about his parents, it was a breath of fresh air which reminded me of the kind of comedy I grew up listening to both commercially and in my own family. There was a familiarity, an engaging, endearing quality about this comic that set him apart from the thousands I’ve seen. How do I describe that to you? He tells jokes about his childhood, neighborhood, and growing up. You can tell that they come right from the heart and they remind you of your own funny and crazy family stories. He doesn’t go for the shock value or the easy laugh with cursing and blue material –that’s always refreshing because there’s nothing new or clever about that kind of material. Instead, he has you laughing at the simplest moments of humanity we’ve all encountered and when he’s done, you want to hang out and laugh with him some more as well as give him a hug.

Mike studied philosophy in college and his material shows that he is as much a philosopher as a comic. While he’s not talking about Aristotle on stage in his standup, what does come through is someone who has a depth of understanding about life and ideas and why and what is funny, beyond the obvious of his own life and childhood stories. After college Mike began his very successful career, not in stand-up comedy, but on Wall Street, spending 40 years as a stockbroker with a well-known firm. Clearly, Mike knows a little something about working under pressure and balancing many different things at once. Maybe that’s part of what makes his timing, delivery and writing as a comic so impeccable. He always loved comedy and never stopped dreaming of making it on stage, even though he was a successful Wall Street guy with a busy career, life and family. It wasn’t until his youngest daughter, Aly Shira, a morning show host on “The Jack Diamond Radio Show in DC”, asked her dad if he thought he could put together five minutes of standup for a comedy show her radio station was putting together with professional comics. She knew how funny her dad was and how much performing stand-up comedy was a dream for him. Mike said at the time he really only had one joke, but leave it to a stockbroker to recognize an opportunity and timing. Mike put it together in about five minutes and hopped on a plane to DC where he had a killer first set. He was hooked. He soon became a regular at New York City and Connecticut comedy clubs and worked non-stop on his act. Today, just four years after he tapped into his amazing talents for that radio show in DC, he is a regular at Caroline’s and other Broadway Comedy Clubs. He also performs regularly at Joker’s Wild, The Brew Ha Ha and Treehouse Comedy Clubs in Connecticut, casinos, theaters and fundraisers. A recent highlight for Mike was opening at the Fidelity Theater for two of Blood, Sweat and Tears concerts. During his first year as a stand-up, he placed second in New York’s Funniest Jewish Comedian contest. Last year, he performed in the Boston Comedy Festival showcases and was just recently selected by NACA to perform on the college circuit. It just goes to show that you’re never too old to follow your dreams. Do yourself a favor and catch one of his shows. I can virtually guarantee that you will find yourself laughing and joyfully remembering your own family and childhood. He is my new favorite and, in my opinion, the best comedian performing in Connecticut today. You can also say you “discovered him before he was famous” because I am sure you will be hearing more about him as he makes his way on to the national stage. Check out Mike at MikeJacobsComedy.com for shows and schedules. As always, get in touch with me and follow me on Twitter@BariAlyse.

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Kacie Sheik as Gypsy Rose Lee. Photo: T. Charles Erickson.

"The ghosts will be here when the guests have gone." Photo: T. Charles Erickson.

Save The Date!

It will be February in May when this daring new musical opens in New York. By William Squier

What do you need to create new musicals these days? Let’s do the math. In the case of February House it took one biographical source, two promising young writers, three enterprising theaters and four happy coincidences to add up to the World Premiere staging that took place at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut earlier this year. And the show, which is a co-production that will reopen at New York’s Public Theater on May 8, has already begun to accumulate the critical praise that its writers, Seth Bockley and Gabriel Kahane, will need to turn their quirky tuner into a longrunning success. But, commercial considerations weren’t really on the minds of Bockley and Kahane when they began to collaborate on February House. That’s because it’s the first show to come out of The Public’s Musical Theater Initiative, a program designed to commission new work from composers who are more 82

