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Issue_

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Cornucopia, oil on canvas, 20” x 30”

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— S A R A T O G A C O U N T Y, N Y —

SARATOGA

From the famed Saratoga Race Course with its world-class thoroughbreds, to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and its ballet, orchestra, jazz and rock and roll shows, it’s all here waiting for you. Plus, there are so many historic landmarks, cultural attractions, mineral springs, and a lovely downtown. Saratoga’s a special place. Come be charmed.

518-584-3255 • ilovesaratoga.us ® I LOVE NEW YORK is a registered trademark and service mark of the New York State Department of Economic Development; used with permission.


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Summer Issue_42

SPOTLIGHT 14

Motoring Audrain’s Newport Concours

16

Oceans & Yachting Making Waves this Summer with Passion Sea

PROFILE 18

Artist Christopher B. Mooney

FEATURES

34 40

International Collaborations

Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris in Boston

44

Frida Kahlo and the Art of the People

48

48

EVENTS + GATHERINGS

Cover Story Making Masterpieces The IBEX Collection

56

Travel Coming Together at Basecamp Explorer ON THE COVER Detail of Aurelio Rodriguez Lopez’s Master Link, complete image page 10 6

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

18

56

20

FCBUZZ Two Local Museums Welcome New Leaders

22

ArtsWestchester Mobile Arts Programming Hits the Road

23

Art REVEAL Art Fair Returns for its Second Edition


Summer Issue_42

24

Highlights Robert’s Club Celebrates its founding members

25

Highlights The Luxury Marketing Council of Connecticut-Hudson Valley’s Fifth Annual Family Polo Day

30 64

PULSE 72

Art Emerging Spotlight: Arinze Stanley, Nigeria

76

Stage Tevye’s Dream Job: One Actor’s Road to the Stage

68

DECORATIVE ARTS STYLE 26

Guide Chic Showroom and Extravagant Buys

APPETITE 27

8

The Golden Palate The Best of Northern Michigan CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

28

30

Venü Vines The 12th Annual American Fine Wine Competition Destination Art at the Heart of Grand Velas Los Cabos

TRAVEL 64

Saratoga Springs: Behind the Iconic Blue Bottle

WELLBEING 68

Shared Spaces and Sacred Womens-only Clubs: A Rising Wellness Trend

78

On the Block Spring Selection

VENÜGRAM 80

Featured Celine McDonald

IN EVERY ISSUE 10 Publisher’s Letter


The Emotional Animal

A national survey of contemporary ceramic art July 27 - September 14, 2019

40 Beech Street Port Chester, NY 914-937-2047 www.clayartcente.org


The Renaissance was celebrated as an era of artistic achievement, a revolution in realism,

PUBLISHER’S LETTER

with artists and sculptors like Raphael and

they are doing to protect our waterways for the health of our planet. And join us as we congratulate artist Nancy McTague-Stock,

Michelangelo developing new techniques

entirety in our exclusive cover story; 23 others

who was awarded a grant to paint with artists

to make their works more lifelike than ever

are destined to make their worldwide debut

from all over the world during a month-long

before. It took Michelangelo four years

in the spring of 2020.

residency in France.

to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel,

We traveled to Madrid to interview the

Cindy Clarke’s story about her safari to

silencing his critics with eloquent brush-

IBEX Collectors and four of their master

Kenya with Basecamp Explorer was one of

strokes that came to embody the peak of the

artists from Spain this past June, discover-

those bucket list trips we all fantasize about,

Renaissance. Today, some 500+ years later,

ing for ourselves how incredibly talented

with a welcome twist. Basecamp Explorer is

his frescoed masterpiece is more powerful

they are with a brushstroke of paint – or

all about sustainability – from the camps and

still, breathtaking in its beauty and scope and

pastel, the medium of choice for cover artist

game drives to the Maasai, the wildlife and

unrivaled in its execution.

Aurelio Rodriguez Lopez. We are excited to

the travelers who support their efforts. The

It’s also taken the IBEX Master artists

reveal a sneak peek at what we saw, along

work and wonders at play here are truly the

featured in this issue of Venü four+ years to

with an invitation to see more in upcoming

stuff of dreams for everyone and anyone who

paint their masterpieces and after seeing

issues and at the World Premiere of the IBEX

wants to protect the locals and their land-

them in person, I would venture to say that

Masterpieces in New York City next year. This

scapes. Add the fact that photographer Ken

their works, each a brilliant representation

is one show you won’t want to miss.

Geiger, a Pulitzer Prize winning photojour-

of the kind of figurative art that turned

Speaking of don’t miss experiences, we

nalist and former senior editor for National

heads back in the 1500s, are also destined

are delighted to introduce another hyper-

Geographic, took the pictures for this story,

to make real history in the art world with a

realist artist in this issue, Arinze Stanley of

and you may find yourself booking your own

modern-day Renaissance of their own. You’ll

Nigeria, whose extraordinary drawings so

sustainable safari soon.

see one of their masterpieces revealed in its

closely resemble black and white photographs, it’s hard to tell which is which!

With all the remarkable real-life achievements featured in these pages, this Summer

It’s always an honor for us to pay tribute

Issue of Venü is destined to become a

to those who have made a difference in the

collectible – not just for the first-ever reveal

world. Read Lisa Mikulski’s insightful article

of true masterpieces in the making, but

about Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and learn

because of all the master works of people

how her cultural, political and feminist views

who dare to do and dream big. This issue is

informed her work and still influence people

for them… and you.

around the world today. Whet your appetite

Enjoy!

for a fiesta of Mexican art and hospitality in our article about Grand Velas Los Cabos featuring an Art to Table dinner deliciously innovative in every way. Turn to our story on Passion Sea and see how this organization is making waves on the boating front and what

On the cover: REFLECTIONS, 20 x 30 cm, pastel. By Aurelio Rodriguez Lopez. See his masterpiece revealed in the IBEX Masters cover story, pages 48-55. 10

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

Tracey Thomas Publisher/Editor-in-Chief


Show Your Devo�on to Protec�ng the Ocean You can support MARINE RESEARCH by joining the DISCOVERY Yachts Program!

Scien�st-led Expedi�ons

Ci�zen Science

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PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Tracey Thomas CREATIVE DIRECTOR Nichole D’Auria I Nisu Creative FEATURES EDITOR Cindy Clarke FOOD EDITOR & SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Fred Bollaci FILM & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Peter J. Fox

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EDITORIAL & MARKETING Lisa Mikulski DECORATIVE ARTS EDITOR Matthew Sturtevant CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Susana Baker, Fred Bollaci, Judy Chapman, Vanessa Cianfarani, Cindy Clarke, Violeta de la Serna, David Green, Janet Langsem, Nancy McTague-Stock, Lisa Mikulski, William Squier, Matthew Sturtevant PUBLISHING PARTNER Venu Media Company DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Christina Calabreze VICE PRESIDENT, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & OPERATIONS Debra Menich SALES Susie Earls Elizabeth Webster ADVISORY BOARD Nona Footz 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 ADVERTISING INQUIRIES advertising@venumagazine.com EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTION editorial@venumagazine.com SUBSCRIPTIONS subscribe@venumagazine.com Venü is printed with soy ink

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 quarterly publication and we encourage the public, galleries, artists, designers, photographers, writers (calling all creative’s) to submit photos, features, drawings, etc., but we assume no responsibility for failure to publish submissions.


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SPOTLIGHT:

Motoring

NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND, A BREATHTAKING CITY ON THE WATER. Newport has become a worldwide destination for vacationers, students, athletes, and historians alike. America’s wealthiest residents of the late 19th century reveled in the area’s natural coastal beauty, and built their summer “cottages” here to escape the hustle and bustle

AUDRAIN’S NEWPORT CONCOURS

of city life. With the wealth came sport and

& MOTOR WEEK

luxury. Golf, tennis, polo sailing, and auto

“America’s First Resort;’ Newport, Rhode

racing all got their start here in Newport.

Island, will host its first Concours and Motor

Newport was the home of the first polo

Week from October 3rd through 6th 2019. This

matches played in America in 1876, the first

event will welcome the greatest automotive

professional tennis matches in 1881, the first

brands, car collections, and aviation brands,

US Open of golf in 1895, and the home of

while offering the finest foods and beverages

the America’s Cup races from 1930 to 1983.

and much more. This world-class event will touch all demographics and lifestyles.

Newport’s extensive automotive history

During the Concours event, Newport will

dates back as early as the Gilded Age. The first American car race, the Vanderbilt Cup, took place in this historic area. On Septem-

provide the backdrop for the greatest cars in the world at different historic locations along

ber 6, 1900, Willie K. Vanderbilt and some

the famed Bellevue Avenue. Moreover, also

of his closest friends traveled to the nearby

offered during that time will be an evening

horse track to race their newly-imported

& Motor Week. Beautiful, historic mansions

concert at the “Concours Village” at the

automobiles. Little did they realize the

and the seemingly endless Atlantic Ocean

International Tennis Hall of Fame featuring

impact the Vanderbilt Cup would have on

provide the most elegant of backdrops.

Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe, Tony and

American racing culture.

Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week

Oscar winning artist John Legend, and a

will be a celebration of the automobile,

Tour d’Elegance starting on the Claiborne

uniting enthusiasts from around the world.

Pell Newport Bridge and motoring through

Given its rich motoring history, Newport is the premiere destination for a Concours 14

Photography by Brian Kelley

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


MOTOR WEEK AT A GLANCE Four incredible days in Newport RI Official Motor Week

Photography by Dave Hansen

• Concours Village at the International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHOF) featuring: vendors, private treaty cars from Gooding & Co., vintage motorcycle display, automobile show, food and beverage, official Concours & Motor Week store - Open daily • VIP Reception & dinner for car entrants at Ochre Court Mansion - Thursday evening • “The Gathering” at the famed Doris Duke mansion, Rough Point - Friday • Symposium/Academic Panels at Concours Village at the ITHOF - Friday and Saturday • Audrain’s Motor Week concert in the Concours Village, with John Legend - Friday night • Tour d’Elegance beginning on the famous Newport Bridge, touring around the beautiful coast of Newport - Saturday morning • Tour Luncheon at La Forge Casino Restaurant - Saturday • Audrain Automotive Museum Gala at the Breakers mansion - Saturday evening • Audrain’s Newport Concours d’Elegance at the stunning Breakers mansion - Sunday • Events hosted by luxury auto manufacturers, luxury lifestyle brands and automotive clubs, locations throughout historic Newport - Daily • GM Prototype Exhibition the Audrain Automobile Museum - Open daily • Car Manufacturer Displays & Events - Historic properties - Open daily • Car Club Gatherings - State and City parks - Thursday through Saturday

EVENT LOCATIONS

Photography by Brian Kelley

Newport and along the breathtaking Atlantic

The chairman of this year’s Audrain’s

Ocean. Finally, the week will topped off by a

Newport Concours & Motor Week 2019 is

memorable gala and the Audrain’s Concours

entertainment super star Jay Leno, while

d’Elegance at the spectacular Breakers

the Concours d’Elegance chairman for 2019

Mansion where the rarest automobiles in the

is one of the premier automotive experts

world will be judged for a chance to win the

in the world and TV personality, Donald

coveted Willie K. Vanderbilt Trophy.

Osborne.

Concours Village at the ITHOF (International Tennis Hall of Fame) • Vendors, private treaty cars from Gooding & co., vintage motorcycle display, automobile show, food and beverage, official concours & motor week store - Open daily • GM Prototype Exhibition the Audrain Automobile Museum - Open daily • Car Manufacturer Displays & Events Historic properties - Open daily • VIP Reception Ochre Court Mansion - Thursday • The Gathering at Rough Point Rough Point Mansion - Friday • Symposium/Academic Panels - Concours village at the ITHOF - Friday & Saturday • Concert in the village - Concours Village Stadium at the ITHOF - Friday • Tour d’Elegance -Newport Bridge, scenic Newport - Saturday • Tour Luncheon at La Forge - La Forge Casino Restaurant - Saturday • Audrain Annual Gala - The Breakers Mansion - Saturday • Concours d’Elegance -The Breakers Mansion – Sunday

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

15


PHILANTHROPY:

Oceans + Yachting

“Water is Life” Making Waves this Summer with Passion Sea Written by Violeta de la Serna Photographs by Christopher Fay

16

SUMMER IS UPON US, and wherever you

that we are facing and the solutions that

travel this season, it is likely that some

are at hand.” When we asked why founded

sort of body of water will be part of your

Passion Sea, she stated “Water is a precious

vacation and family gathering. Many of our

gift of nature, vital for our survival on this

friends here at Venü have shared with us

planet. We are all part of this amazing blue

inspirations for sailing, yachting, fishing,

element.”

SCUBA diving, kayaking and exploring

One of Passion Sea’s first art projects

great rivers and lakes here in the United

was the production and release of a book

States and abroad.

titled “Water is Life: Thoughts of Our

This spring, Venü was a proud media

Generation”, which includes a summary

sponsor of the 34th Annual Palm Beach

education segment that is illustrated, the

International Boat Show. This event is one

40 best art works from children all around

of the top five boat shows in the country

the world (ages 3-12). The children took

and features over $1.2 billion worth of boats,

part in an international art contest on the

yachts and accessories from the world’s

theme of water. The winning works of art

leading marine manufacturers.

are juxtaposed with quotes from royals,

During the show our team had the

visionaries, scientists, music and sports

pleasure of meeting and walking the docks

celebrities, artists and government officials

with a new friend, Helga Piaget. Ms. Piaget,

on their view and importance of water.

a resident of Monaco, has a great love of

Ms. Piaget was attending the Palm Beach

the sea and an immense desire to help

Boat Show in order to introduce their new

change our current global crisis of water

global initiative, the Passion Sea Flag. By

pollution. She is the CEO of Passion Sea,

attaching this lively blue flag to your yacht

a nonprofit organization promoting the

or tender, you commit to love and respect

preservation and respect of our waters

the Ocean and have a mindful behavior,

through educational programs on water

especially when it comes to trash and recy-

conservation by incorporating global mes-

cling. The flag serves as a Code of Conduct

saging through the arts.

reminder while enjoying our precious waters.

According to their website: “Passion Sea

While all of the below may seem common

aims to educate the children of the world

sense, it is always helpful to be proactive and

about the importance of water, dangers

help spread the following message.

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

1. Please avoid littering from aboard or on the shore. Littering is a dangerous activity and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Any amount of trash discarded in the environment piles up and then adds to the global pollution crisis. 2. Please minimize plastic usage, avoid single-use plastic products and recycle properly. Plastic is one of the main cause of pollution and deterioration of our waters. Please avoid single-use plastics such as plastic bags, water bottles, straws, cups, utensils, dry cleaning bags, take-out containers, and any other plastic items that are used once and then discarded. At present, just 9% of plastic is recycled worldwide. Recycling helps keep plastics out of the ocean. It also reduces the amount of “new” plastic in circulation. 3. Please avoid products containing “microbeads” of plastic. Tiny plastic particles, called “microbeads,” have become a growing source of ocean plastic pollution in recent years. Microbeads are found in some face scrubs, toothpastes, and body washes, and they readily enter our oceans and waterways through our sewer systems, and affect hundreds of marine species. Avoid products containing plastic microbeads by looking for “polyethylene” and “polypropylene” on the ingredient labels of your cosmetic products. 4. Please prefer using environmentally friendly products for cleaning on board. Environmentally products have less harmful ingredients in their composition. They help decrease the amount of water pollution. It is a healthier option for you, your yacht and the planet.


Passion Sea Flag Inauguration on Motor Yacht Hospitality, represented by Moran Yacht & Ship

Helga Piaget, CEO of Passion Sea; Paris Baloumis, Oceanco; and Tracey Thomas, Venü

We would like to invite our readers to protect the beauty, feeling of bliss and plenitude that our ocean's procure. This summer, be part of the global campaign! Visit www.passionsea.com and sign up to stay in the loop, attend events, and buy a book or a flag today. #passionseaflag

Swimming and navigating among garbage is a reality that we can help shift. 5. Please avoid fishing in marine sanctuaries. Marine sanctuaries areas are protected to help provide a safe habitat for species close to extinction and protect historical artifacts. 6. Please respect marine protected areas. Restricting activity in marine areas can help preserve the unique marine life and cultural sites for the generations to come. 7. Please avoid overfishing & bycatch. Overfishing can lead to extinction or imbalance in marine species. The same goes for keeping bycatch fishes instead of releasing them back in the water. 8. Please help clean marine debris. About 60%80% of all marine debris is composed of plastic (Rios et al. 2007) and Ocean Conservancy’s

Trash Free Seas Alliance estimates that 8 million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean each year. Mammals and fishes get their nutrition from the oceans. Plastic is a man made product which they do not understand and if its floating in the water they can mistake it for food and therefore eat it and die. 9. Please avoid releasing toilet waters in marine sensible areas. Toilet waters should be filtered and treated before getting released or pumped. Human sewage entering the water is harmful as it sparks the process of eutrophication. This happens when excess waste feeds the dense growth of phytoplankton, which sucks the oxygen out of their environment. This drastically influences the food chain, issues with coral reef and creates “dead water” zones.

