Sunday, February 28, 2010

THE ORCHID SHOW: CUBA IN FLOWER at the New York Botanical Garden

The ORCHID SHOW: CUBA IN FLOWER opened yesterday inside the magnificent Enid A. Haupt Conservatory of the New York Botanical Garden. Cuban-born, Palm Beach-based designer JORGE SANCHEZ recreated Havana in this show with beautiful, exotic and colorful orchids. The orchid show runs through April 11.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Digital Clock On Water Street

This is the huge digital clock at the south end of the building at 200 Water Street photographed on February 21, 2010 at 5:26:55 PM. The 45-by-50-foot digital clock was created by artist Rudolph de Harak. While the numbers may appear to adorn the exterior of 135 John Street, the display clock actually belongs to the adjacent 200 Water Street, a 32-story building designed by the architecture firm of Emory Roth & Sons and completed in 1971. The device consists of 72 square sections, each containing a number from 00 to 59. Once lit to display the accurate time hour, minute, and second, the clock has lost time over the years but remains a Lower Manhattan landmark. In 1998, 200 Water was converted into a 576-unit residence hall and is now home to New York University undergraduates. Although NYU holds the lease on 200 Water Street, building owner Rockrose Development is responsible for maintaining the clock.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New York City Staged Reading Presentation of ALLEGIANCE: A NEW AMERICAN MUSICAL

Last night, I attended the private developmental staged reading of ALLEGIANCE: A NEW AMERICAN MUSICAL. This new musical, with music and lyrics by Jay Kuo, and book by Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, is about Japanese-Americans who were put in internment camps during World War II. The musical follows the Omura family, who were forced to leave their home in Salinas, California to move to the Heart Mountain Internment Camp in Wyoming during World War II. Their story reflects the deep conflicts of a nation, and a people divided: father Tatsuo, a successful store owner, resists their unjust internment; mother Kimiko fears for their future, quietly resigns to their fate; older son James volunteers in an all-Japanese army regiment; and younger son Sam yearns for acceptance by and inclusion in America. The Omura's conflicts mirror the larger rift between the Japanese American Citizens League, which urged cooperation with the internment, and the resisters of the internment, who steadfastly refused to serve a country that had put them in concentration camps. This universal story sheds new light upon a dark, unexplored, and wrenching chapter of American history.
The cast included LEA SALONGA, GEORGE TAKEI, TELLY LEUNG, PAOLO MONTALBAN, BENJAMIN EAKELY, KEVIN GRAY, TAMLYN TOMITA, MICHAEL K. LEE, ALLIE TRIMM, PHILIP HOFFMAN, and SALLY WILFERT. The ensemble included ADAM FLEMING, GAELEN GILLILAND, MARY ANN HU, AUSTIN KU, DANIEL C. LEVINE, DOAN MACKENZIE, KASEY MARINO and ANN SANDERS. The most applauded number was "My Time Now" sung by TELLY LEUNG who plays Young Sam. He was fantastic. The reading was directed by STAFFORD ARIMA with music direction and arrangements by LYNNE SHANKEL. The reading was held at the Mainstage Theatre at 416 West 42nd Street.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Peter Coffin's Sculpture Silhouettes

Sculpture Silhouette (Michaelangelo, David, 1504), 2009

Sculpture Silhouette (A. Rodin, The Thinker, 1880), 2007

Sculpture Silhouette (U. Boccioni, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913), 2008

Sculpture Silhouette (V. Tatlin, Monument to the Third International, 1919-1920), 2007
Sculpture Silhouette (P. Picasso, She Goat, 1950), 2009

Sculpture Silhouette (N. de St. Phalle, Snake Tree, 1984-1987), 2009

Sculpture Silhouette (S. LeWitt, Incomplete Open Cube, 1974), 2007

On display at Manhattan's City Hall Park are monumental silhouettes of iconic sculptures (aluminum and epoxy paint) by PETER COFFIN. Above are images of some of Coffin's artwork that are on display until May.
Ranging in size from eight to ten feet tall, their commanding sculptural presence is somewhat of an illusion; each work is only one inch thick. The sculptures slip in and out of view, similar to the way in which memories slip in and out of one’s mind. The decision to hold the vision in place or let it fade is left to the viewer.

Sculpture Silhouettes refer to timeless icons drawn from the history of art. In transforming famous works of art into flattened silhouettes devoid of their original volume, Coffin engages the viewer to reflect and expand upon the existing associations each form’s representation evokes. This idiosyncratic sculptural survey creates an environment in which variations on seminal sculptures are experienced in a new and unexpected context. Provoking an interplay of associations, the Sculpture Silhouettes prompt the viewer to project the present onto the past, suggesting that history is constantly being rewritten.

Peter Coffin’s previous projects include constructing and flying a U.F.O. over the Baltic Sea and south‐east coast of Brazil, transforming a greenhouse into a “music for plants” performance space, and designing an elaborate machine that transports a single helium balloon along what could be its own, perhaps wind‐driven natural course. Playfully giving substance to the invisible and sometimes impossible, Coffin’s work invokes art history, fringe and pseudo science, social psychology, and epistemology to explore interpretation and perception.

Peter Coffin was born in 1972 in Berkeley, California; he lives and works in New York City. He has had recent solo exhibitions at the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen (2009); Barbican Art Gallery, London (2009); CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2009); Centre dʹArt Contemporain, Fribourg, Switzerland (2008); Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York (2008); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2007); Le Confort Moderne, Poitier, France (2007); Herald St., London (2007); The Horticultural Society of New York, New York (2007); Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris (2007); and has participated in recent group shows including Altermodern: Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London (2009); Abstract America, Saatchi Gallery, London (2009), Untamed Paradises, MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, Vigo, Spain (2008); and Learn to Read, Tate Modern, London (2007). (from

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cisitalia 202 GT Car at MOMA

On exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art is the CISITALIA 202 GT CAR (1946) made of  Aluminum, 49 x 57 5/8 x 158" (124.5 x 146.4 x 401.3 cm). The car was designed by in 1946 by the Italian car designer and coach builder Pinin Farina (who later changed his name to Pininfarina). The two-seater Cisitalia "202" GT was an aesthetic and technical achievement that transformed postwar automobile body design. In the MOMA's first exhibit on automotive design, the Cisitalia 202 GT was one of the cars exhibited in 1951. It is still part of MOMA's permanent collection.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Olympic Champion EVAN LYSACEK on Ice at Rockefeller Center (Blast from the Past)

Figure skater  EVAN LYSACEK became the first American to win the Olympic gold medal in men’s figure skating since 1988 yesterday in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I took these photos of Mr. Lysacek when he performed at the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink for the WEEKEND TODAY SHOW on January 11, 2008. The show was hosted by LESTER HOLT and AMY ROBACH.