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interested in expanding the notion of what writing for the musical theater is all about than cranking out a hit. But, with a reputation for producing musicals that are as audiencepleasing as they are adventurous, like Hair, A Chorus Line and Passing Strange, it won’t be surprising if the folks at The Public help the writers find a way to accomplish both. “It’s hard to define what feels like a Public Theater project,” admits Ted Sperling, Director of the Musical Theater Initiative. So, the program has focused, instead, on identifying composers that Sperling felt would be a good fit. “It was, for me, about investing in the artist,” he explains. “Which is also how Oskar Eustis [the Public’s Artistic Director] likes to work: to build relationships with artists, find out what they’re interested in writing, help them make sure that it’s the right idea and guide the process.” The first artist to benefit from the Initiative’s support was February House’s com-


Pictured from left: Julian Fleisher, Kristen Sieh, Stephanie Hayes and Eric Lochtefeld. Photo: T. Charles Erickson.

Pictured from left: Stephanie Hayes, Kristen Sieh and Julian Fleisher. Photo: T. Charles Erickson.

poser and lyricist, Gabriel Kahane. “Gabe was the right first person to commission,” Sperling feels. “There was something about his music that felt downtown and hip, but also sophisticated, complex and theatrical.” A native of California, Kahane grew up in a musical household, the son of concert pianist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane. His relatively brief career as a composer has already been incredibly varied, ranging from creating instrumental concert pieces for the likes of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Kronos

Quartet to recording his own eclectic albums of indie-rock/art songs. Kahane has also performed with a spectrum of other contemporary singer-songwriters, including Chris Thile, Sufjan Stevens and Rufus Wainwright. “My musical education was sort of on-and-off in terms of formal training,” Kahane admits. “I studied jazz piano at the New England Conservatory. So, when a fellow student at Brown University approached me about writing a musical I wasn’t really interested in the form. But, it kind of served to get me started writing music down, as opposed to improvising. That was my entrée into putting music on the page.” Since then, Kahane has had an ongoing relationship with the musical theater. He served as the music director for the boundary-pushing shows A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant and the West Coast production of Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson. And he wrote the score for an alt-country musical about the Prophet Muhammad, Caravan Man, for the Williamstown Theatre Festival. “Caravan Man was the show where I wrote my own theater lyrics for the first time,” Kahane adds. Kahane met book writer Seth Bockley when he arrived at Brown as a sophomore. “We graduated the same year and became fairly close friends in the last year and a half,” he says. “Seth and I had worked fleetingly

Bockley and Kahane’s portrait of unconventional young artists trying to make a new family for themselves has a timeless feeling… often as funny as it is touching. on a project or two that didn’t take shape and we’d been talking about other possible collaborations when the Public commissioned me to write February House. So, I mentioned the piece to him and he was very enthusiastic.” The two began writing together early in 2009. As a playwright, Bockley is perhaps best known for his work with Chicago’s sitespecific Redmoon Theater Company. He’s no stranger to literary adaptations, having written and directed stage versions of two short stories by bestselling satirist George Saunders. From time to time, Bockley also pens his own lyrics – as in his 2008 Depression-era CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Pictured from left: Stanley Bahorek and Ken Barnett. Photo: T. Charles Erickson.

folk opera Boneyard Prayer. In the case of February House, however, he’s left the songwriting chores to his collaborator. Fortunately, both Bockley and Kahane have acting backgrounds, so they’ve formed similar opinions about the needs of a theater song. “You can get away with being very oblique in a pop song,” Kahane explains. “There’s actually a very different approach for writing theater songs and lyrics. You have to think the way a playwright would approach writing a monologue. Think about what the beats are, the beat shifts and how the music supports that. It’s really a question of finding the right diction for the character.” It was Bockley’s task to give dramatic shape to the musical’s essentially a plotless story, which is based on a work of non-fiction by Sherill Tippin. The show imagines what life was like when novelist Carson McCullers, poet W.H. Auden, composer Benjamin Britten and Gypsy Rose Lee, among others, all lived together in a run-down boarding house at 7 Middagh Street in Brooklyn for about a year and a half prior to America’s entry into World War II. Presiding over the group – like a kind of a precursor to Anna Madrigal in Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City novels – was George Davis, a flamboyant author and editor. In the musical, Davis seems to be dealing with his own stalled literary career by enabling the creative efforts of other writers. Kahane is eager to acknowledge the contributions that a host of people – including Artistic Directors Eustis and Long Wharf’s Gordon Edelstein – made to the development 84