10. Please safely discard cigarettes butts. Cigarette butt litter is a real issue at our beaches and in our oceans. Cigarette butts not properly discarded - left on the street for example - end up on our waterways dues to storm drains and rivers. Direct litter of cigarette butts at the beach adds to the problem. Toxins, toxic chemicals, and carcinogens from cigarettes get collected on the filter and are then washed out into our waterways and the ocean. Birds and sea mammals ingest these toxic butts, misinterpreting them for food. 11. Please send love and gratitude to water. Water responds to vibration and energy. Dr Masaru Emoto proved that the structure of water changes depending if exposed to words with “positive” vibration like love and gratitude or “negative”ones like “hate”. Only “positive” vibration words allow water to crystallize in beautiful snowflakes. 12. Please stay informed on current issues & help by spreading awareness. Stay informed on issues related to plastic pollution and help make others aware of the problem. Tell your friends, family, company about how they can be part of the solution. ¨

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE/ CULTURE//MAGAZINE /MAGAZINE CONTEMPORARY

17 17


PROFILES:

Artist

CHRISTOPHER B. MOONEY Contemporary & Modern Realism Brings Life to Dramatic Urban Landscapes, Bridges, Architecture, and Human Portraiture

CHRISTOPHER MOONEY is a well-known

a forward thinker and visionary who inspires

contemporary and modern realism artist

inner reflection through portraiture, images

based in Portland, Oregon, who has

of working heroes, and figurative works

received extensive critical acclaim during

using color, dramatic perspective, unusual

his 30+ year career for his urban landmarks,

points of view, light, and shadow to render

primarily bridges, industrial sites and

exciting abstract and realistic portrayals.

working heroes, and is currently creating

Mooney’s figurative works range from

commissioned portraits.

faces, to full figures, to workers, and to

“I enjoy hiking around the bridges of

couples in tender moments. His paintings

Portland with my camera and stepping

capture the essence of the human spirit

off the sidewalks to get a different per-

and creates connection in an extensive

spective of the city where the landscape

body of large-scale oils.

is framed by its bridges.” Christopher

Mooney’s much sought-after portraits

then creates large scale images using

of couples reveal moments of affection

projections or grids from photo refer-

– glimpses into the intimacy that the sub-

ences, mixing colors similar to the Old

jects feel. Their bodies are linked through

Masters’ technique to at least match

touch—an arm on a shoulder, a shared

the likeness.” It is his very own unique

joke. They lean into one another and con-

brand of color mixing which Mooney

nect. A bridge does this as well—touching

has become most known for. It is a “kind of trademark…one can

down on one side of a river and then it reaches out and touches the

recognize the artists’ piece without reading the label. I spent most

other side, connecting them both. Although the industrial steel bridges

of my career making a name for myself as a painter focused on urban

and the playful embrace of a lover may seem on the surface two dis-

landmarks, most notably bridges and Oregon’s diverse architectural

parate topics, they are both at their core about connection. One of

styles vital to the character and function of the area.”

his favorite commissions was for a gentleman from New York who also

Born and raised in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, surrounded

attended Parson’s—his wife commissioned a portrait of her husband

by an artistic family of writers, musicians, and architects amidst the

for his birthday. A year later, the gentleman commissioned a portrait

vast New York art scene, he frequented New York’s museums where he

of his wife.

credits John Singer Sargent, Edward Hopper, Norman Rockwell, N.C.

Christopher Mooney has received numerous awards and distinc-

Wyeth, Frank Schoonover, Maxfield Parrish, Charles Dana Gibson, and

tions. He was recently awarded to serve as the 2017 Artist-in-Residence

Andrew Wyeth for inspiring his work. Christopher received a Bachelor

at The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in New Mexico. He won Second

of Fine Arts Degree from Parson’s School of Design, where he enjoyed

Place in 2016 at Au Naturel, Juried Exhibition, Clatsop Community

studying and using some of the styles and techniques of the Old

College, Astoria, OR, Best in Show, 2015 Art for Trade, Juried Exhibition,

Masters. He continues to enjoy studies in portraiture and figurative

First Place, and in the 2015 Oregon Society of Artists Fall Show, both in

workshops at Pacific Northwest Collage of Art in Portland, and the Oil

Portland, among many other honors.

Painters of America. “After many years as a distant observer of man-made forms, I am now drawn to depicting the human form,” Mooney says. Christopher is 18

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

Christopher has exhibited at numerous galleries in Portland, as well as in Taos, New Mexico and is frequently commissioned to do works for organizations, businesses, and private collectors.


For more information about Christopher Mooney and commissions, please visit: www.christopherbmooney.com call: 503.320.0518 or e-mail: chrismooneyart@gmail.com

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE/ CULTURE//MAGAZINE /MAGAZINE CONTEMPORARY

19 19


EVENTS + GATHERINGS

FCBUZZ

By David Green Director of Programs & Membership Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County

Two Local Museums Welcome New Leaders TWO MUSEUM MEMBERS of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County have recently been appointed new leaders in our community. Please welcome: ROBERT WOLTERSTORFF The Bruce Museum The Bruce Museum Board of Trustees has appointed Robert Wolterstorff as The Susan E. Lynch Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer effective June 1. He will replace Peter C. Sutton, who is retiring after an 18-year career as Executive Director of the Bruce and will transition into his new role of Director Emeritus. Wolterstorff has served as Executive Director of the Bennington Museum in Vermont since 2012, leading the 167-year-old museum through a well-received curatorial makeover. In addition to overseeing improvements to its gallery spaces and innovative re-installations drawing from the museum’s collection of 40,000 objects, Wolterstorff spearheaded a series of changing exhibitions that resonated with museum members and attracted new audiences.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Bruce Museum and its team of an energized staff and forwardthinking Board who are leading it into the future,” says Wolterstorff. The Museum has embarked on its transformative, $60 million capital expansion and renovation project, which includes $15 million of added support to the Museum’s Endowment. The Campaign for the New Bruce will more than double the size of the Museum, from 30,000 square feet to 70,000 square feet, adding education and community spaces and significantly expanding its space for permanent and temporary installations of art, science, and natural history exhibitions.

Looking for something different to do? FCBuzzEvents (culturalalliancefc.org/ fcbuzz-events/) is the place to find out what’s happening in Fairfield County any day of the week–featuring theater, exhibits, music, history, science, family fun, classes and local artists. For more information contact Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County by emailing info@CulturalAllianceFC.org, calling 203-256-2329, or visiting the website, www.culturalalliancefc.org 20

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

CYBELE MAYLONE The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum In mid-2018 The Aldrich Contemporary ArtMuseum announced the appointment of Cybele Maylone as Executive Director of the Museum. Maylone came to The Aldrich from UrbanGlass in New York City where she served as Executive Director since 2013. During her tenure Maylone dramatically expanded the organization, raised its public profile, and worked closely with a number of artists who have also presented solo exhibitions at The Aldrich.

“The Aldrich unites two things that I revere in institutions: critical support to artists to create and present new work, and opportunities for the public to connect with contemporary art and ideas,” remarked Maylone. Maylone is recognized for her work supporting emerging and mid-career contemporary artists and for her exemplary leadership. Prior to her position at UrbanGlass, Maylone was the Deputy Director of apexart, the contemporary art space in New York City. Additionally, she has held several positions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, in the development and membership departments during that institution’s transition to its new home on the Bowery in 2007. Eric Diefenbach, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, said, “With her passion for contemporary art and wide-ranging experience working closely with artists, Cybele Maylone is uniquely prepared to lead The Aldrich into the next phase of its life, and to interpret our founder Larry Aldrich’s original vision in ways that engage our community and ever more diverse audiences of museumgoers.”


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EVENTS + GATHERINGS

By Janet Langsam CEO, ArtsWestchester

Mobile Arts Programming Hits the Road in Westchester

ARTSWESTCHESTER, WITH MAJOR SUPPORT from White Plains Hospital and Con Edison, launched the ArtsMobile in Westchester County this spring. The new ArtsMobile, a colorful RAM van custom-fit with all kinds of art supplies, will bring free arts programming to children and audiences of all ages outside the traditional classroom or studio setting. An entirely new concept for us -- the ArtsMobile allows us to bring creative, collaborative arts activities to youth and their families, where they live. It is also an extension of our 35-year commitment to arts education currently bringing art-making workshops to schools and after-school programs. Our partnership with White Plains Hospital and Con Edison recognizes that art-making is a healthy pursuit and one that enlivens our communities. The ArtsMobile will allow professional teaching artists, including Barry Mason, Miguel Cossio and Vicky Youngman, to bring hands-on art workshops designed to spark imaginations and encourage creative expression into neighborhoods providing arts activities to those who have little or no access to the arts. From April through October, the ArtsMobile will be scheduled to take its artists and mobile arts programming to

White Plains Housing Authority sites, Westchester festivals, neighborhood parks and community events. Workshops, that will take place outdoors, around the vehicle, will include, but are not limited to: print-making, ceramics, painting, botanical and landscape drawing, and mask-making. Dawn French, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Community Outreach for White Plains Hospital explains, “More and more research supports the fact that engagement in arts activities and creative expression enhances healing, coping and promotes overall well-being. In fact, in a study published by the NIH titled The Connection Between Art, Healing and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature, the authors conclude that engagement with creative activities has the potential to contribute toward reducing stress and depression and can serve as a vehicle for alleviating the burden of chronic disease.” French adds, “Integrating art into community settings is a meaningful way to engage our neighbors around wellness strategies that they can employ to enhance health and overall quality of life.” Jane Solnick, Director, Westchester Regional & Community Affairs of Con Edison and an ArtsMobile sponsor says, “Early exposure to the arts has been found to play a positive role in academic performance and measurable success

later in life. The arts, much like the sciences, certainly help inspire the creative thinkers and innovators of tomorrow.” Solnick continues, “Con Edison is proud to be a partner on this innovative mobile arts program that brings art into the diverse neighborhoods of Westchester County.” While many of us believe that engagement in the arts helps kids and adults to think “out of the box,” according to an Americans for the Arts survey, 63 percent of the population also believes the arts “lift me up beyond everyday experience,” and 73 percent say the arts are a “positive experience in a troubled world.” ArtsMobile teaching artists will encourage participants in the creation of hand-made objects, drawings, prints and paintings, nurturing each person’s capacity to express themselves and to create meaningful and beautiful works of art for themselves and for their families. Mack Carter, Executive Director of the White Plains Housing Authority says, “There’s no doubt, that adding art into a community makes things better. With our recent focus on restructuring public housing, we wanted the arts to play a fundamental role in enlivening the culture of our community. We’ve worked with ArtsWestchester to install two vibrant murals in our newly- renovated Prelude building. The next logical step seemed to be to bring the energy and inspiration of hands-on arts experiences directly to our residents who can benefit most from the arts.” The arts bring us joy, they allow us to imagine and to dream; they give us voice and they create spaces for us to connect with other people. Thanks to the generous support of our partners, our new ArtsMobile will be able to share the many benefits the arts offer to communities throughout Westchester.

For more information on ArtsWestchester’s Artsmobile, visit: artsw.org/artsmobile

For more arts, visit artsw.org The complete guide to the arts in Westchester /ArtsWestchester | @ArtsWestchester For more of Janet Langsam’s cultural musings, be sure to visit her blog at www.ThisandThatbyJL.com. For a full calendar of arts events visit: www.artsw.org. 22

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EVENTS + GATHERINGS

REVEAL ART FAIR RETURNED FOR ITS SECOND EDITION REVEAL, the four-day, international contemporary boutique art fair, returned for its second year July 18 - 21, 2019 in Saratoga Springs, NY, and again featured leading galleries representing the foremost emerging, mid-career and established artists from around the world. The premier edition of REVEAL Art Fair in August 2018 was a success with 30 art galleries exhibiting and selling works of art from over 200 international artists. Attendees came from NYC, the Hudson Valley, the Berkshires, Boston, Montreal, the surrounding areas and abroad to join the celebration of the first-of-its-kind art fair in the region. Positioned at the height of Saratoga Springs’ summer social and cultural season, REVEAL Art Fair takes place amid the magical combination of excitement, elegance, beauty, and allure that is created by the confluence of attractions and events in Saratoga Springs. Long deemed “The Summer Place To Be,” Saratoga Springs is home to world-class thoroughbred horse racing, international polo, the New York City Ballet at the

Saratoga Performing Arts Center, mineral waters and spas, and so much more. The Fair kicked off on Thursday, July 18 with a Platinum VIP & Press Preview, a private first look exclusive to invitees and members of the press, featuring a special champagne reception and a unique opportunity to preview and purchase the extraordinary artwork. Followed by a VIP Preview & Celebration, a chic celebration providing a first look and opportunity to purchase the Fair’s artwork.

REVEAL’S 2019 EXHIBITOR LIST: • Adah Rose Gallery | Kensington, MD • Arte Collective | Miami, FL + Bridgehampton, NY • Blue Gallery | Coral Springs, Delray Beach + Ft. Lauderdale, FL • Bruce Lurie Gallery | Los Angeles, CA • Carolyn M. Walker | Saratoga Springs, NY • Contempop Gallery | New York, NY + Tel Aviv, ISL • Derek Gores Gallery | Melbourne, FL • Donna B Fine Art | Scottsdale, AZ • Erin Hutton Projects | Portland, ME • Fremin Gallery | New York, NY • Galerie L’Atelier | New York, NY + Paris, FR • HAAS CONTEMPORARY | New York, NY • HAVOC Gallery | Burlington, VT • Liss Gallery | Toronto, ONT • Lurie Fine Arts | Boca Raton, FL • Marloe Gallery | Brooklyn, NY • ModArt Gallery | Miami, FL • Peter Triantos Art Galleries | Toronto, ONT • Pigalle Gallery | Miami, FL • Raw Space Art Gallery | New York, NY • Schacht Gallery at the Saratoga Clay Arts Center | Schuylerville, NY

The Fair’s programming included a lively series of Art Talks, with notable experts from the Tang Teaching Museum and Yaddo bringing fresh insight to important art-world issues; VIP tours of the Tang; and a variety of special celebrations for young collectors, design professionals, and members of museums, art organizations and cultural institutions.

CONTEMPORARYCULTURE/ CULTURE/ /MAGAZINE CONTEMPORARY /MAGAZINE

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EVENTS + GATHERINGS

‘Feast of Friends’ bandmembers- Matt Katz-Boen, Lead Guitar & Blondie bandmember, Chad Dinzes, Keyboards for MSG, Robert Stock, Bradford Rand - lead vocalist, CEO of RAND Luxury, Leo Kremer, Bassist, formerly of Third Eye Blind, Ty Dennis, drums, Remaining Doors bandmember

Robert & Arun Goenka at Premiere Vision

Tom Main, Robert’s Club Co-Founder and Edwards Efeurhobo, Cincinnati Founding Member

In Carmel, Robert with Richard Raley & Son, Dallas, Texas Founding Members

Robert Stock honored by Fashion Institute of Technology with some students

Robert and Tom in California at the launch of Roberts Club

ROBERT’S CLUB CELEBRATES ITS FOUNDING MEMBERS Robert’s Club celebrated its one-year anniversary in its usual, colorful style in New York City, with a thank you dinner and a concert for its Founding Members at The Cutting Room. It has been a whirlwind of a year, with late summer charity events in Carmel, California, benefitting the California Highway Patrol and Firemen; Winter fashion events in Paris; The Palm Event benefitting Place of Hope in Palm Beach; Art Miami Basel; Phoenix, AZ; Boca Raton Boys & Girls Club Ball; Cincinnati pre-Derby private fittings and New York events. Award-winning Menswear Designer Robert Stock and Thomas Main continue their twenty-year partnership as the design team for those gentlemen who enjoy a sense of humor and amazing quality in their wardrobes. In his spare time, Robert serves as a mentor for young, menswear designers and was honored by the Fashion Institute of Technology in May for his contributions. www.robertsclub.com

Fern Mallis, Creator of NY’s Fashion Week & Robert Stock

Robert and Jay Leno at Boys & Girls Club Charity Event, Boca Raton

Founding member John Mocker & friend, Kentucky Derby ready in Cincinnati

Joshua Jay, Magician Extraordinnaire, Power Negotiator & Author Peter Johnson, Deloitte Executive Eric Ganz

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CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

Mike Love, lead singer from The Beach Boys, with Robert Stock

Robert Stock with artist Nancy McTague-Stock and CEO & Entrepreneur Bradford Rand


EVENTS + GATHERINGS

Cleveland (Cleo) Miller and Emily Sullivan Photo by Nicholson Entertainment

Tracey Thomas and Victoria Cerrone Photo by Nicholson Entertainment

Vendor, Julie Cook Photo by Scott Kalberer for IACC

GREENWICH POLO CLUB The Luxury Marketing Council of ConnecticutHudson Valley’s Fifth Annual Family Polo Day, Opening Day of the Monty Waterbury Cup The Luxury Marketing Council of Connecticut-Hudson Valley’s Fifth Annual Family Polo Day, in collaboration with The Italy America Chamber of Commerce, was held at The Greenwich Polo Club on June 23, 2019.

Photo by Scott Kalberer for IACC

SPONSORS FOR THE EVENT: Gold sponsor: Smallbone of Devizes Silver Sponsor: Shelly Tretter Lynch/Compass Charity Partner: Kids In Crisis Alberto Milani Jewelry, APEX Projects, C. Parker Gallery, DEANE, Diane’s Books, Festivities, Grayson De Vere, Hearst Media, Homestead Inn – Thomas Henkelmann, Hôtel Silver, In Villas Veritas, Jade Marketing Solutions, Le Caprice Paris, Nicholson Events, REALM, Renovation Angel, Scenterprises, Val’s Putnam Wines & Liqours Liquors, Sergio Rossi, Wadia Associates, Wow to Pop. Contributors: Chatham Bars Inn, Empanadas on the Go, Gristmill Distillers, KAS Krupnikas, Kurly Kürt sh, Stuart Weitzman, Troy’s Garden Nurseries, Wolf & Warrior Brewing Company, Woof Gang Bakery.

C. Parker Gallery Art Photo by Cara Gilbride

VIP Area Design Services provided by Grayson De Vere. Media Partners: Connecticut Cottages and Gardens, The CEO Forum Group, Venü Magazine

Spectators Photo by Scott Kalberer for IACC

Kathryn Minckler, Victoria LloydWilliams and Daisy

Robert Jones, Shawn Olsen, Hugh Owens, Ron Shemesh, Cynthia Wilkinson, Iain O’ Mahony, Gary March and Craig Trainer Photo by Nicholson Entertainment

Emily Sullivan and Tiffany Benincasa Photo by Cara Gilbride

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STYLE:

Guide

WORLD-CLASS COMFORT Zazzle partners with Ubuntu Life to bring you the world’s first custom espadrille handmade-to-order in Africa. Now you can create a unique shoe that fits your own style by selecting the color of the canvas, the style, and color of the print, as well as the inner lining. Crafted and sourced with natural, local materials with an emphasis on comfort and durability Afridrilles are available for purchase now at zazzle.com/heart

SUMMER BREWING Inspired by leading baristas, the JURA Z8 boasts an unbeatable standard of coffee that is freshly ground, not capsuled. It offers 21 specialty beverages and is the world’s first with one-touch Americano for light, aromatic, long coffees. It also stands out for parallel preparation, precisely blending coffee and milk at the same time for perfect Caffè lattes. For more information, visit jura.com

STYLE & CLASS

Chic Showroom and Extravagant Buys this Summer MADE IN THE SHADE ROKA Sports, push eyewear design and technology to new heights, concealed behind some of the most in-demand styles for this summer. All of ROKA’s eyewear features market-leading ultra-lightweight design, a patented fit system and world-class optics in vintage and bold looks. Now available worldwide at roka.com

WATCH THIS! PUMA teams up with licensee Fossil Group to launch a new, limited-edition watch collection largely inspired by the 90s. Featuring form fitting comfort, removable, pull-through silicone straps, and a bold color palette these watches are making a big splash this summer. Buy yours today with just 448 units available per style, at watchstation.com 26

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

THE SCENT OF CONFIDENCE Lancôme launches a new feminine fragrance, Idôle created by three female perfumers. Isparta Rose Petal Essence from Turkey along with a Centifolia Rose grown in France, shine among notes of bergamot, pear, and India Jasmine Grandiflorum for a verdant and tender, fresh and voluptuous sent. Idôle will be out in stores starting from 22nd August 2019.


APPETITE

By Fred Bollaci

The Best of Northern Michigan TRAVERSE CITY is a small lakefront Midwest town with big city sophistication and so much to offer! Visit in early July for the annual National Cherry Festival (93rd anniversary in 2019). Enjoy local cherries and cherry products, including delicious cherry wine, cherry pie, concerts, the Blue Angels, contests, carnival rides, parades, running events, and more! After two recent visits, Northern Michigan is my new favorite destination for food, wine, and fun! Stay at The Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, just ten minutes east of downtown, a favorite for golfers, with an indoor pool perfect and beach club! Enjoy gourmet dining with panoramic views from 16 stories up at Aerie Restaurant—watch the sunset over Grand Traverse Bay. The Homestead Resort in Glen Arbor, 30 minutes west of town, in the middle of America’s #1 National Park, Sleeping Bear

Oysters & Poke with Wasabi Avocado, Yuzu, Sesame, Chili, and Radish at The Boathouse in Traverse City

Dunes (sand dunes formed by the glaciers that rise 500’ overlooking the crystal clear waters of Lake Michigan) is another top choice. The resort is home to a 9-hole golf course (18 holes nearby), gorgeous hilly, wooded scenery, sandy beach, pools, and great dining at Nonna’s (rustic Italian cuisine), or Café Manitou by the beach (gorgeous sunsets). Both resorts offer year-round activities designed for families with kids! In Glen Arbor, also enjoy gourmet waterfront dining at Blu. The Traverse City area is home to numerous wineries producing great wine from traditional vitis vinifera grapes like Chardonnay, Pinot Gris,

Beautiful view of Walloon Lake from Hotel Walloon

With Dave Denison at Amical in Traverse City

Cabernet, Cab Franc, Merlot, and Pinot Noir, as well as sparkling wine, fruit wines, and fortified wines. The perfect getaway for grown-ups is to stay at one of the local wineries that also have rooms and gourmet cuisine. I recommend the gorgeous Chateau Chantal Winery on Old Mission Peninsula (be sure to book a “Sensory Wine Tour”), and Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay on the Leelanau Peninsula. Visit Leland’s Fishtown and enjoy famous smoked fish at Carlson’s (take out and go pair with local wines at Verterra Tasting Room), and continue on to charming Boat House Vineyards and modern BluStone Vineyards, then visit 45 North Vineyard and Winery (directly on the 45th parallel), and enjoy wine and house made spirits at Green Bird Cellars in Northport. On the Old Mission Peninsula, visit Bonobo Winery, Chateau Grand Traverse (oldest in the area), Peninsula Cellars (in an historic schoolhouse), among others. The scenic rolling hills, pastoral landscapes, peaceful shorelines, and quiet country roads make this up and coming wine destination even more enjoyable! In Traverse City, enjoy phenomenal dining at: Alliance (progressive regional), Amical (French bistro/comfort food), The Boathouse (gorgeous location with gourmet cuisine overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay), The Cook’s House (excellent global cuisine), Folgarelli’s (Italian market/wine shop), Frenchie’s (breakfast & lunch), Harvest (local, seasonal), Mode’s Bum Steer (beef & ribs), Spanglish (creative Mexican), Red Ginger (Asian/Sushi), and Trattoria Stella (fresh Italian), among other top choices. Wine lovers should visit Left Foot Charley, an urban winery sourcing local grapes. Traverse City’s chefs and restaurateurs have a great relationship with local farmers, fishermen, and artisans and a love affair with the local bounty! Heading north from Traverse City, the

charming town of Petoskey is a story book town filled with charming stores and café’s, and also check out nearby Harbor Springs. Comb the scenic shoreline or purchase your own Petoskey stones. The area feels a lot like northern New England. Stay and be pampered at the beautiful nearby Hotel Walloon, a new, luxurious, family friendly boutique hotel directly on crystal clear Walloon Lake in Walloon Lake Village! Dine at Barrel Back Restaurant perched over a water sports shop overlooking the lake, or enjoy haute cuisine and lake views at the historic Walloon Lake Inn! Further north, overlooking Lake Huron and the Strait of Mackinac is enchanted Mackinac Island, the Martha’s Vineyard of the Midwest. No cars—just horses, bicycles, and your own two feet. Stay at the stunning Grand Hotel, a gorgeous, family-friendly resort with excellent food, and example of Midwest elegance since 1896, called “America’s Summer Place!” Enjoy hiking, biking, golf, and exploring the beautiful town, full of fudge shops, pubs, and boutiques. Once you visit, you’ll be back for more “Pure Michigan.”

Overlooking Lake Michigan at The Homestead Resort in Glen Arbor

For more information about Fred Bollaci Enterprises, visit: www.fredbollacienterprises.com CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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APPETITE:

Venü Vines

The 12th Annual American Fine Wine Competition The Most Important Exclusively American Wine Competition is THE Go-To Guide to Current Best Wines in the United States tasting wine with Shari, either at home in South Florida, or on one of her personally-guided private wine trips, you will experience one of the most valuable resources in the wine industry, a result of 25 years of experience in the wine industry, including marketing, distribution, supply, advertising, and as a sommelier, plus twelve years of running the competition and traveling to discover new wineries. Along with veteran wine writers Monty and Sara Preiser, who publish The Preiser Key to Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, the most comprehensive guides to the famed wine regions, Shari co-founded the competition in 2007. Monty and Sara also produce their own label of wine in Napa, Shadowbox Cellars, which is created by their son, Photo by Caroline Attwood courtesy of Unsplash

winemaker Justin Preiser. The American Fine Wine Competition is by invitation only—this year more than 250 wineries

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EARLIER THIS YEAR, I had the honor of attending the much-anticipated

submitted 700 different wines to be judged at the Chaplin School of

American Fine Wine Competition in Miami. The annual event, now in its

Hospitality and Tourism Management at Florida International Universi-

12th year brings in 30 top sommeliers and wine experts to blind taste

ty’s beautiful Biscayne Bay campus in Miami. I take considerable pride

and judge 700+ excellent wines over the course of three days. I was part

in proclaiming several years ago that Michigan wineries on the Old

of a table of judges representing various media outlets from around

Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas, near Traverse City were producing

the country—as a sommelier and food writer, I had the pleasure of

excellent wine, and should be part of the competition, as quality wine-

representing Venü Magazine, a proud media sponsor of the American

making and wine regions continue to expand beyond the household

Fine Wine Competition.

names. Best of Show for Dry Riesling and Sweet/Dessert Wine went

In addition to being a prestigious competition, whose coveted

to Black Star Farms for their Arcturos Semi-dry 2016, Leelanau Penin-

awards can catapult a lesser-known winery into the stratosphere, as

sula, and best Sweet/Dessert Wine was awarded to Black Star Farms

well as a recognized authoritative body whose recommendations

Arcturos 2016, Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan. The best American

serve as a wonderful guide to consumers, the American Fine Wine

Sparkling Wine is Glenora Wine Cellars 2013, from New York’s Finger

Competition has awarded some $1 million to charities. These funds are

Lakes region, another delicious example of how an up-and-coming

raised throughout the course of the year at numerous food and wine

wine region literally stole the show!

events in South Florida, where guests get to enjoy delicious wines that

It is in this manner that The American Fine Wine Competition has the

were part of the competition, great food, and bid on an assortment

ability to raise consumer awareness of many small production wineries,

of prizes, including exclusive wines, and travel to places like Napa and

and under the radar wine regions—both for consumers to explore by

Sonoma, California wine country, guided by President and Co-Founder

ordering online, purchasing in stores and restaurants, and planning

Shari Gherman herself. Spend an afternoon, or better yet several days

memorable trips to explore in person! In fact, states including New

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


LOOK FOR THESE WINNERS FROM THE 2019 COMPETITION:

were asked to assign numbers—a-la Robert Parker or Wine Spectator to each wine we tasted, and as we went around the table discussing our findings— each member of the panel was asked if the wine

BEST OF SHOW

was worthy in their opinion of a bronze, silver, or

Sparkling Wine: Glenora Wine Cellars 2013, Finger Lakes, New York, $30

gold medal. The majority of wines we tasted were exceptional—for everyone at the media table, it was

Dry Riesling: Black Star Farms Arcturos Semi-dry 2016, Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan, $14

our first experience judging at a competition. For the first flight, which happened to be all Chardon-

Cabernet Sauvignon: Chase Cellars 2016 Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California, $125

nay, we awarded two golds, one silver, one bronze,

Sweet/Dessert Wine: Black Star Farms Arcturos 2016, Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan, $52

the table, each award was determined by majority

Port Wine: St. Amant Winery Lot #11 NV, Amador Valley, California, $35

panel was then asked to re-taste the gold medals

and one no medal. Since there were six of us at rule. Once the initial medals were awarded, the and asked if the wines deserved “double gold,” a York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina,

special honor, meaning the particular wine is the

BEST OF CLASS

Michigan, and New Mexico were represented in

best of the best. For the first flight, none made

Chardonnay: Husic Vineyards Dutton Ranch 2016, Sonoma Coast, California, $50

addition to the more famous California, Oregon,

double gold at our table, though during the course

and Washington State wines. The other note from

of the day, we awarded a handful of double golds.

Other White Single Varietal: Klinker Brick Winery Grenache Blanc 2016, Lodi, California, $20

this year’s competition is most of the award-win-

After our first flight, our panel wanted to compare

ning wines are under $100 a bottle, with many

our findings with those of the rest of the seasoned

Viognier: RIVINO Estate 2017, Mendocino, California, $25

under $50, and some in the $20 range—making

judges in the room. It was quite eye-opening that

great wine accessible to all.

the entire first flight of Chardonnay all received

Other White Blend: Acquiesce Winery Belle Blanc, 2017 Lodi Mokelumne River, California, $32 Red Bordeaux Style Blend: B Cellars Vineyards and Winery, Blend 27, Napa Valley, California, $87 Other Red Blend: V. Sattui Winery Entanglement 2016, Napa Valley, California, $40 Sauvignon Blanc: Reustle, Prayer Rock Vineyards 2017, Umpqua Valley, Oregon, $23 Pinot Noir: Bee Hunter Wine Oppenlander Vineyard 2014, Mendocino, California, $48

Behind the scenes, the competition takes

double gold medals—we all laughed how we

months of planning—wines start arriving in the

were tougher critics than the veteran judges! We

fall and are checked in and stored at RoboVault,

loosened up after the first flight and this valuable

a climate controlled storage center in Fort Lau-

guidance and were more generous in our analysis

derdale, and are delivered to FIU, where they are

and awards going forward. In the end, it was a

organized by varietal, numbered, and staged in a

very eye-opening experience, that reminded me

large auditorium, from where they will be served by

a little of serving on a jury—except this was much

“Wine Angels,” FIU students who serve the wines

more enjoyable and lighthearted. Having visited

in flights of 6 numbered glasses.

California wine country, many renowned as well as

Our media panel was seated at a large round

boutique wineries proudly display medals from the

table and brought a number of flights. We were

American Fine Wine Competition, symbolizing how

Other Red Single Varietal: Lava Vine Tempranillo 2016, Suisan Valley, California, $40

guided by several experts, including a professor at

important the recognition is!