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of February House. “Ted Sperling’s experience and his knowledge were particularly valuable in leading a bunch of musical theater newbies to the well,” Kahane emphasizes. For example, he says that it was Sperling who pointed out the main challenge in adapting Tippin’s book for the stage. “I said, ‘Well, it’s tricky because it’s not a work of fiction,” Sperling recalls. “It doesn’t have a beginning, middle and end. So, structuring it is going to be a lot of work. But, I think it’s ripe with potential and full of rich characters.” Perhaps the most remarkable thing about February House is how the musical got its start. In an economic environment where even the latest film-to-stage adaptation by a big name composer can have trouble attracting financing, Kahane points to “a series of happy coincidences” that led to the Public Theater’s commission. At around the same time that Ted Sperling was becoming familiar with both Kahane and February House, the composer says that he met Ted and Mary Jo Shen. The Shens head a foundation that underwrites the work of innovative musical theater composers like Ricky Ian Gordon, Adam Guettel and Michael John LaChiusa. And they’ve played a part in helping pioneering musicals like Grey Gardens and The Light in the Piazza to secure Broadway runs. “I was aware of their reputations as a supporters of theater that wasn’t specifically commercially-minded,” Kahane says. “So, I introduced myself.” As luck would have it, the Shens had also recently read Sherill Tippin’s book. With their

backing added to Sperling’s, it wasn’t difficult to pique Oskar Eustis’ interest in the project. “The story’s political themes really appealed to Oskar who, coincidentally, was also my dramaturgy professor at Brown,” Kahane reveals. And the first Musical Theater Initiative commission was created. The final piece of the puzzle fell into place when director Davis McCallum joined the creative team. “We ran into each other, again coincidentally, at a reading of Rebecca Gillman’s adaptation of Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” Kahane recalls. “When Seth came on board three months later the three of us would get together and have rigorous dramaturgical conversations.” In-house readings at the Public followed as the musical was being written. These attracted the attention of both Long Wharf and New York Stage and Film, a professional summer theater located on the Vassar College campus in Poughkeepsie, NY, who offered to sponsor a workshop of the show. “We spent three weeks at New York Stage and Film,” Kahane says. “Which, in retrospect, we really spent figuring out how the three of us [Bockley, Davis and Kahane] worked together in a room, which was incredibly valuable.” When February House finally bowed at Long Wharf after three years of development, the Hartford Courant’s critic Frank Rizzo wrote “Not since Sunday in the Park with George does a musical so dazzlingly explore the role of art, artists and the “real” world in which they live with such creativity, intelligence and heart.” And Joe Meyers said on his ctnews.com blog that Bockley and Kahane’s “portrait of unconventional young artists trying to make a new family for themselves has a timeless feeling…often as funny as it is touching.” Unfortunately, in 1941 George Davis’s experiment in communal living came to an end, having succeeded about as well as the efforts of some to keep America out of World War II. The musical emphasizes the ephemeral nature of the enterprise with songs that are often more wistful and delicate than they are show-stopping. One suspects that Kahane was inspired by what’s left of the actual address. Though the boarding house was torn down in 1945 to make way for the BrooklynQueens Expressway, Kahane says that he has been to visit the spot where it once stood. “Not only did they raze the house, they dug out the land,” he reports, “So, there’s just open air where it had been. But, there’s still something very moving about walking up to the fence overlooking the BQE and sensing that there was this remarkable energy that flowed there some seventy years ago. And now it’s just thin air.” But, from now until June 10 you can visit 7 Middagh Street at the Public Theater (www. publictheater.org) in New York City. And, hopefully, this time it won’t vanish!