FIU who teaches courses about wine. There were

On Sunday evening, January 20th, the public

Merlot: Raymond Vineyards Reserve 2016, Napa Valley, California, $30

ten minutes for us to taste all six wines, and make

was invited to an al fresco food and wine reception,

notes and formulate opinions of each wine, which

“Sipping through America,” which featured hun-

Cabernet Franc: Ancient Oak Cellars Alcaeus 2014, Sonoma Mountain, California, $75

we briefly shared as a group, one wine at a time.

dreds of wines from the competition, overlooking

Flights were all poured from numbered bottles

Biscayne Bay, which was enhanced even further by

into numbered glasses and are carefully tracked so

the rising full super moon! ¨

Zinfandel: Michael David Winery Lust 2015, Lodi, California, $59 Syrah: Klinker Brick Winery Farrah 2015, Lodi, California, $20 Petite Syrah: Ballentine Vineyards Pocal Vineyard 2016, Calistoga, Napa Valley, California, $45

everyone is tasting the same thing at the same time. Judges are asked to evaluate nose, flavor

For more information and all the results

profile, and most importantly, how well the par-

from the 2019 AFWC including double gold,

ticular wine represents the particular varietal, i.e.

gold, silver medals, and points, visit

Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, etc. We

www.americanfinewinecompetition.org CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Curating Cabo Art at the Heart of Grand Velas Los Cabos Written by Cindy Clarke

THERE’S AN ART TO BEING NAMED AN AWARD-WINNING RESORT

and cactus greens. White sand beaches flirt with sculpted rocks

YEAR AFTER YEAR. Today’s travelers are a savvy bunch, rating hotels

and arching cliffs posed in an artful design that belies the random

on every aspect of a wide range of hospitality services, including how

order of their placement in a sea equally picture perfect and staged

welcome guests feel from the first hello. Slight them and risk suffering

for myriad pleasures. The Sea of Cortez, corrugated silver on the

the consequences of their wrath in full view of a global audience

surface, then quintessential navy blue that subtly fades into crystal-

intent on protecting their vacation investment and then some. Please

line hues of turquoise and aquamarines the closer you get to shore,

them and bask in their accolades online and in the form of personal

is an aquarium where even the marine life seems handpicked for the

referrals happily shared.

designer aesthetics at play. Think royal angelfish elegantly attired,

Velas Resorts in Mexico has the formula down pat. We had the

gray-toned stingrays soft to the touch, whales finback and blue,

luxury of over indulging in their all-inclusive hospitality on the Riviera

starfish golden armed. Deep diving seals add a natural playfulness

Maya a few years ago, effusively awarding them our own 6-star review

and porpoises pop up here and there in an unexpected flurry of

for their over-the-top amenities and destination décor. So when we

whimsy and friendliness.

made our way to their Cabo resort this summer for a four-day getaway, we admittedly raised the bar in our expectations.

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With those images in mind, it becomes incumbent on a resort looking to make the most of its location to leverage those nature-made

Of course, the setting alone in Cabo San Lucas is beyond beautiful.

elements into its property, bringing the outside in to create a seamless

Nature is nirvana here. Desert landscapes boast terra cotta accents

flow that not only soothes the senses but pampers them too. It’s one

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


APPETITE:

Destination

Left to right: Panoramic view of Grand Velas Los Cabos, inside the hotel lobby, at the infinity pool, 2-star Michelin chef Sidney Schutte

Everything we do to make these hotels special is focused on one shared goal: to have the best of the best for our guests.”

No stranger to industry accolades for her work, Melín has 20+ years of experience transforming Grand Velas properties into havens of hospitality that speak volumes about the local culture and guest comforts. At Los Cabos, her signature sensibilities welcome you to the lobby, a striking juxtaposition of wide-open spaces, artisan furnishings, Mexican sculpture, breathtaking views and a palette of colors that mimics its oceanfront setting. In the spa, Melin’s touch is palpable too, from the matchbook-cut marble wall and desert sand floor to the

of those “authentic sense of place” requirements that differentiate

wood art that reflects the beauty of the region. That she’s passionate

a cookie cutter hotel chain from the thoughtful, ultimately intuitive

about her work is evidenced by her conscientious attention to details

luxury lodgings we aspire to stay at. It’s also a specialty of Velas

throughout. That she has a vision for all she does is corroborated by

Resorts’ interior designer Melín Castro, whose work on their behalf

the hands-on execution of her master plan and the teamwork she

has netted several industry design awards, including its most recent

ardently believes in.

recognition for Grand Velas Los Cabos as the Top Design Hotel in

“Everything we do to make these hotels special is focused on

Latin America by II World Biennial of Interior Design and Landscaping

one shared goal: to have the best of the best for our guests,” she

2018-2019 Latin America Chapter.

explained, noting that Velas Resorts have earned many awards, CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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APPETITE:

Destination

including AAA’s prestigious 5 Diamond designation for Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit upon opening in 2002, the first all-inclusive hotel in the world to earn it. “We are one team working together. It’s a synergetic relationship that makes everyone feel proud to be here.” A waiter told me that Grand Velas is unlike any other place he’s been, noting “People are passionate about what they do and everyone pitches in to hold each other up.” If that sounds like lip service, think again. Everywhere we turned, we were greeted with a smile and a heartfelt greeting. Grumbling is out of place here, by staff and guests alike. Melín attributes it to the aesthetics, the ambiance and the local talent, chefs and artists included, each purposely curated to personify the Velas brand. There are five restaurants on site at Grand Velas Los Cabos, every one created by a different architect and interior designer, all from Mexico, to showcase the signature culinary theme, menu and wishes of its hand-selected chef. Cocina de Autor, named 32

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People are passionate about what they do and everyone pitches in to hold each other up.”

one of the best new restaurants by CNN when it opened, is headed up by two star Michelin chef Sidney Schutte, who wowed us with a wine-paired eight-course tasting menu that reflected the resort’s heavenly high standards and Mexican heritage in every inspired bite. Melín’s dedication to cultural authenticity, part of her DNA as a designer for Velas Resorts, is the guests’ gain. Her handpicked artwork and “found” treasures are part of the amenities at Los Cabos, drawing you in with a privileged look at a million-dollar collection that graces its public spaces and 307 suites. We were fortunate during our visit to attend the gala opening of the resort’s on-site art gallery exclusively curated by San Jose del Cabo gallery owner Patricia Mendoza. Its first exhibition featured selected works from Luis Filcer, Eduardo Mejorada, Carlos Larracilla, Jorge Moedano, Max Sanz, Reynaldo Zesati, and J.A. Platas and included acrylics, oils, mixed media, watercolors and sculpture. As a special VIP treat – one of many over-the-top experiences that the resort offers delighted guests – we sat down for a multi-sensory Art to Table dinner with artist Eduardo Mejorada whose exhibited works served as the inspiration for Chef Francisco Vargas’ special menu and Sommelier Claudia Pacheco’s wine choices. Matching colors complemented paintings and palates as we sipped and savored a parade of creatively exhibited dishes, proudly presented

Opposite page: (top to bottom) Wellness Suite; Cocina de Autor restaurant This page: (top to bottom) Art to Table dinner: ballerinas dressed in red tutus; sea bass; brownie

and explained by the chef and wine steward. They included a black shrimp aquachile, served with blue curacao, olive and citrus dust that plated the joyful brilliance of an abstract painting by Yandi Monardo. A pictorial duet of ballerinas dressed in red tutus danced off the wall into an edible transformation of sea bass almost too pretty to eat! Paying delectable homage to the expressive artwork of our dinner companion Eduardo Mejorada, a delicate soft-shell crab, dressed in yogurt, squid ink and potato paper and ringed with circles straight off the artist’s canvas, was a personal favorite, especially after Eduardo shared intimate stories about his work. Topping off the main event, we finished with a dessert worthy of any gallery exhibition as we devoured a brownie extravaganza crowned with a sugared version of Eduardo’s textured tribute to his father, a golden-hued mixed-media expression of tenderness and love that moved us all. As we reluctantly got ready to leave the following morning, the resort staff lined up to see us off as if we were the most important guests of the hotel, exemplifying the heartfelt art of hospitality that’s been perfected at Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort. ¨ CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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The restored Salon with it’s original tapestries. Photo by Rhiannon Hopley

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FEATURE

Restful water view from the hammock. Photo by Nancy McTague-Stock

ARTSPEAK: AN ARTISTIC RESTORATION FOSTERS GLOBAL COLLABORATION IN FRANCE BY NANCY MCTAGUE-STOCK


“You have to be curious, you have to be interested – it enriches you and inspires you to do good work.” The curious nature of the man walking beside after visiting an artist’s open studio down in what used to be a stable in the 1800s is very real, very active and brimming with ideas. Our conversation showcases his deep interest in a diverse, cross-section of history, art, the land and preservation. The storybook property we are treading houses Chateau d’Orquevaux; the Chatelaine is Mr. Ziggy Attias. Walking along what was once a glorious driveway in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, Attias stops to pick up shards of found ceramic tile pieces and glass, which no doubt, once enriched the beauty of what he now calls home. “I have a curiosity cabinet I am filling with found objects like these as I restore the property. They are the history and soul of what once was.” Things like this are everywhere. “By giving them value and meaning a story forms, which people find interesting“. Artists find inspiration in observing these historical objects, often to create new work based on these artifacts. Attias’s home is

Photo by Rhiannon Hopley

filled with them; the owner hopes to collect and restore additional archival resources for artists to glean from, in addition to adding a library, a social and performance center, a gallery and more studios over the next few years. The original Chateau d’Orquevaux dates back to the 1700s, some remaining ruins are still evident on the property. The current Chateau, built in the style of Napoleon III in 1897 as a hunting lodge, sits higher up in the hills than the original. Through the iron gates, gatehouse and stables, the Chateau stands proudly nestled in the hills, overlooking the vast acreage inclusive of a boathouse, reservoir stocked with carp, trout and ducks, a goat and chicken house, stables and other outbuildings. Enjoying a colorful past, the Chateau’s owners include a Baron who lost his fortune, Antoine de Saint-Exupery and family, (who penned ‘The Little Prince”), as well as the daughter of Denis Diderot. A famed French philosopher, writer and art historian, Diderot worked during the Enlightenment period of the 1700s. Aside from his accomplishments as editor and co-founder of the Encyclopedia, Diderot was long considered the world’s first art critic, giving power to the artist as the voice that transported emotion, atmosphere and meaning. He changed the way art was looked at, the way it was collected and the way it was written about, scribing some of his best writings here at his daughter’s chateau. Centuries later, the art historical philosophies he espoused are being reworked, revamped and employed by contemporary artists on the very same grounds where he wrote hundreds of years ago. A new story is being written in this tiny village, using the paradigm of an artist’s residency, designed and operated by the owner, Ziggy Attias, formerly of New York and Israel. Although Attias has never been to an artist residency himself, when his family gave this property to him less than four years ago, it was in a state of terrible disrepair. Ziggy was up for the

Photo by Nancy McTague-Stock


FEATURE

Photo by Rhiannon Hopley

Left top to bottom: Chateau Orquevaux; Ruins on property from Original Chateau. Right top to bottom: The dinning room where artists gather to connect with one another and enjoy meals each day; One of the larger artist studios in the former stables.

Photo by Daria Cipriani

challenge; this man of visionary talent knew precisely what he hoped to create and embarked upon this journey. Evidence of Attias’s innate sensibilities is everywhere, as is he. On any given day, you will find him transporting artists to the grocery or train, designing a new terrace, cleaning debris out of an out-building he is renovating, running to a flea market to pick up a few more chairs for the chateau or surrounding buildings as well as chasing goats away from the newly planted wisteria. He is constantly in motion, but lacks the mad frenzy of a NYC stockbroker. Attics moves with the ease of a man comfortable where this life has led him. “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity; I had previously suffered some major setbacks. This project means everything to me. I know how close I came to a different version of my life that would have been quite unpleasant. Low points have the ability to crystallize your vision if you get another chance. As the owner and caretaker of this historical find, it is my job for this Chateau to survive and thrive.” Self-effacing in his manner, Attias states, “My life and my art are the CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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same; I don’t dwell on what I can’t do. I constantly look for a creative solution with what I can do, that in turn is my voice, my creative stamp in all matters. I have held many jobs in my life. Everything I have ever done from being an artist, landscaper, designer, restaurateur and more have prepared me for the work I am doing now.” Attia’s own artistic successes began at a young age, when his handforged steel and brass crosses, often embellished with faceted gems, were widely exhibited. Additionally, smaller sculptures of adornment adopted by the cognoscenti of the fashion industry catapulted his work to the

Left: Front porch of the Chateau in the glowing moonlight. Top: View of The Boathouse from the Stables. Bottom: Artists practicing Qi gong at sunrise.

Photo by Briannon

forefront of the NY and Paris fashion elite, with impressive worldwide sales. Additionally, Attias’s award-winning films were showcased extensively at film festivals around the world. Thereafter, his collection of post-9/11 American flags, which were strewn across highways and areas in and around the NY area, was repurposed into an art installation piece. “At the time, I felt the way all Americans felt; when I saw the colors of our tattered flag in remnants along the roadsides, I just had to pick them up. As an artist, I thought I could do something with them, yet everything I designed took away from the overall significance of the flags themselves. Ultimately, leaving them ‘to be’ was the work.” That piece now hangs in the 9/11 Memorial Museum in Battery Park, New York City. A man comfortable in his own home, Attias’s priority is ensuring others feel at home. After checking on an older artist who has a cold, he stops to chat with an artist working outside on a plein air painting, and brings apple treats to the goats. Popping his head into people’s studios, he asks if they are comfortable and have what they need. It is important to him that the artists feel good about being there and feel inspired. “Artists feel more, see more, search for answers…we can’t hide or the work suffers. Not everyone understands this way of life. We can be bombarded by negativity, which only fuels self-doubt. If nothing else, I want to be certain I am creating a space that empowers creativity.” Memorable are the get-togethers in the 38

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evenings, dinners, studio visits, poetry nights, music nights and days when Attias is at his best as the storyteller and everyone gathers around the table to talk about anything or everything. “My hope is I can empower the artists to go back into the world a little stronger; by being a part of this community, the naysayers are pushed back,” says Attias. By coming here for two or four-week residencies, twelve to twenty international artists are provided with a studio, private bedroom, breakfast and dinner. People leave their egos at the door. This is about creating a sense of community, about working as artists in new ways or on a specific body of work, or just to have contemplative time to think, away from their busy lives. This residency’s mission is about process, not end results. In this frenetic, 24/7 world today, it is more important than ever to proffer opportunities for them to work unencumbered. Artists by nature create dialogue, whether visual, Photo by Daria Cipriani

Photo by Daria

implied, written or spoken. They speak their own language, yet they create works to speak to the whole world. Residencies like this enable creatives to bounce ideas off fellow artists from other continents; for artists, language is not a barrier, it is an open door to create an opportunity, to be a human being, to bond and share experiences in its many forms. The Chateau d’Orquevaux program is making a difference in the lives of many people whom much of society has forsaken. A long-held belief is that art reflects life. A world without artists is a world losing its humanity. Artists document, they create the visual histories of what is happening at the moment. After 9/11 and other international tragedies, attendance at art galleries and museums hit an all-time high. Why? Because when time stands still and tragedy strikes, people need to feel connected. Art does not judge, therefore, it is a perfect place to convene, to reflect, to join community, to begin a dialogue. For a man who was given a lot, Attias could have kept a busy life in the Hamptons with holidays in France. Instead, he chose to take what he inherited and make a new life’s work, one that shares his good fortune with so many. Robert Henri describes the ‘Art Spirit’ in his 1923 book of the same name. Attias doesn’t know it, but he is imbued with that generosity of spirit, sharing his wealth, talent and time. He listens. He is interested. He wants to hear what people are thinking. He wants to hear ideas. He is connecting people with other people, often life long friendships are formed. His kind, down to earth manner belies his own deep conviction that, “What I am doing now is my life’s work. For me, I see this as a performance piece that has a lot of moving parts with no end. I hope I am helping others to create new stories, which are all chapters in our book. Empowering other artists to be creative and producing much more than I could have by myself in my own studio is energizing; the power of the collective is so much stronger than that of the individual. I am in it every moment; I roll up my sleeves up and get dirty every day. I feel like everything I have done in my life has prepared me for this time. Other than my children, I know now what my purpose is in the time I have been given. My whole life makes sense to me now.” ¨

About the author: Nancy McTague-Stock, MFA is a Connecticut-based artist who works in a multiplicity of media. Her work has been exhibited and collected worldwide; she also curates and mentors other artists. As the recipient of a Denis Diderot AIR grant from Chateau Orquevaux, she felt compelled to contact Venü about writing this article after her own recent residency stay. For more information, go to www.nancymctaguestock.com

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Divan Japonais, 1893, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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FEATURE

No one has provided us with a taste of 19th

selection of Toulouse-Lautrec’s paintings. Also

century Parisian nightlife quite like French

presented are works by his contemporaries,

painter and printmaker Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.

including Pierre Bonnard, Mary Cassatt, Edgar

Immortalized in posters, prints and paintings, the

Degas, John Singer Sargent, and James Jacques

artist captured the performers, stars, and celeb-

Joseph Tissot. If that is not enough, recently

rities of Montmartre. But what made his images

restored period films, music, instruments, and

especially powerful was Toulouse-Lautrec’s access

fashion accessories complement the exhibition.

to the stars and his friendships with them.

“We are proud to partner with the Boston

Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris, on view

Public Library to bring together these two rich

through August 4 in the Ann and Graham Gund

collections of work by Henri de Toulouse-Lau-

Gallery, exhibits approximately 200 works––many

trec. It’s exciting to be able to bring to life

rarely seen––and is a collaboration between the

the spectacles of modern Paris, and offer the

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Boston Public

public unprecedented access to works of art in

Library. It is a sweeping and ambitious production

new ways,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and

that also includes selections from the Harvard

Graham Gund Director of the MFA. “This has

Art Museums, The Houghton Library of Harvard

been a true collaboration, and we’re extremely

University, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

grateful to all of our colleagues at the BPL.”

Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris

Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris opens

explores how the artist defined the stars of

with the artist’s first poster, Moulin Rouge: La

bohemian Paris––their costumes and theatric

Goulue (1891, Metropolitan Museum of Art).

gestures––thus making his work and style

Commissioned by the infamous dance hall Le

instantly recognizable today. In addition to his

Moulin Rouge, the piece marked Toulouse-Lau-

famous lithographic prints and posters, the

trec’s entry into the artistic arena which then set a

show features rarely seen early drawings and a

new standard for poster design drawing.

BY LISA MIKULSKI

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Clockwise: For You, 1893, Boston Public Library; The Englishman at the Moulin Rouge, 1892, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Jockey, 1899, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Aristide Bruant in his Cabaret, 1893, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Loge With The Gilt Mask, 1893, Boston Public Library; May Milton, 1895, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Bruant at the Mirliton, 1893, Boston Public Library; Jane Avril, 1899, Boston Public Library. Opposite Page: Moulin Rouge: La Goulue, 1891, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

An illustrated catalogue produced by MFA Publications and a range of public programming offered at the Museum and the BPL’s Central Library and 25 neighborhood branches is also available, and the BPL’s complete collection of more than 350 works by Toulouse-Lautrec has been digitized for immediate viewing on digitalcommonwealth.org.

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FEATURE

Also featured is Eldorado: Aristide Bruant in his Cabaret (1892, BPL), the first poster with the Toulouse-Lautrec’s “HTL” monogram, which the artist later included on all of his posters. Serving as a logo, the monogram linked Toulouse-Lautrec’s fame with the celebrities and places he depicted. “The exhibition addresses the roots of a major aspect of public life today: celebrity culture and the power of images,” said Helen Burnham, Pamela and Peter Voss Curator of Prints and Drawings. “It also offers a remarkable opportunity to experience the depth and quality of Boston’s holdings of works by Toulouse-Lautrec. Few cities could mount a show of this nature without numerous outside loans. We have been able to put together a focused perspective on a critical aspect of an innovative artist’s career by combining two great collections and inviting the participation of a handful of important nearby supporters.” Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris is organized into five thematic sections: A Creative Life,

periods of time, befriending the women who lived

Paris by Day and Night, Behind the Scenes, The

there and sketching them as they engaged in mun-

Show, and The Stars.

dane activities like bathing, grooming or eating

A Creative Life focuses on the artist’s background,

breakfast. Additional lithographs on view in this

his process, and his early studies. Toulouse-Lautrec

section also depict various moments—from intimate

began drawing as a young boy and was encouraged

scenes to relatively public scenarios—taking place in

by his father and uncles, who themselves were

what Parisians described as a ‘half world’ (or demi-

talented amateur artists. The works in this section

monde) of sex workers, mistresses and courtesans

educate the audience on the artist’s experimentation

in their city.”

with a variety of media including lithography. Com-

The Show provides visitors with glimpses of the fin-

plementing this portion of the show is also Edgar

de-siècle Parisian nightlife. Here we find images of the

Degas’ Racehorses at Longchamp (1871).

performers along with sheet music for period music.

Paris by Day and Night explores the city’s changing

The Stars introduce us to those celebrities whom

face when urban renewal made way for grand bou-

Toulouse-Lautrec helped make famous: cabaret star

levards, new buildings, and public transportation. By

Yvette Guilbert; actor, painter, and sculptor Sarah

day, the city paraded its fashionable residents. By

Bernhardt; Moulin Rouge dancer Jane Avril; opera

night, the streets were lit with bright electric lighting;

performer Marcelle Lender; nightclub owner and

entertainment venues were all the rage.

performer Aristide Bruant; and dancer Loïe Fuller. ¨

Behind the Scenes highlights the Elles portfolio, which the museum’s press release calls “one of the

Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris runs

great achievements of Toulouse-Lautrec’s career”.

through August 4, 2019. The MFA is located on

“Shown in its entirety and in incredible condition,

the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue,

the series chronicles with unusual sensitivity the daily

Boston, MA 02115. For more information, call

habits of women living in a Parisian brothel. Tou-

617.267.9300, visit mfa.org or follow the MFA on

louse-Lautrec himself lived in brothels for extended

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Clockwise: Jaguar Mask, late 19th century, made in Guerrero; My Grandparents, My Parents, and I (Family Tree), 1936; Trunk, late 19th century, made in Olinalรก, Guerrero; Girl with Death Mask (She Plays Alone), 1938. Opposite page: Self-portrait with Hummingbird and Thorn Necklace, 1940

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FEATURE

The decorated ceramics, textiles, and artisan toys made by indigenous communities––the folk art collectively known as arte popular––were not merely playful tchotchkes. The term arte popular was first used in 1921, one year after the end of the Mexican Revolution when artists and government officials sought a way to heal and unite the people of Mexico. During that time, many artists and intellectuals collected these objects. To collect arte popular was not only considered a celebration of Mexican pride but also a political statement. While Kahlo herself was not a folk artist, she did collect and support the works of arte popular as expressions of mexicanidad, or the Mexican national culture. By examining and presenting some of the social and political ideas of post revolutionary Mexico, the MFA provided a context in which to further explore Kahlo’s content and how arte popular offers a correlation between the two. Kahlo was a big supporter of the Mexican Revolution, even endeavoring to change her birth date to correspond to the beginning of the war in 1910. By seeing Kahlo’s work as representative of that period of time in art history, we

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Many of us are familiar with Mexican artist Frida Kahlo,

are able to read more than just the personal in her work as

if only by name. When conjuring thoughts of her, we are

the objects of arte popular figured prominently in Kahlo’s

wont to envision her vibrant self portraits and manner of

art through out her life.

dress, or her canvas’ of flora and fauna. We appreciate her

“Like many modern artists working after the Mexican

as a feminist figure and cultural icon: a strong woman with a

Revolution (1910-1920), Kahlo collected arte popular

piercing independent stare. But how many of us can name

as a political act, a way to show her understanding and

her greatest works and their place in the history of art?

appreciation of art created outside of European-style

The exhibitions, books, and movies about

institutions. Exploring these types of painted

Kahlo (1907-1954) focus mainly on her biog-

ceramics, weavings, and carvings alongside

raphy––her struggle with polio from the age

her paintings enables us to see the political

of six, the bus accident that left her body

motivations behind her own work, which

broken at age eighteen, and, of course, her

celebrated the people, plants, animals, and

tumultuous marriage to muralist Diego Rivera.

traditions of Mexico,” said Layla Bermeo,

While Kahlo did create brutal and graphic work

Kristin and Roger Servison Assistant Curator

based on her personal experiences and chal-

of American Paintings.

lenges, to limit her oeuvre to the biographical

Kahlo’s Dos Mujeres (Salvadora and

is to contain Kahlo as a one-dimensional artist.

Herminia), 1928, owned by the MFA and the

This spring, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

first painting the artist ever sold, shows two

presented their first ever Frida Kahlo exhibit

indigenous domestic workers––her mother’s

that helped to illuminate Kahlo as an expressive

maids––painted in a classic portrait style.

artist of her time. Titled Frida Kahlo and Arte

There is a dignity to the work in how Salvadora

Popular, the exhibit focused on the Mexican

and Herminia hold their heads, and in the

folk art she collected, how those cultural pieces

style in which Kahlo has portrayed them in

reflect the time in which she lived, her political

front of lush leaves, together cheek-to-cheek.

beliefs, and how they influenced her work.

Workers united.

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While this work, acquired by the

think it becomes radical for an exhi-

MFA in 2015, was created early in

bition to ask basic questions of her

the artist’s career, here we see the

work, the same that would be asked

flat pictorial plane, common to Kah-

of any white male artist with even

lo’s work, and the expressive facial

half of her fame: Which works of art

details given to the artist’s subjects.

inspired her? What did she look at as

The lush background evokes the nat-

she painted? What were her break-

ural patterns of flowers and foliage

through paintings and professional

found in many works of arte popular.

milestones?”

In Girl with a Death Mask (She

Dos Mujeres, being Kahlo’s first

Plays Alone), 1938, Kahlo portrays a

sold work, certainly would be consid-

young girl in pink holding a yellow

ered a professional milestone. And

flower. It is a tiny painting, oil on metal

Girl with a Death Mask is an ode to

and approximately 5x6 inches––thew

arte popular, and perhaps even an

medium, and its support, offers a

artistic exercise in creating a vibrant,

nod to the size and medium often

detailed work on a small scale. Self Portrait with Hummingbird and

associated with arte popular. The child wears a skeleton mask

Thorn Necklace, 1940, is similarly often

and beside her on the ground is a

examined with regard to her thorny

jaguar mask. Masks of this nature

relationship with Rivera. But might

were commonly collected, and the

there be more? Created a decade

jaguar mask resembles one that

later than Dos Mujeres, we can see

Kahlo had in her home. The piece is

the progression of Kahlo’s work. Dense

representative of the Mexican festival

foliage also appears in this background

of the Day of the Dead, or Dia de

and the artist has positioned herself

Muertos, a festival held every year to

among several creatures including her

celebrate death. The yellow flower is

own pet monkey.

thought to be a tagete flower com-

While much speculation has been

monly placed on graves to mark the

made of these creatures, identifying

celebration.

them as co-conspirators of Rivera

Scholars have often attributed this

toward Kahlo’s pain after divorce,

work with Kahlo biography––mostly her grieving at having

the MFA instead placed this painting near two ceramic

lost babies in several miscarriage––but Bermeo offers

monkeys, emphasizing the everyday objects of arte

another explanation in that themes of childhood were

popular that unify beauty and function, themselves rep-

common areas of interest during the 30’s. Kahlo loved the

resenting artistic traditions and patterns of use within

world of children and shared that interest with many other

rural communities.

Mexican modernists. Toys were one of the most promi-

“It is important that we understand that arte popular

nent categories of arte popular finding representation in

was defined by educated, middle-class collectors like

wooden figures, masks, and dolls.

Kahlo, not by the artists who made these objects, who

Kahlo also collected hundreds of devotional paintings known as ex-votos. These small images, painted on tin, express gratitude for miracles and answered prayers. My Grandparents, My Parents and I (Family Tree), 1936, is one such example of the ex-voto format. In an attempt at ascribing Kahlo’s work to something other than events in her personal life, Bermeo states, “I

were largely from rural and indigenous communities,” Top to bottom: Dos Mujeres (Salvadora y Herminia), 1928; Still Life with Parrot and Fruit, 1951. Opposite page: Frida Kahlo “The Classic” (Black and White), 1939, Nickolas Muray

said Bermeo. By examining Kahlo’s interest in arte popular, we’re able to learn more about Kahlo’s social position and the beliefs that enabled her to develop her artistic practice and to better place her in a cultural context within the journals of art history. ¨ CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Above: (left to right) Masterpiece Revealed Aurelio Rodriguez Lopez: Water – The Origin of Life

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humility that are intimately layered in a technicolored

T

commentary uniquely personal and ultimately provocative.

Stetten, David Willson and Kiki Kim. What we witnessed

The artist himself is also beyond comparison, a master

and learned firsthand is testament to a dedication to the

of realism and figurative expression not seen since the

arts that defies anything that’s ever been done before –

Renaissance when the likes of da Vinci, Michelangelo,

and a mastery of technique and treatment that’s never

Raphael and Donatello turned heads with their naturalistic

been seen anywhere else.

There are no words to adequately describe the talent and skill the artist has articulated in his painted narrative, or the passion and poignancy brushed into it stroke by masterful stroke, or the years of thought and heart and

fantasy, but all astonishingly real, is but a glimpse of what Venü experienced this summer when we traveled to Madrid to meet three IBEX

Masters and their benefactors, collectors Albrecht von

portraits and peopled perspectives. Much like them, his

Until now. We are proud to be the first to reveal an IBEX

life’s work has been birthed and blessed by art aficionados

Masterpiece in its entirety in Venü, giving you an exclusive

who believe him to be among the best contemporary

viewing of one of the master works of art showcased in the

artists in the world.

IBEX Collection. The entire collection of 24 IBEX Master

But with one unprecedented difference.

masterpieces will make its worldwide debut in New York

This artist, one of 24 global IBEX Master super realists,

City in the spring of 2020.

has been given free rein in time, temperament, subject and

drink it in with speechless admiration, both for the artist’s

T

work and the modern-day patrons, or matrons as they

bition of true masterpieces that raise the bar in artistic

call themselves, who made it possible. It’s as if you time

skill and execution.

medium, along with a blank check to create his signature masterpiece without any worldly distractions. Being there in real time is a pinch-me, privileged moment that leaves you wide-eyed and breathless as you

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hat mind-blowing vision, part fairy tale, part

he brainchild of patron Albrecht von Stetten, the IBEX Collection was founded as an artistic incubator of sorts, fueled by Albrecht’s lifelong passion for the arts and his desire to

resurrect what today is a lost art: the creation and exhi-

traveled back to the Sistine Chapel while Michelangelo,

Ask him the motivation behind his quest, and he’ll answer

scaffolding steadied and neck torqued, painstakingly

with the straightforward words of the farmer he is, the

applies the last finishing touches to the magnificent

heartfelt feelings of the artist he once aspired to, and the

frescoed ceiling that still upends expectations today. You

art expertise of the noble lineage he hails from. He grew up

know you are witnessing history in the making as you watch

on a bucolic estate in southern Germany. Home was a

the artist and his genius unfold before you. And you don’t

restored monastery richly decorated with priceless paint-

want to blink lest you miss a move – or a musing.

ings treasured by his family for centuries. He told us that

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his ancestors and the Medicis of Florence shared a love of Renaissance art, laying the groundwork for the world’s first private collection of art masterpieces anywhere in the world. Albrecht’s passion for artistic perfection is fueled by this legacy and driven by his childhood dreams of becoming an artist himself. But like so many artists who couldn’t pursue their passions because of external constraints, he had to put his dreams on hold to attend to the realities of business, finances and his family’s farms. Not one to be deterred from achieving greatness no matter the task, Albrecht grew his family company into one of the world’s largest agricultural companies, while giving Europe’s farmers the opportunity to grow their businesses with him and reap the rewards as well. “It’s all about human connection and giving people the tools and time to achieve their personal best,” says Albrecht who has now focused his attention and financial support on his first love: art. Art history is defined by watershed moments. Albrecht had his when he learned that today’s artists struggle with painting for pay or pure passion, discovering, not surprisingly, that masterpieces, like the ones that took art to a new level during the Renaissance, are put aside for the sake of a sure sale and a check. He set out to change all that by seeking out the best technically skilled realist artists in the world and giving them the opportunity and wherewithal to stretch their creative and intellectual talents as they produce works of art destined to withstand the test of time. His one caveat: spend as long as it takes to create a masterpiece that sets a new standard in super realistic painting, challenging viewers with a human to human connection that defies all expectations.