Film

Fox on Film... and Entertainment

Peter Fox

about.me/foxonfilm

Photo: Nick Lacy

Photo: Nick Lacy

"Dreams? I've already Lived Them all." The fraternity of Hollywood’s Golden Age gets smaller with each passing year. And members of that fraternity do not frequently appear in public, let alone share their experiences with them. It was with these thoughts in mind that I prepared for my meeting with Rex Reed before a live audience at The Quick Center in Fairfield, Connecticut. As a film and entertainment critic, this was a daunting assignment for me. I was acutely aware of Mr. Reed’s importance in film and theater criticism. His countless reviews of films, theater, television and pop culture are recognized as important and relevant in each of those circles. Always direct and to

the point, oftentimes brusque and occasionally brutal, he is a master of the art of criticism. Alternately, his criticism can be very generous, gracious and kind. In either case, his criticism is always honest and supported with logic and keen insight. My five plus years as a film and entertainment journalist gave me

some confidence. I tried to put the fact that Mr. Reed has been at it for over fifty years out of my mind as I drove up the street, blocked by a police barricade, toward the palatial Southport home where the meet and greet reception was to be held. This was to be the second time in my life that I would meet

Rex Reed, who had not yet arrived. The hosts of the event, (benefactors of The Quick Center and Fairfield University) were exceedingly gracious and kind; their presentation was on par with that befitting of a visiting dignitary, or head of state. I made my way through the guests, with a mild case of butterflies in my stomach. As a third generation show business brat, I do not usually get star struck. But as time passed, it began to dawn on me that I was not only meeting a notable public figure, but someone who, may I humbly add, does what I do, and what I aspire to continue to do and consistently improve upon; that being, watch and then write criticism on film and media. This explained my sudden case of nerves, which was now growing with each passing minute. He entered the house about one hour after I arrived. In the interest of good manners, I employed a lesson handed down from my father (who was a theatrical publisher) on proper etiquette when dealing with celebrities. I politely avoided eye contact with him, until he initiated contact with me. As an icebreaker, I thought, I would mention our first meeting, which took place at Lincoln Center in nineteen seventy eight while in my father’s employ. No sooner did that memory enter my mind when, I saw his finger leveled directly at me from across the room, arm extended in what seemed like mock accusation, eyes riveted on my face as his mouth formed the words: “Is that the guy?” I wondered to myself: “Is this what it feels like to be starstruck? Will I survive this?” The moment passed by quickly and I was introduced to Mr. Reed shortly thereafter. My nervousness disappeared and it was now time for me to

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Fox on Film... and Entertainment

Photo: Nick Lacy

We moved to the library of the home for a brief strategy meeting. I told him of my memories of our first meeting, thirty-plus years ago, at Lincoln Center. His reply was a wordless blank stare, as if I’d owed him money! spring into action and get to work. We moved to the library of the home for a brief strategy meeting. I told him of my memories of our first meeting, thirty-plus years ago, at Lincoln Center. His reply was a wordless blank stare, as if I’d owed him money! After a few words of thanks from our hosts, and from Connecticut Film Commissioner George Norfleet, it was off to the Quick Center to prepare for the festivities. Rex Reed would lecture for forty minutes, and would then be joined onstage by myself and Dr. Philip Eliasoph, PhD., a fine lecturer in his own right. As we prepared for the festivities, I threw some test questions at Rex, who rebuffed them all. His concern was, justifiably, that my questions would effectively be restatements of large portions of his lecture. I assured him that I would present him with different questions composed during his speech, and I did this. Immediately after being introduced and launching into his

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presentation, it became clear to everyone in attendance why Rex Reed is an icon, and our era’s most important film critic. Gregarious and engaging, his presence was that of a person who has inhabited a world different than ours for a long time, a world that is nearly extinct; the world of Hollywood’s Golden Age. He was mesmerizing. His humorous rants, which included the best Bette Davis and Katherine Hepburn impersonations I have ever seen, were punctuated by his observations on present day Hollywood and pop culture. He lamented the disappearance of the star, and bemoaned, correctly, that the context of the word has taken on a new, lesser meaning. He noted the great characters of the Golden Age, and listed Angela Lansbury, Katherine Hepburn, and Joan Crawford among those at the top of his list. In a chilling moment, he related, for the first time, “to anyone, ever” a story which left the audience completely silent.