T

he artists had their life-changing moment when they met Albrecht and the IBEX group. And the art world will have theirs with new masterpieces that reveal what hasn’t been possible

for hundreds of years. IBEX partner Kiki Kim is responsible for ferreting out the best living super-realist painters in the world. The

daughter of a national award-winning artist and poet, and the granddaughter of a well-known Chinese Calligraphy Master, Kiki grew up with art. Today she has parlayed her unerring eye for talent and detail into a high-profile career as one of the foremost experts on figurative contemporary CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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art. Albrecht and Kiki met when he engaged her services as Regional Manager for IBEX in Asia, quickly appointing her Chief Curator and Co-Collector not long thereafter. Kiki has been instrumental in assembling their private collection of some 300 figurative realist and hyperrealist art works. David Willson, IBEX Executive Director and CoCollector, is by all accounts a Renaissance man with Masters Degrees in business and commercial law, university-level teaching credentials, a stellar background in financial services and consulting experience in business and technology in over 50 countries on a career that spanned more than 20 years. His business acumen, marketing expertise and eye for investment-quality art enhance the IBEX partnership, positioning it for premier visibility and elite standing as the largest active private collection of super realist painting in the world. Together this tireless trio takes wing all over the world, traveling anywhere and everywhere to meet artists in real time, see their work in person and seal the deal with a handshake and a dream. When we met them in Madrid, they had just returned from a Master Links exhibition in 52

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Above: (left to right) Sergio Martinez Cifuentes Master Link: Devotion, Detail of Masterpiece: A Portrait of Desire


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masterpiece, revealed here for the first time in its entirety, is a triptych united by a painstakingly matched six-layer-deep pastel sky and a seascape hued with the pure color pastel pigments that masters of old used in their paintings. His composition comes to life with the birth of humanity in the form of a beautiful young woman, a modern-day Aphrodite born from foam, gasping for breath and wet with water that looks so real you want to hand her a towel. It continues with a human couple, life-sized and in love, making their way to the shore, he carrying her in protective arms, she melting into his tender embrace with skin so soft you can almost feel his touch yourself. It ends with an African beauty, hair curled in drops of saltwater so eternally fresh you think you’re at the beach with her, cradling shells in her hands as an offering, and stepping out of the painting as she makes her way to a new world that holds her hopeful gaze. That you are viewing a philosophical Atlantis-inspired trilogy that speaks volumes about people’s shared heritage on Earth, in spite of their distinctly separate environments and stories, is thought provoking enough. But when you consider that the entire masterpiece is over 6 feet tall and 15 feet wide, was 4+ years in the making, and was done in pastels, finely tuned Singapore where evocative hints of the masterpieces

and custom blended for just the right colors, it is beyond

under wraps were strategically unveiled. After our

comprehension – or comparison. Add the fact that Aurelio

four-day stay, they were off to Germany, Dubai, Taipei

measured each hand-drawn figure with the exacting eye of

and beyond, making stops to visit and support their

a geometrically-oriented mathematician, hiding the center

Master Artists along the way.

point of the painting among the water droplets on the man

Our visits with IBEX Master artists in Spain brought their vision to life, literally. From the surreal pastel artistry of Aurelio Rodriguez

in the middle, and his work definitely knows no equal, past or present. We would venture a safe guess that it stands to reset and raise the bar for artists in the future. Make a note

Lopez to the sensually seductive subjects of Sergio

of his name. He’s making history here.

Martinez Cifuentes and the illusory imaginings of

A

Martin Llamedo, we were transfixed by the skill and stories emanating from their masterpieces. Each is an evocative visual commentary on the artist’s perspective on contemporary life and each is as different as the Masters themselves.

O

s we make our way into his Madrid studio for a closer look, Sergio Martinez Cifuentes, with a twinkle in his eyes and an easy, life-loving smile, tells us his masterpiece – he calls it the

“Portrait of Desire,” admitting it is an auto portrayal – is all about wish fulfillment. It’s also about passion, love, sex

ur cover artist, Aurelio Rodriguez Lopez

and the idea that women really hold the power over men

lives in the sunshine and the spirit of coastal

he explains, taking us on a personal tour of the people

Marbella. The waterfront is his canvas, the

in the painting. At first glance, you may think you are in

neighboring vistas of Europe and Africa,

a cabaret dressing room, with men fully clothed, sharing

his inspiration, and the issues of immigration and equality,

space with women, buxom and barely attired, in varying

his subtly inferred, precisely executed conversation. His

scenarios. There’s the madam brokering a date between CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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a bored-looking beauty and one visually submissive beau. There’s a dwarf clearly smitten with a behind the scenes look at a woman he clearly covets. And there’s the confident woman on top, keeping her blindfolded man in line with the proverbial upper hand and a short whip, while her friends and a fluffy white cat relax nearby. But look again and see skin-deep emotional expressions and intricate details in the clothing, curtains, carpet and accouterments that are deftly drawn by a serious artist whose study of life is as focused and refined as his art. A native of Chile, Sergio moved with his wife and family to Spain a few years ago, finding Madrid to be a land of opportunity for the nudes he loves to paint. He is particularly fascinated with the effects of light on the human body, and has mastered the art of atmosphere in his paintings, suggesting there’s much more here than meets the eye. Before the masterpiece project, he said that he never had the freedom to paint without restrictions or risks, both from external sources like museums and galleries and internally from his own self-imposed rules as an artist. IBEX has given him the opportunity to express himself in ways he never dared before, adding that not even he knew that he would paint a dwarf putting a flower on a woman’s derriere as part of his masterpiece. Laughter is a big part of Sergio’s life today as an IBEX Master, reflecting the joy and possibilities it brings to his art.

M

artin Llamedo lives with his wife Nare, herself a talented art protégée, in a soaring apartment in the storied Artists Block of Madrid where Cervantes, author of Don

Quixote, penned many of his famous novels. Inside one of the salons is his studio, a pristine, expertly staged setting for his futuristically stylized painting. Artistic genius aside, Martin is a student of the humanities. He is an accomplished flamenco dancer and Spanish classical guitarist, a teacher extraordinaire and an art history scholar, along with a litany of other impressive credentials that hint at the perfectionism of thought and sentiments at play in his masterpiece. A study in human evolution and nostalgia, his is a still life hauntingly rich and prophetic. Envision two lace-draped, mirror twins standing side by side, eyes devoid of focus or clarity, symbolically posed behind a

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Left: (top to bottom) Martin Llamedo Master Link: Sisterhoood, Martin Detail of Masterpiece: The Banquet (detail piece)

table dressed in fine linen and set for an idealized dinner from yesteryear in an attempt to do the right thing and be accepted by society. Texture plays an important role in Martin’s painting from the future. The turkey, modeled after a real roasted bird, is dressed in gauze; the coconut cake, a copy of one meticulously baked, frosted and sliced enticingly, is synthetic eye-candy; the fruit in the luminous silver bowl, fake. The ladies too are mannequins of their pretend human “happy homemaker” selves, suggesting a pervading emptiness and disconnect from humanity and intimate communication as time rushes forward. But the domesticity of the scene is undeniably present and tinged with a longing for the authentic comforts and lifestyles of the past, when home and family took center stage and human warmth was real and nurturing. One of the woman’s hands is slighted parted below her waist to infer a hopeful openness not shared with her counterpart. Martin fears that society is in danger of becoming monochromatic and detached, thus the white palette that predominates here. Like all the artists we met, Martin’s masterpiece is multi-dimensional, layered with meaning, fraught with emotion, soul deep and created from the heart. And like all the 24 IBEX Masters, his work exhibits a brush stroke and technical wizardry that set them apart as the best in the world. “The goal of the Masterpiece program, from the artists’ first ‘yes’,” says Albrecht, “was to open the life they were born to live without any constraints. They are now free to discover other opportunities to let their legacy flow. The biggest mistake an artist could do in this situation would be to not take a risk. We never want to have a commissioned work from an artist. They need to create their masterpiece without interference. That is our philosophy.”

A

nd that is how a new Renaissance movement takes shape. There are more Masters, of course, each with a vision, a story and a masterpiece to share. After meeting these

remarkable few, along with IBEX’s Master of the Year, Dino Valls, whose allegorical painting rivals those of El Greco, we are inextricably hooked and can’t wait to see what treasured works IBEX has in store for us next. In fact, our bags are already packed and ready to go! ¨ CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Written by CINDY CLARKE Photography by KEN GEIGER, BASECAMP EXPLORER CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Below, from left: Life at Basecamp Explorer; A lion walks on the wild side; luxury in the bush inside a tented suite at Leopard Hill; an impossibly starlit night at Eagle View.

I had just checked my watch and turned to look out my window when a brilliant ball of color caught my attention. We had been flying for 13 of the scheduled 14 ½ hours to Nairobi on the only direct flight from New York to Kenya, a groundbreaking new route launched by Kenya Airways not four months earlier. Eight hours ahead of the United States, dawn was breaking over Africa. The sun was big, blood red and owned the sky. It was close, surreally so. I had never seen the sun like this before, intruding on its place in space, and likely might not see it this way again. In a blink of an eye, it was gone. It was one of those unscripted moments of travel that humble with life altering timing and perspective, merging the unexpected with the extraordinary to change everything you thought you knew before. The Maasai have a word for experiences like this. It’s Enjoolata and it refers to the joyful feeling you’ll have when you come upon a hidden wonder or unforgettable encounter, when that which was concealed is revealed. My moment with the blood red sun was the first of many Enjoolata moments I would have on this safari, the others made more poignant by the wildlife and the Maasai people of the Mara, coming together in one amazing community in the place where life literally began.

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We touched down for a one-night stay at the 5-star Villa Rosa

As Svein would explain “the Basecamp model represents

Kempinski, an oasis of Pan-African and European luxury ten

a bottom-up approach to the business of safari travel and

minutes from the airport in Nairobi. Celebrities, presidents

attempts to be as financially self-sustainable as possible. Thus,

and heads of state call the Villa Rosa home when they’re in

safari tourism fulfills a greater mission than simply producing

town, indulging, as we did, in the impeccable service, hospi-

profit – it generates the cash needed to preserve unique wildlife

tality and dining delights the Kempinski brand is renowned

species by paying long-term leases for the necessary land to the

for. We fell into a cloud of comfort in our room, windows open

local community. In this model, safari tourism lifts a large number

to witness Kenya’s capital city wake up to a new day before

of people out of poverty through improving living conditions

boarding a 13-passenger Safarilink plane for our one-hour

for people and livestock, while at the same time protecting

flight to the Mara.

endangered wildlife.”

We were headed to Basecamp Explorer, a sustainable tour-

The ground rules of this cooperative venture are based on

ism company that operates five safari camps in the private

the respectful collaboration of nature and nurture on land leased

Mara Naboisho Conservancy, a 50,000-acre wildlife reserve

by Basecamp from the Maasai, with an eye toward safeguarding

that shares a fenceless border with the legendary Maasai

a way of life dating back centuries. Benefiting all parties, the

Mara National Reserve and is made up of land contributions

game plan in play here is reflected in the shared pride, smiles

from some 500+ Maasai families. The brainchild of Norwegian

and personalized services of Basecamp’s uniquely empowered

financier and founder Svein Wilhelmsen and the late Maasai

Maasai staff, 95% of whom are local villagers. It is evident in the

chief Ole Taek, Basecamp Explorer is doing what the world

environmentally sensitive, elegantly inspired guest accommo-

should – promoting conservation and community commitment

dations that were masterfully designed and sited to blend in

through a mutually beneficial, future focused business model

seamlessly with the wilderness. And it is confirmed in the thriving

that’s a win-win on every level – and then some.

population of prey and predators, impressive numbers of big

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Opposite page, clockwise: Daily game drives in the Naboisho Conservancy promise up-close wildlife sightings; beadmaking is an integral part of empowering women’s lives at Basecamp Brand; night falls at Dorobo Mobile Camp; a coming together toast with Silver Certified Safari Guide Derrick Nbaala of the Maasai and Basecamp Explorer founder Svein Wilhelmsen.

cats, elephants, giraffes and wildebeest among them, that make

The Maasai are traditionalists, preferring to live like their forefa-

the safari adventures on offer – and the rewards – a reality for the

thers did in balanced harmony with the wildlife that share their

privileged few lucky enough to make their way here.

homeland. They have an aversion to eating birds and game,

Tourism and land conservation are strictly controlled in

preferring instead to dine on milk and blood from their cattle.

Naboisho, an area vital for the survival of the entire Serenge-

Red is their favored color and when you spot their blanketed

ti-Mara ecosystem. Unlike the Maasai Mara National Reserve

figures, aristocratic and crimson royal against a backdrop of

and other national parks in Africa, the conservancy limits the

green fields and acacia trees, spears in hand, the image will

number of safari vehicles permitted at a sighting to four at a

stay with you forever.

time, 45-minute stays, and allows guests to participate in activ-

That’s how we first saw Big Moses when we landed on a dirt

ities not permitted elsewhere, including walking safaris, night

runway in the Mara, a Maasai elder who became larger than life the

game drives and bush dinners. This exclusivity has had a positive

closer we got to him. A wildlife whisperer born of the bush, Moses

impact on all living things in Naboisho, from the vulnerable

is one of the founding members of the conservancy and one of

wildlife it protects and the people it lifts up to the trees that

its biggest landowners and is inextricably linked to all Basecamp

have been planted to reforest and revitalize the region.

initiatives. His love for his land and the life it supports is measured

By conservancy rules, only a limited number of beds are

in expertly led game drives and walking safaris, sundowner soirees

allowed in Naboisho – Basecamp has 52 of them dispersed

and warm campfire conversations wise and wonder-full, where he

among its 5 solar-powered camps – reducing the footprint

teaches and listens and learns and laughs, heart open, smile wide,

of tourists eager to experience this safari paradise. We spent

eyes seeing the good everywhere he looks.

our first night listening to barking zebras and grunting lions

Rising before dawn for early morning game drives and joining

at a hilltop eco-camp aptly named Eagle View for the endless

him again at dusk, Big Moses guided us through the plains and

panoramic vistas we enjoyed of a nearby watering hole and

bush sharing stories and insights cultivated from generations of

the plains behind stretching as far as an eagle can see. Our

firsthand experience. By instinct he knew where the lions slept,

screened-in tented room was one of nine elevated sanctuaries,

the leopards treed, the cheetahs hunted, the giraffes grazed, the

secluded and spread out in the wild, animals literally at our

elephants foraged, the buffalo rested and the hippos pooled,

doorstep. Seven of us camped out in the savannah in four

even pointing out a rarely seen Caracal cat hiding in a thicket.

mattress-plumped pup tents, bonfire lit to keep predators

He tracked signs and scat in the bush, stopping to pull a natural

away, during a memorable Maasai-guarded overnight at

toothbrush off a tree and examine elephant dung for medicinal

Dorobo Mobile Camp. We slept under an impossibly starry

berries. He followed herd animals, big and little, zebra-striped,

sky at Leopard Hill for two nights, where our luxurious tented

blue-jeaned, heart-faced, Thomson tiny, wildebeest strong and

accommodations boasted a motorized roof that opened to

warthog tolerant, ever on high alert for predators lurking in the

the heavens for the ultimate in-room indulgence, along with

shadows or up in the trees. He led us to crocodile sightings,

two decks, showers inside and out, and a private fire pit for

ostrich families and hyena dens hidden in the ground, spotting

romantic al fresco dinners. Visits to the other two camps, rustic

wildlife out of nowhere and everywhere. Through his eyes we

and remote Wilderness Camp, nostalgically evoking safaris of

saw life unfold in a moving pageantry of birth, death and survival,

yesteryear, and Basecamp Masai Mara, bordering the National

the color red making its mark with the inevitable bloody kill and

Reserve along the wildlife-rich Talek River – and onetime vaca-

feeding frenzy that followed.

tion choice for Barack Obama and his family – were equally

This is not the Mara Moses grew up with, where rhinos and

inspiring. Think movie-set scenes from the film, Out of Africa,

other now endangered animals were once plentiful, but it’s a

and you’ll have a glimpse of what we savored at each of the

start he told us, one that’s regaining a foothold thanks to Base-

camps, where meals, in the dining lounge or out in the bush,

camp and the conservancy. Today the Naboisho is home base

were served Maasai style, locally sourced, garden fresh and

for more than 70 identified lions, one of the largest densities of

topped with joyful celebrations of song and dance that are so

lions in the world, and has become a protective haven for grow-

much a part of the culture here.