In nineteen sixty nine, he was in Los Angeles and was staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel. His reason for being there was that the hotel chef, once per month, would prepare a special lemon merengue pie. After the chef called him in New York to say that his favorite dessert would be on the menu, he made a special trip to be at the hotel that evening. After checking into his room, he received a phone call from a young, up-and-coming star named Sharon Tate. She was very excited that Rex was in town and that she would be very happy if he would come to her house for dinner that evening. According to Rex Reed: “I wrestled with the decision and actually told her that I would call back to let her know if I could make it. Ultimately, I really wanted to have that lemon merengue pie. I called her back and politely declined her invitation.” The next morning, Rex was awakened in his hotel room by a telephone call from Angie

Dickinson, who, in turn, had been awakened by a phone call from Johnny Carson. The news was that Sharon Tate had been murdered at her home in brutal fashion by the Manson gang. His reflection was that his life had been saved, literally, by lemon merengue pie. His animated, entertaining presentation was supplanted by reverence and humility as he related this story to the audience. He answered my questions, rewritten on the fly, with much panache; many of them inflected with impersonations of his favorite stars of yesteryear and the audience was in stitches for most of his answers. He listed his two most memorable moments as: “My first day of work at The New York Times. I was hired there on my first day ever in New York City and I never looked back. I never had to go through the struggles that most writers do.” And then this: “During the filming of Myra Breckenridge (in which Mr. Reed played the role of Myron) it was total chaos. People were dropping in and out of the picture, left and right. By the end of it, nobody was asking the Director or the Producers a thing. It was ‘Ask Rex!’ These things keep happening to me in my life.” After the event, he was downright fatherly toward me, thanking me for my questions as we made our way backstage. My mother, who lives in Ireland, asked me if I could grab his autograph for her voluminous collection. He sweetly asked me about her and graciously obliged my request. And as abruptly and vividly as he first appeared, he was as quietly gone, turning the corner as he walked slowly down the hall to his dressing room. Rex Reed, Hollywood icon from the Golden Age and one of its last witnesses, at day’s end, was as gracious and mysterious as the days that he covered for over fifty years. As I watched him walk away, I wondered to myself, has that time now left us forever? – and stood and hoped for that to be untrue, as he closed the door to the Star’s dressing room.