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Vanishing species are making a come back here too, with once

Empowering women to become self-sufficient was the moti-

common wild dog packs on the rise.

vation behind the Basecamp Brand, a women’s cooperative

More investment is needed to expand the wildlife areas in

that makes and sells beautiful beaded handicrafts to visitors

this region, he told us, so that every living thing can roam freely,

longing to bring a piece of the Mara back home with them.

without fences, and continue to come together in the Mara as

The women use recycled plastic bags, another Basecamp

nature intended. That Svein Wilhelmsen was inspired to devote

initiative, to make thread for their jewelry, making these items

his time and resources to wildlife – and Maasai – preservation

more priceless still. The money they have earned has enabled

after many a safari and a chance fireside conversation with

them to purchase cows, upgrade their homes and send their

Chief Ole Taek some twenty years ago is understandable after

children to school, life-changing opportunities all.

experiencing a taste of the place and people he has come to

As we were leaving Basecamp after a week of so many “awe-

love. It is true what they say, Africa has a way of taking hold, heart

somes” and “wonderfuls” that we ultimately coined the perfect

and soul, from the moment you arrive. And to see in person

word “wondersome” in their stead, we enjoyed a final game

what Svein has accomplished here with Basecamp Explorer, the

drive that really brought home the impact Naboisho – meaning

conservancy and the communities they serve is humbling and

“coming together” in the Maasai’s Maa language – has had

speaks volumes about the power of humanity.

in the Mara.

In addition to its sustainable reforestation project and wildlife

The herd animals were gathered a hundred fold in an open

conservation initiatives in the Naboisho Conservancy, proceeds

plain along the elephant path we used as a road. The gazelles,

from the Basecamp Explorer Group over the last twenty years

the elands, the topis, the zebras, the hartebeest, the warthogs

have helped support Koiyake, Kenya’s only community guiding

and the wildebeest stood as a united community, different

school, so local Maasai women like Lorna and Nash, who ably

species, one shared goal: survival. Our driver Nash, one of

led many of our game drives, can perform the same jobs as

Kenya’s first female safari guides, explained that the animals

their male counterparts, once unheard of in this patriarchal tribe.

band together like that for protection from the big cats and

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Opposite page: Overlooking the Talek River from a private balcony at Basecamp Masai Mara. This page: Zebras in the Naboisho Conservancy.

other predators. Some hear better, some see better, others

This spotted beauty looked up at us nonchalantly, closing her

detect scents better, each of them standing watch and ready

eyes to shut us out or sneak in a catnap, I wasn’t sure which.

to alert the herd when danger is near. We spied a few hopeful

Nash said she looked hungry and I wondered, if only for a brief

jackals darting here and there looking for easy baby-sized

second, if she considered our presence as a potential meal or

prey as ever-vigilant mothers kept their eyes on them, before

nothing more than a mere distraction.

regrettably driving on towards the landing strip. Up ahead and off in the distance, specks of life, indiscernible to us, caught Nash’s trained eye. She veered off road so we

In a blink of an eye, she was gone. A fitting analogy of what could happen to the wildlife of the Mara if we don’t come together now on its behalf. ¨

could photograph a pair of majestic crowned cranes standing alone on the savannah. Some minutes later she stopped again

About Basecamp Explorer: Basecamp Explorer Kenya

and turned the jeep toward a dirt ravine, seemingly void of

manages unique safari accommodation camps in the

any living thing. Look, Nash whispered as she cut the engine,

Masai Mara and Mara Naboisho Wildlife Conservancy in

pointing to the barren ground. Enjoolata! There, lying right

Kenya. A global leader in sustainable tourism since its

next to our vehicle, almost within touching distance, was a lone

inception in 1998, Basecamp’s operations create community

cheetah. The fastest mammals on Earth, cheetahs are skilled

partnership development and long-term solutions for wildlife

killers with excellent eyes, perfect for their daytime hunts, and

conservation while developing models for conserving nature

can speed off in an instant when they spot prospective prey.

and empowering the local community.

FLY: Kenya Airways to Nairobi, the only direct flight from New York to Kenya. Safarilink to the Mara, a 45-minute flight to the heart of the Mara

STAY: In Nairobi: Villa Rosa Kempinski, Chiromo Road Nairobi KE, Kenya Phone: +254 703 049000 In Naboisho: Basecamp Explorer • Basecamp Masai Mara, 17 tents next to the Maasai Mara • Eagle View, a 9-tent camp overlooking the river and the plains • Leopard Hill, 4 deluxe tents, 1 family tent, 1 honeymoon suite • Wilderness Camp, rustic and remote with 8 tents • Dorobo Mobile Camp, 4 tents, Maasai guides and endless memories Safari prices and packages vary; visit basecampexplorer.com for details.

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Written by VANESSA CIANFARANI

Health, History and Horses‌ that is the foundation that Saratoga Springs is built on. But what many do not know is that this bustling city filled with boutiques and restaurants, known for its horseracing, was once a place where many traveled miles for what flows deep beneath the surface‌ The natural mineral water.


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Saratoga Springs, New York is located about 3 hours north of Manhattan. It’s a small (but mighty) city sitting at the foothills of the Adirondacks. Home of the Reveal Art Fair, the art-culture in this town is rich. Galleries line our iconic Broadway and Beekman Street Arts District. Horseracing enthralls the city during July and August, entertaining thousands at the legendary Saratoga Race Course. Live music can be found around every corner on any given night of the week. Whether you’re seeing local artists from Café Ole Enterprises at a venue downtown or listening to the Philadelphia Orchestra on the lawn at SPAC, there is something for everyone. Thanks to places like Yaddo, artists, musicians and authors come to Saratoga from all over the world to find inspiration and create their work. With all that it offers, Saratoga was ranked in the top 2% of the “Best Small Cities in America”. So, why is that? Some would argue there’s something in the water… Before horse racing and the arts, people came to Saratoga for medicinal reasons. In the 1800’s the Native Americans settled in Saratoga Springs and fiercely protected the water because they were believed to have healing powers. Health and wellness back then meant survival. During the French and Indian War, the Native Americans were healing soldier’s wounds with the mineral water. Once word of these “healing waters” started traveling, people flocked to Saratoga to see if there was any truth behind the stories. The rest is history. Doctors began prescribing Saratoga mineral water to heal ailments like colitis, cataracts and arthritis. Experts say just taking a walk through the State Park and taking in the air- rich with potassium iodine can induce a calm sensation over your whole body. Perfect for meditation and for combating anxiety. This could also directly correlate to feelings of inspiration and creativity, which is why Saratoga is such a hot-spot for artists. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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In the 1800’s over 200 springs bubbled

eight ounces, twenty minutes before a meal

throughout the city. Today, there are only

for the best effect. It ironically sits about

22 available for people to enjoy. I sat down

three blocks from Caroline Street (Saratoga’s

with a few local experts to highlight some

version of Bourbon Street) and if you drink the

notable springs:

water prior to a night out drinking, you won’t experience a hangover the next day.

Old Red – located on High Rock Ave, known as the “beauty spring”. Old red is high in

Lincoln – Located directly in the State Park,

iron and contains two human cell salts. I

Lincoln is considered one of the world’s finest

personally used Old Red on my skin to cure

bathing waters. The water has the highest

my adult acne. I rubbed the water on my

carbon dioxide content in the world. It was

skin every day, and after one month, the acne

most commonly used to treat heart related

disappeared and never came back. People

ailments. The natural carbon dioxide has a

also swear by the water’s ability to improve

unique ability to cause vasodilation of the

their eyesight and fix vision problems.

blood vessels, without increasing the work of the heart. Additionally, this water has been

Hathorn 1 – located right outside of Congress

proven to be effective in helping treat arthri-

Park, this spring is a saline-alkaline carbon

tis, gastrointestinal ailments, diabetes, skin

dioxide charged water. It has been used to

disorders and overall mood and wellness. You

aide stomach and digestive problems for cen-

can soak in this water at the Roosevelt Baths

turies. Doctors have recommended drinking

& Spa, located right inside of the State Park.

PEOPLE FLOCK TO SARATOGA TO HOST MEETINGS, ENJOY THE NIGHTLIFE, BET AT THE RACETRACK AND YES, SIP THE WATER.” Gyser – There are two different locations to access this spring. One is a “spouter” (shoots water up) which sits deep inside the park, and the other has easy-access at the entrance of the park right next door to the natural spring water (most popular for drinking-pure, no taste). This water has been a favorite for athletes in Saratoga. Whether you sip it or bathe in it, you’ll feel the effects after a few weeks. It has been said to reverse the symptoms of osteoarthritis, which destroys the cartilage, or shock-absorber to your joints. Perfect for anyone who is active or suffers from this


TRAVEL

chronic disease. Also, very high in natural electrolytes, which makes this spring the perfect pit-stop after your exercise. Karista – This spring sits deep inside of the State Park and if you can find it, the hike will be worth it. Karista means iron in Iroquois, and it is the most iron-rich water in the world. But what’s more remarkable is the mud that you can find just a few feet away. It is the purest mud you can find, and if applied to the skin, it can help treat burns, bug bites, eczema and leave you feeling like butter! Also, in a study performed by Dr. Walter McClellan, 92 percent of patients reported “significant” improvement of their chronic arthritis after completing the program. The Spa City is, without a doubt, a very special place. It’s a hidden gem that brings so much life to locals and visitors alike. People flock to Saratoga to host meetings, enjoy the nightlife, bet at the racetrack and yes, sip the water. People build their businesses and raise their families here, and it all started with what you find in that iconic cobalt blue bottle- produced by the Saratoga Bottling Company since 1872. Saratoga Springs may mean different things to different people today. Whether you’re here for work or play, there’s no denying the water is something we still value and protect. It was a life-line back before modern medicine, and a way-of-life for people looking for a natural alternative today. ¨ If you’re planning a trip, be sure to stop by the Visitor’s Center to pick up more information on the water, and everything else happening in Saratoga. A special thanks and recognition: Charlie Kuenzel- Saratoga native and geologist Amie “Trent” Millet- Saratoga Mineral Water Tours Nathaniel Altman, Healing Springs – The Ultimate Guide to Taking the Waters

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WELL-BEING

SHARED SPACES AND SACRED WOMENS-ONLY CLUBS: A Rising Wellness Trend Around the World Exploring the rise of ‘third places’ where we’ll be recharging in the future… Written by Judy Chapman

WE ARE LIVING IN THE AGE OF #SELF-CARE where ‘prevention is better than cure’. Where our work life increasingly flows into our personal life. Where life is busy and time is a luxury. Where the practicality of traipsing all over the city to attend a yoga class, have an acupuncture session and eat a healthy meal is increasingly challenging. Which is why the concept of fitness, wellness and social clubs are currently being reinvented and reimagined. With over half of the world’s population living in urban areas (according to the UN this figure will rise to 69% by 2050), creativity and innovation is needed to counter issues caused by increased urbanization.

The Well

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CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

The Well


Photo by Kris Tamburello

Rise by We

This Spring, we will see the much-anticipated opening of The Well in New York that is said to be ‘a modern members club like no other’. This 13,000 square-foot luxury space will feature a full-service spa with co-ed relaxation areas, yoga and meditation studios, gym, reflexology lounge as well as an organic Ayurvedic-inspired restaurant and vitamin bar. There’s a reported 1,000 waiting list for memberships at the upscale The Well and little wonder. With the revered Frank

Rise by We Photo by Kris Tamburello

Lipman M.D. as their Chief Medical Officer, The Well will offer integrated, proactive and personalized programs to

Interestingly, the rise of one-stop wellness clubs are thought to be not

help members maintain a balanced self.

only driven by our increasing awareness of health and longevity, but

Under Lipman’s leadership, expect the best

also a need for a sense of belonging and community.

of Western medicine with Eastern heal-

According to a Global Wellness Institute (GWI) report, for example,

ing from a team of integrative medicine

loneliness is a serious wellness crisis. Research shows that people

doctors, health coaches and skilled prac-

who are socially connected not only live longer but are less likely to

titioners who will create customized plans

succumb to diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

uniquely suited to each member and their goals. Monthly memberships will include

In New York, for example, the community work space brand,

a dedicated health concierge; unlimited

Wework recently launched Rise by We, that is a place where one

yoga and meditation classes; exclusive

can work-out, do yoga, have a sauna, book a personal coaching

access to fitness classes and full use of the

session and meet up and hang with friends at the on-site juice bar.

communal spaces.

As Avi Yehiel, WeWork’s Head of Wellness explains: ‘ Rise is very CONTEMPORARY CONTEMPORARY CULTURE/ CULTURE//MAGAZINE /MAGAZINE

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WELL-BEING

much based on the ethos of ‘building a world where no one feels alone’. She explains it’s their first wellness facility that offers a complete spa experience all under one roof. ‘No more jumping from studio to studio; here you can find it all’. In our digital and fast paced culture, the concept of co-working spaces is not new. Yet while the trend of these communal spaces is thought to be mostly driven by millennials (the largest generation by population) who value self-improvement, self-awareness and community, other markets are also being targeted. An example is CLUB W in Australia whose target market is the babyboomer generation. Club W is a movement studio, teahouse, educational and social hub all in one. It offers 200 virtual classes a day including yoga, pilates, dance, stretch and meditation, all of which are delivered in convenient ‘snack’ bites 10, 20 and 30-minute classes making them consumer-friendly for urban dwellers. As well, there are wellness pods for workshops on nutrition, life coaching and relationships as well as treatment rooms for massage and manicures. Explains owner and fitness entrepreneur Tony de Leede: ’Club W is for women babyboomers who I describe as the ‘forgotten generation’ 3DEN

who are looking for a second home or third place to unwind and connect’. Leed says he believes that loneliness is becoming widespread and points out that the UK just appointed its first ‘minister for loneliness’. ‘Club W fills a huge gap in the market for a modern space where women can immerse themselves in wellness,’ he says. ‘It is a place where they can recharge, restore and connect with others. I refer to it as a second home – an affordable home that’s based on community and activity, and where you feel comfortable and safe. The words that come to mind about our space is cozy, comfortable, community, non-intimidating which is real wellbeing.’ Club W is only one of the new breed of womCLUB W

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en’s-only wellness clubs that are springing up around the globe. At the other end of the


scale, The Wing is luxury communal space designed by women for women. The ethos of this membership-based brand is very much about a space where members can create, connect and generate opportunities. With over 6,000 members, The Wing has five locales in New York as well as locations in Boston, Chicago, San Fransisco, London, Seattle and recently opened in LA. While every destination is unique, each offers

3DEN

shared professional and social spaces, conference rooms, café, beauty room, showers with luxury amenities and a fitness work-out

space in trendy SoHo, Green Desk that has a more sustainable vibe

space. Interiors are stunning and the vibe is

with 10 locations from Brooklyn to Long Island City and Voyager

all beautiful spaces where women can feel

HQ in Chelsea to name a few.

safe and empowered. For every trend, there will always be a counter trend. As urbanizaAnother unique concept in New York is the

tion accelerates at breakneck speed and loneliness becomes more

new 3DEN located at Hudson Yards. This

widespread, we will see not only the rise of co-working spaces, social

community space is positioned as a place to

and wellness clubs but also more community-oriented housing and

unwind and rebalance in-between appoint-

apartment developments. In these modern times, ‘third places’ are

ments and meetings. The co-working zone

just the beginning of a worldwide trend to bring people together in

is fitted out with plenty of outlets to charge

healthier and nature-centric environments where they can connect,

your phone, nap pods and quiet areas as

share and thrive. ¨

well as complimentary coffee, a spacious lounge, shower amenities and a yoga and meditation room. Another point of difference at 3DEN is that it operates on a walk-in basis so you book time here rather than membership (you book in via their APP such as $6 for 30-minutes and are given a code for access). Other co-working spaces to explore in New York include The Farm, a rustic loft-style

About the author: Judy Chapman is the author of four books on spas and the former Editor-in-Chief of Spa Asia magazine. Over the past twenty years, Judy has created award winning spas, wellness retreats, and products for luxury brands in Australia, Bali, Germany, India, Maldives, Middle East, Myanmar, Singapore and New York. With a relentless pursuit of unique and original experiences, her curiosity has led Judy to explore the Himalayas, spending time with Tibetan doctors to onsen bathing in Japan and Ayurvedic retreats in India. She has created over 200 skincare, tea, and candle collections for luxury brands around the world. Judy is also the Editor of ‘The Chapman Guides, a curation of wellness retreats and destinations. www.thechapmanguides.com

CONTEMPORARY CONTEMPORARY CULTURE/ CULTURE//MAGAZINE /MAGAZINE

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PULSE:

Art

PATIENCE, PRACTICE, AND PERSISTENCE Emerging Spotlight: Arinze Stanley, Nigeria By Susana Baker Photography by Arinze Art

Over 400 hours are spent by Nigerian Artist Arinze Stanley, producing the most realistic drawings you have ever seen, and continuously doubting if they are really the great works of black and white photography. Hyperrealism is an art form that focuses on details and that’s what makes Arinze stand out from other hyperrealist artists. Arinze captures the emotions, mastering the reflections of light, the perspiration seeping from the skin, the tangles of hair, the tense clutch of a hand extenuating the veins and sweat. These mesmerizing drawings captivate the viewer with the talented manipulation of graphite and paper, the strong emotions and stories told from his drawings of racism, modern day slavery, and the oppression Arinze is to familiar with. A graduate of Agricultural Engineering from the Imo State University of Nigeria, Arinze is a self-taught artist who began drawing at the age of six when he would accompany his father’s family owned envelope factory. At the time his family was going through economic hardships and Arinze didn’t have toys, so he spent hours drawing on paper, the drawings were his entertainment., Arinze taught himself how to master both pencils and paper in harmony as a medium to express himself through what he calls his ‘three p’s’ namely patience, practice and persistence. These have guided him throughout his journey as an artist.