FICTION

Learning To Fly By Alena Murphy

We’d go to the city on Saturdays when we had to be out of the apartment because Joe was there. The times I hated most were those afternoons when he had his friends from the garage over. I imagined they were all used to having to shout above engine noises; clouds of sweet smelling smoke (had I smelled that at church before? not exactly) amplified their voices and fogged my mind. I didn’t like whatever they were shouting and laughing about. The best memories I have of my mother are from those Saturdays that we had to get away. Our afternoons together, alone, I’d have her all to myself as we’d find our way through Bryant Park, past the lions at the library, out to Fifth Avenue, and into another world. I remember her determined walk, her hand tightly gripping my arm as we crossed streets in the middle of the block, through yellow blurs of cabs. I can still see her in the ladies’ lounge at Saks, smoking and drinking Tab from a pink can in the front room. I sat on the floor, the carpeting was soft and from that angle smoke obscured her face from my view. I watched the ladies’ shoes come and go, their words lingering behind, followed by breezes of perfume. I’d sit there in between the fashion shows that my mother would put on for me. She looked like a movie star when she’d try on fancy clothes, twirl, and walk towards me down the long mirrored aisle of the dressing rooms, her long dark hair bouncing behind her. She’d tilt her head and look at me, eyebrows lifting like curtains going up before a play, preparing me for the illusion to come. She’d tell me her plans for the evening—who she’d be with, where they were going, who she would bump into along the way. I’d be thinking of the reality of our evening: macaroni and cheese, the neon orange of it on the dishes in the sink for days after, and staticky love songs on the radio. After the clothes and a cigarette in the lounge, we’d go to the perfume counter, where I’d offer my wrists up for a dab of something exotic. Then we would look for her favorite, Chanel No.5. She’d spray it into the air and dart through the mist, and then add a few squirts from the thick, rectangular bottle to the inside of her coat, in that space where the lining had started to come apart. “If I aim for that spot,” I remember her telling me, “I can sew it up when we get home and I’ll have the scent with me forever.” She often tried to save things, and spent time making big plans. **** We didn’t talk on the train ride home. I watched out the window once we emerged from under the ground. The best part was going over Jamaica Bay, past the bird sanctuary. “It’s surprisingly close to the city; I don’t understand what the birds see in it.” She’d say something like

that every time we passed, her hands gesturing in the air, half ballerina half Italian. I’d look for birds, but I never saw many. “We’ll go for a walk there someday, Dovie.” We switched trains at Broad Channel, and continued out to the ocean. Returning to our neighborhood, we walked on the boardwalk past the old amusement park with its rickety wooden roller-coaster, past our church, and my school, to our street. Sometimes my mother would quiz me on multiplication, or state capitals. “Washington,” she’d call out. “Olympia!” I answered, not missing a beat. “And dov’è?” she’d ask, “where is it?” “Near California, I think.” Our apartment was the second floor of a house on the corner. As we walked I could see the rounded tops of the big McDonald’s M from the boardwalk, it meant we were close. Soon I’d be able to hear the cries of the seagulls who gathered around the big bins behind the restaurant. “Scavengers,” that’s what Joe called them with disgust. Once in a while Joe would take me across the street for a cheeseburger if they were going out and I was going to be left alone, or if Mom had forgotten me at school again. He was nice to me then, letting me get a milkshake with my meal, and patient as I nibbled on my burger, although he’d check the watch on his hairy wrist every two minutes, making me feel a little nervous. I looked for the seagulls out the window, wondering what treasure they could possibly find in a heap of garbage. I ate carefully, not making a mess, but not so slowly that it would be irritating. That could mean trouble. I felt uneasy living with Joe; I always had to be careful of what I did and what I said. But he took good care of us, at least my mother told me that, and she said I ought to be grateful. I suppose a job at a garage and a paycheck every week counted for something. It was more than my mother had, anyway. I dreamt of the day I could get a job and I would take care of us. Maybe we could even live in one of the new buildings with a patio overlooking the ocean. **** If Mom had forgotten me after school, Father Ricardo would come over to the steps where I was waiting when we both had realized it was too late and that she wasn’t coming. “You can go play for a while,” he said, “and I’ll bring you home afterwards.” But I shook my head. I just wanted to go home, I just wanted to get it over with and let him take me home. I wouldn’t know how to join in that jump rope game anyway, I thought, even if I did want to. The girls with their songs and ropes and the choreography that went along with it, their colorful hair bows and knee socks that stayed up, it was all foreign to me. I pretended I didn’t care and tried not to watch as I sat on the steps and waited. “Alrighty then, let’s go Allison” My stomach lurched to hear him say my name

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The juices ran down my chin and arm, but he didn’t like it if I slurped. He watched me eat. I could feel his eyes on me, I could hear his heavy breathing. like that, it came out all serious and God-like from his clumsy Play-Doh lips. I only wanted my mother to say it, the way she made it sound like a song, switching the syllables playfully: Al-cyon, she’d call, telling me I was named after the daughter of Aeolus, the God of Wind. She told me the whole story of how one day I’d turn into a bird, and bring peace. But no one could pronounce it right, and besides, she didn’t want the church God thinking we liked any other Gods, so we changed it. “Allison?” he repeated. I exhaled and hugged my schoolbooks tight against my chest and followed Father Ricardo through the alley behind the church and to his car. We drove along the boulevard, always in the wrong direction, because he said he liked to drive. Eventually we’d come to a stop. My heart was beating too fast. “Here, I brought you a snack, you look hungry. He handed me a pear. I looked out at the quiet street, a brown leaf jumped and danced in the wind. I took the pear, my favorite, and knowing I wouldn’t get home until I ate it, I bit into it. The juices ran down my chin and arm, but he didn’t like it if I slurped. He watched me eat. I could feel his eyes on me, I could hear his heavy breathing. I looked straight ahead, out the front window. Between bites, he’d lean over and clean me up the way he always did, pulling my hair back with his thick fingers, and getting the sticky sweetness from my face with his lips, then his tongue. “I can’t take you home until you’re clean,” he’d say. When he was done, he would drive me home. “God loves you,” he’d call to me as I grabbed my books and slammed the heavy car door. I flew through the front gate and into the house, pushing the door closed with my hip. I ran up the flight of stairs calling out to my mother. Breathless, I saw her. “Mom? Hi mom, I’m home.” She sat in the faded corduroy armchair, staring out the window. She barely turned, but I thought I heard her say hello. “Mom I knew all the state capitals for my test, even Jefferson City!” That’s wonderful, Dovie, she might have said. **** We walked down the block toward our house, away from the cold wind of the ocean. There was a group of boys in the church playground fighting over a basketball. I knew a few of them from school, but they mostly ignored me. I watched them out of the corner of my eye as we passed, keeping my focus ahead of me. I knew I should always pay attention to where I was going, having been told over and over, warned of the consequences of not paying attention. “Not only could you get hit by a car, you could be grabbed and taken away so quickly you’d never know what happened until it was too late.” Everything was dramatic. She was always afraid of losing me, of my being taken from her. So I became afraid that she’d be taken from me. The fear filled my dreams when I was sleeping and occupied my thoughts when I was in the apartment alone. What if she never came back? I couldn’t possibly stay with Joe. I’d have to leave; I’d have to search for her. The thousand possibilities ran around in my mind on those nights they left me, one chasing the other, until I was thoroughly frightened. I counted on the television to distract me. Continuing along the sidewalk, I kept my eyes on the pavement below my feet, careful to step over the heaving concrete around the tree trunks. My mother’s hand was tight around my elbow, guiding me in the direction of the house. An ambulance and two police cars were parked on the corner, their sirens off but the red and blue lights still revolving in their domes, a warning. Ambulances and police cars were a constant presence in our neighborhood, we lived three blocks from the police department, and along the quickest route to the hospital. The noise and the pulsating, nightmarish lights were a part of our daily lives. **** When we first moved in with Joe I couldn’t get used to the ever present commotion– sounds of sirens, seagulls, and shouts from the schoolyard. With each scream or passing siren I’d imagine a grisly 88