Her Sweet Stare Wip

Hyperrealism is an art form that focuses on details. I discovered Arinze Stanley speaking to an American art dealer at an event as he enlightened me about this dexterous artist whom he was sponsoring to come to America from Nigeria. I couldn’t help thinking what a chance of a lifetime for this unknown artist who was undoubtedly virtuoso. The dealer had found Stanley’s drawings by scrolling through your Instagram feed? Soon, the art dealer started communication with Arinze via email and WhatsApp. The story continued to stupefy me when the dealer goes on to say he would be his art star at Scope Art Fair during Art Basel. Miami Art Week and Art Basel are the most prestigious contemporary art fairs in the world. It is the ‘Oscars’ of the art world, with an influx of global art masters, mid-career artists in this annual signature anchor fairs that pop up throughout Black Noise Wip CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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PULSE:

Art

Miami and Miami Beach. With the best vernissages and opening receptions, that every artist on the planet would dream of attending! Arinze Stanley, the new protégé to this art dealer had never left his small town of Nigeria, Africa, and now was traveling thousands of miles into the Alice and Wonderland of the art world! I tagged along to the airport to meet and welcome Arinze Stanley to America, and I jumped at the oppor-

Insomnia Wip

tunity to ask him a few questions. Meet Arinze Stanley, a prodigy, the young man behind the masterpieces, a name to remember and follow: SB: When and where were you born? AS: I was born November 20, 1993 in Lagos, Nigeria.

I’d Be Lady Wip

SB: How many brothers and sisters do you have? AS: I have three siblings, two sisters and a brother.

spent over 400 hours working on a drawing. Sometimes I lose myself so much in the creation process

SB: What inspired you to the arts?

that I lose count of time.

AS: Experiences, everything, every day I lived drew me closer to exploring and understanding the world as

SB: What subject matter do you enjoy the most

an artist. I draw what I feel deeply about. It’s all about

and why?

connecting emotions to people. How I feel reflects on

AS: Everything, issues that affect the balance of the

the artworks I make.

world. I’m basically trying to make the world a better place whether I enjoy it or not. There’s so much going

SB: Are you self-taught, and if so, what were your

on around me, so much to speak about. So much pain,

beginning lessons to yourself?

so much, so much to express...

AS: Yes, I am self-taught, I started drawing with three P’s in my mind, Patience, Practice and Persistence.

SB: When did you realize this was your calling? AS: I started to understand how important it was to

SB: Why did you pick hyperrealism?

speak through my art because of an encounter I had

AS: Ever since I was a kid, I had an urge to make draw-

in 2016 where i suffered brutality from Military men

ings so realistic. I think Hyperrealism picked me.

in Nigeria. It was a case of mistaken identity. I was flogged, kicked and sustained a lot of injuries on my

SB: How did you learn to perfect the technique only

body. As a Nigerian living in a country where people

so few possess? Destined from above or thousands

aren’t held accountable for their actions who was I

of hours of practice or both?

supposed to report this to? Who was going to speak

AS: Love for what I do, it’s just love. No matter the thousands of hours or a truck load of talent from above, without love, I wouldn’t have been able to perfect my techniques. SB: How long does it take you to complete an artwork? AS: It depends on what I’m working on, the size, the content, the details, the subject. Sometimes, I’ve 74

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

Arinze has dominated his genre of art known as Hyperrealism, the audience was mesmerized by this artist, as his work triggers a degree of emotional connection between his viewers and his subjects. He uses his works as a medium for social and political activism, highlighting pressing matters both in his community and worldwide, matters including Modern slavery and feminism and others. Awards he has won include the ‘World’s Best Self-portrait’ in American art awards 2017 and a Cultural achievement award in Junior Chambers International in 2018, for more on Arinze Stanley go to www.arinzestanley.com.


for me? I was lost. Over time, I began to realize that i could use my artworks as a louder voice for myself. I realized that this was my calling. Also not to speak for myself but go speak up about issues affecting others. SB: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? AS: Alive, hopefully still doing God’s work and speaking through my art. SB: What is your favorite color, food, and place to visit? AS: My favorite food is fried plantain, I love neutral colors and strangely blue too. I’m not the travelling type but I love climbing mountains. It helps me meditate. SB: Who are your mentors in life and why? AS: My parents. They always talked about how they built the family company from scratch having very little capital. Making hand-made envelopes for years before having enough money to buy an envelope machine. This affected me a lot as I was driven by such patience, practice and persistence, and even without having a formal training in art I have managed by the grace of God to make hyper real drawings and exhibit internationally. My most profound memories of growing up, I remember getting flogged on my buttocks by my primary school teacher all the time for drawing all over my notebook and textbooks. I didn’t have toys as a kid like other kids so I relied on drawing as my only form of self-entertainment. I would go to my dad’s company and collect so much paper to draw on. ¨ Arinze Stanley did go on to sell during the prestigious art week, his first show and his first sale going to an anonymous collector for a handsome sum of $23,000.00!

About the author: Susana Baker, CEO & Founder of The Art Experiences, Inc an award-winning Art and Culinary Tour Company of the Art Districts of Miami. Radio Anchor on Bloomberg Radio 880thebiz.com on ARTtalk with Susana Baker every Friday at 10:40 am, “Bringing the Cultural Happenings of Miami” for more information on private curated tours or groups go to www.theartexperiences.com to book a reservation call 305-767-5000.

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PULSE:

Stage

Photo Contributed

Photo by Matt Simpkins

VENU: At Harvard University you

Tevye’s Dream Job One Actor’s Road to the Stage By William Squier

studied applied mathematics, with a

concentration in computer science. Why choose that as a career path?

SABATH: Because of my strength in math. When I got to Harvard, I discovered that people put math to use in very lucrative fields. So, I thought, ‘Let’s give that a shot.’ I made a conscious decision to step away

76

“My first Tevye was in 8th grade,” says Bruce Sabath, one of the stars

from theater. I was going to be this new guy

of Off-Broadway’s Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish. “We did “L’Chaim.”

and do new things. Then, I found the Din and

Since then, Sabath has returned to playing the fabled dairyman in

Tonics – an a cappella group that was funny,

academic and regional productions, and he considers Tevye his

irreverent and did comedy bits. I started

favorite character. But, we wondered if his affinity for the role might

singing with them at the end of freshman

have a bit to do with his journey to becoming an actor – one that

year. When I graduated, I went to work for Arthur Andersen. That led

involved leaving behind a “traditional” career to follow his heart into

me to First Boston and investment banking. But, I decided that wasn’t

the theater. So, we caught up him as Sabath was preparing to step in

the right place for me. So, I thought, ‘I’m going to go back to business

for the Yiddish Fiddler’s vacationing leading man.

school. Let me expand my knowledge and I’ll find the thing that really

VENU: Were you exposed to the arts as a kid growing up in

speaks to me.’ I spent two years getting my MBA at Wharton. But, one

Photo Contributed

Rochester, NY?

of the things that attracted me to Wharton was this great annual show

SABATH: The arts were very important to my family. So, my parents

that’s student written, produced and acted. I did the Wharton Follies

did a lot of driving and paying for lessons. I started piano in 2nd

each of my years there. And people were like, ‘You’re pretty good at

Grade and clarinet in 4th. My brother was also a musician. We were

this stuff. Too bad you’re going into finance.’ Then, I went to work for

very active in youth group, playing guitars and leading gigantic song

American Express. It has a million different businesses and I thought

sessions at the Synagogue. Mostly my exposure to theater was seeing

that one of those would be the thing that spoke to me. That continued

older kids in middle and high school productions. When I got into

to not happen. So, I went through a career evaluation program that

high school, they said, ‘Oh! He can do stuff.’ So, they had me doing

was popular at the time – What Color Is Your Parachute? You would

major roles. Sophomore year, I got to be Applegate in ‘Damn Yan-

write essays about things from your past where you felt successful and

kees;’ Junior year, I did Tevye; and, Senior year, I was Fagin in ‘Oliver.’

read them to your group. One that I wrote about was when I played

I was busy making music and theater pretty much all the time. The

Tevye. And people were like, ‘Wow! When you read that, you just lit

idea of making a career of it never crossed my mind. That was the

up! Maybe you should be an actor.’ Then, one of my colleagues – a

attitude of the time, the place and my family. You exposed everyone

very high powered strategist that people thought would be the future

to culture so they could grow up and appreciate it. But, to be a player

CEO of American Express – told me she was leaving. She said, ‘I’m

on the stage..?!

going to paint. I love it and want to devote all my time to it.’ It reset

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


Left to right: Bruce Sabath; Sabath with Cat Yudain & Margret-Ellen Jeffreys; Sabath and Steven Skybell; Sabath as Jack Warner in Cagney

VENU: You started to get jobs in regional theater and on

tour, including a 2006 production of Company that moved to Broadway. How did that happen?

SABATH: That production was directed by John Doyle -- who’d just Photo Contributed

done Sweeney Todd on Broadway, with actors as the orchestra. The Artistic Director of the Cincinnati Playhouse had seen the London production, loved its quirky direction and asked, ‘Do you want to come to Cincinnati and do some Sondheim?’ They needed a middle-aged guy who played the clarinet, so I fit the bill perfectly. We spent the winter with this fun group of actor/musicians creating a bizarre new version of Company. Then, Sweeney hit its stride. So, the press and producers came out. They said, ‘We want to bring this to New York.’ And John said, ‘Great. This cast is coming with it.’ A lot of people made their Broadway debut. That was a full ten years after I left American Express. VENU: Playing Jack Warner in the Off-Broadway musical

Cagney gave you the chance to originate a character. Had you done that before?

SABATH: In showcase productions. This was the first leading character I created in an Off-Broadway production that would have some exposure and get reviewed. That was definitely a step up. I remember seeing the role in a breakdown and thinking, ‘This would be a good one for me.’ I had a sense of who the character was; my skills had been built up; and then, I met Bobby Creighton in the callback, we got together in the Cagney / Warner scenes and they knew it was the right combination. my whole notion of what was possible! If that woman could become a painter, maybe I could become an actor. VENU: But, it took your wife, Karen, to finally convince you to give acting a try?

VENU: Now, you’re in the Yiddish Fiddler, directed by the

legendary Joel Grey – a production that began at the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene and is now playing Off-Broadway. What’s it been like to revisit the show in Yiddish?

SABATH: It’s very cool to take on these characters in their native lan-

SABATH: I started thinking seriously about the next phase and put

guage. It just flows beautifully and feels very natural. I play Leyzer-Volf

lists together of the pros and cons. My wife said, ‘Put the spread-

– the forlorn butcher. I had no Yiddish; none of the cast spoke Yiddish,

sheet aside and think to yourself what you’d do if you could do

with two or three exceptions. The coaches at the Folksbiene were

anything.’ And I said, ‘I would act. But, of course, I can’t do that.’

really good at teaching us. So, over time, the Yiddish has gotten more

And she said, ‘Why not?’ I said, ‘You never know where you’re going

imbedded in me. Getting to work for Joel Grey was a real pleasure.

to work or if you’re going to work and how much it’ll pay and you

He had a great concept of what the show should feel like. While he

have to travel and it’s crazy.’ ‘But,’ she said, ‘You knew immediately

wanted it to be realistic, he also said, ‘There’s people sitting way in

when I asked you. How can you ignore that?’ And I thought, ‘Huh.’

the back. If you’re not sharing what you’re feeling with them, they’re going to miss it.’ He was always encouraging us to move our bodies

VENU: What drew you to studying acting with William Esper?

in a way that would bring the audience in. I’m super excited about

SABATH: I attended a couple of auditions and realized I had a

going on as Tevye -- to pull that milk cart and do a role that’s very

lot to learn. So, I decided to invest time and energy into doing it

meaningful to me. My father’s father immigrated to America in about

right. A space opened up in Bill Esper’s class when I was there for a

1908. I just learned that he spoke and read in Yiddish. And loved

summer program. That was life changing. And I decided to do the

Sholem Aleichem. He worked for the Borden milk-processing factory

entire two-year program.

in Rock Island, IL! He was a dairyman! ¨ CONTEMPORARY CONTEMPORARY CULTURE/ CULTURE//MAGAZINE /MAGAZINE

77 77


DECORATIVE ARTS

Spring Selection By Matthew Sturtevant

Wall to Wall

Multiple Satisfaction Sotheby’s spring auction of Prints & Multiples totaled of $13 million marking the highest total for a Prints auction at Sotheby’s worldwide since 2007. Below is a look at the works that drove these exceptional results. Mary Bartow, Head of Sotheby’s Prints Department in New York, commented: “We are thrilled to have raised our highest auction total worldwide in over a decade. Our spring auction brought together pivotal examples of 20th century printmaking from many of the great names in modern and contemporary art – many of which were offered from notable private collections. Bidders responded enthusiastically to works by Warhol, Escher, Matisse, de Kooning and more, demonstrating a deep market for prints by iconic 20th century artists.”

Artistic Therapy On May 2, a powerful sketch by Nelson Mandela, The Cell Door, Robben Island, sold for $112,575 78

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

at Bonhams Modern and Contemporary African Art sale. The wax pastel crayon work, which Mandela created in 2002, was the only work that the statesman kept for his personal collection. It had an estimate of $60,000-90,000. After his official retirement in 1999, the former President of South Africa turned to art as a therapeutic activity that helped him express and reflect on his tumultuous life. In 2002, he created 22 sketches about his incarceration of 27 years focusing on images he found symbolically and emotionally powerful. Ten of these original drawings were then reproduced as editions of lithographs for the series My Robben Island (2002) and Reflections of Robben Island (2003). However, these sets did not include The Cell Door, which was regarded as a deeply personal image and one that he wanted to keep for himself.

At Christie’s London Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds sale the top lot was an important Safavid silk and metal-thread ‘Polonaise’ carpet from Isfahan, central Persia, first quarter 17th century, which fetched $ 4,985,791, setting a new world record price for a

‘Polonaise’ carpet at auction. Just under that high mark was another Monumental Mamluk Qur’an carpet that sold for $3,724,750,, achieving a world record for a Qur’an at auction. Behnaz Atighi Moghaddam, Acting Head of Sale for Islamic Art and Louise Broadhurst, International Head of Oriental Rugs and Carpets stated “At $20,520,948, this was the strongest result achieved in the last decade, with high prices throughout all categories. The full saleroom welcomed new buyers and witnessed competitive bidding with numerous telephone lines and online buyers from across the globe.”


VENÜGRAM

“GREENWICH POLO CLUB” PHOTOGRAPHY BY CELINE McDONALD

USPA Monty Waterbury, July 23, 2019 at Greenwich Polo Club, Greenwich, CT, USA

A horse is like a violin, first it must be tuned, and when tuned it must be accurately played. – Anonymous –

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GALLERY Greenwich

New York

Newport

KAY G R I FFI TH, Abstract U-156, Oil on Canvas, 60” x 78”

“Curating Art That Reflects Your Passions” cparkergallery.com

info@cparkergallery.com

409 Greenwich Ave, Greenwich, CT 06830

203-661-0205

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VENU #42 SUMMER  

IBEX Masters, IBEX Artist Collection, Frida Kahlo, Toulouse-Lautrec, Sustainable Safari, Basecamp Explorer, Passion Sea, Audrain's Newport C...

VENU #42 SUMMER  

IBEX Masters, IBEX Artist Collection, Frida Kahlo, Toulouse-Lautrec, Sustainable Safari, Basecamp Explorer, Passion Sea, Audrain's Newport C...