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

murder, or an armed robbery, or even a fire. I hoped that none would ever involve us, and as the months went by and we remained untouched, I began to lose my concern for what might be happening elsewhere, to other people. The sounds and scents of our own apartment were enough to frighten me, and I began to feel more uneasy there than anywhere else. I felt that my mother was being taken from me, slowly, and right before my eyes. I could hear what I thought to be protests and arguments, followed by crashes against the wall, and my mother’s crying. I could hear it all no matter how much I turned up the radio. If only we could have our own place. Anywhere but with him. Mom wouldn’t come out of the bedroom for at least a day after their fights, and when I sneak in with some toast she said she was so tired and needed to rest. I had my uniform for school, and we had a secret hiding place for my lunch money, so I took care of myself for a while, until she appeared again. Joe’s friends filled in the space left empty by my mother. They’d come and take over the living room, shouting to each other as if they were all hard of hearing. I was allowed to move the television into my room on those occasions, but it didn’t erase the dread I felt. In the morning I’d find some of them on the couch or on the floor, sprawled out as though lifeless, and I’d have to step around them as I was getting ready for school. My worst fear was that I’d wake one of them, so those mornings I left early, and without breakfast, eager to breathe some fresh air and be free. The noise of the outside world welcomed me like a blanket I’d wrap myself up in while dreaming at the window. **** We slowed down as we neared the apartment. The crackling of a police radio let out a voice from the other end, speaking to no one we could see. Two paramedics were hunched over in our front hallway. “Mrs. Corrigan?” my mother whispered, extending her arm as if to stop me from going any further.Was it Mrs. Corrigan? She was the deaf old woman who lived on the first floor. We didn’t see her often. “Stay right here, Dove,” my mother said, pressing with both hands on my shoulders as if to glue me to the spot on the sidewalk. She ran ahead, her navy coat fanning out behind her giving off whiff of perfume. I noticed the lining hanging below the hem was a darker blue than her coat. A few seconds later I heard my mother scream. I ran to see what she had seen, only to bump into a paramedic wheeling a stretcher in the direction of our doorway. The policemen were asking my mother questions, she was crying and shaking her head. “Two men in the parking lot saw it happen. Apparently he stepped out of the car, and there was some commotion, and it happened as he walked toward the door. Can I walk you upstairs? Is there anything more you can tell us about him?” I followed them up the stairs, invisible and forgotten, the sound of the ambulance siren fading in the distance. I noticed that the place was a mess, the policeman must have noticed too. I wanted everything to be clean and neat, and nice. My mother, staring off into the distance, collapsed into her old, orange armchair, and I perched on the arm. I could see out the window, seagulls were gathering above the bins. The presence of a stranger in our living room was usually enough to make me uncomfortable, but now I felt that I wanted more strangers, I wanted new people. I wanted to invite the outside in. The sun was casting long shadows on the sidewalks as I watched the scene from our open window. The gold curtains were blown back by a sudden gust of chilly autumn wind. “Mama, let’s go, let’s go,” I whispered. “Where, Dovie?” she asked. “Let’s fly!” I said, jumping up from the chair and throwing my arms wide open.


A brasserie in France is a place where people meet for lunch, dinner or even just catch up with a friend over a glass of wine and a snack. It is more casual with daily specials and tapas. Our menu is affordable to ensure that we will not only be a place for special occasions, but for every day dining as well.

5 2 S A N F O R D S T R E E T, F A I R F I E L D

203.254.8094

W W W . T H E B R A S S E R I E C T. C O M


Bermuda’s National Drink is a Little Like Her National Dance.

Unique, exciting and passed down for generations. It’s true for our exotic Gombey

dancers, who duck and twirl in practiced moves handed down since the 1700s. And it’s true for our notorious Dark ’n Stormy® cocktail. Made with two oz. of Gosling’s Bermuda Black Seal Rum, twirled with Gosling’s Ginger Beer over ice, this exciting drink’s been helping Bermudians keep cool for generations. Happily, you’ll now see it at more and more fine establishments here in the States. And Gosling’s Black Seal at more and more spirits retailers. But to see a Gombey in person, you’ll need to board a plane and come to Bermuda. And would that be so bad?

Gosling’s. For Seven Stubborn Generations. www.goslingsrum.com We make it slowly, stubbornly. Please enjoy it slowly, responsibly. 40% ABV. Product of Bermuda. Castle Brands, NY, NY.

Profile for VENÜ MAGAZINE

VENU Magazine #13 May/June 2012  

Contemporary Culture highlighting the regions finest professional and emerging creative talent with stunning visuals and intriguing articles...

VENU Magazine #13 May/June 2012  

Contemporary Culture highlighting the regions finest professional and emerging creative talent with stunning visuals and intriguing articles...